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Team USA is ready to compete against Chile: NPR



American Alex Morgan, second from the right, celebrated his team's twelfth goal at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France on Tuesday during the FIFA Women's World Cup Group F World Cup match between the USA and Thailand.

Alessandra Tarantino / AP


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Alessandra Tarantino / AP

Alex Morgan from USA, second from right, celebrates his twelfth goal after scoring the 12th goal of Women's World Cup Group F on Tuesday at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France.

Alessandra Tarantino / AP

When the US face Chile in Sunday's second World Cup match at the Parc des Princes, it's the first time that the American women's team ever played in Paris. The squad is by no means unknown.

In their 13-0 win over Thailand last Tuesday, the Americans made it clear that they are here with a mission: winning the trophy. They provided strong evidence that they will play every game with everything they have.

With the next matches coming as expected, the US is close to a quarter-final fixture against host nation France – a team that looked scary in their first match two games. In a press conference on Saturday, US coach Jill Ellis was asked: Would she ever tell her team that she should play less than 100% so as not to hit France so early in the tournament?

That would be no, Ellis said.

"I have trouble telling my team that they should not attack each other in training the day before [matches]," she said. "At this point, your focus is on yourself. You're in the best position to move forward in this tournament."

Chile lost in its opening game against Sweden, 0-2. But the match was closer than the scoreline suggests. Chile scorched Sweden for most of the game – then a rain delay with 18 minutes remaining was called. In the delay, Sweden found some and scored twice before the final whistle.

Chile will be hungry for victory – it takes a surprise when it comes to the next round. One player to watch is the goalkeeper of the team, Christiane Endler. Her father is German and her mother is Chilean; She played football at the University of South Florida and now plays for French top club PSG.

La Roja as Chile's team is called, took second place in Brazil in qualifying for the Cup. They brought a 4-0 victory against Argentina and thus secured the tournament victory. The US and Chile played twice in the fall of 2018 – until then they had never met. These friendlies, held in California, saw the USA win 3-0 and 4-0.

The US offensive, with its experienced attackers and deep bank, will be hard to beat for most of the teams here. His defense is still untested. The game on Sunday could provide more clues if Chile is able to gain possession enough to hit the US goal.

The teams will be in front of a sold out crowd of around 45,000 spectators.

"The first game had so many fans that it almost felt like a home game," said US midfielder Lindsey Horan on Saturday at the stadium. "It's absolutely incredible to be here in Paris and we're all looking forward to this next game."

The Amis will have at least one fan looking down at them from above: Astronaut Anne McClain tweeted a glimpse of the stadium from the International Space Station. She says the crew will watch.


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