Under Pressure: The U.S. Women's World Cup Team (2023) s01e03 Episode Script

Episode 3

This is kinda like your pace, honestly.
Um [scoffs]
- No, it is not. [chuckles]
- Are you a speed walker?
[Lynn] Not like you. You walk so fast.
[Kristie] I've realized that
I'm terrified of being late to anything.
Any time I'm late,
I start sweating even more.
- Let's eat this cookie. We're deprived.
- This is so you.
[paper bag crinkles]
At the past World Cups,
there have maybe been
ten really good teams
that are really hard to beat,
but the gap
is just getting smaller and smaller.
- [Lynn] Yeah.
- [Kristie] Games are gonna be even better.
We played the Netherlands in the Olympics
and ended up going to PKs, so
- Yeah. Yeah.
- [Lynn yelps]
Then they're so good. Like, they're solid.
That's gonna be a tough game.
It's gonna be a good game.
[Lynn] It doesn't matter
what we did up against Vietnam,
because the Netherlands
is a whole new game.
It's a whole new opponent,
a whole new style of soccer.
It just gets harder and harder 'cause
you're getting further in the tournament.
So I don't think
that you can count anybody out right now.
- Yeah, cheers.
- To you.
[both chuckle]
Remember when you chopped your hair off?
Yeah, that was so embarrassing.
Why did you let me do that?
- I didn't know you. [laughs]
- [laughs] I know.
[wind blows]
[anxious music plays]
[Abby] When you have the expectation
that I know all these players have,
of going deep into this tournament,
there is a fear factor
that comes into the group stage games.
They don't wanna be
the first ones sent home.
They don't want that embarrassment.
[Lynn] It doesn't matter
if it's the World Cup. Pressure's there.
You beat a team 13-0, you get scrutinized.
You beat a team 3-0, you get scrutinized.
Like, the pressure's there.
[announcer 1] Job done.
They scored three goals.
[announcer 2]
Take three points, the win, but
[announcer 3] room to grow.
[announcer 4] Is it going to be enough
when they go up against another
top-10-ranked team in the Netherlands?
Here we go.
[indistinct chatter]
You won't catch me in my sheets
unless it's time for bed.
'Cause I'm an emotionally mature gal.
I used to sleep literally 90% of camps.
I feel like
I'm in survival mode at all times.
[Alyssa] Soph, no.
Are you six?
What? Okay.
I think we're next to each other.
[player] Get in.
One, two, three.
[funky music plays]
[Abby] It's so easy in our world today
to watch something
and look for the negatives.
That is the default.
[Lynn] Most of us have shut off our phones
and social media.
It's like the outside noise is,
like, repelling off of a bubble.
In these moments,
it's not about the outside world.
It's like, how do we come together
within our little bubble
to say, "This is all we need"?
When you're playing
from a little sense of that fear,
when you're playing not to lose,
it's difficult to figure out who you are
and identify yourself.
[player 1] Whoo!
The girls, we put their hair in braids.
[Abby] That is what I'm looking to see
in this 2023 team.
I'm looking for them to define themselves,
apart from the rest of all
the other women's teams that have come.
[band plays upbeat song]
[player 2] Where's the band?
Get the paparazzi now.
[man] We'd like to give
a great Massachusetts welcome
to the United States team representing us
in the World Women's Cup soccer!
- [pop music plays]
- [indistinct]
[Meg] 1999 Women's World Cup.
Everything comes back to it.
[male announcer] If Brandi Chastain
scores, the USA win the World Cup.
My first memory of a World Cup
was, of course, the '99 World Cup.
[male announcer] Brandi Chastain does it!
And the USA
are world champions once again.
[Alex] Seeing that growing up,
all of these players,
I was looking at
and trying to follow in their footsteps.
[crowd cheers]
Number one! Number one again!
My eight-year-old self
watching the '99ers win,
I was like, "I'm doing that one day."
[player] Shut the hell up, Mia.
Dancing party! ♪
Mia Hamm was obviously just my idol.
