FIVE THINGS TO KNOW: BRAZILPresented by Visa
The 2021 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa, resumes on Sunday as the U.S. Women’s National Team takes on Brazil at 3 p.m. ET at Exploria Stadium in Orlando (FS1 and TUDN). With both nations winning their tournament opener on Thursday, Sunday’s game between the familiar foes carries major implications for the SheBelieves Cup title.
Here are Five Things to Know about Brazil.
BRAZIL BACK IN THE SHEBELIEVES CUP
Making its second appearance in the SheBelieves Cup and first since 2019, Brazil’s roster for the 2021 edition of the tournament features players from leagues around the world, including current NWSL stars Marta (Orlando Pride) and Debinha (North Carolina Courage). Camila and Andressinha both previously played in the NWSL while Cristiane played in the United States for the Chicago Red Stars during the WPS era. Ten of the 23 players on Brazil’s roster play their club soccer domestically, while five play in Spain, two each in China, Italy and the USA, and one in Portugal and England, where Ivana is a reserve with Manchester United.
Brazil Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Bárbara (Avaí Kindermann FC), 12-Aline (UD Granadilla Tenerife, ESP), 22-Leticia (Benfica, POR)
DEFENDERS (8): 2-Kathellen (Inter Milan, ITA), 3-Bruna (Internacional), 4-Rafaelle (Changchun Dazhong, CHN), 6-Tamires (Corinthians), 18-Camila (Palmeiras), 20-Gio (FC Barcelona, ESP), 21-Tainara (Palmeiras), 23-Jucinara (Levante UD, ESP)
MIDFIELDERS (7):5-Geyse (Real Madrid, ESP), 7-Andressa (AS Roma, ITA), 8-Ivana (Manchester United, ENG), 13-Júlia (Avaí Kindermann FC), 14-Adriana (Corinthians), 15-Chú (Palmeiras), 17-Andressinha (Corinthians)
FORWARDS (5):9-Debinha (NC Courage, USA), 10-Marta (Orlando Pride, USA), 11-Cristiane (Santos FC), 16-Beatriz (Wuhan Xinjiyuan, CHN), 19-Ludmila (Atlético de Madrid, ESP)
OFF TO A STRONG START IN ORLANDO
Brazil defeated regional rival Argentina, 4-1 to open the 2021 SheBelieves Cup on Jan. 18 in a game that featured a first half penalty kick from Marta who was playing in her club’s home stadium. Midfielder Adriana drew a foul inside the penalty box in the 28th minute and Marta coolly converted the ensuing spot kick in the 30th minute to give Brazil the 1-0 lead. It was her 108th career international goal.
Brazil doubled its lead in the 47th minute as Debinha tallied her 30th international goal. Just seven minutes later Debinha played provider, sending a nifty pass to Adriana which allowed her to get behind the Argentina defense for the midfielder’s second goal in 25 games for Brazil.
Argentina pulled a goal back in the 60th minute as Mariana Larroquette, who plays in the NWSL with Kansas City, scored a fantastic header, but Brazil reclaimed its three-goal lead in the 82nd minute when second-half substitutes combined for a score as Cristiane assisted Geyse’s 17th international goal.
The win came in Brazil’s first match of 2021. Brazil did return to the field in late November and early December of 2020 for two matches vs. Ecuador, 6-0 and 8-0 wins in Sao Paulo.
SUNDHAGE BACK ON THE SIDELINE
Longtime fans of the U.S. Women’s National Team will be very familiar with the face on the opposing sideline on Sunday, with former USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage now serving has head coach of Brazil. This will be the first time Brazil faces the USA with Sundhage at the helm. Sundhage took over the job in June of 2019 and has coached Brazil in 12 matches so far, winning eight, tying three and losing just one, that coming to France by a 1-0 score.
Sundhage was extremely popular with players and fans alike when she coached the USA from 2008-2012, winning two Olympic gold medals and making it to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. Her overall record with the USA was 91-6-10 and she is one of only four head coaches to coach more than 100 games for the USWNT. While Sundhage’s final match with the USA came in September of 2012, five of the 23 players on the USA’s current SheBelieves Cup roster played for Sundhage, as did current USWNT General Manager Kate Markgraf – Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Kelley O’Hara, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn. In fact, Sundhage’s first match with the USA was also the first cap for Sauerbrunn on Jan. 16, 2008. Morgan and O’Hara also earned their first caps under Sundhage. Christen Press was an alternate on the 2012 Olympic Team under Sundhage but did not receive a cap until the next year under Tom Sermanni.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Sunday’s game will be the 38th meeting all-time between the USA and Brazil, in a series that dates back to 1986 when the teams met in just the eighth match ever played by the U.S. Women, a 2-1 U.S victory in Italy. The U.S. leads the overall series 29-3-5 and is 6-1-2 in the nine meetings between the teams since the start of 2012. The most recent matchup between the nations came at the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, a 1-0 victory which featured a world-class game-winning strike from Tobin Heath.
Before that, the teams squared off at the 2018 Tournament of Nations where the USA needed a two-goal win to take the tournament title but fell behind 1-0 on a Tierna Davidson own goal. The USA roared back to scored four unanswered goals in front of a packed house in Bridgeview, Ill., with Rose Lavelle getting the equalizer and Julie Ertz putting the USA ahead off a brilliant assist from Tobin Heath. Heath then got the goal that would eventually win the tournament and Alex Morgan bagged a clincher.
The USA and Brazil are two of just a few nations that have qualified for every Women’s World Cup -- both have qualified for the upcoming games in Tokyo – the two countries 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 ‘04 and Lloyd bagged the game-winner in ‘08.
VISA SHEBELIEVES CUP MVP SPOTLIGHT: MARTA
One of the all-time greatest players in the world, Marta is a six-time FIFA Women’s Player of the Year and won the award five years in a row from 2006-10. She is Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 108 goals in 151 caps and in 2019 became the first player, male or female, to score in five FIFA World Cup tournaments. She has also competed in four Olympics and has two silver medals, finishing runner-up to the USA in both 2004 and 2008.
Marta has 23 career goals in the NWSL, where she is entering her fifth year with the Orlando Pride.
Fans will have the opportunity to vote for the 2021 Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP award recipient, using an online ballot to select among a list of finalists chosen by the committee. The fan-vote will be incorporated into the overall determination of the Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP, which is being awarded for the second consecutive year.