national team easily could overlook the fact it been 16 years since they celebrated at the conclusion of a Women World Cup.

Christen Press was 10 years old that day. Julie Johnson was 7. Morgan Brian was only 6. squad as it opens Monday evening against Australia in the 2015 FIFA Women World Cup, the failure to match that glorious Saturday afternoon from July 1999 through three quadrennial tournaments is something they mostly watched on TV.

For many more, that disappointment has been interrupted by the unmitigated pleasure of being adorned with gold medals at the Olympic Games in London (2012), Beijing (2008) and, for a few, Athens (2004).

So how heavy, really, is the burden of those three empty Cups?

don know if haunt is a good word, but it in the back of our minds, veteran midfielder Carli Lloyd told Sporting News. have won Olympic gold medals. I been a part of two of those, which is an unbelievable accomplishment. wholesale jerseys But for the soccer/footballer dream to win a World Cup would be an unbelievable achievement. We know there so much riding on it. We know it doesn matter what we done in the past. Everything matters come June 8, and that should be our focus.

shouldn matter how France is doing, how Germany doing, how Australia is looking we know that we got a big job ahead and we going to do everything possible to win it. in 2003, the Americans lost to Germany in the semifinals and finished third. It was another third place finish in 2007 in China, when Brazil brilliant Marta blitzed the Americans in the semis. had the Cup in its grasp four years ago, only to surrender late leads against Japan in regulation and overtime, then perform dreadfully in the penalty kick shootout that decided the championship.

Germany in 2011, it came down to a PK and we lost. In 2012 at the Olympics, a PK was the difference, defender Becky Sauerbrunn told Sporting News. were so close to winning, and we were so close to losing. I don think there a huge gap.

know for players like Abby Wambach, that the one thing that eluded their career and it is very important. For women soccer, it is a big deal. We put pressure on ourselves all the time. It built into our culture that we don expect anything less than winning. many of the women who play important roles in Canada are familiar names who accomplished much, the team is transitioning toward a younger group and a slightly different approach to the game, with less emphasis on physical superiority and more on technical soccer ability. Brian, 22, has started in midfield frequently for that very reason.

so long, we gotten away with kind of playing the same style, where we were maybe stronger and faster and fitter and we could maybe boss teams, Sauerbrunn said. you see the rise of Germany, France, Japan they playing a very technical, tactical style that really pushed us to become technical and tactical. We had setbacks, because whenever you learning a new philosophy we had to take a few steps back to take a few steps forward.

think we have players that are very confident on the ball, that can get themselves out of pressure situations. We more tactical. We have better ways of solving problems on the field. That been a big change for us. 35, is the United States all time leading scorer, with 182 goals in 242 appearances for the national team. She joined the national team two years after the 1999 World Cup win, however. This is likely her last opportunity to add a World Cup winner medal to the Olympic golds she won in Athens and London (she missed 2008 with an injury).

Wambach attempt to add that final achievement to her resume is a compelling narrative that doubtless will be an important part of the story the Fox networks will tell as they broadcast the World Cup over the next month.

It would seem to command enough interest, as well, for the arrival of the World Cup to be commanding a greater amount of attention from the nation sports fans.

would have been amazing to win in 2011 I would want to win as many times as I could, Lloyd said. to be able to do it on this stage, with the coverage Fox is doing, with social media, with the whole country behind us, it could be a pretty special moment if we standing on that podium as champions. There would be no greater feeling.

been 16 years. We still have the two stars on our jerseys. It would be really a storybook ending, especially for some who may be retiring after this. We don get too many opportunities like this. is far more difficult, though, to encounter discussion of the impending Women World Cup than it was a year ago in advance of the World Cup in Brazil. Indeed, the FIFA scandal is drawing soccer conversation in an unprecedented direction, but when the attention turns back to the field the women are the subject of less than their share of the discussion.