Megan Rapinoe has insisted that the USA's underwhelming performance at this spring's SheBelieves Cup can help them in their hunt for World Cup glory, with the tournament in France upon us.
The US team only managed a single victory over Brazil in the round robin tournament across late February and early March, with a surprisingly leaky defence conceding a number of chances in 2-2 draws against Japan and England.
Speaking to 90min with BODYARMOR ahead of the summer's tournament, the Olympic gold medalist admitted: "SheBelieves was a bit of a downer, for sure. We want to win every game and keep clean sheets, but I do think it was a good experience for us because we've been squeaking those kind of games out normally, or just edging them when the performance isn't that good.
"We didn't this time, and that was a good lesson and a wake-up call about what's going to be needed to be successful at the World Cup. It was a good bit of adversity for the team, especially for the players who haven't necessarily been in that position or played in those games against the top teams.
"Against the second tier teams you can edge those games out. Talent-wise and physically you're a lot better than them, but when you go against England, Australia, Japan...it's not just going to happen for you."
Rapinoe turns 34 two days before the World Cup final this summer, but warned that she's getting better year on year rather than winding down to the end of her career. "I feel like I'm getting better every year," she said, "learning new things and growing with the game. Each new year the game demands something more out of you, so you have to rise and meet that or else you get old fast.
"I can't wait for the World Cup, it's gonna be so dope. Just a great country to have it in, being in France for a month in the summer will be amazing for us and the fans. The stadiums will be dope, the French men's team won last year so they'll be excited about that, their women's team is so good so they'll have an awesome host nation to root for. It's going to be wild.
"Parc des Princes (for the USA's second game) is going to be dope. What is it they say? Ici c'est Paris? Ici c'est Paris! That was one of my favourite things about 2011 and 2012, we're playing in this ridiculous historic stadiums, Wembley, Old Trafford...it's cool.
"We don't play in the European leagues so we don't get to play in these stadiums, and our home stadiums don't have that kind of history. That part of it to me, geeking out about football history is so much fun.
"I'm really confident. If you're not confident, you should probably just not go. I'm just so excited, I think it's going to be an incredible World Cup. The fans are going to be amazing, the stadiums are great, I'm so excited for all the players on our team who haven't been to a World Cup because it's the most amazing experience ever.
"You have all eyes on women's football for a whole month, there's been such a jump in level since the last World Cup. It's going to be phenomenal."