By 90Min
April 24, 2019

Becky Sauerbrunn looks set to play a pivotal role in the USWNT's upcoming 2019 Women's World Cup campaign having been a veteran of the game and loaded with international experience at the age of 33.

The tough tackling centre back is set to earn her 150th USWNT cap during this summer's tournament, as her country look to retain international football's ultimate prize.

This is everything you need to know about the United States' key player ahead of this summer...


Club Career

Upon completion of university, she joined Washington Freedom of the W-League for the 2008 season. The club joined the newly formed Women's Professional Soccer League in 2009, a season where Sauerbrunn started all of the club's matches, producing countless impressive displays.

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Her performances earned her a loan move to Røa IL of the Norwegian Toppserien where she won the league title on the final day of the season and featured in two rounds of the UEFA Women's Champions League, helping Røa IL to reach the quarter finals.

She returned to Washington Freedom and played two more years for the club, with the final year played under the newly-named magicJack. However, the new owner was accused of numerous violations and the franchise was terminated by the WPS Board of Governors, leaving Sauerbrunn as a free agent.

Subsequently, the American joined Sky Blue FC on 2012 but the ongoing dispute between the WPS Board of Governors and magicJack's previous owner resulted in the termination of the entire WPS League, thus Sauerbrunn joined D.C. United Women. Evidently, success follows the Missourian wherever she goes and the club won the Eastern Conference in her maiden season. 

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Stability was finally found in the 33-year-old's career when she was allocated to FC Kansas City via the NWSL Player Allocation in 2013. With the club she spent four award-winning years, both personally and as a team, lifting the NWSL title during the 2014 and 2015 seasons having been made co-captain shortly after arriving.

She was named in the NWSL Best XI in each of her seasons with the team, as well as the league's best defender on three occasions. Following the club dissolving in 2017, Sauerbrunn transferred to Utah Royals FC where they finished fifth in their first season in the division, and where she is still plying her trade to this day.


International Career

Sauerbrunn first donned the Red & White stripes back in 2000 for the Under-16s, before representing the Under-19, Under-21 and Under-23s - making her first senior appearance in 2000.

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Since her first senior level cap, the American has amassed 149 caps for her country without finding the net, but nonetheless has enjoyed huge success with the national team including an Olympic gold medal during London 2012 as well as lifting the Women's World Cup trophy four years ago.

She was also part of the USWNT's 2016 Summer Olympic squad that eventually lost in the quarter finals to Sweden.


Major Tournaments

Sauerbrunn's first taste of major tournament experience came during the USWNT's 2011 World Cup campaign where her only appearance of the tournament came during the 3-1 semi final victory over France, taking the place of the suspended Rachel Buehler for the match.

Her big break came during the following year's Olympic Games, where she featured in every group game and came on as a substitute during both the semi final and final, as the USWNT won the gold medal in London.

Having become a regular feature for Jill Ellis' side from 2014 onwards, Sauerbrunn became the only player for the national team to play all 25 of their matches during the 2015 calendar year, that included every minute of all seven matches in the Women's World Cup as the USWNT lifted the trophy with a 5-2 final win over Japan.

Together with Carli Lloyd she was named co-captain of the 2016 Summer Olympics side, however, they failed to reach the heights of the previous summer's games and fell to a penalty shoout-out defeat against Sweden in the quarter finals. 


Honours and Awards

Where to start? At the age of 33 Sauerbrunn has plenty of experience in the game, both domestically and internationally, scooping numerous personal awards to sit alongside her countless club and country accolades.


The standout is of course the aforementioned Women's World Cup success in the last tournament, while an Olympic Gold medal in 2012 will surely have it's own shelf in her trophy cabinet.

Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

With the USWNT she's also lifted the CONCACAF Women's Championship on three occasions in 2010, 2014 and 2018, along with the SheBelieves Cup in 2016 and the Tournament of Nations last year. 

On a domestic level her two NSWL title wins with now defunct FC Kansas City remain her only NSWL scalps but she has made it into the league's Best XI every year since 2013. She was also nominated for the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year Nominee in 2016, but lost out to Kim Little.


Things to Know/Any Other Business?

Her on-field exploits didn't go unnoticed in the world of video games, as Sauerbrunn featured along with her national teammates in the EA Sports' FIFA game series for the FIFA 16 edition, which was the first time women players were included in the game.

Tim Warner/GettyImages

Following her country's success in the 2015 Women's World Cup, her and her teammates were awarded with a key to the city of New York, as well as having the opportunity to meet former United States' President Barack Obama.


She credits her early strength and motivation to her two older brothers, who toughened her up both physically and mentally, saying of her early upbringing, saying: "I learned how to take it. It taught me how to not really rely on other people to solve my problems. I think that kind of stayed with me. I’m very motivated internally. I’m a bit of a scrapper.”

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