TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - For the last week, the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team has called Tampa its home turf. They're preparing for the She Believes Cup at the Hillsborough County Tournament Sportsplex, which is a tune-up for this summer's World Cup.
Twenty-three of the country's top players are working together to defend USA's 2015 World Cup title.
"This is an extremely important tournament for us," said captain Alex Morgan. "We're going to be facing teams that we'll probably see in knockout stages of the World Cup."
A lot of the women have already tasted victory on the world stage, whether it was in the Olympics or in World Cup play. For them, there's nothing that tops playing for the red, white, and blue.
"It's an honor," said defenseman Becky Sauerbrunn. "It carries a lot of responsibility, which I gladly shoulder. I want to make sure that I represent this country well and do it with integrity. Every day, I get to put this uniform on and I get to stand out there with the National Anthem. It's truly an honor."
The U.S. Women's team has won three of the seven previous World Cup titles and four gold medals in the last six Olympics. Their success far exceeds the men's national teams, who have never made it past the World Cup quarterfinals.
"You know, I wish I could tell you the answer to that. I'm not quite sure," said Morgan. "But I think that around the world, there's not as much opportunity for girls at a young age to play soccer, to play sports in general."
The women's team heads to Pennsylvania on Wednesday to begin the first of three She Believes Cup matches. It starts against Japan and wraps up in Raymond James Stadium March 5 against Brazil.