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Hype of USWNT World Cup win a ‘motivation’ for England’s Taylor

22:30 BST 02/10/2019
Jodie Taylor England 2019
The striker, a team-mate of Megan Rapinoe at Reign FC, picked out the positives of seeing the USA's World Cup triumph up close

England striker Jodie Taylor says the buzz in the United States only serves as greater motivation for her after this summer’s World Cup.

Taylor, who plays alongside Megan Rapinoe at Reign FC, is one of just two of the latest Lionesses squad playing club football across the Atlantic, along with Rachel Daly of the Houston Dash.

The 33-year-old has been caught up in the celebrations after the USA claimed a second successive World Cup, sweeping England aside in the semi-finals before beating the Netherlands 2-0, but Taylor has picked the positives out of being surrounded by the buzz since she returned to her club.

“My first home game back they did a ‘homecoming’ for all the international players,” she explained ahead of England’s friendly against Brazil on Saturday.

“Obviously it was all about the U.S. players and they won and Megan Rapinoe so that was a little bit difficult, not going to lie. But [it’s] great to see my club team-mates doing well.

“You see the upside of it. There’s been more fans coming to games, more interest, the league itself during the World Cup got an ESPN deal ... so it’s nice to be on that side of things.

“To know that the games are on national TV, more people coming to the games to support, we had sell-outs to our games which is huge, it’s been good.

“It’s hard seeing it in your face every day, they want it, all of the attention and everything they’re getting so, if anything, it’s more of a motivation probably to see, 'right this is where we need to get to.'”

The performances of Taylor and her team-mates in France did more than just impress and inspire those back in England too, with the striker landing back in the States and getting a nice reception of her own.

“It’s actually interesting going back because we’re disappointed we didn’t go as far as we did and not beating the U.S and not getting the bronze,” she explains.

“Then [to] go back to all our team-mates from all different countries and they say, ‘you guys are amazing! You really took it to the U.S., we thought you were going to beat them’.

“So, in a way, it was very complimentary that, we get put down in our expectations and disappointments, whereas actually the rest of the world though that we were really good. It was just nice to hear that.”

Unlike her team-mates based in countries with a winter season, Taylor had little time to dwell on the disappointment of the World Cup.

The former Arsenal forward was straight back into action in the USA’s summer season, with her focus quickly switched to helping Reign reach the NWSL play-offs.

With two goals in her last two games for the club, she has helped them do exactly that – with her scoring in the team’s 2-0 win over the Portland Thorns last week that secured that final place in the post-season.

“It’s coming to crunch time now with the play-offs and it’s all to play for,” she said.

“We snuck in to the top four and we’ve got a good chance of winning, like every other team in the top four.”

Before that, Taylor has two friendlies with England in preparation for next year’s Olympics – starting with Brazil in Middlesbrough this weekend.

“I’ve never played against Brazil I know we’ve played them a few times [in the] last couple of years but I think I was out with an injury every time we played them, so [I’m] very excited to be playing them.

“I heard there is going to be a really big crowd so I’m excited about that,” she said, with the Riverside Stadium now officially a sell-out.

“I haven’t played much in the North East either ... It will be nice to get back up there.”