U.S. Women’s National Team Defeats Brazil 3-1


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Stephanie McCaffrey scored in her first appearance for the U.S. National Team, becoming the first player to do so since Christen Press in 2013.

Alex Morgan gave Orlando fans a taste of what they can expect from the 26-year-old forward, as she scored the opening goal for the U.S. Women’s National Team in their 3-1 victory over Brazil Sunday at the Citrus Bowl.

After a great cross from Tobin Heath, Morgan netted her 55th career goal for the National Team in the 10th minute in front of an announced crowd of 32,869.

“It was a huge crowd today, and obviously I wanted to show up big,” said Morgan.

The buzz around Orlando all week has been about the announcement of the new women’s soccer team, the Orlando Pride and their all but finalized deal that would bring the current Portland Thorn Morgan to Orlando.

“It was important for me to get this goal for them [departing players Lauren Holiday and Lori Chalupny] and also for my confidence as I’m getting back to surpassing where I was before.”

The U.S., unlike Brazil, were able to capitalize on their opportunities and held off an aggressive Brazilian team that just couldn’t finish the chances they had throughout the match.

Brazil had a couple shots that hit the crossbar, and also had several other quality scoring chances throughout the match.

“Brazil is an attacking style team,” said goalkeeper Hope Solo. “It’s kind of an onslaught of shots when you do play Brazil.”

Brazil out shot the U.S. 13-8, and had six corner kicks to the two by the Americans.

Christiane would tie the game up at 1-1 during stoppage time in the first half. Brazilian captain Marta set-up Christiane for the goal.

Not to be outdone, Crystal Dunn, off a Lindsey Horan assist, was able to turn a Meghan Klingenberg cross into an extra time goal of her own to make it 2-1.

The second half continued with the Brazilians’ uptempo play, but they were never able to net another goal.

Stephanie McCaffrey scored in her first cap for the National Team in the 94th minute. She became the 18th player in National Team history to score in her debut and first since Christen Press in Feb. of 2013.

Forward Lauren Holiday and defender Lori Chalupny played their last caps for the National Team against Brazil, as the team honored both players with pre and postgame tribute videos.

“It’s just an overwhelming rush of emotions knowing that’s the last time you’ll put the U.S. jersey on,” said Holiday, who had 133 caps for her career. Chalupny finished her career with 106 appearances.

The USA has four games remaining on the Victory Tour, all in December. They will play Trinidad and Tobago on Dec. 6 in Honolulu and Dec. 10 in San Antonio, and then will finish the tour against China Pr on Dec. 13 at the University of Phoenix stadium and then finally Dec. 16 in New Orleans.

The U.S. team has lost just one match this year, its first game of 2015 against France in early February. The team is 17-1-4 this year, including a record of 7-0-2 on home soil.