France 2018: Under-20 Women's World Cup is off to Brittany

Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair, Marta, Dzsenifer Marozsan and Wendie Renard. Many of the current greats of women's soccer got their start at the Under-20 Women's World Cup, whose eighth edition kicks off on Sunday in France.

Here's a quick look at what is in store ...

Dress rehearsal. Started as an U-19 championship in Canada in 2002, the tournament is now in its eighth edition. Like in 2010 and 2014, the tournament will serve as dress rehearsal for next year's Women's World Cup in France.

Brittany hosts. But unlike Germany and Canada, France has gone a different route, holding the tournament in four small towns -- Concarneau, Dinan-Lehon, Saint-Malo and Vannes -- in Brittany, which happens to be the home of French soccer federation president Noel Le Graet. Vannes' Stade de la Rabine, site of both semifinals and final, is the largest venue with a capacity of only 9,500.

Defending champion. North Korea, winner of the 2016 Under-20 Women's World Cup with victories over the USA and France in the semifinals and final, is back and seeking to join the USA and Germany as three-time champions. No other country has won the title.

Teams to beat. Besides the USA, Germany and North Korea, the teams to watch are host France, Asian champion Japan, European champion Spain and Nigeria, which has reached the semifinals in three of the last four tournaments.

College connection. There is a strong U.S. college presence at the Under-20 Women's World Cup. Mexico has 10 players from U.S. colleges and England has seven. Germany, the Netherlands and even China have U.S. collegians on their rosters.

U.S. Television: The Under-20 Women's World Cup will be available on Fox Sports and Telemundo Deportes networks.

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