FIFA Women's World Cup helps unify North and South Korea

U.S. national team coach Jill Ellis'The players are ready excited hungry

U.S. national team coach Jill Ellis'The players are ready excited hungry

This is not the first time that Ri, Hong and Kim have worked together at the Women's World Cup - the trio officiated three matches at the 2015 edition in Canada, including the third-place contest between Germany and England.

The U.S. are the most successful team in the sport. The USWNT's World Cup gets underway with a game against Thailand in Reims, and it hopes to have to keep those blinders on all the way through to the final in Lyon on July 7. They will face Sweden on June 20.

The Thai squad has two USA -born members who have played for American colleges: Goalkeeper Tiffany Sornpao plays at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and forward Miranda Nild played at UC Berkeley - Morgan's alma mater. Tougher rivals await, however, such as France - bookmakers' favourites for the tournament.

That game was notable for other reasons: It was veteran forward Heather O'Reilly's farewell match, Megan Rapinoe took a knee during the us national anthem and Carli Lloyd scored a hat trick.

"The players will be absolutely devastated but we're a resilient group and I'm pretty confident we'll bounce back", said New Zealand coach Tom Sermanni. The last time they faced the U.S.in the 2015 World Cup, Thailand lost 8-0.

The American team will take on Chile on Sunday. There remains, though, a jarring gender discrepancy.

For years, professional women soccer players have suffered low pay and a lack of sponsorship deals. France's victorious men's team walked away with $38 million in 2018.

Substitute Madelen Janogy ran through and smashed in the second goal in injury time to wrap up the win for the Swedes, the 2003 World Cup runners-up.

Video game producer EA Sports only introduced women's teams to its FIFA Soccer product in 2016, more than a decade after the launch.

"That's impressive in and of itself that now a team has been to back-to-back World Cups and with that comes the experience that you get from that", Ellis said of Thailand. "A lot of other women's teams around the world are trying to raise expectations and get more support", Naeher said. "I think we feel prepared".

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