The United States women’s national team will try to do something no team has ever done and win its third consecutive FIFA World Cup this summer in Australia and New Zealand.

But while the No. 1-ranked United States might be favorite to win it all, its competition is as fierce as ever with several nations bringing the best squad they’ve ever had.

Let’s take a look at which teams FOX Sports’ panel of soccer experts picked to win this year’s tournament, and some other teams that have their attention:

Which team is your pick to win the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup?

Carli Lloyd: Spain. They disappointed at the 2019 World Cup by losing to the U.S. in the round of 16. Four years later, the women’s game in Spain has grown, and this golden generation could finally be the one that lifts the trophy. But I also think France, Australia, USA, Germany, England and Brazil could potentially contest for the trophy.

Carli Lloyd DOES NOT believe USWNT will win the World Cup?!


Alexi Lalas: Safe money is on the USA, but I’m not safe. So I’m going with France. Players got the coach replaced so the onus and responsibility will be on the players. New coach Herve Renard fresh off of a men’s World Cup with Saudi Arabia can use that to motivate a talented French group, that now has to put up or shut up.

Holden: The United States. This team has transitioned well over the last year, and you’re starting to see the young, talented players become an important part of the core. Sophia Smith, Alex Morgan, Trinity Rodman, and Alyssa Thompson will be too much for opposing teams to handle defensively, and I think the USWNT will get the job done.

Jimmy Conrad: The USA, because I want to see the USWNT become the first team (on the men or women’s side) to win three consecutive World Cups! They have already created so much history over the years, but this would cement their legacy forever!

Now I know it won’t be easy because teams are much more athletic, sophisticated and tactically savvy nowadays, and even if they are not as talented as the USWNT, they can make it really hard to score (i.e, see the recent results of England 0, Portugal 0 and Germany 2, Vietnam 1).

Lesie Osborne: The USA. This team has depth, experience and, at the same time, young energy coming into this Women’s World Cup. They’re definitely in transition and will have to find a way to make up for Becky Sauerbrunn’s veteran presence and leadership, but I’d still give them a slight edge — the USWNT always finds a way.

David Mosse: Sweden. After so many near misses, including a third-place finish at the last World Cup, it will finally break through.

Laken Litman: The USA. There’s something about this team and making history, whether it’s achieving equal pay or holding the record for the most World Cups. Winning three straight World Cup titles is unprecedented in both men’s and women’s soccer, but this squad has a chance to do it. And not with a super veteran group, either.

Of the 23 players on the roster, 14 are playing in their first World Cup. Yes, there are more threats this year especially in teams like England, Germany, Spain and Australia. But it would be foolish to think the USWNT won’t find a way to win because that’s what they do. Plus, the team has to send Megan Rapinoe off into retirement with another championship.

Doug McIntyre: It has to be the USWNT, right? This is FIFA’s No. 1-ranked team and the two time defending champ. More than that, I think the ridiculous depth the Americans possess sets them apart. We’ll see how England overcomes injuries to key three players, but I doubt they’ll be better equipped to handle it than Vlatko Andonovski’s side.

While the U.S. will be without Catarina Macario and Mallory Swanson, two of the best attacking players in the world, because of  injuries, Andonovski can simply plug in the likes of Trinity Rodman and Sophia Smith. That’s insane.

Will the USWNT win the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup?

Will the USWNT win the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup?


Martin Rogers: Spain. Of course the USWNT will be the favorite, as it deserves to be. However, soccer history is stacked with examples of how incredibly difficult it is to even win back-to-back World Cups, let alone three in a row. Spain has the firepower, a star-stacked lineup including two players, Alexia Putellas and Aitana Bonmati, who play in a way never seen before in women’s soccer. There has been some off-field drama which may hurt, but getting into the bubble of a tournament might be just what this squad needs to pull together.

Which team do you think could exceed expectations?

Lloyd: Brazil. Pia Sundhage has brought in exactly what this Brazil squad has needed: discipline and organization. There are several players that are playing in the NWSL and in top form, and his will be Marta’s last World Cup, which may be the push the team needs to make a deep run.

Lalas: Zambia. Speed kills and its recent win vs. Germany can help the debutants shock in the group.

