July 20 - August 20
The FIFA World Cup actually started back in September of 2021 with 172 nations (up from 144 nations in 2019) from 6 Confederations (regional governing bodies) competing to qualify for the 32 places in this year’s World Cup Finals in Australia and New Zealand.
Those 32 teams were then drawn into 8 groups of 4 teams. Because the tournament has expanded from 24 teams in 2019 to 32 teams this year, there are no wildcards to advance out of the Group Stage. The top 2 teams from each of the 8 groups will advance to the Knockout Stages (the single elimination phase of the tournament).
The two-time defending Champions, United States Women's National Team (USWNT) were drawn into Group E with:
⇒ Vietnam (July 21, 9pm EST)
⇒ The Netherlands (July 26, 9pm EST)
⇒ Portugal (August 1, 3am EST).
"The World Cup offers a unique opportunity for parents to connect with their children around a global shared experience creating core soccer memories that will last both parents and players for a lifetime."
- Skye Eddy
At SoccerParenting.com we often write about the importance of your child developing a Love of the Game they will take with them into adulthood. The World Cup can be a moment of ignition for your child when it comes to developing their Love of the Game. Seemingly unlimited opportunities to watch games, learn, and be inspired abound.
Each of the 736 players at this World Cup have spent their lives in pursuit of the opportunity the World Cup provides. Each player followed their own unique pathway.
Even though most children will never play in a World Cup, it's important to understand the power of dreams in pursuit of lofty goals because the special qualities players acquire on THEIR JOURNEY in soccer will serve them on and off the field throughout their lives.
Ways To Encourage "Moments Of Ignition" for your child
TRACK THE TOURNAMENT
Print off a bracket or the match schedule and put it on the fridge. Talk about it every day until August 20th. Get into it!
PICK TEAMS TO FOLLOW
Have each family member pick one of the 32 teams to learn more about. Discover things about the team, the culture of that country and the players in that squad. Educate each other on what you learn. Celebrate the global nature of the World Cup.
STAY UP LATE OR WAKE UP EARLY!
Identify a marquee game - perhaps during the knockout stage - on a night when you know you have a calmer day the next day. Let your child stay up late to watch with you or wake them up in the middle of the night to share the joys of the Cup.
As happened when the Men's World Cup was in Japan & South Korea in 2002, you will create a shared zombie memory and they may fall asleep
CELEBRATE THE RARITY OF THE EVENT!
Help your child recognize that part of what makes the World Cup and other Championship events special is that moments like these don't come around every day. Players work for a lifetime just for the chance to pursue their dreams. While some will fulfill their dreams, others already have by even participating and others will come up short BUT they will have tried.
Provide them context they can use in their own lives.
The Soccer Parenting Guide to the 2023 Women's World Cup!
EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF THE GAME
Through the many wonderful books, podcasts or documentaries, go on a shared exploration of the history of the women's game or the US Women's National Team.