1. Teams are still playing to qualify.
The schedule is as follows:
South America’s qualifying teams play between September 11 - 28 in Ecuador.
Europe’s qualifying teams play between September 17 - 21.
Africa’s qualifying teams play between October 11 - 24 in Namibia.
North, Central, and the Caribbean’s qualifying teams will be playing between October 16 - 26.
Oceania’s qualifying teams will play between October 21 - 25 in Papua New Guinea.
2. Remember this moment?
Fifteen years ago, the U.S. women’s national team won in penalty kicks against China in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This was also the last time either of the United States teams’ won in the world cup.
3. FIFA’s newest poster promoting the event is amazing.
The poster has been met with positive criticism, signaling that perhaps FIFA is starting to respect women’s soccer more. FIFA designed the poster “to reflect the diversity of Canada’s multicultural society and capture the essence of the great Canadian outdoors.”
4. It marks the return of American superstar Alex Morgan.
Morgan became the youngest member of the U.S. women’s national team in 2009 and won an Olympic gold medal with the U.S. women’s national team at the 2012 Summer Olympics. She also holds a FIFA record for scoring a goal in the 123rd minute in the match between the U.S. women’s national team against Canada at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
5. And don’t forget Abby Wambach is also coming back!
6. As is Hope Solo!
Solo has played in the 2007 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, won a gold medal with the U.S. women’s national team at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and won another goal medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. She also holds the record for most shutouts, having saved 71 goals in her career.
7. It features one of the world’s most exciting players, Marta Vieira da Silva from Brazil.
Silva, who is also known as “Pelé con faldas” (“Pelé with skirts”), has had a storied career from winning silver medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics to being named the FIFA World Player of the Year, five times from 2006-2010.
10. Few rivalries are as intense as the U.S. vs. Brazil.
Each time the two teams match up, their games are super intense, as players on both sides work their hardest to dominate the field.
11. The U.S. lost their chance to win in 2011 and is looking to avenge its loss to Japan.
The U.S. team lost in penalty kicks after a tough match between the two teams.
12. It is the largest televised sporting event featuring women.
The 2011 FIFA women’s world cup broke records with hundreds of million viewers watching the games. The U.S. vs. Japan match at the 2011 FIFA women’s world cup alone drew about 13.5 million viewers in the U.S., became ESPN’s most-viewed and highest-rated soccer match at the time, became the sixth most-viewed soccer telecast in U.S. and the second most-watched daytime program in cable history.
13. Every world cup is followed by an immediate rise in youth participation in soccer.
If you have kids, nieces or nephews that developed a love for soccer during this year’s world cup, keep that fever going!
14. It shows that women can be strong, capable, athletic, and the players serve as great role models to young girls.
Who run the world? Women, always!