Following USA’s crucial victory over Gambia in Baku, Summer Green could not hide her delight. Not only had her team taken a step closer to reaching the next stage, she had played a major role in their 6-0 victory by scoring twice.
“I am really happy about that, but I would be nowhere without my team-mates,” the striker told FIFA.com in an exclusive interview. “They are the ones that got me the ball. They got down the line, made all the hard runs and everything. It is not just me, everyone else played a big part.”
Green had already proven her goalscoring credentials at the CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship, which doubled as a qualifying tournament for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012. In hitting twelve goals, Green ensured her name went in the record books as the first player ever to score a dozen times at the competition.
“I like to think I’m maybe a little rambunctious, outgoing and sort of creative,” the 17-year-old said of her own strengths. “I like to make things happen on the field. Not just with the ball, but trying to move off it too,” said Green, who names Abby Wambach and Lionel Messi as her role models.
“I would definitely like to be as good in the air as Abby. She is unbelievable. Her presence on the field motivates everyone. That’s what I want to be like. And Lionel Messi, he is incredibly crafty. That is another think I would like to be.”
On Saturday USA face Korea DPR in a decisive match at the Group B summit. The teams are currently tied on four points each, although the Asians are top due to their superior goal difference. While Green is well aware it will be a tough encounter, she is confident in her side’s ability.
“If we go out and really believe that we can do it, than we can. The coaches have prepared us for this match and the whole tournament. As long as we play like we do, we will be well off,” the striker said.
Green also views the Stars and Stripes’ team spirit as a key factor in their success. While against France USA performed more as individuals than as a unit, against Gambia their togetherness was once again evident as they rediscovered their form. The atmosphere in the camp is consequently positive ahead of the final group game.
“Everyone is excited and a little nervous. We are really anxious to go out and play. It has been a great experience so far and I am hoping it will continue. I aim to play as good as I can and to help my team go all the way.”