U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher's heroics against penalties are quietly shaping this era for the most successful squad in women’s soccer
U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher’s heroics against penalties are quietly shaping this era for the most successful squad in women’s soccer.
Aug. 1, 2021 11:00 am ETTOKYO—Over and over in her career, Alyssa Naeher has shied away from the spotlight. And when you play in goal for the most dominant offensive team in women’s soccer, that’s usually easy enough.Yet as the high-octane American attack begins to show its age and the U.S. scrapes through
this Olympic tournament, the dynamic is shifting in a way she never anticipated: the spotlight is finally finding Naeher.On Friday, it took her saving a dramatic penalty in the 81st minute of regulation to keep the U.S. from being knocked out by the Netherlands. Naeher then stopped two more Dutch penalties in the shootout to punch the team’s ticket to Monday’s semi against Canada.
If it all felt a bit familiar, it’s because Naeher pulled off a similar trick at the women’s World Cup in France in 2019, where she stopped an English penalty in the 84th minute to preserve a U.S. lead in the semis.There would be splashier moments from her teammates in both tournaments, like Rose Lavelle’s charge through midfield in the World Cup final, or game-winning penalties from Megan Rapinoe in that game and again in Friday night’s shootout. headtopics.comRead more: The Wall Street Journal »
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