The 2015 Women's World Cup began June 6, mere days after the break of FIFA's historic scandal.

If it weren't such a doomsday scenario for the organization's top leadership, one could easily interpret the headlines as a way to wrest attention and momentum from the female stars who perform under the banner of its organization.

Given the circumstances, though, former USWNT member Julie Foudy breathed a sigh of relief.

"I think everyone in the game thought it was about damn time," says Foudy, who now serves as an analyst for espnW. "They've been a legendary joke in the way they do business, and you just wondered how long they could let it go on.

"The irony is the country that came latest to [embracing soccer], and cares least about the game, is the country that brought it down."

FIFA's plague of corruption, which involved hundreds of millions of dollars illegally collected over decades, is a story that will continue to unfold over months, if not years. But everyone involved in women's soccer sees the organization's inevitable reforms as an opportunity to gain greater consideration and support from FIFA.

The sport's most influential voices have wasted no time in seizing upon the opportunity.

"Before, there was not a lot of conversation about how it was being run," said former U.S. star Brandi Chastain to the Huffington Post. "It was just FIFA. It was FIFA. And now, whether our new president -- male or female -- will have to be more a thoughtful, more transparent leader.

"And what I'm hoping is that they will see women's soccer on par with men's soccer and support it in the same way. ... And I look forward to that in the future."

The relationship between FIFA and its female athletes has been heavily strained by the governing body's attitudes toward women.

Often, the dynamic is an uncomfortable one. FIFA insists on owning the women's game, and sitting president Sepp Blatter has championed himself as the " godfather" -- his word -- of women's soccer, despite his track record of chauvinism.

At the same time, FIFA placed the women's side several rungs below the men's game, in terms of monetary support, competitive fairness and even player safety.

The World Cup is currently being played on artificial turfs that the women players have repeatedly decried as sexist and unfair -- the fake grass inflicts far more injuries on athletes than natural grass, which is provided for the men's World Cup.

Earlier this year, Alex Morgan -- a former FIFA World Player of the Year, and one of the most recognizable female soccer players in the world -- said Blatter didn't know who she was.

Blatter gets plenty of press coverage for his sexist attitudes, and the attention is well-deserved. But the flawed logic is in assuming that getting rid of Blatter will solve the organization's dismissive handling of the women's game.

"[FIFA's sexist culture] is pervasive, he's the one at the top," Foudy says. "But FIFA is legendary for that pervasive attitude. That's where I hope there's a whole change and shift.

"This is a billion-dollar business. Any good business knows you have to have diversity of thought. That's the only way you can excel."

Foudy points out that some incremental improvements have taken place over time. She mentions Moya Dodd, a former women's star and currently one of three women on FIFA's 27-member executive committee, as a force for change in the organization. Dodd is the chairperson of the FIFA Task Force for Women's Football, an initiative within FIFA designed to grow and support the women's game.

As FIFA's scandal brings top-level soccer executives to justice, it will create leadership openings that could go toward building a larger presence for women within the organization. Dodd could be sought out to fill an even larger role, thereby gaining greater clout within the organization and giving women's initiatives greater consideration.

Foudy also notes that the next president to replace Blatter -- assuming he follows through and resigns his position -- has a chance to use the growing women's game as a pillar of his or her legacy.

That could go a long way toward improving support for women's soccer as well as the on-field game. But Foudy also insists that the smaller soccer federations that make up FIFA will also need to provide better financial and resource-based support to women's soccer if the sport is going to realize its potential.

Outside of a handful of programs enjoying strong backing by their national soccer organizations -- among them the United States and Germany, who face off in Tuesday's World Cup semifinal -- many international women's squads struggle to succeed in the face of weak domestic support.

Despite a potential talent base, Brazil has a poor infrastructure for nurturing women's soccer, putting its women's national teams at a competitive disadvantage. Foudy points to France as an example of how improved support from federations can quickly change on-field results.

After fielding a sub-par women's soccer product for years, France dedicated its resources to building a strong women's national team. The team entered this World Cup ranked No. 3 in the world, losing to No. 1 Germany on penalty kicks in the Round of Eight.

"They're reaping the benefits of that investment," Foudy says.

After its deflating loss to Germany, France's players were quick to point out another measure of injustice afflicting the women's game. French star Camille Abily slammed FIFA for forming World Cup groups based on which matchups would sell the most tickets and draw the largest TV crowds, instead of trying to create a balanced tournament bracket, which the men's World Cup enjoys.

As a result, the world's top three teams -- U.S.A., Germany and France -- were all placed on one side of the bracket, with two of the top three teams facing off in a quarterfinal.

