When England face off against the United States in any sport, there is an unerring sense of confidence about everything that the US seem to do. 


There’s an almost Olympic mentality about their playing style, a belief that they will walk out on to the podium, pitch, platform or start line with a blind faith that they are the best in the world at what they do.


That’s particularly true of the USWNT. Off the back of another World Cup win in 2019, they now in 2020 march toward regaining the SheBelieves Cup - having convincingly beaten England on Thursday night.

2020 SheBelieves Cup - United States v England

There is, however, something beautifully British about the idea of taking exception to someone being perhaps, at times, too outwardly confident.


As the Lionesses took to the field, one player in particular seemed unwilling to bow to the atmosphere of the crowd and self-assurance of the home side. Step forward 19-year-old Lauren Hemp. 


On a difficult evening, she undoubtedly left the stadium with her head held high and with her opposite number Kelley O’Hara thankful that she only has to play her once in this tournament.

Hemp was everything that you want a winger to be. 


Aggressive, pacy, direct, technically excellent, even fiery at times. She makes people get out of their seat - such is the danger she possesses when running with the ball - and proved as such in this encounter. Within 20 minutes she’d streamed down the left hand side twice, beating O’Hara twice in the process, before whipping in dangerous crosses.


It’s not just the technical side of the game that she catches the eye with. Hemp's physicality is absolutely superb. Twice she threw herself into big aerial 50-50s with O’Hara, and she was ready for a crunching tackle - something which Phil Neville adored on the sidelines just 10 yards away. 


It’s rare to see someone drifting in from wide positions that also readily embraces the supposed ‘uglier’ or ‘industrial’ side of the game, but at no point did Hemp ever look like backing out of a big challenge, or even a 60-yard sprint back to make up ground and defend.

Speaking about her post match (above), Neville labelled Hemp "as hard as nails" - and it's difficult to argue with him based on this evidence. Hemp's defining moment could so easily have been a goal from a header that whistled toward goal, though it met the fingertips of opposing goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher before the home side scrambled clear.


Despite the defeat, Hemp was positive about her performance and was looking forward to having an even bigger impact in the next two games.


"For me personally, I want to take a few more players on, maybe get a little goal at the end of my work would be great for me," she told 90min. "I’d just like the team to get some good results and hopefully push on where we left off."

And with a little luck, some more minutes on the pitch and two more performances like that against Spain and Japan, there’s no reason why we won’t see Lauren Hemp's name on the scoresheet.