NEW YORK — From subway stops to Times Square and Twitter NYC, the United States women’s national team took over New York City this weekend.
“I think this is the final piece for us, coming into New York, playing in our send-off game, our pre-camp and then beginning our journey,” USWNT coach Jill Ellis said to kick off her press conference at Twitter’s New York headquarters Friday morning. “Fantastic atmosphere already. … We’re delighted, we’re healthy and we’re ready to get this thing rolling.”
U.S. player photos lined the entry hallway at Twitter and the U.S. Soccer logo wrapped all the pillars in the company’s cafeteria-turned-interview-hall for Friday’s media day. The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup begins June 7, and the U.S. plays its first group match June 11 against Thailand in Reims, France. The final will be played in Lyon July 7.
After Ellis answered questions about the challenges that await in the tournament, U.S. captains Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd — who will play in her fourth World Cup — took the stage.
“I’m really excited,” Lloyd said. “For me, personally, I have a little bit of a different mindset, this being the fourth and most likely last World Cup of mine. Ya know, kind of just taking it day by day, embracing the journey a little bit more. I think we as humans get so stuck in looking ahead and not really embracing and being in the moment. These last couple of years have really taught me to just be in the moment, really savor each and every moment. … Just looking forward to kind of getting over there and making it happen.
“I think we’re a very talented group, the most talented we’ve had going into a major tournament like this, in my opinion, and we’re gonna go for it.”
The night before media day, the USWNT made an appearance in Times Square, which was lit up red, white and blue and featured skyscraper-sized images of the players. What looked like thousands of fans surrounded the stage where the players stood.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) May 24, 2019
The next morning, the team appeared on Good Morning America before taking on media day, which concluded with a foosball competition between players on a customized USWNT foosball table. The big city tour ends Sunday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., with one final friendly match against Mexico at noon ET.
“Had a little Italian dinner, then was on top of a bus and partying on the way to the event,” goalkeeper Adrianna Franch said of Thursday night in Times Square. “It was cool to have the videos up everywhere going. When we were walking out, you just see on everyone, players included, just that red, white and blue glow off everyone’s faces. It was so cool to see, and all the people there.
“I mean, it’s really just making a statement. Like, we’re here. The World Cup is here, and we are the United States. Our country, they love to stand for something and follow something and stand behind and support something, and it’s going to be us this year and we’re ready for it.”
Stay tuned to ProSoccerUSA.com for more USWNT stories from media day.