USA 13-0 Thailand: Women's World Cup 2019 – as it happened

We’ll be shutting down shortly. But you can have your say on today’s match in the comments of Caitlin Murray’s report from Reims.

The United States hammered 13 past Thailand in their World Cup opener.

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Your reactions

The inbox is brimming with reaction to the most lopsided scoreline in World Cup history, men’s or women’s. Responses are running the gamut from excitement to disgust. Let’s get right into it ...

Here’s an email from Stephen Davenport in Indianapolis (who clarifies he’s a non-American):

I can’t say that I understand Rina Mapa’s point: this is the World Cup not a kid’s tournament. It’s patronizing to Thailand, frankly, to say the crowd should maybe fall into mournful silence on every goal. These people are there to support their team, and of curse they are going to cheer very goal. Or maybe all supporters except the USA’s are allowed to do that for fear of accusations of “jingoism”.

Another response to our Rina from Justin Madson, via email:

I’m sure the USA fans are real concerned with celebrating the “right” way so as to not offend Rina’s sensibilities. The Canadians would not ever celebrate goals in a rout, no sir. What does Rina want that might be appropriate? Golf claps? Silent vigil? Who’s to say what’s really appropriate here? Talking about jingoism in regards to a tournament when nations are pitted against one another seems a little futile, does it not?

Rina Mapa offers a response to those responses:

It isn’t the score I have a problem with. It’s the celebrations. There is a respectful way to win.

One from Jovo Beck, via email:

I went from not caring much about the women’s world cup, to drastically wanting the US to lose in the most painful way possible through this game. What a bunch of aholes. No class. Obnoxious. Spoiled children. Worse (but maybe accurate?) possible representation of the US possible.

Thanks for providing a way to share this.

This note from Val Candor sees the other side:

While I understand the calls for the US to let their collective foot off of the gas, I have to wonder at the finger wagging about sportsmanship, mercy rules, the size of the tournament, etc.

There are plenty lopsided scores in the men’s game yet you don’t hear these kinds of criticisms.

Sometimes you just get beat badly.

In the U20 men’s tournament two weeks ago, Norway beat Honduras 12-nil. Those are basically kids and yet there is an acknowledgement, even at that age that a bad loss is a bad loss.

Why are boys assumed to be more emotionally mature as teenagers than grown women?

If folks don’t like the scoreline, fine. There are plenty of other teams that absolutely have the ability to kick the Americans out of the tournament.

They can root for some sort of revenge then.

And here’s one from Aaron Pedersen:

The handwringing about this scoreline is frustrating. First we have those who would want professional female athletes to abide by the rules for children. Then, we have a critique of the crowd cheering on their team? If France had pasted South Korea 6-0 and the Parc de Prince were echoing with “Allez allez!” would anyone bat an eyelash? Doubtful. Did pundits and commenters tie themselves in knots when Germany were up 7-0 in the World Cup semi final in 2014? Not even slightly.

I’m not here to say Thailand is Brazil, but this is a group where the US has to play Sweden, a team they’ve not beaten in the last three tournaments. Goal differential matters. Will be waiting to see if the pearls are clutched if Sweden attempts the same feat this coming weekend.

Here’s an email from Michael McCarthy:

My wife’s American and she was flabbergasted, as was I, by the total lack of class shown by the American players, bench, coaches and crowd. Any other team would have have stopped celebrating, and stepped off the gas, at 5, but not this lot. Nauseating.

Another from Assaf Oron, via email:

The fans are taking their cue from the players and the coach. Truly repulsive, the US player celebrations in the last few minutes. Can someone really be so clueless and possess such a single-channel mind?

In the audience at least one could notice some fatigue when the camera zoomed on spectators.

I had lots of sympathy to the US team coming in, but I’m losing it really fast now.

One from Barbara MacDonald Allport, via email:

I find it odd that in a women’s game we are talking about the mercy rule used in children’s matches, but no mention of it as Germany is beating Estonia by the same margin in a men’s match.

Why are the women expected to play with less zeal?

