Testing our character
The U.S. women's national team takes pride in our results and standards, and our results in this year's Algarve Cup have not been up to those standards. We never want to walk away from a game losing, but it happens sometimes. It's how you bounce back that is most important.
There are always things you can learn and improve in tough moments and having this happen now as opposed to a year from now gives us some time to get better. But we're not letting it drive us apart. It's making us stronger.
It's funny, I feel like this has been the best Portugal trip that I've been a part of. The hotel we're staying at is amazing and the sun has been shining most of our trip! The training fields are incredible, and so is the food. We can walk to our training fields. We literally don't have to leave our hotel for anything except games.
The training environment has been competitive as the young players are pushing us veterans and we are pushing them. Our coach, Tom, is obviously giving younger players a chance as he looks for players who can help us win the World Cup. So it's definitely been different to previous years on all levels.
All our opponents came to the Algarve with a tactical plan. Their plan was to sit behind the ball and remain compact before hitting us with a counter attack. This made it difficult to play through the middle and find our strikers. It was congested and hard to get a rhythm going. Although every team played with a defensive formation I still feel we generated enough chances to win all games. Playing against this type of style had its lessons and we will use those lessons moving forward.
In terms of results this tournament has been tough on everyone's confidence. We are not used to losing and it's hard to accept defeat no matter how much experience you have. We still have a lot of time before the World Cup and Algarve 2014 has fueled my teammates and I to work even harder moving forward.