The U.S. Women’s National Team came back from two goals down to defeat Brazil on July 30 at Qualcomm Stadium with a remarkable rally at the end of the match that saw four players score in the 4-3 victory: Samantha Mewis, Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz. While both Mewis and Rapinoe were in the starting XI, Press and Ertz both came on as second half substitutes in the 57th minute.
Mewis’s goal was the game-tying score (the first of two in the game) in the 18th minute. Megan Rapinoe played a square pass into the middle came towards the on-rushing Mewis, who then hit a grass-cutter from 28 yards that took a slight deflection before sticking in the left corner of the net. The goal was the fifth of her career and first of 2017. She has been in the starting lineup for every game the USA has played this year and has contested the most minutes of anyone besides co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn.
Her second goal of 2017, Press’ score switched the momentum of the match. Scoring two minutes after Brazil had made it 3-1, Press’ spectacular finish from the left side of the penalty area into the upper left corner brought the WNT back into a game.
“To get goals against Brazil means a lot to me because it shows that it doesn’t matter who we’re playing against, we can break defenses and get goals into the back of the net,” said Press.
Press, who has scored eight goals so far this NWSL season, has looked sharp for both club and country.
“Press had a great finish,” said Ellis after the Brazil match. “She got the match-winner overseas against Norway, [and then scored against Brazil] so those are big goals for her, and I think she’s been very consistent in the league.”
It’s been a long journey back for Megan Rapinoe following her ACL surgery in December of 2015, but her performances against Australia, and especially against Brazil, bode well for the USA going forward.
“I felt like we had momentum as soon as Press scored that goal,” said Rapinoe. “It was an incredible turn and ball by her to get it to my foot. I took it down and I didn’t have a great angle but I just thought, ‘I’ll smashed this thing.’”
The technical midfielder was involved in all four goals, getting two assists as well as the equalizer and also played a part in the sequence that led to the game-winner.
“She’s worked so hard to be back to this,” said Ellis of Rapinoe. “From her performance in the league, she’s been building momentum. Against Australia she was fantastic and against Brazil she just drives an engine.”
Rapinoe has also been lighting it up in the NWSL, scoring a league-leading 12 goals so far for Seattle.
Ertz is the highest-scoring defender on the USA’s roster and she put the cherry on top of an unforgettable night for the WNT in San Diego with her game-winner in the 89th minute, blasting a loose ball into the net from six-yards out to send the Qualcomm crowd into a frenzy. It was her ninth career goal, but the first with a married name on the back of her jersey.