And, finally, from Peter Jansen, via email:

Although USA v Thailand is an embarrassment, the good news for the womens football is that this is very much an outlier. All of the other games have been surprisingly tight affairs.

Indeed!

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Full-time: USA 13-0 Thailand

And there it is. The United States have kicked off their World Cup title defense with a resounding statement, getting a record-setting 13 goals from seven different scorers, also a record. Cold. Cutthroat. Clinical.

Morgan (12’, 53’, 74’, 81’, 86’)
Lavelle (20’, 56’)
Horan (32’)
Mewis (50’, 54’)
Rapinoe (79’)
Pugh (84’)
Lloyd (92’)

USA v Thailand
Numbers don’t lie. Photograph: FIFA
Commiserations for Thailand’s keeper Sukanya Chor Charoenying after the final whistle brought an end to her torrid evening.
Commiserations for Thailand’s keeper Sukanya Chor Charoenying after the final whistle brought an end to her torrid evening. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters
Megan Rapinoe celebrates the rout with her family and friends.
Megan Rapinoe celebrates the rout with her family and friends. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
After scoring five of their thirteen goals, it couldn’t really have been anyone other than Alex Morgan who was named Player of the Match.
After scoring five of their thirteen goals, it couldn’t really have been anyone other than Alex Morgan who was named Player of the Match. Photograph: Cathrin Mueller/FIFA via Getty Images

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GOAL! USA 13-0 Thailand (Lloyd, 90 min+2)

Morgan lays it into the path of Lloyd, who coolly finishes at the far post to make it a baker’s dozen.

Carli Lloyd of the US celebrates after scoring her team’s thirteenth goal.
Carli Lloyd of the US celebrates after scoring her team’s thirteenth goal. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

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90 min: Carli Lloyd nearly scores from close range but she’s dispossessed at the last moment. The fourth official signals for three minutes of stoppage time.

GOAL! USA 12-0 Thailand (Morgan, 87 min)

Morgan cracks a left-footed half-volley past the Thailand keeper ... and the rout is on.

Alex Morgan of the US lashes home their twelfth.
Alex Morgan of the US lashes home their twelfth. Photograph: Alex Caparros/FIFA via Getty Images
Alex Morgan of the US celebrates with Megan Rapinoe.
Morgan is congratulated by Megan Rapinoe. Photograph: Molly Darlington/AMA/Getty Images
Alex Morgan of USA celebrates with the team bench after scoring her side’s twelfth goal.
Before joining the subs for a celebratory group hug. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/BPI/Shutterstock

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GOAL! USA 11-0 Thailand (Pugh, 85 min)

Pugh scores in her World Cup debut, this one directly off a Thailand goal kick. This scoreline, if it holds, would match the most lopsided in Women’s World Cup history: Germany beat Argentina by the same score in 2007.

Mallory Pugh rounds the Thailand keeper before slotting the ball into the net for the US’s eleventh goal.
Mallory Pugh rounds the Thailand keeper before slotting the ball into the net for the US’s eleventh goal. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters
Mallory Pugh of the USA celebrates with teammate Megan Rapinoe after scoring her team’s eleventh goal.
And then celebrating with teammate Megan Rapinoe. Photograph: Alex Caparros/FIFA via Getty Images

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GOAL! USA 10-0 Thailand (Morgan, 81 min)

... and Morgan makes it 10 with her fourth goal of the night, collecting a pass from Rapinoe and ripping it into the back of the goal. This is not a misprint. Morgan is only second USA player to score four goals in a World Cup match after Michelle Akers, who scored five in a quarter-final win over Chinese Taipei in 1991.

Alex Morgan of the US scores their tenth goal.
Alex Morgan of the US scores their tenth goal. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

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GOAL! USA 9-0 Thailand (Rapinoe, 79 min)

Rapinoe scores on a gorgeous end-to-end transition to make it nine ...

