USA is perfect preparation for World Cup, says Carney

Thursday 29 Jan 2015
Karen Carney is the eighth player to earn 100 caps for England Women

Coming up against the two best nations in the world in the build-up to Canada 2015 will leave England Women much better prepared for this summer’s showpiece event.

That is the view of the Three Lions’ latest centurion Karen Carney, who earned her 100th cap in a 3-0 defeat to Germany, FIFA’s top-ranked team, in November.

Next up for Mark Sampson’s side is the visit of USA, who, on paper are the most successful nation in the women’s game, having won two World Cups, four Olympic gold medals and seven CONCACAF Gold Cups.

England v USA

A Women's International
8pm, Friday 13 February
stadium:mk, MK Dons FC
Tickets priced £5 adults, £2.50 children
Call 0333 200 5343 or visit MK Dons site

England qualified for the World Cup with relative ease, winning all 10 matches and conceding only one goal in the process.

But, ahead of USA’s visit to MK Dons on Friday 13 February, Carney believes her team-mates will learn a lot more from their meetings with the two powerhouses of women's football.

She said: “The Germany game was a really good test for us and USA will be exactly the same.

“They were runners-up in the last World Cup, they’re Olympic gold medallists and their history in the women’s game is second to none. They always turn up in the big tournaments.

“USA will be slightly different to Germany but equally as challenging. The way their players think, their mentality and their dedication to training is unquestionable. Their work ethic is phenomenal.”

Carney continued: “We were disappointed to lose to Germany, but the best thing we can do now is to learn from that game – and quickly. All we can do is try to move forward. We have learned so much from that game that I actually think it will be a good thing for us going into a World Cup.

“We did well in qualifying but Germany were a completely different level of opposition, and USA are in that same category. We are playing another top-quality team, the same that we will face in Canada, so that can only be a good thing for us ahead of this summer.

“Sometimes you have to take one step back to take two forward.”

Carney, who spent time in the States with Chicago Red Stars, is the eighth player to earn triple figures for the England Women’s team, and, at 27, she is the youngest player across the men’s and women’s game to reach the milestone.

“I would swap all those 100 caps for a World Cup winners' medal, without a shadow of a doubt”

Carney on her England ambition

The Birmingham City captain made her international bow against Italy in 2005 and has gone on to score 23 goals in her 100 appearances.

The fleet-footed schemer has been to three European Championships, two World Cups and also represented Team GB at London 2012.

And she revealed her pride at joining current team-mates Fara Williams, Alex Scott, Casey Stoney and Kelly Smith on 100 caps. 

Carney added: “It wasn’t until after the game that I actually realised how big an achievement it actually is. It makes you realise how special it is, so credit to all the other girls that have done it as well.

“I can’t believe how quickly I’ve done it either. But now I’ve got to 100 caps, I want 101, 102 caps – as many as I can get.

“But I want to achieve a lot more with England.

“I would swap all those 100 caps for a World Cup winners' medal, without a shadow of a doubt.”

After the USA game, England will compete in the annual Cyprus Cup in March. They have been drawn in Group B alongside Australia, Finland and Netherlands.

The World Cup will take place from 6 June until 5 July. Sampson’s charges have been drawn in Group F alongside France, Mexico and Colombia.

By Glenn Lavery