Los Angeles – The Official Draw of FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™, which determines the quadrennial tournament’s Group Stage configuration, is being held at the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa early next month, and FOX Sports is planning unprecedented live coverage.
The Draw Show, with extensive coverage and analysis originating from the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles and on-site in Ottawa, airs Saturday, Dec. 6 at 12:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1. This is the first time since 1999 that the Official Draw of FIFA Women’s World Cup™ is being televised in English in the United States. Rob Stone anchors FOX Sports 1’s hour-long coverage from Los Angeles and Kate Abdo hosts live from the Draw in Ottawa, along with analysis from a trio of former national team players. Expanded coverage, with additional post-draw analysis, continues for thirty minutes more on FOX Sports 2 and FOX Sports GO.
Abdo, an acclaimed British journalist who worked at CNN and Sky Deutschland before joining Sky Sports in the UK, guides FOX Sports’ coverage from Ottawa. Joining the coverage are Heather Mitts, a retired USWNT defender and three-time Olympic Gold medalist; Ariane Hingst, a two-time World Cup Champion with Germany; Kelly Smith, the England Women’s National Team’s all-time leading goal scorer; and Tony DiCicco, head coach of the legendary 1999 USWNT, the second American squad crowned FIFA Women’s World Cup champions. FOX Sports soccer insider and Sports Illustrated senior columnist Grant Wahl provides analysis of the group and gets reaction post-draw from USWNT head coach Jill Ellis in Canada. Hingst, Smith and Abdo make their FOX Sports debuts.
Hingst brings impressive credentials from the field to the television screen. As the youngest player on Germany’s 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad, she started all the team’s matches and scored a goal. She again started every match as Germany won the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2003. Germany successfully defended their title in 2007, with Hingst anchoring a defense that did not allow a single goal the entire tournament.
Arguably the greatest women’s soccer player in England’s history, Smith played collegiate soccer at Seton Hall and spent considerable time in the U.S. pro leagues before heading back across the pond two years ago to play with the Arsenal Ladies Football Club. She has competed in three UEFA Women’s Championships, two FIFA Women’s World Cups and one Olympics.
The USWNT is among the 24 teams, including host Canada, to learn its fate in the Draw as nations are placed into six groups of four teams each. In addition to the U.S. and Canada (CONCACAF), the qualified teams are: Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Nigeria (Africa); Australia, China PR, Japan, Korea Republic and Thailand (Asia); England, France, Germany, Netherlands/Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland (Europe): Costa Rica and Mexico (CONCACAF); New Zealand (Oceania); and Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador/Trinidad & Tobago (South America).
Viewers have complete access to the 90-minute Draw Show via FOX Sports GO, the app with live video of FOX Sports content at home or on the go. FOXSoccer.com provides exclusive interviews, editorial coverage and profiles of major teams and players. Fans can also follow all the action with live commentary through Twitter (@FOXSoccer) using the hashtag #WWConFOX.