The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


US National Women’s Soccer: A Decade to Recap

Joseph Abrahantes
The United States Women’s National Team was recently knocked out of the 2023 Women’s World Cup by Sweden, leaving many to wonder what comes next.

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team is a symbol of excellence for other countries trying to replicate their success. As fans across the globe held their breath in anticipation, the reigning Women’s World Cup champions sought to defend their title in 2023. Foregoing expectations, the USWNT were knocked out of the World Cup by Sweden during the Round of 16 stage of the tournament, shattering their winning streak from the previous two World Cups.

“[The team’s] performance was not their best. It was definitely a shock that they lost, especially so early compared to their runs in previous World Cups. Seeing them lose in that manner was disappointing, but they will surely do better next time,” junior Taronish Unwalla said

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Prior to their 2023 campaign, the USWNT had won the World Cup in 2019, defeating the Netherlands with a score of 2 to 0. Throughout the ensuing four-year period, the team has experienced ups and downs, as key players such as Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn have either retired or faced recent injuries.

“Seeing the U.S. Women’s National Team play in that 2019 World Cup was amazing. They played the best they had ever played, and they showed their immense passion with every game. It was an unforgettable performance,” junior Soleil Pazos said.

Despite these obstacles, USWNT pushed through and won the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football Women’s Championship, securing their place in the 2023 World Cup.

“The U.S. Women’s National Team represents not only us as a country, but they are also an inspiration for girls both here and around the world,” junior Daniela Sanchez said.

To begin the World Cup, the USWNT began their campaign with a 3 to 0 victory against Vietnam, with 23-year-old Sophia Smith scoring two goals in her first ever World Cup appearance. In their following game against the Netherlands, a second-half goal by midfielder Lindsay Horan capped a 1 to 1 draw. Finally, the USWNT also tied against Portugal, surviving the group stage and securing their spot in the knockout rounds of the tournament.

However, each international campaign has its twists and turns. In a surprising development, the U.S. team faced an early exit in the round of 16 against a formidable Swedish side, who took the game past regulation and extra time into penalties.

Ultimately, Sweden took it all the way, winning the shootout 5 to 4 and knocking the U.S. out of the tournament. The loss served as a stark reminder that even the most dominant teams can experience setbacks, highlighting the competitive nature of the World Cup.

While the World Cup journey might not have culminated in the ultimate triumph, the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team’s 2023 campaign can be seen as a lesson for the future. With the retirement of star player Megan Rapinoe after the loss, as well as the resignation of U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski, the USWNT is experiencing a rebuild after the tournament.

“The U.S. women’s national team did not play at the level they should be playing, especially not during the World Cup. Whether it was because of their coaching or just the way they played, they were too disorganized and not playing their best football. We can only hope that they maybe rebuild and make changes to their game to come back stronger,” senior Eduardo Meonez said.

By navigating through difficult challenges and learning from their performance, the USWNT will return to top shape and solidify their place as a contender for the upcoming 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.

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About the Contributors
Anthony Fajardo
Anthony Fajardo, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Anthony Fajardo, a junior in the International Baccalaureate magnet program at Coral Gables Senior High School, is gearing up for his third year as a writer for CavsConnect. With a strong passion for journalism, Anthony is excited to continue contributing to the school's publication. Beyond his writing pursuits, he is an active member of various clubs including the International Baccalaureate Honor Society, National Honor Society, Interact and Future Business Leaders of America. He is always looking to help those around him to the best of his ability. An ardent sports and music enthusiast, Anthony finds joy in supporting his Miami teams and is also a fan of FC Barcelona. As Anthony enters this new school year, he is ready to give it his all and bring positivity to those around him.
Joseph Abrahantes
Joseph Abrahantes, CavsConnect Business Manager
Joseph Abrahantes, a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program and second year member of CavsConnect, is excited to come back as the publication's Business Manager. Hoping to work in STEM in the future, Joseph plans to get more involved with the Science National Honor Society as well as Gables' Science, Engineering, Communication, Mathematics and Enrichment club to further his experience. Additionally, his love for biology has driven him to become a tutor with Gables’ Interact club. Joseph fuels his academic spirit with his 10 hour long playlist, ranging from Kendrick and Baby Keem to Doja Cat and SZA, whose songs he knows by heart.
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