USWNT ‘just getting started’ after Gold Cup win over Brazil

United States interim coach Twila Kilgore said the women’s national team is “just getting started” after winning the inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup through a 1-0 victory over Brazil in Sunday’s final.

“This is a group that’s moving forward together, that still wants more time together. It’s time to go back to club [seasons] for them and do those things, but we genuinely enjoy being together and feel like we’re just getting started,” Kilgore said after clinching the trophy at San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium.

“This is a group that’s just getting started.”

Played in front of a crowd 31,528 — which is a record for a Concacaf women’s game — the U.S. women’s national team were able to narrowly sneak past Brazil thanks to a 46th minute game-winner from captain Lindsey Horan.

With the trophy in hand, the U.S. have bounced back after an underwhelming round of 16 finish in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Following last summer’s early exit from the four-time World Cup champions, former head coach Vlatko Andonovski resigned from his position, thereby leaving Kilgore as interim.

“This is a team and a program that will always have attention and expectations on it, and we say that pressure is a privilege,” Kilgore said.

“We’ve regrouped, we’ve set new goals, we’ve set a new style of play. We’re working towards something together and it’s a very public process, and that’s just not easy. I’m just so proud of them and I’m just so happy.”

Regarding Sunday’s final against Brazil, the USWNT interim noted the impact of Horan’s goal.

“We were pinned in for quite a bit of the first half and it took us some time to work our way out of that. Then the timing of our goal was really critical, just before half, [it] means we come back with a slightly different strategy in the second half,” Kilgore said.

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Postgame, Brazil coach Arthur Elias highlighted how well his roster had done that outshot the USWNT 12 to 7.

“I believe that we had a great performance during the game, we had chances to score goals today,” Elias said. “They were very well prepared as well to play our team today, but we had more chances to score goals than the U.S.”

Currently going through a transition of talent, Horan brought up the influence that up-and-coming players are beginning to have with the USWNT.

“The team makes it a lot easier for me because you see on the field, there’s a lot of leaders on there,” Horan told CBS Sports. “Even some of the younger ones, they stepped up in this tournament and they showed their leadership.

“Whatever I can do to help the team and get the best out of everyone, but also be a role model in what I do on the field as well.”

Of those young players, 19-year-old U.S. forward and San Diego Wave player Jaedyn Shaw was given the tournament’s Golden Ball award. Elsewhere, U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher clinched the Golden Glove award.

With the trophy in hand, the USWNT have now won every Concacaf tournament that they have participated in, providing them with a total of 15 titles from the region.

Looking ahead, the U.S. will take part in two She Believes Cup matches in April.

Chelsea women’s manager Emma Hayes will soon take over as permanent coach for the USWNT after the end of the Women’s Super League season.