Holden: I think Australia can exceed expectations and make a World Cup Final on home soil. They’ve never been past the quarterfinals before, but they have one of the best strikers in the World in Sam Kerr. And with the home fans behind them, they can pull off something special.

Australia’s Sam Kerr is No. 2 on Aly Wagner’s player rankings

Australia's Sam Kerr is No. 2 on Aly Wagner's player rankings


Osborne: Zambia. They are fast in transition; Barbara Banda is so talented and hungry for goals at the Women’s World Cup; and they beat GERMANY in a friendly! Morocco and Portugal are two other teams I think will surprise people.

Conrad: Costa Rica! The Ticas are super solid defensively, they get to play against quality opponents, the U.S. and Canada, on the regular, they finished fourth in the most recent CONCACAF Championship and nobody expects them to do anything in this tournament. I think they can shock Spain or Japan in their group.

Mosse: Colombia. Las Cafeteras have attacking firepower, and Linda Caicedo is a potential breakout star.

Litman: Morocco. Playing in their first ever World Cup, the Atlas Lionesses are ready to inspire a nation and shock the world just like the men’s side did in Qatar. They have a supportive fan base behind them – 45,000 people packed the stands for their semifinal win over NIgeria at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nation’s last year.

Rosella Ayane plays for Tottenham and knows how to score big-time goals (as she did during qualifying). Germany is expected to win Group H, but second place is up for grabs.

McIntyre: Watching the Republic of Ireland live against the U.S. in April, I was really impressed. They’re well coached and defensively sound. The debutants are in a killer group with host nation Australia, Olympic champ Canada and a Nigerian team that has competed in every previous Women’s World Cup and reached the knockout stage in 2019. But with a little luck, it wouldn’t shock me if they survive it or at least pull off an upset if they don’t.

Ireland Team Preview with Alexi Lalas

Ireland Team Preview with Alexi Lalas


Rogers: China. It has been a long while since China was considered as one of the leading powers of the women’s game, but there are serious signs of a resurgence. Victory in the AFC Asian Women’s Cup — which served as the primary qualifier for that region — was a major lift and veteran forward Wang Shanshan remains as dangerous as ever.

Which team do you have the most questions/concerns about?

Lloyd: New Zealand. The Ferns have real pressure to win their first World Cup game on home soil. Plus, they have struggled to get results leading up to the tournament, giving up goals and having trouble finding the back of the net.

Lalas: England. The European champs have lost key contributors from a year ago (Fran Kirby, Leah Williamson, Beth Mead, Ellen White) and it might be hard to reignite the magic from last summer.

Holden: England. The Euro Champions have too many injuries to key players and don’t have the squad depth to win the World Cup, which is what the expectations will be.

Osborne: Spain. With all the drama with their head coach and federation over the past year, the lack of certain key players they are missing, I’m not sure how their chemistry off the field will affect them on the pitch.

Spain’s Alexia Putellas is Aly Wagner’s No. 1 player

Spain's Alexia Putellas is Aly Wagner's No. 1 player


Conrad: Brazil and France. They always have the talent to win it all but somehow, even with rosters littered with world-class players, they can’t seem to figure it out, and now they’re in the same group together! So, I’m very curious to see which version of these countries shows up and if either one can be holding the trophy at the very end.

Mosse: France. The coaching change came too late, and their chemistry still feels off.

Litman: Spain. This team was actually one of the most nervy games for the U.S. four years ago in the Round of 16. And while this squad has some of the most talented players in the world — Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas and Aitana Bonmati, for example — they are still missing quite a few who are sitting out in protest of their head coach. Will they be able to overcome the amount of drama that’s surrounded the team for the past year?

McIntyre: England. The expectations are huge after last summer’s Euro triumph. But this tournament won’t be played on home soil, and the Lionesses are a different, significantly weaker team without injured starters Fran Kirby, Beth Mead and captain Leah Williamson.

Rogers: England, and only because of the incredibly high bar the Lionesses have set for themselves. After winning the Euros and becoming, for a while, the team to beat in women’s soccer, nothing less than a tournament victory would feel like a step forward. Easier said than done when much of the spine of your team is gone, due to a hugely unfortunate — and untimely — injury crisis.

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