World Cup 2019 Printable, Downloadable Calendar and Game Schedule

Although our sporting culture still has many miles to travel before it even gets close to equality in covering men’s and women’s sports, things have improved measurably during the eight (!!) years since I started this website. That’s why I was so surprised to find (or not find) a simple spreadsheet with games, times, and television listings for the 2019 World Cup. So, I did what any good nerd would do and made one myself.

Feel free to copy and paste or download the data here.

While I was at it, I got all excited and created a calendar as well as a by group version of the data. In these, I tagged the USWNT games and, based on a highly secret, proprietary mix of FIFA rankings and intuition, I highlighted the games I would most recommend watching. Based on standings and how the knockout stage sets up, I might update this and upload new versions later on.

If you’d prefer to view these as .pdfs or even print them out and put them on your fridge, here you go! Click on the images to download or print.

Enjoy the games!

Calendar

List of Games

By Group

Meet the 2019 USWNT: Julie Ertz

The 2019 soccer Women’s World Cup begins on Friday, June 7 in France. The United States team is the defending champions but their path to repeating is a perilous one. The field is stronger than it ever has been before and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of the top ten teams lifting the trophy on July 7.

To help prepare you to root for team and country, we’re going to run a short profile of every player on the 23-person roster. When female athletes take their turn in the spotlight, they often receive coverage that is slanted toward non-game aspects of their stories — marriage, children, sexual preference, perceived lack-of or bountiful sexiness, social media activity, etc. In the hope of balancing things out, just a tiny bit, these previews will strive to stay on the field, with only a little bit of non-gendered personal interest when possible.

Julie Ertz

Position: Midfielder

Club: Chicago Red Stars

Number: 8

National team experience: Ertz has 82 appearances for the national team and has scored 18 goals. During the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, she never left the field.

What I wrote in 2015: She’s a calming and confidence inspiring presence for teammates and fans. The United States often dominates games and so [Ertz’s] main job from her central defensive position is to organize, play passes up to the midfielders, and stay vigilant against any budding counter-attacks. When the team faces tougher competition, as it will during the World Cup, it will be interesting to see if [Ertz] will be able to remain as physically dominant and mentally prepared as she has so far in her career. If she does, there’s no reason to think she won’t play every minute of the World Cup for team USA. Watch for her leaping, aerial runs to the near post on corner kicks and free kicks.

What to expect from Julie Ertz in 2019:  Since the 2015 World Cup, Julie Ertz has been shifted from playing right next to Becky Sauerbrunn as a center defender to playing right in front of her as a defensive midfielder. In the realm of coach Jill Ellis’ much critisized positional fiddling around, this has been the most stable and most easily understandable move. Yes, Ertz was a rock in the back line, playing a big role in the 2015 World Cup win, but she’s been just as stable playing the “number 6” role. It suits her aggressive and competitive play even perhaps a bit better than central defender. As a central defender, your job is mostly to stand at the back and repel anyone who comes at you. As a central defensive midfielder, you’re often matched up one to one, mano a mano (hand to hand, not man to man, btw) with the best offensive player on the other team. That’s the type of direct challenge I can picture Julie Ertz really getting fired up for. In this year’s World Cup, that’s what I’d bet on — Ertz frustrating the hell out of the other team’s best attacker.

Video:

Non-gendered personal interest item: When asked about her ability to score goals on leaping headers by Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl, Ertz responded, naturally, by talking about her aggressiveness. She said, “I just love trying to score, I guess… I’m not backing out, so someone has to…” You might think this is just fluff, unless you have ever seen her play or if you heard the next thing she said, which was “I’ve knocked my teeth out so many times. My mom’s so annoyed at how many times I’ve knocked out my teeth. She wants me to wear a mouthguard … My dentist is my uncle, and our family always jokes that’s one of the best family-member careers that could have been attached to our family, because I’m losing my teeth all the time.” LOL

Links: An excellent profile of Ertz from Allison Glock for ESPN. Plus her Wikipedia page, U.S. Soccer page, and Twitter.

