SoCal watch parties for US Women's team set to kick off World Cup

There will be a number of watch parties for the United States' opener in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Friday at Salazar Park in East Los Angeles, Union Station, other locations in Los Angeles County and in Anaheim.

The game against Vietnam from Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand is set to begin at 6 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time and will be televised by Fox in English and in Spanish by Telemundo, Universo and Peacock.

The party at Salazar Park will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and include a soccer clinic and skills challenge, face painting, custom jerseys provided by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, an interactive photo booth and a live DJ.

The party is part of Los Angeles County's Department of Parks and Recreation's Parks after Dark program.

Watch parties organized by chapters of American Outlaws, a nationwide support group for the U.S. men's and women's national soccer teams, will be at Homebound Brew Haus at Union Station, L.A. Draught in Santa Monica, Legends Sports Bar in Long Beach, Lopez & Lefty's in Anaheim, The Surly Goat in Encino and the Underground Pub & Grill in Hermosa Beach.

The game will be shown on large screens at the Hammer Museum in Westwood.

A watch party at Common Space Brewery in Hawthorne is organized by the Angel City Football Club in collaboration with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The game marks the start of the U.S.' quest to win the tournament which has been played every four years since 1991 for an unprecedented third consecutive time. Germany won consecutive tournaments in 2003 and 2007 but lost to eventual champion Japan in a quarterfinal in 2011.

The top two teams in each of the eight four-team groups advance to the round of 16.

The U.S. is 6-0-2 in its Women's World Cup openers, with the ties coming in 1995 and 2007.

The U.S. is first in the rankings compiled by FIFA, soccer's international governing body. Vietnam is ranked 32nd.

Vietnam is among eight nations making their Women's World Cup debuts in 2023. The record field of 32 is eight larger than the previous record of 24 for the 2015 and 2019 tournaments.

Vietnam qualified by winning the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup Playoff in early 2022.

This will be the first meeting between the teams.

The U.S. is a 5 1/2-goal favorite, according to Caesars Sportsbook.

The 23-member U.S. team includes six players who played on the high school or college levels in Los Angeles or Orange counties -- forwards Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar High), Trinity Rodman (Corona del Mar High), Alyssa Thompson (Harvard-Westlake School), Lynn Williams (Pepperdine) and midfielders Savannah DeMelo (Saint Joseph High, USC) and Ashley Sanchez (Monrovia High, UCLA).

Rodman is the daughter of Basketball Hall of Fame member Dennis Rodman.

All but one of the 23 players on the U.S. team play in the National Women's Soccer League. The exception is midfielder Lindsey Horan, who plays for Olympique Lyon of France's Division 1 Féminine.