The United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) has one gem they cannot lose for the life of it. That player is none other than goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. She has the most non-pretentious personality and will never be seen chasing the press or headlines but will be seen stone-blocking the opponent’s ball.
Naeher didn’t rise to success overnight. She had to endure a long winter before finally enjoying the spring bloom. If you are curious about the US goalie’s story, then keep reading until the end. Here, we reveal everything we know about Alyssa Naeher’s inspiring journey to US Women’s Soccer team.
Long Years Of Trying
Had it been easy to make a name for yourself on the women’s soccer team, there would be no stories of struggles. Apart from having the talent, you must have the discipline, dedication, and passion to work for what you want. Alyssa Naeher is a living example of it.
Alyssa was a standout player since her school days and continued playing throughout her uni days at Pennsylvania State University. It was known from the beginning that Alyssa had the talent for it and could make a name in women’s soccer. After her college, Naeher joined Boston Breakers, where she recorded her first career shutout against Atlanta Beat.
After years of trying to make it big, in 2014, Alyssa finally found a turning point in her career. The U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper coach, Paul Rogers, called Naeher to be a training goalkeeper. Even though the invitation was only for a training goalkeeper, it indeed was quite an opportunity to join the national team, which she gladly accepted. Also, learn about another USWNT goalkeeper, Adrianna Franch, who is enjoying her success now after her humble past.
Filling Solo’s Shoes
After four years of being on the U.S. Women’s National Team, Naeher became impatient. After years of being grateful to be on the national team, later, she got pissed for not getting a chance. In 2015, Naeher was on the roster for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup as a backup for Hope Solo, but she did not get to play every minute like Solo.
Again in 2016, Alyssa played for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil, and became the USWNT’s number one goalkeeper, replacing the spot which had been held by Hope for years. This was quite an achievement for Naeher and also gave her the recognition she deserved.
As a number one goalkeeper of the United States, Alyssa played four out of the five matches in the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship and earned four shutouts. The U.S. won the championship with a 2-0 win over Canada.
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Naeher’s Remarkable Save
In games, you will have some good and bad days. When Naeher first appeared for her first World Cup Match, many doubtful eyes were watching her. She was expected to be as consistent and dependable as former champions like Hope Solo and Briana Scurry.
During the crucial match, due to the pressure and an ill-advised pass to the defender Becky Sauerbrunn, Spain scored the goal and tied the match at 1-1. This resulted to be pretty bad for Alyssa’s reputation as a goalkeeper. Regardless, the USWNT team won the match by 2-1.
This incident was quite a moment and a huge lesson to Naeher. During the semi-final match against England, Alyssa had to prove herself to the world. In the 81st minute, she got her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to successfully save a penalty kick which shut down those doubtful eyes and mouth forever.
The save was one of the best moments in USWNT history and in Naeher’s career. Today she is one of the best goalkeepers of the USWNT and is also called a penalty-stopping hero. But her success didn’t come easily. She really worked hard and for a long time to reach where she is today. We all are proud of Alyssa Naeher’s success and are rooting for her.
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