Abby Wambach

The US kicks off its World Cup run tonight, hoping for first championship since 1999

The Women’s World Cup began this weekend, with games that ranged from a 10-0 blow-out to a nail-biter with a stoppage-time PK. Tonight the US team, ranked second in the world behind Germany, will play their first match, against Australia. 

To get in the mood before kick-off at 7:30 ET, check out some clips of the US team’s greatest moments and Nike’s video honoring the American women…

The US team, which is strong this year despite some unfortunate injuries, is hoping for its third World Cup victory. Though we’ve been perennial top contenders, the last time we actually won was in 1999, with its historic final match. (As a 13-year-old soccer fanatic then, I don’t recall doing anything else that summer besides sleeping, playing soccer, and watching the World Cup games. Damn, those were the days.)

Sixteen years later, despite FIFA’s sexism, there’s been uneven progress toward giving the women’s Cup the attention it deserves. For instance, this year, you can finally buy women’s World Cup players’ jerseys in men’s sizes, but you can’t find a bracket pool on the major sports sites. While advertising and sponsorships still lag behind the men’s Cup, the tournament will be aired in its entirety for the first time and viewership figures are expected to reach record highs.

So now would be a great time for the US to reclaim the championship title. “We’re at a point now where if we win this thing, it’ll be huge,” midfielder Carli Lloyd said. “There’s no better time to win it, with the coverage, with social media and just with the fact that we haven’t won it in 16 years.” Not only would a US victory be sweet vindication after our loss in the much-watched 2011 final, it could be the spark that our perpetually struggling women’s professional soccer league needs.

Win or lose, it’ll be an exciting month.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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