Like, I had her book.
She was on a poster in my room.
[Savannah] Mia Hamm,
Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain
So many of them
were the women we had on our walls.
Like, the posters and the ones
we wanted to be just like.
We didn't work this fuckin' hard
to not finish this off.
We finish this off. We beat them
to every ball. They are dead tired.
Remember that.
It's pretty cool.
Winning the World Cup
when women's soccer wasn't a thing
two months before that World Cup started.
They were going around
selling tickets to the World Cup.
If we played on the men's team,
we'd have someone that did it for us.
However, we're on the women's team.
- We have to polish our own boots.
- [player] Do our own!
We were very dedicated
to getting butts in seats.
[Mia] We started with the marketing in '98
to make this the biggest
women's sporting event in history.
[Foudy] We did everything,
pretty much going door-to-door,
knocking on people's front doors saying,
"Let me tell
you about the Women's World Cup."
[woman] I remember we'd come into a city
and go out to these schools,
and we'd do clinics
in hopes that we would generate interest
so they would come,
ya know, to watch us play.
[player] Remember when we couldn't
get many people to our games?
- This is crazy!
- Yes.
- I know. This is practice.
- Like a petting zoo out there.
They were able to reach way beyond
what women's sports
had previously managed to capture.
We crushed it.
Attendance, sponsorship,
and as the tournament rolled on,
it just got bigger and bigger.
[Foudy] After we won, someone said to me,
"Are you gonna be pioneers,
or is this gonna be an anomaly?"
I thought, "We better be pioneers."
[all] Oosa-Oosa-Oosa-Ah!
[indistinct chatter]
[player 1] He said,
"Brandi, let's have a debriefing session."
[player 1] You're in your birthday suit.
[player 2] Brandi, if you score,
gotta be your pose.
Kind of like the Heisman.
[Sofia] I definitely looked up
to all the '99ers.
Not just as players either.
Seeing them as people.
Because I feel like, in women's soccer,
we have to be so much more.
- Had enough?
- Ha ha. Let's go.
I feel a responsibility
to carry on what the '99ers started
- How'd it go?
- I got two fillings.
to prove that investment
in women's soccer is worth it.
Then I will have two fillings.
[Abby] Some people call it
the Mia Hamm Effect.
Some people call it the '99 Effect.
Endorsement deals are higher.
Contracts are bigger.
Sponsorships, popularity, viewerships.
[Foudy] We thought '99 would be
the catalyst that boom.
It took off from there.
And now that we're,
ya know, decades removed from it,
I do think we were the pioneers, for sure,
but it just took so long
for the rest of the world to catch up.
It took so long for even
the United States to embrace it.
I feel like just today,
20-plus years later,
we're getting to that period of time
where we say,
"Oh. Women's sports has arrived."
[Bob] I remember it clear as a bell.
We all were lying on the couch
watching that '99 final,
and both girls deciding, at that moment,
uh, that they were gonna make the team
and get to the World Cup in the future.
- Yeah.
- You both made it to what your dream was.
Um, how many people can say
that that actually does happen?
Yeah. I feel like sometimes,
just with soccer,
with traveling so much, with being here
in such a stressful environment,
seeing you guys and talking to Sam,
talking to the other Sam,
it just, like, keeps me level a bit,
where I think you can kinda,
like, get lost in the stress of it all.
Part of our own parenting
has been so hard. We've been so torn.
We wanna have equal
Always be equal with our daughters.
And 2019, we were able to focus on Sam.
Now we can totally focus on Kristie.
It would be so I mean, obviously,
I would die for her to be here, but
It would be terrific,
but at the same rate,
you deserve to get here.
- Yeah.
- Um, you earned it, so good for you.
Um, it's Now it's your turn
to be in the focus.
It's just wonderful,
as far as I'm concerned.
When are you leaving? And then we'll talk
about when are we going to the game.
[Kristie] Yeah, so we play Netherlands
at one o'clock.
