Every four years, the world comes together to compete in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. This summer, the tournament will be held in France. The first match will be held June 7, with the final on July 7, according to FIFA.com.
In the tournament’s history, the United States has won the most, with three of the seven titles going to the Americans, two going to Germany, and Japan and Norway winning one each, according to FIFA’s website.
In 2015, the women’s team moved on from the group stages, or the round-robin portion of the tournament, winning their group on 11 points. From there they only let in two goals in the elimination stage and scoring ten goals in four matches, where they eventually beat Japan in the cup final.
As the United States enters the tournament, one fan, sophomore Cameron Selbe, said he is expecting a successful tournament. “I think the United States has a very good chance to retain the cup. However, I also think that the other countries that gave the U.S. trouble in 2015 are going to be even tougher to beat this year because they have gotten a lot better,” Selbe said.
While Selbe may be expecting a victory, girls soccer coach and school resource officer Bobby Conard said he believes the United States has a target on their back. “I think they’re obviously the favorite based upon that [winning in 2015]. But also based upon, you know, the history that we have in the women’s game, being as strong as we have as a country. But I think there, along with that comes some of that pressure of being a favorite and having to get the results that they need to have to live up with that expectations,”Conard said.
18 players were chosen to represent the national team in France this year, and varsity soccer Goalie Emily Hubbard said, “I like Alex Morgan because she shows a good balance of being an athlete and person. She works extremely hard for her team and continues to work hard in every game, I like that.”
According to Vegas Sports Gambling odds, the United States is +350 in favor of winning the cup, tied with the host France. About this Connard said, “seems like the host countries always have a little bit of extra momentum behind them in France is hosting it so I think they have the opportunity to beat us there.”
The Kansas City Power and Light District website said that there are plans for a watch party for every group stage match for the United States team, each one starting one to two hours before kick off. The first one is on June eleventh at 2 p.m., as they take on Thailand.