Meet the 2019 USWNT: Crystal Dunn

The 2019 soccer Women’s World Cup begins on Friday, June 7 in France. The United States team is the defending champions but their path to repeating is a perilous one. The field is stronger than it ever has been before and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of the top ten teams lifting the trophy on July 7.

To help prepare you to root for team and country, we’re going to run a short profile of every player on the 23-person roster. When female athletes take their turn in the spotlight, they often receive coverage that is slanted toward non-game aspects of their stories — marriage, children, sexual preference, perceived lack-of or bountiful sexiness, social media activity, etc. In the hope of balancing things out, just a tiny bit, these previews will strive to stay on the field, with only a little bit of non-gendered personal interest when possible.

Crystal Dunn

Position: Defender

Club: NC Courage

Number: 19

National team experience: Dunn has 84 appearances and 24 goals for the national team. This is her first World Cup. During the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, she played two whole games at defense and started one game as a striker, replaced by Carli Lloyd in the 87th minute.

What to expect from Crystal Dunn in 2019:  “Crystal Dunn, Defender” is one of the weirdest parts of this year’s team and yet it explains so much. Crystal Dunn is probably one of the world’s best 20 strikers. In 2015, she led the NWSL in scoring. So far this year, she has four goals in three games for the North Carolina Courage. She’s lightning in a bottle. So, why is she playing defense on the national team? One reason is that being one of the best 20 strikers in the world doesn’t help all that much when the U.S. has five or six of those best 20 and several of them are better than you. The second, and perhaps more meaningful reason is that coach Jill Ellis has spent the past four years tinkering with the idea of playing versatile attacking players in the outside defensive positions instead of defensive ones. This isn’t a radical idea (in fact, it was a formative one for people my age, because it’s how the Brazilian men’s team won the 1994 World Cup in the U.S.) but the extent to Ellis’ commitment to it is striking. Dunn is effective at this hybrid attacking defender role. Despite of (or because of) her height, she’s a tough enough tackler to more than hold up on defense, and having another world class attacker sprinting up the wing when the U.S. has the ball should strike fear in opposing teams. She’s the first choice outside defender for the team and should play most of the time during the World Cup.

Video:

Non-gendered personal interest item:  Dunn was universally considered the “last player cut” from the 2015 World Cup team. That was the year she won the NWSL’s most valuable player award and its Golden Boot for most goals scored, which tells you a little bit about her skill and competitiveness.

Links: Here are her Wikipedia page, U.S. Soccer page, and Twitter. Plus an article about her from Sports Illustrated.

Meet the 2019 USWNT: Carli Lloyd

The 2019 soccer Women’s World Cup begins on Friday, June 7 in France. The United States team is the defending champions but their path to repeating is a perilous one. The field is stronger than it ever has been before and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of the top ten teams lifting the trophy on July 7.

To help prepare you to root for team and country, we’re going to run a short profile of every player on the 23-person roster. When female athletes take their turn in the spotlight, they often receive coverage that is slanted toward non-game aspects of their stories — marriage, children, sexual preference, perceived lack-of or bountiful sexiness, social media activity, etc. In the hope of balancing things out, just a tiny bit, these previews will strive to stay on the field, with only a little bit of non-gendered personal interest when possible.

Carli Lloyd

Position: Forward

Club: Sky Blue FC

Number: 10

National team experience: Lloyd has played 274 games for the national team and scored 110 goals. During the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, she came on as a sub in the 85th, 87th, and 88th minutes of the three games.

What I wrote in 2015: Carli Lloyd is one of the most powerful soccer players in the world. From her position in the center of the midfield, (although coach Jill Ellis has experimented with her in an outside midfield role), Lloyd works tirelessly on offense and defense. She is noticeably stronger than almost everyone else in the sport… Lloyd doesn’t have the vision, dribbling, or passing abilities of some of her midfield counterparts, but she more than makes up for it with power and determination. Lloyd should play close to every minute of the World Cup this year.

