The United States Women's National Team (USWNT) finished second in their quest for a World Championship in 2011, but this time around they intend to finish the job.
After falling to Japan in the final on penalty kicks 3-1, the U.S. women have a chip on their shoulder, and with a new coach and revamped roster, they have all the tools to make sure they capture a third championship. International soccer is a worldwide spectacle, and while it's taken some time to pick up in the United States, it's worth watching, and here's why:
Christie Rampone, Ali Krieger, Meghan Klingenberg, Kelley O'Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn. Those are just a few of the names that play defense for the USWNT, but those are also the women who went through the 2011 World Cup, and know what it takes to get back to a final. An experienced defensive unit will make life hard for an opponent, especially given the way these women play. The World Cup is a much larger stage than the National Women's Soccer League, or any college match. Being able to have smart defenders who have been through the pressure already makes this team hard to break.
2. It's in Canada
This World Cup isn't in Germany or in some European country where the time zones would make catching a game difficult. The 2015 Women's World Cup takes place in Canada, which is America's backyard. It makes following every match much easier, and it won't mess with anyones schedule too much.
3. Hope Solo
The controversial goalie is coming off another rough year where she was accused of domestic violence. She was suspended for 30 days following an alleged incident where she beat her nephew. Solo has to be on her best behavior and at the top of ther game if this team wants to go deep into this World Cup. She came up big against Brazil in the 2011 World Cup during penalty kicks, but slipped against Japan in the final. Since her domestic violence incident, Solo has to prove to the U.S. that she's the dominant goalie this team needs.
4. Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach
These two are the heart and soul of this team, Abby Wambach made a name for herself by using her head to score majority of her goals in the 2011 World Cup, while Alex Morgan took center stage at the age of 21. Morgan's speed helped the U.S. fly by opponents, while Wambach's crafty nature put the ball in the net a few times. Morgan has since become a household name, and if you go to an NWSL game, you'll see the impact she has had on younger girls in the United States. Alex Morgan is the superstar, and at 25 she's ready to help this team win.
Morgan's speed helped her score the first goal in the final against Japan during the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
5. It's the United States!
This is the USWNT, these ladies are ranked #2 in the world, slipping just behind Germany by 10 points for that #1 spot. Americans' love to support their sports teams, no matter where they live. In 2011, the U.S. stood behind a team on a quest that just fell short. This time around they can finish it, and it will take all the support America has to offer to help them do that. With the tournament being held in Canada, Americans can make their way to games much easier than when it was held in Germany last time around. Since 2011, they've won an Olympic Gold medal and are CONCACAF Champions. With a World Cup missing from their resumes, it's the public's turn to help them get there.