BETH MEAD joked that she prefers coffee when asked about her memories of Alex Morgan’s famous tea sip celebration at the 2019 World Cup.
The 33-year-old forward from the USA went viral on social media when she scored in her side’s 2-1 semi-final win over the Lionesses.
Back then, the celebration left some England fans upset.
However, Mead, 27, conceded that the Euro winners, who play USA at Wembley, have come a long way since that result.
Mead, who was voted England Player of the Year, said: “It was a tough game and a tough result.
“We took it hard, but it made us hungrier and more motivated to prove ourselves against a world-class American team.
“We’re looking forward to seeing where we are now (against them).”
Tomorrow’s duel between the European champions and the four-time world champion will be played in front of a sold-out Wembley
In August, 65,000 tickets for the game were sold within 24 hours.
It is believed that the Lionesses could break the attendance record they set in July when 87,912 turned up to watch their Euro finals win against Germany on site.
The game also celebrates the 50th birthdayth Celebrating the England women’s team and heroines who paved the way for today’s stars after the Lionesses’ very first game in 1972.
More than 100 former players are expected at Wembley.
This group includes pioneers from the 1972 team that defeated Scotland 3-2 in the Lionesses’ first game in November of that year.
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Members of that team, including Lynda Hale, who scored for England in the game, expressed disappointment at never being awarded official caps.
Tomorrow night the players will be presented with customized Lionesses caps as part of a celebration of their achievements.
Mead added: “We know that as players today, we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the women (who came before us).
“They are incredible women and it’s nice to celebrate what they’ve done as well as what we’ve done.”
Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses meet a side from the USA who are currently the number one international women’s team in the world
The four-time World Cup winners are, like England, considered one of the favorites to triumph at next year’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
Some fans believe today’s game could serve as a harbinger of when the sides are set to face off at next summer’s World Cup.
However, US head coach Vlatko Andonovski said: “It’s going to be a good show, but it’s actually not as important as a game because it’s not about a World Cup or an Olympic medal.
“But because of the preparation for the World Cup (next year), it’s still important.”
England’s clash with the United States comes in a week that has seen the United States’ women’s top flight come under scrutiny following a damning report of player abuse.
The investigation found that “verbal and emotional abuse and sexual misconduct have become systemic in the National Women’s Soccer League.”
England manager Sarina Wiegman, who spent a year of her playing career with North Carolina Tar Heels, said: “My first reaction is that it’s terrible and unacceptable.
“I am very sorry for the victims and of course it should stop immediately.
“I think it’s still a worldwide problem and it’s about time we made an effort to stop these things.”
Mead added, “I was pretty sick when I found out. Women need to be taken much more seriously.
“I’m proud of the victims who stood up. People need to start doing better.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6386981/beth-mead-lionesses-usa-wembley/ Mead says England’s semi-final loss to USA at the World Cup made the team “hungrier” for success