The United States women’s national soccer team has been the most dominant in women’s soccer for about half a century.
With four World Cup crowns, many Gold Cup triumphs, as well as Olympic gold medals, the United States are by far the most successful team in women’s soccer.
These are 12 reasons why the US Women’s soccer team is so successful.
1. The Title IX law.
The Title IX law is only the start of the empire the United States has built-in women’s soccer. The law prohibited any “discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity”, which included sports and athletics.
Before Title IX became official, back in the early 70s, there were only 700 girls playing high school soccer in the whole country. Twenty years later, the number grew to 120,000 ‒ an increase of more than 17,000%.
While the USA invested in women’s sports, other countries ignored their women’s soccer programs. The initial work has paid off for the Americans, as their national women’s team is the best in the world.
2. The 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup triumph.
The first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup was hosted in China back in 1991. The United States won the tournament, but their 1999 triumph was far more critical for the sport’s popularity in America.
The competition held in 1999 was the third rendition of the tournament ‒ and it was hosted on American soil for the first time. The US stars were perfect on their way to the final, winning all five games in the process.
They defeated China on penalties in the final, in an extremely intense game that could have gone either way. Their success encouraged more girls to play soccer in high school, and the number of women playing soccer in America reached higher levels. With this increase, soccer became the fourth most popular sport among the female population. This larger talent pool gave the US women’s team more potential stars to choose from.
3. The rest of the world did not allow women to play professionally.
While soccer is much more popular around the world than in the United States, women’s soccer, actually, faced a lot of resistance in the countries that are most passionate about the sport.
For example, in Brazil and Germany ‒ arguably two of the best countries at men’s soccer ‒ women were banned from playing soccer until the early 1970s.
4. Men’s soccer.
Again, the main reason that the US women’s team is so popular is because women’s leagues in other countries aren’t given much support.
One of the reasons women’s soccer is so unpopular internationally is because soccer fans around the world are obsessed with the men’s game.
In the USA, people don’t follow soccer as much as the rest of the world. That’s one reason the women’s team, which has actually been much more successful than the men’s team, got the attention of America’s soccer fan base.
5. Their huge base of youth players.
As we mentioned earlier, the United States has the largest base of youth soccer female players in the world.
FIFA released an official document in 2006 that said only 11% of the registered soccer players worldwide were women. More than half of the world’s total players were registered in the US.
6. Their training program.
We all know success is not only about talent in the sports world. Each individual needs to train hard and upgrade their game in order to have a successful career.
We already mentioned that the United States has the biggest base of talented youth female soccer players ‒ but they also have one of the best women’s training programs on the planet.
This training dominance helps turn talented players turn into world-class professionals and future stars of the US Women’s soccer team.
7. The resources and the facilities.
The United States has made huge investments in both men’s and women’s soccer over the past few years. The players use equipment and facilities of the highest standards ‒ something that not only helps them improve their skills, but also attracts the interest of other individuals looking to start a career in soccer.
It’s always necessary to train hard ‒ but when you use modern training techniques, facilities, and technologies, you will almost always have an edge over your opponents.
8. Mia Hamm.
If you’ve followed the US Women’s team in the past decades, you’ve heard of Mia Hamm. Hamm represented her country between 1987 and 2004, netting 158 goals in 276 games across all the US women’s games.
Her goal tally puts her in second place on the all-time list, but it was her commercial with NBA legend Michael Jordan that boosted her fame among the American people.
She also caught the eye of Nike and starred in many other commercials with her teammates, as the United States women’s soccer team became the first female sports team to capture the country’s attention.
9. They are tactically dominant.
Although women’s soccer has developed in Europe and South America in the past few years, Americans are still the best in the world in both the tactics and skills department.
The US soccer team, simply, understand soccer better. They’ve played from their young age, constantly growing both as individuals and team players. They can defend, attack, or just hold the ball and control the flow of the game when necessary. The US women’s team is just on another level ‒ and this elevated skill is the product of the years of effort and resources they’ve put into the game over the past few decades.
10. Their winning mentality.
The United States women’s team has reached the FIFA World Cup semi-finals many times, winning the title four times in the process.
Their record at the big international tournaments is really fantastic, and their winning mentality is one of the main reasons for their success. The US women enter each competition, knowing they are the favorites to win it, and that confidence usually carries them to victory.
11. The fear factor.
The fear factor is another critical non-athletic element that affects the game of soccer. This is the moment when your opponents know you are better than them, and they start the game having already made peace with their probable defeat.
With all the titles they’ve won and records they’ve set, the US women’s soccer team is the one team you don’t want to face at a big competition.
The easiest way to explain why the fear factor is so important in soccer is to have a look at Manchester United ‒ a professional men’s soccer team in England.
The Red Devils won 13 Premier League trophies between 1993 and 2013, with the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson in charge of the club. When Ferguson retired in June 2013, United suddenly lost their fear factor, and they found themselves constantly fighting for a top-four finish.
12. Alex Morgan.
Alex Morgan is the Mia Hamm of the 21st century. Morgan first became a known entity after netting the winner in the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Final against North Korea. She made her debut for the US women’s senior team against Mexico back in March 2010.
But while Morgan is an excellent soccer player, her off-of-field activities are what has made her famous in the United States. She has been featured in a number of magazines, such as Sports Illustrated, Shape, Vogue and Elle. She’s also appeared on the cover of Health and Self magazines.
Morgan and two of her Portland Thorns teammates became the first female players to be featured on the cover of the EA Sports FIFA game.