The 12th edition of the UEFA Women's Championship (EURO 2017), which began in 1984, becoming Europe's biggest tournament for the continent's women's national teams, begins Sunday, July 16. (The competition is the equivalent of the men's UEFA European Championship held every four years.)
Sixteen nations, including number 2 ranked Germany, who has won the last six European titles dating back to 1995 as well as two World Cup championships (2003, 2007), will compete in the three-week quadrennial tournament in the Netherlands. Three other top ten countries in FIFA's rankings, #3 France, #5 England and #9 Sweden (1984 Champion), will also vie for Europe's biggest title for women national teams. The tournament expanded from 12 nations to 16 this year, giving more nations the opportunity to be a part. Belgium (#22), Austria (#22), Scotland (#21), Switzerland (#17), and Portugal (#38) are all first-time qualifiers.
The ESPN network announced this week that they will broadcast all 31 games of EURO 2017 on ESPN3 and ESPNU, making the tournament available in the United States. All group matches, including the quarterfinals and semifinals, will air on ESPN3, and the final will be broadcasted on ESPNU on August 6 at 11 am ET. Those with an ESPN subscription to those channels can also stream it on the ESPN app. The network will also provide additional coverage on espnW.com, ESPN FC, and ESPNFC.com, including highlights, commentary, and features in an effort to fully cover the women's game. All group games will air at 12 pm ET and 2:45 pm ET from Sunday, July 16 to Thursday, July 27. Second round times for July 29, July 30, and August 3 are to be determined.
The Netherlands (#12), the host nation, will start off the tournament against 2013 runners-up and 1995 Women's World Cup champion Norway (#12) at 12 pm ET on ESPN3, streaming also on the ESPN app.
Euro 2017 will feature several NWSL stars, including Amandine Henry (Portland Thorns - France), Nadia Nadim (Thorns - Denmark), Dagný Brynjarsdóttir (Thorns - Iceland), Emilie Haavi (Boston Breakers - Norway), and Rachel Corsie (Seattle Reign FC - Scotland), who will represent their respective countries.