Thorns FC

International Notebook | U.S., Canada book place in Concacaf W Championship final


The U.S. and Canada respective women's national teams have both booked their spots in the final of the 2022 Concacaf W Championship.

In the semifinals, Thorns Becky Sauerbrunn and Sophia Smith were in the Starting XI for the U.S. with Sauerbrunn – wearing the captain's armband – playing the full 90 and helping lead the USWNT backline to a 3-0 shutout over Costa Rica at Estadio Universitario in Monterrey.

Midfielder Sam Coffey was on the bench for the U.S. but did not make an appearance while Rocky Rodríguez was also available off the bench for Las Ticas but did not play.

While it didn't show up on the scoresheet, Smith played a key role in setting up the Americans' second goal. Pressuring the Costa Rica backline, Smith forced a turnover to poke the ball free to Rose Levelle. Levelle then fed Mallory Pugh on the run who darted in and scored.

Given the host of Thorns teammates who were competing as opponents on the night, it came as no surprise that some key kit swaps after the match occurred.

In the other tournament semifinal, Christine Sinclair wore the armband and went 54 minutes with Janine Beckie going the full 90 as Canada dispatched Jamaica 3-0 to earn the Canadians' their spot in the Concacaf championship.

Third Place, Tournament Final up next

Rodríguez and Costa Rica next face Jamaica in the third place game at Estadio BBVA on Monday, July 18 at 4pm PT on Paramount+. The winner moves on to a Concacaf Olympic play-in match to be played on a later date. Both Costa Rica and Jamaica already qualified for the 2023 Women's World Cup in New Zealand and Australia having come in second in group stage play.

The U.S. and Canada, both winners of their groups, also booked their tickets to next year's World Cup and now turn their sights to the Concacaf W Championship on Monday, July 18 at 7pm PT (Paramount+). Along with the championship on the line, the winner of the tournament final will also earn a spot in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics with the runner up advancing to a Concacaf Olympic play-in against the winner of the third place game.

Kuikka finishes out time at Women's Euros in England

Defender Natalia Kuikka and Finland, eliminated from advancing to the knockout rounds of the Women's Euros in England, have one more match to play, facing Germany in the last Group B match at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes.