Prior to the start of the Women’s World Cup 2023, the United States was heavily favored in the soccer odds to win the title…again. They deserved it, with no other team winning more WWC titles than them with four. Plus, they had never been eliminated before the semifinals.
Well, there’s always a first time. USA couldn’t defeat Sweden in the Round of 16, losing in penalties. Now, it’s time to begin the rebuilding process.
Things started off well. USA defeated Vietnam 3-0, with Sophia Smith as Player of the Match after scoring a brace. USA didn’t concede a single shot on target and won possession with 66%.
Later, they came from behind to draw 1-1 against the Netherlands, the runners-up in 2019. USA finished with 18 shots in total, with the team starting to show problems in front of goal.
Finally, they faced Portugal with a ticket to the Round of 16 at stake. The match finished with a goalless draw. Portugal had a great opportunity to score the opener in stoppage time, but the ball ended up hitting the post.
USA advanced to the Round of 16 as second place in Group E with five points, two less than the Netherlands, four goals for and one against.
In the Round of 16, USA faced Sweden, the team that won Group G with a 3-0-0 record, nine goals for and only one against. Once again, USA controlled the match, winning possession with 58% and finishing with 11 shots on goal, 10 more than the European side. Nevertheless, they weren’t effective in front of goal. Sweden won the penalty shootout 5-4.
“It’s all tough to take in. It’s going to take a long time to move past this game, and this tournament in general. We had really high expectations for ourselves, so to go out at this moment, it’s tough. We’ve been on the winning side, we’ve been on the losing side. It’s tough to swallow. I felt we were quite dominant in the run of play, but that’s the way it goes,” said Alex Morgan during an interview.
And just like that, USA lost the chance to become the first team to win three WWC titles in a row. If Jamaica loses to Colombia, a match where they come in as the betting online underdogs, there will be no teams from CONCACAF in the quarterfinals.
Not Coming Back
USA being eliminated also means the end of the road for several players, including Megan Rapinoe, who announced her retirement several weeks ago. The 2019 Ballon d’Or winner will be missed.
Defender Julie Ertz won’t come back either: “Unfortunately, this is my last time in this crest. The future is in absolutely great hands,” Ertz said. “You know, sometimes you learn the most from your failures, which sucks. But it’s part of my career as well,” said Ertz after the match.
Alex Morgan, considered one of the best players in the world in the last decade, may not return. She’s 34 and the next WC will take place in 2027. The same applies for Kelley O’Hara and Alyssa Naeher.
The good news is that there are several very talented young players, including Trinity Rodman, Sophia Smith and Alyssa Thompson, who are 21, 22 and 18, with plenty of time to become the new team leaders.
Ver esta publicación en Instagram
With USA out of the picture, France has become the favorite to win the title at -125 in the soccer lines. Les Bleus remain undefeated and will face Morocco in the Round of 16. Plus, they’re led by one of the tournament’s top scorers, Kadidiatou Diani.
Spain comes next at -225 after crushing Switzerland 5-1 in the Round of 16. Alexia Putellas, who won the Ballon d’Or the last two seasons, has been coming off the bench.
England completes the podium. The Lionesses are offering a -300 price, but keep in mind that Lauren James won’t be available for the next two matches. She was sent off against Nigeria in the Round of 16.
Looking for a soccer betting dark horse? Well, Australia and Colombia are great options. The hostesses (Ev) defeated Denmark 2-0 in the Round of 16, with Sam Kerr – considered one of the best players in the world – leading their attacking unit.
As for Colombia (+350), Las Cafeteras are the last CONMEBOL team standing. They pulled off a stunner during the group stage, finishing atop the standings in Group H and contributing to Germany’s elimination. They’re led by Linda Caicedo, who’s 18 and plays for Real Madrid. There’s no doubt that she will get the Best Young Player award.