2018 in Review: USWNT go undefeated, prepare for 2019 World Cup

The US Women’s National Team had one of their best years ever in 2018. The USWNT went undefeated, won the CONCACAF Women’s Championship and qualified for the Women’s World Cup which will take place in France in 2019. Let’s take a look back at the historical year for the US Women!

2018 in Review:

The US Women’s National Team has always been a world powerhouse in Soccer. 2018 was a year where that showed to be true. The depth of quality players across many positions, and the prowess in which they played made this past year very memorable.

Not only was 2018 memorable, it was also a perfect year for the USWNT.

20 games; 18 wins, 2 draws:

In 2018 the USWNT undefeated, winning 18 matches and drawing 2.

The wins came against Denmark, Germany, England, Japan, Brazil, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Canada, Portugal, Scotland, Chile twice, China twice and Mexico three times.

USWNT failed to win only agaisnt France and Australia, drawing both.

2018’s perfection was set while in the midst of some major competitions.

Tournament of Nations Champions and CONCACAF Women’s Champions:

Back in late July early August of 2018 the USWNT played in the Tournament of Nations. This was a three game, four team, tournament where Japan, Australia and Brazil joined USA. The team with the most points (Win = 3 points, Draw = 1 points, Loss = 0 points) at the end of the tournament was crowned the winner.

The US started the tournament with a 4-2 win over Japan, which was a rematch of the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final. In the second match, the USWNT were knocked down a peg by drawing with Australia 1-1. On the final day of the tournament Australia beat Japan 2-0, this meant the US had to win by a two goal margin to win the Tournament of Nations. USA took on Brazil, and had an early scar going down a goal early. Later in the match the US Women’s National Team roared back scoring four goals. The game finished 4-1, and USA were crowned the winner of the Tournament of Nations! This tournament was just a tune up for the USWNT; the more important CONCACAF Women’s Championship was just two months away.

In October the US Women’s National Team made an impressive run through the CONCACAF Women’s Championship to take the top spot in the CONCACAF Region, and qualify for the Women’s World Cup coming up in 2019. Durring the group stage of the competition they beat Mexico 6-0, Panama 5-0, and Trinidad & Tobago 7-0. In the Semifinal US took on Jamaica, the winner was awarded automatic qualification to next Summer’s Women’s World Cup, and a spot in the final of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. USA won handily 6-0 over Jamaica. They secured the World Cup berth, but their main rival Canada stood between the US and being CONCACAF Women’s Champions. In the final the US scored in the second minute and the 89th minute to win the championship!

The sheer dominance the USWNT showed winning the regional tournament by not conceding a goal shows how this team is one of, if not the, best in the World. As the Calendar turns to 2019, the US Women turn their head to more high-profile matches.

Matches leading up to the World Cup:

In 2019, The US Women’s National Team kick off the year in Europe. They take one France and Spain. The US side who have dominated matches played on home soil will have the chance to take their momentum across the pond against strong European competition.

After those two friendlies, the US play in the She Believes Tournament. This is a tournament similar to the Tournament of Nations where there are three games and four team. Japan, England and Brazil are the US’s competition in these matches. This tournament will be held in late February early March. After that competition is complete the US play a series of send of matches to finalize their preparation for France 2019.

In April, the USWNT take on Australia and Belgium on US Soil. In May, the US play three games in two weeks as their real “send off” to the World Cup. South Africa, New Zealand, and Mexico before they depart for France.

These seven matches will show if the USWNT can keep their momentum up, and keep their unbeaten streak alive. The real test of 2019 comes on the World stage at World Cup 2019 in France.

Women’s World Cup, France 2019:

This coming June/July the USWNT will take over the US Sport’s scene, and the World as defending World Cup champions. The US won the last Women’s World Cup making a historic run in Vancouver 2015. As strong as that team was, the 2019 team could be even stronger. We’ll have to wait and see if that comes to be, but right now, we know who the US will face in the group stage of France 2019.

The USWNT will open their 2019 World Cup campaign against Thailand June 11th. They follow-up that match with another game agaisnt Chile, who they beat twice in 2018, on June 16th. The USWNT finish their group stage against Sweden, which poses to be the toughest match, and one of the most intriguing matches of the group.

2018 was truly an amazing year for the US Women’s National Team. They won 90% of their matches over the entire year, and did not lose a single game. 2019 is right around the corner. With the new year comes matches of grave importance.The She Believe’s Cup is something the US take seriously, using it as a tune up for something even bigger could produce great results.

The US can solidify themselves as the best ever in the Women’s World Cup competition. There have only been seven Women’s World Cup’s before, the US have already won three of them, more than any other country. In 2019 the US can further their lead over the World by winning their fourth World Cup. Only time will tell, but the skill the US has makes them one of the favorites to win the whole thing!

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Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports