U.S. women’s national team defender Alana Cook says her decision to play for the country of her birth is one she knew “would never be something I regretted”.
The 25-year-old was eligible for England through her father and was called into a camp by then-head coach Phil Neville in late 2019.
But Cook, who has started the USWNT’s last seven games, would stick with the nation she represented at youth level and looks set to be a star in the team for many years to come.
What has been said?
Speaking to GOAL on the latest episode of All of US: The U.S. Women’s Soccer Show, Cook recalled that decision on her international future.
“It wasn't necessarily something that, as I grew up, I was aware of that opportunity,” the former Paris Saint-Germain defender said of the chance to play for England. “But once I got to PSG, I kind of had a discussion with our administration.
“They said, ‘We have a connection with Phil Neville and he's keen to have you in camp. Is that something you're interested in?’ It was something I kind of sat on and thought about.
“I think it's just something where I owed it to myself to kind of explore that opportunity. I always knew playing at the international level was the goal and I always felt that was what I was capable of.
"That's why I was playing. That's everything I was working towards, so I just felt it was something that I needed to and wanted to explore.
“I think at the end of the day, it came down to, the U.S. felt like home and I just knew that choosing the U.S. would never be something that I regretted.”
‘I want to leave OL Reign in a better place’
With the NWSL regular season fast approaching, Cook also spoke on All of US about her ambitions with OL Reign, the club she joined last summer.
“Our motivation every year is always to be the champion at the end,” she said.
“The expectation is to go out and put on our best performance every week to get better and better every week, so that when it comes to the finals, we're there and we're able to win.
“That's kind of the legacy you want to build for the club, right? I want to play at Reign and people can look back and say, 'Alana Cook helped them become the best club in the NWSL'. I think that's what all my team-mates want to do.
“I think we want to leave Reign in a better place than we found it and continue to build it into the best club in the U.S. and hopefully, as the league grows and world women's soccer grows, one of the best clubs in the world.”
How to listen to All of US: The U.S. Women's Soccer Show
As well as the latest episode, listeners can go back and catch plenty of exclusive interviews from previous weeks.