United States' Lindsey Horan (10) and Sophia Smith (11) celebrate after Horan scored their third goal during the second half of the Women's World Cup Group E soccer match between the United States and Vietnam at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, July 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

The Women’s FIFA World Cup Continues

Power House Teams

As the FIFA Women’s World Cup continues throughout the week, the tournament is seeing some difficulties amongst top competitors. The margins that are separating the top ten teams seem narrower every day, as top teams like Germany, Brazil, Japan and the U.S. are all making similar starts in the group stage of the tournament. It isn’t a surprise as these teams have been top finishers in many tournaments in the past years, including Germany placing second to England at Euros, just last year. But with so many similarities amongst the teams on the pitch, it is looking to be tight wins moving forward.

USA

Starting strong in their first game of the World Cup, the returning champions seem to have everything together. Despite rumors of team upsets due to the large concentration of newcomers to the U.S. team, they won their first match no problem. The U.S. is not only defending their third consecutive title, but they have also remained undefeated in seven previous matches prior to the World Cup this year. All of which were against World Cup-bound teams. As the team advances, fans are excited for their next game Wednesday against the Netherlands. The U.S. team is always looking for their next challenge moving forward into group play.

Naomi Girma, a defender for the team, talks about how the team’s skill is expanding and that she is happy the tournament is as well.

 

Emerging Talent

Sophia Smith, 22, of the U.S. team is thought to be a standout star not only for the Red, White & Blue, but in the first round of the FIFA Cup in general. With an incredible performance in her first match against Vietnam Friday, Smith quickly gained the attention of all fans. She was a goal-getter for her team, scoring twice in the first U.S. game, also making an assist. Another breakout moment for the first round was that of Casey Yu-jin Phair. Phair made her World Cup start for South Korea as the youngest player to ever play in the tournament.  At just 16, Phair entered the game in the 78th minute in South Korea’s match against Columbia. Despite not being able to save her team from the loss, Phair still made World Cup history.

Host Teams

One of the host teams, Australia, remains at the top of their group moving forward in the tournament. Not only ranked as a top-10 finisher by FIFA, the Aussie team is looking to win defending their home field. With an outstanding goal keeper, Sam Kerr, the team hopes to use their home team advantage. New Zealand being the other host for the tournament, isn’t fending as well as their other half. The New Zealand team had a strong start in their first game of the tournament against Norway. Without the same energy going into their second game of group play, they lost their second match Tuesday against the Philippines. Moving forward, both host teams hope to gain more traction not only in the tournament but from fans as well.

 

About Brooke Ginaitt

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