Who's Really Winning the 2015 Women's World Cup? The NWSL.

How the impact of these players can help the league in the future
by Eric Harris   |   Thursday, June 11, 2015

NWSL logo

Every team has played their opening game in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, with 47 players on the rosters of 10 different countries coming from NWSL. All four days have had at least one NWSL player in a starting lineup for various teams. Not only that, the impact that the players are making is proving the quality of the league and in proving the quality of the league, they can help make the future years of NWSL even brighter than before.

Six goals from five different players have been scored by NWSL players. Megan Rapinoe and Christen Press led the way scoring all three goals for the United States. While many of the players are American, three of those goal scorers are foreign players. The opening goal of the tournament came from the foot of Christine Sinclair on a penalty kick. Washington Spirit midfielder Veronica Perez opened the scoring for Mexico in their 1-1 draw against Colombia. Nigeria played a thrilling 3-3 draw with the final goal of the match coming from Perez’s Washington teammate Francisca Ordega.

The league is not just getting success in the form of goal scorers either. A trio of goalkeepers hailing from NWSL each ended their match with three points in the bag. Erin McLeod opened the tournament with a shutout for the hosts in front of over 53,000 fans. Hope Solo made some key saves in the United States’ opening win. Portland keeper Nadine Angerer brought home a shutout in Germany’s 10-0 thrashing of an overmatched Ivory Coast side.

Most telling of all was the results that the teams featuring NWSL players had. New Zealand, England and Australia were the only teams to start a NWSL player and lose, with the Matlidas’ loss coming at the hands of the Americans and England losing to one of the favorites in France. Many of the teams that impressed the most featured multiple NWSL players. The hosts Canada featured six players from the league in their starting lineup and not surprisingly the United States had 10 players start who are currently playing in NWSL, the lone exception being the unique case of Abby Wambach.

The first four days was a show of strength for the league. Overall 32 of the 47 players got some playing time and all but one team from the league had one of those players. The success of the players already in the league will only strengthen the league as a whole. Many players from other countries are looking for stable places to train and play. If players from the league continue to do that then it will become a more desirable place to play.

It is already the place to play if you are an American or a Canadian born player, but this success on a global stage can bring an influx of players from outside the region. If players like Ordega and Perez continue to score then foreign players will come flocking to American teams in hopes of finding the same success. Bringing in European and African players will only deepen the player pool and make play in the league even more attractive.

Having a successful league will only bring out the best in the game as well. The more the game improves at the domestic level, then the more successful it can be on a global stage such as the World Cup in 2019.


U of Arkansas
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
American soccer fan by birth, SKC and Fulhamerican by choice. Watcher of all soccer, professional, WoSo and college. A life long Arkansan, he spends more money on soccer jerseys than a college student should.