What to expect from Carli Lloyd in 2019:  What Abby Wambach was to the 2015 World Cup squad, we hope Carli Lloyd will be to this one: a great player well past her prime who provides leadership mostly from the bench. While I have confidence that Lloyd will do everything in her power to support the team, I worry because of her position. Lloyd is a central midfielder. Wambach was a striker. Strikers are kind of like an extremity while the central midfielder is the heart of the team. In the 2015 World Cup, Wambach got into games that were essentially already decided and her team was happy to feed her the ball and try to get her some more international goals. Subbing in a central midfielder is more disruptive, even in games the United States has in hand. Lloyd’s style magnifies that difficulty because she plays so differently from the players most likely to start in her old position this year: Lindsay Horan and Rose Lavelle. Both of those players are playmakers – Lloyd is a scorer. If she can’t get any meaningful playing time, will she be able to lead from the bench? If she disrupts the team when she’s in, will her teammates appreciate her?Lloyd’s belief in her own ability to dominate games is still strong, as is her right. What if she refuses to sit on the bench gracefully? Everything will probably be fine on this front, but I still worry.

Video:

Non-gendered personal interest item: Uh, of interest perhaps only to myself, Lloyd is almost exactly the same age as me and went to the same college as I did for the same four years. So, when I write about her needing to age gracefully and not being sure she’s ready for that, am I being a clear-headed blogger or just projecting…?

Links: Here are her Wikipedia page, U.S. Soccer page, and Twitter.

Meet the 2019 USWNT: Becky Sauerbrunn

The 2019 soccer Women’s World Cup begins on Friday, June 7 in France. The United States team is the defending champions but their path to repeating is a perilous one. The field is stronger than it ever has been before and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of the top ten teams lifting the trophy on July 7.

To help prepare you to root for team and country, we’re going to run a short profile of every player on the 23-person roster. When female athletes take their turn in the spotlight, they often receive coverage that is slanted toward non-game aspects of their stories — marriage, children, sexual preference, perceived lack-of or bountiful sexiness, social media activity, etc. In the hope of balancing things out, just a tiny bit, these previews will strive to stay on the field, with only a little bit of non-gendered personal interest when possible.

Becky Sauerbrunn

Position: Defender

Club: Utah Royals FC

Number: 4

National team experience: 157 appearances, this will be her third World Cup. She has zero goals (as one would expect). During the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, Sauerbrunn was getting over a knee injury. She missed the first game, player part of the second, and all of the third. This is not typical.

What I wrote in 2015: Becky Sauerbrunn is a prototypical central defender. She’s strong, physical, and totally reliable. If you’re a midfielder, you feel secure knowing that if you make a mistake, Sauerbrunn is right behind you to clean it up. If you’re a goalie, you know you can count on her to keep the front of your net clear… Sauerbrunn has become the leader of the back line… Barring a major injury, we should expect to see Sauerbrunn on the field for every minute of the World Cup.

What to expect from Becky Sauerbrunn in 2019:  Uh… honestly, nothing has changed from four years ago. Becky Sauerbrunn is still the prototypical central defender. The biggest difference this year is the context Sauerbrunn is playing in. Not only have opponents improved but the U.S. team has spent much of the last four years experimenting with playing converted attackers on either side of the defensive line. Sauerbrunn is being asked to do more than ever at the heart of the team’s defense while her wing backs go shooting up the field. If she can solidify the back line the way she did during the 2015 World Cup, that will go a long way to repeating as champions. .

Video:

Non-gendered personal interest item:  As the wonderful soccer writer, Stephanie Y explains, everyone wants Becky Sauerbrunn to score a goal. There was even a plot among her teammates to give her a penalty kick, but Sauerbrunn classically refused. If she gets a national team goal, she wants to earn it. Hard to imagine there will be many opportunities for the most defensive of defenders to score in the World Cup, but as Stephanie writes in her article, “it would be dope.”

Links: A Equalizer Soccer profile of Sauerbrunn plus her Wikipedia page, U.S. Soccer page, and Twitter.

Meet the 2019 USWNT: Allie Long

The 2019 soccer Women’s World Cup begins on Friday, June 7 in France. The United States team is the defending champions but their path to repeating is a perilous one. The field is stronger than it ever has been before and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of the top ten teams lifting the trophy on July 7.

To help prepare you to root for team and country, we’re going to run a short profile of every player on the 23-person roster. When female athletes take their turn in the spotlight, they often receive coverage that is slanted toward non-game aspects of their stories — marriage, children, sexual preference, perceived lack-of or bountiful sexiness, social media activity, etc. In the hope of balancing things out, just a tiny bit, these previews will strive to stay on the field, with only a little bit of non-gendered personal interest when possible.

Allie Long

Position: Midfielder

Club: Reign FC

Number: 20

National team experience: 45 appearances, this will be her first World Cup, she has six goals. During the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, Long wasn’t on the team, but she came on as a sub in each of the last two friendly matches before the World Cup.

What to expect from Allie Long in 2019:  Allie Long is one of those classic bitter sweet USWNT stories. A star player in college and for her club teams, Long has always been just slightly below the best players on the U.S. team at her natural position. For Long, that position is central attacking midfield, a position that Carli Lloyd and Lauren Holliday had a lock on for a solid six years. Now that Holliday has retired and Lloyd is at the end of her fine career, Long finds herself again behind two players at that position, this time younger than herself: Lindsay Horan and Rose Lavelle. Blocked at her natural position, like so many others, Long has had to show positional flexibility to make the team. Coach Jill Ellis has experimented with moving Long straight back into either center back or central defensive midfield. Since Long is a wonderful player, strong, physical, excellent in the air, a technically sound passer, she did just fine in those positions… but not well enough to supplant players who have been playing the for longer and have a more naturally defensive mindset. So now she finds herself blocked for playing time behind Becky Sauerbrunn, Abby Dahlkemper, and Julie Ertz instead of Lindsay Horan and Rose Lavelle. No matter what, the outcome is the same. She’s unlikely to see much playing time in France. If she does get into a few games, expect to see her playing in one of the more defensive positions.

Video:

Non-gendered personal interest item: During the off season, Long plays futsal. Futsal is a version of soccer played either indoor or outdoor on asphalt with smaller teams and a smaller, heavier ball. It emphasizes ball skills and quick feet. In the United States, it’s played mostly by Hispanic soccer players.

Links: Here are her Wikipedia page, U.S. Soccer page, and Twitter as well as two profiles by empireofsoccer.com and ABC News.

Meet the 2019 USWNT: Ali Krieger

The 2019 soccer Women’s World Cup begins on Friday, June 7 in France. The United States team is the defending champions but their path to repeating is a perilous one. The field is stronger than it ever has been before and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of the top ten teams lifting the trophy on July 7.

To help prepare you to root for team and country, we’re going to run a short profile of every player on the 23-person roster. When female athletes take their turn in the spotlight, they often receive coverage that is slanted toward non-game aspects of their stories — marriage, children, sexual preference, perceived lack-of or bountiful sexiness, social media activity, etc. In the hope of balancing things out, just a tiny bit, these previews will strive to stay on the field, with only a little bit of non-gendered personal interest when possible.

Ali Krieger

Position: Defender

Club: Orlando Pride

Number: 11

National team experience: Krieger just played her 100th game for her country, this will be her third World Cup, she has 1 goals. Krieger was not even on the team’s roster during the 2019 She Believes Cup.

What I wrote in 2015: At 30 years old and going into her second World Cup, Ali Krieger should be a constant veteran presence on the back line for the United States… If all goes well, Krieger will play every minute of this World Cup, holding down the right side of the U.S. defense with confident, consistent play. She’s not quite as offense minded as her counterpart over on the left side of the field, Meghan Klingenberg, but that’s okay, the team has plenty of offensive weapons.

What to expect from Ali Krieger in 2019:  It’s been a weird four years for Ali Krieger. After playing an invaluable part on defense during the 2015 World Cup, and through no apparent fault of her own, she’s barely played at all for the national team. The only reason anyone seems to be able to produce for this is a tactical one. Coach Jill Ellis has spent the past four years embarking on an experiment to see if she can play essentially attacking players in the left and right defense positions and Krieger is a defensive right fullback. If that’s the case, then Krieger’s inclusion on the team can be read as a sign that the experiment has failed, or at least that Ellis feels shaky enough about it that she wants to have a more traditional defensive option on the team in case things go wrong at the World Cup. Krieger is that “break glass in case of emergency” option. Although she’s silky smooth with the ball, her best attributes are defensive positioning and tackling.

