Calling the United States women’s national team the favorite to win the 2019 World Cup is no longer a courageous pick. The U.S. is at least one of the favorites in every tournament it enters.
That status for 2019, however, is no longer one which comes solely by default, with an asterisk noting that the rest of the world’s powers are in transition. They still are – Germany in a downturn, Japan struggling to integrate a new generation and England adapting (rather quickly, granted) to life under Phil Neville. On Thursday, we were reminded of what we already knew about Brazil: its time to truly contend for a World Cup has come and gone, even with the G.O.A.T., Marta.
What has changed since the beginning of this year is how much the U.S. has distanced itself from the pack. …
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