Former Florida State defender Casey Krueger earns medal in first tournament with USWNT
By Official Florida FC
The United States women’s national soccer team left Japan with a victory. It wasn’t in the game the USWNT wanted, but at least the program medaled this time around in the Olympics.
Stalwarts Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd both scored a brace as the USWNT held on for a 4-3 win over Australia to win the bronze medal. Thursday’s win capped off a tournament where the USWNT lost twice and played listless and disjointed at times.
At least the USWNT qualified. Three of the top six teams in the latest FIFA rankings — No. 2 Germany, No. 3 France and No. 6 England — did not qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
Nevertheless, the old guard of Lloyd, Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Alyssa Naeher and captain Becky Sauerbunn are able to end their competitive careers for the USWNT with a victory. The five were among the 11 who represented the U.S. in the 2016 Olympics when the team was shocked in the quarterfinals by Sweden. This time there may not be a Women’s World Cup to look forward to on the horizon.
Morgan will return to the Orlando Pride having scored one in 267 Olympic minutes. The 32-year-old will likely compete with Lynn Williams, Catarina Macario, Ashley Hatch and others for minutes as the No. 9 in the months leading up to 2023 Women’s World Cup qualifying.
The USWNT’s victory also meant former Florida State defender Casey Krueger had a chance to earn silverware for the first time in her international career. Krueger made a sevecn-minute cameo against New Zealand in the group stage to earn her 35th international cap.
Considering the USWNT does not have any matches scheduled for months and the SheBelieves Cup will not kick off until early 2022, the women who wear the stars and stripes may be far different than the squad that clinched the bronze medal.