Video:

Non-gendered personal interest item:  Krieger recently annoucned her engagement to USWNT goalie, Ashlyn Harris. Yes, this is kind of gendered in a way, but on the other hand, it’s pretty big news to have an out engaged couple on the USWNT. Here’s the always great Cyd Ziegler’s news story on the topic on his website Outsports.

Links: In addition to Deadspin and Forbes obsessing exploring Krieger’s inclusion on the team, here are her Wikipedia page, U.S. Soccer page, and Twitter.

Meet the 2019 USWNT: Alex Morgan

The 2019 soccer Women’s World Cup begins on Friday, June 7 in France. The United States team is the defending champions but their path to repeating is a perilous one. The field is stronger than it ever has been before and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of the top ten teams lifting the trophy on July 7.

To help prepare you to root for team and country, we’re going to run a short profile of every player on the 23-person roster. When female athletes take their turn in the spotlight, they often receive coverage that is slanted toward non-game aspects of their stories — marriage, children, sexual preference, perceived lack-of or bountiful sexiness, social media activity, etc. In the hope of balancing things out, just a tiny bit, these previews will strive to stay on the field, with only a little bit of non-gendered personal interest when possible.

Alex Morgan

Position: Forward

Club: Orlando Pride

Number: 13

National team experience: 163 appearances, this will be her third World Cup, she has 101 goals. During the 2019 She Believes Cup, Morgan played almost every minute of every game.

What I wrote in 2015: Morgan is one of the big mysteries of the World Cup… it seemed as though the torch of great American strikers that started with Mia Hamm and was passed to Abby Wambach would be passed neatly to Alex Morgan. Morgan had everything you’d want from a striker. She’s fast, skilled, and opportunistic. Her goal scoring touch was only matched by her ability to put herself in the right place at the right time. Alas, things have not gone so smoothly since then. She’s been beset by a series of injuries, many to a troublesome left ankle, that have left her frequently unavailable to play and less effective when she does play. When healthy, she’s one of the best strikers in the world.

What to expect from Alex Morgan in 2019: Not much has changed in terms of what to expect from Alex Morgan. She is still the mainstay at the front of the United States attack. Four years older, perhaps, but not a step slower and, knock on wood, not hampered by injuries the way she was earlier in her career. There’s a little bit of Sidney Crosby to Alex Morgan’s game. She’s not the most powerful or the fastest or the most technically gifted player in the world, but she’s still one of the best. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate her game for its relentless scrappy nature. In a game the United States is controlling, your eye tends to gravitate toward other players, but in a close game, it’s Alex Morgan who is going to be making the same threatening runs at minute 88 at the same speed she was making them at minute five. Eventually she finds a way through. When you watch her highlight package below, notice how many of her goals look like she scored kinda just because one of her teammates made a good pass and she plunked the ball into the net. Now know that she scores more goals than anyone else and it becomes clear that the goals look that simple because she’s in the right place at the right time more often than anyone else. That’s an elite skill in and of itself!

Video:

Non-gendered personal interest item:  Morgan is the author of a series of children’s books about, you guessed it, soccer! The first book in the series is Saving the Team. The book’s main character is a 12 year-old who becomes the captain and leader of a dysfunctional soccer team…

Links: Here are her Wikipedia page, U.S. Soccer page, and Twitter.

Meet the 2019 USWNT: Abby Dahlkemper

The 2019 soccer Women’s World Cup begins on Friday, June 7 in France. The United States team is the defending champions but their path to repeating is a perilous one. The field is stronger than it ever has been before and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of the top ten teams lifting the trophy on July 7.

To help prepare you to root for team and country, we’re going to run a short profile of every player on the 23-person roster. When female athletes take their turn in the spotlight, they often receive coverage that is slanted toward non-game aspects of their stories — marriage, children, sexual preference, perceived lack-of or bountiful sexiness, social media activity, etc. In the hope of balancing things out, just a tiny bit, these previews will strive to stay on the field, with only a little bit of non-gendered personal interest when possible.

