Viewing parties for the telecast of the opening U.S. game in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup will be held Tuesday at Banc of California Stadium and other locations in Los Angeles County.
Gates will open at the stadium in Exposition Park at 10 a.m. The pregame show for the Group F game against Thailand from Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France will begin at 11 a.m. with the game beginning at noon. The first 500 fans will receive free T-shirts to the first 500 guests which can be customized at the stadium.
Registration is required. Parties organized by various chapters of American Outlaws, a nationwide support group for the U.S. men's and women's national soccer teams, will be held in the following locations:
- Legends Sports Bar, 5236 E. Second St., Long Beach
- Ola Restobar, 211 N. Citrus Ave., Covina
- Q's Billiard Club, 11835 Wilshire Blvd., Brentwood
- 1739 Public House, 1739 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz.
Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy is hosting a watch party at Tom's Urban at L.A. Live.
The game will be televised in English by Fox and in Spanish by Telemundo. The U.S. is seeking to defend the title it won in 2015 and win a record fourth Women's World Cup. Two-time winner Germany is the only other multiple winner with two titles.
The U.S. is first in the rankings compiled by FIFA, soccer's international governing body. Thailand is ranked 34th.
The 23-player U.S. roster includes two former UCLA standouts -- defender Abby Dahlkemper and midfielder Samantha Mewis -- and two forwards who played on the high school level in Los Angeles County -- Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar) and Christen Press (Chadwick).
Morgan and Press are among 12 U.S. players who were also on the 2015 team.
The U.S. is 5-0-2 in its World Cup openers. All 23 U.S. players play in the National Women's Soccer League. Thailand goalkeeper Tiffany Sornpao plays for Kennesaw State. Forward Maranda Nild completed her college career last fall at California. Both were born in the U.S. All its other players play for teams in Thailand.
Each of the 24 teams in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup will play three games in group play. The top two teams in each of the six four-team groups will advance to the single-elimination portion of the tournament, along with four of the third-place teams.
The U.S. is among six nations to qualify for all eight FIFA Women's Cups. Thailand is playing in its second. It went 1-2-0 in the 2015 tournament, failing to advance out of the group stage. This will be the second time the U.S. will face Thailand. The U.S. won 9-0 on Sept. 15, 2016 with Morgan scoring twice in the final six minutes plus stoppage time and Press scoring four minutes into the game.
Seventeen of the 18 U.S. players who played in that match are on the 2019 World Cup Team.