Jill Ellis certainly came with plenty of controversies as the manager of the US Women’s National Soccer Team. While it’s hard to object to the success of someone that won two Women’s World Cups, perhaps her biggest failure was the 2016 Olympic Games.
In Rio de Janeiro the United States was beaten on penalty kicks by a Sweden squad helmed by former USA coach Pia Sundhage in the quarterfinals. Being the head coach of the USWNT is equivalent to leading the Brazilian men: There is winning, and there is abject failure. And since the inaugural 1991 Women’s World Cup, which at the time wasn’t even called a World Cup but retroactively was granted the title, there is no bigger blemish on the US’s resume than that loss in Rio.
In the 14 World Cups and Olympics since FIFA decided that women can play on the world stage too, the USWNT has garnered eight gold medals and at least a bronze medal in every event except for one. The team should have revenge on their mind. And right now they’re even money to reclaim their throne.
But as much as any American team since the 1996 Olympics, this group is absolutely loaded. Alyssa Naeher looks to be the choice in goal, Crystal Dunn won’t be afraid to make daring runs from her wingback position, Rose Lavelle should anchor the team in the middle as one of the best two-way players in the world, and Alex Morgan and Christen Press will battle it out at striker.
As for who else to worry about, the Lionesses of Great Britain captured the hearts of a nation without Title IX in 2019. They’ll have a new head coach in Hege Riise, who replaces Phil Neville after he took the main job at Inter Miami working for his old Manchester United teammate David Beckham. But they play a fun and physical style, and will be a tough out for whomever they face.
Here are the complete odds from DraftKings Sportsbook for who will win the women’s soccer gold medal at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.
Women’s Soccer Gold Medal 2020 Olympics
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