Last week I had a long conversation with Mirelle Van Rijbroek, Director of Talent Identification for US Soccer on the girls side. We spoke at length about youth soccer development in America and around the world. Stay tuned for more articles all about girls’ soccer development in the USA — I’ve got LOTS to share with you from Mirelle. But in the midst of our conversation about youth development, I asked Mirelle, “So, who’s going to win the Women’s World Cup this summer?”
“I hope we win, but it’s going to be hard.”
Van Rijbroek quickly broke down the challenges that the United States Women’s National Team’s will face this summer. “I hope we [USA] will win, but it’s going to be hard. Like we’ve been talking about, the rest of the world is catching up or has caught up. France will be tough. They have a lot of strong young talent. Germany. Sweden. England. They’re all so strong. I hope we will win, and we can win. But it’s going to be hard.”
USA’s schedule: (all games will be live on FOX)
June 11: USA vs. Thailand in Reims, noon Pacific time
June 16: USA vs. Chile in Paris, 9am Pacific time
June 20: USA vs. Sweden in La Havre, noon Pacific time
If (WHEN!) the USA makes it out of their group, their round-of-16 game will be on June 24th at 9am (if they win the group) or noon (if they come in 2nd).
Then comes the bigger challenge. In the quarter-final round, the USWNT could possibly face France, Germany, or Sweden. Any of those teams will definitely be a big road block on the route to the semi-final and final matches.
Who do you think will win? Let us know in the comments, or share this on Facebook, and let’s talk about it!