The USWNT – winners of the last World Cup – will face newly crowned EURO winners England in a friendly, which is set to take place at Wembley on October 7th. And with the women’s game breaking all kinds of records, and giving England its first soccer tournament win in a long time, people should be paying attention.
Let’s get the hard-to-swallow-for-some facts out of the way, the USWNT is good. Comparatively, it’s better than the USMNT, which isn’t counted as a favorite in the upcoming Qatar World Cup. In fact, for the men, making it to the knockout stages would be a good – if not great result. They have, after all, never won a World Cup or even come close. For the women, just making it to that stage would be failure. They have, after all, won four World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals and nine CONCACAF Gold Cups.
The England side they’ll be facing – provided they qualify for the World Cup – just won the UEFO Women’s EURO in heart-stopping and historic fashion after defeating German 2-1 in overtime. It was England’s first-ever women’s championship and it was watched by a record crowd of 87,192. And no, by record we don’t mean record for a women’s match. We just mean record.
Both the USWNT success and recent popularity and the record-setting numbers in the EURO finals point to a clear uptick in and interest in the women’s game – something that isn’t just warranted, but long overdue. Good play has no gender, and neither does good entertainment.