The summer of 2019 marks the biggest event in women’s soccer and it’s right around the corner. While the men’s soccer teams end up getting most of the attention, there are many incredible women who go unrecognized even though they’re insanely talented and fun to watch.
These players aren’t garnering $100 million paychecks, but their relative skill level says they probably should be. This article will give you all the details on the players you probably don’t know but should going into the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
Jody Brown’s Hat Trick Helped Jamaica To The World Cup
Jody Brown is going to be one of the youngest women playing in the Women’s World Cup in France. She’s only 16 years old but played a huge part in helping Jamaica qualify for its first ever World Cup.
The winger potted three goals against Cuba and totaled six in World Cup qualifying which led her team. She was named to the Concacaf Female Best XI which is incredibly impressive for someone who would only be halfway through high school.
Erin Cuthbert’s Agility Is Often Overlooked
Erin Cuthbert is a firecracker on the field. The 20-year-old midfielder has above-average agility and playmaking skills. She helped Scotland qualify for its first European Championship in 2017 and followed that up by qualifying for its first World Cup in 2019.
During the qualifying matches, she scored four goals as Scotland edged Switzerland for the top spot in Group 2, including a goal in a 2-1 win over the Swiss. She plays for Chelsea and will probably be Scotland’s youngest player in France.
The Italian (Not So) Secret Weapon
You might be surprised to find out that Italy will be playing in its first World Cup since 1999 in France this summer. A big reason why lands squarely on the shoulders of 21-year-old Manuela Giugliano.
She made her senior Italy debut in 2014 at the age of 17 and scored her first Azzure goal a year later at 18. She plays for AC Milan and has 50 goals, with 20 of them coming from the midfield position. Even though she’s young, she’s going to have one of the most experienced resumes on her Italian team.
France’s Wendie Renard Has Basically Won Everything
She’s one of the best defenders in women’s soccer. In fact, if you play video games you’ll know that Wendie Renard is the top-rated CB in FIFA 19. She’s extremely quick on her feet and will be one of the winningest players in the World Cup.
She has 12 French Division 1 Femenin titles and five Champions League titles under her belt. The only thing she’s missing is a World Cup and there’d be no better place to do it than at home in 2019.
Asisat Oshoala Will Be Leading The Nigerians
Asisat Oshoala is only 24 years old but is a three-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year recipient. Oshoala and Nigeria qualified for the World Cup after winning their 11th African Women Cup of Nations.
Oshoala has most recently joined Barcelona after playing in China with Dalian Quanjian. She scored a goal at the 2015 World Cup when grouped with powerhouses United States and Sweden. They have a tough group in France too with the home team, South Korea, and Norway all in it, but expect big things from Oshoala.
Lieke Martens Will Shine For The Netherlands
If you’re a fan of women’s soccer and haven’t heard of Lieke Martens, you need to get out from under your rock. She’s an outstanding player. In 2017, she was named by both UEFA and FIFA as the top women’s player.
Martens is an attacking midfielder who is insanely dangerous from anywhere on the field. She has thrived since moving to Barcelona and loves playing for the Netherlands, where she has 39 goals in 93 appearances.
Samantha Kerr Might Be The Best Player In Women’s Soccer
Samantha Kerr, in many circles, is the best women’s soccer player in the world right now. Hailing from Australia, the 25-year-old forward currently plays for both the Chicago Red Stars and Perth Glory.
She was the 2017 NWSL MVP and despite her age, has been playing international soccer for a decade now. Her Australian club is going to need Kerr’s best to advance out of Group C which has Italy, Brazil, and Jamaica all battling it out.
A Thai Player With An American Background Could Make Some Waves At The World Cup
It’s not too often that a player from Thailand will appear in one of these articles, but Suchawadee Nildhamrong is the exception. Well, she grew up in California and played college soccer for the Cal Bears, but she plays internationally for Thailand.
At the AFF Women’s Championship, Nildhamrong scored two goals and added three assists. Interestingly enough, the Thai women will be heading into their second straight World Cup while the Thai men have never actually qualified.
Patri Guijarro Kicks Everything With A Golden Boot
By the time that Spain kicks off in the 2019 World Cup, Patricia Guijarro will have just turned 21. The midfielder is already one of Barcelona’s most exciting players to watch.
She starred for Spain at the U-20 World Cup in August winning the Golden Ball and Golden Boot even though her team lost to Japan. She tallied two goals in Spain’s qualifying matchups after Spain won eight out of eight games to earn their way to the World Cup.
Wang Shuang Took Her Trade Out Of China
Wang Shuang is one of the rare Chinese born players to extend her talents outside of the Chinese borders. She joined Paris Saint-Germain in August of 2018 and was named the 2018 Asian Women’s Footballer of the Year.
