This year, France will host the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Beginning June 7 and lasting until July 7, the month-long tournament will see some of the very best soccer players in the world team up and face off against each other.
With only five of the 24 competing nations having not participated in the last Women’s World Cup, most teams in this year’s tournament are accustomed to playing on the large stage—though some teams do look very different than they did just four short years ago.
U.S. soccer fans can rejoice as they will have a national team to cheer for—unlike last year’s 2018 Fifa Men’s World Cup. The U.S. Men’s National Team failed to qualify after a loss to Trinidad and Tobago in 2017. Nonetheless, the reigning U.S Women’s World Cup champions from are not the only contenders—here are a few teams to watch out for in this years’ World Cup.
As the winners of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the U.S. women’s team enters the tournament as a clear favorite. Four years ago, the team showed tremendous power against Japan in the finals. Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, and Megan Rapinoe all return as the primary playmakers for the U.S. national team. They will likely be the stars of the team who will inspire and set an example for younger players.
Japan is going through a transitional phase and will have a team full of new faces this year. Their chances of winning the tournament are not nearly as high as last tournament, during which they advanced to the final match. Nonetheless, no one can underestimate the power of the Samurai Blue, as they are affectionately referred to by their fans. Unity remains a key asset of the Japanese team, who has shown great potential through success at the U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups in recent years. Eight years ago in Germany, Japan proved themselves when they defeated the U.S.
France will arguably have an advantage throughout the tournament as the hosts of the World Cup. Wendie Renard is captain of the French national team and a player for the French club, Olympique Lyonais, the current reigning champions of the UEFA Women’s Champions League. As captain, Renard will lead France and inspire the home crowd throughoutthetournament.
Another team from Europe and another big threat is the Dutch national team. They will be led by Lieke Martens, a star of Barcelona.
As the recipient of the Golden Ball in the 2017 UEFA Tournament, Martens was awarded Best Player of the tournament. When the Dutch team needs heat on offense, midfielder Martens remains a valuable asset with quick, technical skills..
Brazil will absolutely be a candidate for the 2019 World Cup trophy. Marta Vieira da Silva, known to most as simply Marta, remains the team’s star player. Brazil, the runner-up of the 2007 Women’s World Cup, will come to France and fight for the trophy they so narrowly missed out on 4 years ago.
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