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UNC Soccer: Three Tar Heels in England squad for Women’s Euro 2022

A trio of former Tar Heels will try and help the England women’s national team become European champions for the first time.

England v Austria - UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 - Group A - Old Trafford Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

Earlier this week, we covered the former North Carolina Tar Heels taking part at the CONCACAF W Championship, trying to help their national teams qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Olympics. While that’s the important event for the USWNT and most of the soccer fans in the US, there is arguably an even bigger women’s soccer national team tournament that also recently got underway.

Across the pond, the 2022 Women’s European Championship got underway on Wednesday with England beating Austria 1-0. While, for obvious reasons, the USWNT has been the national team that’s most had a UNC flavor over the years, there has been a share of international players to come through Chapel Hill. This year in particular, the host team of the Euros, England, features three Tar Heels on the 23-person squad. Former Tar Heels Lucy Bronze, Lotte Wubben-Moy, and Alessia Russo will all try and help England take home the tournament on home soil.

In England’s opening game on the tournament on Wednesday, Bronze got the start at right back and played all 90 minutes in the “Lionesses” 1-0 victory over Austria. Russo came on as a substitute in the 64th minute, helping see out the victory.

The Euros are a 16-team tournament, with the teams divided up into four groups of four. The top two in each group advance onto the quarterfinals, at which point the tournament becomes a single-elimination bracket.

With a victory and three points already in the book, England are very likely to advance out of their group, but they still have two games remaining. The other two teams in their group are Norway and Northern Ireland, who met on Thursday with Norway winning 4-1. The key matchup for the three Tar Heels and their team will be the Norway one, which is set to be played on Monday. The result in that game may very well decided who wins the group and gets a potentially easier matchup in the quarterfinals. England’s final game of the group, against Norther Ireland, will played on Friday.

Between getting to host the tournament and the fact that they’ve made deep runs at both of the last two World Cups, England are considered among favorites, if not the favorite. However, it’s expected to be a potentially wide open field with Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden all going in with similar betting odds to England.

The final, should England make it that far, is set to be held on July 31st at Wembley Stadium in London. All of the tournament’s games can be seen on various ESPN networks. Good luck to the Tar Heels over the next couple weeks!