U.S. coach focused on title after reaching Women's World Cup final

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-03 10:43:37|Editor: Yang Yi
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Head Coach Jill Ellis (C) of the United States talks to players during the semifinal between the United States and England at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France on July 2, 2019. (Xinhua/Xu Zijian)

LYON, France, July 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. women's football national team head coach Jill Ellis said here on Tuesday that winning the title is her team's only goal at the ongoing FIFA Women's World Cup in France.

Ellis's side reached their third straight World Cup final after overcoming England 2-1 in the semifinals.

"We're here for one thing, and that's to win the trophy," Ellis said at a press conference.

"Everything we talk about and focus on is about that. When you are the premier team in the world, you're always going to have noise and external stuff. But we have a unique way of making sure that everything is about the game plan and preparation. They're professionals, that's the best way to sum it up," she added.

"We've had fewer days of rest than probably anyone, and the hardest route to a final that a team has maybe ever taken. But we found a way, and I attribute that to their mental strength."

The U.S. will face the winner of the other semifinal between the Netherlands and Sweden, and Ellis backed her players to perform regardless of the opponent.

"I don't know who I will play, and I don't care who I want to play," Ellis smiled.

She continued, "The netherlands have had a great tournament with tremendous performances. We've seen Sweden in the group stage, and know how good they are. It's going to be an epic match tomorrow."

Megan Rapinoe, who had starred in the U.S.'s previous two matches, was unavailable for Tuesday's semifinal due to a hamstring injury, and Ellis paid tribute to her squad's strength in depth. "We've got a deep bench. They did a fantastic job."

Ellis attributed her team's success to their mentality and mindset.

"The players are ready to prepare for the moment. They are incredibly tight. That's also the strength of the team to get things done collectively," she pointed out.

"I felt like England had a great game," said Alex Morgan, player of the match against England. "Alyssa Naeher came out huge for us on the penalty save. This team has had so much thrown at us. We haven't had an easy route to the final."

"I saw all my teammates being so emotional, and I know it means so much to us. We've put so much into this journey together," she added.