FRISCO, Texas – Perhaps an hour after the US women's football team beat Jamaica 6-0 on Sunday at the Toyota Stadium, someone handed Megan Rapinoe a phone.
She shot video camera on herself and began to jump while chanting: "We're going to France! We're going to France!" Rapinoe, the seasoned US striker, suited his teammate Alex Morgan who spoke to a group of reporters. Morgan did not miss a beat, stood in front of the camera and added a "what?" Between every Rapinoe cry: "We're going to France!"
The scene served as a European tour debut for artists at the height of their game. The celebration took place spontaneously, as is the case with the attacks of US women, but it also took years.
Two years after leaving the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics, US women have caught the eyes of the world. A team that rolls over the field of the eight-team Concacaf Women's Championship. In the final of the Concacaf championship on Wednesday, they are ahead of Canada ̵
But this match – against their northern rivals – took fifth place in the world table – could help show how close the US lineup, which is currently mowing defeated opponents, is the one that will start against the world's best in June.
US team coach Jill Ellis said the projection of the World Cup starters would require "a giant crystal ball". But she said: "The players who are in this group are players who have somehow come through the challenge to be challenged. They show their quality."
In their demise, their timing, their movement and their execution is "It's the best it can be," she said, adding, "In the history of the team, that says a lot: The US has played in all seven previous World Cups and won three of them – even in 2015.
U.S. Forward Tobin Heath celebrates a goal against Jamaica.
Jerome Miron / Reuters
The US is essentially a team of snipers. Ten US players have played in four games of the tournament – including Morgan and Tobin Heath, who scored two goals on Sunday. Against Jamaica, the United States scored no goals on Gimmes or defensive breakdowns. It forces the problem and the scoring from everywhere.
In a matchday, Abby Dahlkemper scored a pass from the right side of the midfield to Rapinoe, who stroked on the left. Rapinoe turned the ball, dribbled it into the corner of the 6-meter box and somehow hit it with his left foot in the top left corner of the net – a seemingly impossible angle.
Another time Rapinoe stood in the open field almost stepping into the corner. She put the ball on Morgan, who scored from close range.
Offensive defender Crystal Dunn scored a perfect pass from the left corner in the first half. Midfielder Julie Ertz started.
The US has a mix of veterans – four players in the starting line-up on Sunday also started in the 2015 World Cup finals – and newcomers who reflect the talent of women in the pool of the US Football Association.
The US has developed skills in midfield. Lindsey Horan has led for more than 24 years, distributing the ball and helping on one of Heath's goals on Sunday. "She was almost the conductor today," Ellis said.
Rose Lavelle, a slender 23-year-old midfielder and championship ball player, acts as a kind of team punctuation mark moving into squares to slow down or accelerate things to make sense of the action around them.
The outstanding performance of the USA in this tournament – they have outscored their four opponents 24-0 – will be accompanied by a great deal of restriction. Only Mexico in 24th place was close to the FIFA World Ranking. The far smaller nations of Panama and Trinidad and Tobago have women's programs that are light years behind the Americans.
Robin Alam / Zuma Press
Some of his players, Jamaica coach Hue Menzies said before the game, "were born at the dining table at the dining table." The Jamaican team receives support from the Bob Marley Foundation, named after the late Reggae legend and lifelong football fans
But this field is one of the reasons why the US team played such a challenging schedule before the Concacaf tournament. Last summer, the US beat Japan and Brazil and tied Australia. It does not make any illusions about the work, starting with Canada.
"We are not satisfied," said veteran Becky Sauerbrunn. "We know we have more levels, and most of all we want to come to them before the World Cup, we definitely will not be too high for ourselves. We know it only takes one game to get back to your place.
Write to Rachel Bachman at firstname.lastname@example.org