Megan Rapinoe slides in to scores her team’s ninth goal.
Megan Rapinoe slides in to scores her team’s ninth goal. Photograph: Alex Caparros/FIFA via Getty Images

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76 min: Morgan’s hat trick is the fourth by a US player in a World Cup match after Michelle Akers (1991), Carin Jennings (1991) and Carli Lloyd (2015).

Here’s an email from Rina Mapa in Montreal:

I don’t mind about the score because what can you do, but it’s the bloody obnoxious jingoistic crowd chanting that is just such poor sportsmanship. Jesus. It’s like if a Triple A team played a hapless house league team and every goal was celebrated by the parents like it was a real achievement. Just awful.

GOAL! USA 8-0 Thailand (Morgan, 74 min)

Morgan receives a pass at the top of the area, creates space with a nifty rollback touch, then fires a shot far post past the keeper. It’s a hat trick for the US striker. The 8-0 scoreline, if it holds, would represent the most lopsided win for the United States in a World Cup match.

Alex Morgan of the US wrongfoots Thailand’s Natthakarn Chinwong
Alex Morgan of the US wrongfoots Thailand’s Natthakarn Chinwong and creates a bit of space for herself ... Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
Alex Morgan of the U.S. scores their eighth goal to complete her hat-trick.
Before firing home for her hat-trick and the United States’ eighth. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

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72 min: Teerasil Dangda is shown yellow for a two-footed challenge of Kelley O’Hara.

71 min: Thailand make their final sub of the match as Warunee Phetwiset comes on for Orathai Srimanee.

69 min: Lloyd sends the Thailand keeper Chor Charoenying down in a heap while attacking the ball in the air. Jill Ellis makes a final sub for the United States as Mallory Pugh enters for Julie Ertz.

64 min: Thailand make their second substitution of the match as Teerasil Dangda enters for Rattikan Thongsombut.

60 min: It’s Rapinoe, Lloyd, Morgan and Press playing in a front four for the United States as the match hits the hour mark.

Writes Assaf Oron, via email:

When coaching kids’ games, this is the point when we tell our forwards to play defense and vice versa, bring in the kids that get the least playing time, etc.

Let’s see if the US has this sportsmanship in them.

Similar sentiments from Rick McGahey, via email:

When I coached youth soccer, we had a “mercy rule” when one team would get too far ahead of another. Coaches were encouraged to not keep attacking, and play the play around the back more. This has been a total training ground exercise for the USA, Thai players seem to have given up and are totally overmatched anyway (score is 7-0 as I write this, USA may well have more scored by the time I send this to you). What does Thailand get? Carli Lloyd coming off the bench, who presumably isn’t there to take it easy on the opponents. I know these are adults and pros, but really the gap between these two teams is far too huge to justify the size of this tournament.

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57 min: Jill Ellis makes a pair of substitutions with Lavelle and Heath coming off for Christen Press and Carli Lloyd. Indeed, that’s a pair of attacking-minded subs for the Americans ...

GOAL! USA 7-0 Thailand (Lavelle, 56 min)

Lavelle sprints into a wide-open slot and gets off a perfectly hit shot for her second of the night and the USA’s fourth in seven minutes and the extra point to their touchdown. Yikes on bikes.

Rose Lavelle celebrates after scoring her second, and the United States’ seventh goal.
Rose Lavelle celebrates after scoring her second, and the United States’ seventh goal. Photograph: Alessandra Tarantino/AP

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GOAL! USA 6-0 Thailand (Mewis, 54 min)

Mewis makes it a half-dozen from close range. This could get ugly. Oh wait ...

Samantha Mewis of the USA scores her team’s sixth goal.
Samantha Mewis of the US slams in their sixth. Photograph: Alex Caparros/FIFA via Getty Images

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GOAL! USA 5-0 Thailand (Morgan, 53 min)

Good service by Tobin Heath onto the path of Lindsey Horan, who flicks it to the far post and the waiting right foot of Alex Morgan.

United States’ Alex Morgan scores their fifth goal.
United States’ Alex Morgan scores their fifth goal. Photograph: François Mori/AP

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52 min: Rose Lavelle is down after landing hard after a mid-air collision with a defender, but she’s going to stay in the game.

