USA vs Brazil (She Believes Cup 2/21/21)
After winning performances in their opening games of the 2021 She Believes Cup, the USA and Brazil game on Sunday was shaping up to be the potential determining game of who will take home the cup. The matchup between the two powerhouse teams proved to be a good one with both sides creating chances. In the end, the United States pulled away with the win thanks to goals from Press (11’) and Rapinoe (88’). The U.S. currently sits atop the standings and is in the driver’s seat to win the cup on Wednesday.
1. Impressive Play
I purposely waited until the end of the game until I looked at Tweets. This one stuck out at me because I had the same three players in mind who elevated their play and helped the U.S. win. As for the great Julie Foudy and I having the same thoughts…I am honored to say the least.
Christen Press has been balling out lately. Her goal in the 11th minute today was her 10th goal in the last 13 USWNT games she has been featured in. In my and many other’s opinions, she is slowly but surely locking up a starting position come the Olympics this summer. Her speed and attack up front is dangerous, but even more impactful is her defensive mind that allows her track back and help when the ball gets turned over.
Speaking of defense, Crystal Dunn was on FIRE today. Did you see that slide tackle she had in the box that stopped a potential shot and/ or goal from Brazil? Well if you did not, here it is. Take your time, watch on repeat. Looking back at my notes I took from this game I saw that I wrote “Dunn’s defending ✔✔✔,” I think that pretty much sums it up.
Lindsey Horan is consistently one of my favorite players to watch. Her presence exudes a sense of confidence yet calmness yet “don’t-mess-with-me” spirit. Today was all of that AND two assists. Even though her starting position was technically the left midfielder (on the left side studded with Press and Dunn alike), both of her assists came from her getting wide right and either crossing or playing a through ball.
2. Bright Green Uniforms
Okay, I do not know if it is the contrast settings on my TV or what, but the bright green goalie uniforms blend in PERFECTLY with the pitch at Exploria Stadium. During Thursday’s game all I could really see of the Canadian goalkeeper were her white gloves. Needless to say, I was amused for the whole game. Then today, Alyssa Naeher was supporting the stylish bright green uniform. I call that entertainment within the entertainment. Also, Naeher now has 10 straight shutouts, most all time by an U.S. goalie…that is all.
3. Rapinoe Celebration
In the 88th minute the United States received their brace by a goal from none other than Megan Rapinoe. The goal was a simple one touch volley finish off a cross from Horan. Proving that power doesn’t matter in situations like those, but redirection on frame does. Even though the goal secured the win, it was Rapinoe’s celebration that was the highlight. After putting the ball in the back of the net, Pinoe ran straight to the nearest camera and moved her arms in the motion as if she is rocking a baby. A baby you ask? This was a shoutout to Sloane Phillips, the baby U.S. teammates Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris adopted last week. Quite a touching tribute to the new baby and new moms, and it definitely made me smile!
4. Brazil Attacks vs USA Defense
Brazil has two powerhouses, Marta and Debinha, who lead the attack on goal. What I found most dangerous throughout the game were the counter attacks that Brazil could produce. Once they won the ball in the back, they quickly cut through the middle of the field into the attacking third and created chances. Unfortunately for them, what was waiting for them were U.S. powerhouses in Sonnett, Sauerbrunn, Dahlkemper and Dunn. The back line was also supported by Ertz who made many efforts to get back and help. Even though the U.S. allowed Brazil to have promising attacks, they ended up with 10 shots throughout the game and only 2 shots on goal. Allowing offenses to have goal scoring opportunities like the U.S. have given up the past two games could be a potential weak spot come Olympic or World Cup time. But in my opinion, that is something that can be easily fixed, plus there is plenty of time to work on that! Overall, a clean sheet is always good, but an attacking threat like Brazil should and does usually put those goals away!
February has been the month of G.O.A.T. matchups, so this game was quite fitting.
Brady vs Mahomes (Super Bowl 55): Tom Brady stands out as being one of the greatest athletes of all time after winning his 7th Super Bowl this month! No one is beating that for quite a while; sadly, not even my favorite/ home team the Cowboys. However, someone who has the potential to come close is Patrick Mahomes. Even though his second straight Super Bowl appearance was a loss, he is young and has a very promising future ahead. G.O.A.T. material? Possibly.
Williams vs Osaka (Australian Open Semi-Final) Serena Williams is one of the most decorated athletes ever as she has 23 Grand Slam titles to her name. Complete G.O.A.T. status if you ask me. Another potential future G.O.A.T. is her opponent Naomi Osaka. Osaka went on to win the Australian Open, marking her 4th Grand Slam title, the youngest to reach that point the fastest. Oh, and both women have part ownership of two NSWSL teams, Angel City F.C. for Williams and N.C. Courage for Osaka! FEMALE POWER!
USA vs Brazil (She Believes Cup) Alex Morgan making her first start since the 2019 World Cup final! The presence of Marta! Legendary coach Pia Sundhage! Vltako being undefeated as the USWNT coach! Becky Sauerbrunn moving her way up on the all-time caps list! Heather O’Reilly doing pregame/ halftime (sorry, I love her, any chance to give her a shoutout)! Another United States WIN! All G.O.A.T. things.
Blog Contributer: Jessica Doublesin is from Dallas Texas. Her favorite teams to follow are the USWNT and Liverpool!