USWNT vs. Sweden: World Cup kickoff time, reasons for early start and more | Football News - Hindustan Times
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USWNT vs. Sweden: World Cup kickoff time, reasons for early start and more

Aug 04, 2023 10:56 AM IST

USWNT faces tough journey to World Cup final after finishing second in group; early matches in unfavorable time slots.

The United States women's national team finds itself facing an arduous journey to the World Cup final, having finished second in Group E, a rarity in its storied history.

Jul 31, 2023; Auckland, NZL; The United States women's national team trains at Waitakere Stadium amid the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup. Mandatory Credit: Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports(USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con)
Jul 31, 2023; Auckland, NZL; The United States women's national team trains at Waitakere Stadium amid the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup. Mandatory Credit: Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports(USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con)

This major setback means a challenging path lies ahead, one that entails an early showdown against familiar rivals, Sweden, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 6 at 5 a.m. ET.

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But it's not just the strength of opponents that poses a challenge; the global event's location in Australia and New Zealand has led to games kicking off a staggering 12-16 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, forcing American fans into predawn wake-up calls to catch the USWNT in action.

The ramifications of not clinching the group victory ripple through the knockout stage scheduling as well.

In a notable twist, the prime time slot that would typically be reserved for the United States' match in the round of 16 will now feature the Netherlands, who secured a top position in their group.

Their clash is set for Saturday, Aug. 5 at 10 p.m. ET, a spotlight that would have otherwise illuminated the USWNT as the presumed group favorites.

This adjustment in timing not only impacts immediate visibility but also has a cascading effect on subsequent matches. The victor in the Netherlands match will continue to bask in favorable time slots in the ensuing rounds.

The USWNT potentially faces a more challenging trajectory in recent times.

Potential path for the USWNT in the Knockout stage

Sunday, August 6

Sweden vs. United States at 5 a.m. ET

Friday, August 11

Winner of Japan/Norway vs. Winner of Sweden/United States at 3:30 a.m. ET

Following the quarterfinals, match timings will align with the local schedules of Australia and New Zealand.

A potential semifinal could occur on Tuesday, August 15, at 4 a.m. The climax of the World Cup, the final, is set for Sunday, August 20, at 6 a.m. ET.

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Fans of the United States team will need to keep their coffee cups filled in the upcoming weeks.

While a victory against Portugal could have potentially led to a different scenario, the Netherlands' impressive goal-scoring performance against Vietnam means that the United States would likely have still found themselves in this situation.

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