While United States women's soccer coach Jill Ellis defends her players against accusations of arrogance, captain Megan Rapinoe is insisting the World Cup favorites are being embraced by fans following Friday's thrilling 2-1 quarterfinal win over tournament host France.
'We're definitely feeling the love,' Rapinoe told Good Morning America ahead of Tuesday's semifinal game against England.
Rapinoe was referring to friends and family that came to France to support the team, as well as the supporters from 'the country at large.'
'So keep it up,' she said of her American fans. 'We love that.'
The issue of American arrogance came up Sunday after England coach Phil Neville discovered U.S. women's team staffers scoping out England's hotel.
A pair of U.S. staffers visited the Fourvière Hotel, which is close to the old town, while England was out at a practice Sunday. The winners of Tuesday's semifinal get to stay in the hotel while they prepare for the July 7 final, which is also being played in Lyon.
The England-born Ellis insisted it was a sign of good preparation rather than arrogance, but Neville suggested it could be a disciplinary matter for the staff dispatched to the hotel and bad etiquette.
'It's important that our team has confidence,' Ellis said. I don't think in any way this is an arrogant team.'
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United States women's soccer team stars Kelley O'Hara and Megan Rapinoe visited Good Morning America on Monday to discuss the ongoing World Cup
The England-born Jill Ellis insisted her players are just confident, not arrogant
'I think that's important to do your job,' Ellis continued. 'So in terms of arrogance I think that's got nothing to do with us. That's planning and preparation for our staff. So I think that's pretty normal.
Not so, according to Neville.
'We were training, I hope they enjoyed the hotel but it's not something we would do - sending someone round to another team's hotel,' Neville said. 'But it's their problem. I am sure that Jill probably wouldn't have been happy with that arrangement. I wouldn't have been if that was my team ops person going round.
'I am sure they will be dealing with their own infrastructure within their own discipline problem.'
Based on information provided by FIFA to the media, the Americans are currently staying at the less luxurious Residence Lyon Métropole, which is in the north of Lyon.
The Fourvière Hotel is west of the city close to an ancient Roman amphitheater, on the site of a 19th century convent, with the reception area in the old chapel under gold-trimmed