By 90Min
April 21, 2019

The United States will become the latest nation to attempt the difficult task of repeating as World Champions, when the 2019 World Cup begins in France on 7 June and they have a great chance to make history.

Becoming a world champion is one of the hardest feats in all of sport, but an even greater challenge is building on previous success. Only one nation has ever won back-to-back titles in the Women's World Cup (Germany 2003/2007), speaking volumes about how hard it is to sustain the title of best in the world over the course of time. 

Although the USWNT still has many questions surrounding them, the combination of attacking star power and defensive tenacity cannot be matched by any other squad in the tournament. 

Something that every nation around the world can take from the USWNT is the seamless transition from veteran players to up-and-coming stars. Too many times before big tournaments, the struggle between old and young has gotten in the way of a team reaching its full potential. This United States squad does not have this problem and in the end, this will be the Lady Yanks' most valuable asset going into this year's World Cup. 

The USWNT is full of star players, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe just to name a few, but they will all be playing different roles compared to previous competitions. 

Morgan, for example, spent the majority of her early career playing with American legend Abby Wambach and was always in the shadow of her country's all-time leading goalscorer despite scoring 101 times on the international level. The 2019 World Cup will be a chance for the 29-year-old to cement herself as the star of the United States for the first time, but this responsibility comes with a lot of new pressure. 

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On the other end of the spectrum, Lloyd is past her prime and has had to transition from her natural central-midfield role to a spot up top. Lloyd was the MVP of the previous World Cup in Canada but her role will be completely different four years later. Despite her determination to be the centre-piece of the squad, Lloyd recognises it's her time to step aside and let the younger players take the team to glory.

This process was highlighted by the ceremony held at half-time of the United States' previous match against Belgium, in which the 1999 World Cup winners were celebrated 20 years after their triumph. The squad of '99 brought in one of the greatest values in sports: do whatever it takes to win, and this mindset has trickled all the way down to the current crop preparing for the competition in 2019. 

Rarely does a transition of power go so seamlessly, but the USWNT seems to have the process down to a science. 

Further assets for the United States are the personalities of the players involved. The Lady Yanks could easily go into every match with the mindset of being the best, but the veterans in the squad would never let that happen.

Women such as Julie Ertz and Lindsey Horan bring a type of intensity to the pitch that is hardly matched by anyone in world soccer, men or women. The leadership in the team is head-and-shoulders above every other country in the tournament and this drive will push the United States through tough matches that come down to the wire. 

This intensity flows through the blood of every American player and is another direct effect from teams of the past. The USWNT has fielded countless players who wore their emotions on their badge and the passion radiates throughout the squad for generations. 

While team camaraderie and hard work ethic is a good starting point for any team, in a tournament as big as the World Cup a team's overall skill level plays the biggest part. This is where the United States really distance themselves from the rest of the pack. 

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From top to bottom, the USWNT has the best players in the world. The combination of skill, speed and strength the Lady Yanks possess can't be matched by any other nation for a full 90 minutes, let alone an entire tournament. 

Morgan seems to be scoring goals whenever she feels like it and 23-year-old Rose Lavelle is growing into one of the most creative players on the planet. We also can't forget the number one overall pick in last year's draft, Tierna Davidson, who may be the best one-on-one defender the US has had in its ranks since Brandi Chastain. 

Outside-back has been a point of conversation leading up to the World Cup in the summer, but it seems like manager Jill Ellis has found her solution. Crystal Dunn has adapted well to a position on the left side of a back-four despite playing most of her career as a winger. On the opposite side, Kelley O'Hara is one of the best at her position and if she can stay healthy the US won't have a problem.

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The quality at every position gives the United States a huge advantage over other countries around the world as they do not have a clear weak point in the squad. With the team's overall skill and traditional intensity, the USWNT seems poised to take home back-to-back World Cup trophies for just the second time in history.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)