The U.S. Women’s National Team clinched the 2023 SheBelieves Cup title – its fourth in a row and sixth overall – with a 2-1 victory against Brazil in front of 17,784 fans on the final match day of the 2023 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa.
Alex Morgan and 2023 Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP Mallory Swanson scored for the U.S., while Ludmila tallied late for Brazil.
For the title-deciding match, U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski selected six different players from the lineup that started on Sunday’s 1-0 win against Japan. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, defenders Becky Sauerbrunn, who served as captain for the 40th time in her career, and Crystal Dunn returned behind midfielders Andi Sullivan and Rose Lavelle, who made her first tournament appearance. Up top, Trinity Rodman came in on the right side of the U.S. attack.
It was a high-energy match from the opening whistle with the first moment of danger carved out by the USA in only the fourth minute. A poorly cleared corner fell perfectly for Dunn at the top of the box but her quick blast deflected off a Brazil defender before crashing against the base of the right post.
Not to be outdone, Brazil’s Debinha forced Naeher into a save minutes later. Against the run of play, midfielder Kerolin nearly capped off a lightening Brazilian counter on the half hour mark despite the USA holding a solid possession edge (56-44%).
The next moment of danger came with five minutes until halftime. The USA’s press, which was effective throughout the night, created a turnover inside Brazil’s half and a quick pass put Morgan through on goal. After slotting the ball home, she wheeled around to celebrate only to see the flag raised for offside.
It seemed destined the teams would head to the locker rooms all square but once again the U.S. press won the ball and sprang forward in the third minute of first-half stoppage time. This time, Morgan would not be denied. Picking up the rebound after a blocked Swanson shot, she sped past a defender before curling a left footed shot inside the left post to give the USA a 1-0 advantage at the break.
Brazil — lively and dangerous all game long — nearly responded early in the second half. Adriana crashed a 49th minute hammer strike off the crossbar. It was foreshadowing of a second half full of excitement and offense.
A creative heel flick from Morgan in the 52nd minute nearly redirected a Swanson cross into the top left corner of the goal only for Brazil goalkeeper Lorena to push it over the bar. The ensuing corner brought a scramble with numerous U.S. attempts blocked inside the six-yard box.
On the hour mark the speedy Kerolin run allowed her to carve out hard shot, but it was from a tight angle and Naher had it covered.
Three minutes later, Swanson capped off another quality U.S. press and counter with what proved to be the game winning goal. Her fourth goal of the tournament not only provided the final margin but made her the first player to score in every game of a single SheBelieves Cup and made her the competition’s all-time leading scorer with eight goals.
The final 15 minutes of the game really opened up as Brazil sought a goal. With the game stretched out, the U.S. had numerous chances to extend its lead but it was Brazil, ranked No. 9 in the world by FIFA, that found a late consolation goal through a header from substitute Ludmila in the 90th minute.
Up next, the U.S. will have games during the April FIFA window before U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski and his staff select the 23-player roster for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
USA – Alex Morgan, 48th minute – An excellent U.S. press won the ball near midfield where midfielder Lindsey Horan picked it up and played forward to Swanson, who cut inside toward goal but had her shot blocked. Morgan collected the rebound and sped away from a defender across the top of the Brazil box before unleashing a curling, left-footed shot that sailed into the left side of the net. USA 1, BRA 0
USA – Mallory Swanson (Rose Lavelle), 63rd minute – Substitute forward Lynn Williams, who had just entered the game for Trinity Rodman, pressured the ball on the right wing, allowing Lavelle to nick it from Brazilian player near midfield. Lavelle drove the ball forward and found the run of Swanson cutting into the penalty area from the right wing. The USA’s leading goal scorer neatly tucked the ball inside the near right post. USA 2, BRA 0
BRA – Ludmila (Bruninha), 90th minute – Bruninha carried the ball up the right wing before uncorking a deep cross to the back post where Ludmila was able to get her head on the ball between two defenders, redirecting it just inside the left post. USA 2, BRA 1 FINAL
- Tonight’s match was the 39th meeting all-time between the USA and Brazil. The USWNT leads the series 31-5-3 and has won last six in a row.
- Alex Morgan’s goal was her second of the year, 121st of her career and 14th as a mom, breaking a tie with Joy Fawcett for the most goals as a mom in USWNT history. She has now scored 15 goals in 18 career USWNT appearances in Texas.