I'm excited to get it going
because I feel like if we win this game,
then I think
we're obviously through, right?
- I believe you would be.
- Win two games, you're through.
Especially if you beat Netherlands.
[Kristie] And then it just depends on
what happens with the other games
and what happens with our third game,
whether we're coming in first or second.
Correct. Yeah. I mean, if Netherlands
is on a win, you're on a win.
So if you beat Netherlands,
then everybody else would have a loss,
and and that puts you in a great position
going into the third game.
Everyone tries to explain this to me,
and my eyes glass over.
Everyone's like,
"Kristie, it's so obvious." But when you
I think if I sat down
and thought about it, I'd understand it,
but I glass over,
and I don't know what you're saying.
[Bob] Yeah.
[Kristie] I'm just excited.
Gonna be a good game.
[exciting music plays]
[Vlatko] Tomorrow's gonna be a battle.
It's gonna be a battle everywhere.
We need to win the first tackle, the first
aerial challenge, the first run. Okay?
The first 50/50.
And then we have to continue winning.
It'll come down
to winning your individual battles.
One person can set up the rhythm,
the pace of the team, all right?
Let's make sure we're ready
for the battle tomorrow.
[crowd cheers]
[male announcer 1] It's a repeat of the
Women's World Cup Final four years ago.
The reigning champions, the United States,
against the Netherlands in Wellington.
[Ian] In the World Cup,
there's an early game where you think,
"Okay. We're gonna see something
from one of these two teams."
[tense music plays]
[Lindsey] It's a big opponent.
It's Netherlands.
This is going to be a battle,
a really good game.
[Alex] We know what they have to bring,
that they're a really technical team.
They're extremely physical.
[Foudy] There's history,
having played them in the final
of the last World Cup.
[male announcer 2]
The United States of America
are champions of the world.
Nobody nobody does it better.
[Ian] Netherlands are coming out.
They'll try and bombard and go at them
and say, "You're not what you were."
[male announcer 3] The Dutch manager
had some controversial comments,
saying that the US used to have
the best athletes in the world.
They don't have it anymore.
What else do they have?
[Ian] If I'm the manager
of the Netherlands,
probably do the same thing.
That is brilliant
stoking of the fire there.
Some impetus to say, "Just go and do it."
[male announcer 4] There is a real feeling
of excitement inside this arena.
It's seen some
of the very best players on the planet.
[hip-hop music plays]
[Alex] The atmosphere in the locker room
is full of loud music.
[all] Groceries ♪
[Alex] But I think everyone
is kind of doing their own thing.
Some players are in front of the mirror,
doing their hair,
getting their braid ready.
Yeah, money!
[Alex] Some players are just hangin' out,
dancin', havin' fun, laughing.
It's kind of just all over the spectrum,
but we're all focused on the game.
We're not in the locker room
for that long.
It's around 40 minutes max
until you go out to warm up.
And once you go to warm up,
it's like, "Game's gonna start soon."
Let's get closer together here
to each other.
All right.
You saw in the video today.
You had a chance to read some quotes.
I'm sure when you go to these
press conferences, you hear this a lot
"The world is catching up.
They're getting closer to US."
All kinds of things, right?
You know what that means?
That means that we're still on top.
That means we're still the best.
[Ian] The Netherlands,
they've got the kind of players
that if America are not about their game,
they can then cause them problems.
But saying that,
if the USA beat the Netherlands,
and if they beat them well,
it's gonna be very tough to stop the US.
[Vlatko] We are the gold standard.
So, this game, we'll find something out.
I'm really hoping this game doesn't draw.
[Vlatko] Let's get out there
and play like we are the best.
Play like we're the gold standard, okay?
Carry yourself like you're the best.
Let's make a statement. Let's go. Come on.
[all cheer]
[man] Everywhere we go!
[crowd] Everywhere we go!
[man] People wanna know!
[crowd] People wanna know!
[man] Who we are!
Level these bitches
the first second you get a chance.
Come on now, guys! Let's go!
