‘The world has caught up to the USWNT’ - World Cup legend Lloyd picks contenders for 2023 title
- USWNT recently lost to England and Spain
- Lloyd sees rest of world catching up
- Picks Brazil, France and Germany as other contenders
WHAT HAPPENED? The USWNT have won the last two editions but the rise of women's football around the globe - particularly in Europe - means their crown is under serious threat next summer. In October, for example, they lost friendlies to England and a heavily-depleted Spain.
WHAT THEY SAID: "I think for so many years, the U.S. has been a little ahead of the game," Lloyd said, speaking on a media panel ahead of Saturday's Women's World Cup group stage draw.
"Now you're seeing the support and investment happening all across the globe. In order for the U.S. to continue to be great, they need others to continue to push them.
"For England, it's going to be a matter of, can they continue that momentum coming in? Winning anything back-to-back is hard so that's going to be their biggest test."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: European champions England are not the only threat Lloyd sees to the U.S., with Brazil, France and Germany all picked out as strong contenders. The two-time world champion also noted Spain's win in October, despite players missing through protest.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
DID YOU KNOW? The USWNT will be going for history in Australia and New Zealand next summer, as no nation has ever won three successive Women's World Cup titles.
A fifth triumph in total would also see them extend their record as the competition's most successful side.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE USWNT? Vlatko Andonovski's side will find out their opponents for the Women's World Cup group stage on Saturday, with the draw taking place at 2.30am ET.