news·9 min read

Women's World Cup

Jun 7, 2019

The Women’s World Cup goes down from June 7-July 7 in France.

The Story

The Women's World Cup is here. Time to figure out what jersey you’re going to rock all summer long.

The Background

The men's tournament dates back to 1930. For years, women in many countries – like Germany and the UK – were banned from playing professional soccer. Because, you know...they were women. But in 1970, some went rogue and organized a tournament in Italy. Years later, FIFA caught up with the times and the first Women's World Cup took place in 1991. The US won. And has won a total of three times – the most out of any other country. The US is also the reigning champ from the last World Cup in 2015. (Only three other countries have won in the tournament’s history: Germany, Japan, and Norway.)

The Details

Kickoff is Friday June 7 at 3pm ET. For the next four weeks, 24 teams will compete in a total of 52 games in nine cities across France. You can watch it all on Fox and FS1. Telemundo and Universo will have the games in Spanish.

And how exactly does the tournament work?

Teams are divided into six groups from A through F. And each group has four teams. 16 advance to the knockout phase: the two winners from each group and the four best third-place teams. And it’s all leading up to the final on July 7.

Oh lala. What does the winning team get?

Cash money. But, surprise: men get more money than women (last year’s winning men’s team got $38 million versus the women’s $4 million). Months after the 2018 men’s World Cup, the world players’ union – which had pushed for more prize money – said the cash bonus for women was insufficient and that “football remains even further from the goal of equality.” Feel free to take a break to scream into your pillow. Btw, we go deep on the fight for equal pay in Skimm Notes:

Ok, back from listening to that.

Maybe this year’s mascot ettie (yes, lowercase e) will make you feel better. She’s a young chicken and the daughter of Footix, the mascot from the 1998 World Cup that also took place in France. Her name comes from the French word for star – étoile. Oui love her too.

The Teams

The US is a favorite to win. But Germany, England, Canada, and France will give the US a run for its money. If France wins, it would be the first major international trophy for the country's women's team. The new kids on the block this time around are Jamaica, Chile, Scotland, and South Africa.

Who should I keep an eye on?

Getty Images

Sam Kerr 🇦🇺

Position: Forward.

Kerr has become the all-time leading goal scorer in the US's National Women's Soccer League, playing for the Chicago Red Stars. And she flipped time zones to serve as team captain for the Australian team.

Getty Images

Marta 🇧🇷

Position: Forward.

Her full name is Marta Vieira da Silva. But she’s so good, she only needs to go by her first name. She’s won the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award six times. Six. She’s thought to be the greatest female player in history, but has never won the Women’s World Cup. She was nicknamed “Pele in a skirt” Pele.

Getty Images

Amandine Henry 🇫🇷

Position: Midfielder.

She’s the team captain and has been playing for Les Bleues since 2009. At the 2015 Women's World Cup, she was awarded the Silver Ball Award as the tournament's second-best player.

Getty Images

Almuth Schult 🇩🇪

Position: Goalkeeper.

In 2016, she was part of the team that won gold at the Rio Olympics. As one of the most experienced players on the German team, she could be a contender to win the Golden Glove award – which goes to the tournament's best goalkeeper.

Getty Images

Cecilia Salvai 🇮🇹

Position: Defender.

Italy has Salvai to thank for getting into its first Women’s World Cup since 1999.

Getty Images

Jody Brown 🇯🇲

Position: Forward.

Last year, she scored four goals at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship when she was just 16 – becoming Jamaica’s top scorer at the tournament. Brown was named best young player at the competition.

Getty Images

Rasheedat Ajibade 🇳🇬

Position: Forward.

Last year, she was the captain of Nigeria’s Under-20 women's team. At only 19, she’s considered one of Africa’s most promising young players.

Getty Images

Alex Morgan 🇺🇸

Position: Striker.

She won the Golden Boot at 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. And managed to score 18 goals in 19 games for the team. She said she feels like she’s at the peak of her career but that she can still get better. Time magazine agrees: it named her on its list of the world's 100 most influential people for working for equal pay and international glory.


The Women’s World Cup doesn't get as much attention as the men’s. But it’s still just as exciting. And could be one of the biggest sporting events this year.

Live Smarter

Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter. Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.