The United States women’s national team kicks off its 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign this Saturday, when they take on Vietnam. As always, expectations are high for the U.S. They should win their group, and either way, they will go into the knockout stage on the ‘weaker’ side of the draw, avoiding the likes of Germany, England, Australia and Brazil until the final.
However, World Cups rarely go according to plan. Re-wind four years, and the United States had been uninspiring in the lead-up to the 2019 tournament, then struggled past Spain in the Round of 16. At that point, not many people would have confidently predicted them seeing off France, England and then the Netherlands, and certainly not as comfortably as they did.
This year’s World Cup looks like the most open field that there has been, perhaps ever. Reasonable arguments could be made for five or six different potential winners, and there are some dangerous outsiders beyond that pack of frontrunners. The point is: anything can happen.
In this article, I’ll analyze the United States’ group stage opponents, plus those they could face in the knockout stages, and plot their potential path to the final.
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