[man] We are the US!
[crowd] We are the US!
[man] Mighty, mighty US!
[crowd] Mighty, mighty US!
[man] We are the US!
[crowd] We are the US!
[man] Mighty, mighty US!
[crowd] Mighty, mighty US!
Start fast.
Do the same thing we did last game.
We fucking win everything.
We win every battle.
We win every second battle.
We win every recovery run.
We win everything, okay?
Work for each other.
Back each other up. Okay?
We fucking got this.
[rhythmic music plays]
[whistle blows]
[male announcer] DeMelo for Dunn.
For Dunn.
Into the box, it falls through.
Sari's got it.
Nice moves there. Still going.
Lieke Martens, 25 yards away.
Into the box.
The Dutch may have a shot here.
Pushed away. They'll get the second ball.
Oh! The Dutch have scored!
Jill Roord. One-nothing Netherlands.
[crowd cheers]
[wistful music plays]
[Ian] If you can get anything
from the USA,
that's gonna give you a massive amount
of confidence and momentum.
[male announcer] The last World Cup,
the US didn't trail in seven games.
So into the locker room we go.
We're at the US-Netherlands game,
second group-stage match. It's halftime.
[indistinct chatter]
Let's go, guys. Come on.
Uh, we did concede a goal
in the first half, so little nervous.
You only have 15 minutes
to figure out what's going on.
We're good. We just gotta be ourselves.
[chatter continues indistinctly]
[Lindsey] At halftime,
our main thing was, we need to be us.
We need that confidence.
We need to be making them move.
We need to be making them run.
So, like, how can we change that?
What can we do better here?
[indistinct chatter]
- And then you put it into the area.
- Yeah. Okay.
[indistinct chanting]
Our team, we're gonna lock in,
and I know that we can do this.
[chanting fades, echoes]
[male announcer 1] Horan, that was
a robust tackle on her by Van de Donk.
That tackle sent me over the top.
I'm just like, "What in the How"
I was so mad, and I needed that anger.
[crowd roars]
I'm sure everyone's seen me
mouth a couple things on live TV.
[mouths indistinctly]
I was so, so angry,
and so I go up to her,
and I'm talking crap.
She's coming back at me,
and then I full-on push her.
[dramatic music plays]
[male announcer 1] This game
is beginning to rise in temperature.
[Lindsey] Julie Ertz came up and said,
"Lindsey, the best thing you can do
right now is go and score."
I was like, "Okay, Julie,
I'll go out and score." [laughs]
[male announcer 1] DeMelo's delivery,
brilliant header! 1-1.
[crowd cheers]
And it is Lindsey Horan!
[dramatic music crescendoes]
[Lindsey] Next thing I know,
the ball went in the back of the net,
and I'm running
off to the sideline, screaming.
When the ball went in the net,
I could've kissed her right on the mouth.
One of the coolest feelings
I've had in a game.
[male announcer 1] Horan ends
the United States' response
just after the hour.
It is 1-1 in Wellington.
Now, for the first time, a pensive look
on the face of Andries Jonker.
[Lynn] I knew that there was a possibility
I could be going into the game.
And then as the time starts ticking on,
you're like, "Is it gonna happen?
Is it not gonna happen?"
[male announcer 2]
This is the best 23 players
that the US has to offer.
And in this moment, when winning the game
would make a big difference
in terms of winning the group,
Vlatko Andonovski came to the conclusion
that there is nothing on that bench
that is going
to change the game for the better.
There was that moment of like,
"I don't know where my role is just yet,"
and that's where it's hard.
You're trying to make sure
you are giving your whole energy
to the 11 people that are on the field.
But you're also trying to stay ready
if my name was called, and it wasn't.
[blows whistle]
[male announcer 1] 1-1 then in Wellington
on an enthralling afternoon
between the two teams
that played out the 2019 World Cup final.
Four years on, the Netherlands
are far closer to the United States,
as proven this afternoon
in New Zealand's capital.
