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Becky Edwards Chats With Center Circle Ahead of the USA's Clash With England

Becky Edwards has consistently been a general in the midfield for the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team. She sat down with Center Circle ahead of the team’s FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal showdown with England to talk about her team, wearing the captain’s armband against Argentina and scoring the game-winner.

Center Circle: What’s it like to be back in Chillan?
Becky Edwards: It’s pretty exciting to be able to stay here in the same hotel and to know our surroundings. The people in our hotel and just the whole area is pretty cool. I think that knowing the field and stadium I think will help too. I think we’ll have a lot of support from what I can tell here – people are chasing us in the streets! We just have to come out playing our game.

CC: What’s the state of the team right now?
BE: We’re excited. Right now we’re past a point that we hope is halfway through the trip (if we advance), so we’re over that hump. We’re ready to start off the knock out rounds with a bang, especially coming off a loss. We were disappointed in that result but we’re ready to get back out there and prove that we’re here to win and that we’re capable of it.

CC: And how is everyone physically?
BE: We’re all doing pretty well. The coaches have done a good job of making sure we rest when we need rest and work hard when we need to work hard. I think we’re in the right environment and we have a lot of staff members who are willing to help in any way that they can. We’re all taking care of our bodies and as long as we continue to do that we’ll be fine physically.

CC: What has it been like to play in your first World Cup game and then three days later captaining the team AND scoring the game-winner?
BE: It was exciting to play in that first World Cup game against France. We knew they were going to be one of the best teams in our group and getting that result was a good confidence boost for our team. For me personally, it felt great to get that first game under my belt and I felt like I had a pretty good game. Coming into the game against Argentina and leading the team onto the field was pretty exciting. Getting the win was great but we know it’s important to stay humble and keep our long-term goal in mind. We know we have to take it one step at a time and I think it’s just taking it game by game and hopefully going all the way.

CC: What do you expect out of a game against England?
BE: Obviously they’ve made it this far and we know they’re going to be a great team. We have to respect every opponent and they’re one of the best eight teams in the world now. As long as we come out and focus on our game and play the way we know how, the rest should turn out right for us.

CC: Tell us about the journey that’s gotten this team to this point.
BE: It’s been awesome. Since last year we’ve been training for this and it’s been a fun journey. We’ve met new people and learned new approaches to the game. We’ve gotten to travel all over the world and see a lot of very different cultures and styles of play. It’s definitely going to help us in the long term and I think we all have high expectations and big dreams for ourselves and I think these experiences will definitely help us in the future.

CC: What has the transition been like from Florida State to the National Team?
BE: It’s definitely been bittersweet. Leaving my college team was sad, but playing in the World Cup is amazing. You never know if you’re going to be able to play in another World Cup in your lifetime so I’m glad I’ve been able to take advantage of this opportunity. My college team has been there to support me as well. My college coach, Mark Krikorian, has been there to support me and he worked well with my situation – making sure I had the right amount of rest and that when we got to Chile that I was in peak form. I’m really thankful that everyone has worked with me along the way.

CC: Are you homesick at all?
BE: Not really. I don’t really get homesick at this point I’m so used to it. I’m lucky enough to have a great staff and great teammates to keep me occupied here. Thanksgiving was awesome. This team is like my family away from home and I’m thankful that our staff and some of the parents were able to set up such a wonderful holiday for us. Things like that make it hard to be homesick.

CC: Have you been practicing your Spanish since we’ve been here?
BE: Actually I do think it’s gotten better! I am understanding more than I can actually speak but I can understand the people at the stores. I just don’t really have the confidence to try to speak Spanish but I am getting there. I tend to rely on my teammates to do the talking and then I try to understand.

CC: What else have you been doing during your downtime?
BE: A lot of homework! I’m trying to get all that out of the way when we have time to relax. We’ve gotten to know our way around Chillan by now so we like to take little walks to the store or the market and do some shopping. We’ve been watching a lot of movies – we watched movies just about every night while we were in Temuco. We watched P.S. I Love You and Family Stone. I love corny Christmas movies! Today I watched Elf on the bus, I can’t get enough.

CC: Finally, everyone now seems to know that you’re a diehard Philadelphia sports fan… what was it like to be far away – in Florida no less - when the Phillies won the World Series this year?
BE: It was great to see them win. I mean, I was just watching the games and cheering by myself which was a little unusual but all my friends from home were calling and texting me. So that was a nice taste of home. My brother and my Dad actually went to the parade and it looked like they had a blast. My little brother, who I still feel like I have to protect for some reason – was crowd surfing. It was great to see the city come together like that after having not won a championship in so long.