US SoccerUS Soccer

Becky Sauerbrunn

Women's National Team
Stories
Photos
National Teams
Professional
College/High School

Becky Sauerbrunn's Story - One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.

At times, growing up with two older brothers wasn’t easy, but it certainly helped mold Becky Sauerbrunn into the tremendous competitor she is today. While her brothers did in fact dress her in make-shift goalie gear and shot hockey pucks at her, they also helped her learn to read, which opened up a new universe of literature and in turn nurtured her passion for knowledge. Now Sauerbrunn makes a point to learn about new cultures in all the places she’s been able to travel with the U.S. Women’s National Team while always looking to expand her education.

Teammate Impressions with the U.S. WNT

The U.S. WNT players spend a ton of time together on and off the field, so they’ve become very familiar with each other’s on-field Idiosyncrasies, as Heather O’Reilly and Abby Wambach demonstrate.

HIGHLIGHTS: WNT Turns on Second-Half Style in 5-1 Romp over Mexico

Sydney Leroux and Abby Wambach led the way as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 5-1 in the second of its three-game Send-Off Series matches ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Leroux, Wambach Power USA to 5-1 Send-Off Series Victory against Mexico

CARSON, CALIFORNIA (May 17, 2015) – Sydney Leroux and Abby Wambach led the way as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 5-1 in the second of its three-game Send-Off Series matches ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Before a sellout crowd of 27,000, the largest-ever for the WNT at StubHub Center, the U.S. outshot Mexico 12-4 in the first half and put eight shots on goal while producing a number of close opportunities that required all manner of blocks and saves from the Mexico defense and goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago (five first-half saves), who kept things close with a fine performance.

After the U.S. broke through midway through the opening frame, Mexico struck back late in the first half as the teams entered the break knotted 1-1. But the USA turned on the style in the second half with four unanswered goals to put the match out of sight.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA- Sydney Leroux (Megan Rapinoe), 28th minute: 
Sydney Leroux made a perfectly-timed run onto a Megan Rapinoe through-ball that sliced through Mexico’s defense. From the left side, Leroux found herself one-on-one with goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago and made a touch with the outside of her left foot to dart around the keeper. Then from a difficult angle, Leroux blasted a left-footed shot across the goalmouth into the far side netting. USA 1, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)

MEX- Ariana Calderon (Bianca Sierra), 39th minute: From a free kick, Bianca Sierra bent a long, curling ball in from the left. Hope Solo went out to punch it clear, but Ariana Calderon was first to ball and headed it in to the vacated net, ending the U.S.’s shutout streak at five games. USA 1, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Lori Chalupny (Abby Wambach), 46th minute: Out of the second-half gate, the U.S. pressured with an immediate attack. Two second-half subs made the goal happen. Abby Wambach was the first to a deflected, rolling ball in the box. She controlled near the post with her back to a pressing ‘keeper and defender. Sensing the defense, Wambach dished it out to a waiting Chalupny, who fired and buried a near-post goal, just out of reach of the diving Santiago. USA 2, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Abby Wambach (penalty kick), 58th minute: Mexico’s Arianna Romero went to clear away a U.S. corner kick, but sent her clearance off her hand to set up a USA penalty kick. Abby Wambach lined up, and blasted a left-footed shot into the left corner of the goal. USA 3, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Sydney Leroux (Morgan Brian), 61st minute: Leroux’s second goal of the night was similar to her first, only this time it came from the right side. Leroux ran onto a Morgan Brian ball and made one right-footed touch to get outside of the closing goalkeeper. With the room the touch created, Leroux finished into the lower left corner of the goal. USA 4, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Abby Wambach (Tobin Heath), 72nd minute: From the left edge of the box, Tobin Heath left her defender behind with a wicked cut, which gave her room to send a cross to Abby Wambach at the back post. Wambach out-jumped a pair of defenders to head home her second goal of the night. USA 5, MEX 1 (FINAL) (SEE GOAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops: 
MEX- Cecilia Santiago, 10th minute (save):
 Megan Rapinoe played a ball through the middle to Christen Press who completed the one-two by leading Rapinoe with a perfectly-timed pass. Rapinoe, ripped a shot from the center of the box, but Santiago was there to meet her and cut down the angle to make a quick save.