[anxious music plays]
[man] Go! Go!
[male announcer] Players bear
their share of the responsibility
for the performances so far,
but I think we gotta look
at the manager Vlatko Andonovski.
[Meg] Within the tournament,
Vlatko Andonovski
primarily has come under fire
for the lack of substitutions.
[Kristie] Being a sub, like, sucks.
You gotta just suck it up,
go to those sessions.
The day after the game,
you're exhausted, you're frustrated.
It just all kinda builds up.
It's a stress and anxiety
that you can't do anything about.
Like, you're helpless.
Lynn Williams is a player
that can really contribute on the field.
Was she on your mind?
You look at our bench, and we have
such quality of players on the bench.
Obviously, everyone's gonna say,
"Don't change this. Don't change that."
"What was he thinking? What was he doing?"
[player] "Team" on three!
[Lindsey] Put things in perspective.
Coach made a decision.
You have to be okay with that.
I think it hurt
a lot of players' confidence,
especially the ones who didn't play,
who were told they were gonna come in.
I think that was a tough game
for a lot of players
who didn't see the field.
[Ian] When at this level,
and what you see with good teams
and teams that go on to do well
and win tournaments,
they've got a presence
from the substitutes' bench.
You cannot win a tournament
without the substitutes.
You can't do it.
[man 1] American fans wanna see
more subs come off that bench.
[woman] I don't understand
why we have no subs, no subs.
[man 2] Do something.
Make a change. Freshen it up.
[man 3] He does know
you're allowed five subs, right?
I just didn't wanna
disrupt the rhythm at that point
because a substitute might
take a minute or two to get into a rhythm,
and we just didn't
wanna jeopardize anything.
[Meg] This is the Vlatko Andonovski
style of play for this team,
and I think they're going
to stick with the plan that they have.
Vlatko wants exactly what we want,
what America wants.
We wanna win this World Cup.
Pressure can get to him
just as much as it's getting to us.
[Foudy] There's a lot.
He's also managing between injuries
and the turnover of the team.
I mean, we would've predicted
a very different frontline
than what we're seeing.
Obviously, a Mal Swanson
would've been on that frontline.
[Meg] He had such a reputation
for making adjustments,
for figuring out players to build around.
And to see that maybe overthinking set in
has been really strange.
Like, what changed to get him rigid
and afraid to make changes?
[indistinct chatter]
[dramatic music plays]
[man] All right, we have
Naomi Girma and Alyssa Thompson,
whose combined age is less than mine,
so I'm gonna have to live with that.
There is added value
in bringing Alyssa Thompson,
who is an infant,
to the World Cup, to start getting
that major tournament preparation.
Yeah, I think I'll speak.
[Meg] She is someone who we're thinking
about as a key player for 2027,
potentially still in the mix for 2031.
Oh, this is so pretty.
When I was warming up,
I was pretty nervous,
but once I was on the sideline,
I was overcome
with happiness and excitement
just because
I was going into my first World Cup.
- [woman] Move your body.
- Move my body? [laughs]
[Alyssa] I couldn't help but smile.
I don't know. I feel like
I've never felt that feeling before.
- [reporter] Your parents here?
- Yeah, they are.
It's very helpful having them here.
They're my support system.
And having my sister here is awesome,
because this is the first big thing
that I've done without her.
[man] Alyssa, how's it feel
to have all of us with you?
- [Alyssa] Good.
- Well, that's my girl.
So when she goes
to the Olympics next year,
the next World Cup,
she's been there before.
She has that experience.
She knows the rhythms.
[Lindsey] She gets to take that,
learn from it.
She gets to grow from it.
She's gonna be one of the best players
to come outta this US national team.
- Thank you.
- [man] Thank you.
I guess we head over here.
I feel like right now,
there's so much room for improvement,
and, like, everyone's watching.
[Meg] We've got a full decade
of tournaments ahead of us.
So hopefully she's living through
the emotions of those big moments
and feeling that again in 2027,
and being on more solid ground.
