Some Thoughts on the 2015 World Cup

Some thoughts, good and bad, on the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

The US Were the Best Team

I said at the beginning of the tournament that one the key differences between rooting for the men’s team and women’s team is that the latter are favorites. It’s a different mentality. And that’s what made the start for the US so disconcerting, they were favorites, but they weren’t playing like it. They won their group, and yes it was still a sure thing, but boy howdy it could’ve been more comfortable.

Then in the semifinal match against an the first opponent that was truly on their level, with the lineup down due starters due to yellow card accumulation, the team came alive. Yet, there was still some doubt even with a 2-0 win over the team ranked #1 according to FIFA (the US was #2).

All that doubt was removed after about five minutes of the final. The US were simply the best team in the tournament, and they were finally playing like it. It wasn’t quite Germany 7, Brazil 1, but that’s more of a credit to the Japanese not giving up more than anything else. This was a domination.

Carli Lloyd Hit an Absolute Golazo

Carli Lloyd’s audacious shot from midfield is, well, it speaks for itself.

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) July 5, 2015

What a way to cap off a hat trick. As a side note, this kind of really needs a nickname.

The 2019 Women’s World Cup Will be in France

Perhaps the biggest influence of the artificial turf on play in this World Cup is with the passing. I lost count of the number of passes that didn’t seem to have the right weight or the right touch, balls that just rolled forever seemingly without any friction. Fortunately, this will never happen again. The 2016 Olympics will be in stadiums from 2014, and all the French venues will have grass. As for the teams, given the quality of the bottom of the field, I think 2023 is probably a better target for expansion to 32 teams than 2019.

Speaking of Brazil…

Unlike in the men’s game, the Olympics feature full women’s sides. The US, and all the other top teams, will feature the core of their current teams. We could well see the US, Japan, Germany, and France all back in the late stages of the tournament.

Hopefully it’ll be as fun as this one was. See you next summer!