Four Cal soccer player – one current Cal player and three former Golden Bears – are on rosters of national teams that will participate in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, which begins today (Friday) in France.
The best known among the Cal foursome is former Bears’ standout Alex Morgan, who is the star of the United States team that will try to defend the World Cup title it won in 2015. She was on the cover of Time Magazine and on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
Daisy Cleverley, who will enter her junior year on the Cal soccer team this fall, and former Cal player Betsy Hassett are members of the New Zealand squad. Cleverley started 12 of the 15 games she played for the Bears in 2018 and had two assists.
Miranda Nild, who recently graduated from Cal, will represent Thailand. Nild is also known by her Thai name, Suchawadee Nildhamrong. Nild started 16 of the 17 games she played for Cal last fall and finished with three goals and three assists.
As a team, Cal went 5-12-2 in 2018, including 1-9-1 in conference play.
Only three other schools have more representatives in the Women’s World Cup than Cal, and Cleverley is one of only nine current Division I women's soccer players named to rosters of the 24 World Cup nations.
Cleverley and Hassett will be the first of the Cal contingent to play, when New Zealand faces the Netherlands on June 11 at 6 a.m. Pacific time in Le Havre, France. That will be followed by a game between the United States and Thailand at noon Pacific time in Reims.
New Zealand and the Netherlands are in Group E along with Canada and Cameroon. The United States and Thailand are in Group F, along with Chile and Sweden.
The top two teams from each of the six groups will advance to the Round of 16, along with the four best third-place teams. The Knockout Stage begins on June 22 and the World Cup final will be in Lyon on July 7.
Each of the United States’ three previous Women's World Cup-winning teams has featured at least one Golden Bear on the roster -- Mary Harvey (1991), Joy Biefeld Fawcett (1991, 1999) and Morgan (2015).
Morgan will be making her third trip to the World Cup, and she helped the United States to victory in Canada in 2015. She enters the tournament with 162 caps and 101 international goals, which is sixth on the U.S. Women's National Team's all-time scoring list.
For more Women’s World Cup information, click here. https://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/matches/
Groups stage matches involving the Cal players (all times Pacific time):
June 11 – New Zealand vs. the Netherlands, 6 a.m.
June 11 – United State vs. Thailand, noon
June 15 – Canada vs. New Zealand, noon
June 16 – Sweden vs. Thailand, 6 a.m.
June 16 – United States vs. Chile, 9 a.m.
June 20 – Cameroon vs. New Zealand, 9 a.m.
June 20 – Sweden vs. United States, noon
June 20 – Thailand vs. Chile, noon