Six Reasons Disappointed American Soccer Fans Should Root for Australia in the Women’s World Cup

For many Americans, this Women’s World Cup has been hard to watch. Literally, in one way: The immense time difference between the US and Australia/New Zealand has made the games supremely difficult to follow live. Once you start asking yourself whether it’s better to set an alarm for 3 a.m. or just stay up all night, you’ve already lost. And with the incredibly listless performance from Team USA throughout the tournament—sleepwalking through the group stage, bowing out in the Round of 16 to Sweden without scoring a goal, creating the biggest bummer in US soccer history—the late-night experience could feel incredibly not worth it.

But now that the USWNT is eliminated, stateside soccer fans need a new team to support. After Thursday and Friday’s quarterfinals, there’s only six sides remaining, and each has something special to offer. But, as far as joyous bandwagoning goes, there’s one team that stands above the rest. American soccer fans, let this Australian squad into your heart.

With apologies to Sweden (the worthy adversaries who took the USWNT down this year), Colombia (who doesn’t love an underdog?) and England (let’s be real, no one on this side of the pond is rooting for England), the Aussies have the best story. Here’s why.

1. They’ve never won before

Yes, this is true of every remaining team now after Japan fell to Sweden on Friday morning. But we have to start with the basics. Any team trying to achieve something for the first time in their history is inherently interesting and easy to get behind.

2. They’ve never even made the semifinals, let alone the final

Here’s where it gets interesting. Of the remaining countries, England, France, and Sweden have all at least made the final four before. Australia and Colombia have not, and Spain’s win over the Netherlands sends them there for the first time. But with Spain’s success on the men’s side—2010 champions, mainstays in each of the last 12 tournaments—it’s hard to think of them as plucky upstarts. Rooting for pillars of the soccer world is boring and lame, so that really whittles it down to just Australia and Colombia as far as true bandwagon picks.

3. They have great uniforms and an even better crest

The good news for people who are going to watch Saturday’s games with bleary eyes—England vs Colombia at 6:30 a.m. eastern is the latest kickoff—is that the aesthetics will be nice. When we ranked the uniforms back in April, France placed second. They will have the jersey advantage over Australia, but that’s really all France has going for it from a bandwagon perspective.

Since we’ve determined that Australia and Colombia are the two finalists for Best Bandwagon Team, we must decide which yellow shirt we prefer. Both nations have worn yellow for decades and decades, but Colombia has been going with this wild galaxy-print for most of their run.

Colombia’s Daniela Arias celebrates after the round of 16 match between Colombia and Jamaica at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Melbourne, Australia, Aug. 8, 2023. (Photo by Ding Xu/Xinhua via Getty Images)Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

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