Get hyped for the world cup

Fernanda Pineda

Favored to win the tournament, the United States women’s soccer team, who ranked second in the world, hopes to lift their third FIFA Women’s World Cup and become the only national soccer team to reach that feat.

Twenty-four teams from around the world will battle it out from June 6 to July 5 in Canada to see who will win the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The U.S. has been placed in what is known as the “group of death” with Australia, who was the runner-up in the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup; Sweden, who finished third in 2011 Women’s World Cup and Nigeria, who won the 2014 African Women’s Champions.

Their last triumph was in 1999 as the host country, when they defeated China.

The U.S. team consists of the experience of Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone, as well as the youth of midfielder, Morgan Brian and Sydney Leroux to aspire for the title. In 2011 they were on the edge of success but fell short against Japan, in a dramatic match that ended in a penalty shootout.

Reigning champion, Japan, hopes to revalidate the title they won in 2011, with the help of veteran Japanese midfielder, Homare Sawa, who was named the best player and top scorer in 2011 World Cup.

Japan is positioned in a relatively comfortable Group C, along with Switzerland, Cameron and Ecuador.

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Another regular contender, Germany, tied with the U.S as the two most successful national soccer teams with two World Cups, arrives to Canada as the winners of their European qualifying group, with 62 goals for and only 4 goals against.

Germany will not be able to have their star player, Nadine Keßler, 2014 FIFA World Player of the Year, due to a knee-injury.

However, they can still rely on their skilled goalkeeper, captain and 2013 FIFA World Player of the Year, Nadine Angerer.

Germany should not have any problems advancing to the round of 16, as they are in a moderately easy Group B with Norway, who is ranked eleventh and has not won since 1995 and Ivory Coast and Thailand are both making their World Cup debuts.

Controversy has surrounded the conditions of the playing field, given that the women will be playing on artificial turf as opposed to the traditional natural grass.

Artificial turf has had a history of being associated with an increase in injuries, as well as, irregular movements of the ball that impede the consistency of the game.

The issue sparked anger in the players, primarily because the men get to play on natural grass. Wambach and other players filed a gender discrimination complaint last fall with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. But they withdrew it in January.

Although it is not as popular as the men’s World Cup, the women’s World Cup is increasing in popularity around the world.

Ticket sales this year are at an all-time high, reaching 831,000 tickets sold on May 26, according to Terry Jones from the Edmonton Sun.

Fox Sports will broadcast the 52 matches on its main channels, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2.

The opening match will be between China and Canada in Commonwealth stadium in Edmonton on June 6.