Women’s World Cup power rankings: Sam Kerr, Australia jump into top 5

If we’re going purely by the calendar, the Women’s World Cup has just passed its midway point. As for the games, though, the conclusion of the United States’ ill-fated round of 16 clash with Sweden meant that only 12 contests from 64 in the tournament were still left to be played. After Monday’s games, make that just 10.

But they are, as is the nature of soccer’s grandest tournaments, the ones that truly matter most.

While the Americans are heading home on a wave of disappointment, a pack of contenders is eagerly eyeing the opportunity to take the place vacated by the two-time defending champion.

And that list is shrinking.

The FOX Sports Women’s World Cup power rankings are still topped by Japan, now taking on Sweden on Friday. The round of 16 is really all about fighting your way through without regard to style points; just ask Vlatko Andonovski and his dejected players.

That said, Japan, Spain and — to a lesser extent — the Netherlands, left no one in any doubt that they are in form, feeling good, and have eyes firmly set on the title. England looked set to join that group, but faces a nervous wait in regard to disciplinary action against red-carded midfielder Lauren James.

Expect rankings movement as the business end of the tournament progresses but for now, the heavyweights at the top are looking strong.

Is Australia a serious World Cup contender with Sam Kerr back?

Is Australia a serious World Cup contender with Sam Kerr back?

Power Rankings: August 7

  1. Japan (=): Is this the best team in the tournament? It’s looking more and more that way.
  2. Netherlands (=): Did what was needed to move into the quarters.
  3. Spain (=): Bounced back superbly; confidence restored.
  4. England (=): Held their nerve, but a Lauren James suspension looms.
  5. Australia (up 2): Sam Kerr made a brief cameo, and the Matildas are rolling.
  6. Sweden (down 1): The shootout victory over USA will be a huge confidence boost.
  7. France (down 1): Has reason for optimism going into the round of 16.
  8. Colombia (=): Has some consistency issues, but undeniably exciting.
  9. Jamaica (up 1): Still undefeated after an excellent group showing.
  10. Morocco (up 2): Incredible revival after tough defeat in opening game.ELIMINATED 
  11. Nigeria (down 2): Nearly pulled off a massive shock.
  12. United States (up 1): The defending champs were eliminated on penalty kicks.
  13. Denmark (down 2): Got the job done and can look forward with optimism.
  14. South Africa (=): A hugely positive campaign finally came to an end.
  15. Norway (=): Predictable end to a disjointed campaign.
  16. Switzerland (=): Defense fell apart when faced with its first big test.
  17. Germany (=): Stunning elimination for the two-time champion.
  18. Brazil (=): Marta’s last World Cup ended with a shocking group exit.
  19. Portugal (=): Came so close to producing an historic upset.
  20. Canada (=): Olympic champ heads home after failing to shine.
  21. New Zealand (=): Huge disappointment after a dream start to the tournament.
  22. Italy (=): Suffered a heartbreaking end to a troubled campaign.
  23. China (=): Departs after getting taken apart by England.
  24. Philippines (=): Will go home with heads held high.
  25. South Korea (=): Finished on a high note by knocking out Germany.
  26. Argentina (=): Inspired fightback secured a draw with South Africa.
  27. Zambia (=): Finished on a high note against Costa Rica.
  28. Ireland (=): Campaign ends with a single point.
  29. Haiti (=): Some positive signs, but three defeats.
  30. Panama (=): Played its part in an entertaining defeat to France.
  31. Costa Rica (=): Landed in a brutal group and ended without a point.
  32. Vietnam (=): Never got going in tough Group E.

Alexi reacts to USWNT’s HEARTBREAKING loss to Sweden in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Alexi reacts to USWNT's HEARTBREAKING loss to Sweden in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter at @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.

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