The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament commences on June 26, 2011 in Germany. The tournament has been held only 5 times previously with the United States Women’s team winning the first ever in 1991, followed by Norway and then the United States again in 1999. The German Women’s team has won the last two world cup championships and the only team to date to win consecutively. They will try to three-peat playing in their own country.
The 15 other teams hoping to dethrone Germany are Japan, the United States, Brazil, Australia, North Korea, Canada, Mexico, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, New Zealand, Colombia, England, France, Sweden and Norway. This is the first Women’s World Cup tournament for the countries of Columbia and Equatorial Guinea. The US had to defeat Italy in a playoff series to qualify in this year’s tournament.
Some of the players to watch for in this year’s tournament are Abby Wambach and Heather O’Reilly from the United States; Birgit Prinz and Kerstini Stegemann from Germany; Marta from Brazil; Kelly Smith from England; Sandrine Soubeyrand from France; Therese “Terre” Sjögran from Sweden; and Solveig Gulbrandsen from Norway.
This year’s tournament should prove exciting and competitive with the US grouped with Sweden; Brazil with Norway; and Germany and France battling it out in Group A.