Brazil has been named the host for the 2027 Women’s World Cup, with FIFA announced early Friday. 

The decision came after a vote at the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok, with Brazil earning 119 votes to the joint European bid’s 78. 

This will be Brazil’s first time hosting the Women’s World Cup, with the country having hosted the men’s World Cup twice before in 1950 and 2014. It will also be the first Women’s World Cup held in South America. The tournament will follow the same 32-team format as the 2023 WWC in Australia and New Zealand.

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Brazil winning the bid was not entirely surprising after FIFA issued a report just last week, stating that the Brazilian bid had pulled ahead as host following technical inspection. After evaluation, Brazil was given a score of 4.0 out of 5, compared to the 3.7 awarded to the Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Brazil ranked higher in a number of key areas, including stadiums, accommodations, fan zones, and transport infrastructure. Though considered to be a frontrunner, the US and Mexico withdrew their joint bid prior to the technical inspection period, saying they would instead focus their efforts on 2031.

On Friday, Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues called it a "victory." 

"We knew we would be celebrating a victory for South American women's soccer and for women," he told reporters. "You can be sure, with no vanity, we will accomplish the best World Cup for women."

"We are working on a transformation, not only for the country but for the continent," added bid team operational manager Valesca Araujo.

Brazil intends to use 10 of the venues utilized at the 2014 men’s World Cup, including holding the final in Rio de Janeiro on July 25th. The CBF's proposal outlines that the 2027 tournament run from June 24th through the end of July. Last summer’s World Cup began at the end of July and concluded on August 19th.

Another notable element of Brazil's newly unveiled plan to grow of the women’s game is that "all [men’s] clubs wishing to take part in high-level national and continental competitions must now provide a structure for a women’s team." While the definition of "structure" was not specifically identified, the country has set targets with CONMEBOL to help increase the number of women’s club teams in the country.

In last week's inspection findings, FIFA noted that selecting Brazil as the next WWC host could "have a tremendous impact on women's football in the region."

Brazil has officially become the favorite to host the 2027 Women's World Cup after FIFA’s technical inspection team awarded them a higher rating than the joint European bid. 

After the US and Mexico dropped out of the running last month, the bid from Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands had previously been pegged to win hosting rights for the next Women's World Cup. But FIFA's latest report shows that Brazil was given a score of 4.0 out of 5 in its technical evaluation, besting the European contender's score of 3.7.

Brazil ranked higher in a number of key areas, including stadiums, accommodations, fan zones, and transport infrastructure. The country is aiming to reuse 10 of the venues used for the 2014 Men's World Cup in 2027, with the final set to take place in Rio de Janeiro. 

"The Bid Evaluation Report reflects the comprehensive evaluation model that has become a hallmark of FIFA’s enhanced bidding processes for men’s and women’s flagship events, which incorporates a variety of criteria, ranging from event vision and key metrics, infrastructure, services, commercial aspects, and sustainability and human rights," FIFA wrote in a press release.

The report also highlighted the fact that this would be the first Women's World Cup in South America, noting that the decision could "have a tremendous impact on women's football in the region."

Should the EU bid win, it wouldn't be the first WWC in Europe, as Germany played host to the event in 2011 before France in 2019. There could also be further complications for the Germany-Belgium-Netherlands bid: In its report, the evaluation team regarded the bid's legal and contractual framework as "high-risk."

FIFA has promised more planning time for the 2031 Women's World Cup. While the Men's World Cup hosts have already been secured through 2034, the WWC is only three years away with a host yet to be named.

The final vote is set to take place at the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok on May 17th. It will be the first time FIFA determines a World Cup host via an open vote.

The United States and Mexico have withdrawn their joint bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup, per a Monday afternoon release from U.S. Soccer and the Mexican Football Federation.

According to the statement, they will instead focus on developing a "more equitable" bid for the 2031 tournament, with the ultimate goal of "eliminating investment disparities" between the men’s and women’s tournaments.

The federations went on to cite the upcoming 2026 Men’s World Cup in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico as an opportunity to build support for local infrastructure, improve audience engagement, and scale up media and partnership deals in preparation to "host a record-breaking tournament in 2031."

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"Hosting a World Cup tournament is a huge undertaking — and having additional time to prepare allows us to maximize its impact across the globe," said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone. "Shifting our bid will enable us to host a record-breaking Women’s World Cup in 2031 that will help to grow and raise the level of the women’s game both here at home as well as across the globe."

