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Women's World Cup odds: Is there any hope outside of USA or England?

With an expanded 32-team tournament and matches across Australia and New Zealand, the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup (beginning with a crowd of over 100,000 for the Matildas opener against Ireland) is going to be the best in the competition's 32-year history.

The USWNT is favored for a three-peat but that's never been done before, and there will be fierce competition from European champions England, two-time world champs Germany and teams looking to take the next step like France and Spain. 

World Cup winner Raphaël Varane retires from France team at age 29

France defender Raphaël Varane is retiring from international football, ending a 10-year career with Les Bleus in which he won the World Cup in 2018 and was a runner-up four years later.

The 29-year-old, who has 93 caps after making his debut in 2013, and also helped Didier Deschamps's side win the UEFA Nations League in the 2020-21 season.

Unbalanced USWNT midfield is cause for concern at SheBelieves Cup

After playing the 2021 tournament in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2022 competition with a weakened field, the SheBelieves Cup returns in a big way this February with the USWNT playing matches against Canada, Japan and Brazil ahead of this summer's main event, the 2023 FIFA World Cup.

3 things we learned from the USMNT's January camp

The USMNT ended its January camp with a high-energy, low-quality 0-0 draw against Colombia on Saturday night. It was a match that suited Kellyn Acosta's ability to be everywhere all at once in midfield, and it provided us with a glimpse into the shattered goalscoring confidence of Matthew Hoppe. Time is still on the 21-year-old's side.

Has the USMNT finally found its No. 9 in Brandon Vázquez?

Amid the off-field chaos and turmoil within the United States men’s national team, some questions have remained on the pitch. The U.S. is dripping with talent in almost every position, but one spot has remained untethered. The No. 9 has long been a giant, flailing red flag alongside world beaters like Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Matt Turner. But after years of experimentation with different systems and players, there's finally a chance that the trial and error period is over.

The numbers are in — Mykhailo Mudryk posted a faster sprint speed than every NFL player this season

New Chelsea signing Mykhailo Mudryk is turning heads with his incredible sprint speed. After one appearance for the Blues, he set the Premier League’s record for fastest top speed of the season. How fast is Mudryk when compared to the speedsters in the NFL? 

The numbers might surprise you.

Obviously, we will mention that the NFL players are wearing helmets and pads which slightly lowers their speed. Still, Mudryk stacks up incredibly well.

USMNT player watch: 3 trending in the right direction, 2 we're worried about

I'll whisper it, but I feel like I'm discerning some faint traces of light ahead with regards to the USMNT's direction. There's obviously still no permanent manager, but every day takes us further from Gregg Berhalter and closer to what's demanded when hosting the world's greatest sporting event come 2026.

Erling Haaland fires another hat-trick, reaches 25 EPL goals in just 19 appearances

MANCHESTER, England - Norwegian goalscoring phenomenon Erling Haaland fired his fourth Premier League hat-trick of a remarkable season to earn Manchester City a comfortable 3-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

City dominated the first half and deservedly took the lead after Haaland headed home from a pinpoint cross from Kevin De Bruyne in the 40th minute.

Antoine Griezmann shows off the skills with a backheel goal and backheel assist five minutes apart

MADRID — Antoine Griezmann grabbed a goal and an assist as Atletico Madrid returned to winning ways with a 3-0 home victory over Real Valladolid in LaLiga on Saturday.

First-half goals from Griezmann, Alvaro Morata and Mario Hermoso earned fourth-placed Atletico just their second win in their last seven league games, while a fifth straight defeat for Valladolid leaves them one point above the relegation zone in 17th place.

Atletico are 10 points adrift of leaders Barcelona, who have two games in hand and next face Getafe on Sunday.

5 USMNT players we're excited to see during January camp

As Mary J. Blige once said, "No drama, no more in my life (no more drama in my life, no one's gonna make me hurt again)." I'm so tired of the USMNT manager discussion, so this is the only time I'm going to mention that or the fact that Anthony Hudson is serving as interim head coach for January camp. Let's get back to the only things that matter, the game and the players who play it.

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