Previewing Brazil’s WNT
FIFA Ranking: 5 (as of July, 2012)
Coach: Jorge Barcellos
Number of Olympics Appearances: The US has participated in every Olympics where women’s soccer has been a sport (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012), with two silver medals (2004, 2008) and two fourth place finishes (1996, 2000).
Group: E (Cameroon, New Zealand, Great Britain)
First match: Against Cameroon on 7/25
Despite being a world powerhouse in women’s soccer for years, Brazil has never won an Olympic Gold Medal or the Women’s World Cup. They’ve won the Silver Medal at the last two games and are most likely thirsty for gold. It would be difficult for any American soccer fan to have missed the excitement of last year’s USWNT game against Brazil in the Women’s World Cup, when Megan Rapinoe dished a beautiful cross to Abby Wambach’s magical head in the final seconds of the game for what would be the latest goal ever scored in a Women’s World Cup match. The USWNT ended up winning the game on penalty kicks, knocking Brazil out of the tournament. If this doesn’t motivate the Brazilian team, I don’t know what will.
Brazil, however, hasn’t looked their best throughout 2012. They have suffered a few big losses during friendly matches, but this may be because of the absence of star players. With the folding of the WPS, several Brazilian players, including Marta, have been playing in Europe and were unable to leave their respective teams when called up to National Team Duty. Brazil dropped from the 4th to 5th spot in FIFA rankings this summer, so it will be interesting to see what a full strength Brazilian team looks like.
It should also be mentioned that Jorge Barcellos is taking over the coaching range this year, bringing in a younger and faster team. These players have seen some action in the absence of star players, but having the Olympic games as their first major tournament could cause some issues. But, despite their youth, veterans Marta (F), Christiane (F), and Formiga (MF) will run the show. The team seems tired of just missing the top spot in major tournaments, and should be a team to watch.
Andreia – Andreia Suntaque (GK)
Bárbara – Bárbara Micheline do Monte Barbosa (GK)
Aline – Aline Pellegrino (D)
Daiane – Bagé – Daiane Menezes Rodrigues (D)
Érika – Érika Cristiano dos Santos (D)
Bruna – Bruna Beatriz Benites Soares (D)
Maurine – Maurine Dornelles Gonçalves (D)
Fabiana – Fabiana da Silva Simões (D)
Ester – Ester Aparecida dos Santos (MF)
Francielle – Francielle Manoel Alberto (MF)
Elaine – Elaine Estrella Moura (MF)
Renata Costa – Renata Aparecida da Costa (MF)
Rosana – Rosana dos Santos Augusto (MF)
Formiga – Miraildes Maciel Mota (MF)
Cristiane – Cristiane Rozeira de Souza Silva (F)
Marta – Marta Vieira da Silva (F)
Thaís G. – Thaís Guedes – Thaisinha – Thaís Duarte Guedes (F)
Grazielle – Grazi – Grazielle Pinheiro Nasciment (F)