England at the World Cup: explosion on the island - sports
- The league is getting better, the national team is the first time in a World Cup semi-final. England is making huge strides in women's football.
- At home, the Lionesses' own games are broadcasted at the Glastonbury Music Festival.
- Before the semi-final against top-favorite USA, a spy incident provides for detuning.
Hope Solo does not want to hold back her thoughts from the public, she knows this team like few others - a team that was considered a big favorite before the World Cup in France and has been relentlessly in the direction of the title. Solo has been the goalkeeper of American football for 16 years and until the end of career in 2016, she was considered one of the best in the world. But for the World Cup she has now changed sides: from the grass to the media tribune, from Team USA to Team UK. Solo, 37, works as a television expert for the BBC and writes columns for the newspaper Guardian, And because her departure from the US team was not exactly peaceful, she likes to criticize and give the opponent tips. Like now before the semifinals between the USA and England on Tuesday in Lyon, which alone from the athleticism is likely to become one of the most intense World Cup matches.
"England can beat the US No matter how much I say it, my advice to Phil Neville is to go straight ahead!" Solo wrote: "Most teams want to play attractively, but the US knows how to defend against such teams. To win, you have to catch the USA with their lack of defense speed, and to do that, you have to play fast and straight. " England should not fall behind, because then the US would close the game. England coach Neville, 42, countered with a smile, solicitously, "My style is non-negotiable, I'm sorry, I'm a bit stubborn, I want us to have the ball and keep it moving that's the best way to succeed. "
The mood before the kickoff? Slightly tense
Before the game, which would bring England's women footballers in a victory, the best performance at a World Cup, Neville was also busy with alleged espionage. For while Solo their assessments in the British press stated, apparently wanted to be well informed about the United States, the US. And so they caused a scandal, which the English FA Association is extremely outraged. According to the Guardian, US team members were caught Sunday morning in unofficial clothing in hotel rooms of the English team while they trained. "That would be something we do not do that, but that's their problem, "said Neville, former Manchester United professional:" It will not affect the game. To be honest: I thought it was funny. I just thought: what are they doing there? That does not belong! "
US coach Jill Ellis, who grew up in England up to the age of fifteen, said the incident was that the hotel had merely been evaluated as potential accommodation for Sunday's final - by the team administrator and her boss: "I suppose That's what everyone does, "said Ellis," you have to plan, it's part of the staff's preparation, I did not even know how we would get to Lyon at all. "
So the atmosphere was slightly tense even before kick-off, so it's a lot going on in Lyon. Whoever moves into the final and gets the chance to win the title - it would be number four for the USA or the premiere for England - sends no less than the sign: We are the best nation in the world in women's football! The US has worn this label throughout the tournament with the utmost self-image, as a record champion with an impressive presence on the field. The team around Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan is considered (almost) unbeatable. But perhaps England will be able to prove the opposite - and further increase the euphoria that already prevails on the island.
For example, England's quarter-final against Norway was broadcast at the Glastonbury Music Festival, one of the largest in the world. Neville said to the resonance in the homeland that he had "never foreseen to be where we are today when he took office 18 months ago." It really exploded! The World Cup helped - but you have no explosion without such quality on the planet Space!"
England's Women's League is the only fully professional in Europe, with clubs like Arsenal or Manchester City investing relatively much money. England is setting standards with infrastructure, marketing and social standing; More and more players are thinking about switching to the island because there is so much going on there. And the development of the league is also reflected in the national team.
The strength feeds from the rest
The lionesses have won all five World Cup games with their fast, physical, flexible play, with 11: 1 goals; especially the 3: 0 against Norway gave a proper self-confidence boost. This strength also comes from a city axis: goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, defender Steph Houghton, midfielder Jill Scott and forward Ellen White - all with five World Cup goals on par with Sam Kerr (Australia) and the US stars Rapinoe and Morgan - all play in Manchester. Overall, Neville has already used 22 of 23 players, which proves the width of the squad. The strength also comes from the tranquility that radiates from Neville - and from his recent Lucy Bronze (Lyon Olympique) praised approach to psychology rather than overloading the players with tactics.
In March, the British defied the USA at the "SheBelievesCup" a 2-2 from the end, they won the tournament. Now, after a clear win over Norway, Phil Neville turned to his players - and asked, "Are you ready to win the World Cup?" Nobody said no.