Previewing USWNT's Group E at 2023 FIFA World Cup

Vietnam, the Netherlands and Portugal are the three group-stage matches in New Zealand

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If the U.S. women's national team wants a third straight World Cup win in 2023, it'll need to start with impressive showings in the group stage.

The 2023 edition of the quadrennial tournament will pit the Gals against three solid nations, with one placed inside the top 10 of FIFA's international rankings of the women's teams.

It won't exactly be a walk in the park for the USWNT as injuries are beginning to surface. Youngster Mallory Swanson tore her patella tendon in April and isn't likely to be fit in time for the games in July, and veteran defender Becky Sauerbrunn announced in June she will miss out with a foot injury.

So, who will the USWNT face and what can you expect from the competition? Let's take a look:

Who will the USWNT play in the 2023 World Cup group stage?

The USWNT will play these three opponents, in order of appearance: Vietnam, the Netherlands and Portugal.

What is the USWNT's schedule at the 2023 World Cup?

For the opening three group stage games, here is how the USWNT's schedule lines up:

  • Vs. Vietnam on Friday, July 21 at 9 p.m. ET
  • Vs. the Netherlands on Wednesday, July 26 at 9 p.m. ET
  • Vs. Portugal on Tuesday, Aug. 1 at 3 p.m. ET

What are Vietnam, the Netherlands and Portugal's FIFA women's rankings?

Based on FIFA's latest international ranking of the women's teams on June 9, here are the placements for the USWNT's opponents:

  • Vietnam: 31
  • Netherlands: 9
  • Portugal: 21

The USWNT, for comparison's sake, is No. 1.

What is the USWNT's head-to-head record vs. Vietnam?

Believe it or not, this will mark the two nation's first time meeting each other in any setting, so the head-to-head record currently is blank.

What is the USWNT's head-to-head record vs. the Netherlands?

The Netherlands may be inside the top 10 ranking-wise, but the USWNT's record is extremely favorable. The Gals are 8-1-1 (win-draw-loss) in 10 games against the Dutch, with the last matchup stemming from July of 2021. The U.S. scored 31 times in those games while conceding just eight goals, a difference of plus-23.

What is the USWNT's head-to-head record vs. Portugal?

If 8-1-1 sounded advantageous, here's the USWNT's all-time record vs. Portugal in 10 games: 10-0-0. Their last meetup came in June of 2021, with the U.S. scoring 39 times and allowing zero across the ten matches.

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