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Less Than 120 Days Until the FIFA Women’s World Cup: Here’s What You Need to Know

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup happens every four years for both men and women. While the world is still celebrating Argentina and Messi’s win in December, it’s time to refocus because the women are coming in July. In a little over 100 days, the top female players in the world will be taking the field, ready to compete for the title of  best team in the world. 

This upcoming FIFA World Cup is only the ninth-ever Women’s World Cup. Thus far, the United States has won four; Norway won the second one back in 1995; Germany won back-to-back in the early 2000s; and Japan won once in 2011. This year there are 32 teams, eight more than the previous tournament and more than double the original 12 teams that participated in the inaugural games

Host countries thus far are as follows; China, Sweden, United States, Germany, Canada, and France. This summer, the games are hosted by both New Zealand and Australia. This is both the first time two countries have co-hosted a Women’s World Cup and the first time it has been located in the Southern Hemisphere

The United States Women’s National Team has been a powerhouse in the past two World Cups, which raises the question, will they be able to continue the streak and win again? Of course, it is hard to tell before everything starts, and since there is still time for changes, injuries, and many other situations, the world will have to wait until kick-off to know the answer. Nonetheless, as of March, the United States and England appear to be the front-runners in these games, with Spain, Germany, and France being close behind. One middle of the pack team with the potential to pull ahead is Australia. If they can successfully overcome going against Canada, the 2020 Olympic champs, they have the potential to come out of the shadows to win the cup.

Regarding games, a few possible upsets could be Nigeria in Group B and Morocco in Group H. This World Cup will probably be the most even playing field we’ve ever seen, as many countries have started to put money behind their Women’s teams, allowing for actual growth.

While there are some outstanding teams, there are some fantastic, one-of-a-kind players in this tournament. Fox Sports listed “10 players to watch this spring” before the games. They list Alexia Putellas, Ada Hegerberg, Sophia Smith, Lauren Hemp, Sam Kerr, Wendie Renard, Catarina Macario, Vivianne Miedema, Fran Kirby, and Alex Morgan


While this list is expansive, it fails to include a few impressive other players. The first that comes to mind is Marta, also known as Marta Vieira da Silva, Brazil’s star for the past two decades. This is her sixth World Cup at 37 years old. She is a renowned player that gives Messi and Ronaldo a run for their money as to who is the GOAT of soccer. Another important player is Esmee Virginia Brugts; she is 19 and up-and-coming new player to the World Cup. In the Netherlands’ February game against Austria, she scored in the 74th minute, her third goal playing for the Oranje. Another possible young show out of this tournament is Lena Oberdorf. She is a 21-year-old midfielder for Germany. Oberdorf showed up at the EURO 2022 for Germany and was fourth in the 2022 Women’s Ballon d’Or


Some things to remember for the upcoming games are player and team fitness, injuries, suspensions, and home advantage. After the peak of Covid-19, there was a disconnect between player fitness and team chemistry. Many teams struggled to return to peak fitness with so much time apart. As Covid-19 reaches the three-year mark, teams have had the chance to get back into routines, but did the almost one-year break set teams back? Will that impact the level of play of this tournament? Only time will tell. 

These next few months will be telling as to who the front-runner might be at this year’s World Cup. This year’s games will be filled with new players, new teams, and a whole new set of fans watching from across the globe. Nonetheless, women’s soccer is reaching new heights, and this tournament is ushering in a new generation of players while helping us say goodbye to some legends.

Edited by: Liz Coffman

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