[gentle music plays]
[Ian] The US team, they led.
And now everybody's catching up.
I think just, in general, the level
of football being played right now
in the women's game is is incredible.
Players are scoring goals
in exciting moments.
Teams that we haven't been following
are playing well.
The level is super high.
[Ian] I saw Colombia the other day
playing unbelievable stuff. Japan.
I saw Sweden
go right to the death with South Africa.
You look at Spain.
They look like a team that
they're never gonna change how they play.
They're very hard to stop.
[Megan] Germany, one of the best teams
in the world.
Spain, England, all of those teams.
Like, that's the level.
[rock music plays]
[Lindsey] This was always going to happen
if the investment was put in.
That's why "the world is catching up."
You know, however you wanna say it,
this is now a competitive World Cup
where any team can go out and win.
[Megan] Every game is hard.
Every team is good.
Sometimes we forget they play soccer too.
They're really good too.
Women's soccer has progressed so much
in the last four, five, six, ten years.
The world's caught up.
There's no denying that.
[Lynn] Panama scores a banger,
and you're like, "Holy shit."
"That is an amazing goal."
Probably the goal of the tournament
so far.
[Ian] This is it, you know.
They've waited so long to get here,
and it's worth it now
because they've got the audiences.
People are interested in it.
People are watching the games.
'99, you saw it happen.
What you do on that stage,
it lasts forever.
We're gonna come try this place.
- Say the one you want. On three.
- [player] Okay.
- [Savannah] 1, 2, 3.
- [both] Seasonal. Okay.
- [man] Just the one?
- [Savannah] Seasonal.
Yeah. We'll split it.
- [man] Here you go, guys. Two
- [Savannah] Thank you. Thank you.
And this one.
- [player] Thank you so much.
- Thank you.
Thank you.
So this had apricot and I don't know
what the other word he said was.
[player] I guess we'll have to taste it.
- And cinnamon?
- [Savannah] Mm. Mm-hm.
- Good?
- [player] Mm-hm.
So good.
I feel like because this is so sweet,
it makes this not as sweet.
[player] Mm-hm.
It's crazy
that we've already played two games.
I know. What is it now?
How many? One left in group stage?
It was insane how they counted down
from ten right before the game.
- Yeah.
- Felt like we were in The Hunger Games.
- It did. It did. Hunger Games, exactly.
- Isn't that what
I remember looking at Vietnam,
and I was like, "What is gonna?"
- Like, "Ten, nine"
- "Ten, nine" I was like, "Oh my gosh."
[dramatic music plays]
To prepare for a World Cup
is to experience it firsthand.
Playing against
the best players in the world
is still something I'm trying to process.
But at the end of the day,
it, like, it's not predictable.
You just have to kind of be
super flexible and absorbent
of everything that comes at you
and try to deal with it the best you can.
It's crazy, 'cause I feel like
when you go from club to national team,
I feel like the national team
will be like, "I see you as this."
- Louisville, you're on the left.
- Yeah.
But with national team,
you're on the right.
If you constantly are switching,
it's hard to get that rhythm, momentum.
[Savannah] Yeah.
[player] It's the World Cup.
It's just surreal.
Definitely, like, goose bumps,
a lot of excitement.
I am pretty stoic and probably don't
show that, but that's what I'm feeling.
I try to, if I am nervous,
change it to excited energy.
It's like you play, emotions are so high,
and then, like,
we need to move on to Portugal.
- And have all our focus on that.
- Yeah. Mm-hm.
You have a couple hours
to be like, "Okay, dwell."
But then the second
we got back to Auckland,
it's like, "Okay, now it's time for"
- We already have our Portugal scout.
- Yeah.
[Savannah] We've been in this tournament
for almost three weeks now.
I think a lot of the leaders
on the team were like,
"What do we need to do better?
What can work? What do you see?"
Perspectives from players
who were playing, players on the bench.
It's about us getting on the same page
and figuring out what's gonna work for us,
what's not gonna work for us.
