ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 10, 2013) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated fourth-ranked Brazil 4-1 in front of 20,274 spectators at the Florida Citrus Bowl to wrap up the 2013 campaign with an unbeaten 13-0-3 record.
It was the largest crowd to watch the USA play this year and largest home crowd since 2004 when 20,435 turned out at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City to watch the USA defeat Mexico 1-0 in the match after the Olympic gold medal run in Athens, Greece.
Forward Sydney Leroux scored two first-half goals, forward Abby Wambach added to her international goal scoring record with her 163rd tally and midfielder Erika Tymrak scored her first goal in only her second WNT appearance just one minute after entering the game. Goalkeeper Hope Solo had a strong match, making three goal-saving stops and earned Budweiser Woman of the Match honors.
With the victory, the U.S. WNT, for just the second time in the program’s history, has posted an unbeaten record during a year that featured double-digit fixtures. The only previous occurrence was in 2006 when the USA went 18-0-4.
With 2013 now in the books, head coach Tom Sermanni’s focus next year will be toward the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament at the end of the year as the Americans focus on earning a spot for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
The match was physical and high-paced from the start. In only the fifth minute, Brazil’s Andreia Rosa was issued a yellow card when she shoved Wambach to the ground as the two jostled while the U.S. attackers were setting up for a corner kick. That competitive tone was set for a first half that saw the teams combine for four goals.
The USA deservedly opened the scoring in the 15th minute off a cross from Stephanie Cox, who was playing in her first match since April of 2012 after coming back from the birth of her first child. The USA’s left back drove a cross to far post where Heather O’Reilly got on the end of it and touched it back to the other post where Leroux acrobatically finished with a left-footed volley. The assist was the 47th for O’Reilly to tie her for seventh on the all-time list with Carin Gabarra.
Approximately one minute later, Wambach dribbled into the right side of the box and drew a penalty kick after she was tripped up from behind by Brazil’s Andressa. Wambach easily finished herself into the right corner for the 2-0 advantage.
Brazil got briefly back into the match in the 25th minute as veteran Rosana’s scored her 19th international goal. Rilany crossed from the right corner to Rosana who rose high to strike a skipping header past Solo low into the left corner.
Leroux pushed the lead back to two goals in the 36th minute with a slaloming dribbling run that ended with a classy finish. Carli Lloyd fought off Gabi Zanotti and dished to Wambach in the center of the field where she redirected the ball to a darting Leroux on the left side. Leroux got past Rilany, powered into the penalty area and took a touch inside to elude the onrushing Thais. With the Brazilian ‘keeper on the ground, Leroux slotted the ball home for her second goal of the half and the 24th of her international career.
With the lead at hand, Solo come up with two big-time saves against second-half sub Raquel. In the 55th minute, Cristiane screened the USA defense to set up some extra space for Raquel, who took two dribbles to her right and lined up a shot that Solo parried away with a fully extended left arm. In the 62nd minute, Solo stepped off her line to stuff another Raquel shot after she had gotten behind the U.S. defense. Solo added a diving stop on Nene in the closing minutes.
With the defense holding its ground, the USA added to its lead in the 76th minute when Tymrak – who attended high school in Bradenton, Fla., and college at the University of Florida – scored her first international goal in just her second cap. Lindsey Horan and Alex Morgan exchanged a couple of passes before Horan dished to Tymrak. She evaded a defender to her right and fired a low drive from the edge of the box that snuck into the lower left corner of the goal.
In second-half stoppage time, Lloyd picked up a second yellow card and was sent off, marking the first red card for the U.S. team since the quarterfinal of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup – also against Brazil – when Rachel Buehler was controversially ejected after a run-in with Marta in the penalty area.
• The U.S. is now 25-2-3 all-time against Brazil.
• The USA extended its home unbeaten streak to 77 games.
• The U.S. has also extended its overall unbeaten streak to 39 games. The U.S. WNT’s last loss came against Japan (1-0) on March 5, 2012, at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. Over those 39 games, the U.S. has scored 130 goals while allowing 29 in 33 wins and six ties.
• Midfielder Heather O’Reilly moved into sole possession of ninth place in career caps with her 193rd appearance, passing Brandi Chastain (192).
• O’Reilly led the U.S. WNT with 13 starts and 1,143 minutes played in 2013.
• Abby Wambach led the U.S. with 11 goals this year and Sydney Leroux was second on the team with 10.
• U.S. WNT head coach Tom Sermanni subbed out Leroux and Wambach for Alex Morgan and 19-year-old Lindsay Horan, respectively, in the 68th minute. Shortly into the match for her second cap, Horan took a knock to her mouth when she went up for a header against two Brazilian players. She was able to continue after a brief consultation with the USA’s medical staff.
• Defender Stephanie Cox started and made her first appearance since a 3-0 win against Brazil on April 3, 2012, in Chiba, Japan. Cox earned her 83rd-career cap.
• Midfielder Amber Brooks earned her first start and first WNT cap. She becomes the 10th player to earn her first cap in 2013 under Sermanni, joining Morgan Brian, Crystal Dunn, Ashlyn Harris, Lindsey Horan, Julie Johnston, Kristie Mewis, Christen Press, Leigh Ann Robinson and Erika Tymrak.
• Robinson made her first WNT start, playing at right back for her second cap this year.
• Team captain and defender Christie Rampone made her 287th-career appearance. Rampone is the most-capped active player in the world and second most-capped player in U.S. history behind Kristine Lilly (352).
-U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Brazil Date: Nov. 10, 2013 Competition: International Friendly Venue: Florida Citrus Bowl; Orlando, Fla. Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET Attendance: 20,274? Weather: 80 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 1 4
BRA 1 0 1
USA – Sydney Leroux (Heather O’Reilly) 15th minute
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty) 17
BRA – Rosana (Rilany)   25
USA – Sydney Leroux 36
USA – Erika Tymrak (Lindsey Horan) 76
Lineups: USA: 1-Hope Solo; 26-Leigh Ann Robinson, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.) (16-Rachel Buehler, 75), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Stephanie Cox (23-Erika Tymrak, 75); 9-Heather O’Reilly, 22-Amber Brooks (7-Yael Averbuch, 81), 10-Carli Lloyd, 8-Kristie Mewis; 2-Sydney Leroux (13-Alex Morgan, 68), 20-Abby Wambach (25-Lindsey Horan, 68) Substitutions Not Used: 12-Lauren Holiday, 18-Nicole Barnhart Head coach: Tom Sermanni
BRA: 12-Thais; 2-Rilany, 4-Andreia Rosa, 5-Thaisa, 3-Calandrini; 8-Laylla (15-Bia, 46), 10-Rosana (capt.) (18-Thaisinha, 68), 9-Gabi Zanotti (19-Raquel, 46), 6-Andressa, 7-Debinha, 11-Cristiane (17-Nene, 76) Substitutions Not Used: 1-Luciana, 13-Tayla, 14-Maria, 16-Tamires, 20-Rafinha Head coach: Marcio de Oliveira
USA / BRA Shots: 15 / 10 Shots on Goal: 10 / 4 Saves: 3 / 6 Corner Kicks: 8 / 2 Fouls: 12 / 6 Offside: 4 / 2
BRA – Andreia (caution) 5th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (caution) 79
USA – Carli Lloyd (caution) 90+2
USA – Carli Lloyd (sent off) 90+2
Officials: Referee: Margaret Domka (USA) Assistant Referee 1: Veronica Perez (USA) Assistant Referee 2: Marlene Duffy (USA) Fourth Official: Christina Unkel (USA)
Woman of the Match: Hope Solo