Christen Press drops excuses on Women’s World Cup exit

Two-time Women’s World Cup-winning player Christen Press doesn’t believe it’s the USWNT players’ fault that they are now out of the world’s biggest soccer tournament. The injured star didn’t make the trip to Australia and New Zealand, but after the team crashed out of the tournament, she defended her former teammates like Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan.

On The RE-CAP Show, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup podcast hosted by Press and her partner and fellow former USWNT star Tobin Heath, the midfielder laid the blame on the US loss to Sweden in the Round of 16 on “the program” and the system run by coach Vlatko Andonovski, as opposed to the players.

“It’s win no matter what, it doesn’t matter if you’re saying something that you don’t believe if you’re faking it to making it,” Christen Press said. “I believe that every single player did and said every single thing with the most intention to win. And I think that it was the program that let every person down.”

Heath concurred, saying “Those players are closer to me than anything in this world. And when I don’t see my players being set up to succeed, that breaks my heart.”

It makes total sense that Press and Heath — who both missed out on the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup due to 2022 knee surgeries — would defend their former teammates. Their podcast is an offshoot of their re—inc brand that they own along with Megan Rapinoe and 2015 Women’s World Cup player Meghan Klingenberg.

Despite the defense of the current USWNT players, the truth is that the system resulted in a staggering 85 shots in four games, while the players on the field only put 28 on target (32.9%) and scored just four total goals and one outside of the Vietnam game.

And if the program failed the players at all, it may have been by putting Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe on the team. Morgan, the team’s only true striker, had 16 shots with four on target, while all three of Rapinoe’s chances went wide.