I had hoped to make a diagram like this for the Women’s Rugby League World Cup in 2017, but I couldn’t get enough information about which club team the players played for to make one.
I also wanted to have this ready for the start of the World Cup, but real life happened.
Without further ado, here is the team network diagram for the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
I wanted to use both versions because the sheer overlap of some of the teams makes it hard to pick out the individual teams (looking at you so much United States and Canada).
Canada is the national team closest to the centre, while the Texas Longhorns are the club team closest to the centre.
The club team with the highest number of players involved is Barcelona, with 15 players, followed by Lyon on 14 and Chelsea and Manchester City with 12.
There are a lot more players who are down as unattached than I would expect, there’s a full 11 player. They’re not quite a full team because that 11 includes 2 goalkeepers but only 1 defender.
Jamaica are the only team where no-one plays in their national league, the US are the only team where everyone does. Interestingly, all the players for Sweden and the US play for club teams that have at least one other player from a different country also playing for them.
England and Scotland are a lot closer than I think the men’s team equivalents would be, possibly because a lot more Scottish women play in the English league than Scottish men do.
The national teams seem to be divided into those teams where most players play for a couple of club teams and those where their players play for many different club teams. It’s hard to see in the teams in the middle, but clear for those around the outside. I think Italy and Jamaica are probably the clearest example.
National teams with players from few clubs include Italy, Germany, Thailand, China and South Korea. Teams with players from many clubs include Argentina, South Africa, Chile, Jamaica and New Zealand. I have no idea if it means anything.
In the men’s World Cup, teams further away from the centre are more likely to go out early. If this is also true in the women’s, then it doesn’t look good for Thailand, South Africa, China and Japan. Because I know Japan are a strong team, I suspect they will be fine.
As far as football is concerned, Australia is the 51st state. This is because a lot of the Australian players who play for non-Australian teams play for US teams that also have players on the US national team.
Also grouped together are England and Scotland (because lots of Scottish players play in England) and Sweden and Nigeria (because lots of Nigerian players play in Sweden).
Because they have players who play for the same teams and because they’re away from other teams, I was expecting Chile and Argentina to be grouped together but they’re not. I was also expecting Norway to be in the Nigeria/Sweden group, but they are not. This might be because Norway also has links to the Netherlands.
Further updates to come as the tournament progresses.