Brackets: The easiest way to make it feel like you’re participating in a tournament you’re not actually playing in.The 2015 Women’s World Cup kicks off tomorrow and we’ve created a handy bracket for you to use while deciding what teams you think will clinch wins and face off for the championship game in July. (Download the PDF version here.)
Here’s how it works: The group stage is up top and the knockout stage below that. Rank how you think the teams will finish in each group and then copy the winner to the appropriate spot in the knockout stage. The weird thing about this tournament is those pesky 3rd place spots.
In each group, the first and second place teams move on, but only the top four 3rd place teams, according to points scored in the group stage, move on and this is the table from which that’s decided.
If this all just seems a bit overwhelming, check my bracket out for an example of how all this works!
If the USA comes in first in their group, the knockout stage gets pretty unexciting pretty quickly. Since they have a habit of starting slow, I think they’ll drop or tie a game, leaving them in second, and making for a more exciting knockout stage.
I have Germany headed to the finals because I just love the way the Germans play football. Precision and patience go a long way, and they have the physicality to boot, but they’ll need a little creativity to eek through to win.
I probably wouldn’t normally have Canada going this far, but being the host country tends to go a long way.
I’d love to be wrong about Sweden vs. Korea Republic. I think Sweden has the conditioning that will ultimately win out, but I really liked the South Korea team we saw in the friendly against the USWNT.