MEX-Alina Garcíamendez and Cecilia Santiago, 14th minute (block and save): In the closing seconds of the 14th minute, the Mexico defense rallied to stand firm and hold off a barrage of close-range U.S. shots. The action began when Morgan Brian brought the ball down the right side and looped a cross to a breaking Christen Press at the back post. Press connected with a header that beat the keeper, but Mexico’s Alina Garcíamendez headed it off the line and away. Garcíamendez’s key stop rolled out to a waiting Sydney Leroux, who took a shot that deflected off a defender to Megan Rapinoe on the left. Rapinoe sent a rocket from five yards out that connected with Santiago’s face and bounced out to Carli Lloyd on the opposite side of the goal. Lloyd then headed back across to Rapinoe, who headed another shot on target, but Santiago had recovered to make the save again, this time holding on to put an end to the U.S. attack.

MEX-Alina Garcíamendez and Cecilia Santiago, 43rd minute (block and save): For the second time in the half, the Mexico goalkeeper and defender rallied to hold off a series of USA shots. Leroux again chased down a ball on the left side, but seeing the defense closing in, cut back and passed off to Lauren Holiday. From 25 yards out Holiday ripped a shot at Santiago, who blocked it. Megan Rapinoe followed the shot and looked to put in the rebound, but Santiago made a diving reaction save to deflect it away again. Morgan Brian ran onto the deflection and fired a shot of her own, but Garcíamendez stepped in front and blocked it aside.

Milestone Watch:

  • The crowd of 27,000 was the largest in WNT history when playing in Carson.
  • Abby Wambach widened the gap as the world’s all-time leading goal-scorer with her 181st and 182nd international goals. Wambach is the team’s leading goal-scorer in 2015 with five scores.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT faces Korea Republic on May 30 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey at 4:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast information: ESPN, WatchESPN and Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter @ussoccer_wntFacebook; Instagram @ussoccer_wnt

Additional Notes:

  • The USA improved its record against rival Mexico to 31-1-1, and the WNT has outscored its North American foe 139-12. The win also extended the WNT’s perfect record against Mexico in Carson to 8-0-0.
  • The U.S. WNT extended its unbeaten streak in Carson to 11 games. The team holds an immaculate 11-0-0 record that dates back to its first matchup at the home of the LA Galaxy back in 2003. The USA has outscored opponents 42-4 in Carson. No team has ever scored more than one goal against the U.S. Women while playing in Carson.
  • Abby Wambach’s pair of goals brought her career scoring total against Mexico to 24 goals. Wambach has scored more goals against Mexico than against any other team. It was her eight multi-goal game against Mexico.
  • Sydney Leroux made her first start of the 2015 season and scored her second and third goals of the year. Her last start came in the WNT’s 3-2 defeat in the 2014 Brasilia International Tournament to host Brazil on Dec. 14, 2014.
  • While the five-game shutout streak for the U.S. has ended; in its last seven games, the U.S. has surrendered just two goals and scored 20.
  • Lori Chalupny’s goal was her second of the year, with her first coming in the U.S’s 4-0 win over New Zealand on April 4.
  • Midfielder Tobin Heath, who missed last game with a tender hamstring, returned today and recorded an assist.

- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report - 

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: May 17, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 6 p.m. PT
Attendance: 27,000 (sellout)
Weather: 61 degrees, partly cloudy 

Scoring Summary:                1          2          F
USA                                        1          4          5
MEX                                       1          0          1 

USA – Sydney Leroux (Megan Rapinoe)      28th minute
MEX – Ariana Calderon (Bianca Sierra)        39
USA – Lori Chalupny (Abby Wambach)       46
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty kick)           58
USA – Sydney Leroux (Morgan Brian)         61
USA – Abby Wambach (Tobin Heath)          72 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (5-Kelley O’Hara, 70), 19-Julie Johnston (3-Christie Rampone, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (6-Whitney Engen, 70), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (16-Lori Chalupny, 46); 14-Morgan Brian, 12-Lauren Holiday (17-Tobin Heath, 62), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 15-Megan Rapinoe; 2-Sydney Leroux, 23-Christen Press (20-Abby Wambach, 46)
Subs Not Used: 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 13-Alex Morgan, 18-Ashley Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis

