On July 7, 2019, the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) won a record fourth World Cup title, cementing their dominance in women’s soccer.
Three years later, on July 7, 2022, the United States took their first step to defending their title by sealing a place at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
A 5-0 win over Jamaica in the Concaf W Championship on Thursday, combined with Haiti’s 3-0 win over Mexico in the second game of the day, secured the USWNT’s progress.
The top two teams from each group in this tournament will qualify for the World Cup and USA has guaranteed they will finish in one of those places.
They currently sit atop their group, ahead of Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico, after two wins in their first two matches.
Since the first Women’s World Cup in 1991, the United States have won four tournaments, finished second in one and third in three, consistently establishing themselves as the best team in the world.
In addition to its established stars, such as Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe – who were receiving the Medal of Freedom and unavailable for selection – this latest iteration of the USWNT contains plenty of young players.
Against Jamaica, 21-year-old Sophia Smith opened the scoring with two goals in the first eight minutes while Trinity Rodman, 20, completed the rout with the team’s fifth goal, becoming the youngest goalscorer ever. the USWNT in World Cup or Olympic qualifying since 2008.
“Obviously being a young player on this team can be a bit daunting, but I think I found my confidence and just felt like I could be myself on the pitch,” Smith said, according to ESPN.
“That’s exactly what I did and my team was very supportive of me.”
The winner of the Concacaf W Championship will automatically qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics, where the USWNT hopes to claim gold after settling for bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.
“2023 bound baby! We also want 2024 so we have some work to do in those next games. Next stop: USA vs. MEX on July 11,” Morgan tweeted after the game.
Second and third place finishers from the Concacaf W Championship will advance to next year’s playoffs for the region’s final Olympic berth.