FIFA Women’s World Cup to kick off in July, US hopes to repeat win

Drawing of soccer players
Emma Ford / The Mossy Log

The Fédération internationale de football association (FIFA) Women’s World Cup will kick off on July 20. This international tournament occurs every four years with qualifying competitive women’s soccer teams from all over the world. Each time, FIFA meets to decide on candidates for the competition’s location and vote. This year, the tournament will be held in Australia and New Zealand. 

New Zealand will face Norway to kick off the tournament and Australia will play the Republic of Ireland shortly after, as it is customary for the host country to play the first match. Two other games will be played on the first day with Nigeria facing Canada and The Philippines playing Switzerland. The World Cup is composed of eight groups containing four teams each that will all play each other once in the initial round, called the group stage. The top two teams, based on points, will advance to the round of 16 then the quarterfinals, semi finals and finals. 

The point system works based on wins, losses and draws. A win is worth 3 points, a draw is worth 1 point and a loss grants the team no points. If there is a tie among points within a bracket, there are many deciding factors beginning with goal differential, meaning it is better to have more goals for your team then against. 

Only eight Women’s World Cups have been held in total compared to the 22 Men’s World Cups. While the Women’s tournament has not been around as long as the men’s tournament, it is continuing to gain popularity. Part of the reason for this is the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT). The USWNT has pioneered women’s soccer and advocated for equality such as better pay. They have also dominated the competition, winning half of the championships. They are favored to win the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and are looking to break the record by winning three titles in a row which has never been done by any team across both men’s and women’s soccer.  

The USWNT has dominated the competition due to their talent as well as the priority that the U.S. has put into their women’s program. However, it has been said that this year they will face their stiffest competition, with fierce opponents such as England, Sweden, Germany, France and Spain. England is currently in what has been dubbed their “golden era” and will be a tough opponent for the USWNT. 

Along with strong teams, there are also a lot of skilled individual players across many countries. Alex Morgan is the star USWNT player who has broken records and been with the team for two world cup wins. She has several Olympic medals and is a pioneer for women’s soccer. 

Alongside her are many veteran stars such as Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz, as well as new faces such as Sophia Smith and Alyssa Thomson. Many other teams have key players to watch in this tournament such as Alexia Putellas for Spain, Lauren Hemp for England, Sam Kerr for Australia and Wendie Renard for France. 

Overall, the 2023 Women’s World cup will be filled with exciting match ups between the world’s best teams and some of the most competitive athletes from every country. This tournament is not just an important sporting event, but also a culturally significant occasion that helps to bring the world together to enjoy the love of the game. The Women’s World Cup will be streaming on Fox and Fox Sports channels beginning July, 20.

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