The two opening matches, between New Zealand Y NorwayY Australia and the Republic of Ireland – starts on July 20. The tournament is being co-sponsored by New Zealand and Australia and will be broadcast on the FOX family of networks.
As the soccer world gears up for another monumental event, here are five things to get excited about right now.
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More teams competing
For the first time, the Women’s World Cup has expanded from 24 teams to 32 for the 2023 tournament, demonstrating a necessary investment in women’s football around the world. Several nations will make their debut, including Vietnamthat gives to the usa womens team in their opening group match on July 22 at Eden Park in Auckland.
More than a billion people watched the 2019 Women’s World Cup. The final between the USA and the USA. Netherlands – who, ironically, will meet in the group stage next summer – was the most-watched Women’s World Cup match ever, averaging 82.2 million viewers, 56% more than the 2015 final The 2023 tournament has even higher expectations.
However, there have been criticisms that growing too fast without adequate investment would hurt rather than help the growth of the game. We should expect some punctuation lines like when the USWNT defeated Thailand 13-0 in the group stage of the last World Cup and was punished for it.
“If you wait until everyone is ready, they never will be,” FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani recently told FOX Sports’ Doug McIntyre, referring to the 2003 tournament when Sweden defeat Japan 8-0, but then Japan won the World Cup in 2011.
“Women’s soccer is exploding all over the world. So you might have some lopsided score lines, but one day you won’t. And the only way you won’t have them is by being a little bit brave.”
Can the USWNT make three mobs?
The Americans want to win an unprecedented three consecutive World Cup titles, and their fifth overall. Unlike previous years when the USA was the heavy favourite, there will be more opponents than ever before and nothing is guaranteed for Vlatko Andonovski’s team. England, France, Germany Y Canadathe latter of which won gold at the last Olympics, are all legitimate contenders.
Last week, FIFA released its updated world rankings for women’s football. The USA remains the No. 1 team, but by slim margins with Germany hot on their heels at No. 2. The USWNT lost three of their last four games to close out 2022, including three in a row for the first time since 1993 for England , Spain and Germany
This provoked harsh words from the former captain. Carli Lloydwho hasn’t been afraid to dish out criticism in retirement.
“The winning culture and mindset that has been passed down through the generations within the USWNT has been fading away,” he tweeted last month. “I said it when I retired. I watched it fade. Players have to embody that. It’s been our DNA since the ’80s, but not so much anymore.”
He then added, “The rest of the world isn’t afraid of us anymore. They used to lose the game before it started.”
Although Lloyd may be right, we are seeing a cultural shift in women’s football around the world. The USA-England match at Wembley was played in front of a sold-out crowd, as was the EuroCup final between England and Germany. The momentum will continue to build throughout this World Cup, and the teams will continue to improve.
The men’s World Cup has been a showcase for superstars with players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka modric Y Robert Lewandowski probably playing in their last World Cup matches. The women’s tournament could have a similar send-off and this could be the last time we’ll see it. megan rapinoe play in a World Cup setting.
After winning the Golden Boot and Ballon d’Or for her outstanding performance in leading the USA to a title in 2019, Rapinoe, 37, has already accepted a new role in Andonvoski’s team. Last year, Rapinoe spoke with his trainer, who told her that if he was fit and healthy, he would continue on the roster. Not just because he’s a game changer, but because he adds value as a leader on a team with so many young players.
“We know what Megan is capable of,” Andonovski said earlier this year. “But the thing about Megan is that she’s very important to this group. Obviously this is a younger group that we’re bringing in, so her experience going through adversity, going through tough times, getting to the top, His winning mentality, his knowledge and understanding are very valuable to the group.”
Next summer might also be the last time we see alex morgan (who will be 34 when the USWNT plays its first game in New Zealand), becky sauerbrunn (who will turn 38), christina sinclaire (40), wendie renard (33), Alexandra Popp (32) and lucy bronze (32) also lead their respective teams in a World Cup.
The next generation of American stars
Even with Lloyd’s comments about his old team, there has been an infusion of new talent who are poised to lead the USWNT for years to come. Forward sofia smith and center of the back Naomi Girma, who were teammates at Stanford, completely dominated the NWSL season. Smith, who won the championship with the Portland Thorns, was named MVP while Girma won both Rookie and Defender of the Year. Both players are expected to start at the World Cup.
Other stars to keep an eye on? Andonovski has said that it will be difficult for anyone to take Mallory Pugh point, Catarina Macario He is recovering from a torn ACL and could be back in late February (maybe for the SheBelieves Cup?), trinity rodman he was a finalist for the Ballon d’Or and the list goes on.
These players have big shoes to fill, no doubt. But their futures are bright, and we should expect them to play a big part and make bigger names for themselves on football’s greatest stage next summer.
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Other stars to watch out for
Although the American fans will be focused and cheering on the USWNT, there are a few other players from around the world to meet.
Vivienne Miedema hopes to lead the Netherlands to an upset group stage victory over the USA on July 27. She is one of the best forwards in the world and holds the all-time scoring records for the national team (both on the men’s and women’s sides).
Expect a big tournament for sam kerrthe leader of the host country Matildas. the chelsea The forward has played for the Australian national team since she was 15 years old and has been the captain since 2019. Kerr is Australia’s all-time leading goalscorer and was also the first female soccer player to appear on the cover of the FIFA 23 video game, along with the French Superstar kylian mbappe.
then there is Alexia Putellas, two-time winner of Spain’s Ballon d’Or. Although he did not play in the Euros this summer, nor in the friendly win over the USA, after tearing his ACL, he believes that he will play an important role for the Spanish team in the World Cup. Putellas is a star in Barcelona, where her club broke the attendance record for women’s football twice last season at the Camp Nou.
And then England could be heavy favorites to win as the US saw Chloe Kelly having her Brandi Chastain Euro moment, and her rising star teammates lauren hemp Y she toone it will be dangerous as they get more experience in their belts.