A World Cup of firsts proves future of women’s soccer is bright

Spain celebrates World Cup title

Spain players celebrate winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 (Photo by Daniela Porcelli/ISI Photos/Getty Images).

This was a World Cup of firsts. New Zealand, Jamaica, and Zambia won their first-ever World Cup matches, Morocco advanced to its first round of 16 match, England head coach Sarina Wiegman took her second nation to a World Cup final after leading the Netherlands there in 2019, and Spain won its first World Cup title.

On the flip side, Germany left in disbelief after being eliminated for the first time ever in the group stages, and much to my dismay and frustration the USWNT suffered their earliest-ever World Cup exit.

The giants of women’s soccer are now having to come to terms with the fact that the rest of the world has begun to invest in and support women’s soccer in ways they wouldn’t have dared to in the past, causing an exponential rise in the global quality of the game.

This last month proves there’s an exciting future ahead for women’s soccer and it served as a wake-up call for the teams that have always marched their way with relative ease into the World Cup’s late stages.

All is not lost after USWNT World Cup exit

Where the USWNT is concerned, I don’t see any need to panic. Growing pains are inevitable as the team enters a new era led by its youngest stars.

Their World Cup performance left something to be desired, their FIFA ranking will take a hit, and they’ll be consistently challenged by the rest of the world in ways they’re unaccustomed to, but there’s little to suggest that they won’t continue to be a long-term global powerhouse.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is raising their voices, fighting for support and acknowledgment in their home counties, inspiring sports aficionados they previously never reached, and having impressive success along the way.

This tournament was proof the game is in the right hands of women with tremendous strength and power both on and off the field, and there’s a lot to be excited for going forward.