USA and Brazil Set to Clash on Second Match Day of the 2021 SheBelieves Cup, Presented by VisaMATCH PREVIEW
Coming off a 1-0 victory against Canada on Jan. 18 to open the 2021 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa, theU.S. Women’s National Team will face Brazil on Sunday, Feb. 21 in a match that carries major implications for the tournament title. Brazil defeated Argentina, 4-1, in the first game of the tournament meaning the victor in the USA-Brazil game will have the upper hand towards raising the SheBelieves Cup trophy.
The match will kick off at 3 p.m. ET on FS1 and TUDN, with Canada vs. Argentina to follow at 6 p.m. ET on FS2, the TUDN App and TUDN.tv. For the first time in tournament history, all six matches of the SheBelieves Cup will be carried live in the United States in both English and Spanish, and the tournament will be broadcast in 27 countries around the world. Fans will also be able to follow the action via Twitter (@USWNT), Instagram (@USWNT), Facebook and the official U.S. Soccer App.
Both the USA and Brazil enter the match with three points, but Brazil currently has the advantage in goal differential, thanks it’s 4-1 win over Argentina. The tournament winner will be determined by total points (three for a win, one for a draw), with the first tiebreaker being overall goal difference, followed by goals scored, then head-to-head result. If teams are still tied, the next tiebreaker will be the Fair Play ranking based on yellow and red cards. The USA is ranked No. 1 in the world while Brazil is currently tied with Canada for eighth.
The USA’s three points came courtesy of a hard-fought 1-0 win over North American foe Canada on Thursday evening. Midfielder Rose Lavelle scored the game’s only goal in the 79th minute, pouncing on a poor clearance in the penalty box and firing home for the game’s lone goal. The USA created quality chances and knocked on the door for much of the night, earning 13 corners to Canada’s five and several set piece opportunities in dangerous territory. Lavelle’s goal was the 14th of her international career and makes her the eighth different player to score for the USA in 2021 with Samantha Mewis (3), Megan Rapinoe (2), Lavelle, Lindsey Horan, Catarina Macario, Kristie Mewis, Margaret Purce and Lynn Williams all finding the back of the net. Horan was credited with the assist on the play, giving her 29 career assists to go along with 20 goals in 89 international appearances.
Defensively, the United States registered its fourth consecutive team shutout and held Canada to just eight shots on the evening. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher recorded her 39th career shutout and her ninth consecutive clean sheet, the longest shutout streak by any individual goalkeeper in U.S. Women’s National Team history. 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 overall on the night.
With the victory over Canada, the USA extended its unbeaten streak to 35 games – 32 wins and three ties – and has now scored in 64 consecutive matches, the longest such streak in team history. The USA now unbeaten in its last 51 games on home soil, with 46 wins and five draws during the streak and outscoring the opposition 47-1 during its last 12 home matches
The staging of the SheBelieves Cup training camp and the 2021 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa is being done under the comprehensive U.S. Soccer Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines and in accordance with the Concacaf Return to Play Protocols and capacity for each match will be limited to no more than 4,000 ticketed fans.
U.S. Women’s National Team 2021 SheBelieves Cup Roster by Position (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 4), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 66)
DEFENDERS (8): Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG; 64/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 27/1), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 108/24), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars; 33/0), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 133/2), Margaret Purce (Sky Blue FC; 5/1), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 180/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 49/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 106/20), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 89/20), Jaelin Howell (Florida State; 1/0), Rose Lavelle (Manchester City, ENG; 49/14), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA; 3/1), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 19/3)
FORWARDS (6): Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 297/123), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 171/107), Christen Press (Manchester United, ENG; 140/58), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 171/54), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 32/10)
IN FOCUS: BRAZIL
FIFA World Ranking: 8
CONMEBOL Ranking: 1
Olympic Appearances (6):1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016
Best Olympic finish: Runners-Up (2004, 2008)
Record vs. USA: 3-29-5
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage
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)
The USA and Brazil have a long history dating 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.
One of the most well-known matches between the countries was the quarterfinal of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup as Wambach famously tied the match at 2-2 at the very end of overtime off a cross from Megan Rapinoe and the USA triumphed in penalty kicks to move on to the semifinal. Marta scored both goals for Brazil in that match.
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. Wambach scored the game-winner in ‘04 and Lloyd bagged the game-winner in ‘08.
The U.S. team has for the most part dominated the series, going 29-3-5 over the years, but Brazil picked up a historic win at the 2007 Women’s World Cup, a 4-0 semifinal victory that remains the worst loss in U.S. history.
Brazil has won or tied in three of the last seven of the 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, but the USA has won four in a row. At the Tournament of Brasilia, 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 seven total during her era.
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.
The teams finished first and second in the group phase of the four-team tournament and met each other in the championship match. The USA played without forwards Alex Morgan (injury), Sydney Leroux (suspended due to a red card) and Christen Press (family commitment) and managed just four shots, with one on goal. Brazil also had just four shots with one on goal, but the 0-0 draw gave Brazil the tournament title.
Brazil is one of the few nations that have qualified for every Women's World Cup and every Olympics.
In the World Cup, 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. Brazil 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.In 2019, Brazil took host France to overtime in the Round of 16 before falling 2-1 in one of the most dramatic games of the tournament, prompting a now-famous post-game interview/speech from Marta.
In the Olympics, Brazil finished fourth in 1996 and 2000, were silver medalists in 2004 and 2008, lost in the quarterfinals in 2012 and finished fourth again, this time as host, in 2016.
Brazil played five games in the COVID-impact 2020, participating in the Tournoi de France last March. Brazil struggled for goals, but did pull off some quality results, tying the Netherlands, 0-0, falling to France, 1-0 and tying Canada, 2-2 on goals from Marta and Ludmilla.