Players to watch at the 2015 Women's World Cup

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Is US Women's Offense in Trouble Going Into the World Cup?


By Shay Awosiyan
College Contributor Network

This summer has been dominated by the ongoing FIFA scandal, but when that's done and dusted there are multiple events that'll remind soccer aficionados why they love the game so much.

The most notably of the aforementioned events is the 2015 Women's World Cup that is set to kick off on June 6 in Canada. With 24 teams set to compete for the first time in history, the biggest competition in the women's game is shaping up to be an unforgettable one.

Here are 10 players that are set to keep you on the edge of your seats with their awe-inspiring play.

10. Christine Sinclair (Canada): The leader of the host nation, Sinclair has the weight of the entire country on her shoulders. The dynamic forward has competed in three World Cups, and this could be her best chance of ever winning one. Like most top center forwards, she has a knack for being at the right place at the right time, but she's also capable of using her athletic abilities and intelligent footballing mind to create scoring chances for herself.

9. Verónica Boquete (Spain): The equivalent of Spain's men's national team maestros Andres Iniesta and David Silva, Boquete is responsible for helping the European nation pass its way out of Group E. The diminutive attacker is superb in tight spaces, has the vision and creativity of her male versions and scores at a tremendous rate.

8. Fara Williams (England): With Kelly Smith gone, someone has to step up to lead a very intriguing English side. Williams, the most capped player in her nation's history, is a player that can easily control the middle of the park and set things in motion for England's offense to flourish.

7. Marta (Brazil): No surprise here. Arguably the greatest woman to ever step on a soccer field, the Brazilian magician is hungry for her first World Cup trophy. The five-time Player of the Year should stroll through the group stage, but anything can happen in the knockout stages.

6. Aya Miyama (Japan): Homare Sawa might be the most recognizable name on the Japanese roster, but her partner in crime will be the team's go to player in Canada. Like Sawa, Miyama is tough, hardworking and confident with the ball. The midfielder has the experience to take the torch from the aging Sawa and push her side to the final.

5. Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria): The reigning African Women's Footballer of the Year finally received some much-deserved recognition a few days ago when she was named BBC's Women's Footballer of the Year. The tall forward is fast, strong and technically gifted, and despite being only 20-years-old, she plays like someone with seven years of experience.

4. Lotta Schelin (Sweden): After leading Sweden through a dominant qualification round that saw the nation win all 10 games and only concede a goal from the penalty spot, Schelin has given herself a good chance to emerge from Abby Wambach and Christine Sinclair's shadows. The prolific scorer can reveal herself to the entire world as a force to be reckoned with in front of goal and maybe make a long run in the tournament.

3. Louisa Necib (France): Could this be the tournament the "female Zidane" finally lives up to her nickname? Necib is no doubt one of the most creative minds in the game, but she hasn't delivered at the biggest tournament. Now that she is more experienced and motivated to silence the naysayers, the 28-year-old can lead France to the final for the first time in team history.

2. Sydney Leroux Dwyer (USA): The followers of the game are all aware of Wambach and Alex Morgan's threat, but Leroux could be the breakout player of the tournament. The quick forward scored 10 goals at two U-20 World Cups and once scored five goals in one game. In her last appearance for the national team, she torched Mexico's backline and scored two goals.

1. Nadine Kessler (Germany): The reigning Women's Footballer of the Year is primed to lead the number one nation in the world to glory. The best attacking midfielder in the world, Kessler won't have to worry about defender as she tries to facilitate for what could be the best forward core in the world.

Shay Awosiyan is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at the University of Oklahoma. He played soccer for 13 years and hopes to one day become a commentator. Follow him on Twitter: @THESHAY11
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