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SportsMeet the World Cup favorites: United States poised to defend title

16:10  07 june  2019
16:10  07 june  2019 Source:   thescore.com

Unfamiliar, but nice: Halep back in Paris to defend title

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With the Women's World Cup set to kick off, we're taking an in-depth look at the five perceived favorites by examining their strengths, weaknesses, and title prospects. We close things out with the United States , the tournament favorite and reigning champion.

With the Women’s World Cup set to kick off, we’re taking an in-depth look at the five perceived favorites by examining their strengths, weaknesses, and title prospects. We close things out with the United States , the tournament favorite and reigning champion. Fact file.

Meet the World Cup favorites: United States poised to defend title© Ronald Martinez / Getty Images Sport / Getty

With the Women's World Cup set to kick off, we're taking an in-depth look at the five perceived favorites by examining their strengths, weaknesses, and title prospects. We close things out with the United States, the tournament favorite and reigning champion.

Fact file

  • FIFA ranking: No. 1
  • Best World Cup finish: Champion (1991, 1999, and 2015)
  • Manager: Jill Ellis

What you need to know

Despite retaining its status as the World Cup favorite - or, at the very least, being on an equal footing with host nation France - the interceding years since the 2015 triumph haven't exactly been smooth sailing for the United States.

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The FIFA World Cup , often simply called the World Cup , is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération

The world 's top rugby nations are poised for the start of the Rugby World Cup with the outcome as Between them New Zealand, South Africa and Australia have won the other seven titles since the inaugural event After becoming the first team to successfully defend the World Cup in 2015, New

A disappointing quarterfinal defeat to Sweden at the 2016 Olympics, followed by constant chopping and changing of the starting XI, saw English-born bench boss Jill Ellis come under criticism. She seemed to quell those worries by settling on a 4-3-3 system that got the best out of her myriad attacking options, but a rocky start to the calendar year has raised fresh concerns.

Meet the World Cup favorites: United States poised to defend title© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

There are lingering injury issues for some key players, while breaking down teams that sit deep has sometimes proved difficult.

But it's hard not to be enamored with the sheer talent at Ellis' disposal. The Americans have it in droves. Winning the last four pre-tournament matches by a combined score of 17-0 is nothing to scoff at, even if it has come against weak opposition.

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The United States Soccer Federation submitted a bid with the hope of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup . U . S . Soccer first said in February 2007 that it would put forth a bid for the 2018 World Cup .

United appeared to be heading for a win, and a three-point lead at the top of the Eastern Conference, but Calvo's late leveller means they remain just one point clear of Philadelphia Union. Meet the World Cup favorites : United States poised to defend title .

Combined with the winning mentality of a team that's been there, done that, the skill level all over the pitch makes the USWNT the squad to beat at the World Cup yet again.

Group stage outlook

The Group F schedule couldn't have shaken out more favorably for the United States. Opening up against Thailand and Chile - the latter is making its World Cup debut - offers the perfect opportunity for the U.S. to ease into proceedings, before a meeting with familiar foe Sweden forces Ellis' side to ratchet up the intensity heading into the business end of the tournament.

Anything other than nine points from the first three matches will raise eyebrows, such is the standard set by the world's top-ranked squad.

Taking a brief peek ahead, a quarterfinal showdown with France looms large, with the consensus being that the winner of that colossal clash in Paris will go on to hoist the trophy in Lyon on July 7.

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World Cup Favourites - With the World Cup fast approaching we take a look at some of the teams who we think will contend for the trophy. The final score was 3-0 with Dries Mertens, and Romelu Lukaku getting on the scoresheet with the Manchester United man picking up a brace.

And US coach Jurgen Klinsmann, whose players settled for a fourth-place showing in their Gold Cup defense, knows that a major goal remains within reach despite a humbling loss to Jamaica and penalty shoot-out defeat by Panama Meet the World Cup favorites : United States poised to defend title .

Projected starting XI

Meet the World Cup favorites: United States poised to defend title© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC

Key player: Tobin Heath

Meet the World Cup favorites: United States poised to defend title© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

Alex Morgan is still the face of the team. Megan Rapinoe provides creativity from the left wing. Lindsey Horan and Rose Lavelle offer attacking impetus and vision while Julie Ertz is the anchor in midfield. Each of them are stars in their own right, and on any other team, would be the standout player. Heck, 2015 World Cup hero Carli Lloyd, who's on fire right now, comes off the bench.

But Tobin Heath is arguably the best player on the roster. She's certainly the most entertaining, and in recent years has become a more complete forward by adding consistent goalscoring to her array of dazzling dribbling tricks. As Morgan has morphed into more of a withdrawn forward who initiates attacks, Heath has stepped up and started finishing them.

Breakout star: Mallory Pugh

Meet the World Cup favorites: United States poised to defend title© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

Mallory Pugh is already a household name in the United States, but the 21-year-old forward, who offers a devastating option off the bench, will show the world over the next month why she's regarded by many as the future cornerstone of the American program.

Warriors open as favorites in 2020 NBA title odds

Warriors open as favorites in 2020 NBA title odds The Toronto Raptors dethroned the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on Thursday, winning Game 6 of The Finals to claim the NBA championship. Every team will be gunning for the Raptors during next year's quest for the title. Golden State, however, is the favorite to take back the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Already looking ahead to the 2019-20 season, SuperBook in Las Vegas opened up its title odds, tabbing the Warriors as the front-runners. Full odds You'll notice some intriguing teams in the top half of that list, including the Lakers, a club that missed the playoffs in 2018-19, but the team could turn things around during its second year with LeBron James.

Canada, Mexico and the United States are poised to announce a joint bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup after scheduling a joint press conference tomorrow in New York City. The US hosted the World Cup for the only time in 1994, while Mexico staged the 1970 and 1986 tournaments Meet the team.

The United States Soccer Federation filed a lawsuit against the union representing the U . S . women's national team Wednesday in a dispute centered around its collective bargaining agreement. Meet the World Cup favorites : United States poised to defend title .

When you get the endorsement of USWNT icon Mia Hamm as an 18-year-old, you know you're doing something right.

With 53 caps and 16 goals under her belt already, it's only a matter of time until the blisteringly fast Colorado native assumes the mantle from Morgan, Heath, and Rapinoe as the team's go-to scoring option.

Fans should be happy if ...

Just win. It's as simple as that. Anything else, even a narrow defeat in the final, would be a massive disappointment for the reigning champion.

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