By: Joe Cardoso
The eyes of the sports world in early June will be on France and the home of the 2019 Women’s World Cup. For the ladies wearing the red, white, and blue the mission is clear to shake off some of the inconsistent play and bring home a fourth World Cup to the United States. This is shaping up to be one of if not the most exciting tournaments in history for the ladies. Although the USA is the favorite we will see nations making their WWC debut and some classic teams fighting for cup glory. Will Martha make Brazil and it’s young talent a factor? Sam Kerr and Australia will not go away. My teams to watch besides our squad are England, Canada, Australia, and the host France nothing like the home crowd to power you through. Overall for anyone who is a fan of the beautiful game won’t want to miss any of the action every 4 years the games get better and better.
Meet TEAM USA:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Allie Long (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage)
FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC)
Some things that stand out for the team are its depth USWNT can bring superstars off the bench. Not just that but the team has players like Megan Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh, Christen Press who can create 1 on 1 and make space. This leads to goal scoring chances and mismatches on the pitch. Group F will come down to the USA vs Sweden game these two know each other very well and group winner will be decided. The front line of Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Tobin Heath is what soccer dreams are made of. But the two key players to keep an eye on are the young gunner Mallory Pugh who already has 50 caps and is a living sparkplug and the machine aka Julie Ertz she can control a midfield like few in the game can.
What makes the World Cup so special is you aren’t playing for a club team but your country. Millions of eyes who may never see you again or have heard of you are now watching. Winning and making the nation proud is what legends are made of. With a mix of veterans and young up and coming talent, this version of the USWNT is going to be fun to follow.