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Can Team USA Go All The Way In Canada?47:28
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Getting to know the women, the soccer stars, of Team USA at the Women’s World Cup.

Defenders Meghan Klingenberg, left, and Becky Sauerbrunn of the United States sandwich Sofia Jakobsson of Sweden on Friday during their Group D World Cup match in Winnipeg, Canada. (Xinhua/Landov)
Defenders Meghan Klingenberg, left, and Becky Sauerbrunn of the United States sandwich Sofia Jakobsson of Sweden on Friday during their Group D World Cup match in Winnipeg, Canada. (Xinhua/Landov)

Team USA dominated women’s World Cup play early and often. America was out front in opening the game beyond men, and it showed. In the Olympics, too, where the US women’s team has brought home lots of gold. But it’s been 16 years now since they’ve won the World Cup.  Not since that fabled moment in 1999 when Brandi Chastain peeled off her jersey in jubilation. They’ve got big names, big talent, big history – and a lot more global competition now. Sound familiar? This hour On Point: we go to Canada and the women’s World Cup competition to check in on Team USA.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Laken Litman, reporter for USA Today Sports. (@lakenlitman)

Allison McCann, visual journalist at FiveThirtyEight. Former Women's Premier Soccer League player. (@atmccann)

George Quraishi, founder and editor of Howler Magazine. Host of the soccer podcast, Dummy. (@quraishi)

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: 3 takeaways from USA's lackluster 0-0 draw with Sweden — "The much-anticipated rivalry match between the United States and Sweden was a dud, ending in a 0-0 draw. It had all the trimmings for a perfect story. In one corner was Sweden with coach Pia Sundhage who led the U.S. to two Olympic gold medals and nearly a World Cup championship. In the other was Team USA, a squad facing the woman who built up this generation."

Gawker: You Should Care About the Women's World Cup -- "Except, wait—hadn’t we already won the World Cup twice? In 1991 and 1999? Didn’t we also have the significant chance of winning the World Cup again this year, in 2015? Wasn’t our national team one of the best soccer teams in the world and wasn’t that something to be proud of? If we were really looking to become a soccer nation—one on par with all the other soccer nations of the world—why weren’t we looking to our women’s national squad to be the torch-bearers for this newfound love and interest? Why did all of our soccer-ball-shaped-eggs have to end up in one men’s regulation-net-shaped basket?

Washington Post: U.S. women eager to end their 16-year World Cup championship drought — "Sixteen years, or four World Cup cycles, is not long to wait for a global championship. Most soccer players will go a lifetime without raising a trophy. Most teams will only dream about international glory. For the United States, which has set the standard of excellence for women’s soccer across three decades, 16 years is forever."

How To Follow Along With the #USWNT

This program aired on June 15, 2015.

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