The decision leaves just Brazil and a joint bid from Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands in the running for the 2027 host spot. Brazil — the rumored frontrunner — has never hosted a Women’s World Cup, while Germany hosted the 2011 tournament as a solo venture. 

Furthermore, this postponement doesn’t mean the U.S. is a shoo-in for 2031, as it's been previously reported that 2022 UEFA Women's EURO host England is considering their own Women's World Cup bid. FIFA is scheduled to confirm the winning bid after the FIFA Congress votes on May 17th.

The U.S. women’s national team roster is here, and preparations will soon begin for the team’s World Cup title defense later this summer.

Before the 23 players named to the U.S. roster board the plane for New Zealand and kick off the group stage against Vietnam on July 21, test your knowledge on the USWNT with our interactive quiz!

Players on the Canada women’s national soccer team want their pay dispute with their national federation settled before they leave for the 2023 World Cup next week.

The pre-tournament camp is scheduled to start on June 28 in Australia, with the tournament kicking off on July 20. Canada captain Christine Sinclair told the Canadian Press that players want to get a deal done so that they don’t have the issue hanging over their heads throughout the World Cup.

And while the team hasn’t reached its breaking point yet, time is running out.

“We’re not at a point where we’re not getting on a plane, but time’s coming where we want it done so as players we’re not having to deal with it while we’re trying to prepare,” Sinclair told the Canadian Press.

Sinclair is not expecting a long-term solution to the long-standing battle for pay equity and funding.

“But us as a women’s team have flat out told the CSA (Canada Soccer Association) that we need a deal in place for at least the World Cup and this year before we head down there,” she said. “I think it will happen. Will it be a long-term deal? No. But something will be done before the World Cup starts.”

The women’s team has been without a labor deal since its previous one expired at the end of 2021. Earlier this year, players threatened it sit out the SheBelieves Cup before being strong-armed into playing the tournament by their federation.

In March, the two sides agreed to an interim deal, which covered the period of time in 2022 for which team members had not been paid. But players said there remained “a lot of work to be done.”

A permanent deal has not been reached due to a number of factors, the players’ association said at the time, including repeated failure by Canada Soccer to properly disclose financial numbers as well as the fight by the women’s team for an agreement that “establishes fair and equitable standards.”

Players did take part in the April FIFA window after saying they would only do so provided that “meaningful progress” has been made in negotiations. Still, a final deal has not been reached; the Canada men’s national team also is still negotiating its contract.

The reigning Olympic gold champion, Canada enters the final month of World Cup preparation among the top 10 contenders, according to the betting odds.

“I don’t know all the details on the men’s side of things but we’re fighting the same fight,” Sinclair said. “I think us as players, we fear that we as national teams could get left behind when you see the support that other federations are putting into their teams, putting into their youth programming, putting into professional leagues.

“If we want to remain relevant, yes, some things are going to have to change.”

Becky Sauerbrunn will not travel with the U.S. women’s national team to the 2023 World Cup due to an injury. But the longtime captain is sending a message to the next generation of USWNT leaders.

“This is your guys’ team now,” Sauerbrunn told her USWNT teammates Lynn Williams and Sam Mewis on the latest episode of their podcast. That’s the same message she is sharing with any USWNT teammates who have reached out to her about her absence from the World Cup roster.

The 38-year-old defender has been a mainstay on the national team since the 2011 World Cup, and this summer’s tournament would have been her fourth. She also became the first president of the USWNT Players Association in 2020, a position she still holds.  Still, she remains demure when asked about her legacy.

“I’m not going to claim to have any sort of influence over anybody,” she said. “I hope that I have impacted people in a really positive way. I am really glad that the veteran leaders on the team made a pretty conscious effort to really start empowering that next group of players.

“So I do hope that we pass the baton on well, and that we’ll see that at the World Cup. But I’m not going to claim that I did anything crazy good, that’s gonna make that much of an impact.”

In passing the baton, Sauerbrunn has offered support in particular to 29-year-old midfielder Lindsey Horan, who has taken on the captain’s armband in Sauerbrunn’s absence at times.

“She gets to lead this team out at a World Cup and to really appreciate what that means, in the course of your career,” Sauerbrunn said. “Like, that’s such a crazy, cool accomplishment.”

Sauerbrunn referred to Horan as her “co-captain,” though USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski did not commit to a new captain Wednesday after the roster announcement.

