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USA mentor hails ascent of European countries before confronting Spain

US mentor Jill Ellis accepts the rise of countries, for example, Spain and Italy as powers in ladies' football looks good for the future in spite of the potential danger to her nation's strength on the world stage.

The USA are the World Cup holders and are generally expected to beat Spain in the last 16 of the current year's competition in Reims on Monday.

Spain won the men's World Cup in 2010, in the middle of winning Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, yet this is the first run through their ladies have achieved the knockout stage.

Their presentation accompanies Italy having come back to the knockout stage without precedent for two decades, while the Netherlands have endured to the last 16 straight from winning Euro 2017 on home soil.

"With the most extreme regard to Spain, I think there are a great deal of projects and a ton of groups now that have had the support of alliances and seen the development of the game locally," Ellis said at a question and answer session…