Alex Morgan and Becky Sauerbrunn both are bullish about the U.S. women’s national team’s chances for a World Cup three-peat.
As the summer tournament approaches, some analysts have raised concerns about the team, particularly in light of the injury to top scorer Mallory Swanson. But two of the team’s brightest stars aren’t worried.
“We have the confidence that we need to go into a World Cup and prove why we deserve to win. I feel like we have the talent, we have the quality, we have the right coach, the right players, the right camaraderie, the right mentality,” Morgan said in an interview with The Guardian.
Morgan also believes this USWNT squad “is the best we’ve ever had,” she revealed in the same interview.
The USWNT has a chance to make major history this summer: No team in the history of the World Cup – men’s or women’s – has ever won three titles in a row.
“Always down for making some history. This team loves making history. We thrive off that,” USWNT captain Becky Sauerbrunn said recently on Julie Foudy’s “Laughter Permitted” podcast. “We’re not stupid enough to think – we know how hard it is to win one, let alone two in a row. Three would be something special.
“Do we have the team to do it? Absolutely. Do we also know that on any given day can any of those teams beat us if we’re not on our game? Yeah. And so, you know what you need to win a World Cup. You need momentum and you also need a little bit of luck.”
And despite losses to England, Spain and Germany in late 2022 – their first three-match losing streak since 1993 – neither player is concerned. In fact, they feel as though the losses mirror rough stretches ahead of the 2015 and 2019 tournaments, when the team also struggled in the lead-up to those World Cups.
“I think that [losing] has really helped us in our success previously, and it’s going to help us in the World Cup. Because I think that you always learn so much more from losing than winning,” Morgan said.
As they prepare for this go-round, the team knows that while the work will get you far, there’s also a little bit of luck involved.
“You need the ball to bounce your way a few times during that tournament. And we’ve had that the last two go arounds, and so we’re preparing,” Sauerbrunn said. “We know we can do it, we’ve got the team to do it. I think we’ve got the mentality to do it. We’re finding the mentality, I think we’ve touched it a few times. [I think] we really need to embrace that and make it more of our core identity, but I definitely think we can do it.”