The United States Women’s National Team, who are the reigning world champions, headline Group E of the 2023 Women’s World Cup. They will be under close scrutiny as they attempt to win an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup. Before they can even consider lifting the trophy, Vlatko Andonovski’s team must first progress from a group that includes one rival and two World Cup debutants.
One of the USWNT’s European rivals, the Netherlands, join them in Group E. The last big chapter in their storied history was the Americans defeating the Netherlands in the 2019 World Cup Final. Without the injured Vivianne Miedema, veteran players Daniëlle van de Donk and Lieke Martens must step up for the Oranje.
Although the USWNT and the Netherlands are expected to advance to the knockout stages, Portugal and Vietnam are looking to shock the world and make this group unpredictable.
Schedule (based on Eastern Time kickoffs)
Friday, July 21st
United States vs. Vietnam
Sunday, July 23rd
Netherlands vs. Portugal
Wednesday, July 26th
United States v. Netherlands
Thursday, July 27th
Portugal v. Vietnam
Tuesday, August 1st
United States v. Portugal
Netherlands v. Vietnam
Can they achieve the three-peat? That is the biggest question for the Women’s National team. The USWNT is one of a select few teams to have successfully defended a World Cup title across the women’s and men’s games, but no one has won three in a row. The best-ranked team in the world will be out to change that record in Australia and New Zealand this time.
FIFA Ranking: 1
Recent Record: The United States are 8W-0L-0D in 2023. They have wins over Canada, Brazil, Japan, Ireland (twice), New Zealand (twice), and Wales.
Odds of Winning: Heavy Favorite
One to Watch: Due to injuries, the team will have some fresh faces, but the star of the show is Sophia Smith. The 22-year-old NWSL champion is in top form. In the 2023 season, she has played in 13 games and scored 10 goals, making her the league’s leading scorer.
The Netherlands aims to improve their performance after losing in the final of the previous World Cup. They will have a chance for revenge in one of the most anticipated matches during group play of the World Cup. Vivianne Miedema is out due to an ACL injury. There is uncertainty about who will score for the Oranje this summer, but recent victories show the team’s ability to score is in good form.
FIFA Ranking: 9
Recent Record: The Netherlands are 3W-2L-0D in 2023. They have wins this year against Austria, Poland, and Belgium.
Odds of Winning: Secondary Favorite
One to watch: Jill Roord is a key player for the Women’s Super League team in this tournament. Although she recently joined Manchester City after leaving Wolfsburg in Germany, Roord has the potential to become a WSL star in the upcoming season. While Miedema is an attacking forward, Roord is a versatile midfielder who can contribute in all areas of the game. Keep an eye on her performances for the Dutch team.
Vietnam, making their World Cup debut, faces a tough group. They’re aiming to perform well and represent themselves admirably. They’ve played friendly matches against Germany and New Zealand, holding their own, but conceded nine goals against Spain.
FIFA Ranking: 32
Recent Record: Vietnam is 6W-4L-0D in 2023. They have wins against Nepal (twice), Myanmar (twice), Malaysia, and Cambodia.
Odds of Winning: Dark Horse
One to Watch: Huỳnh Như is the only player on the Vietnamese national team who doesn’t play in the national league. She’s the top scorer with 64 goals and gained European experience with Länk Vilaverdense. She’ll make valuable contributions on and off the field as team captain.
Portugal is also making their World Cup debut. They are the only European team to qualify for this World Cup through the inter-confederation playoffs. They finished second in their UEFA qualification group, behind Germany. In the previous Euros, they earned a point in their group, including other World Cup teams such as Sweden, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
FIFA Ranking: 21
Recent Record: Portugal is 3W-2L-2D in 2023. They have wins this year against New Zealand, Cameroon, and Ukraine.
Odds of Winning: In the Running
One to Watch: Tatiana Pinto is Portugal’s most skilled and experienced player. She was the player of the match in a crucial game and plays for Levante. The 30-year-old will be important in Portugal’s World Cup midfield. Pinto, one of six foreign players, helped Levante finish on the podium last season with 12 goals and 3 assists in the Liga F.
Who will advance from Group E? What matches are most interesting to you? Let us know in the comments.