Here are the players everyone will be talking about during the Women's World Cup
LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Women's National Team has qualified for every Women’s World Cup and the powerhouse team has won three titles, which is more than any other country. While the Americans are favored to win, it is undeniable that the field is stacked with all-star talent from across the globe.
Here are just a few highlights of who to keep an eye on, and why everyone is going to be talking about these players in one of the most highly anticipated World Cup tournaments to date.
The U.S. squad alone currently boasts a total of 1,893 caps, or appearances internationally representing a national team, which includes eight centurions, namely Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan.
Carli Lloyd: United States — This experienced American player is making a big return after she played 18 matches and scored six goals at the last 2015 tournament in which the U.S. won. Lloyd is the oldest player on the roster at 36.
Christine Sinclair: Canada — While Carli Lloyd has an impressive 273 caps on her belt, she comes in just behind Canadian Forward Christine Sinclair who boasts 282 caps, which is more than the cumulative total of all 23 Jamaica players, according to FIFA.
Janine van Wyk: South Africa — Since her 2005 debut, van Wyk has gone on to become one of the most-capped players from South Africa, male or female. She made her 150th international appearance at the 2018 COSAFA Women's Championship in a game against Malawi.
Mana Iwabuchi: Japan — The Japanese striker Mana Iwabuchi was voted the player of the tournament at the very first edition of FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup when she was just 15. She was on the World Cup-winning squad of 2011 and this year will be her third World Cup appearance.
Marta: Brazil — No player has scored more goals at the Women’s World Cup than Marta. The unstoppable forward from Brazil has been named the world’s top player by FIFA for a record six times. She will be playing in her fifth World Cup this year, and is the tournament’s all-time top scorer with a record 15 goals.
Four of the 23 coaches formerly played in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Germany’s Martina Voss-Tecklenburg played in three (1991, 1995 & 1999), Japan’s Asako Takakura in two (1991 & 1995), France’s Corinne Diacre in one (2003) female finals, and Korean Republic Coach Yoon Deokyeo played in Italy in 1990.
The New Kids on the Block
Mary Fowler: Australia — Australia’s Mary Fowler is making her World Cup debut at only 15 years old, making her the fifth-youngest player to feature for the Australian National Women’s Team.
Chanel Hudson-Marks: Jamaica — Marks, who also happens to be the cousin of Olympic gold medalist, Usain Bolt, will be representing Jamaica, the first Caribbean team to qualify for the biggest event in football. This is all thanks to all-around Renaissance woman and daughter of Bob Marley, Cedella Marley, who sponsored the team when the Jamaican Football Federation cut funding.
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From June 7 to July 7, 24 teams will go head-to-head across nine host cities, playing 52 matches to determine the champion. The U.S. will kick off their group against Thailand on June 11 (3 p.m. ET) at Auguste Delaune Stadium in Reims.