- Morgan has now tallied a goal or an assist in each of her four appearances for the USA in 2023 (two goals and two assists).
- The goal is Morgan’s fifth in SheBelieves Cup play, moving her into a tie with England’s Ellen White for the third-most goals in SheBelieves Cup history.
- Swanson’s goal was her seventh of 2023, tied for the most in any calendar year of her USWNT career.
- The goal was Swanson’s eighth all-time at the SheBelieves Cup, breaking a tie with Megan Rapinoe to become the all-time scoring leader in competition history.
- Swanson extends her scoring streak to six consecutive games and becomes the first player to score in all three games at a single SheBelieves Cup. Her four goals in the 2023 SBC are the most by any player in a single SBC.
- Rose Lavelle’s assist is her third of 2023, tying her with Trinity Rodman for the most on the team this year.
- Swanson has now scored in six consecutive USWNT games, the longest scoring streak of her career and tied for the fourth-longest streak in USWNT history. The only other players in USWNT history to have scoring streaks of six games or longer are Abby Wambach, Carin Jennings Gabarra, Carli Lloyd, Christen Press and Michelle Akers, who had three such streaks in her illustrious career.
- USA subs in tonight’s game were: Emily Sonnett for Crystal Dunn and Lynn Williams for Trinity Rodman in the 62st minute, Megan Rapinoe for Mallory Swanson and Ashley Sanchez for Lindsey Horan in the 71st, Kristie Mewis for Andi Sullivan and Taylor Kornieck for Alex Morgan in the 81st.
- All 20 field players on the U.S. roster saw the field in this tournament.
- Six players in tonight’s starting XI – Naeher, Sauerbrunn, Dunn, Lavelle, Horan and Morgan – started the team’s last meeting against Brazil at the 2021 SheBelieves Cup.
- Morgan, Horan, Swanson and Fox made their third starts of the tournament, the only USA players to start every game at the 2023 SheBelieves Cup. Fox played all 270 minutes of the tournament, the only U.S. player to do so.
– 2023 SHEBELIEVES CUP MATCH REPORT –
Match: United States Women’s National Team vs. Brazil Women’s National Team
Date: February 22, 2023
Competition: 2023 SheBelieves Cup presented by Visa
Venue: Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas
Kickoff: 6:07 p.m. local (7:07 p.m. ET)
Weather: 74 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
BRA 0 1 1
USA – Alex Morgan 45+3
USA – Mallory Swanson (Rose Lavelle) 63
BRA – Ludmila (Bruninha) 90
USA:1-Alyssa Naeher; 23-Emily Fox, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Capt.), 12-Naomi Girma, 19-Crystal Dunn (14-Emily Sonnett, 61); 17-Andi Sullivan (22-Kristie Mewis 81), 10-Lindsey Horan, 16-Rose Lavelle (2-Ashley Sanchez, 71); 5-Trinity Rodman (6-Lynn Williams, 61), 13-Alex Morgan (20-Taylor Kornieck, 81), 9-Mallory Swanson (15-Megan Rapinoe, 71)
Substitutions Not Used: 3-Alana Cook, 7-Ashley Hatch, 8-Sofia Huerta, 11-Midge Purce, 18-Casey Murphy, 21-Adrianna Franch
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
BRA:1-Lorena, 5-Tainara (2-Bruninha, 62), 14-Lauren, 4-Rafaelle (Capt.), 6-Tamires; 20-Nycole (8-Ana Vitória, 46), 17-Ary Borges (, 10-Marta, 58), 21-Kerolin, 11-Adriana; 16-Bia Zaneratto (7-Ludmila, 86), 9-Debinha (18-Geyse, 46)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Letícia, 22-Luciana, 13-Tarciane, 15-Julia Bianchi, 19-Yasmim, 23-Gabi Nunes
Head coach: Pia Sundhage
Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 19 / 12
Shots on Goal: 6 / 4
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 5 / 6
Fouls: 11 / 13
Offside: 1 / 2
BRA – Kerolin (Caution) 34th minute
USA – Andi Sullivan (Caution) 41
BRA – Adriana (Caution) 70
Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Chantal Boudreau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie-Dale Yee-Sing (JAM)
4th Official: Alyssa Nichols (USA)
Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP: Mallory Swanson
Bud Light Woman of the Match: Alex Morgan