The United States women's national team is fuboTV (Try for free).in three tournaments, but it's safe to say not everyone is rooting for them to advance ahead of Tuesday's semifinal against England -- stream via
That apparently even includes fans of France, England's longtime on- and off-field rival, if you ask England coach Phil Neville.
"We're the French second team now," Neville said Sunday in the pregame press conference. "Now that their team are out, they're supporting us, so we'll have the crowd on our side. The French people have got behind the story of our football. We are the team the French public want to win. The French support has been incredible."
Neville isn't alone in suggesting England has more support in taking on USWNT.
The Daily Mail, a British tabloid and the second-best-selling newspaper in all of the United Kingdom, recently ran a two-page spread headlined with, "Are These American Stars Too Arrogant?" and dove into the "etiquette" -- or lack thereof -- of USWNT, suggesting the Americans "are so unpopular that even the French will be backing England."
As if entering the 2019 Women's World Cup as reigning champions and appearing in four of the seven Women's World Cups finals since 1991 weren't enough, the Americans have been entangled with controversy during this year's tourney run. First came countless group celebrations during aof Thailand, which the Daily Mail said has left the USWNT with "something of an image problem." Then celebrations the next game to poke fun at the criticism.
And while Neville has championed USWNT star Megan Rapinoe for her actions on and off the field, he's also called into question the Americans' World Cup integrity, telling reporters this week that U.S. staffers were touring England's team hotel ahead of Tuesday's semifinal in order to scope out accommodations for a stay during the World Cup final..
The hotel visit is "not something we'd do," Neville told the media, "send somebody round to another team's hotel ... but it's their problem."
On the other side, U.S. coach Jill Ellis addressed the "spygate" accusations: "I assume everybody's doing that, you have to plan ahead."
USWNT players like Christen Press have defended the team against on-field criticism, echoing previous comments from Rapinoe and other teammates.
"I don't think our team is arrogant at all," Press said, per CBS News. "I think that our team is confident. We respect our opponents."