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Team USA Women

“The rest of the world is catching up.”

We’ve been hearing that or a version of it for a long, long time as regards the crazy — and continuing — soccer dominance of the United States women’s national team.

It has been wishful thinking by the rest of the world.

England, Spain, Sweden, Germany, even France? Anybody? Some other nation’s team someday will topple America’s dominance. Right? There is an eventual expiration date on everything...

...but the U.S. women keep saying not yet as they begin play Friday seeking a record fifth World Cup crown and a record third in a row. The first opponent is an epic underdog in Vietnam. The first match is in New Zealand, which is co-hosting this World Cup along with Australia.

Team USA’s four-team Group E with Netherlands, Portugal and Vietnam is stout, with the best combined ranking of any group. Netherlands is No. 9 in the world and lost to the U.S. in the 2019 World Cup final.

No matter. Bring it on. Team USA is the only nation to qualify for all nine Women’s World Cups that have been held and the only country to finish top three every time.

By contrast the U.S. men’s team is nowhere close to the same league in terms of international accomplishment, or, it could be argued , in popularity, though men’s soccer is bigger than the women’s game overall — as we are reminded in South Florida as Lionel Messi joining Inter Miami and MLS dominates the market and splashes across America.

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