Preview of USWNT at FIFA Women's World Cup

Ruben Hill
June 13, 2019

That means of the seven World Cup tournaments the US has competed in, the team has finished in the top three each time. "Comments out there, that's part of it, and part of the message to all is to make sure the focus is on the internal part, and that's where we are".

"When I talk to other players from other national teams that's the thing to talk about most with the U.S. is this sort of uncanny ability to come up big when it really counts", said Grant Wahl, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports 1. And at this point everything and every focus is about this group of players that are here and now. She said the USA coach who was in charge when the team won the World Cup title four years ago, its first world championship since 1999, relies too much on her assistants, is reluctant to criticize players and "cracks under pressure". "It's going to be a grueling tournament but the expectations for us is always to win", said Megan Rapinoe.

Solo told a BBC podcast that Ellis was a poor leader and someone who "cracks under pressure". "I have processes to make those decisions and own those processes".

Solo was Ellis' No. 1 keeper four years ago and also at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where the favored Americans - who had won the gold medal in London in 2012 under then-manager Pia Sundhage - were upset by Sweden on penalty kicks in the quarterfinal.

In a podcast broadcast on Saturday, Solo claimed Ellis, who guided the United States of America to the 2015 World Cup, "cracks under pressure". Afterward, Solo called the Swedes cowards for bunkering on defense. According to Pro Soccer USA, Solo lives with her husband Jerramy Stevens in North Carolina on 50 acres and has been busy since the 2015 World Cup.

Less than ideal as they may be, off-field distractions are probably not going to counteract USWNT from getting off to a successful World Cup campaign.

Solo won the Golden Glove at the past two World Cups and is working for the BBC at this year's tournament.

"Obviously, she has an incredible legacy", Naeher said. "But now I would say that this will be the hardest World Cup to win because the number of quality teams, teams that are growing the game, the personalities of the players-our game is growing and growing". There are some talented players in their team.

"It's much of it is a mindset and approach and you know I think there's a lot a lot of good teams and we're all aware of that but we want to be the team to beat in terms of that and that's our approach", said Ellis.

"Anything you feel like doesn't keep you focused, we just try to eliminate it", Ertz said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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