USWNT looking for more success

IMG_4295Coming off a 2015 FIFA World Cup championship, the United States women’s National Soccer Team is looking for more success.

The USWNT will compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil after going a perfect 5-0 in qualifying. The team played 450 consecutive minutes of shutout soccer in the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, including a 2-0 win over Canada in the final round.

Forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Carli Lloyd skyped in to the Team USA Olympics Media Summit from Boca Raton, Fla. to talk about the upcoming Olympics.

“No question, we just want to go for another gold,” Lloyd said. “And do anything possible to be on the team.”

The USWNT is currently playing in the SheBelieves Cup, where Morgan’s goal lifted the Americans over France 1-0 on March 6.

“With the Olympic qualifying tournament, we felt like we had a lot of momentum going into the SheBelieves Tournament,” Morgan said. “I think we performed well, but there’s always a little bit better play that we can continue to elevate ourselves to.”

The team is 8-0-0 so far this year after a 2-0 start in the SheBelieves Cup with a couple close victories after some of the top teams in the world.

When asked about her performance in clutch situations, Lloyd said she just has high expectations. But the ultimate test is yet to come for the USWNT.

“We don’t want to be peaking at this very moment,” she said. “We want to be peaking when we get to Rio.”

The team is going through some changes in personnel, as some of the veteran players are no longer with the team. Lloyd said there are a lot of new faces, but it’s important for the veterans like herself to lead the team.

Morgan and Lloyd also talked about differences in preparation under head coach Jill Ellis, who took over in 2014. Pia Sundhage coached the USWNT to the gold medal in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

Lloyd played for both of those teams while Morgan was on the roster in 2012.

“I would say you’ve got to embrace the journey,” Lloyd said. “I think that’s a key factor in any major tournament … If you don’t tackle what’s coming your way at that particular, it can kinda weigh on your confidence.”

The USWNT has won three straight gold medals and four of the last five dating back to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

With it being International Women’s Day, Morgan also talked about women gaining higher positions in the FIFA organization.

The team doesn’t know where it will be placed yet, but Lloyd expects Brazil to do a great job of putting the competition together. She said it will be tough to win the gold against the other teams in the field.

“We started climbing that peak a little quicker than last time around,” Morgan said. “But obviously in time you know what to expect.”

Authors:
Jake Fox

I'm Jake. A reporter and writer at heart, but I'm always willing to learn new things. Lover of sports and social media who's always striving for improvement. Everybody has a story. Tell me yours, and I'll put it into words.

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