Reign FC and U.S. women’s national team star Megan Rapinoe spoke to reporters on a few subjects after Saturday’s season-opening 3-0 win against Boston. The recent firing of U.S. women’s national team coach Tom Sermanni was a popular subject, as was her decision to come to Seattle for the whole NWSL season this year after joining in the summer last year.
Here is a transcript:
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(Do you have any thoughts on the firing of U.S. national team coach Tom Sermanni?) “It’s unfortunate. Always you never want to have to go through a coaching change mid-cycle. I just felt like U.S. Soccer wanted to go in a different direction. It wasn’t our decision as a team, but we’ll go forward with that. We’re a pretty strong bunch, and we have pretty lofty goals. I think, for us, the manager is very important in a lot of ways, but also, we have a job to do, and that’s to go out and win. There’s not much we can do about it. I didn’t know about it before and I don’t think a lot of players knew about it before, so it was kind of shock to everyone. It took a few days to settle in, but now we’re just eager to hear who the new manager will be.”
(What was the atmosphere like before the second China game? Seems like it would’ve been an awkward position to be in…) “Actually, I think our team kind of strives on weirdness sometimes. We have that ‘rah-rah, rally’ sort of American mentality that we can all kind of get around. And I think that we’re playing well, also. We had a good first game. It could’ve been a lot more — we didn’t finish very well — but I feel we were playing well. It’s kind of one of those things where we could let it bother us, but I think we have bigger things on our mind than that. We didn’t want that to be a distraction, and I know Tom wouldn’t want that, either. For us to kind of mope around and be sad about that is just not really an option.”
(Moving forward do you have a preference on not necessarily who the next coach to be but the type of coach?) “I think a lot of what Tom brought, just in terms of his philosophy and the way that he wanted to play — really high-tempo, pressing, attacking style, still be able to put your foot on the ball and keep the ball, have a good style of possession. I think for this group, because we have so many big personalities, I think the manager also has to have a big personality but in a way that sort of knows how to deal with everything. I think that maybe that was an area that U.S. Soccer felt that Tom’s style isn’t so dominant and direct and in-your-face. It’s much more laid back. Maybe we need a mix, I guess.”
(What is it like being a part of this team from the start of the season this time instead of joining midway through? And can you remind us what your motivations were to be here from the start and end the Lyon loan early?) “I think it was sort of a multifaceted decision, both my personal life and my professional — it was just a lot. My football experience there was great in a lot of ways. I loved living there. It just felt like the right time to come home, and to be able to come home to a team like this was kind of a no-brainer for me in a lot of ways. One of the reasons I went there was to be challenged and to play with some of the best players in the world. I feel like I come home and have a team that’s just as good or better. Being able to be here from the beginning, a lot more invested and I feel like I can help the team a lot more, rather than just come in midway through and try to mend into that team. So I feel like if we can start getting things clicking earlier, we can put in a full package for the whole season.”