The U.S. women’s national team faces a tough task Down Under: Win a third consecutive World Cup title.
No other team has done so before, in the men’s or women’s tournament. And as competition in women’s soccer around the world has gotten stronger, the odds for a historic third World Cup win in a row have gotten longer.
But USWNT forward Trinity Rodman expects to get a win nonetheless. The 21-year-old forward called the reigning champions “ruthless” in an interview with ESPN’s “Fútbol Americas.”
“My expectations are that we’re the most ruthless team, we’re never going to give up and we’re going to get the title,” she said.
“Obviously the team has changed so much over the last couple of World Cups, even the past couple of months, but this team is something special. We want it more than ever, so I expect a gold medal.”
This will be Rodman’s first World Cup. But she is approaching it with a veteran’s mindset, having scored both goals in the team’s send-off game against Wales. The USWNT statistically faces one of the tougher group-stage schedules in Group E, going up against the Netherlands, Portugal and Vietnam, but players’ expectations remain high.
Pressure remains high as well. And with 14 newcomers to the squad, it could take some time for the USWNT to come into its own at the tournament.
“I think with this team that everyone expects success obviously based off the past,” Rodman said. “But there are a lot of new players and a lot of connections that need to be built for the first game, so it’s just the pressure of doing well. It’s a lot harder than people think.
“(People think:) you guys should be blowing these teams out or should be winning, and it’s a lot harder than that. I think with, the diversity and change has been difficult, but honestly for me, this is my first World Cup, so there may be less expectations for me because I’ve never been in this position.”