Thailand’s team colors are red, white, and blue, just like those of the United States.
But that is where the similarities end for the Women’s World Cup foes, who play against each other in their opener June 11 at 3 p.m. EST at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France.
Team USA is a three-time World Cup champion stacked with stars such as Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath and Carli Lloyd. Thailand made its Cup debut in 2015, and lost its first two matches to Norway and Germany by a combined score of 8-0, before beating Ivory Coast 3-2 for its lone victory.
The one time the U.S. and Thai teams played, in a 2016 friendly in Ohio, the Americans won easily, 9-0.
Thailand went 0-3 in the recent Cyprus Women’s Cup and lost six matches in a row at the end of 2018. The team qualified for the World Cup by reaching the semifinals of the Asian Women’s Cup. They lost 4-0 to China, but rebounded to beat Jordan and the Philippines to reach the semifinal against regional power Australia. The Chaba Kaew, as the Thai team is known, lost to the Aussies on penalty kicks and lost the third-place game to China.
Two Thai players to watch are 32-year-old forward Kanjana Sungngoen and midfielder Rattikan Thongsombut.