Reims, France, June 11: US coach Jill Ellis expressed her excitement ahead of kicking off the team's title defence at the FIFA Women's World Cup here on Monday.
"Excitement could be the best word to describe where I am personally and where our players are," Ellis told a press conference one day before they face Thailand in Group F.
"When the tournament kicks off and you watch the game, your anticipation for the first match grows. Players are ready, excited and hungry. We feel prepared, as the process is a long one.
"Players that we selected and preparation has been excellent, and we are just ready to focus on the match tomorrow night," Ellis, who took in charge in 2014, pointed out.
"I definitely want to win the first game and get three points. We played Thailand before, so we have some experience. Now they have been in back-to-back World Cups. There are some talented players in their team. I do respect every opponent here, because sometimes it's incredibly hard to get here," commented Ellis.
"The fact that they are here, they are competing and they are ready, we know that we have to be our best, and that's the challenge for us to not only identify our opponents but also make sure that we focus on ourselves," she added.
Ellis admitted that "there are so many knowns out there", while showing her tremendous confidence in the team's preparation for the unknowns.
"Multiple players can get a lot of playing time, we've got a group pretty well validated in terms of minutes, cohesion and understanding of what their role and responsibilities are on the field."I will feel very confident putting any of the 23 players out there. That's why we selected them to be ready for this moment. But beyond tomorrow night, we've got to wait and see," she noted. The other match of the group will be played between Chile and Sweden. (XINHUA)