The USWNT broke the all-time World Cup record for margin of victory in Reims on Tuesday night, with a 13-0 win over Thailand to smash Germany’s 12-year mark set with an 11-0 victory over Argentina.
Since this game was so special, and since 90min were around and about at the press conference and in the mixed zone, we thought we’d try something a little bit different in bringing you this set of post-match quotes. Without further ado…
“To tie Michelle Akers’ record [of five goals in a World Cup game] is incredible, but even more than that, this was such a great team performance for us. We showed just how diverse our attack really is, and we know that every goal counts in the group stage – that’s why we had to keep going.
“I think expanding the World Cup to 24 teams was great, and I hope soon enough we expand to 32. I think that will incentivise federations to put more financial effort into their women’s teams and I hope we continue to see the development of women’s teams in their federations around the world.
“I look at the way we played tonight and I feel so inspired by this group of women. When you look at the scoreline it’s high, but when you’re playing in a World Cup every single goal may count, that’s what we were told before the game and that’s why we had to keep going.”
“Obviously we’ve been pent up for the last five days, it’s hard to be the last team to play – I haven’t experienced that before and everyone was super antsy.
“I don’t know if we needed to make a statement. We’re us, the target’s on our back anyway, but we wanted a good performance. We know the competition will be stronger from here on and hopefully once we get into the knockout stages. But yes, the US has played, and we’ve arrived.
“It sucks to get that many goals scored on you, but you don’t want to take your foot off and pass the ball around in your own half for 30 minutes. We have the utmost respect for everyone we play, but it’s the World Cup. That’s part of it. That’s part of growing the game, this is their second time in the World Cup and they’ll improve from here.
“Any world record and anything we can get over the Germans, we’ll take it.”
“I’m sure that FIFA can mandate some ways [to push federations to keep funding their women’s teams after heavy defeats], like you don’t get money for anything else until you give more money to the women and make sure the team’s fully staffed. There’s some teams here who have only played a handful of games since the last World Cup and it’s embarrassing. Not only for the federations, but for FIFA. Just mandate it. Mandate all kind of things.
“I was hoping we’d beat Germany[‘s World Cup winning margin record], I had that in my mind. I didn’t think about it while we were playing, but right when we walked off…any world record and anything we can get over the Germans, we’ll take it.”
“This is 2019. 2015 was an incredible time for us, but this is a new team, a new experience and a new tournament. Our focus is on each game at a time, and now we can check this box and move onto Chile.”
“I felt a little sloppy, there’s some things I can clean up. But it was a very strong team performance, and I’m happy about that. The crowd was awesome, we’re so grateful for that. Even in when we’re playing in an away stadium, we still feel the support of the country behind us. It’s awesome that so many people travelled to see us play.“
“The message going in for me and [Christen] Press was ‘foot on the pedal’, to try and score as many goals as we can. I would like to say that I think the Thai goalkeeper had some good saves in the first half and their team was organised, hopefully they keep hold their heads high.”
[After speaking to the Thai goalkeeper after the final whistle] “I don’t know if she could understand me, but I just told her that she had a phenomenal game, she made some great saves, to hold her head high, and for her and the team to keep fighting.”
Alex Morgan (Again)
“I’m feeling in peak form right now. The team feel great; having our pre-camp at the Tottenham training facility really helped us continue to build together.
“In the moment, every time we score a goal in a World Cup…I’ve dreamt of it since I was a little girl. Tonight we knew that every goal could matter, and when it comes to celebrations – this was a really good team performance and it was important for us to celebrate with each other.
“For these 24 teams, it’s a great opportunity for women to showcase what they’ve worked their entire lives towards. Not every federation gives the same financial effort to their women’s side and that’s unfortunate, but I hope that from this World Cup – it being the largest audience of a World Cup so far, especially in places like England and France – we see quality games and eventually 32 teams moving forward. Hopefully that encourages FIFA to put pressure on federations to put more effort into their women’s game.”
“This is a world championship. Every team that’s here has been fantastic to get to this point, and the way to be respectful to opponents is to play hard against them. It’s a tournament where goal differential is a criteria. These players have been working for four years or longer, you’ve got to go out and compete.
“I’ll be honest, I sit here and I think ‘if this is 10-0 in a men’s World Cup, are we getting the same questions?'”
“A lot of this is about building momentum, so as a coach I don’t find it my job to go and harness my players, to rein them in, because this is what they’ve dreamt about. This is a world championship. I respect Thailand, I celebrate that they’re here, and this is part of the growth of the game.
“I’ll be honest, I sit here and I think ‘if this is 10-0 in a men’s World Cup, are we getting the same questions?’ A World Cup is about competing, peaking, priming your players for the next game. You can tell with my substitutions tonight, you play players who get hot. If you can get as many hot as you can, feeling good, feeling the back of the net, that’s so important.”
[On her substitutions] “In a game, you think about load. In a game when your backs potentially don’t have to have a higher load, you make substitutions in your attack. We’ve played double nines a lot, that’s what we shift in and out of, it’s a system that we know and we go to when we need to. It was just a matter of getting players on, getting rotation, getting the forwards feeling the back of the net.
“It’s huge [for the players at their first World Cup to score early]. After the game, Mal [Pugh] had tears in her eyes. As a coach, you can get caught up and forget that these are massive moments for these players. You have to take notice of it, and it’s fantastic for them.”
[On Rose Levelle’s comments about tightening up her game] “That’s why I love Rose. Early on, she got caught on the ball a couple of times but then she played faster and took her moments well. As a coach of a younger player who’s in her first World Cup, it’s about making sure Rose is doing her thing. She’s unique, she’s a very skilful player and you don’t ever want to limit that. She’s someone who demands a lot of herself, it’s probably why she’s as good as she is.”
[On equality for female coaches in football] “No question, when I took this job five years ago, you go into it and a lot of people go ‘hey, that’s where I want to be’. Part of being in this job is being a role model. I have a daughter, and if you can see something that’s happening then people can dream about it. I hope there are a ton more girls who don’t just want to be on the pitch, but who have a coaching vein in their body.
“I want to embrace that. There’s quite a few female coaches in this championship, more and more deserve more opportunities. I echo that in our country and probably around the world – I know FIFA’s been an advocate for that, in terms of the youth tournament where they’re required to have either a female assistant or head coach.
“There should be provisions like that made, otherwise it does get dominated by men. We’re just as valuable and just as effective.”