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Chris graduated from Georgia State University in 2009 with degrees in Journalism and Creative Writing. He has spent a lot of time working with the media. From engineering radio broadcast for most of Atlanta’s major sports teams to shooting high school football games behind a camera, Chris has a lot of media experience. Besides that, he loves soccer, detective shows, and a buffet list of 'nerdy' things that would embarrass his wife.

3 Reasons Why You Should Have Watched the FIFA Women’s World Cup

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Even with victory in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, women’s soccer may still be considered second tier in America. (Image Credit: Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo)

With the pervasiveness of sports on TV it’s impossible for the average viewer not to stumble across some form of competitive action this summer. If you were to ask most people, they’d probably tell you that they caught a game or two of the Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Finals, the odd MLB game or maybe even a little golf. But this summer is a little different, especially for the soccer fan. With tournaments like Copa America and the upcoming Gold Cup playing off residual excitement from last year’s World Cup, it may have been easy to miss it’s female counterpart—the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Even with the growing popularity of soccer in the United States, the women’s game has never truly taken off. There have been several incarnations of a women’s league in the US due to inconsistent marketing and a lack of interest in “non male-driven” sports in general. Perhaps it’s the perception that women’s sports don’t have the same value as men’s. That’s not to say that a number of people across the country haven’t jumped on the bandwagon. But a study in 2014 indicated that ESPN’s SportCenter only dedicated 2% of its coverage to women’s sports. People just don’t seem to think they’re worth watching. However the desire, skill, and drama displayed at this year’s Women’s World Cup have made it plain to see that there wasn’t shortage of entertainment value.

Desire

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Germany’s Alexandra Popp – bloody head and all – puts it all on the line. (Image Credit: Andre Pichette/EPA)

If you didn’t had a chance to watch teams like England and Columbia defy the odds of the group stages then you simply haven’t seen desire. They battled and clawed to rewrite their histories, the latter even upset the 3rd ranked team in the world in France. There have been some studies that claim that women don’t have the same competitive drive as men. But even if you only caught the final where the United States’ stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the first twenty minutes, you never saw their opponents Japan give up.

Skill

Speaking of the final, did you see that third goal from Carli Lloyd? It was Beckham-esque – and it sealed her hattrick! In their semi-final win against Germany, the US really turned on the style and carried it over to the final. They were making moves in the final third and at times playing tiki-taka confidently in their own half. There are a number of men’s professional teams that can’t execute that sort of playing style.

During the build up to the final, a peculiar question floated around some of the sports radio stations here in Atlanta: could the USWNT beat a high school boy’s team? The question might sound absurd but it is the sort of question a number of people ask when comparing women’s sports to men’s. However, anyone with even a base knowledge of soccer can see the technique on display from some of the players at this tournament is of the highest caliber.

Drama

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England’s Laura Bassett scored an own goal in stoppage time to end her team’s chance of reaching the final. (Image Credit: Jason Franson/Canadian Press via Associated Press)

What is entertainment without drama? Sometimes it can be the most memorable part of a game. While we often complain when a referee makes a bad call or  our favorite player misses a PK, we simply crave drama all the way until the final whistle. Those who followed England know a lot about drama, and the shootout between France and Germany was gut wrenching. Coupled with an audacious amount of refereeing errors, there wasn’t a game in this tournament that didn’t make you want to choose sides. That’s what drama will do for you.

As I said before, there are in fact a growing number of people who tune in to watch soccer, especially here in America. The historical success of the USWNT alone should be enough for the average fan to tune in to watch. But also a number of celebrities endorsed their excitement for the Women’s World Cup, slamming the naysayers who claimed that the tournament wasn’t even worth watching. However, there is definitely still a huge gap that needs to be closed. Perhaps becoming the winning-est team in Women’s World Cup history will lead the change.

What were your favorite moments from the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup? Share with us in the comments below.

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