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GOAL! USA 4-0 Thailand (Mewis, 50 min)

Rapinoe collects the ball and turns about 30 yards from the target, finds Mewis on the edge of the area between the midfield and back lines. Mewis takes a touch, then rips a shot that deflects off a defender into the goal. It’s the 800th goal in Women’s World Cup history. Free set of steak knives.

Samantha Mewis fires in the US’s fourth courtesy of a deflection.
Samantha Mewis fires in the US’s fourth, courtesy of a deflection. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
United States’ scorer Samantha Mewis (centre) and her teammates celebrate their fourth goal.
Mewis (centre) and her teammates celebrate her goal. Photograph: Alessandra Tarantino/AP

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46 min: Thailand kick it off and the US quickly take possession. No substitutions for either side. It’s early but it doesn’t look like the Americans, who have already thrown numbers forward in this first minute after the intermission, are taking their foot off the gas.

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How do you rate the US team’s performance so far? A quick look at my inbox should tell. Here’s Richard McGahey, via email:

Thai team is completely overmatched, misplay by center back on first goal, poor goalkeeping on second one. Listening to the game in the USA, announcers gushing about how well the USA is playing, in any other normal match commentators would be pointing out Thai errors. Anouncers just wanted a PK for the USA that the Argentine ref didn’t call, and VAR turned down as well. As a USA guy, I want them to do well, but listening to this type of semi-propaganda instead of match analysis is bothersome.

Agree 100%, Richard. We can only hope the classically understated Alexi Lalas is on the panel to help temper the discussion.

Here’s another email, this one from Charles Antaki:

A while ago an aggressive bunch of Americans took on an apparently much inferior South East Asian group and scored some early hits, but eventually had to go home with their tails between their legs. Of course, history doesn’t quite always repeats itself, but still ...

Alas, we’ll always have Mayweather over Pacquiao.

Half-time: USA 3-0 Thailand

And there’s the half-time whistle. The United States are ahead 3-0 thanks to the head of Alex Morgan, the left foot of Rose Lavelle and the right foot of Lindsey Horan. The USA’s 102-5 advantage in attacking-third passes tells the tale of the half.

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45 min+1: Rapinoe sends it in low toward Crystal Dunn, who rolls her defender and sends a shot to the near post that’s just saved. Corner to the US and a late barrage of chances from the Americans, but they can’t manage a fourth. Lindsey Horan is taken down in the box toward the end of the sequence but the penalty is not given by the referee.

45 min: Rapinoe is pushed from behind and nearly cracks her skull on a defender’s knee. She wins the foul and stands over the free kick from about 25 yards as the fourth official signals for two minutes of stoppage time.

44 min: Heath takes on a half-dozen Thailand defenders on a foray down the right flank, but holds it a bit too long and is finally dispossessed near the touch line.

42 min: Julie Ertz drifts forward to her usual midfield position and it briefly appears the US are playing in a rare 1-6-3 formation. A few more chances for the Americans. Thailand at sixes and sevens in the back as Lavelle nearly makes it 4-0 with her second goal, but it’s cleared out for a USA corner.

36 min: Thailand makes the first substituiton of the game, removing the mobile defensive midfielder Wilaiporn Boothduang for Pikul Khueanpet.

34 min: And when Hope Solo saw the breadth of her domain, she wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.

Hope Solo
Hope Solo Photograph: Telemundo

(In all seriousness: you can read the first dispatch from our newest guest columnist here.)

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GOAL! USA 3-0 Thailand (Horan, 32 min)

Heath sends it in low ... and it’s Lindsey Horan who emerges from a forest of ball-watching Thai defenders to pound it into the roof of the net. The rout is on. If it wasn’t already.

