Women’s World Cup Power Rankings: Pre-Knockout Rounds

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
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It’s good to be queen, but for how long?

The United States women’s national team set a group stage record for goals and did not concede once across defeats of Thailand, Chile, and Sweden, but even the most generous of supporters will admit the draw did them well.

That won’t be the case moving forward, even if the next match should be a straight-forward challenge from Spain.

16. China — One goal scored, one goal conceded in three matches.
Pre-World Cup ranking: 15

15. Spain — Blanked twice after beating South Africa, and drop a few spots simply due to their next opponent.
Pre-World Cup ranking: 13

14. Nigeria — Could’ve gotten a point from the France were it not for VAR.
Pre-World Cup ranking: 20

13. Cameroon — Their thrilling stoppage time win past New Zealand was a terrific moment for the tournament.
Pre-World Cup ranking: 24

12. Japan — Uninspiring but safe after a 1-1-1 group stage.
Pre-World Cup ranking: 7

11. Australia — Sam Kerr can do almost anything, but she can’t play all four lines along their suspect back line (or can she?).
Pre-World Cup ranking: 10

10. Norway — Second to the hosts and only fell to France via a penalty.
Pre-World Cup ranking:  12

9. Canada — Christine Sinclair scored to close ground on Abby Wambach’s international goals record, but Sweden is a big ask.
Pre-World Cup ranking: 5

8. Brazil — Marta’s crew may’ve lost just about every game heading into the tournament, but even France doesn’t want an elimination game against her.
Pre-World Cup ranking: 8

7. Sweden — Losing to the USWNT is no crime, but that loss happened during their only real test of the group stage. Canada is a bigger issue.
Pre-World Cup ranking: 6

6. Italy — Could’ve easily went 3-0, losing 1-0 to Brazil in a game their opponents needed badly.
Pre-World Cup ranking: 14

5. England — Still feel relatively untested, but the 2-0 win over Japan steadied many doubts.
Pre-World Cup ranking: 4

4. Netherlands — The EURO champions look electric, but both goals allowed came within minutes of scoring themselves.
Pre-World Cup ranking: 9

3. Germany — Three clean sheets, and built up to a four-goal night in the group stage finale.
Pre-World Cup ranking: 3

2. France — The hosts allowed just one goal and remain, obviously, at home.
Pre-World Cup ranking: 2

  1. USWNT — Dominant, with the only question coming between the sticks. Beat Sweden while resting Julie Ertz.
    Pre-World Cup ranking: 1