The 24-year-old midfielder has scored 25 goals for Paris and knotted four more in this year’s World Cup qualifying, including a hat trick against Jordan. She was the Chinese player who scored the dagger against the U.S. in 2015 in China’s 1-0 win.
The Reason Cameroon Will Surprise Fans In The World Cup
If you remember back four years ago to the Women’s World Cup, you’ll remember the surprisingly good Cameroon team. Gaelle Enganamouit was a big reason why as she scored a hat trick against Ecuador that got her team to the Round of 16.
The 26-year-old is easy to spot on the pitch with her blonde hair and was named African Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2015. She even opened a women’s soccer school in her native town in Cameroon.
Jordyn Huitema Is The Young Gun The Canadians Need
Jordyn Huitema is one of the most exciting players in the world right now. The Canadian scored four goals in the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship to help Canada finish second behind the U.S.
The 17-year-old made her national team debut in 2017 at the age of 15 and already has six goals in 16 games with Canada. She’s currently playing with TSS FC Rovers of the Women’s Premier League, the second tier of North American soccer.
The Germans Are On The Road To Redemption
If you’re wondering who the heartbeat of the German national team is, look no further than Dzsenifer Marozsan. She’s the captain of the team who has played nearly a decade at the international level.
The 26-year-old scored the winning goal to give Germany its only Olympic gold medal in 2016, but Germany hasn’t won the World Cup since 2007. They’ll have a chance to tie the Americans for most World Cup championships in 2019, and if Marozsan has anything to say about it, they’ll be pretty competitive in doing so.
Andressinha Already Plays Like A Veteran
Brazilian midfielder Andressinha is only 23 years old but is already an NWSL veteran having played in the league since she was 19.
She bounced around from the Houston Dash to the Portland Thorns and even had a great 2015 World Cup as she was named Woman of the Match in a win over Costa Rica. In the 2018 World Cup qualifying, Andressinha netted three goals as Brazil cruised to the Copa America Femenina trophy. You cannot underestimate her skill.
If Healthy, Fran Kirby Is One Of The Best Strikers In The World
It’s safe to say that when Fran Kirby is on her game she’s one of the best forwards in Europe. The 25-year-old got her career off to a hot start when she played for Reading, scoring more than 1.5 goals per match before moving to Chelsea.
She was named the PFA Women’s Player of the Year for the 2017-2018 season and tallied a goal in the 2015 World Cup. She put in two more during this year’s qualifying games for England which helped them get the top spot in their group.
Mallory Pugh Is An Unlikely Threat For The USWNT
Mallory Pugh is the only USWNT member on this list as she’ll be close to 50 goals by the time she hits her 21st birthday. It’s a truly remarkable feat considering the quality of attackers that the national team possesses.
She opted out of college ball and went straight to the NWSL where she plays for the Washington Spirit. Pugh hasn’t played in the World Cup yet, but even if she’s coming off the bench, she’ll be a huge threat.
Khahija Shaw Was The Unlikely Leading Scorer Of Qualifying
At the ripe age of 21, Jamaica’s Khadija Shaw was the leading scorer in the entire World Cup qualifying sphere. She plays for the University of Tennessee and has notched 19 goals in just 12 matches including three at the Women’s CONCACAF Championship to help get Jamaica to their first-ever World Cup.
She was named The Guardian’s Footballer of the Year in 2018 in a year that was filled with heartbreak after she lost three of her brothers.
Kumi Yokoyama Will Need To Carry Japan
Japan doesn’t have a lot of the veterans that helped the Japanese get to two straight World Cups, but they do have Kumi Yokoyama. She’s a 25-year-old striker that will have to carry her team if they expect to get out of a challenging group that includes England, Argentina, and Scotland.
Yokoyama joined Frankfurt in 2017 after she casually put up 87 goals in 74 matches for AC Nagano Parceiro in Japan. She led Japan in scoring during the 2018 Asian Cup.
Danielle van de Donk Is Steady In The Middle For The Dutch
Danielle van de Donk is a Dutch midfielder that recently helped the Netherlands qualify for the 2019 World Cup. The Dutch are a powerhouse in women’s soccer, but a lot of that is thanks to core midfielders like Danielle.
She plays her club ball for Arsenal and has 15 goals over her Lady Gunner career. She’s a strong presence in the middle of the field, and is considered to be one of the best at her position. Her talent might get lost on the national team, but she’s one to look out for.
Just Another Crucial Piece For The Netherlands
Vivianne Miedema is a Dutch forward who plays for Arsenal and the Netherlands. She signed with SC Heerenveen at 14 and made her senior debut at 15, reportedly becoming the youngest player to do so in the Eredivisie Vrouwen.
She’s been with the national team since 2013 and has played key roles in both the 2015 and 2019 World Cup qualifying matches. She has an incredible 137 goals in 158 professional games and she’s only 22 years old.