Horan headed USNW team to victory in the Concacaf's W Gold Cup

Inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup Champions

United States v Brazil: Final - 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup
United States v Brazil: Final - 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup / Jenny Chuang/ISI Photos/USSF/GettyImages
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The United States were crowned champions of the inaugural 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup after narrowly defeating Brazil 1-0 in the Final on Sunday night at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, California. The lone strike came in the 45th after Lindsey Horan towering header found the back of the net from a lofty cross from Emily Fox from the right side.  

The United States National Womens team added their 15th Concacaf trophy to their cabinet to couple with their four FIFA Women’s World Cup trophies. The USNW team has become the first team to lift the W Gold Cup trophy.  

Brazil was the first to settle down in the contest hence the U.S. defense came under tremendous pressure due to a flurry of attack. The first real chance came in the 6th minute from a long-range pile driver from the Levante standout Antonia. The home team and favorite of the contest USNW could not get a foot hold of the game and nearly went behind in the 9th minute when Duda Ferreiras well taken free kick brought out a superlative save from U.S. GK Alyssa Naeher. In the 22nd minute the Brazilian fans had their hands on their head as Gabi Portilho shot went agonizingly over the crossbar. 

The Lindsay Horan Show

The U.S. took control of the game late in the first half and had their first sniff at goal when Korbin Albert sent Alex Morgan on her way via a defense splitting through ball, but the Brazilian custodian Luciana was off her line in a flash to smother up the ball before Morgan could strike on goal. Moments later Rose Lavelle serves up a teasing corner for captain Lindsay Horan whose tame header was collected easily by Luciana. A greater portion of the 31, 000 plus supporters who were in attendance were sent in frenzy as Lindsey Horan broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time by taking an Emily Fox cross and sending a perfectly placed header into net for a 1-0 lead. Horan has now been directly involved in a goal in 4 of her 5 appearances for the USA in competitive finals. She scored in the final of 2016 Olympic qualifying vs. Canada, had an assist in the final of 2018 World Cup Qualifying vs CAN, scored in the final of 2020 Olympic Qualifying vs. Canada and now scored in the Concacaf W Gold Cup Final. 

 

Brazil started the second half just as they did the first but still were not able to breach the U.S. stout backline. Deep in the second half Lynn Williams opened her body up to place her shot to the bottom left corner of the goal but it was correctly chalked off for half side after she thought she had doubled the lead. The intensity grew as the second half wore on. There was not much in the way of scoring chances apart from some quarter chances here and there, as each team’s defensive unit did well to maintain their lines and clear away any danger. 

As the clock ticked closer to full time, Brazil started committing more numbers forward in attack in search of an equalizer and was almost lucky in the 85’ when Geyse angled her thunderbolt shot wide of the upright. Brazil dug deep fought hard but were still unable to find victory on the U.S. soil. The USNW team and Brazil have met a total of 39 times with U.S. winning 32 times and losing only 3 times to their South American counterpart. They have now lost their last five games to U.S. with only a 2-2 draw among the last six games played between the two.  

 In an evenly contested game, the U.S. defense was resolute and withstood the pressure until the final whistle, including a goal line clearance from defender Casey Krueger to secure a clean sheet victory and cementing their legacy as the first ever W Gold Cup champions.  Both finalists will now turn their attention to the SheBelieves Cup on April 6th, 2024, at The Benz Stadium and the Summer Olympics in late July in Paris.

Top Awardees of The Tournament

Chicago Red Stars Alyssa Naeher of the USNW team was voted as the best goalkeeper, recording three clean sheets, including the Final on Sunday. She also saved three penalty kicks in the 3-1 penalty shootout win versus Canada, setting a record for U.S. GKs in a penalty shootout. At 20 years and 149 days (about 5 months) of age, Korbin Albert became the youngest player to start a competitive final for the USA since Mallory Swanson (formerly Pugh) started the final of Olympic qualifying in 2016 at age 17. However, 19- year-old Olivia Smith of Canada was voted as the best young player scoring two goals and two assist in four games. Horan's four goal contributions (3 goals, 1 assist) tied Jaedyn Shaw (4 goals) for the most on the team this tournament for USA. Canada’s Adriana Leon finish the tounament as the golden boot winner. She finished with six goals in just five games. The 31-year-old bagged a pair of goals in Canada’s opening 6-0 victory against El Salvador and then followed that up with a hat-trick in the 4-0 win against Paraguay. Leon then scored a crucial last-second equalizer in extra time against the United States in the semifinals to finish with six goals.

Jaedyn Shaw
United States v Brazil: Final - 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup / Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/GettyImages

Jaedyn Shaw was voted the most valuable player of the tournament. She has now won the MVP trophy in both Concacaf tournaments in which she has participated. She previously earned the honor at the U-15 level in 2018. 

 

Lineups:  

USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 23-Emily Fox, 12-Tierna Davidson, 4-Naomi Girma, 19-Crystal Dunn (20-Casey Krueger, 86); 17-Sam Coffey (8-Jaedyn Shaw, 71), 15-Korbin Albert, 10-Lindsey Horan (Capt.), 22-Trinity Rodman (9-Midge Purce, 71), 7-Alex Morgan (11-Sophia Smith, 59), 16-Rose Lavelle (6-Lynn Williams, 46)  

Substitutes not used: 18-Casey Murphy, 21-Jane Campbell, 2-Abby Dahlkemper, 3-Jenna Nighswonger, 5-Becky Sauerbrunn, 13-Olivia Moultrie, 14-Emily Sonnett  

Head Coach: Twila Kilgore  

  

BRA: 1-Luciana; 2-Antonia, 3-Tarciane, 5-Thaís; 11-Adriana, 21-Duda Santos (16-Yaya, 57), 20-Duda (15-Julia Bianchi, 80), 6-Yasmim; 18-G. Portilho, 9-Gabi Nunes (19-Geyse, 65), 10-Bia Zaneratto (Capt.) (7-Debinha, 80)  

 

Substitutes not used: 12-Barbieri, 22-Amanda, 4-Rafaelle, 8-Ary Borges, 13-Beatriz Ferreira, 14-Lauren, 17-Aline Milene de Lima, 23-Aline Gomes  

Head Coach: Arthur Ribas