In just four days the USWNT will take the field looking to do something no one has ever done, win a third consecutive World Cup! The 2023 Women’s World Cup is down under in Australia and New Zealand, and this time there are 32 nations ready to fight for the chance to be called champions of the world!
With there being eight more teams at this Women’s World Cup than there were in 2019, the field of quality teams has widened. The USA has been the trendsetter for women’s Soccer since the 90s, and now much of the rest of the world has caught up to their level. This will be the most competitive Women’s World Cup ever, but the USWNT is ready to defend its crown.
Can The USWNT win their third World Cup in a row?
The USA has a strong team heading into this tournament. They are the betting favorites to win it all, but England, Spain, Germany, Australia, and France are not too far behind them. Can this USWNT be the ones to make history, against what will be the most competitive field this tournament has ever seen?
To determine if the United States can make even more history, we need to look at their roster, and their pathway to a possible three-peat.
USA head coach Vlatko Andonovski called in 23 players to represent the USWNT at this World Cup. When looking at the roster there are no big omissions to the team itself, barring injured players. This team is strong, competent, and raring to go. Here’s a look at the roster:
Goalkeepers (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
Defenders (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelley O’Hara (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign)
Midfielders (7): Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC), Julie Ertz (Angel City FC), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
Forwards (6): Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City FC), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC)
This USA team is full of veterans at every position, and up-and-coming stars who are ready to show what they can do on the world’s stage. Alex Morgan and Lindsey Horan are the captains of this squad. Megan Rapinoe is ready for her swan song. Sophia Smith, Trinity Rodman, and Naomi Girma are poised to be the breakout stars at this World Cup.
This USWNT is ready to play for the chance to the three-peat; let’s look at their path to that potential glory.
USA’s Path to the Final
The USWNT is in Group E at this Women’s World Cup. They’ll take on Vietnam, Netherlands, and Portugal in that order. The goal is to win the group, which should not be too difficult for this team. Should they do so, they will take on the runners-up in Group G in the knockout rounds.
Before even looking at the opponents the USWNT would play in the knockout rounds, something more important could play out. Other World Cup favorites, Australia, England, France, and Germany, are likely to win their groups and therefore would be on the opposite side of the bracket. This means that The USWNT would only play those strong teams in a final. That would be huge for this team’s three-peat hopes.
Coming back to who the USWNT would play in the knockout rounds, they’d take on the runners-up in Group G. Group G has Sweden, Italy, Argentina, or South Africa; I’d expect probably Argentina or Italy would be the opponent in the Round of 16. The U.S. should take care of business there.
The quarterfinals could bring a tough opponent like Canada, Japan, or Spain, but this team should be able to beat those teams on the biggest stage.
Heading into the semifinals The USWNT could play the likes again of Japan or Spain, or it could be a matchup against Norway. The stakes will be high, and the USWNT should meet those expectations and make the final.
The USWNT would likely face the likes of France, Australia, England, or Germany in a Women’s World Cup Final. Any of those four nations would give the USA a tough matchup. However, this team is one that loves making history!
A USWNT three-peat awaits. It will be hard work, but this team has proven in the last two World Cups that when they are tested that they rise above everything around them and they find a way to win. It is the ethos of this team and the nation. Is a three-peat on the cards; can the USWNT win their unprecedented fifth Women’s World Cup title? We’ll have to watch to find out just how far this team can go!
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Mandatory Credit: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, AP Photo/LM Otero, & AP Photo/Josie Lepe