Women's World Cup

Group A
When TV Matchup
1 9 a.m. today ESPN2 Nigeria vs. France
2 noon today ESPN Germany vs. Canada
9 noon Thursday ESPN Canada vs. France
10 2:45 p.m. Thursday ESPN Germany vs. Nigeria
17 2:45 p.m. July 5 ESPN France vs. Germany
18 2:45 p.m. July 5 ESPN2 Canada vs. Nigeria
Group B
When TV Matchup
3 9 a.m. Monday ESPN Japan vs. New Zealand
4 noon Monday ESPN Mexico vs. England
11 9 a.m. Friday ESPN Japan vs. Mexico
12 12:15 p.m. Friday ESPN New Zealand vs. England
19 12:15 p.m. July 5 ESPN England vs. Japan
20 12:15 p.m. July 5 ESPN2 New Zealand vs. Mexico
Group C
When TV Matchup
5 9 a.m. Tuesday ESPN Colombia vs. Sweden
6 12:15 p.m. Tuesday ESPN U.S. vs. North Korea
13 8 a.m. Saturday ESPN2 North Korea vs. Sweden
14 noon Saturday ESPN U.S. vs. Colombia
21 2:45 p.m. July 6 ESPN Sweden vs. U.S.
22 2:45 p.m. July 6 ESPN2 North Korea vs. Colombia
Group D
When TV Matchup
7 9 a.m. Wednesday ESPN Norway vs. Equatorial Guinea
8 12:15 p.m. Wed. ESPN Brazil vs. Australia
15 8 a.m. July 3 ESPN2 Australia vs. Equatorial Guinea
16 12:15 p.m. July 3 ESPN Brazil vs. Norway
23 noon July 6 ESPN Equatorial Guinea vs. Brazil
24 noon July 6 ESPN2 Australia vs. Norway


Colombia

Previous World Cups: None

Coach: Ricardo Rozo

Top players: Nathalie Arias, Paula Forero, Yorely Rincon (above left)

Analysis: An uncomfortable moment of truth awaits. Colombia has never played at this level and has never faced the type of teams it will face during the group stage. It hopes to avoid Argentina's fate in 2003. Making its debut, the fellow South American team went 0-3 while being outscored 15-1. What confidence exists likely will be gone after the opener against Sweden.

North Korea

Previous World Cups: Three

Best finish: Quarterfinals (2007)

Coach: Kim Kwang Min

Top players: Kim Kyong Hwa, Jo Yun-Mi (above)

Analysis: As far as technical skill, commitment and a tireless work ethic go, no one can fault the North Koreans. But given the nation's secrecy, it's hard to predict what kind of team has been put together. Perennial contenders in the Asian championship, North Korea narrowly lost the final of the 2008 Under-20 World Cup to the United States.

Sweden

Previous World Cups: Five

Best finish: Second (2003)

Coach: Thomas Dennerby

Top players: Rut Hedvig Lindahl, Charlotte Rohlin, Lotta Schelin (above)

Analysis: The Swedes have come close to winning it all, finishing third in 1991 and second in 2003. They reached the quarterfinals in 1995 and 1999, and only goal differential prevented them from reaching the quarterfinals in 2007. This time, they are a legitimate contender, their talent trailing only the big three of Germany, Brazil and the United States.

Quarterfinals

TV: ESPN

1. Noon July 9: Group B winner vs. Group A runnerup

2. 2:45 p.m. July 9: Group A winner vs. Group B runnerup

3. 7 a.m. July 10: Group C winner vs. Group D runnerup

4. 11:30 a.m. July 10: Group D winner vs. Group C runnerup

Semifinals

TV: ESPN

Noon July 13: Quarterfinal 2 winner vs. quarterfinal 3 winner

2:45 p.m. July 13: Quarterfinal 1 winner vs. quarterfinal 4 winner

Third-place game

11:30 a.m. July 16: Semifinal losers, ESPN2

Championship

2:45 p.m. July 17: Semifinal winners, ESPN

Other groups

Group A

Canada: Talented team won the 2010 Gold Cup but is stuck in the Group of Death.

France: Emerging power went 11-0 (outscoring opponents 50-2) during qualifying.

Germany: Winners of the past two World Cups and favored to win again behind Birgit Prinz, who has scored 128 goals in 212 international games since debuting as a 16-year-old in 1994.

Nigeria: A wild card? Many players were on the team that reached the 2010 Under-20 World Cup final, which it lost to Germany.

Group B

England: Domestic league debuted only this year, slowing the program's growth.

Japan: The 2010 Asian champ could benefit from playing in a weak group.

Mexico: Which team shows up? Lost five of six entering the 2010 Gold Cup then shocked the United States in the semis.

New Zealand: One of the two big fish in a small pond (Oceania) is 0-6 and has been outscored 20-1 in two appearances.

Group D

Australia: One of the two big fish in a small pond (Oceania) has won just two games in four appearances.

Brazil: Talented team led by Marta (five-time world player of the year) is one of the few that can match up with Germany and the United States.

Equatorial Guinea: World Cup debut could get ugly.

Norway: The 1995 champ has reached at least the quarter­s in all five World Cups and likely will do so again.

Compiled from Times wires

United States

Previous World Cups: Five

Best finish: Champion (1991 and 1999)

Coach: Pia Sundhage

Top players: Shannon Boxx, Christie Pierce, Abby Wambach

Analysis: The Americans stumbled in qualifying (having to beat Italy just to get in). Group play shouldn't be an issue. But to face Germany (the only other two-time champ), they likely will have to beat Brazil (the best nation to have never won it all) or Norway (the only other nation to have won it all) in the quarters.

Roster

Goalkeepers

1 Hope Solo *

18 Nicole Barnhart

21 Jill Loyden

Defenders

2 Heather Mitts

3Christie Rampone *

4Becky Sauerbrunn

6 Amy Le Peilbet *

11 Ali Krieger *

14 Stephanie Cox

19 Rachel Buehler *

Midfielders

5 Kelley O'Hara

7 Shannon Boxx *

9 Heather O'Reilly *

10 Carli Lloyd *

15 Megan Rapinoe *

16 Lori Lindsey

17 Tobin Heath

Forwards

8 Amy Rodriguez *

12 Lauren Cheney

13 Alex Morgan

20Abby Wambach *

* Likely starter

Women's World Cup 06/25/11 [Last modified: Sunday, June 26, 2011 12:49am]

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