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2023 Women's World Cup

Joy and frustration: The dichotomy of the USWNT’s 2023 World Cup to date

US captain Lindsey Horan replies to criticism of team’s mentality: ‘You have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes’

Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday’s scoreless draw between Portugal and the United States was yet another reminder that more than one thing can be true at any given time.

It’s true, the United States played poorly. Players and head coach Vlatko Andonovski did not hide from that. It’s also true that Portugal played well – the best they’ve played at this World Cup, their first, head coach Francisco Neto said.

More truth? The U.S. failing to win the group for the first time since 2011 is a disappointment, one that set up the Americans with an unforgiving Round of 16 match against longtime foe Sweden. But the flip side of that is that the U.S. still advanced — which can’t be said for Brazil or Germany at this World Cup — and that is the uncomplicated goal of the group stage. Lynn Williams doesn’t want anyone to forget that.

“It’s no secret that we feel like we could play better,” said Williams, who started against Portugal for her first minutes of the tournament. Having that experience, feeling like – first of all, being joyful that we made it to the Round of 16 and not diminishing that accomplishment, that was the name of the game the whole time is get out of the group stage. And that’s exactly what we did. Of course, we want to be playing better, but tournaments are about getting results and we’re getting the results.”

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