LionessesOn their way to the Tokyo Olympics, Dutch footballers can finally compete with a major nation again tomorrow evening. The national coach Sarina Wegman’s team will meet the United States in Breda, in a repeat of last year’s World Cup final in France, which Orange lost 2-0.
“It raises additional feelings,” says Jackie Gronen. “Even though you cannot speak of ‘revenge’ now, the mood is completely different. This is a friendly match, not the World Cup Final.”
According to the 25-year-old Manchester United midfielder, the Premier League leaders, Orange will have a measuring moment on her way to Tokyo. In the European Championship qualifiers, the European champions faced no opposition. “It’s fun to play against a country like America again. Now we can really see where we have gotten to the games,” says Groene. “We’ve made progress since the World Cup final last year. I’m very curious about how that turns against the United States. This match comes at a convenient time for us.”
America rules the women’s soccer game. With big players like Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan in the squad, Team USA expanded the world title last year. “There was no question of awe at the time,” says Gronen firmly. “We didn’t go to the final with an idea: Oh, we’re playing against America, would it be okay? No, we really wanted to win. But they were physically stronger, having qualified 1-0 in a certain way. Of course we can be proud of the silver medal. In the World Cup, but I see it as a basically missed opportunity. I never saw the World Cup Final again. He’s partly conscious, but he’s basically unconscious. After the World Cup I went to Manchester United.New club, on the move, a lot of activity: then you go ahead. Fast, that’s the nice thing about football: it’s going so fast, there’s always something new coming. “
The Greens were joined last summer in ManUnited by two international Americans, Tobin Heath and Kristen Press. “Good footballers are raising the bar. They also attract a lot of attention to us. They are superstars in America. After three days at United, Heath and Press have already sold more shirts than men have done together and that’s enough. Every now and then they throw a joke.” About the World Cup Final, the midfielder, who will face her teammates again in Breda, said, “I hope I can say something soon.”
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