U.S. Women’s National Team Opens 2021 Shebelieves Cup Presented by Visa With 1-0 Victory Against Canada on a Late Goal From Rose LavelleGoalkeeper Alyssa Naeher Records 39th Career Shutout and Her Ninth Consecutive Clean Sheet
ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2021)—The U.S. Women’s National Team kicked off its three-game run at the 2021 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa, with a 1-0 victory against Canada as midfielder Rose Lavelle scored in the 79th minute.
In a tightly-contested match against the most frequent foe in USWNT history, the USA threatened on a number of set piece opportunities throughout the evening, earning 13 corners to Canada’s five and several free kicks in dangerous territory. After creating quality chances and knocking on the door for much of the night, the USA finally broke through off a free kick when Lavelle, a second-half substitute, pounced poor clearance in the penalty box and fired home for the game’s lone goal.
The victory ties the USA (1-0-0, 3 points) with Brazil on points atop the SheBelieves Cup standings after the conclusion of the first matchday, but Brazil is currently in first place based on a better goal differential. In the first game of the evening Brazil (1-0-0, 3 points) defeated its longtime South American rival, Argentina (0-1-0, 0 points) 4-1.
The USWNT will next face Brazil on Sunday, Feb. 21 at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla. The match will kick off at 3 p.m. ET on FS1 and TUDN.
It took some time for the USWNT to find its attacking rhythm in the first half as the Canadian defense packed the middle of the field and did well to counter. Canada starting goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan had to be substituted out of the match in just the 11th minute after picking up an injury. Her replacement, Stephanie Labbé, played a tremendous match as she was called upon to make several spectacular saves along with several quality punches while Canada’s defense against set pieces and corner kicks was extremely solid.
The ball stayed in Canada’s end for the majority of the first half, and more U.S. chances came around the half-hour mark, as Carli Lloyd threatened on some cutting runs while fellow forwards Megan Rapinoe and Lynn Williams also created danger. Williams ripped two long-range shots, in the 39th and 44th minutes, but Labbé twice made nice diving saves to keep the match level.
The U.S. nearly opened the scoring during a frenzied period in first-half stoppage time as the WNT worked the ball around the Canadian penalty box. Labbé bobbled a hard-hit shot from Rapinoe near the right post and Williams was almost able to knock it in before the ball slipped out of bounds.
Canada earned some of its best attacking opportunities shortly after the break, but defender Becky Sauerbrunn snuffed out some close-range danger in the 51st and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher make a big-time save on a shot from close range in the 53rd as forward Janine Beckie had a wide open chance after a bad U.S. turnover in the back.
Head coach Vlatko Andonovski made a flurry of substitutions around the 60-minute mark and the fresh legs made an instant impact. Christen Press fired a ball into the side netting with one of her first touches in the 65th, while some shifty moves from Crystal Dunn teed up a hard-hit header for Alex Morgan in the 69th. Midfielder Lindsey Horan rattled a shot from distance off the crossbar in the 77th and the USA finally broke through shortly after with Lavelle’s 14th international goal.
Naeher recorded her 39th career shutout and her ninth consecutive clean sheet, the longest streak of her career. Canada put a shot on target in the 17th minute to end the U.S. defense’s streak of not allowing a shot on goal during its last 302 minutes of play, though the USA outshot its northern neighbor 29-8 on the night.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
USA - Rose Lavelle (Lindsey Horan), 79th minute: After a number of dangerous set piece opportunities off of corners and free kicks, a foul deep in Canadian territory set up the USA’s breakthrough. Christen Press teed up a free kick near the right sideline level with the top of the penalty area. She served the ball to the near post and it bounced off Canada midfielder Desiree Scott, then Horan and then it rolled into the path Lavelle, who pounced on it to rip a low shot through goal mouth traffic from 12 yards out and just inside the right post for the game-winning goal. USA 1, CAN 0
The USA improves to 51-3-7 all-time vs. Canada.
The USWNT’s last 15 meetings vs. Canada have featured five one-goal wins and three ties for the U.S.
The USA is riding a 35-game unbeaten streak. The U.S. also is unbeaten in its last 51 home matches: 46 wins and five draws. The run has seen the USA outscore its opponents 180-27, including a margin of 50-3 during its last 13 matches on home soil.
U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 14-0-0 in his first 14 games, extending a record for best start for a head coach in USWNT history. Pia Sundhage holds the second-best start for any head coach in USWNT history with 10 straight victories.
Midfielder Rose Lavelle’s goal was her second in her last four matches with the WNT.
Defender and team captain Becky Sauerbrunn played 90 minutes, upping her career total to 14,030 and making her 12th all-time in U.S. history, passing Brandi Chastain (13,983 minutes).
Midfielder Lindsey Horan has had a hand in six of the USWNT’s 11 goals in 2021. She provided second assists on two goals and drew a penalty vs. Colombia on Jan. 18, scored and notched a second assist vs. Colombia on Jan. 22 and picked up an assist tonight.
Julie Ertz, Megan Rapinoe and Lynn Williams are the only three players to start all three matches for the USA so far in 2021.
So far this year, eight players have scored the USA’s 11 goals: Samantha Mewis (3), Megan Rapinoe (2), Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Catarina Macario, Kristie Mewis, Margaret Purce and Lynn Williams. Six different players have tallied an assist in 2021: Carli Lloyd (3), Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, Ali Krieger, Samantha Mewis, Megan Rapinoe and Emily Sonnett.
Forwards Christen Press and Alex Morgan and defender Casey Krueger, who all came on in the second half, all saw their first action of 2021.
- 2021 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa, Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: Feb. 18, 2021
Competition: 2021 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa
Venue: Exploria Stadium; Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 3,104 (Limited Attendance)
Kickoff: 7:05 p.m. ET
Weather: 82 degrees, mostly clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
CAN 0 0 0
USA – Rose Lavelle (Lindsey Horan) 79th minute
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 20-Margaret Purce (14-Emily Sonnet, 81), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Capt.), 19-Crystal Dunn (2-Casey Krueger, 81); 8-Julie Ertz, 9-Lindsey Horan (22-Kristie Mewis, 81), 6-Lynn Williams, 11-Catarina Macario (16-Rose Lavelle, 64), 15-Megan Rapinoe (23-Christen Press, 64), 10-Carli Lloyd (13-Alex Morgan, 64)
Subs not used: 3-Jaelin Howell, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 12-Tierna Davidson, 17-Sophia Smith, 18-Jane Campbell, 21-Casey Murphy
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
CAN: 18-Kailen Sheridan (1-Stephanie Labbé, 11); 2-Allysha Chapman, 4-Shelina Zadorsky, 23-Vanessa Gilles, 20-Jayde Riviere (14-Gabrielle Carle, 64), 11-Desiree Scott (Capt.), 5- Quinn (13-Sophie Schmidt, 55), 16-Janine Beckie (19-Adriana Leon, 71), 17-Jessie Fleming, 6-Deanne Rose (9-Evelyne Viens, 59), 15-Nichelle Prince
Subs not used: 12-Rylee Foster, 3- Jade Rose, 7-Julia Grosso, 8-Samantha Chang, 10-Sarah Stratagakis, 21-Jordyn Listro, 22-Lindsay Agnew
Head Coach: Bev Priestman
Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 29 / 8
Shots on Goal: 10 / 3
Saves: 3 / 9
Corner Kicks: 13 / 5
Fouls: 10 / 12
Offside: 2 / 1
Referee: Francia Gonzalez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Karen Diaz (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Sandra Ramirez (MEX)
4th Official: Katia Garcia (MEX)
U.S. Soccer Insiders Woman of the Match: Rose Lavelle