FRANCE 2019

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup: What you need to know

FOX Sports will carry English broadcasts of matches in the United States.

The eighth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup kicks off on Friday with host nation France facing South Korea. Similar to the men's edition, the women's is played every four years to determine which nation reigns supreme in international soccer.


The basics

Who: 24 nations played their way in through qualifiers. Teams are divided into groups of four with the top two from each group and four third place teams advancing to the knockout stage. During the group stage, a win is worth three points, a tie is worth one and a loss is worth zero.

The knockout round consists of single elimination matches until one team is left.

What: A new FIFA Women's champion will be decided

When: June 7 to July 7

Where: Matches will take place across nine French cities - Lyon, Paris, Nice, Montpellier, Rennes, Le Havre, Valenciennes, Reims and Grenoble.

How to watch

Matches will be broadcast in the United States in English on FOX, FS1 or FS2 and in Spanish on Telemundo, Telemundo Deportes and NBC Universo.

A list of TV listings can be found here: https://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/matches/

Which team is favored to win

Depending on where you look, the United States and France are the main favorites to win followed by Germany. England, Netherlands, Australia Japan and Canada round out the list of teams with a chance to surprise.

The United States are the defending champions after winning at Canada 2015 and are looking to become the second nation to win back-to-back Women's World Cups after Germany (2003, 2007). France are favored due to their quality of players and the fact that they are playing at home. It is expected, if both win their groups, that the U.S. and France face off in the quarterfinals.

Players to keep and eye on

Alex Morgan (USA), Sam Kerr (Australia), Eugenie Le Sommer (France), Kim Little (Scotland), Christine Sinclair (Canada), Tobin Heath (USA)


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After the Mariners came alive late in Monday's series opener to hand the Houston the loss and keep their playoff picture hanging in the balance, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park on Tuesday to try and decrease their magic number. Here's how the middle game went:

Final Score: Astros 6, Mariners 1.

Record: 28-27, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Framber Valdez (5-3, 3.57 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Casey Sadler (1-2, 5.40 ERA).

Both teams trade first-inning runs

The Astros struck first in Tuesday's game, not waiting around until the ninth inning to get on the board. Instead, they jumped out to an immediate 1-0 lead after a two-out RBI-single by Kyle Tucker in the top of the first. The Mariners responded quickly, though, getting a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning before a two-out RBI-double of their own to tie it 1-1.

Astros score five in the sixth

The 1-1 score held all the way until the top of the sixth when the Astros would flip the script from the night prior, taking advantage of some mistakes by Seattle to put up a big inning. First, Michael Brantley started the inning with a solo go-ahead homer to make it 2-1. Then, Kyle Tucker would get his third hit of the night with one out before eventually scoring after a walk and two wild pitches, making it 3-2. With two walks to keep the inning alive and put some insurance runs on base, Martin Maldonado took advantage with a big three-run home run to extend the lead to 6-1.

Valdez finishes seven strong, Astros even series

After allowing the one run in the bottom of the first, Framber Valdez recovered and put together a solid outing on the mound. He allowed just five hits total, two of which came in the first, then back-to-back singles in the fourth and a single in the fifth, while otherwise keeping the Mariners at bay. He would end up completing seven innings of one-run baseball while striking out eight. His final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 0 HR, 108 P.

After Valdez, Enoli Paredes would take over in the bottom of the eighth, working around a leadoff single to get a scoreless inning to keep it 6-1. In the non-save situation, Josh James would come in for the bottom of the ninth and finish off the win for Houston.

Up Next: The finale and rubber game of this three-game set will start a bit earlier on Wednesday, with first pitch scheduled for 5:40 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Nick Margevicius (1-3, 5.35 ERA) for the Mariners going against Zack Greinke (3-2, 3.90 ERA) for the Astros.

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