The US comes into the game as big favorites based upon their history as well as the path they took to the final game. Along the way, the US knocked off three teams that made some waves at this years tournament – Spain, France and England.
If I had to build a pre-tournament list of four teams that had the best chance to win the tournament it would have included France, England, Netherlands and the US. Knocking off the Netherlands is the final hurdle to claim a record 4th World Cup Championship and also to make a historic run through the top teams, even if it had a European taste.
Netherlands is a small country (about 10 times smaller than California) and the population (according to Worldometers) is estimated at approximately 17 million which is slightly fewer than the US at almost 330 million.
From a soccer perspective, according to recent FIFA survey, the Netherlands have almost 161,000 registered female players and the US has approximately 1.6 million. It should be noted these numbers don’t include high school or college programs which aren’t sanctioned by FIFA governing bodies.
It’s fair to say the numbers favor the US, but for the Netherlands sake, it is good that only 11 play at a time.
This is only the second appearance for the Netherlands in a FIFA Women’s World Cup, whereas the US has appeared in all nine tournaments, advancing to the semifinal round (or further) in every tournament.
It’s also fair to say that history favors the US.
That is the beauty of soccer…although the US has an edge based upon resources, history and even current form, the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be decided on Sunday based upon the performance on the day.