The USWNT has a chance to win their 5th World Cup title of all time this summer when the Women’s World Cup is set to begin on July 20th. Once again, the USA goes in as favorites to win the tournament, with their first game set for the day after the opening ceremonies against Vietnam. This will be an opportunity for the USWNT to three-peat in the World Cup after winning the tournament back-to-back in 2015 and 2019. It would be a World Cup first for both the men’s and women’s FIFA-backed tournament.
- The Vietnam Women's National Football Team via Fifa.com
One thing is for sure: the USWNT will have to be sharp and at their absolute best to establish their name in history that shines so brightly. The competition is set to be tougher than in any other Women's World Cup in history on paper, with the number of participating teams set at 32, making it the biggest tournament ever.
- Nahomi Kawasumi playing for Japan against Sweden in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup semi finals via Thewomensgame
Not only is this tournament expected to be bigger and better than previous ones, but it is also anticipated to be more competitive. Out of the 32 teams participating this year, 22 are ranked in the top 30 teams in the world according to FIFA World Rankings, and 8 teams will be playing in their first-ever World Cup. This sounds like a healthy mix of upsets, twists, and of course, a couple of blowouts. But if you're a football fan, this can only mean good things for the growth of the sport.
- #23 Carina Baltrip-Reyes of Panama on the ball vs #11 Alexia Putellas of Spain defending via Fifa.com
This also serves as a test for the USWNT to reassert themselves as all-time favorites once more. It only takes one player, as the USWNT experienced against the hands of Marta in the World Cup 2007 semifinals, or a well-drilled team like Japan in the defeat of World Cup 2011, to remind them to be on their toes from the start to the finish line. With the talent and skill in the squad, which is now a given with the USWNT, they should have no problems. But it all comes down to the coach and their game plan.
When you have such a star-studded squad, it's easy to let the veterans do all of the heavy lifting. Names like Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn, and Megan Rapinoe are revered in the women's game and are the main reason why people buy a ticket. However, most teams do not have the young weapons that the USWNT currently possesses. Some players have already made a name for themselves, such as Naomi Girma, who could easily command the backline of any top club in the world. There is also a wealth of experience in the midfield with players like Lindsay Horan, Rose Lavelle, Julie Ertz, and the list goes on. The debate lies with the USWNT's frontline.