Lindsey Horan of the US lashes the ball home for their third goal.
Lindsey Horan of the US lashes the ball home for their third goal. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters
Lindsey Horan of the US celebrates with teammates after scoring her team’s third goal.
Horan (right) is congratulated by Megan Rapinoe. Photograph: Alex Caparros/FIFA via Getty Images

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31 min: The Americans win a free kick right on the edge of the area. Rapinoe and Heath stand over it ...

29 min: Thailand win a corner and record their first shot of the match. It doesn’t go in.

25 min: The half-time possession numbers should be interesting for this one. A masterclass for the holders so far, whose relentless pace and width have kept Thailand from anything resembling an organized attack.

GOAL! USA 2-0 Thailand (Lavelle, 20 min)

O’Hara has all the time in the world and acres of space to pick out a pass to Morgan, who drops it off to Lavelle in full gallop. She has Rapinoe wide open, but thestylish 24-year-old playmaker takes it for herself from the edge of the area and pounds a left-footed shot past the Thai keeper Chor Charoenying for her first World Cup goal.

United States’ Rose Lavelle surges past the Thailand defence.
United States’ Rose Lavelle surges past the Thailand defence ... Photograph: François Mori/AP
United States’ Rose Lavelle, centre, fires in a shot to score her team’s second goal.
Before firing home from outside the penalty area. Photograph: François Mori/AP
Rose Lavelle of the USA celebrates with teammate Alex Morgan after scoring her team's second goal.
Lavelle is congratulated by fellow goalacorer Alex Morgan. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

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16 min: The US are playing at a high tempo and have had a monopoly on possession through the opening quarter hour. A second goal seems like only a matter of time.

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GOAL! USA 1-0 Thailand (Morgan, 12 min)

Megan Rapinoe centers from the touch line to Kelley O’Hara, who takes an aggressive touch past the first defender before delivering a feathery cross to Morgan, who heads it into the gaping net. It’s the 29-year-old forward’s 102nd international goal ... and she’s already matched her goal-scoring haul from the 2015 World Cup.

Alex Morgan heads home the United States’ opening goal.
Alex Morgan heads home the United States’ opening goal. Photograph: Marcio Machado/Getty Images
Alex Morgan heads home the United States’ opening goal.
Here it is from another angle. Photograph: Marcio Machado/Getty Images
Alex Morgan celebrates after scoring the United States’ first goal.
Morgan celebrates after opening the scoring. Photograph: Alex Caparros/FIFA via Getty Images

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5 min: The US appear to have scored an opener when Horan heads a long cross from Dahlkemper past the beaten keeper toward the inside of the far post, but Alex Morgan taps it in and is ruled offside. Might have stood had the forward not touched it. Alas. Robust “U-S-A! U-S-A!” chants throughout Stade Auguste Delaune early on.

Alex Morgan slots the ball home but is thwarted by the referee’s assistant’s flag being raised for offside.
Alex Morgan slots the ball home but is thwarted by the referee’s assistant’s flag being raised for offside. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

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2 min: From the kickoff, Dahlkemper hits a long ball forward that’s hammered back toward the middle third. The US are making no secret of their all-out press. They’ll be hitting long balls forward to see how Thailand can handle the all-hands attack, particularly in the air.

1 min: After a brief spell of Fifa-mandated confusion and a delay in the kickoff ... we’re off! The United States, who begin with seven players on the halfway line, are attacking from left to right in sharp all-red kits. Thailand are going from right to left in their turquoise strips.

We’re about five minutes from kickoff at Stade Auguste-Delaune. Sweden have won 2-0 over Chile to go top of Group F, leaving it to the United States to hold serve against Thailand. Both the Americans and Swedes are expected to win their first two group-stage matches, setting the table for a 20 June showdown at Stade Océane in Le Havre for first place. But the US team should expect a far more difficult challenge from Thailand than their 2016 walkover: the Chaba Kaew did hold Australia to a draw in last year’s Asian Cup semi-finals before falling in penalties, a result that punched their ticket to France.

The United States are unbeaten in the seven Women’s World Cup openers they’ve played, most recently a 3-1 win over Australia four years ago. That includes five wins and a pair of draws: a 2-2 stalemate with North Korea in 2007 and a back-and-forth 3-3 slugfest with China in 1995.

