On Tuesday, the U.S. Women's National Team will finally begin their quest to defend their world Cup title. Their first match is against Thailand -- a team they shut out 9-0 in 2016.
“We've been fully focused, just honed in on the first match against Thailand. We're just going to take it one game at a time," said Ali Krieger, defender.
"As the games continue--it's fun for us to watch the games, feel that excitement, feel that energy and at the same time... stay one step away from it and stay really focused and centered on what we’re doing," said Christen Press, defender.
The team believes its depth is what makes them so dangerous with head coach Jill Ellis calling it 'critical' to their success.
“This group creates a lot," said Ellis. They're very potent and I think we wear teams done."
“We have a lot of players that can play multiple positions, we have a lot of quality players — we just to go over there and get it done,” said Carli Lloyd, forward.
“It’s going to be extremely tough... It’s going to be a grueling tournament but the expectations for us is always to win,” said Megan Rapinoe. Confidence is another strength of the Americans.
As they are heavy favorites, this squad knows they'll have a target on their back -- and these women are up for the challenge. “We thrive under pressure I think we enjoyed being the best team in the world,” Ali Krieger. “I feel like the pressure is on us every single tournament,” said Carli Lloyd.
“It's confidence... so much of it is a mindset and approach and you know I think there’s a lot a lot of good teams and we’re all aware of that but we want to be the team to beat in terms of that and that’s our approach,” said Ellis.
“When I talk to other players from other national teams that’s the thing to talk about most with the US is this sort of uncanny ability to come up big when it really counts,” said Grant Wahl, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports 1. Soccer analyst Grant Wahl believes all eyes will be on Alex Morgan.
The forward scored only one goal in the 2015 World Cup after coming into the tournament injured and will be looking to leave her own mark this time around.
“The first two games I could see her scoring several goals just because of the quality of the opposition and that could be a really great way for her to start off with a lot of confidence,” said Wahl.
“I feel really good I feel really healthy and I feel like I’m ready and able to contribute A LOT to this team this World Cup,” said Alex Morgan.
While these women are taking it one game at a time, they are also trying to take it all in For me this is my fourth and final World Cup, so I am just taking it in,” said Lloyd.
“I shouldn't really say this out loud. During the tournament I can't do this, but the croissants and wine would be nice to test out,” said Krieger