Abby Dahlkemper

Position: Defender

Club: NC Courage

Number: 7

National team experience: 37 appearances, this will be her first World Cup, she has zero goals. During the 2019 She Believes Cup, Dahlkemper played every minute of every game.

What to expect from Abby Dahlkemper: During the 2015 World Cup, the USWNT had a perfect partnership of ice and fire in the center of their back line. Becky Sauerbrunn provided the ice as the prototypical central defender; strong and dependable — never out of position or flustered. Julie Ertz nee Johnston was the fire; aggressive on defense and capable of sudden strikes up the field. When Coach Jill Ellis converted Ertz to a midfielder it seemed like a fit of fancy destined to end in failure. Why break up such an accomplished defensive pairing? Abby Dahlkemper was the reason. Although this is her first World Cup, she’s an experienced professional star, having anchored the defense of the North Carolina Courage during their championship run in 2018. Unlike the ice and fire pairing of 2015, this year’s World Cup squad will have an ice and ice pairing of Dahlkemper and Sauerbrunn. Like Sauerbrunn, Dahlkemper is a defense-first, second, and third defender. I would be stunned if she didn’t play every second of every game during the World Cup, tormenting opposing strikers throughout.

Video:

Non-gendered personal interest item: Dahlkemper would likely be a more well known name to casual USWNT fans if she hadn’t suffered a severe injury in 2016 shortly after being called up to the national team for the first time. She had a septic infection which began in her right foot which spread up her leg to her knee! AGHH!

Links: Read about Dahlkemper’s injury and her unique connection with Sam Mewis. Here are her Wikipedia page, U.S. Soccer page, and Twitter.

Why do athletes make so much money?

Dear Sports Fan,

Why do athletes make so much money?

Thanks,
Venita

— — —

Dear Venita,

Your question is a topical one given the last week of sports in the news. Just in the last week, four NFL football players made news for signing record new contracts for their positions. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. signed a $95 million dollar five year contract extension, quarterback Aaron Rodgers signed a $134 million dollar, four year contract extension. Then, defensive players Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack signed new deals for six years and $134 million dollars and six years and $141 million dollars respectively. And, as Mike Oz on Yahoo Sports points out, dozens of baseball players make more money than these top football players. How is this possible?

The conventional answer is that it’s possible because market forces allow it. Taking that down one level, the owners of sports teams are willing to pay players as much as they do because owning a sports team is so lucrative. That’s driven by two related forces. The first, and primary one is fans; people love watching and rooting for sports teams and they are willing to pay a lot of money to do it. Tickets for a game, are just the start of the money spent on a day at the ballpark or field. There’s often the cost of parking, you’ve got to buy popcorn or a hot dog (or at more modern stadiums, some fancy BBQ or a fusion short-rib taco). Outside of game-day, people buy all sorts of items that show their fandom, like jerseys, team hats, team licence plate or cell-phone covers. The list goes on and on.

The other thing fans do, and this is the catalyst for the second big force driving player salaries, is they watch their favorite team on television. It’s hard to underestimate the importance of this. Sports broadcasts on television are reliably the highest rated programs. In 2017, the top five and 18 of the top 20 rated television shows of the year were sports. In a world of splintered viewing, sports are seemingly the one force that can still bring a mass audience to the screen. Cable companies are therefore willing to pay leagues massive amounts to carry their sport. The NFL sells its television rights for over four and a half billion dollars per year! The NBA is second at over two and a half billion dollars per year. A single team in MLB baseball sold their local TV rights for more than eight billion dollars over 25 years.

The money flows from consumers through their cable companies to sports leagues to team owners to players. That’s only one way of looking at this though. The market approach only really works as an analysis of why athletes get paid so much if you assume each actor is willing to share their profit down the line. We know, particularly with sports team owners who are often hard-nosed million- or billionaires that no one gives up profit without a struggle. The other way of looking at this topic is through the history of players advocating for themselves in locker-rooms, boardrooms, and court rooms often at great risk or cost to themselves. Here are three major stories from this struggle.