The stage is set and France is ready to host the women’s games of this the 8th edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The top 24 teams will begin their quest on June 7th for the highest trophy in the game of women’s soccer, France the host nation will look to claim the title and will open up with the first match against South Korea. The grand final will take place on July 7th and the hosts are hoping to be there as well. After a great successful world cup back in 2015 when Canada hosted saw an increase in tv viewership and attendance, these games promise to be even better not just in fan base but in quality and talent. The dramatic speed in which the game has evolved in women’s soccer in the past 4 years is exceptionally satisfying considering the minimal support the women’s game receives in terms of public and private financial sponsorships.
Like any other tournament and in true old fashion there are the heavily favourites to go through and have a pretty good chance to hoist the trophy but we have some new comers and heavily favourite underdogs that could spoil the fun for teams in the top 5. The heavy favourite to take it all this year and defending champions are the United States with their powerhouse of a lineup and scorers throughout the lineup with Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath and Alex Morgan. The US will bring back many of the players that won back in 2015 despite the heavy rotation and tryouts in the past few years by Jill Ellis. Host nation France will not sit idle and allow that to happen they are ready to give it their fullest with team players like Eugenie Le Sommer who has had an exceptional season with Olympique Lyon.
The 24 teams will be distributed into 6 groups of 4 and the top 2 will advance to the next round.
Group A: France, South Korea, Norway, Nigeria
Group B: Germany, China, Spain, South Africa
Group C: Australia, Italy, Brazil, Jamaica
Group D: England, Scotland, Argentina, Japan
Group E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, Netherlands
Group F: United States, Thailand, Chile, Sweden
Canada will be sending their most talented roster ever with their leading decorated experienced player in Christine Sinclair supported by a youthful team, there will be experience and fresh young talent representing the maple leaf in these games. The Canadian Women have had a great successful run in friendlies and the Algarve cup heading into the tournament. Coming off successful wins from friendlies against England 1-0 and Mexico this past May with a 3-0 win at BMO and field. They claimed the bronze medal in the Algarve Cup defeating Sweden back in March and are looking sharp, fast and comfortable. Canada will be a very high contender in this games if they say focus and play with ease concentrating on their style of game should be able to claim top spot in their group with Cameroon, New Zealand and Netherlands.
Despite the top favourite teams others to watch are Spain, Chile and Australia who are bringing top young players with a lot of talent that could pull some surprises. Top female players will also be a delight to watch in this world cup like Marta from Brazil, Sam Kerr from Australia, Lina Magull from Germany, Canada’s Ashley Lawrence & Christine Sinclair, Spain’s Nahikari Garcia.
These games will see a faster more technically rich competition than the last as the nations have chosen experience and youth combinations to represent them. A lot of the under-20 players are making their debuts in this world cup for their nations while more experienced players will be making a return to what could be their last tournament. The best of the best will definitely put on a great show for the world to see and the women’s game will be once again elevated to the level it deserves and fans and critics alike will take it all in and witness pure magic on the pitch.