Sauerbrunn also has been telling her teammates to soak in the moment, which is something that she says you can’t replicate, especially as she begins to look back on her career and appreciate it even in the face of her disappointment.

“I’m super upset about potentially missing my fourth World Cup, when, talk to me about 15 years ago, I never even thought I was gonna have a national team cap,” she said. “And so it’s kind of like, I can’t be too woe is me. I’ve already done a lot of things and have been very fortunate in my career. And so I’m trying to keep perspective on it as well.”

Becky Sauerbrunn held out hope for an appearance at the 2023 World Cup until the last possible minute. But the longtime U.S. women’s national team captain will miss the tournament with a lingering foot injury.

Yet even as she shared her World Cup disappointment with USWNT teammates Lynn Williams and Sam Mewis on the latest episode of Snacks, she offered encouragement to the players — including Williams — who will make the trip.

The 38-year-old defender announced last Friday that she would miss the World Cup after injuring her foot while playing for the Portland Thorns in April. She returned to the pitch for the first time since the injury on June 3, playing 24 minutes against OL Reign, but she was still “in a decent amount of pain.”

While a World Cup return remained “possible,” she said, doctors warned that it would be “aggressive” for her to get back in time for the tournament, which kicks off in Australia and New Zealand on July 20.

“And so I think it was always in the back of my head that this was a possibility,” she said. “But until (head coach Vlatko Andonovski) called, I was holding out like 10% hope that I was going to make it.”

Ultimately, though, the timeline for her return and what the USWNT needed didn’t match up.

“It sucks, like, it’s such a bummer,” she said. “I really thought that I was gonna get back in time. Had a setback, you know, we gave them timelines where I could feasibly have played minutes at the World Cup. But the variability of it was, they just didn’t want to have to deal with that.

“And you don’t want somebody, a center-back in particular, that can only play 15 minutes later on in the tournament. So I totally understood. I kind of hoped I was going to squeak in maybe as just a presence, as a leader that could just keep the locker room hopefully in a really positive good vibe state.”

Andonovski and the USWNT staff will lean on other players for veteran presence, including Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan. And while Sauerbrunn is “obviously going to be cheering my ass off,” she admitted she still is going to be sad “for a little bit.”

“But like all things, I will get over it. I’ll be stronger for it,” she added. “So it just sucks right now.”

And she also offered a bit of wisdom to other players who have been left at home for this go around.

“For the players that didn’t make it this go, that we’re right on the bubble, you still have such a bright future and so much to work toward,” she said. “And so, if they want to look toward this and be like, ‘Man, her World Cup dream ended this way. And she’s still going to do this next podcast, like I can go to practice after getting bad news and do my best.’

“It’s rough. And kudos to all those players that are going through that right now and are putting their best foot forward and playing in these games when their heart is broken, because it is not easy to get that news.”

Sauerbrunn also struggled with dealing with her own disappointment publicly. While she had hoped to “have the weekend to process it myself,” she said, the news of her absence leaked ahead of the official roster drop. The USWNT revealed the 23-player roster Wednesday, but Sauerbrunn’s absence was reported Friday by The Athletic, and then Sauerbrunn followed the report with her own statement.

“I really just kind of want to suffer in silence for a little bit,” she said. “But of course, you know, you got to do what you got to do.”

Julie Ertz is a mainstay in the midfield for the U.S. women’s national team. But in the absence of veteran defender Becky Sauerbrunn, Ertz could take up a new (old) position for the 2023 World Cup.

While the 31-year-old has made her home in the midfield, she has played center-back for the USWNT before, albeit not in the last four years. And she could do so again if called upon, head coach Vlatko Andonovski said.

In the absence of Sauerbrunn, who will miss the World Cup with injury, the USWNT “will be exploring that option,” he told reporters Wednesday after announcing the 23-player roster.

“We’re all gutted for Becky,” Andonovksi said. “There’s no question we are going to miss Becky. We’re going to miss her on the field and off the field…

“But now that’s part of sports and we understand that things like this will happen. We’re very confident in the team that we have. And we’re very confident in the abilities of the players that we have on our team, that we’ll be able to overcome the deficiency that may occur with Becky’s absence.”

One of the players that holds those abilities is Ertz. In 2015, she played in the World Cup as a center-back, a position she also played at the U-20 level before making the transition to midfield in 2017.

“I really enjoy it,” Ertz told The Equalizer in 2017. “It’s nothing too new, in the sense that I’ve played midfield in college most of my time there. It’s definitely been a new challenge, it’s been fun and exciting. A little bit more opportunity, obviously to get closer to the goal. I’ve had a fun time, and I’m still learning.”

