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Fuel Soccer Talk: USA pride & confidence in France; Meet Becky Sauerbrunn; Berhalter talks USA roster

It’s World Cup time – get your game on!!!

US brings confidence, pride into World Cup 2019

The United States are the favorites in France at the Women’s World Cup but it’s not going to be easy. The rapid development of the game globally means they will face an ever improving field when the tournament gets underway in France on Friday.

U-S-A pride

There may be no crying in baseball but there certainly are plenty of emotions when you are playing for your country. Playing in the World Cup in another country against the top players in the world and wearing the red, white and blue is a special feeling whether you’ve been there or not. “I will never forget that very first game when I heard the National Anthem for the first time and realizing where I was,” says Allie Long. “For that moment it really hits you that you are playing for your country.” Lindsey Horan, who has been playing with the U.S. National Team since attending the U.S. U-14 National Identification Camp in 2008, says putting on that USA jersey never gets old. “It’s the most amazing feeling,” she says. “No one should ever take it for granted because it’s such a special thing and we all work really hard to have that opportunity.”

U-S-A confidence

Ali Krieger hopes to be one of the bubble players making the trip to France. But either way she knows all about winning not only soccer games, but World Cups. Krieger was on the 2015 team that won it all in Vancouver and believes there is little substitute for confidence and being. “We had a tough group in the beginning which not only helped us prepare but gave us a lot of confidence,” Krieger said. “We were well prepared for the tough games and had the little details down by the time we faced the real good teams. We had such great confidence in ourselves that we could win the whole thing.”

What are the keys to success for the US side?

World Cup 2019: One Team, One Nation with Becky Sauerbrunn

In this episode of 23 Stories, presented by Volkswagen, U.S. WNT defender Becky Sauerbrunn gives us insight into why she likes to stay out of the spotlight, but also understands the tremendous amount of mental and physical energy it takes to be successful at the top levels. Her escape from the grind? Reading. A pastime she is passionate about and one that helps her see the world in better, different and more fulfilling ways.

SEE ALL EPISODES 

What did you learn about Becky Sauerbrunn?

USMNT: Difficult decisions and roster maneuvering for Coach Berhalter

While 23 players made the roster, six that were with the group in Annapolis during the past week have departed camp. Needing to account for depth and flexibility between positions in a tournament setting, Berhalter admitted that difficult decisions were made. Specifically, the injury to midfielder Sebastian Lletget played a part in the thought process when deciding ultimately to leave striker Josh Sargent off the roster.
“This was the most difficult decision we had to make,” Berhalter said of Sargent. “We saw Sebastian Lletget as depth for both the central attacking midfield position and as a winger. When he got injured, it put a wrench in the plans a little bit, and we didn’t feel we could afford to carry three strikers on the roster anymore.”
While Sargent will not play a part in this year’s Gold Cup, Berhalter lent plenty of praise on what’s to come for the Werder Bremen striker with the National Team.
“We have to remember Josh is 19 years old and he has a bright future in front of him. When I talked to him and gave him the news, one thing I mentioned was that he’s going to be the striker for the national team in the future — we’re sure of that. He’s got great skill sets, and unfortunately he didn’t carry that momentum from Werder Bremen into the second half of the season, he wasn’t able to play as much as he could have, and he lacked a little sharpness. But Josh is a top striker and he’s going to have a lot of opportunities in the future to show that.”

COMPLETE STORY

FLET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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