Spain, which faces the USA., Start to take women's football seriously

Spain, which faces the USA., Start to take women's football seriously
The team of the US Women's World Cup. The USA It will be in better shape on Monday, as it will take a great effort to get Spain out of this tournament in the Round of 16. "Tiki-taka", the short and elegant pass style that was once reserved for the Spanish guys and Men are now gender neutral.

The Spaniards are taking Feminine Soccer extremely seriously these days.

So seriously that a crowd of 60,739 showed up at the Wanda Metropolitan Stadium in Madrid on March 17 to see the women's teams of Atlético de Madrid and FC Barcelona play a league game. Read that number again. Carefully. 60,739 for a regular season female club game.

It was the most numerous crowd in the history of a women's club match, and it brought down Hall Messi that same day in the front pages of Spanish newspapers. Two months earlier, 48,121 fans gathered at Athletic Bilbao's San Mamés stadium for a Spanish Cup match between Athletic and Atlético de Madrid.

The powerful Real Madrid, feeling excluded from the women's football game, announced on Saturday that it will add a women's team next year. It's time! In addition, the Spanish soccer federation committed last week to invest $ 23 million in the women's teams of the League and in launching the best games on Bravo TV.

The increase in Spanish women's football is evident in this World Cup.

Fifteen FC Barcelona players are in the round of 16, and 10 of them play for Spain. The Spanish national team went from not classified to No. 13 in the world in a hurry, and a wave of young talents is right behind these players. In December 2018, Spain won the U-17 Women's World Cup over Mexico. Last fall, Spain was runner-up in Japan at the U-20 Women's World Cup.

Much has been written in the last week about how the United States will have a difficult road to the World Cup title with possible matches against hosts France in the quarterfinals and England in the semifinals. It has been assumed that the defending champion team of the United States will overtake Spain; And while Americans are certainly super talented and favorites on Monday, this game can prove more difficult than people expect.

Spain went through the World Cup standings and beat Austria, Finland, Serbia, and Israel with a combined score of 25-2. "La Roja", as the Spanish team is known, won the World Cup set-up matches against England, Brazil and the Netherlands.

He finished second in Group B last week with a 1-1-1 record, the only defeat 1-0 to Germany.

Perhaps most revealing, in January, the coach of the United States, Jill Ellis, very wisely set out to play a friendly against Spain. As they well knew that the newly arrived Spaniards were getting stronger, he programmed a game in the Spanish city of Alicante. It was the first time the two teams met.

Spain showed their technical skills in that game and showed that they could chain passes against the Americans. The game was stalled 0-0 at halftime, and the United States ended up winning 1-0 with a goal in the second half of Christen Press.

The Spaniards dominated the possession in the three games of the World Cup so far, with 72% in a 3-1 victory over South Africa, 59% in the defeat against Germany and 61% in a 0-0 draw. with China.

The good news for the United States: Julie Ertz, who retired from the game of Sweden with a minor injury, and Alex Morgan, who was eliminated in the first half against Sweden, is expected to start.

An American team with all its strength playing the best should win this game. But if they lower their guard or look towards the quarterfinals, Spain could get a big surprise.

Players from the United States say they are excited about the challenge.

"I say continue," Ali Krieger told reporters on Saturday. "You come here to play the best teams, to be the best. Because if we did not do it, people would say, "Oh, they just played this and that, and they just played such and such and this was an easy route for them."

"No. I want to play with all the teams that take first place in this tournament just so we can lift that trophy and feel that rewarding feeling at the end, to say, 'You know what, we're the best.'"