U.S. women’s team shoo-in for World Cup

COMMENTARY
BY BAULIO TELLEZ

Although this year’s World Cup left Americans with shattered dreams of raising the Cup in Brazil, next year looks like it’s all ours.

The Women’s World Cup will begin June 6 in Canada in what looks to be a promising tournament for the stars and stripes.

The team just won their fifth CONCACAF Women’s Championship with a rout of Costa Rica 6-0, earning them a ticket to the World Cup.

The team was a dominant force throughout the qualifiers, not allowing a single goal against them and leading their group in points the whole way through.

The United States outscored the opposition 21-0 in the qualifiers. On top of the team’s success, there are plenty of individual achievements, which lead me to believe the U.S. women’s team will be a likely contender to win the Cup.

Forward Abby Wambach broke the all-time scoring record in international women’s soccer with 160 career goals. Mia Hamm held the previous record with 158 until Wambach’s four-goal performance against Korea in June.

Captain and defender Christy Rampone earned her latest cap after their game against Costa Rica, bringing her total to 301. The only other player to previously have that many caps for the U.S., woman or man, was her former teammate Kristin Lilly. Rampone goes into this tournament as the only remaining player on the team to hoist the Cup from the 1999 championship.

Along with the marquee talent, there are also plenty of other young, gifted supporting players on the team.

Striker Sydney Leroux is the all-time leading scorer in FIFA U-20’s Women’s World competition. She is a headache for defenses, and was a key scorer in the semi-finals during the team’s run for the gold in the 2012 Olympics.

When combined with the savvy of new coach Jillian Ellis, Wambach’s scoring ability and Rampone’s veteran experience are something every American should be excited about.

To understand the pedigree of this team, look back to the 2012 Olympics. The majority of that team makes up the roster that will be heading to Canada.

Although the men’s team exceeded many of our expectations and contributed to the popularity of the sport, the Cup was far from its grasp.

The woman’s team has two World Cups under their belt, as well as an appearance in the finals of the last Women’s World Cup in Germany.

This team has the pedigree, experience, drive and talent to bring our nation back to the top of the world’s greatest sport. It’s up to us to cheer on our women.

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