June International Break Recap
By Rachel Gaylor
The International break ended this week and those representing FC Kansas City came out with 6 wins and 1 draw. The Canadian Women’s National Team played two friendlies against Costa Rica at home while the United States Under-23 and full Women’s National Team traveled to Scandinavia. The U-23’s participated in the Nordic Cup against Norway, England and Sweden while the USWNT played a pair of friendlies against Sweden and Norway.
Midfielder Desiree Scott earned her 125th and 126th caps for Canada this past week. On June 8, she was a starter in the match against Costa Rica in her native Winnipeg and logged 72 minutes in her teams 3-1 victory. She came on as a second half substitute in the match on June 11 in Toronto as Canada defeated Costa Rica once again by a score line of 6-0.
"Representing your country is such an honor,” Scott said. “As you get on in your career you learn to never take these opportunities to throw on that jersey for granted. It was great to get together with the group after being away for a bit and play games on Home Soil, especially Winnipeg which obviously meant a ton to me having family and friends and past teammates in the stands. We got two good results against an improving Costa Rican opponent who we often see in qualifying events and a chance to build our team chemistry in front of Canadian Fans! I always leave that environment inspired. "
Defender Christina Gibbons, who represented the US U-23s, played all 90 minutes her country’s second and third matches against England and Sweden, respectively. The match against England on June 9th was a scoreless draw, but the U.S. earned their second win of the tournament with a 2-1 victory over Sweden on June 12th.
Defender Becky Sauerbrunn and forward Sydney Leroux traveled with a US team that ended a four-match winless streak against Sweden come to an end with a 1-0 win. They also earned a win against Norway with both matches ending in 1-0.
Sauerbrunn started both matches playing all 180 minutes, recording the assist on the game winning goal by Chicago Red Stars forward Christen Press in the match against Norway. She also was the one to wear the captain’s armband in the second half of the Sweden match and for all 90 minutes against Norway.
"It was an important trip for this group,” Sauerbrunn said. “We all traveled to Europe from club duty with very little rest and played two excellent teams. We came back with two wins and two clean sheets. More importantly, we came away with the experience of mentally and physically grinding out two wins when we weren't at full fitness. It's good to have that when we're in a world tournament."
For Leroux, this marked her first call-up since the birth of her son, Cassius, in September. She, however, didn’t get to see the field in what would have been her first action since the 2015 World Cup.
FC Kansas City returns to action this Saturday against the Seattle Reign at 7pm CT at Swope Soccer Village. The game can be streamed on go90.com or the go90 app which is available at the app store for both IOS and Android. Tickets for the game can be purchased here.