Allez les Bleues (avec un E)!!! The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off today, Friday, June 7th at Paris’ Parc des Princes (home of the PSG soccer team) with France facing South Korea. The United States Women National Soccer Team are the defending champions, of course, and one of the best team in the world but France, England and Germany are hoping to give them a run for their money over the next month.
The Women’s World Cup kicks off in Paris, but the main hub for the action is actually Lyon which will host both semi-finals (July 2-3) and the final (July 7). Other host cities include Nice, Montpellier, Grenoble, Rennes, Reims (will they be serving champagne at the stadium?), Le Havre and Valenciennes. 24 teams are competing, divided into six groups of four teams for group stage, which lasts from June 7 to June 20. France is facing off South Korea (June 7), Norway (June 12) and Nigeria (June 17). The US is facing Thailand (June 11), Chile (June 16) and Sweden (June 20).
You’ll basically be able to catch the US games everywhere… other games might be a little trickier but I pulled together a mini-guide of places where you catch matches, especially the French matches, and a list of Women World Cup events, which I will update throughout the month.
FIRST THING FIRST: OPENING CEREMONY AND FRANCE-SOUTH KOREA MATCH
Can’t make it across the Atlantic for the opening match? Well, you can at least be on France soil since the French Embassy is hosting a viewing party. The event is free (though you have to register here) and there will be a cash bar. The Embassy is also promising donuts because, well, it’s also National Doughnut Day in the US 😉 Doors open at 2PM and the game starts at 3PM. I’m stoked for Jain’s performance, I *loved* her concert here at the Rock’n’Roll Hotel last year. Dont know who Jain is? Check out this profile of her in Hollywood Life and check out the super fun video for one of her biggest hit Makeba.
Don’t want to slug all the way to Reservoir Road? I don’t blame ya. If you’restill looking for that French ambiance head to Opaline at the Sofitel. Executive chef Kevin Lalli has designed a fun menu featuring stadium fare representing the countries participating in the World Cup. For the opeing match that means a lamb merguez hot dog ($10) and Jambon Beurre sandwich ($11) for France (YUM!!!) versus bibimbap ($15) and Korean BBQ Lamb Ribs ($14) for South Korea. Man, can I just put kimchi on my jambon-beurre and call it a day? Opaline will also show all the France and USA matches. USA vs. Thailand on June 11 promises to be a tasty match-up!!
Honorable mention: I have never heard of The Airdale but thanks to some pretty good facebook targeted marketing I know they are throwing a Team USA Party Friday at 2:30PM (I hope they know team USA is not in fact playing that day… because FRANCE is!!) and they will have Kronenbourg (so at least they know France is the host!) and most importantly half-priced Aperol Spritz. OK, you’ve got my attention Airdale ….
WHERE TO WATCH ALL THE OTHER MATCHES
When it comes to football, you can never go wrong with Lucky Bar. The Dupont Circle bar will show all of the matches AND on many days you’ll be able to catch some Eurocup and Copa America qualifiers as well. For example tomorrow (Saturday June 8th) you can catch Spain-South Africa (Women World Cup) at noon and then catch France-Turkey (men Eurocup qualifier) at 2:45PM (and Italy-Greece too… you can basically spend your entire saturday at Lucky Bar and watch soccer from 9AM — Women World Cup Germany vs China — to 5PM.) You can check out their website for a full schedule of the matches they show (which is a lot of matches!) Fado Irish Pub in Chinatown is also always a solid bet for sports and they will show all games with sound.
Not nearly as expected as Lucky Bar or Fado, The Fairmont Hotel is going all out on the 2019 FIFA Women World Cup. The West End hotel is screening all matches live in its lobby bar, and then showing replays later in the evening. Like Sofitel, they are designed a menu of $9 snacks from World Cup countries including French Duck Confit, Brie & Fig Chutney Spread Flatbread (yum!). And there will be foosball tournaments!! The dress code for the bar is “smart casual” so I’m already plotting ways to dress up my **TWO STARS** French Jersey (sorry ladies, I own like 8 men team jerseys at this point and as much as i loooooove the polka dot jersey, i just can’t buy one more $90 jersey…) You can find more details on their facebook page here.
Franklin Hall is doing a pretty cool celebration of the US Women’s National Team. The beer tavern is collaborating with District Sports, Pink Boots Society and Girls Who Pint Out for a woman owned/operated TAP TAKEOVER. I dig it! Starting June 11, they will have a rotating list 8-10 breweries highlighting beer made by some kick-ass women in the craft beer scene. They’ll show every US Women game with full sound (I watched a pretty low sound game at Dacha last year and trust me, I know seek out whether sound will or will not be on! It makes a HUGE difference) and proceeds from sales will be donated to Pink Boots Society and Girls Pint Out.
And then for some country specific events… Last summer, I ended up watching a lot of World Cup matches at Wunder Garten and the NoMa beer garden is once again teaming up with the British Embassy to host a viewing party for the England and Scotland game on Sunday June 9 (doors open at 11:30AM, kick off is at noon). The World Cup watch parties last year were a ton of fun last year, but having Scotland and England face each other off basically take it to the next level….
I’ll update this post as the tournament progresses. Are you excited about the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup? Rooting for a particular team/country? After reading this New York Times article about the Jamaican team, I’m rooting hard for the Reggae Girlz. Well, at least as long as they don’t face Les Bleues 😉