2019 Women’s World Cup Preview

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2019 Women’s World Cup Preview

Ana Dzunova, Writer

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The eighth Women’s World Cup is finally around the corner after waiting four long years. In 2015, the United States was the reigning champ when they defeated Japan 5-2. While the 2015 World Cup was held in Canada, this year is being played overseas in France.

The Women’s World Cup has become much more popular in the United States since of the women’s team success. The 2011 World Cup was the year that many people began to respect the team, however, after they won the Gold Medal in 2012, the number of supporters rose tremendously. Since then, numbers have increased more and more each year. During the 2015 World Cup Final, the stadium was basically sold out and fans even flew from the United States to go support their team.

While the United States is the heavy favorite for winning this year, the team does have extreme competition overseas. Teams like Germany, France, and England are strong teams with players that have been playing all year round in European leagues which are funded and supported better. In England, the women’s teams of popular Premier League clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea, are generally treated the same way as the men’s teams are. This is extremely beneficial to players who are on the national team because they are well prepared. However, the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) in the United States, is poorly funded and doesn’t have the best equipment; this is extremely similar in poorer countries such as Colombia and Nigeria.

The World Cup begins on June 7th with France playing South Korea as the game opener. The World Cup will be played in different cities throughout France. There are six groups this year: Group A (France, Norway, South Korea, Nigeria), Group B (Germany, Spain, China, South Africa), Group C (Italy, Jamaica, Australia, Brazil), Group D (England, Scotland, Argentina, Japan), Group E (Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Cameroon), and Group F (United States, Sweden, Chile, Thailand). New teams such as Argentina, Thailand, Scotland, and Netherlands are all new teams playing in the World Cup this year which is a huge step forward in bringing light to women’s sports in not only the United States but in less developed countries that struggle with women’s rights.

After each team plays against each other in the group, the top two teams in the group will advance to the Round of 16. While each team has an equal chance of making it to the bracket stage, there are definitely some favorites such as Japan, United States, Germany, France, England, Canada, Australia, etc.

I’ve been waiting for the World Cup for four years now since the United States last won and I’m very excited for it to finally begin. I, of course, want the United States to win since I not only would like to go to the celebration parade in New York City, but I love how everyone comes together during this time. It’s an amazing atmosphere, especially in sports bars where people are covered in United States face paint, dressed in jerseys, and hugging strangers when a goal is scored. Sports bring family, friends, and even strangers closer and it’s a great experience to be apart of and because of this, I hope the United States brings the cup home!