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Here are the top 10 best U.S. women soccer players that will compete at the 2023 World Cup

If you’re a casual American soccer fan who tunes in for the World Cup and the occasional game, then this article is here to help. If you’re watching the 2023 Women’s World Cup this year, then you might want to know who the best US women soccer players are.

Those of you who are die-hard United States women’s national team (USWNT) fans can feel free to critique this list all you want. Here are the best US women soccer players who will play in Australia and New Zealand this summer at the Women’s World Cup.

Top 10 best US women soccer players to watch for at the 2023 Women’s World Cup

10. Alyssa Thompson

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  • Position: Forward (left wing)
  • Number: 7
  • Club Team: Angel City FC
  • Age: 18

The phenom. Alyssa Thompson graduated high school in June and a month later she's heading to the World Cup. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski gave Thompson her shot with the national team last fall when she made her debut. Since then she was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2023 NWSL draft becoming the youngest player ever drafted. She's been exhilarating to watch in NWSL and is one to keep an eye on this World Cup.

9. Naomi Girma

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  • Position: Defender (center back)
  • Number: 4
  • Club Team: San Diego Wave FC
  • Age: 22 

Naomi Girma only has 16 appearances for the national team heading into the World Cup but has quickly become one of the team’s best defenders. She made her debut with the USWNT in April 2022 and has been terrific in defense. Her biggest accolades are in the National Women’s Soccer League where she was the No. 1 draft pick in 2022 and went on to win NWSL Defender of the Year and NWSL Rookie of the Year.

8. Alyssa Naeher

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  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Number: 1
  • Club Team: Chicago Red Stars
  • Age: 35

If you watched the USWNT’s 2019 World Cup victory, then you might remember Alyssa’s Naeher’s massive penalty save vs. England in the semifinal. The veteran goalkeeper is as good as ever and routinely makes big saves for the team.

Naeher is absolutely the person you want between the sticks for the US and at age 35 she’s got her eyes on one more World Cup.

7. Trinity Rodman

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  • Position: Forward (right wing)
  • Number: 20
  • Club Team: Washington Spirit
  • Age: 20

The hype around Trinity Rodman is massive. While she is the daughter of basketball legend Dennis Rodman, she’s carved her own path to glory. Rodman skipped college to go straight to the NWSL at age 18, won Rookie of the Year, was named to the NWSL Best IX and then signed a four-year $1.1 million contract, making her the highest paid player in the league.

She made her debut for the national team in February 2022. With Mallory Swanson being out for the World Cup with a knee injury, Rodman could fill Swanson’s spot and be poised for a big tournament.

6. Julie Ertz

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  • Position: Midfielder (defensive midfielder)
  • Number: 8
  • Club Team: Angel City
  • Age: 32

Julie Ertz is perhaps the biggest wildcard of the USWNT’s roster. The midfield star went on a soccer hiatus after the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and gave birth to her child, Madden. To the surprise of just about everyone she returned to the national team in April after almost two years of not playing for a club or the USWNT. She’s a monster in the midfield and provides a much-needed veteran presence.

5. Crystal Dunn

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  • Position: Defender (left back)
  • Number: 19
  • Club Team: Portland Thorns
  • Age: 30

The defense for the USWNT is a mix of new talent and stalwart names. Crystal Dunn has been playing with the national team for a decade and has over 100 appearances. She took a short break from the sport last year when she gave birth to her first child, Marcel. Now she’s back and is a lock for the national team at left back.

4. Rose Lavelle

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  • Position: Midfielder (Central/right midfielder)
  • Number: 16
  • Club Team: OL Reign (Seattle)
  • Age: 27

Rose Lavelle is set to compete at her second World Cup. Her first in 2019 was as memorable as it gets with a terrific goal against the Netherlands in the final.

She will get another chance to score against the Dutch in a World Cup as the US and Netherlands face off in the group stage.

3. Lindsey Horan

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  • Position: Midfielder (Central/right midfielder)
  • Number: 10
  • Club Team: Lyon (France)
  • Age: 28

Lindsey Horan is the only player on this list that plays her club ball outside of the US. The American midfielder previously played for the Portland Thorns from 2016-2022 before joining Lyon on loan. Horan had the honor of becoming the new wearer of the iconic No. 10 jersey after Carli Lloyd retired. Horan is also the penalty taker for the national team.

2. Alex Morgan

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  • Position: Forward (Striker)
  • Number: 13
  • Club Team: San Diego Wave 
  • Age: 33

Perhaps the most recognizable face and name on the roster, Alex Morgan will play in her FOURTH World Cup this summer. She’s one of the most reliable players for the team with 121 goals in 207 appearances. Morgan has scored nine World Cup goals in her career with five of them coming against Thailand in the 2019 World Cup. Perhaps her most iconic moment at a World Cup was her goal and tea celebration vs. England in 2019.

1. Sophia Smith

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  • Position: Forward (right wing)
  • Number: 11
  • Club Team: Portland Thorns
  • Age: 22

The next generation is here and leading the charge is reigning NWSL MVP Sophia Smith. She holds the title of being the first player born in the 2000s to appear for the national team. Her stats from 2022 were tremendous with 11 goals in 17 games for the USWNT and 18 goals in 25 appearances for the Portland Thorns. The 2023 World Cup will be her first major tournament and she looks set to light up the world stage.

Honorable mentions go out to the likes of Mallory Swanson, Becky Sauerbrunn and Catarina Macario who will all miss the 2023 World Cup due to injury.

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