We’re in the final weekend of 2023, and we begin our 2023 review with the United States Women’s National Team. The USWNT had a huge year, with the 2023 Women’s World Cup taking place in Australia and New Zealand/Aotearoa. With SheBelieves Cup and some other big time matches leading up to the World Cup, it was a busy year for the USWNT. The USWNT technically finished 14W-0L-4D in 2023, however one of those draws has an asterisk next to it due to a loss on penalties to Sweden.
The 2023 predictions really centered around what the performance would be for the USWNT in the World Cup, so we review what happened to see how accurate we were.
The USWNT will lose the #1 spot in the World Rankings.
The USWNT entered 2023 sitting at #1 in the FIFA world rankings, and for the first time ever, they dropped to #3. That drop came after their Round of 16 exit in the 2023 Women’s World Cup. They rose a spot in the final rankings of 2023 and will finish the year at #2 behind world champions Spain.
The USWNT will lose SheBelieves Cup despite being unbeaten.
Thankfully, this one turned out to be wrong. The USWNT won each of their 3 matches in the 2023 SheBelieves Cup, beating Canada, Japan, and Brazil to win the tournament for the 6th time.
Catarina Macario will return to be the USWNT’s leading goalscorer.
Sadly, this one was a dud. Catarina Macario did not play at all for club or country in 2023, though the hope at the time was that she would return in time for the World Cup. We’re hoping for Cat to re-emerge onto the scene in 2024.
Christen Press will return to the USWNT, but will not make the World Cup roster.
This one also was dead in the water. Like Macario, Christen Press did not play for club or country in 2023, and her status for 2024 is up in the air as well.
The USWNT will win the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Everything about 2023 revolved around the USWNT’s performance at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, and in that, it was the opposite of success. The USWNT crashed out of the World Cup in the Round of 16, its worst performance ever. They failed to score in their final 2 matches, including the loss to Sweden on penalties in the Round of 16. It’s why technically going unbeaten in 2023 is considered a failure.
Vlatko Andonovski will not be the coach at the end of the year.
Vlatko Andonovski is no longer the coach, but it’s not because he walked off a winner. The loss in the Round of 16 at the World Cup prompted Andonovski to resign in August, and U.S. Soccer has hired Emma Hayes to replace him on a permanent basis. She will do so in May, leaving interim head coach Twila Kilgore to lead the team in the short term.
Well, 2023 predictions for the USWNT didn’t exactly go to plan. Hit the comments and discuss the sorta hits and the big misses.