Spanning decades, Tar Heels program a major pipeline for World Cup

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Not all universities are created equal.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has long been a pipeline for talent at the highest level of women's professional soccer. The 2019 Women's World Cup, which begins on Friday, is no different.

"The U.S. are favored and they should be," said Anson Dorrance, head coach of the UNC women's soccer program.

"We've got an incredible front line and reserve. We've got the best six attacking players in the world."

Five former Tar Heels are featured on the roster, more than any other school.

Tobin Heath, a member of the 2010 class, is making her third World Cup appearance. Ashlyn Harris, a goalkeeper who graduated with Heath in 2010, makes her second appearance. 

Crystal Dunn, Allie Long, and Jessica McDonald are all making their World Cup debut.

Entering his 43rd year in Chapel Hill, the teams Dorrance has coached have captured a whopping 22 national championships.

The list of accomplishments by Dorrance is many. He is a seven-time Coach of the Year, his players have garnered 20 National Player of the Year awards, his 1,000 wins is considered rarified air in any college sport, and Dorrance has been inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

In 1986 he won the Gold medal as the head coach of the U.S. National Team.

 "It was really cool. Back in the old days the world had no respect for American soccer. I had an intimate understanding of this because I was born and raised overseas."

At one point he was coaching both the men's and women's teams simultaneously.


The World Cup will be televised on FOX Sports and the full schedule can be found here. U.S.A. plays in Group F and has its first match on Tuesday June 11th (3 p.m., FOX 46 WJZY). The World Cup runs from June 7 through July 7 and all 52 games will be broadcast live on FOX, FS1, and FS2 and on the FOX Sports App on both tablets and mobile devices.