The complete list of teams that made it to the 2023 World Cup include: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Haiti, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, Vietnam, and Zambia.
4. Tournament play begins in groups before the competition whittles down.
The 32 teams set to compete will undergo a grueling, four-week playing process to fight for a spot in the final. Here’s what you need to know: Each team is assigned one of eight groups: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, or H. (The US team is in Group E, which also includes the Netherlands, Portugal, and Vietnam.)
Teams play one match against the other squads in their group. The emphasis is on racking up enough points, which are determined by each team’s number of victories (3 points), draws (1 point), and losses (0 points). The top two teams with the most points from each group move on to the first knockout stage. This is known as the round of 16, called that for the number of teams that remain.
In this stage, the first-place team of each group plays the second-place team of another group. The winners of this—the eight teams left—go on to the next knockout stage, or the quarter-finals. The winning four advance to the semi-finals, and then two teams are left standing for the final. Third place is determined in a match between the losers of the semifinal round.
5. The US is looking to be the first team ever to three-peat.
Since the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991, the US has dominated the event, racking up four titles out of the eight tournaments. They’ll remain the leaders after the 2023 World Cup regardless of who wins, since the country in second place, Germany, only has two titles.
Still, the US team is looking to add to their lead, and they’re in good position to do so: After back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2019, they enter the 2023 edition as the two-time defending champions and the returning favorite.
They’ll face some tough competition, though. Canada is returning after securing Olympic gold in Tokyo, and England won the European championship in 2022. The US is also coming off a disappointing showing at the 2020 Olympics, where they earned bronze.
6. The US captain may be out, but other players are ready to step up.
Just a month before play was set to begin, US captain Becky Sauerbrunn confirmed that a foot injury she sustained in April would keep her from World Cup play. “I have no doubt that the 23 players on the final roster have everything they need—in their feet, their heads and their hearts—to bring our fifth trophy home,” she wrote on Twitter.
With Sauerbrunn out, there are still a bunch of players to watch on the US team, including several accomplished mainstays and some up-and-coming talent:
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