ST. LOUIS, Mo. (April 11, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s National Team beat the Republic of Ireland 1-0 in front of an electric crowd of 22,294 fans at CITYPARK in the second international friendly over four days between the two World Cup-bound teams. Defender Alana Cook celebrated her 26th birthday in memorable fashion as she scored her first international goal and became just the third player in USWNT history to score on her birthday, joining Mia Hamm and Alex Morgan.
The USA got off to a hot start as defender and team captain Becky Sauerbrunn, who was recognized in her hometown before the game for her 200th cap milestone, came close to opening the scoring off a corner kick in the third minute as she crashed into the box and connected with a powerful header that rattled off the crossbar. The chance almost ended her record of 215 games without scoring for the USA.
Ireland had a couple of chances in the first half, the first of which came in the eighth minute with a shot from distance from midfielder Katie McCabe that USA goalkeeper Casey Murphy saved comfortably, and another in the 24th minute after a deflection following a low, driven pass into the box sent the ball straight up in the air, forcing Murphy to knock it out for a corner as it fell near the mouth of goal.
The USA scored what would turn out to be the game-winner in the 43rd minute as Cook sent a long ball into the box from at least 40 yards out that sailed over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. With the goal, Cook became the 117th player to score for the USWNT and the second defender to score for the USA this year.
With the lead in hand, the U.S. did well to lock down its defense in the second half. Deploying all six of its substitutions, which included five in the second half in addition to defender Tierna Davidson, who entered the match in the 29th minute for Sauerbrunn in a calculated change to manage minutes, the team did well to continue creating chances while ultimately denying the visitors of any dangerous chances on target.
U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski made six changes to tonight’s starting lineup from the April 8 meeting between the teams and by the end of this match, the entire 11 on the field was different than the starters from the 2-0 win over Ireland four days ago.
Murphy recorded her 10th career shutout, making her the ninth goalkeeper in USWNT history to reach double-digit shutouts. She joins Hope Solo (102 shutouts), Briana Scurry (72), Alyssa Naeher (53), Nicole Barnhart (24), Siri Mullinix (21), Mary Harvey (13), Saskia Webber (13) and Amy Allmann Griffin (10).
The USWNT will return to action on Sunday, July 9 as the team takes on Wales in its 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Send-Off Match, presented by Visa®. The match will kick off at 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on TNT in English and Universo, Peacock and Telemundo in Spanish. The pre-game show on TNT will begin at 12:30 p.m. PT / 3:30 p.m. ET and the match will be followed by a special on-field send-off ceremony, giving the fans a chance to cheer the team on as it embarks on its journey to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA -- Alana Cook, 43rd minute: Cook received the ball just past midfield toward the left side following a short corner kick, and with no pressure on her, sent shot from at least 40 yards out that sailed over the goalkeeper, who got a hand on it, but it was not enough to stop the ball from floating into the back of the net. USA 1, IRL 0
- Defender Casey Krueger earned her first cap since October 21, 2021, and her first since giving birth to her son in July of 2022, becoming the 16th woman to play for the USWNT after becoming a mom.
- Defender Tierna Davidson came into the match in the 29th minute for Sauerbrunn, recording her 49th cap and first since February 23, 2022, completing her successful return to the field for the USA after tearing her ACL in preseason with the Chicago Red Stars in March of 2022.
- Veteran defender and two-time World Cup winner Kelley O’Hara also returned from injury after not playing for the USA since last summer, starting and playing 45 minutes.
- Midfielder Julie Ertz played the entire second half in her second game back with the USWNT since the Tokyo Olympics.
- Eighteen-year-old Alyssa Thompson made her first start for the USWNT in her third cap and played the entire 90 minutes.
- At only 18 years and 155 days old, Thompson is the youngest player to start for the USWNT since Mallory Swanson (formerly Pugh) started against Sweden at the 2016 Olympics at 18 years and 105 days of age. Thompson was the first teenager to start a match for the USA since a 19-year-old Tierna Davidson started against Chile in September of 2018.
