There isn’t much that can be said about the USWNT that hasn’t already; their pedigree known the world over, the first ever Women’s World Cup champions, the reigning queens.
The sixteen-year gap between winning their second and third titles, a period of change for the team who captured their imagination of the American public, so by the time they reached Canada they were nothing by favourites.
Although there has been the regular squad turnover since, the team is an aging one and will be the oldest (on average) at the tournament, combine that with their less than glorious performances this calendar year and there are more than a few questions around the team.
Barely able to go a major tournament without running into Sweden, the match between the two highest ranked teams in the group will be the real litmus for the team this summer.
Goalkeepers: Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).
Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns).
Midfielders: Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Allie Long (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage).
Attackers: Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Utah Royals), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC).
2019 hasn’t been the best of years for the reigning world champions, but they are a team to never, ever be discounted. Yet with the national team looking a little off colour it’s as conceivable that they’ll have an early exit, like they did in Rio, as it is that they’ll win the entire tournament like in Canada. Discount them at your peril but don’t be surprised if they don’t retail their crown.
Also see: Our main 2019 Women’s World Cup page.
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