The FIFA 2015 Women’s World Cup begins on Saturday, June 6 in the wonderful country of Canada. Fortunately, these games are being played in the summer. Since most women’s soccer games are not televised on a large scale throughout the world, you will need a quick guide as to which players you need to watch.
This year’s Women’s World Cup will have six groups of four teams each. Out of the 24 teams, 16 will be able to qualify for the knockout rounds. The top two out of each group along with the top four among the third place and the fourth place teams will qualify for the Round of 16. Let’s take a look at each group.
1. Netherlands. The Dutch have a squad full of players that play professionally in Europe. Their experience along with the goal scoring ability of forward Manon Melis makes the Netherlands one of the favorites to win this World Cup.
2. Canada. The Canadians will be bolstered by the home crowd and the dynamic scoring duo up front of attackers Melissa Tancredi and Christine Sinclair.
3. New Zealand. A few of the women play professionally in England, but the team does lack depth.
4. China. Their is a lack of talent on China’s team. China has been strong in the past, but this team is not that good.
1. Germany. Germany is led by midfielder Nadine Kessler, FIFA Women’s Player of the Year. Germany is an absolute threat to win this World Cup.
2. Norway. Norway has a very strong scoring duo up front with forwards Elise Thorsnes and Isabell Herlovsen. However, their defense is not as strong as it was in the past.
3. Thailand. Thailand has one of the best teams in southeast Asia, but they could be outmatched by Germany and Norway.
4. Ivory Coast. The Ivorians barely qualified for this World Cup, which means that they will struggle.
1. Japan. The defending World Cup champs are back once again. All of the main players are back from that team. Their defense is the best in women’s soccer as they look to shut out their opponents in every match.
2. Cameroon. Many of their players compete professionally in France. Therefore, they have enough experience to pull off a couple of upsets in this group.
3. Switzerland. The Swiss also have an experienced team, but none of their players are extremely dynamic.
4. Ecuador. Ecuador has lost all of their friendly matches leading up to this Women’s World Cup.
1. United States. The American women are looking to avenge their loss to Japan in the 2011 final. USA should be focused throughout this entire competition since this will be the last World Cup for striker Abby Wambach, Team USA’s all-time leading scorer.
2. Sweden. The Swedes always bring a strong team to the World Cup because Sweden has the best women’s professional league in the world. Expect for attacker Lotta Schelin to score plenty of goals (33 goals last season in France).
3. Nigeria. The Nigerians have the best women’s team in Africa. The Nigerian women have not lost a match in more than a year.
4. Australia. The Australian team is very experienced, but most of their team remains in Australia to play professionally.
1. Brazil. As long as Marta is on the team, Brazil is a favorite in this World Cup.
2. Spain. The Spaniards have a good chance to upset some teams at this World Cup behind the goal-scoring prowess of forwards Sonia Bermudez and Victoria Losada.
3. South Korea. South Korea has a very good defense as they held USA to a scoreless draw in a friendly game last week. However, South Korea has problems scoring goals.
4. Costa Rica. Costa Rica is toast in this group.
1. France. France is the only team to defeat the USA this season, which makes them a strong favorite to win this World Cup. However, the French will need to remain consistent throughout this tournament.
2. England. England boasts one of the best women’s soccer leagues in the world, which means that all of the players on their team are very experienced. Nevertheless, they do lack a dynamic scorer up front.
3. Mexico. Mexico has a very strong scoring duo up front with Monica Ocampo and Veronica Corral.
4. Colombia. Colombia had no trouble qualifying out of South America, but their last loss was last year when they lost 2-0 to Mexico.
(All statistics used in the post are from Soccerway.com. Image below from Pixabay.com).