Women's World Cup 2019 Power Rankings: USWNT first, England right behind heading into semifinal showdown
It's No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the semifinals
Four teams remain in thewith two titans knocked out in the quarterfinals. The United States, England, Sweden and the Netherlands are all still alive. Contender and host France was eliminated in the quarterfinals, as was one of the favorites in Germany. Italy and Norway were also bounced in the last round.
The U.S. moves on to face a strong England side (3 p.m. Tuesday, streaming on fuboTV), while the Netherlands and Sweden face off Wednesday. So how do those teams rank after the action and ahead of the next round of games? Here's a look at our power rankings:
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1. United States (Previous: 1)
What a statement against France. Megan Rapinoe has to be the favorite to win player of the tournament. It's title or bust for the United States, and with Germany out, the Americans are the strong favorite to repeat.
2. England (Previous: 4)
The Lionesses are for real, but there is a big test coming up against the United States. They haven't played a team as strong as the U.S. in this competition, but they have the quality to win this game. Two straight clean sheets in the round of 16 has this defense flexing its muscles.
3. Netherlands (5)
The Dutch machine is absolutely rolling. A surprise semifinalist, they have the slight edge over Sweden. Loaded in attack, this magical run could become even more special if they continue to click in the final third. A Cinderella? Maybe. A contender? Absolutely.
4. Sweden (Previous: 7)
The biggest statement in the tournament was Sweden beating Germany, even more so than the U.S. knocking off France. The Germans had made every semifinal in World Cup history, but Sweden had other plans. The strong defense can carry this team.
5. France (Previous: 2)
What a gut punch from the U.S. The French had dreams of lifting the trophy in front of the home crowd, but the difference in quality was noticeable. They didn't live up to expectations, but there is a bright future ahead for the sport in France on the women's side.
6. Germany (Previous: 3)
What a shocking result. They blew the 1-0 lead and just couldn't create when needed. For a team that was possibly the top contender after the United States, Germany just failed to deliver in crunch time. For the first time, the Germans won't be in the World Cup semifinals.
7. Norway (Previous 6)
A solid run to the quarterfinals, but unfortunately they ran into the buzz saw that is England. It makes you wonder what they could have done with Ada Hegerberg on the roster.
8. Italy (Previous: 8)
They inspired a bunch of young girls with their valiant performance. Just getting out of the group stage was impressive, but the fact that they made the quarterfinals lays the foundation for the future with so much room to grow. They made some noise, and they hope it's only the beginning.
9. Australia (Previous: 7)
Tough way to go out. The finishing was way off in the penalties, and it cost them. Had a solid path to the semifinals but fell way short of expectations.
10. Canada (Previous: 6)
Heartbreak with a late missed penalty kick. This team's attack was never really clicking, and that's a recipe for disaster. Two straight tournaments of not doing nearly as much as most expected.
11. Brazil (Previous: 8)
Led by veterans, they gave France everything they could handle. An admirable performance by the aging stars that has taken this national team to new heights. Hopefully it.
12. Japan (Previous: 12)
This team failed to reach the Women's World Cup final for the third consecutive time, but it has a bright future thanks to its loaded and talent young roster. The second youngest team in France 2019 was a crossbar shot away from the quarterfinals. Watch out for the Nadeshiko come 2023.
13. China (Previous: 13)
They entered the round of 16 with one goal in three games, and they failed to score against Italy. If you can't score, how in the world do you expect to win? Dismal in attack.
14. Spain (Previous: 14)
The Spaniards pushed the United States to the limit and deserve a ton of credit. The future is bright -- now they just need to groom talent in attack to overcome the issues in the final third.
15. Nigeria (Previous: 15)
Never felt like they were going to beat Germany, but they represented Africa well and will be back. Asisat Oshoala has the chance to be a special player.
16. Cameroon (Previous: 16)
Controversial round of 16 loss to England. Not a good look based on how this team reacted to certain situations. Need to be held to a higher standard by their federation.
17. Chile (Previous: 17)
Christiane Endler's star was born at this World Cup for what she did, especially against the United States. They were a penalty away from advancing, but the PSG star's stock has risen in a huge way.
18. Argentina (Previous: 18)
These ladies made history. The first point for Argentina at a World Cup and the first team to ever come back from 3-0 down. They've made the country proud.
19. Scotland (Previous: 19)
How do you move on from blowing a 3-0 lead that could have gotten you to the round of 16? It was their first World Cup, and what a tough way to go out.
20. New Zealand (Previous: 20)
They scored one goal in three games, and it was an own goal. Faced some stiff competition, but that was nothing like they had hoped. Really poor tournament.
21. South Africa (Previous: 21)
Thembi Kgatlana's performance against Spain in the opener was eye-opening. There wasn't a more fun team at the cup with their dancing and pure happiness. That's what the cup is all about.
22. South Korea (Previous: 22)
No team worked harder than them. The effort they gave was admirable, and this team has a bright future. Ji So-yun is truly a special player who can do it all in the middle.
23. Jamaica (Previous: 23)
They didn't have the tournament they wanted, but remember the name Jody Brown. The 17-year-old has future star written all over her.
24. Thailand (Previous: 24)
Their blowout defeat to the USA endeared them to the world. They fought, they didn't complain, and they played the game the right way. Role models for any team.
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