MEX: 1-Cecilia Santiago; 2-Kenti Robles, 3-Christina Murillo (6-Jennifer Ruiz, 64), 4-Alina Garcíamendez, 15-Bianca Sierra; 7-Nayeli Rangel, 11-Monica Ocampo, 14-Arianna Romero, 17-Veronica Perez; 9-Veronica Charlyn Corral, 21-Ariana Calderon (19-Renae Cuellar, 42 (16-Monica Alvarado, 69))
Subs Not Used: 12-Pamela Tajonar, 23-Mariana Ladron; 5-Valeria Miranda, 13-Greta Espinoza, 10-Stephany Mayor, 18-Amanda Perez, 8-Teresa Noyola, 22-Fabiola Ibarra, 24-Maria Sanchez; 20-Yadira Toraya
Head coach: Leonardo Cuellar 

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 29 / 6
Shots on Goal: 13 / 4
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 5
Offside: 1 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Marianela Araya Cruz (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Katherine Daniela Jimenez (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Nelly Odette Alvarado Quiros (CRC)
4th Official: Maurees Skeete (GUY) 

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Sydney Leroux

WNT Returns to LA for Second Send-Off Series Match

The #USWNT returns to Los Angeles to continue the Send-Off Series. Whitney Engen and Shannon Boxx talk about the team’s training as they seek to get into a rhythm before the World Cup Group Stage while Carli Lloyd speaks to the U-20 Women’s National Team about her experiences in the international game.

ROUGH AND TUMBLE

Becky Sauerbrunn describes herself as her two older brothers’ guinea pig. They’d duct-tape plywood to her arms and take slap shocks at her; they’d see how far they could launch her off the couch; they’d roll her into a blanket like a burrito – so tight that to this day, she does not like being tucked in; they’d steal her stuffed animals and beat them up while she tried to rescue them. Once, they accidentally hit her in the face with the bat – she was gushing blood but her brothers didn’t want to get in trouble so they slapped a Band-Aid on her and tried to barricade her upstairs. She escaped and her parents took her to the hospital where she got stitches.

“Aside from physically toughening me up, they also toughened me up mentally,” says Sauerbrunn. If she cried, they’d call her a baby. Or if she said ‘Ow,’ a little too loud, hoping that her mom and dad would hear, they’d hit her harder, onto her tactics and unimpressed. “I learned how to take it. It taught me how to not really rely on other people to solve my problems. I think that kind of stayed with me. I’m very motivated internally. I’m a bit of a scrapper.”

Becky with her Brothers

NATIONAL TEAM TOUGHNESS

This tolerance for pain came in handy during her first National Team cap against Canada, “I was so nervous, I didn’t think I was going to start, but there was an injury so I was thrown into the starting lineup,” recalls Sauerbrunn. In the second half, there’s a ball in the air and both Sauerbrunn and a Canadian are going up for it. The Candian tries to flick the ball but instead catches Sauerbrunn full in the face with her head. “And I’m trying to shake it off, like, okay, that hurt really bad but keep going. Then I went to feel my face and my nose was like all the way over here. But I was like, okay, well, I can keep playing.” Blood was “gushing” down her face and when a nearby teammate caught sight of her, she looked at her with horror and told her to get off the field. She headed to the sideline, holding her nose with her shirt – and when she pulled her shirt away, the coach flinched and muttered, “Oh my God.” The team doctor reset it right there in the locker room. Becky played in the next game with a “MacGyver-like mask” made out of random materials they happened to have on hand in the training room. A contraption with the same industrious, ramshackle style as the plywood-hockey ensembles her brother would put her in as a kid.

READING

Becky with her brothers in a tent

Her two brothers were more than just “brutes”. They also helped their little sister learn how to read. “I had trouble when I first started learning how to read and my brothers would read to me and then help me try to figure out the words.” These days Sauerbrunn is a voracious reader who brings three or four books on every National Team trip. “Reading is such an escape, so nice to just get away. Plus, I want to continue learning. Soccer will only last for so long and I’d still like my brain to function, so it’s good to keep exercising it.”


U.S. National Team: Called into the U.S. team for the first time in January of 2008 and then earned a place on the roster for the Four Nations Tournament in China where she earned her first two caps … Her first start and cap against Canada on Jan. 16, 2008, was also Pia Sundhage’s first match as head coach … Trained with the WNT in February of that year, but then traveled to Spain with the U.S. U-23s … Did not get another call-up to the senior team until after the 2010 WPS season and worked her way into the mix as she has become a vital player and consistent defender for the National Team.

