The Women’s World Cup round of 16 runs of the United States women’s national team was ended by a razor-thin penalty decision against Sweden, shocking Alyssa Naeher.
Naeher said, “Someone said there was a picture of it, and it was off by a millimeter. “Having your World Cup end by a millimeter is difficult.”
In a penalty shootout that followed a scoreless first 120 minutes, Sweden won 5-4. Lina Hurtig’s game-winning kick was blocked by Naeher early on, causing the ball to rise up and move backward toward the goal line before being cleared. However, an automated decision based on ball sensors showed that the ball had only just crossed the line when Naeher firmly informed the referee that she had made the save.
While USWNT stars Megan Rapinoe, Kelley O’Hara, and Sophia Smith all missed their penalties, Naeher, who was kicking sixth in the rotation, stopped one kick from Rebecka Blomqvist and even scored a penalty.
Alyssa Naeher: Who is she?
Among the best goalkeepers in the world, Alyssa Naeher plays professional soccer for the United States. Naeher, who was born on April 20, 1988, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, developed a love for soccer at a young age and quickly rose to the top of the sport.
At Penn State University, where she played college soccer and rose to become one of the most decorated goalkeepers in NCAA history, Naeher began her soccer career. She received numerous All-American recognitions and was named the Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year while playing for Penn State.
The Boston Breakers of the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league selected Naeher in the 2010 draft. She had an immediate impact during her rookie campaign and quickly distinguished herself as a league-leading goalkeeper. She won the 2014 WPS Goalkeeper of the Year award thanks to her consistently strong performances.
Naeher joined the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in 2016 after the WPS was dissolved. She continued to demonstrate her exceptional shot-stopping skills while playing for Chicago, where she also assisted in the team’s multiple playoff appearances.
When Naeher was named the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT), it was her proudest moment. She represented her country for the first time in 2014, and she was a member of the American team that won the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Naeher was essential to the team’s victory because he made big saves at crucial times throughout the competition, including a big penalty save in the semifinal.
Naeher once again displayed her incredible skill and poise in goal at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She helped the United States win their fourth World Cup by making a standout penalty save in the championship game against the Netherlands.
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