#TrendingNews Blog Business Entertainment Environment Health Lifestyle News Analysis Opinion Science Sports Technology World News
FIFA Women’s “Debutants” 2023

This year, the FIFA Women’s World Cup has eight new teams, joining the list of high-class female footballers playing in the tournament. The eight have earned themselves the nickname “the Debutants” by many news outlets. So here is a short background on each team and what you should keep an eye out for once the games begin. 

Philippines video



FIFA Ranking: 53rd.

The Women’s team from the Philippines qualified by making it to the semi-finals of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup. Back in 2019, they finished 6th in the tournament, nearly missing the 2019 World Cup. 

They face off against New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland in the group stage. This is an exciting group, as New Zealand is ranked 25th and Switzerland is ranked 20th. While the Philippines are ranked relatively far down the list in comparison to these other teams, especially against #12 Norway, they’ve shown sheer determination to qualify, and there is nothing to show that this determination has wavered. 

Player to watch: Thanai Annis. She is a 33-year-old American-born player. She attended the University of Florida, where she played for the Division I Women’s Soccer team. After University, Annis played professionally in Iceland and then went to coach back in the States for Averett University


Vietnam team photo


Ranking: 34th.

The Vietnam Women’s team was the final team from the AFC to qualify for this year’s World Cup. The government has put a lot of time and effort into sports in the country, especially women’s sports, and it seems to be paying off. While there is still no professional soccer league in Vietnam, this did not stop the Women’s team from beating Chinese Taipei and Thailand to make it to the semi-finals and punch their ticket to the World Cup. Their captain is currently the only player to play outside of Vietnam and play professionally. Currently, she plays for Vilacerdense in Portugal.

Player to watch: Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Dung. In the qualifying AFC Women’s Asian Cup, she scored two goals and had two assists. She is 29 years old and plays for Phong Phú Hà Nam W.F.C. Back in 2017, she was named on the BBC Women List


Morocco team photo


Ranking: 76th.

Similarly to their men’s team, the Moroccan women’s football team is making great strides and solidifying their spot as the perfect underdog. After Covid-19 ruined plans for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in 2021, Morocco got the opportunity to take over the hosting rights of the tournament. On their home turf, the team successfully made their way to the finals of the tournament, and the four semi-finalists in the Africa Cup of Nations qualified for the Women’s World Cup. Thus, with their ticket to New Zealand and Australia, they are the first-ever Arab country to qualify for the Women’s World Cup. However, upon looking through the team roster, it is not surprising that the team is up and coming. Players play for club teams across Europe, including Caen, Olympique Lyon, Metz, Ajax Amsterdam, Tottenham, FC Barcelona, and many more

Player to watch: Ghizlane Chebbak. She is 32 years old and plays for ASFAR, a Moroccan club team. She was named Player of the Tournament at the African Women's Cup of Nations in 2022.


zambia team photo



Ranking: 81st.

Just as Morocco is the first Arab team to qualify for the Women’s World Cup, Zambia is the first ever landlocked African country to qualify for the World Cup, men's or women's. Much like Vietnam, the country has put a lot of funding and time into women’s sports across the country in hopes of making strides in the national playing field. Known as the “Copper Queens,” the team first qualified for the African Women’s World Cup in 2014 and then again in 2018 but did not succeed in qualifying for the World Cup either time. 

Player to watch: Lushomo Mweemba. She is a young star on the team at only 21 years old. While going to the World Cup at twenty-one is impressive as is, at just age 18, she played a significant role on the 2020 Zambian Women’s Olympic Football Team 2020, making her a young but vital player in the upcoming World Cup. Now, when not playing for her country, she plays for the Green Buffaloes WFC in Zambia


Haiti photo team


Ranking: 55th.

They beat out Chile for a spot in the tournament. Haiti is not known for its sports teams. The country has only two Olympic medals. The only other time Haiti has qualified for a World Cup –men’s or women’s– was back in 1974 with their men’s team in West Germany. Each World Cup team is made up of 23 players in this tournament. Of the 23 players playing for Haiti, six of them are currently playing for an American college team, and thirteen are playing in France for a variety of club teams. While things are looking good for Haiti going into the World Cup, they are expected to face off with #4 ranked England in the group stage, so hopefully, they do not crack under pressure. 

Player to watch: Melchie Dumornay. The 19-year-old player made the best young player list in NXGN 2022 alongside famous player Jude Bellingham. She plays for Lyon in France professionally, where she has been thriving. As she is not even two decades old, it will be exciting to see how she performs in this World Cup.


Panama team photo


Ranking: 57th.

While many football fans were cheering for Papua New Guinea to qualify for the World Cup, Panama successfully beat them in the final qualifying match. “Los Canaleros” is not set to face off with Brazil in Group F as their first game in the group stage. While it is probably daunting to have to face such a highly-ranked and famous team right off the bat, hopefully, the ladies will take it in stride.

Player to watch: Riley Tanner. The 23-year-old American-born player qualifies for the Panamanian national team through her Panamanian mother. Her nickname on the team is “Frozen” because of the long blonde braid she wears when she plays. She played for the University of Alabama up until this past year, and she now plays for the Washington Spirit


Portugal team photo


Ranking: 22nd.

The women’s team qualified for the Euro Championships both in 2017 and this past year. While they fell short in 2017, they successfully qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 2022. They face off with the United States and the Netherlands in Group E, set up for a difficult group. On top of two high-powered teams, they have to play against newcomer Vietnam in the group stage. So you’re going to have to pick your Group E underdog. Diana Gomes –24 years– and Carole Costa –32 years– have worked hard to bring the team to the tournament. Gomes scored against Cameron in February to help the team’s ranking. She plays for Sevilla. Costa now plays for Benfica in Portugal, though she played in Germany before that for over a decade.

Player to watch: Dolores Silva. She is 31 years old. She’s played over 600 minutes for the National Team in the World Cup Qualification games. In these games, she scored a total of two goals as a midfielder. 


Ireland team photo

Republic of Ireland:

Ranking: 23rd.

This ticket to the World Cup is Ireland’s first time in a senior women’s tournament. They qualified by the skin of their teeth after beating Scotland in the UEFA play-off. The top two teams qualify for the World Cup in the European competition. The Republic of Ireland finished 3rd in 2019, 2015, and 2011, barely missing the World Cup ticket. 

Player to watch: I have two players to watch for Ireland. Amber Barrett, 26. She plays for Turbine Potsdam. For Ireland she has played five goals for the Republic of Ireland and sixteen goals for her previous club team –FC KÖLN– over three years. Kate McCabe, 27. She plays for Arsenal and has been the captain of the Irish National team since she was 21 years old. In the 2020/2021 season, she was named Arsenal Player of the Season for her excellent performance. 


Though these debutants have an average FIFA ranking of 50, it is exciting to see the new variety of players, team dynamics and techniques they bring to the table! Make sure to note down our “debutants’” first game time and date so you don’t miss their official debuts:

Australia v. Ireland, 20 July

Philippines v. Switzerland, 21 July

England v. Haiti, 22 July

Zambia v. Japan, 22 July

USA v. Vietnam, 22 July

Netherlands v. Portugal, 23 July

Germany v. Morocco, 24 July

Brazil v. Panama, 24 July

Edited by: Liz Coffman



Share This Post On


Leave a comment

You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in