US coach focused on title after reaching Women’s WC final
Lyon (France), July 3 (IANS): US women’s football national team head coach Jill Ellis has insisted that winning the title is her team’s only goal at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
On Tuesday, Ellis’s side reached their third straight World Cup final after overcoming England 2-1 in the semifinals, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We’re here for one thing, and that’s to win the trophy,” Ellis said at a press conference.
“Everything we talk about and focus on is about that. When you are the premier team in the world, you’re always going to have noise and external stuff. But we have a unique way of making sure that everything is about the game plan and preparation. They are professionals and that’s the best way to sum it up,” she added.
“We’ve had fewer days of rest than probably anyone, and the hardest route to a final that a team has maybe ever taken. But we found a way, and I attribute that to their mental strength.”
The US will face the winner of the other semifinal between the Netherlands and Sweden, and Ellis backed her players to perform regardless of the opponent.
“I don’t know who I will play, and I don’t care who I want to play,” Ellis smiled. She continued: “The Netherlands have had a great tournament with tremendous performances. We’ve seen Sweden in the group stage, and know how good they are. It’s going to be an epic match tomorrow.”
Ellis attributed her team’s success to their mentality and mindset.
“The players are ready to prepare for the moment. They are incredibly tight. That’s also the strength of the team to get things done collectively,” she pointed out.
“I felt like England had a great game,” said Alex Morgan, player of the match against England. “Alyssa Naeher came out huge for us on the penalty save. This team has had so much thrown at us. We haven’t had an easy route to the final.”
“I saw all my teammates being so emotional, and I know it means so much to us. We’ve put so much into this journey together,” she added.