There are three Georgia natives playing for the USWNT at this year’s World Cup in France.
Midfielder Morgan Brian and defenders Kelley O’Hara and Emily Sonnett have all helped the United States advance to the knockout phase of the tournament beginning on Saturday.
O’Hara, a Fayetteville native, is making her third World Cup appearance this summer. The 31-year old defender and former Stanford University standout plays professionally in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), a nine-team domestic league, for Utah Royals FC. O’Hara has made 119 appearances for the national team, scoring a pair of goals and earning 16 assists in the process. To call her a key participant of team USA is an understatement.
Brian, a 25-year old midfielder and veteran of two World Cups and counting, is a native of St. Simon’s Island. She was the youngest member of the 2015 World Cup trophy winners and also plays in the NWSL for the Chicago Red Stars. Brian has made 84 appearances for the national team and has accumulated 11 assists and six goals during her time with the team.
Sonnett is making her World Cup debut this summer. The Marietta native was the first overall pick in the NWSL draft after a stellar career at the University of Virginia. Sonnett has made 32 appearances for the national team thus far and plays professionally for Portland Thorns FC in the NWSL.
On Thursday afternoon at Stade Oceane in Le Havre, the USWNT played Group F opponents Sweden in the final match of the group stage and won 2-0. The United States scored early, a goal by midfielder Lindsey Horan (her second of the tournament) off a set piece, in the third minute. The goal was the fastest ever conceded by Sweden women’s team in the World Cup. The second goal of the match came on an own goal.
The first week of the World Cup had the United States again giving up not a single goal during victories over Thailand (13-0 on June 11) and Chile (3-0 on June 16).
The USWNT, winners of Group F (undefeated through three matches) will next face Spain on Monday at 11 a.m. in the knockout phase.