Countdown to the Cup

Group Breakdowns

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is just 32 days away, making it time to check out each group, pick your favorites and get ready to watch. This particular competition is already bound to be historic, with four teams making their World Cup debuts, more than 720,000 tickets already sold, and the opening match, semi-finals and final selling out within 48 hours.

The tournament will be held in nine different cities in France from June 7 to July 7 with the final held in Lyon. Each of the 24 teams are split into six groups (A-F). The top two teams from each group, plus, the four highest-ranking third place teams in each group will advance to the knockout round. Here’s a breakdown of each group and the best games to watch (other than all of them):

Group A

Group A holds the host country, South Korea, Norway and Nigeria. France is a top contender in the Cup this year, having beaten the U.S. (the current defending champs of the World Cup) 3-1 and Japan (former World Cup champions) 3-1 in friendlies earlier this year. 

Games to watch: France vs. South Korea, which also happens to be the tournaments opening match Friday, June 7, at 3 p.m. ET. 

Group B

Group B has Germany, China, Spain and South Africa. Germany has beaten out both France and Sweden in friendlies earlier this year, and are currently ranked number two in FIFA’s World Rankings making them another team to keep on your watchlist. China took home two wins against Russia and Cameroon in the 2019 Wuhan International Tournament, while Spain’s recent record has been a mixed bag. South Africa will be making their first ever appearance in this World Cup, making history with each game they play.

Games to watch:  Germany vs. China, Saturday, June 8 at 9 a.m. ET. Spain vs. South Africa, Saturday, June 8 at noon ET.

Group C

Group C includes several notable teams, starting with the up-and-coming Australian team. They have been slowly climbing in FIFA’s rankings despite recent drama with head coaches. Group C also hosts Brazil; whose roster boasts greats such as Marta and Formiga, Jamaica; the first Caribbean nation to ever qualify for a World Cup, and Italy; who have won six of their eight games this year and tying the rest. 

Games to watch:  Australia vs. Italy, Sunday, June 9 at 7 a.m. ET.  

Brazil vs. Jamaica, Sunday, June 9 at 9:30 a.m. ET. 

Group D

Group D includes England, Scotland, Argentina and the former World Cup champions, Japan. England is ranked number three in FIFA’s World Rankings, just below the U.S. and Germany, and are likely to give Japan a run for their money this World Cup. Scotland is also making their first World Cup appearance against England.  

Games to watch:  England vs. Scotland, Sunday, June 9 at noon ET.
Argentina vs. Japan, Monday, June 10 at noon ET.

Group E 

This group holds Canada, New Zealand, The Netherlands and Cameroon. Canada hosted the 2015 World Cup and have been long-time rivals of the U.S. Their captain, Christine Sinclair, ranks second worldwide in international goals scored by any player, man or woman, and will likely be a good player to keep your eyes on. 

Games to watch:  Canada vs. Cameroon, Monday, June 10 at 3 p.m. ET. New Zealand vs. The Netherlands, Tuesday, June 11 at 9 a.m. ET.

Group F 

Group F hosts the U.S., Sweden, Thailand and Chile. The U.S. are the reigning World Cup champions, and are eager to defend their title and first-place FIFA ranking. Sweden has had issues with consistency this year, but are still strong contenders. Chile is another first-time team, making their World Cup debut on June 11 against Sweden. 

Games to watch:  Chile vs. Sweden, Tuesday, June 11 at noon ET.  United States vs. Thailand, June 11 at 3 p.m. ET. 

Make sure to catch as many games as you can on Fox, FS1, Hulu Live, Telemundo or Universo. Follow along on Action Sports and News for game updates, rankings and more. 

Kim Linek Speaks At Agency Information Fair


WOODSTOCK, Ga. — With graduation season approaching fast, Kim Linek helped students and parents with disabilities prepare for the transition to college with a speech on the best ways to bridge the gap at the Woodstock Agency Information Fair.

The transition to college for students with disabilities can be difficult. There are new forms to fill out, new requirements to know and an exchange of accountability. Those responsibilities, in addition to the other challenges new college students face when entering college, are tough to handle, which is where disability specialist and career counselor Kim Linek comes in to help.

“Students in K-12 are entitled to a free appropriate education, partly based on their ability, and the goal is success,” Linek said. “Students with disabilities in post-secondary are entitled to equal access, nondiscrimination and reasonable accommodations. It’s a very different thing, isn’t it? Than success?”

That key difference changes how students need to prepare for the transition to higher education. Linek also spoke about the different governing bodies for education systems, which all tend to use different forms and qualifications for students with disabilities to receive accommodations.

In K-12 education systems, governed by the state Board of Education, students with disabilities have either a 504 Plan or an Individualized Educational Plan. When students get to college, which is governed by the USG Board of Regents, they need a current disability evaluation from a qualified professional.

“We don’t all do things the same way,” Linek said. “The rules of each system are not always the same, and so it makes the world challenging, sometimes, to navigate.”

Another struggle students with disabilities face is receiving accommodations for standardized testing such as the SAT and ACT. Some students don’t even realize they can receive accommodation for standardized tests because these tests require students with disability accommodation requests to go through the case managers at their high school.

“There’s a release that the school has,” said Terry Hopkins, a Special Education Facilitator at River Ridge High School. “It prompts the testing coordinator to go online to fill everything out using the documentation that schools have.”

Linek also discussed how, when headed to college, students need to take a more active role in their self-advocacy. She recommends students learn an elevator pitch about themselves to prepare for discussing accommodations with professors, and encourages parents to start students early on shifting responsibilities.

“Students have to specifically request accommodations. It can’t come from someone else because now the students are legal adults,” Linek said. “Helping them to understand that before they get to the college classroom is very helpful.”

Linek left the audience with the final piece of advice, encouraging them to keep trying, even if they do not feel prepared or do not have everything they need together yet.

“We don’t all get it right the first time,” she said, “But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing, it’s just an opportunity to learn.”