The USA exited the 2023 Women’s World Cup in dramatic fashion due to a penalty shoot-
out defeat to Sweden. It’s the earliest the Americans have ever exited the Women’s World Cup, reaching at least the semi-finals in every World Cup finals.
In the past, the World Cup has felt like a 4-week tournament with everyone just waiting to
crown the USA as champions. If anything, the current World Cup down under has proved
just how much the Women’s game around the world has grown.
Since the 2019 World Cup in France where the USA defeated Serina Wiegman’s Holland side in the final in Lyon the Women’s game in Europe both domestically and international has
Record crowds watched the 2022 Women’s Euros in England when over 87,000 packed into
Wembley for the final on July 30th.
Whilst Europe has come on leaps and bounds the game in the USA has begun to stagnate
and not grow at the same rate as the rest of the world.
That’s not the only thing, many people questioned the USA’s approach to this tournament
selecting an ageing squad that hasn’t reached the levels of the likes of Holland and former
World Champions Japan. Even England’s youthful approach to this tournament with the
likes of Lauren James taking centre stage on the World’s biggest stage.
The USA’s early exit from this tournament can only bode well for the rest of the Women’s
game which has a chance to become even more competitive than the Men. Potentially the
days of American dominance are gone and perhaps a new enthralling age of Women’s
football has begun.
Of course, this could well be just an ill-timed blip, but as the likes of Rapinoe steps away
from the World Cup and the potential for this tournament for Alex Morgan to not feature in
4 years’ time, a new era for American football has begun. With Women’s football around the
world making huge steps recently from Africa, to Asia and Europe too will only have a
positive impact on the continuous growth of the game.