Biggest storylines ahead of the Women’s World Cup 2023

4 mins

Get ready for a thrilling Women’s World Cup 2023 when the action kicks off on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand. Will the United States women’s World Cup team earn gold again, or is this the year England’s Lionesses finish atop the standings? Or, is there a first-year contender (hello, Zambia! …OK, maybe not!) ready to shock the world?

With the Women’s World Cup rapidly approaching, let’s look at the most significant storylines, questions, and concerns on soccer fans’ minds ahead of the 64-game tournament.

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Will the United States women’s team win the World Cup again?

Good luck finding something to stop the USWNT, which arrives in the land Down Under hoping to become the first Women’s World Cup team to win three consecutive titles.

The USWNT’s opportunity is an unprecedented one; no men’s team has ever won three straight finals, with only Italy (1934 and 1938) and Brazil (1958 and1962) earning gold in consecutive tournaments. If you’re in the mood to believe history is on the horizon, know that Alex Morgan and teammates entered the World Cup as favorites to win it all. 

Can Megan Rapinoe and other veterans push their teams all the way to a World Cup?

Sticking with the USWNT, two-time champion winger Megan Rapinoe will suit up for her fourth World Cup. However, the 38-year-old is expected to come off the bench this summer rather than start as she did in past tournaments.

Rapinoe is among the greatest soccer players to ever represent the United States, and she’ll leave behind an unforgettable legacy on and off the pitch. However, one should expect the USWNT to rely on her more for depth this go around. Naturally, of course, we’re all prepared for the top scorer and MVP of the 2019 tournament to impress when called upon to help her team three-peat as champions! 

Rapinoe won’t be the only swansong. Another notable veteran to keep an eye on at this year’s tournament is 37-year-old Brazilian Marta, representing the Seleção at her sixth Women’s World Cup. 

Can England finally reach the Women’s World Cup final?

Considering England created soccer, it’s difficult to believe The Lionesses are still yet to reach a Women’s World Cup final. Instead, their best finish came in 2015, when a then-21-year-old Alex Greenwood and teammates earned bronze. Eight years later, Greenwood is among the more experienced players on a squad looking to bounce back from 2019’s fourth-place finish. 

Alas, England’s road to a first Women’s World Cup title took a significant hit when midfielder/central defender and captain Leah Williamson ruptured her ACL in April. Chelsea Women’s Millie Bright will instead serve as captain in her stead.

Can Sam Kerr fire Australia to hometown glory? 

Australian striker Sam Kerr is one of the deadliest in women’s soccer. The 29-year-old fired in 12 goals and five assists to help Chelsea Women to the FA Women’s Super League title in England this season and the Matildas’ all-time leading goal-scorer would love nothing better than to lead Australia to glory on home soil. 

Will Germany break its finals drought?

The Women’s World Cup initially belonged to the United States and Germany, with each country winning two of the first five tournaments. (And we’ll throw Norway their flowers for taking down Germany in 1995). However, the last decade-plus has been relatively unkind to Germany, as the DFB Women haven’t finished higher than fourth over that span.

Is this the year veteran captain Alexandra Popp and the German squad snap the schneid (losing streak) and return to the final round? They’ll start their newest World Cup journey with a favorable Group H slate with Colombia, Morocco, and South Korea

Which underdogs could win the 2023 Women’s World Cup?

Everyone loves a Cinderella run, especially soccer fans—so long as their team isn’t the one that falls victim along the way! We’re keeping our eyes on Canada, who enter the tournament as +3200 odds to win it all; though they’re not traditional underdogs, Kadeisha Buchanan and the CanWNT have the talent and experience to survive an intriguing Group B pool, one featuring co-host nation Australia.

Speaking of co-host nations, keep your eye on New Zealand, which opens the tournament against Norway on July 20. New Zealand has +16000 odds, right with the likes of Haiti, Colombia, and Switzerland.

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