What started as a need for her then-NWSL club the Chicago Red Stars has blossomed into Ertz serving as the only true No. 6 for the USWNT over the last few years, as further proven by the team’s inability to fill the whole she left when injured.

But with Crystal Dunn playing well in the midfield for the Portland Thorns, and Ertz’s abilities to play multiple positions (similar to Dunn), could it make sense to make a swap?

“It is definitely something that is on our mind,” Andonovski said of putting Ertz at center-back. “And we will be exploring that option.”

Dunn, meanwhile, told USWNT legend Julie Foudy that there “haven’t been any conversations” about switching her to the midfield. Still, she’s received encouragement from Andonovski regarding her club play.

“The reality is I’m ready for my new role when I take the field for the national team,” she said.

When U.S. women’s national team unveiled its final 23-player roster for the 2023 World Cup on Wednesday, some players saw their dreams realized while others had theirs dashed.

Among the players who missed out on a spot were Ashley Hatch, Tierna Davidson and AD Franch, all of whom have attended multiple USWNT camps this year.

“There is no harder thing that you can do than tell someone that they did not make the roster for a World Cup,” USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski said after the roster reveal.

While the USWNT went with seven forwards and six midfielders for the SheBelieves Cup in February, Andonovski opted to flip those numbers for the World Cup, which leaves Hatch on the outside looking in. The flexibility of the forward corps — namely Sophia Smith, Lynn Williams, Trinity Rodman and Alyssa Thompson’s ability to play in the No. 9 slot — played into his decision, he said.

“They’re all playing in a really good form and we’re comfortable with their abilities and what they can provide on the field,” he said. “We’re not worried about having someone step in and do well if needed.”

Chicago Red Stars defender Davidson also “missed it by a little bit,” Andonovski said. After tearing her ACL in March 2022, Davidson participated in the February camp and then made her return during the USWNT’s April friendlies against Ireland. But Andonovski felt as though there “were other players that fit better in the needs that we may have” for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

“She’s an incredible player and I have no doubt that she will be back on this team soon and in contention for the roster spot for the next big tournament,” he said.

Also missing the roster is goalkeeper AD Franch, who had been called up at the end of 2022 following a standout NWSL season. She’s had a rough stretch in 2023, however, and was swapped out for Aubrey Kingsbury.

Megan Rapinoe enters the 2023 World Cup as the elder stateswoman on the U.S. women’s national team. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski plans to put the 37-year-old forward’s experience to work for the USWNT, on and off the pitch.

With the ages on the squad ranging from “18 to Pinoe,” as Alex Morgan put it, Rapinoe’s World Cup résumé makes her an invaluable resource. Rapinoe is one of three players (along with Morgan and Kelley O’Hara) set to appear in her fourth World Cup for the USWNT, and she is the oldest player on the squad by more than two years.

Already a USWNT legend, she factored in heavily in the last two World Cups, scoring her 50th international goal in the team’s championship match in 2019. With the goal, the 34-year-old Rapinoe became the oldest woman to score in a World Cup final. She also earned the Golden Boot as the top scorer of the tournament with six goals.

Four years later, Rapinoe is gearing up for another World Cup run as she looks to help the USWNT to its third consecutive title. But the team has changed, and so has her place within it.

“She will probably have a different role than her last two World Cups,” Andonovski said. “She is certainly going to have different types of minutes.

For the last 12 months, Rapinoe has served mainly as a substitute for the USWNT. She is rehabbing a calf injury she picked up in NWSL play, and while she is “progressing well” per Andonovski, expect her to maintain a similar role when the team heads to Australia and New Zealand. Still, the coach sees her as a leader on the field and in the locker room.

“Her role from a leadership standpoint is so important, but also when she is on the field she is so valuable for us,” he said.

With her 38th birthday coming up on July 5, she’s ready to embrace her role as the “fun grandma” for the USWNT, as she said on Snacks in April.

“I’m still fun. I’m still a fun aunt, fun grandma,” she said. “But yeah, it’s like we want to run it back. We wanna win. We wanna win everything, all the time. Win every game. World Cups are just so cool. Like this one’s going to be so much better than the last one which was so much better than the last one.

“It’s in a really cool place, so I think that’s exciting for everyone. The team is looking great. These little kids are just good. Everyone’s just good.”