The way Netherlands played
won't be how Portugal plays.
- Yeah.
- [Savannah] We take what we can from that.
- But we have to also just look forward.
- Yeah.
- [Savannah] Let's go.
- [Emily] Okay. Let's go.
[tense music plays]
[Vlatko] Starting lineup tomorrow,
Alyssa, Foxy, Julie, Naomi,
and Dunn in the back line.
Andi, Lindsey and Rose in the middle.
Lynn, Alex, Soph up top.
The knockout stage starts tomorrow, okay?
Starts tomorrow. It's pretty much
a knockout stage for us, all right?
It's the last game of the group stage,
but it is the knockout stage, all right?
So let's go in with the mindset
we score the first one, okay?
We're not there to score five, six, seven,
within the first five minutes, all right?
Let's score the first one.
Start fast, set up a tone, set up a pace,
score the first goal,
and we'll go from there. All right?
[female announcer] Today is do or die
for Team USA.
It's their final match of the group round
versus Portugal, and it's all on the line.
[male announcer] This is not
a pushover game for the US.
This is a team
that the US absolutely could lose to.
[Savannah] We beat Vietnam.
Netherlands we had tied.
So to make it out of group,
we need a win or tie.
[crowd murmurs]
[Foudy] The stakes are massive.
The pressure on Vlatko right now
We've always been
in a medal contention game.
Portugal. Yes, they're debutantes,
but they're a good team.
So that's why, uh,
we're a little nervous, because
- [woman] It's soccer. Anything can happen.
- [Foudy] Anything.
- [woman] So
- [Foudy] We're getting there.
A little clunky. We're gonna get there.
Let's go. We better get there!
[crowd chants indistinctly]
[woman] Okay, 30 seconds!
[Lynn] Leading up to the game,
I had a meeting with Vlatko.
Told me that
I was gonna get to start the next game,
and tried to play it cool in the moment.
Obviously so excited to be able to start.
[pop music plays in background]
We talk about this every game,
but we fucking go.
We go for goal every single time.
Every moment that we get
is a chance to change the game.
Think about it like that. Be confident.
We work for each other.
Focus on ourselves first,
individually, collectively,
what we need to do to get this job done.
[Lynn] When you get your first cap
in a World Cup at this age,
before that,
you wonder if it's ever gonna happen.
[male announcer 1] Lynn Williams,
Carli, gets the start up top.
She's paired with Alex Morgan.
[male announcer 2]
Big day for Lynn Williams.
[Lynn] I'm gonna stand there.
The national anthem's gonna play.
I'm wearing the crest.
My family back home is watching,
and I look up in the stands,
and my fiancé's there, my mom is there.
There's nothing like it.
I don't think there will
ever be another moment like that. Um
It's special to look around
like, "Holy shit. This is incredible,"
and soak in that moment
before you have to switch on
and and really prepare for the game.
[crowd cheers]
[tense music plays]
[Lindsey] Portugal is a really good team.
We need to go out and start the game fast.
We need to get that first goal,
and then the rest will follow.
[male announcer 2] Could be dangerous.
Lynn Williams square.
And wide to the post from Alex Morgan.
Sophia Smith, curling ball,
is heading in that direction.
Good save.
[female announcer]
Lynn Williams gives you presence.
Good in the air.
Aerial threat on that back post.
[Lindsey] They're a very organized team,
and they played together for a long time,
so they know each other well.
And my gosh, did we feel that.
[male announcer 3]
Portugal are absolutely relishing this.
[male announcer 3]
And they may yet score the goal,
which would send a seismic shock
through world football.
[Lindsey] Portugal was giving us
a difficult game. They wanted it so badly.
[male announcer 2]
And it's a yellow card for Rose Lavelle,
which would rule her out
of the Round of 16.
[whistle blows]
Halftime in Auckland.
It's Portugal nil.
It's the United States nil.
[Lynn] When we went into the locker room,
it was a little bit of confusion
of what is going on? What's wrong?
