The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off on Thursday. The ninth edition of the tournament travels to Australia and New Zealand from July 20-Aug. 20 and promises to be the most widely watched one to date. The defending champions, the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) will open their campaign against Vietnam on Saturday, July 22.
There are eight groups consisting of four nations, each country will play every team in their group once. The top two teams in each group will then move on to the knockout stages of the tournament.
Stick with amNewYork for all of your coverage for the biggest sporting event of the summer.
2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup: Group B
- Nickname: The Matildas
- FIFA Rank: 10th
- World Cup appearances: 5th
- Best finish: Quarterfinals
The Matildas are entering a home World Cup with arguably the best squad they’ve ever assembled. Filled with stars such as Chelsea’s Sam Kerr and Lyon’s Ellie Carpenter, they are in form after impressive wins against Denmark, Sweden, Spain, and England in the last 10 months. Their head coach, Tony Gustavsson will hope to utilize one of the world’s best players, Kerr, up front for the Aussies. The 29-year-old had 12 international goals in as many matches last year. Australia also had a 1-0 win over France this week in a friendly game before Saturday’s sold-out opener against Ireland.
- Nickname: Girls in Green
- FIFA Rank: 22nd
- World Cup appearances: 1st
- Best finish: N/A
For the first time in their history, the Irish women’s national team will travel to a major tournament. The 23-player squad, led by Arsenal winger Katie McCabe, is currently ranked 22nd in the world. The Girls in Green qualified in dramatic fashion with a 72nd-minute Amber Barrett goal to beat Scotland in October. They will open their campaign in the 80,000-seat Stadium Australia as outright underdogs. This squad has quite the mountain to climb in Group B but has been trending steadily upwards in recent years under the management of richly experienced manager, Vera Pauw.
- Nickname: The Super Falcons
- FIFA Rank: 40th
- World Cup appearances: 9th
- Best finish: Round of 16 (2019)
Nigeria opens their WWC run when they face Canada on Saturday in Melbourne. Their coach Randy Waldrum, a Texas native, is at the helm for the nation’s ninth appearance at the competition. Among a tough group, Asiat Oshoala will undoubtedly be a crucial cog if Nigeria is to progress. The Barcelona star is the reigning African Women’s Player of the Year and a Ballon d’Or nominee. She hopes to lead the top-ranked African nation out of the group and to their first knock-out phase win.
- Nickname: N/A
- FIFA Rank: 7th
- World Cup appearances: 8th
- Best finish: 4th (2003)
The WWC hosts of 2015, Canada are the current Olympic champions entering battle this summer. They haven’t been able to get it done at the World Cup however, their best finish was fourth place when a 20-year-old Christine Sinclair elevated them to the semi-finals in 2003. Sinclair, along with PSG full-back Ashley Lawrence will feature heavily for the Canadian side throughout the group stages.