Number 1 wobbles
Since women’s football has been recognized as a competitive sport about 25 years ago, no country has been as successful as the United States, which has won four of the five Olympic gold medals and two championships. World Cup.
However, as the gap between the US and other teams gradually narrowed, the championship became more and more difficult for them. In fact, America has not won a World Cup title since 1999 and this year, they are not even considered the brightest candidates. That role was for Germany, the team eventually losing to the Americans in the semifinals. However, that victory did not make American girls optimistic and hoped that their 16-year wait would be over in Canada.
“We have not won anything yet,” said striker Abby Wambach, who has made four World Cup appearances and is the number one player in American football history with 183 goals in 247 international matches. “I know defeating Germany is worth celebrating but we still haven’t won the World Cup …”
Wambach’s cautiousness is not redundant because the World Cup 2015 brings to the American team both worries and satisfaction. For years, American football has grown steadily. At the international level, American players outperform their opponents physically and technically. The thing is, sports are not so simple, while Americans are weak in terms of tactics and defense. Therefore, passing the group stage, defeating China and Germany did not say that they would win against Japan and end the title thirst for long since the 1999 final against China on the packed Rose Bowl 90,185. fake.
That will be the shadow that Wambach and his comrades need to escape, so they can stand on par with Mia Hamm and the seniors of the time. There is no denying that American football is the strongest in the world when they have never been lower than the 3rd place in the 12 World Cups and the Olympic Games but surprisingly, for the past 16 years, they have not yet reached a victory.
The world has changed
The most noticeable change since 1999 is the tournament. In that summer’s World Cup, Japan had to pick up the ball 10 times (scoring 1 goal) in just 3 matches but this summer, they came to Canada as defending champions. France did not make it to the qualifying rounds in four of the first five World Cups and now, they are third in the world after Germany and the US.
Likewise, the first time the England team reached the semi-finals, before losing to Japan because of the counter-kick at the last minute. Or 12 years ago, Colombia had won 12 goals in a regional match and now, they have created one of the biggest surprises of the World Cup when defeating France. Meanwhile, for the first time this summer, Cameroon became the first African team after 16 years to overcome the group stage.
These changes may not appear if FIFA does not recognize the development of women’s football and decided to raise the number of participating teams from 16 to 24 this year. While the expansion of the tournament is easy to create disparity matches, such as Germany defeating Ivory Coast 10-0, it also paved the way for teams with traditional male football such as Spain and the Netherlands. for the first time.
“Women’s football has exploded all over the world,” said Briana Scurry, the goalkeeper of the American team in 1999. And the German coach, Silvia Neid, commented, “Women’s football has grown strongly. The more technical players hours, get better workout. The matches become faster ”.
The challenge for Americans is therefore greater and to maintain their position, they realize that developing players is not only through national youth teams but also through the national women’s football championship. (NWSL) started the third season, following the defeat of the Soccer Association Women’s United Awards (2001-03) and Women’s Professional Soccer (2009-11).
In addition, the US Football Federation (USSF) has joined with Canada and Mexico to sponsor the NWSL by paying important players (other players and foreign players by the club). In fact, among the 23 players of the US team to attend the World Cup, except for Wambach, they are all members of the NWSL clubs.
Even so, as Sky Blue FC of coach Jim Gabarra said, American women’s football is still behind men’s football, which is a US Major (MLS) award for 10-15 years. Therefore, USSF and NWSL officials hope the success of the national team in the World Cup will create a fever for American football, as well as to affirm that in the overall development of women’s football gender, Americans are still No. 1.