While this World Cup—at least up until this point—has been a rather forgettable one for a United States Women’s National Team that’s failed to meet expectations, it’s been different for the rest of the world. The growth from now and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup has been astronomical, as soccer federations around the world have put more money and resources into the women’s game. That’s partly the reason why the U.S. hasn’t been able to dominate their opponents like they have in the prior two tournaments.
Speaking with reporters ahead of a pivotal Round of 16 matchup against Sweden, U.S. co-captain Alex Morgan, one of the more recognizable names and faces in the women’s game today, touched on the growth of the Women’s World Cup.
The 34-year-old Morgan has been an international sensation since she made her first World Cup appearance in 2011. This could be her final time at the World Cup, whether she’ll return in 2027, is anyone’s guess, but it’s clear that she’s amazed at how much the game has grown over the past 12-plus years.
“Having been on this team and in this game for the last 13-plus years, I’ve just seen the growth firsthand,” Morgan said, via Fox Sports.
“The women’s leagues around the world becoming financially stable, giving a chance to so many female footballers to play year around. It was only a matter of time for the game to get to where it is now. Us players have been saying that this is going to be the most competitive and watched World Cup, and you’re seeing that.”
“It’s just incredible to see the growth of the sport. It just goes to show just where women’s football is trending and going, and I think a huge piece of that are the federations supporting their women’s teams more – and [putting] the spotlight on the federations that aren’t supporting those women’s teams.”
Morgan said that she believes this is what soccer is all about. In the meantime, we’ll have to see if she and the USWNT can make it three straight Women’s World Cup wins.