LeBron James' Gesture to USWNT Highlights Women's World Cup Clash
LeBron James shows support for USWNT ahead of knockout-stage match, wearing their jersey in Canada.
NBA superstar LeBron James made headlines when he was spotted in Canada wearing a U.S. Women's National Team jersey ahead of their crucial match against Sweden. James is a dedicated supporter of the USWNT and has been vocal about their success, especially during their victorious 2019 World Cup campaign.
James, who recently became the all-time leading scorer in the NBA, received congratulations from various notable athletes, including USWNT star Alex Morgan. Morgan, who was also the subject of the Disney documentary series "Becoming" produced by James, expressed her good wishes for his achievement on social media.
It's no secret that James has a strong passion for soccer. He even owns a stake in the English Premier League club Liverpool. In July, he witnessed Lionel Messi's MLS debut with Inter Miami and warmly embraced the 2022 FIFA Men's World Cup champion before the game.
The recent decline of the USWNT has been a cause for concern among the American public during the 2023 World Cup. Their 0-0 draw with Portugal left them on the brink of not advancing beyond the group stage. Despite this, they still have the support of influential figures like James as they aim for another victory in the competition.
The struggles of the USWNT in the 2023 World Cup can be attributed to three key factors: a flawed youth development system, injuries to key players, and criticism towards coach Vlatko Andonovski for not fully utilizing the potential of the healthy players. The suspension of midfielder Rose Lavelle due to yellow cards presents an opportunity for Coach Andonovski to reassess the team's strategy.
Heading into the knockout stage, the U.S. women's national team is far from the dominant force they were four years ago when they won the tournament. This shift in their performance has caused a change in the sportsbooks' odds, with England now being the favorite to claim the Women's World Cup title.
The USA's standing has slipped to a co-second choice with Spain, both having odds of +450. Their Round of 16 clash against Sweden will mark their 43rd encounter, making Sweden the fourth-most frequently faced opponent in USWNT history. Although the USA has historically had the upper hand in the series, the last ten matches have been evenly matched, with four wins, four draws, and two losses.
It's worth noting that the previous nine out of ten meetings between the USA and Sweden have been decided by a margin of two goals or fewer. This adds to the anticipation and excitement surrounding their upcoming match.