- The over 19-year age gap between the 18-year-old Thompson and the nearly 38-year old Becky Sauerbrunn was the largest difference in age between starters in any match in USWNT history. Thompson was three years old when Sauerbrunn made her USWNT debut on January 16, 2008.
- The previous largest age gap between starters was 18 years, which occurred in Carli Lloyd's final match in October of 2021 when 39-year-old Lloyd and 21-year-old Sophia Smith both started against Korea Republic.
- This was the USA’s sixth game all-time in St. Louis and 10th in the state of Missouri. The USA is unbeaten in its 10 games in the Show-Me State, boasting a record of seven wins, three draws and zero losses.
- Nine different players have scored for the USA so far in 2023, led by seven goals from Swanson, two goals from Lavelle and Morgan, and one goal each from Alana Cook, Lynn Williams, Ashley Hatch, Taylor Kornieck, Emily Fox and Lindsey Horan.
- The USA has recorded six shutouts in seven games so far in 2023, including four consecutive clean sheets to open the year. The lone goal the USA has allowed came against Brazil in the 90th minute of the SheBelieves Cup finale. Alyssa Naeher has three shutouts on the year while Casey Murphy also has three.
- Head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 49W-5L-6D in 60 games with the USWNT, 40 of which have been at home and 25 coming against teams ranked in the top-13 in the world.
-U.S. WOMEN’s National team match report-
Match: United States Women’s National Team vs. Republic of Ireland
Date: April 11, 2023
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: CITYPARK; St. Louis, Mo.
Kickoff: 7:37 p.m. ET (6:37 p.m. local)
Weather: 77 degrees; sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
IRL 0 0 0
USA – Alana Cook 43rd minute
USA: 18-Casey Murphy; 3-Sofia Huerta, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Capt.) (12-Tierna Davidson, 29), 15-Alana Cook, 5-Kelley O’Hara (20-Casey Krueger, 46); 17-Andi Sullivan (8-Julie Ertz, 46), 10-Lindsey Horan (22-Kristie Mewis, 60), 2-Ashley Sanchez; 11-Sophia Smith (25-Trinity Rodman, 46), 13-Alex Morgan (7-Ashley Hatch, 46), 28-Alyssa Thompson
Substitutes not used: 1-Alyssa Naeher, 6-Lynn Williams, 14-Emily Sonnett, 19-Crystal Dunn, 23-Emily Fox, 27-Naomi Girma
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
IRL: 1-Courtney Brosnan; 14-Heather Payne (26-Tara O'Hanlon, 84), 6-Megan Connolly, 4-Louise Quinn, 7-Diane Caldwell (19-Hayley Nolan, 58), 11-Katie McCabe (Capt.); 15-Lucy Quinn (12-Roma McLaughlin, 69), 10-Denise O’Sullivan, 8-Ruesha Littlejohn (21-Ciara Grant, 58), 24-Marissa Sheva (13-Áine O’Gorman, 69); 22-Kyra Carusa (9-Amber Barrett, 85)
Substitutes not used: 16-Grace Moloney, 23-Megan Walsh, 27-Sophie Whitehouse, 2-Harriet Scott, 3-Jessie Stapleton, 5-Claire O'Riordan, 17-Jamie Finn, 18-Alannah McEvoy, 20-Abbie Larkin
Head coach: Vera Pauw
Stats Summary: USA / IRL
Shots: 10 / 9
Shots on Goal: 2 / 2
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 12 / 7
Offside: 1 / 1
IRL – Ruesha Littlejohn (Caution) 57th minute
IRL – Megan Connolly (Caution) 90+7
Referee: Crystal Sobers (TRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Jassett Kerr-Wilson (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Princess Brown (JAM)
4th Official: Laura Rodriguez (USA)
Bud Light Woman of the Match: Alana Cook