UVA Soccer represented well at FIFA Women’s World Cup when U.S. begins play Tuesday

UVA soccerThe UVA soccer team will be well-represented when the United States opens play at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Tuesday with three former players and current head coach Steve Swanson as part of the squad.

Morgan Brian, Becky Sauerbrunn and Emily Sonnett are all on the 23-player roster with the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT). Swanson is serving as an assistant coach for the second-straight Women’s World Cup.

The USWNT is competing in Group F and will play its first match at 3 p.m. ET against Thailand. The matches for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup are broadcast on Fox and FS1. Streaming is also available online through various outlets and linked at FIFA.com.

Group play will continue with Chile on Sunday (June 16) and will conclude with Sweden on Thursday (June 20).

Sauerbrunn is making her third appearance in a World Cup after competing with the squad in 2011 and 2015. Brian is making her second appearance on a World Cup roster, while Sonnett has been selected to the squad for the first time. Brian and Sauerbrunn helped the USWNT claim the 2015 World Championship in Canada, while the 2011 squad with Sauerbrunn took a runner-up finish. Virginia head coach Steve Swanson is an assistant coach for the USWNT for his second consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup.

With her start against France on Jan. 19, Sauerbrunn became the 20th player, and just the third player who has played exclusively defender, to play 150 times for the WNT. She currently has 158 caps and since 2014 has started 104 of her 109 caps. She played the full time in both April matches and against South Africa on May 12 and New Zealand in her hometown on May 16, before sitting out the second half against Mexico on May 26. Sauerbrunn has played 4,900 minutes in a USA jersey since January 1, 2016. Alex Morgan (4,289) is the only other player with at least 4,000 minutes. She has started 90 percent of her career caps, highest among all the current U.S. players with 100 or more caps.

Brian returned to fitness just in time make her second Women’s World Cup Team. She played in 12 games in 2018, starting seven, but has played in just one match this year, going 90 minutes in the first game of the year against France. She has 82 career caps and six goals at 26-years-old.

Sonnett has earned 33 caps and has put in consistently solid shifts this year at right back. She played solid matches against France on Jan. 19, against Spain on Jan. 22 when she played the first half and against Japan on Feb. 27 when she played the second half. She came off the bench in the second half of the SBC match vs. Brazil and helped secure the shutout. Against Australia on April 4, the started and played 79 minutes, picking up assists on two of the five goals – to Tobin Heath and Mallory Pugh – which were the second and third of her career. She played the final 20 minutes off the bench against Mexico on May 26 in her most recent cap. The Portland Thorns standout played in three games at World Cup qualifying and has shown her versatility to play outside back with the WNT and center back in the NWSL. Against the Aussies, Sonnett became just the second WNT defender over the last three years with multiple assists in a match.

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