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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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U.S. Women Cruise In World Cup, Set Viewership Marks

  • The U.S. defeated Vietnam 3-0 in a clean start to their World Cup title defense.
  • Sets up showdown with the Netherlands in last guaranteed primetime match for U.S.
Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports

Day 5 of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is underway on Monday, with the tournament favorite USWNT off and running after a confident win over the weekend to start their title defense and quest for a third straight trophy.

In front of 41,000-plus mostly American fans at a packed Eden Park stadium in Auckland, New Zealand, the U.S. handily beat Vietnam 3-0 as 22-year-old Sophia Smith led the way with two goals in her first World Cup appearance. USWNT co-captain Lindsey Horan — who joined the Front Office Sports Today podcast ahead of the World Cup — also scored a goal.

The 9 p.m. ET match on Friday drew 5.26 million viewers on Fox, making it the second–most watched group stage match on English language television — just behind USA-Chile in 2019. Another 1 million U.S. viewers caught the game in Spanish on Telemundo.

This week, the U.S. heads to the southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island — for their second group stage match in Wellington against the Netherlands, who beat Portugal 1-0 on Sunday. Last week, the Dutch squad raised concerns with FIFA about the safety of their practice site — a cricket venue in the coastal city of Tauranga.

USA’s tilt against the Netherlands — a battle for first place in the group — will be the last guaranteed primetime spotlight on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. The U.S. needs to successfully close out group play in top positioning to ensure primetime TV matchups for games in the Round of 16 and quarterfinals — should they advance.

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