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2019 World Cup Preview: Chile

Chi chi chi! Le le le!

Australia v Chile Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images

This is effectively Chile’s debut on the international stage. They’ve never qualified for an Olympics, and this is their World Cup debut. After their countrymen failed to reach the men’s World Cup in 2018, I hope their country gets behind these women in their first intercontinental tournament.

The Team

There is a strong Spanish influence on this roster, as just as many players play their club soccer domestically as do in Spain (9). They might be another cycle away from really competing, because what I’ve seen thus far in 2019 tells me that they aren’t ready right now.

How They’ve Fared

This is Chile’s first World Cup.

How They Qualified

Chile finished second in Group A at the 2018 Copa America, two points behind Colombia. That qualified them for the final stage, where they finished second in the group, qualifying for the World Cup.

Group

F, with the United States, Thailand, and Sweden

Player You Know

Yanara Aedo has spent the better part of the last four years bouncing back and forth between Valencia and Washington, DC. Once featuring with the Washington Spirit Reserves, Aedo sandwiched another stint with the senior Washington Spirit squad between two stretches with Valencia CF in Spain, where she plays now. She’s not often found on the score sheet, with just nine goals in 56 international appearances, and 10 goals in 41 appearances for Valencia.

Player You’ll Know Soon

Goalkeepers don’t typically get a lot of press, but Christiane Endler should. The 27 year old plays for Paris Saint-Germain, one of the best teams in Europe. She’s played for Chelsea and Valencia, and won the Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier club competition, with Colo-Colo in Chile. Chile recently played Germany in a World Cup tune-up, and even though Chile lost 2-0, Endler kept it close with some remarkable saves. I get the feeling she’ll have to do the same for Chile to have a chance at advancing this summer. Even though Endler is starring now, she knows it’s about the future in her country. She’s opened two soccer schools for girls in Chile, and will open a third this year.

“We feel a responsibility to help the girls who come from below [poorer in society], who do not have the chance to play football and open doors for them with the schools and giving my country a good name outside of Chile. I feel like a reference and I hope to be a positive reference for them,” she says. ”It feels like doors are opening for other women to realize their dreams and not only in football. There are things that can be achieved with hard work and effort and I think we can help many women, to fulfill their dreams.”

World Cup Outlook

Chile hasn’t won a game since November of 2018, when they beat Australia in Sydney by a score of 3-2. Since then, they have a 0-0 draw in a non-sanctioned game against Catalonia, two losses to Jamaica, and a 7-0 loss to the Netherlands. It’s not looking good for a team that doesn’t score a lot of goal, and isn’t particularly adept at keeping them out.