Somewhat overshadowed by the news of charges and arrests of top FIFA officials was the U.S. Women’s National Team Media Day in Manhattan on Wednesday, 10 days ahead of the start of the World Cup. Lucky for you, we’re here to get you all caught up on what you missed.
Head Coach Jill Ellis is not worried about the FIFA indictments distracting the team. “All our focus is only on what’s ahead of us,” Ellis stated, adding, “[the World Cup] is bigger than the organization; this is passion, this is life, this is our sport.”
Abby Wambach, who will be making her fourth World Cup appearance explained her passion for winning, stating, “It’s something that I know, all of us have to be willing to be forever disappointed in not winning, because that’s what it takes. You have to completely give into it. You have to completely allow yourself to be crushed by something. It’s like love, and if we give into it, than I think that we have a chance at this.”
The injured star striker noted, “There is no question in my mind that my knee will not be bothering me. I’ll be 100%, and I’m looking forward to the World Cup.”
Focusing on what’s ahead, goalkeeper Hope Solo skirted questions concerning her past legal issues responding, “I’m here to talk about the World Cup. But what I can tell is that I’m in the best place in my life, both on the field and off the field. I have great teammates behind me, I have a great coaching staff, and I’m just honestly really excited to go to my third World Cup.”
On four of the 23 players being from New Jersey, Heather O’Reilly credits the Garden State with instilling the essential intangibles: “you get a little bit of toughness, a little bit of resilience in you, and a little bit of swagger.” Carli Lloyd added, “I think I bring the Jersey attitude every day.” So, whatcha’ gonna do about it?
Rachel Maddow used a 9-minute segment of her show to condemn FIFA's institutional corruption and sexism, and interview U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe.
Rapinoe expressed hope that future Women's World Cups will never be played on turf again, and reaffirmed the continuing growth and popularity of the women's game as a sign of changing times.
In regards to being worried about the U.S. Group D draw, Rapinoe cautiously answered, “Not worried. I'm excited about it.”
Bonus: Watch Sydney Leroux show up late for the team meeting.
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