Recap: USWNT Capture Their 4th Consecutive SheBelieves Cup Title
Alex Morgan gets on the scoresheet and Mallory Swanson bags the game winner against Brazil.
The United States Women’s National Team captured silverware once again with a victory over Brazil on Wednesday evening.
Alex Morgan opened the scoring just before the end of the first half, after having an earlier opportunity ruled offside. The chance came when the official waived off a foul against Brazil on Rose Lavelle in the midfield, allowing Lindsey Horan to intercept the ball and play Mallory Swanson in behind the defense. Her initial shot was blocked and collected by Morgan at the top of the box, who was able to curl her shot past the keeper.
Brazil came close to equalizing with an early opportunity in the 49th minute. Adriana was able to get a shot from distance that found the crossbar before being redirected out for a corner, which the U.S. was able to defend.
37-year-old Marta entered the game for Brazil in the 58th minute. Marta, who featured in all three of Brazil’s matches as a substitute, returned from a year-long ACL injury. Her availability ahead of what is potentially her last Women’s World Cup provides Brazil with a boosted outlook for success.
The U.S. made their first changes of the game in the 61st minute, with Emily Sonnett and Lynn Williams replacing Crystal Dunn and Trinity Rodman.
In the second half, Swanson tallied her fourth goal of the tournament in the match’s 63rd minute thanks to an assist from Lavelle. Lavelle was able to play a ball that split Brazil’s back line, finding Swanson in the box who then beat the keeper with a near post shot.
With the goal, Swanson became the SheBelieves Cup’s all-time leading scorer with her 8th career goal in the competition, breaking a tie with teammate Megan Rapinoe.
In the 70th minute, the United States made their second set of substitutions, with Rapinoe coming on for Swanson while Ashley Sanchez replaced Lavelle. They then made their final changes in the 81st minute with Kristie Mewis and Taylor Kornieck entering the game for Andi Sullivan and Morgan.
In the 87th minute, Ludmila entered the game for Brazil, replacing Beatriz Zaneratto João, and put Brazil on the scoreboard just three minutes later. Ultimately, the U.S. were able to hold onto their 2-1 lead in the final minutes before the whistle was blown for full-time.
Wednesday’s win secured the U.S. Women’s fourth straight SheBelieves Cup, and their sixth title since the competition was introduced in 2016. Alyssa Naeher and Emily Sonnett are the only members of the USWNT to be part of all six winning squads.
After scoring in her sixth consecutive game for the U.S., Mallory Swanson was named the 2023 SheBelieves Cup MVP.
The U.S. will now shift its focus to the upcoming April window as they continue its preparations for the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this summer.
Their next match is scheduled for April 18th, when they take on the Republic of Ireland at 2:30 ET.