This article has been edited from its original version to include two additional former Spurs players.
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off tomorrow in New Zealand and Australia! This particular tournament promises to be an especially exciting one — as the sport grows in prominence and popularity, more teams become competitive which means more exciting and compelling matches, and more teams that have a chance to win it all.
Most fans will have national allegiances and favorite teams that they’ll be tracking (England, USA, etc.), and anyone who even casually follows the WSL or NWSL will find plenty of names that they recognize. But for what feels like the first time, if you’re a Tottenham Hotspur fan you’ll also have individual players that you can track. Until recent seasons, Spurs had been plying their trade in the lower divisions of the English women’s soccer pyramid. Now that they’re playing in the top flight, they can attract better players, and their current squad includes international footballers from a number of countries.
There are 12 current and past Tottenham Hotspur Women players who are involved in the FIFA World Cup this summer. Here they are!
Group A has two Tottenham players to follow. New Zealand’s Ria Percival is back after a significant ACL injury kept her out of almost the entire 2022-23 WSL season and nearly ended her career. Percival is an experienced international and her Ferns team could spring a surprise, but it’ll be tough to advance out of Group A ahead of Norway and Switzerland.
Speaking of, get to know Tottenham’s newest signing — Switzerland defender Luana Bühler. She’s a regular in the Swiss back line, and this is an excellent opportunity for Spurs fans to see what she can add to what was a porous Spurs defense last season.
Norway keeper Aurora Mikalsen was a backup keeper for Tottenham for one season in 2020-21.
Australia are dark horses as co-hosts to go deep into this World Cup, or even win it with a bit of luck. Kyah Simon was a Tottenham striker for two seasons, but had significant injury issues during her tenure and left the club this summer. Now 32, Simon made her Matildas debut at age 16 in 2005. This is her third World Cup (2011, 2015), and she was only left out in 2019 after picking up an injury during qualifying. She’s a steady and solid international performer, but she’s likely going to play a reserve role in what’s almost certainly her final major tournament.
Australia has another former Tottenham player in current Manchester City midfielder Alana Kennedy. Alana was a Tottenham player from 2020-2022, first on loan and then on a year-long contract.
Canada defender Shelina Zadorsky has been a rock in Tottenham’s back line the past two seasons, and if she renews her contract we expect it again this year. Canada has a solid defensive corps but I’d expect her to feature, if only in rotation. Canada is a very good team and could go deep into the knock-out rounds this year.
Ireland’s Lucy Quinn will be a familiar name for some — she played for Tottenham from 2019-2021 before moving to Birmingham City. The Irish are unlikely to make a big splash in this year’s World Cup in a pretty tough group.
There are no Tottenham players, current or former, in Group C. But if you need something to watch, Spain’s Alexia Putellas (Barcelona) is a hell of a player and Spain are super fun to watch.
England is England, and Beth England is England’s England. The Tottenham Hotspur forward moved to Spurs halfway through last season and it’s not hyperbole to say that she saved them from the drop. Beth was a part of the Lionesses’ Euro-winning campaign last summer, but her inclusion in Sarina Weigman’s World Cup roster was not guaranteed. She probably won’t be a starter, but if she gets in she’ll be a scoring threat immediately.
The other name Spurs fans may recognize is China forward Tang Jiali, who was a reserve striker on loan at Spurs in 2021-22.
The only past Tottenham player in this group is USA forward Alex Morgan, and isn’t it awesome that we get to say that?!? USA is one of the big favorites to win it all; if they do it’ll be their fifth World Cup title (1991, 1999, 2015, 2019) and third straight.
Spurs have two starting keepers that have rotated responsibilities between them the past two seasons. One of them is Jamaica’s Becky Spencer. She will be the primary backup in goal to Sydney Schneider (Sparta Prague). In addition, midfielder Drew Spence also plays for the Reggae Girlz. Spence (no relation to Djed) is a midfield metronome who will try to keep the ball circulating in the center of the pitch. Jamaica will find it difficult to qualify out of the groups but could spring a surprise or two behind Manchester City striker Bunny Shaw.
There are no Tottenham players past or present in this group.
Spurs’ Rosella Ayane was born in Reading, UK but plays internationally for Morocco. She scored the winning penalty kick to send her national team to the World Cup for the first time this past spring. A pacy winger, she’ll look to get forward as often as possible.
While she left Tottenham this summer, South Korea midfielder Cho So-Hyun is playing in her third World Cup, after captaining Korea in 2015 and 2019. She’s considered one of the finest women’s football players ever to play for Korea, although she may have a reserve role this time around.
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off early tomorrow morning with a match between co-hosts New Zealand and Norway. Kick-off time is 3:00 a.m. ET, 8:00 a.m. UK. Australia plays Ireland three hours later.