As the U.S. women's national team inches closer toward this summer's World Cup in Canada, Jill Ellis' side is reeling from Sunday's penultimate send-off match, an impressive performance that generated a decisive 5-1 victory over Mexico.
With the result already placed beyond doubt, midfielder Tobin Heath's nifty footwork to fool El Tri defender Kenti Robles before assisting on Abby Wambach's second goal and the U.S.' fifth put the cherry on top of the cake.
On Monday, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and former North Carolina Tar Heel spoke with CSN about it, her partnership with Glukos and more.
Q: More countries seem to be gaining ground and figuring out how to compete with the top nations. How much more of a challenge is it now for the USWNT to match that in the women's game?
A: It's great for the women's game right now. The evolution is crazy nowadays. There's so many countries that can compete; there's not just those top three. That's what's really exciting about this World Cup. The competitiveness is enormous. For us as a national team, we've had to continue to evolve as well to be able to stay at the top. That goes into our preparation and everything else that we're doing. Fortunately for us, we've got a great squad. We've got an awesome game plan, we have a tactical awareness; we know what we're supposed to be doing and how we're supposed to be playing, and we have extreme depth in talent to be able to execute what we're supposed to.
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Q: Head coach Jill Ellis has been in and around the national team fold for a while. How would you describe your/the team's relationship with her and how much does that familiarity factor in to possibly helping guide this team to a third World Cup title?
A: Jill is our leader and we're all very comfortable with her. She has a clear game plan, and she does a great job in allowing us to be ourselves on the pitch and vocalizing the things that she wants in the way that she wants us to be playing. In that way, everybody has a good relationship with her and she knows us very well because she's been around the team for a while. Now she's able to implement the way that she sees us being successful.
Q: You pulled off the elástico, more commonly known as the flip-flap move in English, to set up Abby Wambach for the fifth goal in Sunday's 5-1 win over Mexico. Does that epitomize your playing style and that creativity you try to implement on the field?
A: I feel a great freedom out on the pitch. I like playing a certain style and a certain way, and you want it to be effective as well. That move was great last night because we got a goal out of it, which is the most important part - to contribute to the team's success. I love being out on the field; I love playing for this team. It's a joy and it's also fun because we're good and we want to win, so that always makes playing a lot more fun.
Q: Can you describe the new partnership you have with Glukos and how it tailors to you as a professional athlete?
A: Nowadays, there's such a fine line in performance for professional athletes, and we're always trying to get one or two percent better in everything that we do. I'm excited about GLUKOS because it's a product that allows me to do that as a professional athlete. It has no additives, it's all-natural, it's based on glucose - which is the good sugar - which is fantastic. It's a product that, as an athlete, you want to put into your body. We're always very conscious about what we're putting into our bodies, and, for me, this is one that I feel great about and makes me feel great.