Like, "We won't fix everything,
but what are
the one or two things we can fix?"
[Vlatko] First step. Let's make sure
that we win the first moment,
that we win the first ball, all right?
The first segment,
that's what we're focused on,
winning the first one
and scoring the first goal.
All right, let's go!
[intriguing synth music plays]
[male announcer 2]
Morgan, here's her chance.
Morgan, tight angle, stopped on the line.
Sophia Smith makes way
for the now 38-year-old Megan Rapinoe.
In goes the free kick.
Up go the heads.
Driven into Alyssa Naeher, who dropped it.
[female announcer] Well,
it wasn't convincing defending, was it?
[Lindsey] It's so much you can do,
so much that you can say
to get the team going and keep 'em going.
And I think I almost
lost my voice that game,
'cause I'm yelling at players
to keep going.
[male announcer 2] I can't help feeling
something big is gonna happen.
It doesn't feel like
a nil-nil to me at the moment.
[intriguing synth music fades out]
[male announcer 2]
The flick-on is dangerous.
They might be in. This is their chance.
It's off the post!
[no dialogue]
[intense synth music plays]
[male announcer 2]
And if that had gone in,
the United States
were heading out of the World Cup.
[Lindsey] It's like this relief,
obviously, that runs through you.
But also this feeling, like,
"Why are we in this position right now?"
[male announcer 2]
If you wear that jersey in a World Cup,
you are standing
on the shoulders of giants.
And some of the greats
are watching on here.
And then this anger and frustration
kinda went through me,
'cause I'm like,
"I didn't do enough on the field,
and now I can't impact anymore,
'cause I'm on the bench."
[crowd cheers]
[male announcer 2] And by the width
of a post and the skin of their teeth,
the United States have qualified
for the Round of 16.
This has been
the United States' worst-ever showing
in a World Cup group stage.
[intense synth music fades out]
When the ball hit the post,
my heart sank for a second.
In that moment,
I was like, "Holy shit, we're going home."
"She's gonna score this."
[menacing music plays]
We are lucky and blessed and honored
to be able to play in the next game,
but moments like that remind us
that anything could happen like that.
Was a good reminder of know what our
goal was, to get out of the group stage.
We got outta the group stage.
Get your head up.
We have a short amount of time
to turn it around and play another team.
[male announcer 1] These are not
the images we should be expecting to see
from a team that survived Portugal
and survived to get to the Round of 16.
I appreciate them taking care of the fans,
but let me tell ya, Carli Lloyd's butt
would be back in the locker room,
kickin' things.
[Carli] Seeing these images
for the first time now on the desk,
I've never witnessed something like that.
There's a difference
between being respectful of the fans
and saying hello to your family,
but to be dancing, to be smiling
I mean, the player of the match
was that post.
You're lucky
to not be going home right now.
[Alex] There were a lot of reasons
that we didn't perform at our best.
It has to do with players,
coaches, style, pressure, everything.
I mean, there was a number
of factors that came into play
for why we didn't perform at our best.
We knew we could have done more
and been better.
We knew we did not start well.
We knew the entire game
we did not play well.
That's not our standard,
not our expectation. That's not the US.
But at the end of the day,
it was like, "We went through."
[hopeful music plays]
Our starting 11,
I don't think we got more than
maybe a few games together.
And our starting 11
was changing nonstop in the World Cup.
[Lindsey] It makes things difficult
because you're not playing consistently
for an extensive period of games.
[Lynn] We are trying so hard
and want it so badly.
It's like the saying, "When you hold
onto something, you watch it slip away."
[female announcer] If they're handed
a defeat on Sunday, it would be historic,
and not the kind of history the Americans
are hoping to make out there.
[Carli] By human nature,
you get comfortable with success,
and the more success you have,
the more it clouds things
that may potentially need some fixing.
This is the knockout stages.
We need to win.
[male announcer 2] One kick,
and it's all on Lina Hurtig.
[crowd cheering crescendoes]
[hopeful music plays]
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