The Journey of the 2019 Women's World Cup
Frisco, Texas- After a hard-fought final on July 7th that ended with the U.S. Women’s National Team hoisting the FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy for a second consecutive time, the team could look back with pride on their historic achievement. The victory was also the fourth overall Women’s World Cup triumph for the USWNT. While the team got a well-deserved break after winning the title, the moment Carli Lloyd hoisted the trophy in the air started a rollercoaster six months for the trophy.
After it returned to the United States the team took the trophy with them on a parade in their honor, before the trophy was whisked off to California and Illinois. The trophy made appearances at Hall of Fame Events such as the National Soccer Hall of Fame Weekend. The silverware was shown off at multiple victory tour events. The trophy even appeared at an NFL game between the last two Super Bowl Champions: The Eagles and Patriots on November 17th.
All in all, the trophy made a total of 30 appearances across the United States. After a long celebration and extensive victory tour, the trophy returned to Frisco and the National Soccer Hall of Fame. The trophy, along with its three fellows, stands as a stark reminder to the dominance the U.S. Women’s National Team has shown since the first Women’s World Cup in 1991.
When asked if the victory tour with the trophy prominently displayed at every stopped helped raise the profile of the U.S. Women’s Soccer, National Soccer Hall of Fame Executive Director Djorn Buchholz answered with an emphatic “Absolutely!”
“I think it is incredible that it made so many stops,” Buchholz said. “What really helped raise the profile of the USWNT was their incredible performance in the 2019 Women’s World Cup. But the victory tour shows how popular the team is, and the demand for the unique piece of hardware (the U.S. Women’s 2019 World Cup Trophy) was really high. It was impressive.”
The FIFA Women’s World Cup was more popular in 2019 than ever before with the quarterfinal match between the U.S. and France reaching a peak of 8.24 million viewers. Those numbers mean that the game was the most-watched English language broadcast of a soccer game since the 2018 Men’s World Cup Final.
"The commercial opportunity in women's sport is growing at [a record] pace," said Lynsey Douglas, global leader for Women’s Sport at Nielsen Sports as she presented a report on the improvement in streaming numbers for the Women’s World Cup. "All the indicators point to it being a very good time to invest in women’s sports."
Despite all the impressive stops, there is now only one place to see the impressive piece of history: The National Soccer Hall of Fame is Frisco, Texas. The trophy returned to the Hall of Fame during its victory tour for Induction Weekend, when Abby Wambach and Sunil Gulati were inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Now it rests in a display case alongside three other Women’s World Cup trophies.
“We are thrilled that all four Women’s World Cups are now back and housed at the NSHOF,” Buchholz said when asked about the new permanent home for all four trophies. “No other building houses four Women’s World Cups. We are excited to share these pieces of history with our visitors.”
With all the history of the growth of the U.S. Soccer in the Hall of Fame, it is clear that the U.S. Women’s National Team is on the rise; and the best place to see the proof of that is in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas.