The United States is used to being favored in women’s soccer, as they’ve been a world power on the women’s side of the world’s most popular sport ever since the first Women’s World Cup in 1991.
But, at least for the moment, they’re sharing the favorite status at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Germany has established itself as the first choice at most sportsbooks to win the premier international women’s soccer tournament, being listed at 5-2 odds by many major sportsbooks.
Germany was already considered the team to beat by many in the soccer world, and that status was unchanged after a 10-0 drubbing of the Ivory Coast in their first group stage game on Sunday.
USA Looks for Third Title
That’s not to say that the United States isn’t seen as a potential tournament winner, too.
Likely the deepest team in the field with the most recognizable names in the sport, the USA is listed at 3-1 odds to win the World Cup heading into their opening game against Australia on Monday evening.
Germany has won two of the last three Women’s World Cups, winning the championship consecutively in 2003 and 2007. That’s enough to share the record for most World Cup championships with the United States, which has also won two.
The USA team has the most impressive World Cup resume in the event’s history, having never finished lower than third place in any edition of the tournament.
However, they have not won the Women’s World Cup since 1999, when they defeated China in the final in a penalty shootout.
Several Teams Could Challenge Favorites
As the Women’s game starts to become deeper, however, neither Germany nor the United States is considered a shoe-in to win or even make the final.
Several other squads are considered realistic contenders for the title, and even more are capable of pulling upsets in individual games against those top tier teams.
France enters the tournament as the consensus third choice to win the tournament, typically being offered at 5-1 odds. The French dominated in European qualifying, and are looking to improve on their fourth place finish in the 2011 World Cup.
Behind the top three teams are a group that could be considered realistic dark horses to compete for the title.
As the hosts, Canada are listed at about 10-1 odds; while their opening 1-0 victory over China wasn’t impressive, there are still hopes that they could make a deep run behind captain Christine Sinclair.
Traditional power Brazil is hoping to get back to the podium again on the backs of five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta, and the bookies give them an 8-1 chance to win the tournament. There will be those who back defending champions Japan at 9-1 odds as well.
Following them are the second-tier European teams: Sweden, England, and Norway. Sweden is given the best odds of the group (14-1), while England and Norway can both be backed for 25-1 at many sportsbooks.
The Women’s World Cup will continue through July 5, when the Final will be played in Vancouver. This year marks the first time that 24 international teams have been invited to the World Cup: previously, only 16 teams competed.