Women’s World Cup July 2023


By Levin Brenner & Sarah Schwartz

Photos courtesy of starsandstripesfc.com (Naomi Girma), wikepedia.com (Sophia Smith), justwomenssports.com (Alyssa Thompson), thespin.com (Trinity Rodman), justwomenssports.com (Ashley Sanchez) 

With the 2023 Women’s World Cup kicking off this July in Australia and New Zealand, spectators across the world can expect to see some unfamiliar faces on the pitch and perhaps even some unexpected countries threatening to hoist the trophy that millions of fans have prized for generations.

A new wave of young and talented players are arriving on the scene as they look to make an impact and help lead their countries to their sport’s esteemed glory. The rosters of many nations will likely look much different from previous World Cups as a youthful turnover of talent takes place. 

After the United States stood atop the podium in 2019, the 2023 tournament will be U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski’s first World Cup with the team as he replaced longtime coach Jill Ellis. Andonovski is presented with a unique challenge of selecting a roster that looks to defend its nation’s world championship. 

Andonovski’s roster will likely include many young faces who, like Andononvski, will make their World Cup debut. After making their mark in international friendlies and the She Believes Cup in February, impactful players such as Sophia Smith, Naomi Girma, Ashley Sanchez, Trinity Rodman and Alyssa Thompson will fight to make Andonovski’s 23-player roster. 

Smith, Rodman and Thompson are young, fast and dynamic forwards who have shown their elite ability to score in their play for their National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) teams. Sanchez has shown her ability to control the pace of the game and facilitate play in the midfield, while Girma has proven to be a strong and formidable force in the back line.

England’s Chloe Kelley, who scored the winner against Germany to secure the Euro Cup 2022 win, along with Lauren Hemp and Ella Toone, who scored the opener against Germany in the final, all look to make the 23-woman squad headed to New Zealand. Their young talent and determination makes them appealing candidates for head coach Sarina Wiegman.

The U.S’s former quarterfinalist opponent, France is seeking to lift the cup for the first time after their devastating 2-1 loss 4 years ago. With the help of Euro Cup stars, including Selma Bacha, Clara Mateo and Ella Palis, France’s potential roster is looking to once again be a formidable opponent for the U.S.

Injuries will also play a significant role in determining the outlook for each nation’s chances to bring home the world championship. Injuries have ravaged key players from many top countries. 

Notable veteran players from the U.S. such as Christen Press, Tobin Heath and Julie Ertz have had lengthy international careers and strong previous World Cup experience, but have recently been battling serious injuries. Their statuses for this summer’s tournament are still up in the air as they look to make their long awaited return to the world’s largest stage. 

Rose Lavelle, Samantha Mewis and Mallory Swanson made their World Cup debuts in the 2019 World Cup when they helped lead the U.S. to its fourth World Cup title. Lavelle, Mewis and Swanson are all working through their own significant injuries and Andonovski will have to make important decisions regarding the health of these key players and those who might replace them. 

Other nations are not exempt from injuries and are likely to miss out on action from their dominant players. England has been overwhelmed with injuries to key players on their formidable roster as midfielder Fran Kirby and defender Leah Williamson are out with knee injuries, and striker Beth Mead will likely not be available to participate due to a torn ACL last November. 

Similarly, the Netherlands will certainly not benefit from all-time leading scorer Vivianne Miedema, still recovering from a torn ACL.  

The competition to achieve soccer’s most sought after success will include a diverse group of nations as several up-and-coming teams look to knock off and dethrone the usual and perennial powerhouses.

The U.S. has a tall task of defending its world championship as Alex Morgan and company work to stave off familiar and unfamiliar foes. Experienced and dominant competitors such as France, Canada, England, Sweden and Germany hope to finally dethrone the U.S. and hoist the World Cup trophy. 

Young and hungry nations such as Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil and Australia also look to threaten those atop the rankings. 

International greatness will meet again as Alex Morgan of the U.S., Sam Kerr of Australia, Lucy Bronze of England, Christine Sinclair of Canada and Marta of Brazil will once again share the grandest stage. 

The Netherlands will face the U.S. on July 26 for an intriguing rematch of the 2019 World Cup Final that will also act as a testament to each nation’s respective development and current talent.

This summer’s recurrence of soccer’s most important event will once again draw spectators with exceptional play and inspiring stories and at the same time introduce the world to the future generation of women’s soccer.

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