"This is not to blame them [for the loss] but why don’t we do it like the boys?" Abily told French newspaper L'Equipe after the game. "At some point they have to stop taking us for idiots. ... I'm sorry but if they did a real draw, maybe we would not have played Germany or the United States after."

In other words, FIFA concluded that it had to choose between competitive balance and maximum revenues -- and it sided with money. That's not entirely surprising for a business, but it comes at the cost of compromising your sacred product, which is the World Cup.

Meanwhile, the numbers from this year's tournament suggest that FIFA underestimated the draw of women's soccer. Reuters has reported that the USWNT's opening World Cup match in 2015 drew triple the TV audience drawn by its opening match in 2011. The TV audience in China has doubled in four years, and in-person attendance of Women's World Cup matches has doubled to 1.5 million.

That kind of performance is making a strong case that women's soccer is a product in need of better management -- and that includes better support. For all of its treatment from FIFA as a secondary sport, the Women's World Cup is now a legitimate source of revenue.

Money talks. Proponents of the women's game hope that FIFA's incoming leadership are ready to listen.

"Just consider the fact that they are so many light years behind the rest of the world in running a business," Foudy says. "They're going to have to have sweeping changes."

More: Julie Foudy Echoes Former USWNT Teammates To Ban Youth Headers

U.S. Women's World Cup Hometown Craft Beers


Shannon Boxx

Shannon Boxx, M, Redondo Beach, Calif. Absolution Brewing Co. in Torrance is barely a year old. It also produces root beer and cream soda in addition to its alcoholic brew, which all carry religious monikers. Cardinal Sin Crimson Ale, Purgatory Hefeweizen and Sinner Stout are just the beginning.


Morgan Brian

Morgan Brian, M, St. Simon's Island, Ga. There isn't a single brewery in St. Simon’s Island, and there aren't many near it. But head north to Savannah, Georgia, and you'll find Moon River Brewing Company, a brewery that claims its building is haunted. Watch out for "Toby."


Lori Chalupny

Lori Chalupny, D, St. Louis It's almost impossible to pick just one brewery that represents the St. Louis area. The leader in St. Louis' craft beer movement, however, is almost certainly Schlafly -- the guys and girls at Schlafly market the company as "The Saint. Louis Brewery" with no (visible) apology to Anheuser-Busch. The company took a major step last October when it expanded sales the Chicago area.


Whitney Engen

Whitney Engen, D, Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. Strand Brewing Co. resides in Torrance, five miles from Engen's hometown. The six-year-old brewery recently earned the 2015 Small Business of the Year Award for the 66th assembly district. Strand hasn't brewed many super adventurous beers, but judging by its success, it doesn't really need one.


Ashlyn Harris

Ashlyn Harris, GK, Satellite Beach, Fla. Approximately six miles from Harris' hometown and on the opposite side of the Indian River sits the Intracoastal Brewing Co. It features Shellfish Warning Saison!, a stout brewed with Florida panhandle oysters, and Black and Blue Porter, a blueberry porter. According to Florida Today, more than 1,000 patrons at its 2013 opening consumed 212 total gallons. Don't worry about doing the math -- it's more than 2,261 12-ounce servings.


Tobin Heath

Tobin Heath, M, Basking Ridge, N.J. Trap Rock Restaurant and Brewery in Berkeley Heights is approximately eight miles from Heath's hometown. Unfortunately, part of the building was damaged in April after a brewing tank ruptured. This place is certainly one of the more upscale craft breweries and restaurants in New Jersey.


Lauren Holiday

Lauren Holiday, M, Indianapolis Sun King Brewing Co., located in downtown Indianapolis, has produced at least 185 beers, according to its beer list. Its Lonesome Dove and Barrel Aged Batch 666: Sympathy for the Devil earned gold and silver medals respectively at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival.


Julie Johnston

Julie Johnston, D, Mesa, Ariz. Desert Eagle Brewing Co. is yet another young brewery on our list. Founded in 2011, Desert Eagle resides on Main Street in Mesa and boasts weekly live music and a handful of beers with bird references in their monikers. No birds were harmed in the making of the beer.


Meghan Klingenberg

Meghan Klingenberg, D, Gibsonia, Pa. Gibsonia is just 16 miles from Pittsburgh, and the Steel City is home to Church Brew Works, a brewery literally housed in a former church. Church won the Great American Beer Festival's 2012 Large Brewpub of the Year Award. No word on if the holy nature of its operation had any effect on the judges.


Ali Krieger

Ali Krieger, D, Dumfries, Va. Voted 2015 Best Local Brewery in the D.C. area by the Washington City Paper, Port City Brewing Company is 27 miles from Krieger's hometown. The brewery and Pacers Running, an East Coast-based shoe store, host a "Joggers and Lagers" event most Mondays throughout the summer, where attendees can jog a pre-determined route and subsequently feel less guilty about consuming craft beer.