2015:
Named to the 2015 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup roster, her second World Cup selection... Only player to play and start all nine matches for the U.S. Women this year, playing the most minutes on the team with 789... Vital member of the WNT defense during its run at the Algarve Cup en route to capturing its 10th title following a 2-0 victory over France on March 11... 2014:Played in 22 games, logging career-highs in minutes played (1,757) and games started (20) … Member of the team that won the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship as she played every minute of three matches to help the USA book its ticket to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup … Became the 46th female U.S. player to play 50 more games when she started the first game of the year against Canada in Frisco, Texas, and had the assist on the game-winning goal … 2013: Was a consistent starter at center-back, getting the nod in 10 of the 12 games she played … Played 940 minutes, third most on the team … 2012: Saw the most action of her National Team career to date , playing 1,255 minutes over 22 games while making nine starts … Played both center back and at outside back during the year … Made her first Olympic Team and played in three matches off the bench … Only played 38 total minutes, but was a sub in both the semifinal and the final to help seal those victories and the Olympic gold medal … Started and played every minute of three matches at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament in Vancouver, Canada … 2011: Had her best year yet for the National Team, playing in 12 games while starting eight and made her first Women’s World Cup roster at the senior level … Played in just one match in Germany but had a stellar game while playing all 90 minutes during the semifinal victory against France, stepping up in a big way to replace the suspended Rachel Buehler … 2010: Played in five matches, starting three, and made the roster for the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament, playing in one match … Was called into a training camp prior to the qualifying roster being named due to an injury to another player and ended up making the roster and solidifying her place in the national team pool … Youth National Teams: Played for the U.S. U-21s/U-23s in 2007 and 2008, winning Nordic Cup titles in both years … Co-captain of Nordic Cup champion U-23s in 2008 … Was a starter and co-captain for the USA at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand, playing every minute of all six games … Completed her U-19 career with 25 caps … Member of U.S. U-16s and U-17s from 2000-02 … Attended the U.S. U-14 I.D. camp in 1999 … First Appearance: Jan. 16, 2008, vs. Canada … First Goal: None.

Professional / Club – 2014: Named the NWSL Defender of the Year to become the first repeat winner of an NWSL season-end award after also claiming the honor in 2013 … Helped FC Kansas City win its first NWSL title after the team defeated Seattle 2-1 in the NWSL Championship Game … Named to the NWSL Best XI First-Team … Played every minute of 22 starts for FCKC during the regular season … Tied for third-most starts in the team … Has still yet to come out of a professional club match in which she started … 2013: Had an excellent season with FC Kansas City, playing every minute of all 19 games she started in helping her club to a second place finish and a playoff berth … Was named the 2013 NWSL Defender of the Year and to the NWSL Best XI … At this point in her career, she had yet to come out of a professional game in which she had started, playing every minute, spanning three WPS seasons and one NWSL season (and missed just 10 minutes in her college career) … 2012: Allocated to FC Kansas City for the inaugural NWSL season … The only player to play every minute of the first two WPS regular seasons, a streak that was only broken when she left to play for the USA at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany … She played every minute of every match she played in her WPS career … Signed with Sky Blue FC as a free agent for the 2012 season before the league folded … 2011: Signed with magicJack and played in 13 regular season games, tied for most WPS matches played by a U.S. WNT player, while playing all 1,170 minutes (most by a WNT player) … Also played all 180 minutes over magicJack’s two playoff games … 2010: She started all 24 matches for the Washington Freedom and picked one up assist … Played all 120 minutes in playoff match against Philadelphia … 2009: Selected by the Washington Freedom as the third overall pick in the 2008 WPS General Draft ahead of the inaugural season … She started all 20 games and scored one goal, a spectacular header for the Freedom’s first WPS goal … Immediately after the 2009 WPS season, she played three months in Norway for Røa IL, a club right outside of Oslo … Her team finished first in the league and won the Norwegian Cup … She also played two rounds of UEFA Champions League, defeating Everton of England and FK Zvezda of Russia in two-leg series’ to get to the final eight … 2008: Played for the Freedom in W-League during 2008 … Played for the Richmond Kickers in the W-League in 2006-07 and the Boston Renegades in 2005 … Youth club: Played youth club for J.B. Marine and helped lead her teams to four state cup titles and a 2000 regional championship.

×