U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage, midfielder Heather O’Reilly, and forward Abby Wambach addressed the media today following the announcement of the U.S. Women’s National Team World Cup roster. Sundhage said it was difficult to narrow down the roster to 21 players, saying, “We have not picked the best 21 players. We picked the 21 players that will do the best together … (We’re) very happy with the 21 we picked and the fact that they are different from each other. Everyone has high expectations.”
Going through the positions, Sundhage said she has four “very, very different forwards that have a lot of experience,” and that there’s a lot of experience in the midfield. “We’ll look different from the right side to the left side, but we have a lot of options.” Speaking about the defense, Sundhage said, “I’m happy to have captain Christie Rampone back … it’s important for those two (Rampone and Rachel Buehler) to work together.”
Wambach said her career won’t be complete if the U.S. doesn’t win the tournament.
“I would feel unsatisfied with my career without a World Cup championship,” she said. “It will be the most difficult World Cup to win. It’s going to take some guts, some luck, some skill, and some defending. We were given a second chance. We can’t squander that chance.”
Sundhage added that the U.S. learned a lot about itself after the tough stretch it had during World Cup qualifiers.
“My glass is half full. I look at those games – we came out stronger after those games,” she said. “The pressure – we love it. We find a way to win.”
O’Reilly added that winning a World Cup is, “the pinnacle of your career in soccer.”