The question was how long would the new Vietnam last? The answer came quickly: In the 13th minute, Sophia Smith scored the first of three goals as the United States made its debut in Group E of the Women’s World Cup. From then on, the match was a mere formality: Smith (45′ + 7′) scored again and Horan (77′), even the legendary Alex Morgan missed a penalty in Friday night’s duel.
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The current two-time champions want to make history: a tournament won three times, something no one has achieved since the first World Cup in China in 1991. And it’s not just about illusion, it’s about a sustainable base that makes them favorites and powerhouses in women’s football: they have four world titles (1991, 1999, 2015 and 2019) and four Olympic gold medals.
Far from being dominant in men’s soccer (although they did win the CONCACAF Nations League in June), the women’s team is one of the best in the world. This is reflected in every tournament. For the opening match, for example, Coach Andonovsky fielded just five survivors from the past World Cup. If France 2019 star Megan Rapinoe isn’t around, it’s Smith, Rodman or Dimelo’s turn. There are no plays with the alternative because there is talent.
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the secret of success
The US takeover of women’s soccer did not happen overnight. And it wasn’t a miracle. There is work behind him that reached its maximum achievement in February 2022 when, after three years of struggle, the United States Soccer Federation (US Soccer) agreed that female soccer players were paid the same as men. They say equality.
Universities in the North American country are an important factor in the growth of the sport. According to FIFA data published in 2014, approximately 16 of the 30 million registered players worldwide are Americans.
Women’s “soccer” has based its strength and vitality on the university system ever since a 1972 Title XI law forced universities to create athletic programs just for their women.
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What is missing for women’s football to stop being amateurish in Peru? May we all be one idea, one force: clubs, coaches, administrators, media and fans. It is the only way to show that we are worthy of this much loved profession that so many have fought for. I think it is important to look at what is happening in South America, our direct competitors: we are far below the required level, there is no doubt that there are shortcomings, although this is true, we can no longer work on the majors, it is still possible to do it on the minors, but we need everyone’s support so that we can apply it and continue progressing.
Without a doubt, Alianza Lima does very well in the matter of management and communications. This has encouraged clubs and private companies to invest more. This is how they create competition in other clubs and we promote our women’s football.
A completely different reality than that of living in Peru, for example. “Here they have to train, work and study. This means that the players’ performance never reaches 200%. On the other hand, in the United States, girls only dedicate themselves to playing football,” analyzed Marisela Joya, 2005 Bolivares champion with Peru, on the program “Alongolo”.
If here women’s soccer is still amateur (there is a project in the FPF for professionalism that must be realized in 2027), then in the United States soccer has been professional since 2001.
Two years after being named “Team USA” on home soil in 1999, women’s soccer entered the professional era with the first WUSA championship that pitted eight teams against each other. That first attempt only lasted three seasons but led to the birth of the WPS in 2008 and the NWSL in 2013.
Last year, the San Diego Wave, a team founded in 2021 that Alex Morgan plays for, broke a league attendance record with 32,000 fans. “It’s amazing to think that a year ago there were no professional teams from our league in California and to see how they have developed,” said the 34-year-old striker, who is competing in her fourth World Cup finals.
The United States is the first world that Peru looks at today from afar. There are many things that need to be imitated, but first of all, the sport that suffers from disease in our country due to lack of interest must be cured.
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