Sweden’s Kosovare Asllani has broken a stalemate with an 84th-minute goal against Chile. You can follow Beau Dure’s minute-by-minute commentary of the match between the United States’ next two group-stage opponents here.

The United States can expect robust support throughout their World Cup journey and today will be no exception. Fifa has announced that all three of the USA’s group-stage matches are expected to be sellouts, starting with today’s match at the 21,127-capacity Stade Auguste-Delaune. Our Caitlin Murray checks in from the ground:

The American contingent is out in full force here in Reims, although I did spot two Thai jerseys among all the stars and stripes. After hearing reports of chaos at the opener in Paris, I checked out the gates and it looks like a more efficient setup here and fans were trickling in without any visible issue. It’s a cool night and some dark, ominous clouds have seemed to clear, leaving a blue sky behind. Looks like a great night for some football/soccer (take your pick).

The USA and Thailand have played only once down the years. The Americans won 9-0 in their first match following their disappointing 2016 Olympics showing on a chilly Columbus evening best remembered for US legend Heather O’Reilly scoring in her farewell game and for Megan Rapinoe kneeling in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem.

The United States hammered nine past Thailand in their lone previous meeting in September 2016.

Carli Lloyd, the old warhorse who will become the ninth American woman to appear in four World Cups with today’s start, scored the first of her three goals in the opening minute in addition to strikes from Christen Press, Tobin Heath, Crystal Dunn and Alex Morgan. Seventeen of the 18 US players who played in that match, including all of the goal-scorers, are in uniform for today’s match.

The teams!

Here’s a look at today’s lineups. Becky Sauerbrunn, the projected starter at center back for the United States, is out of the team due to a quadricep issue. Julie Ertz moves back to fill her place with Samantha Mewis getting the call in the midfield. As expected, Alyssa Naeher becomes the first goalkeeper not named Briana Scurry or Hope Solo to start a World Cup match for the United States since Saskia Webber in 1995.

USA

XI: Naeher, O’Hara, Dahlkemper, Ertz, Dunn, Lavelle, Mewis, Horan, Heath, Morgan, Rapinoe

Subs: Harris, Pugh, Sauerbrunn, Brian, Lloyd, Krieger, Davidson, Sonnett, Long, McDonald, Press, Franch

Thailand

XI: Chor Charoenying, Phetwiset, Saengkoon, Chinwong, Srangthaisong, Sung-Ngoen, Boothduang, Phancha, Intamee, Thongsombut, Nildhamrong

Subs: Boonsing, Sritala, Khueanpet, Chucheun, Srimanee, Pengngam, Waenngoen, Saengchan, Dangda, Sornsai, Philawan, Sornpao

Referee: Laura Fortunato (Argentina)

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Prelude

Hello and welcome to Stade Auguste-Delaune for today’s Group F opener between the United States and Thailand. The defending champions are here to kick off their title defense against the Chaba Kaew, who are playing in their second World Cup after making their debut in Canada four years ago.

Jill Ellis’s squad enters the tournament among the hot favorites to hoist the trophy, but it won’t be easy. For starters, only two teams have successfully defended a World Cup since the second world war: the Brazil men (in 1962) and the Germany women (in 2007). And our Caitlin Murray, who’s on the ground in Reins today, has exhaustively detailed the problems that could do the Americans in: including their vulnerability to the counterattack, a lack of depth at key positions, an occasionally shaky defense and an attack that can be too one-dimensional. Indeed, none of the Guardian’s six expert prognosticators have the United States winning it all.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The US will need to qualify out of a group including Thailand, Chile and Sweden. The first result is in the air right now with the Chile-Sweden match in Rennes having been suspended due to adverse weather in the 72nd minute.

The teams for today’s match should be announced momentarily and we’ll fill you in as soon as they are.

Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime here’s Caitlin Murray’s lookahead to what’s sure to be a challenging World Cup title defense for the United States.