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Margaret Purce on USWNT: ‘The world has been catching up’

KANSAS CITY, KS - SEPTEMBER 03: United States forward Midge Purce (23) in the second half of an international friendly soccer match between Nigeria and the United States on September 3, 2022 at Childrens Mercy Park in Kansas City, KS. Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

U.S. women’s national team forward Margaret Purce is excited for the squad’s upcoming international friendlies against England, Spain and Germany.

When asked by CBS Sports Golazo if she was nervous about matching up against the Lionesses, who won the Euro championship in July, Purce called the sold-out match at Wembley Stadium a “good test.”

The United States sits atop the FIFA world world rankings, while England holds the No. 4 spot. The USWNT’s next two opponents also sit in the top 10: No. 8 Spain and No. 2 Germany.

“Every game is almost a rivalry with the U.S. when you’re playing a top 10 team,” she said. “I think that it’s not a question of if England has caught up. I think that the world has been catching up.

“I think that this game is going to be a good test to see where everybody ranks, we haven’t played each other in such a long time. It’s going to be a really good test for both sides.”

The USWNT last faced England in 2020 during the SheBelieves Cup group stage. The U.S. won that game 2-0.

“It’s definitely a different mindset,” Purce said of going up against the Lionesses now. “Every team we play in the top 10, every game is a test. It’s gonna be, can we continue to win?”

Comparing England’s Euros title run with the USWNT’s Concacaf W Championship title run, Purce acknowledged that one of the tournaments is “a bit more difficult than the other.”

Six of the eight Euros quarterfinalists rank in the top 10 in the world, while just two of the eight teams at the Concacaf tournament rank in the top 30.

The USWNT’s fall schedule starts with the two-game European trip, with the match against England on Oct. 7 followed by a match against Spain on Oct. 11.

“The whole trip is gonna be a good test for the U.S., England and Spain back-to-back,” Purce said. “We’ve been playing a lot of teams who have sat in against us, who have played in low blocks. None of us are expecting low blocks against England or Spain.”