The U.S. will be defending its 2015 title in France.

By 90Min
May 03, 2019

United States forward Alex Morgan has named France and England as the two countries who are likely to provide the most competition to the USWNT at this summer's Women's World Cup as they look to defend their title won in 2015.

The American team remains top of the FIFA World Rankings and is favourite to lift the trophy in July, but coach Jill Ellis recently warned that the general rise in global quality in recent years means that this World Cup will be the most difficult to win yet.

And that is something the players are not taking lightly either.

"I think our biggest competition for the World Cup is a tie between the hosts, France, and I think England will have a pretty good tournament," Morgan said in a social media Q&A to mark the official announcement of the 23-plater USWNT roster.

"There's a lot of quality in this World Cup, but I think those are definitely two teams to look out for."

The U.S. themselves remain the only World Cup hosts to have lifted the trophy, doing so in 1999, but France are well fancied this time around and will be dangerous.

England, meanwhile, have firmly cemented their place as one of the best teams in the world in recent years after finishing fourth at the last World Cup and most recently winning the SheBelieves Cup on American soil earlier this year.

Morgan was a part of the USWNT that faced England in that competition in March, with the Lionesses managed by ex-Manchester United player Phil Neville earning a deserved 2-2 draw in Nashville by exploiting what was a disturbingly leaky American back-line.

Assuming the United States win their World Cup group as expected, they could meet France as early as the quarterfinals if the hosts also win their group and both countries navigate the first knockout round. The winner of that tie could potentially then meet England in the semifinals.

Morgan didn't mention Germany, but the two-time former winners are currently ranked second in the world by FIFA and will almost certainly be a serious threat as well.

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