Five Things to Know About Brazil – 2018 Tournament of Nations

Presented by Thorne
U.S. WNT - Christen Press
U.S. WNT - Christen Press

After a 4-2 win against Japan on July 26 to open the 2018 Tournament of Nations and a 1-1 draw with Australia on July 29, the USA heads into its tournament finale against Brazil on Aug. 2 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. (7:30 p.m. CT on FS1) with a chance to clinch the tournament title.

Brazil Women’s National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Barbara (Kindermann), 12-Aline (UDG Tenerife, Spain), 22-Letícia (SC Corinthians)

DEFENDERS (8): 3-Daiane (Avaldsnes Idrettslag, Norway), 4-Kathellen (FC Girondins, France), 6-Tamires (Fortuna Hjorring, Denmark), 13-Rilany (Atletico de Madrid, Spain), 14-Poliana (Orlando Pride, USA), 15-Tayla (Santos FC), 19-Joyce (UDG Tenerife, Spain), 21-Mônica (Orlando Pride, USA)

MIDFIELDERS (5): 5-Thaisa (Unattached), 7-Camila (Orlando Pride, USA), 8-Juliana (CR Flamengo), 17-Andressinha (Portland Thorns FC, USA), 23-Rayanne (CR Flamengo)
FORWARDS (7): 2-Millene (SC Corinthians), 9-Debinha (NC Courage, USA), 10-Marta (Orlando Pride, USA), 11-Adriana (SC Corinthians), 16-Beatriz (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels, South Korea), 18-Thaís (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels, South Korea), 20-Raquel (Ferroviária)

2018 Copa America Champions, Bound for France 2019

Earlier this year, Brazil qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup – one of the few nations that have qualified for every Women's World Cup – by winning the 2018 Copa America Femenina in Chile. The title was Brazil’s seventh, making it the most successful women’s soccer nation in South America.

Brazil qualified for the Women’s World Cup by finishing in first place in the final stage, winning seven matches in a row and scoring 31 goals along the way while conceding just two – one in the first round against Argentina, who went on to finish third, and one against eventual runners-up Chile in the final stage.

Brazil won its four opening-round games by a 22-1 margin to advance to the four-team final stage, where it beat Chile (3-1), Argentina (3-0) and Colombia (3-0). Chile finished second in the final stage group to also qualify for France, while Argentina finished third and will face the fourth-place finisher from the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship in a two-game playoff for a final World Cup berth.

Brazil averaged 4.42 goals a game during qualifying, the most prolific strike rate since the tournament switched to its current format. Despite having Marta and other big names such as Formiga, Andressinha, Thais and Cristiane, Brazil’s leading scorer was Beatriz, who scored six goals. Fourteen of Brazil's 19 outfield squad members at the Copa America Femenina 2018 found the net during the competition. Cristiane, who is playing in China and is not on this roster, had four goals, as did Monica, who plays for the Orlando Pride. Andressinha and Debinha had three goals each. Marta tallied just once.

2017 Tournament of Nations Drama
The most recent meeting was one of the most memorable as Brazil took at 3-1 lead into the final minutes of the game at the 2017 Tournament of Nations before the USA roared back with three goals in nine minutes to win 4-3.

Samantha Mewis scored the first U.S. goal in the first half to equalize after an early Brazil goal, but Brazil scored in the 63rdand 78th minutes through Andressinha and Bruna Benites, respectively to seemingly clinch the match. The U.S. then started the comeback with a goal from Christen Press in the 80th minute .

Megan Rapinoe equalized in the 85th minute with a spectacular goal before Julie Ertz scored that dramatic game-winner in the 89th minute to send the crowd into a frenzy. The win began the USA’s current 18-game unbeaten streak.

Last Five Meetings
Brazil has won or tied in three of the last five most recent meetings between the teams, with the first two of those matches taking place at the International Tournament of Brasilia at the end of 2014. The USA lost 3-2 in group play as Marta scored all three goals. Brazil only had four shots on goal during that match, but scored on three of them, to hand U.S. head coach Jill Ellis her first loss at the helm of the U.S. team and one of just six total.

In the match in Brasilia, the USA had a 2-0 lead after nine minutes in that game as Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe scored early, but Marta brought her team back with three fantastic individual goals.

Besides play at the Tournament of Nations, the most recent meetings between the teams came during the post-World Cup Victory Tour in 2015, a 1-1 draw in Seattle on Oct. 21 (Carli Lloyd scored for the USA) followed by a 3-1 victory in Orlando on Oct. 25 as the USA got goals from Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn and Stephanie McCaffrey.

Vadão Returns
In 2016, Emily Lima was named the first female head coach for the Brazilian Women’s National Team, replacing former head coach Vadão. Yet her stint didn’t last long and 10 months after being replaced by Lima, Vadão returned to the job in September of 2017 and guided the squad to the Copa America title. France 2019 will be his second Women's World Cup in charge.

Oswaldo Alvarez, better known as Vadão, has enjoyed a distinguished coaching career spanning almost 30 years, including taking the likes of Rivaldo and Kaka under his wing when they were youngsters. He had never coached women before his first stint in charge of the Brazilian National Team, which lasted from 2014 to 2016. During that time, he won his first Copa America Femenina, triumphed at the Pan American Games and led Brazil to the Round of 16 at the 2015 Women's World Cup and to a fourth-place finish in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a tournament in which the Brazilian women gained some intense popularity.

Close to World Cup and Olympic Glory
After failing to get out of the group in 1991 and 1995, Brazil have steadily improved from major tournament to major tournament. Brazil made a big leap forward at USA 1999, finishing third, and finished second in China in 2007 where they lost to Germany in the Final and they have also twice finished fifth (in 2003 and 2011). Brazil fell in the Round of 16 in Canada in 2015, where they finished ninth.

Brazil has long been a major contender in the women’s game, producing legendary players like Sissi, Formiga, Cristiane and Marta. But even though it has come very close, it has yet to win a Women’s World Cup or an Olympics– a dream that on more than one occasion has been ended by the USA.

The teams met in the gold medal games of the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, with the USA winning 1-0 in Athens, Greece and 2-1 in Beijing, China, both after extra time. Abby Wambach scored the game-winner in 2004, while Carli Lloyd bagged the game-winner in 2008.