World Cup "Spygate"? Team USA faces England – and accusations of arrogance

USWNT faces off against England in World Cup

Last Updated Jul 2, 2019 9:00 AM EDT

The world champion U.S. women's soccer team will return to the World Cup final -- if it can beat England on Tuesday. Both teams have won all their games so far. And while the teams have spoken highly of each other, England's coach has accused the U.S. of bad manners, and both teams have been boasting that they can win.

As three-time World Cup champions, confidence comes naturally to Team USA. But since beating France, the 4th ranked team in the world, last week, they're facing accusations of arrogance.

"I don't think our team is arrogant at all," said forward Christen Press. "I think that our team is confident. We respect our opponents."

This will be only the second time Team USA takes on England at a World Cup. Last time the teams faced off, the U.S. won 3-0. But that was 12 years ago, and the teams are now more evenly matched. England has reached new heights with new coach Phil Neville.

Neville has praised his opponents' ruthlessness. "It's the gold medal that everybody wants," he said, "and I've got to say America has got that ruthless streak of wanting to win."

But he is questioning their etiquette: In an incident now dubbed "spygate" by British press, Team USA staff were spotted checking out Team England's hotel in Lyon. Reportedly, the team was scouting England's hotel as a possible place to stay if the U.S. wins and goes onto the final.

Neville described the event as "…not something we'd do, send somebody round to another team's hotel, er but, it's their problem." But U.S. coach Jill Ellis brushed off the allegation that it's another example of her team's arrogance.

"That's got nothing to do with us," Ellis said. "That's planning and preparation for our staff."

To clear up the controversy, FIFA dictates hotel arrangements. If the U.S. defeats England, the team will be required to move to that hotel. Whoever wins on Tuesday will compete in Sunday's final, against either the Netherlands or Sweden.