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(As We All Know) Women Do It Better

Everyone loves a good battle of the sexes.  The ongoing debate about how women stack up against men in every aspect of life (business, sports, parenting, driving!) never seems to lose its appeal and there is never any shortage of perspectives and opinions.

Lucky for us, Women’s World Cup provides the perfect opportunity to weigh in again on the sports side of this debate.

Eleven of the 16 teams in this year’s Women’s World Cup will get to see how they stack up against their less-fair counterparts from last year’s World Cup (in rank order):  USA, Germany, Brazil, Japan, France, Korea DPR, England, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and Nigeria.

And yes, I’m fully aware that teeing this up as just a battle of the sexes is a simplification of the sport angle in the debate, but it’s still fun to think about who’ll get bragging rights come July 17th, 2011.  So, check out my take on the top female/male team head-to-head matchups for the 2010-2011 World Cup Season.


Despite having the #1 ranking going into the Women’s World Cup, a Team USA victory isn’t a sure thing.  The USA hasn’t experienced the global soccer dominance they enjoyed for years since their last World Cup victory in 1999.  I recently saw them eke out a 1-0 win against Mexico on June 5th, a game that they probably should have won 3-0.  They showed flashes of brilliance at times—particularly with Megan Rapinoe attacking throughout the midfield—but struggled to finish at the net.  They’ll have to fix this if they want play soccer for the next three weeks.

Like their male counterparts, I predict they’ll step up their game and then some, pulling off at least one win outside of the group stage.

Final Result – Women Win

USA Women 2

USA Men 1


As you’ve probably read anywhere and everywhere, second-ranked Germany is the team to beat.  They will undoubtedly draw from their well of national pride on their home field advantage, led by 33-year old Birgit Prinz, the top goal scorer in Women’s World Cup history.  However, the two-time defending World Cup champions won’t have a cake-walk to the Cup.  Canada was already a stiff test on Sunday.

In the end, I’m betting that the bright spotlight will help the German team shine and like their male counterparts, they will be one of the last four standing.

Final Result – Draw

German Women 2

German Men 2


The stewards of the beautiful in the beautiful game are led by pint-sized phenom and five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, Marta and her prolific strike partner, Cristiane.  The 2007 Women’s World Cup runner ups are poised to go far, but like their male counterparts who lost to the Dutch in last year’s World Cup Quarter-finals, could struggle against a physically imposing defensively-minded team.

Despite this challenge, Brazil will go farther in its quest to shake off its “always-a-bridesmaid-never-a-bride” stigma.

Final Result – Women Win

Brazilian Women 3

Brazilian Men 2

*Check out a preview of Marta’s story in the Women’s World Cup Heroics documentary series


Mexico is my not-so-dark, dark horse of the 2011 Women’s World Cup.  Their individual players don’t make the top “people-to-watch” lists and the team isn’t particularly known for their style of play or unique offensive or defensive prowess (though you might be surprised to know that their keeper is 16 years old!).  Even so, Mexico parlayed a shocking 2-1 win over Team USA last November into a second-place CONCACAF Gold Cup finish and a spot in this year’s World Cup.  I went to their June 5th match against Team USA and despite the 1-0 loss in stoppage, they looked good—fast and scrappy.

Like their male counterparts, I’m betting they make it out of their group and will give anyone a good run for their money.  (Unlike the men, I don’t see a 3-1 loss in their World Cup future.)

Final Result – Women Win

Mexican Women 2

Mexican Men 1

In the end, as we all know, women do it better.  So, men of the USA, Germany, Brazil, and Mexico, get ready to take soccer’s better halves out for beers/caipirinhas/tequila to celebrate their success come July 17th.

Fay Wells was a collegiate sprinter who now enjoys soccer, running, basketball, street hockey and tennis. She covered the 2010 FIFA World Cup for ESPN RISE and has written pieces on the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and international travel for espnW.  Wells resides in New York City and is proud alum of Duke, Dartmouth, and the University of Georgia.


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