US Women’s National Team Manager Vlatko Andonovski has announced that defender Becky Sauerbrunn will be the team’s captain in the future.
This decision was made prior to the two friendly matches against Colombia in Orlando, Florida on 18 and 22. January.
Sauerbrunn, 35, is a longtime American pro with 178 caps and is among the winners of the 2015 and 2019 World Cups. This experience has long made her one of the leaders of the team. She’s not new to the role either, having served as captain alongside Carly Lloyd in 2016 and 2017. She last wore the bracelet in the friendly win over the Netherlands in November. She was also part of the gold medal team at the 2012 Olympics.
Megan Rapinoe, Carly Lloyd and Alex Morgan are the team captains for the 2019 World Cup. Neither Rapinoe nor Lloyd were available for the last game of the Netherlands, while Morgan started the game on the bench. Now Andonovsky gives Sauerbrunn the full-time captain’s job.
It’s not so much that I have to change. It’s really that I bring the attitude that I’ve always brought, and I was such a leader when I was captain of this team a few years ago, Sauerbrunn told reporters on the phone. The role can always change, but I think the behavior always stays the same. So for me, it’s about staying the same person, leading the same path, and letting the people around me see their strengths. Together, our strengths will always be stronger than our weaknesses.
Error! The file name is not specified. Becky Sauerbrunn is the new captain of USWNT. Eric Verhoeven/Getty Images
Andonovsky and Sauerbrunn have a long history of collaboration behind them. Sauerbrunn was one of the Kansas City FC teams that Andonowski coached from 2013-17. But Andonovsky stressed that his decision was more about the here and now, rather than how they worked together.
In the national team, I had the opportunity to analyze not only [Sauerbrunn], but everyone in terms of their role and impact on the field, off the field, on the road, in the hotel, everywhere, he said. So, with all this analysis and everything we’ve done… I thought Becky was the best candidate for the national team [captain]. But at the same time, I had a great conversation with Carly, [Rapinoe] and Alex before I made the announcement, and they were very supportive.
Manchester City midfielder Sam Mewis was applauded. He said she generally wanted to follow Sauerbrunn’s lead.
I like to think of Becky as a moral compass, like what she does is what I know is right, so I should probably do the same, Muiz said. And I think his leadership here has been very important for this team and for all the girls, especially the girls coming up. I think she always tried to be there for us and would do anything to make sure we were okay. She’s just been an important member of the team for so long.