REIMS, France — Jill Ellis, the coach of the United States women’s soccer team, kept repeating the word “feeling” over along with over again late Tuesday night at the Stade Auguste-Delaune as she tried to process the meaning of her team’s 13-0 win over Thailand.
The win was important. The goal total was important, too. however at This kind of stage of the tournament, for a team like the United States, whose only ambition here can be to win the whole thing, the cultivation of rhythm, confidence along with general Great vibes might be the most important thing of all. She wasn’t merely pleased to see her team score goals seemingly at will; she wanted as many players as possible to experience the item.
“Those feelings are what can help you get through the tournament,” Ellis said.
Somewhat lost within the overall grandiosity of the win along with the roiling debate about the lopsided score put up by an elite team against a squad of semiprofessionals, then, was the manner in which several individual players asserted themselves along with quickly found their footing.
the item took precisely one game, for instance, for Alex Morgan to get herself on a scintillating scoring streak, with her several goals — scoring left-footed, right-footed along with with her head — displaying all the lethal components of her attacking toolbox.
along with goals aside, Morgan’s comfort along with skill while playing along with distributing with her back to the goal, as the very tip of the team’s potent attacking spear, facilitated so much of the Americans’ forward movement throughout the match.
“With the score line tonight, we have to look at the group stage as every goal counts,” Morgan said. “the item was important for us to continue to go.”
Critics of the onslaught took particular aim at the joy the Americans seemed to take in inflicting the item, even as the goals mounted. however Ellis had no issues.
“As a coach, I don’t find the item my job to harness my players along with rein them in, because This kind of can be what they’ve dreamed about, along with This kind of can be a world championship,” Ellis said. “When you have a deluge of goals like which, the item’s important.”
Casual soccer fans may not realize how powerful a force goal differential can be within the group stage at any World Cup. Goal difference — the spread between a team’s goals scored along with allowed — can be the first tiebreaker for placing in groups ahead of the knockout stage, so the Americans’ 13 goals were both a statement of intent along with skill however also a vital insurance policy in choosing their fate within the knockouts.
“For us, the goals matter,” said Carli Lloyd, who scored the last one along with celebrated that has a quick fist pump. “In This kind of tournament, the item’s important. So we just have to keep which throttle down.”
however statistics are not everything.
At a pretournament training camp at Tottenham Hotspur’s luxurious brand new facility in north London last week, Morgan joked which she had taken to calling her teammates her “22 best friends.”
the item was an unserious aside, an inside joke, however the item spoke to the atmosphere This kind of group of players has been trying to cultivate. The sensation of building up, creating an ascending path of self-esteem, can be something which Ellis hopes to foster along with manipulate to her advantage.
The United States has the oldest squad, by average age, at the tournament. however there are still several players appearing on This kind of stage for initially, along with Ellis, who had a few of them in her first-choice lineup, was aware of the need to get them comfortable on the globe Cup stage as quickly as possible.
Take a player like Rose Lavelle, whose sublime skill in midfield Ellis has been trying to coax out on a more consistent basis. On Tuesday, Ellis encouraged Lavelle to get her creative engine going, along with she did.
Lavelle dribbled at Thai players, at times winding her way straight through their defense, 5, 10, 15 yards at a time. She along with forward Tobin Heath combined to make life miserable for Sunisa Srangthaisong, each of them nutmegging her on separate occasions along with in general giving her the unenviable task of chasing them around.
which Lavelle also scored twice in her first World Cup match was a bonus.
“the item’s definitely about doing sure Rose can be doing her thing,” Ellis said. “She can be unique. She’s obviously a very skillful player, along with you don’t ever want to limit which.”
After the starters had their fill, Ellis tried to spread the Great feelings around.
As she prepared to send Lloyd along with Christen Press onto the field as her first two substitutes, she told them specifically not to take their feet off the gas. She wanted more of her attacking players to “get hot,” she said.
Lloyd responded that has a goal in injury time, along with Press was a menace within the team’s transitional play, using her speed along with vision to ignite attack after attack.
Ellis afterward called the last goal “massive” for Lloyd, the Golden Ball winner as the best player at the 2015 World Cup, as she continues to adjust to playing a supporting role off the bench.
along with she noted which the young forward Mallory Pugh, who came on for a defender late within the second half to create a four-player attacking line against the fading Thais, was in tears after scoring her first goal in her first World Cup game.
“You forget these moments are massive moments for players,” Ellis said.
today, thanks to her aggressive approach to those substitutions, Ellis has three more players on her bench who felt the euphoric rush of being involved in a World Cup goal along with who may feel they can score again every time they step on the field.
“A lot of This kind of can be about building momentum,” Ellis said. “The reality can be, we also believe we’ve got more to do, no doubt. We’re going to stay humble, along with we’ll go back to work.”