Sydney Leroux

Sydney Leroux, F, Phoenix Phoenix is loaded with craft breweries, and Sun Up Brewing Co. is one of the best. Uwe Boer is the head brewmaster at Sun Up and was touted as the "olliest man in brewing" by the Phoenix New Times in 2012. Hefty praise, sure, but if there's one word you'd want the man brewing your beer to be described as, it might as well be jolly.


Carli Lloyd

Carli Lloyd, M, Delran, N.J. Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant is six miles from Lloyd’s hometown, but has 11 total locations in the northeastern United States. Despite being a chain, its beers frequently earn medals at both the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival. Its Russian Imperial Stout has won six combined gold medals between both events.


Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan, F, Diamond Bar, Calif. Sanctum Brewing Co. in Ponoma has a number of interesting beers on top. Newtonian was brewed with honey and fiji apples. Leftovers was brewed with leftover grains, wheat and cranberries. But the most adventurous of all their brews is Hamish the Red, an imperial red ale brewed with turnips. Turnips.


Alyssa Naeher

Alyssa Naeher, GK, Bridgeport, Conn. – Two Roads Brewing lies only four miles from Naeher’s home of Bridgeport. Two Roads boasts some pretty memorable beer labels, the most impressive of which is the barrel-aged version of their Route of All Evil Black Ale. The menacing looking chili pepper on the label boasts that the beer was aged with hot peppers, which is surprisingly not a rare occurrence in the craft beer world.


Kelley O'Hara

Kelley O'Hara, D, Fayetteville, Ga. Approximately 14 miles from Fayetteville sits Jailhouse Brewing Co., a brewery housed in an old jail. The names of the beers are exactly what you'd expect: Misdemeanor Ale, Mugshot IPA, Breakout Stout, Conjugal Visit Imperial Red Ale.


Heather O’Reilly

Heather O’Reilly, M, East Brunswick, N.J. Triumph Brewing Co. in Princeton is one of two of the brewery's locations. It features an Oatmeal Cream Porter, which sounds like an incredibly good beer to cap a meal with. Plus, it's pouring $3 pints during an U.S. Women's matches!


Christen Press

Christen Press, F, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. The Dudes Brewing Co. in Torrance, like any good craft brewery, has a number of unique beers on tap. Grandma's Pecan, an English style, is brewed with pecans, as you might expect. Juicebox Series, which features an orange having a jolly good time on its label, is brewed with cocoa nibs vanilla beans and blood oranges. Odd combo.


Christie Rampone

Christie Rampone, D, Point Pleasant, N.J. Rinn Duin Brewery of Toms River officially opened in 2014. The brewery is named after an Irish castle, and has numerous Irish- and English-inspired beers. All of the beers on the menu are described as either Irish, English or Scottish style, and can only be found in New Jersey.


Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe, M, Redding, Calif. Wildcard Brewing Co. was founded by husband and wife Jeff and Jenny Hansen. Many of their beers have luck or gambling-themed names, like Double Down, Dumb Luck, Liar’s Dice and Shot in the Dark. It's fitting considering the brewery's name and the amount of risk the Hansens took in opening a brewery in the first place.


Amy Rodriguez

Amy Rodriguez, F, Lake Forest, Calif. California boasts the most natives on the roster. Luckily for us, California is home to approximately more than 550 craft breweries. Tustin Brewing Co. in nearby Tustin opened in 1996. It brews fairly basic beer, but its Golden Spike Light Ale and Blimp Hangar Porters are former medalists at the Great American Beer Festival.


Becky Sauerbrunn

Becky Sauerbrunn, D, St. Louis, Mo. Good thing the team has more than one player from St. Louis, because the home of the Cardinals has so, so many breweries worth mentioning. 4 Hands Brewing Co. is only four years old, yet its beer list is stacked. One of the more interesting brews is Ca$h Mony, an Imperial IPA brewed with what Four Hands calls a "wasteful" amount of hops.


Hope Solo

Hope Solo, GK, Richland, Wash. Founded in 2010, White Bluffs Brewery in Richland doesn't really have an "out there" beer. However, itsRed Alt took home a Great American Beer Award in 2014. In fact, Red Alt has earned a number of awards, and is a two-time champion of the German Hybrid Beers Division of the Washington Beer Awards.


Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach, F, Rochester, N.Y. Rohrbach Brewing Co. is a 24-year-old company in Wambach's hometown. The long-time New York brewery has donated more than $500,000 to Rochester charities over its lifetime. Recently, Rohrbach rolled out the first beer in its Neoteric Series, an India Pale Lager with orange and grapefruit.

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