The members of the U.S. women team are not concerned about a World Cup three-peat – especially now that they’ve touched down in New Zealand.
Instead, their focus remains on the task ahead of them, USWNT co-captains Alex Morgan and Lindsey Horan said Wednesday.
“It’s actually never thrown around it with the team,” Morgan said when asked if they discuss the possibility of winning a historic third consecutive World Cup title. “It’s thrown around with media. I think a lot of fans talk about it. But honestly, this team, we have 14 first timers for the World Cup and we see this as our own journey. Each four-year block is its own.
“We’re looking, obviously, to make history,” Morgan continued. “That would be great with what you said with three peat. But this team, that’s on the back of our minds. It’s really just winning each game as it comes.”
Horan noted that the team has its sights set on Vietnam, who the USWNT will face in its opening match on July 21.
“Honestly, we made that a point coming into this that we’re just focusing on this tournament and this tournament only,” she said. “Obviously we’re so proud and happy about our accomplishments in the past, but I think that’s left in the past for right now, and we focus on this tournament and we focus on Vietnam.”
While the team looks different than four years ago, both from a personnel and from coaching standpoint, the energy is still there, as well as the excitement.
“I think there’s a lot of similarities in that way but at the same time when we step on the field I think it’s you know, facing 32 teams in the World Cup like never before so it’s just gonna be very competitive,” Morgan said. “It’s going to be the most watched World Cup. It’s going to be the best one yet.”
At the end of the the past two World Cups, the USWNT has found itself at the top of the world, prevailing over Japan in 2015 and the Netherlands in 2019. And even with roster turnover, the team has maintained its world No. 1 ranking.
Despite losses to Germany, Spain and England last year, players have remained optimistic about their chances of winning again in 2023. Still, the reigning champs know they face a tall task. After all, everyone wants their shot at the world’s best.
“Getting to the top is tough, but staying there is even harder,” Morgan said. We’ve had to challenge each other every single day in training, we hold each other accountable.”