Rapinoe will rise to the occasion again – Press

Donald Trump told Megan Rapinoe to "win first before she talks" and the forward's United States team-mate Christen Press believes she will rise to the occasion in the Women's World Cup semi-final against England.

Rapinoe's assertion that she was "not going to the f****** White House" if USA retained their title in France did not sit well with US president Trump, who told her to "finish the job" first before inviting the whole team to Washington, regardless of whether they win the tournament or not.

Those tweets were sent two days before Rapinoe netted a brace in USA's quarter-final win over hosts France, the 33-year-old forward becoming the first player since 2007 to score twice in back-to-back World Cup games.

The extra attention on Rapinoe appears to have brought the best out of her so far and Press is confident she can once again come to the fore against the Lionesses in Lyon on Tuesday.

"Over the course of my career I've been privileged to play alongside Megan," Press said.

"I think that she's a warrior on the field, she's a very special player and always has been. She's always been very unique in her style and flair. Off the field she's also a warrior. She inspires me and we push each other.

"It's been beautiful to see her fearlessness as we get to the highest stages, she won't back away. Instead the opposite - she gets even bigger. That's something as an athlete that's incredible and, as a human, even more so."

USA are bidding to become the second team after Germany in 2007 to retain the World Cup and their planning for a potential third successive final has raised eyebrows in the English camp.

Members of the USA's backroom staff have assessed the Lionesses' hotel in Lyon with a view to moving into it should they beat Phil Neville's team, an act that bemused the England coach.

Neville's counterpart Jill Ellis insisted there was nothing untoward about that, though, and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher stressed it would have no impact on Tuesday's contest.

"That has nothing to do with the game," she added.

"Our operations have scouted and checked out every hotel we've ever stayed in or potential hotel we've ever stayed in to make sure we've got plan A, plan B, plan C.

"It has nothing to do with the game, it's just our operations checking all the boxes and preparing for whatever path we take."

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