It’s official. Google has changed their home page artwork. Today is the day. The eighth Women’s World Cup starts today at 1:00 pm (Mountain Time), with a matchup between France and South Korea — and I can’t wait.
France is hosting 24 women’s national teams from now until the finals on July 7th. I will fully own any and all bias toward the US Women’s National Team. I want them to win their fourth title. I want to see my jersey suddenly outdated because it’s one star short of the actual total. That being said, it’s not going to be easy. France, specifically, will be a tough team to beat. After all, they’re definitely hoping that they can match the result of the men’s team from last year. With the group stages starting tomorrow, here are the groups that I will be paying the most attention to:
Group A (France, South Korea, Norway, Nigeria)
o Reason: France – the host nation who is hoping to win the trophy and become the first nation to win the men’s and women’s trophies in back-to-back years.
o Player: Kadidiatou Diani (Forward, PSG, Division 1 Féminine) – this woman is quick and deadly up front. Easily my favorite player from the team because of what she creates.
Group B (Germany, China PR, Spain, South Africa)
o Reason: Spain – the Spanish national team is where we’re going to find a lot of the players from La Liga’s sister league, Liga Femenina Iberdrola, as well as one National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) player.
o Player: Amanda Sampedro (Midfielder, Atléti Feminino, Primera División) – the Atléti women are a force to be reckoned with in division play, and Sampedro is a big part of that. She reads the game well and puts herself exactly where she needs to be.
Group F (United States, Thailand, Chile, Sweden)
o Reason: United States – please refer back to introductory paragraph.
o Player: Megan Rapinoe (Forward, Reign FC, National Women’s Soccer League) – it’s hard to pick one player when you’re admittedly biased, but for me it has to be Rapinoe. She is one of the players with the most experience on the field and has the best service of the team, if not of everyone.
552 players. 52 matches. 30 days. 24 countries represented. The World Cup is back!