The 2023 Women’s World Cup draw has been announced. The Women’s World Cup will take place in Australia and New Zealand. The USWNT is the reigning world champion. They have been placed in group E. They are with the team they beat in the final in 2019, the Netherlands, as well as Vietnam. The fourth spot in their group will go to a playoff winner between Cameroon, Portugal, or Thailand. This is a very solid opportunity for the US Women having dodged heavyweights England and Spain who they recently lost to in friendlies. This current poor run of form will need to be fixed by next year.
This draw is still very favorable for US women. Coming in as a heavy favorite they should be full of confidence. They will easily dispatch Vietnam and any of the three play-in teams. But the matchup to watch will be the US vs the Netherlands. A Rematch of the previous world cup final, this will be a hotly contested game. The Dutch will be out for revenge. Because of the makeup of the other groups finishing first as a higher seed will be essential to the expected repeat campaign. By qualifying first, they may still have a tough opponent in the knockout round but they will avoid a potentially hotter fellow group winner. With several groups also containing more than one top-ten-ranked team there will be tons of competition.
Traditional Women’s soccer powers have been caught up by some of the European countries who have added increased funding to the women’s game. A scene that has been dominated by the US, Scandinavia, and Brazil has been infiltrated with England, France, and Spain all ranked in the top six in the world. This increase in funding has helped grow the women’s game but it has also increased the size of the target on the US’s back.
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