It doesn’t get any more simple than this: the United States and Jamaica face off today, and the winner gets one of Concacaf’s spots at the 2019 World Cup in France. The Jamaicans shocked presumptive Group B runner-up Costa Rica to get this far, and they also managed to only lose to Canada 2-0 rather than the predicted rout. Nonetheless, the USWNT will be massive favorites to settle their plans for next summer today rather than having to fight for their spot in the 3rd place playoff on Wednesday.
The format for today’s game is going to be a little weird. Concacaf, in their propensity to always do something weird for unsound reasons, has opted to ditch extra time for this round of games (presumably because this is the women’s equivalent of the men’s Gold Cup, which doesn’t have extra time save for the final). If today’s game is tied after 90 minutes, we’ll go straight to penalty kicks.
Making the tournaments work the same way seems fair, but then the games in what is officially dubbed the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship are doubling as World Cup qualifiers, making them far more important. In more irritating news, the final — which determines nothing but bragging rights — will come with extra time.
Location: Toyota Stadium (Frisco, TX)
Kickoff time: 8:00pm Eastern
With direct qualification on the line, Jill Ellis is going to field what she feels is her best team in this one. Despite having some rocky transitions from defending to attacking, despite having a front three that isn’t particularly fast, and despite playing a starting-caliber attacker as a left back, this team has rolled through qualifying, and we’re not going to see changes today.
Available TV: Fox Sports 1, Univision Deportes
Available streaming: Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer Match Pass
For listings in other countries, check out LiveSoccerTV.com.
What are you drinking?: I might make myself a margarita for this one.
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