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)


Wilmer Cabrera accumulated a record of 32-39-22 (W-L-T) in his two and a half years with the Houston Dynamo. (Manuel Gonzalez/Deporte Total USA)

Wilmer Cabrera's tenure as the Houston Dynamo Head Coach came to an end on Tuesday. The club announced its decision to terminate the Colombian's contract to move in a different direction with nine matches left in the schedule.

KFNC's Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis was the first outlet to speak to General Manager Matt Jordan about the club's "collaborative decision" to fire Cabrera following a run of three wins in its last 17 matches. [FULL INTERVIEW]

"In talking with the board, our ownership group - from [Monday] going into [Tuesday] morning - the decision was taken to move in a different direction and to provide a fresh perspective to the group," said Jordan.

"We have the same team that had the best start in club history this year and, I'd even argue that, with the moves we made in the summer transfer window [adding defender Jose Bizama, midfielder Niko Hansen and forward Christian Ramirez] we feel that we have a good group," added Jordan. "I don't think anybody believes that our record over the last couple months is a reflection of the quality of our group."

The Dynamo took advantage of a favorable home-heavy schedule to arrive with a W-L-T record of 7-3-2 at the league-wide break for the Concacaf Gold Cup. The team resumed league play in late June and is 2-9-0 since, with seven of 11 played away from BBVA Stadium.

Struggles on the road were part of the three seasons under Cabrera - going 1-9-7 in 2017, 2-10-5 in 2018 and are 2-10-0 so far. A near perfect 12-1-4 home record helped the team return to the playoffs as the West's fourth seed in 2017 but a six-loss home record of 8-6-3 in 2018 was too much to overcome.

Cabrera led the team to the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title, the club's first major championship since the 2007 MLS Cup. All five matches of that cup run took place at home.

Assistant Coach Davy Arnaud will assume the head coaching role on an interim basis for the remainder of the season. The Nederland, TX native had a 14-year playing career in MLS from 2002 to 2015 and was a member of the runners-up U.S. Men's National Team at the 2009 Gold Cup.

"He will be in consideration for the full-time position," said Jordan. "He's one of a handful of up and coming coaches, American-based coaches, that are part of a pool of coaches that will be rotating in and out with the [USA] Olympic team program."

The "extensive" search for the club's fourth full-time head coach, and third under Jordan's GM tenure, is expected to feature more competition than the two-Manager race between Cabrera and then-Interim Wade Barrett in 2016.

Off since Sunday's 2-1 loss at Philadelphia, the players return to first team training on Wednesday morning to prepare for Saturday's home match against the Colorado Rapids. The entire team was informed of Cabrera's dismissal prior to the team's official announcement.

Jordan will further address the technical staff changes in a press conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the team's training facility before fielding questions from the national media in a teleconference call an hour later.

"We're only six points out of the playoffs and we're right there," added Jordan. "The biggest thing for us, right now, is we need to see progression and we need to steadily chip away."

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