How the US prepared for the Women’s World Cup by ripping everything up

The Americans suffered a shock exit to Sweden at the Rio Olympics, and coach Jill Ellis reacted by reinventing how her team play the game

For observers who last watched the US women’s national team win the Women’s World Cup in 2015, the ongoing Concacaf qualification tournament for next year’s event in France probably feels similar. The Americans finished the group stage on Wednesday having outscored their opponents 18-0 and, although they haven’t clinched a spot in the 2019 Women’s World Cup yet, they sit very close.

The reigning World Cup champions are just picking up where they left off, right? Not quite. Since winning the World Cup, it’s hardly been a smooth road for the Americans and, in many ways, they’ve come out the other side looking like a much different and more potent team than before.

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