WOMEN'S WORLD CUP 2023
Alex Morgan says the 2023 Australia and New Zealand World Cup will be “the best that there has ever been”
The USWNT star spoke to Telemundo Deportes where she talked about the upcoming World Cup, including who she sees as the favourite.
USWNT star Alex Morgan spoke to Telemundo Deportes where she talked about the upcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which begins in July. She spoke about the pressure of playing for the US, who she sees as the favourites for the trophy and who is her idol in her life as a woman and a footballer.
Do you feel pressure before this tournament? There is always pressure, pressure to make the roster for the World Cup. There is a little bit of a target on our back, but we have fought hard for the number 1 ranking and we fought hard for the 2015 and 2019 World Cups and this is a very different team than 2019. This is our first time as a group. I think we are going into it with that mentality.
Who is the favourite for the World Cup? I think England obviously winning the Euros, they showed they’re one of the top contenders. You cant rule out Germany, they always show up big in the World Cup. Brazil is a powerhouse... there are so many good teams. I think the team just need to get the right rhythm and anyone can make it to the final or be knocked out early, it just take the right things coming together.
What is the main difference between US and European football? American soccer is much more attacking minded when we’re defending, we’re always defending thinking ‘how can we transition in this moment?’, we defend higher up the field than when I played in France. But sometimes we don’t take care of the ball as much as we should because we look to break in behind the back line and go forward, sometimes more impatiently. I think I prefer our style, you get in the box more, more dangerous and have more opportunities, but it comes with being left vulnerable if they win the ball back.
Are you the team to beat in the World Cup? You’ll have to ask somebody else that! There are a couple of teams that are the team to beat. I’d say we’re pretty high up there.
Could this World Cup be better than the one before? I do, I think New Zealand and Australia are going to do an incredible job hosting the World Cup. I also think expanding the number of teams is going to help. I think that lot of the broadcasting right and sponsors has increased to another level, there is more money which helps with visibility and accessibility and to watch the game. I see it as being the best World Cup that there has ever been.
How would you feel to win a third consecutive World Cup?: I look at the last 2 World Cups and they helped soccer so much in the US, giving opportunities to girls and women and it helps our league in the US so I think in that regard, another World Cup would be incredible in terms of opportunity. The revenue it could create for us individually and US soccer as well. But it’s going to be incredibly hard, you talk about having won 2 World Cups, they were mentally and physically exhausting and draining and we gave everything we had and this one is only going to be harder because the game has just gotten more competitive.
How do you feel on getting to 200 appearances with the USWNT? Getting 200 caps is kind of crazy! It’s a lot of games but I’m very honoured. Every time I pull on the jersey it’s a big honour and I don’t take it for granted. I’m very proud to represent the US team and I hope that even bigger and better than my 200 is what we can accomplish in July and August.
Who is your inspiration as a woman and athlete? As a woman and an athlete, my daughter inspires me. Taking her on these trips and showing her what mom does for work and all these powerful strong and confident women that she is surrounded with every day. And my teammates do, we all come from different backgrounds, we all had different journeys to get here and just to see that we’re all here working together for this one thing, to win this World Cup. We’re all putting our individual needs aside for the greater need and want for this team succeeding in the World Cup, it’s pretty special.