USWNT wins first-ever edition of W Gold Cup in front of San Diego crowd


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The USWNT played the final of the first-ever edition of the CONCACAF W Gold Cup against Brazil this Sunday, March 10, at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego.

The event had a massive turnout, with 31,528 spectators at the Mission Valley fortress, which generated a tremendous atmosphere.

There was a very peculiar change in the USWNT starting lineup for this match, as Jaedyn Shaw was sidelined after scoring four goals in the tournament. USWNT interim head coach Twila Kilgore commented on this decision after the match, “When we look out towards the future, I just don’t believe it’s about starting a particular starting 11. Obviously we’re gonna have a group that works towards something and plays more for minutes”, Kilgore said. “It’s about picking the right 11 for the day”, Kilgore emphasized.

San Diego Wave’s Alex Morgan and Naomi Girma started for the U.S., while Abby Dahlkemper stayed on the bench. The match was a very hard-fought one at the “Snap,” and it’s safe to say the USWNT were a bit lucky to come away with a 1-0 lead after the first half. Brazil looked like the better team after the initial 45 minutes, but the finishing was not the best for the South American team.

Brazil’s backline was rigid, but the USWNT found a way to break through in stoppage time when Trinity Rodman sent a pass to Emily Fox on the right flank, who sent in a cross to find Lindsey Horan inside of the penalty area. Horan was able to head the ball in the back of the net and make it a 1-0 game by the end of the first half.

Brazil knocked the intensity down at the start of the second half, and Twila Kilgore replaced Rose Lavelle, who had a quiet game with Lynn Williams. Alex Morgan received a yellow card in the 55th minute and was close to being sent off after that, as she was replaced with Sophia Smith in the 59th minute.

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Jaedyn Shaw finally came on in the 71st minute to replace Sam Coffey and was received with a massive roar from the San Diego crowd. Midge Purce also came on in the same minute for Trinity Rodman, as the offense was very explosive with fresh legs on the field for the USWNT. Brazil also made some offensive changes, bringing on Manchester United’s Geyse and Debinha, but it failed to ever hit the mark with no shots on target by the end of the match. There were some very close calls for Brazil, but the USWNT played a rigid defensive game and had a slice of luck for the Brazilian team not to hit the mark.

It was a very hard-fought and well-earned title by the USWNT that Twila Kilgore described as “grit” after the match. Snapdragon Stadium erupted in euphoria at the final whistle with the loudest the stadium had been in all of this tournament by far. Jaedyn Shaw was named the best player of the tournament, while Alyssa Naeher was given the award for the best goalkeeper of this W Gold Cup.

The win was a historic one for the USWNT, and Alex Morgan talked about what it meant to win it in front of the San Diego crowd. “It was so amazing to have a sold-out crowd. To see 32 thousand people here supporting us, couple of Brazilian fans, don’t forget them, but yeah it was awesome. Just setting the tone for the season”, Morgan said.

It was a rough start for the USWNT in this tournament, losing to Mexico in the final game of the group stage, but the team ultimately was able to come back from that. This was also a massive victory, considering that the team wants to move forward from the World Cup and start a new era of U.S. women’s soccer.

Women’s soccer will return at Snapdragon Stadium this month on March 23 when the San Diego Wave take on the Kansas City Current for their first home match of the 2024 NWSL regular season.

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