On the eve of the SheBelieves Cup which kicked off on Thursday, Head Coach of the U.S. women's National Football Team Jill Ellis is vowing that there will be no more repeats of the debacle of last year when the U.S. women finished in the uncharacteristic position of bottom-last in the tournament with only three points from a win against Germany but subsequently lost to England and France respectively.
The U.S. women's National Football Team has been going through a bit of a rough patch in recent years since winning their third World Cup title in Canada in 2015. A shocking quarterfinal penalty shootout loss to eventual silver medalists, Sweden in the 2016 Olympic Games meant that they failed to medal for the first time in Olympic history. Then in the 2017 edition of the SheBelieves Cup, they went under to England 0-1 after winning their opening game against Germany. A disastrous 3-0 loss to France in their final group game resigned the U.S. women to their worst defeat since a 4-0 loss to Brazil in the semifinals of the 2007 World Cup and to the cellar position in any tournament for the first time in history.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday evening, Ellis had this to say:
"I know what a lot of you are thinking right now, if the U.S. women don't win this tournament, Jill has to go. And frankly speaking I don't blame you and being World Champions there is added pressure on us to have a good showing because before you can blink World Cup 2019 will be upon us and you know how the U.S. women's history at defending World Cup titles is not very good. Not even at Under-20 level. So history will be against us in France next year. And speaking of France, they embarrassed us at this tournament last year and went on to win the whole thing so I believe that we have a score to settle. We also have a score to settle with England because they also defeated us."
She went on:
"The opening game with Germany though will be quite tricky. It's us the reigning World Champions versus the reigning Olympic Champions. But I think we can come out from that opener with something and go on to win the whole thing. I can guarantee that there will be no more debacles like what happened to us last year. But the game with Germany can also potentially be a preview of the World Cup final next year."
Ellis ended the press conference by saying:
"And just like Denmark prevented them from winning their seventh Euro last year, in like manner we must also prevent them from winning their third World Cup in France next year."