While NWSL play continues, OL Reign has been without eight players who are representing their countries in important World Cup qualifiers. And those players have contributed meaningful minutes to their national teams over the last few weeks.
Here’s a roundup of their individual and country performances.
Alana Cook, Sofia Huerta, Rose Lavelle, and Megan Rapinoe are all with the U.S. Women’s National Team for the Concacaf W Championship. The U.S. has already qualified for the 2023 World Cup after winning their group — defeating Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico — and are set to play in the Concacaf W final against Canada after defeating Costa Rica in the semifinals.
That match kicks off Monday, July 18, at 7 PM PT and will air on CBS Sports Network and stream simultaneously on Paramount+. The winner of that match automatically qualifies for the 2024 Olympics, while the loser will face the winner of the third-place game (Costa Rica or Jamaica) for the second Concacaf spot at the 2024 Olympics.
- Alana Cook is part of a backline that has earned a shutout in all four matches so far. The centerback started in three of the four matches, playing 242 minutes. She’s completed the third most passes in the tournament (189, 97% pass completion rate). Cook was also featured in an Attacking Third — a CBS podcast — video chat with former U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry, where Cook joined Midge Purce and Naomi Girma in talking about what it means to be a Black woman playing at the professional and international level.
"You'll go up to a little girl and she'll either look at her mom or her parents will look at me and go 'She looks just like you!' You see their eyes light up..."@USWNT's @_alana_cook, @100Purcent and @naomi_girma joined @briscurry to discuss why representation matters. pic.twitter.com/LVQHQdw7K8— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) July 14, 2022
- Rose Lavelle has played 228 minutes across four matches, starting three, and earned a goal and a very stylish assist. Fans had a scare when Lavelle got her ankle scrunched on a tackle from Mexico’s Jacqueline Ovalle — resulting in a red card — but the midfielder was back in the starting lineup for the USWNT’s semifinal match, where she did this:
That was the OL Reign midfielder’s sixth assist for the U.S. in 2022. Earlier in the Concacaf W tournament she gave the U.S. their third goal in a 5-0 win over Jamaica.
- Megan Rapinoe has played 73 minutes across three matches, each time coming on as a sub. She didn’t get on the scoresheet, but Rapinoe helped change the tempo in the USWNT’s first match against Haiti and her quickly taken corner kick, passed to Sofia Huerta, led to their only goal against Mexico.
Here’s what U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski said about that play and what Rapinoe brings to the squad.
A leftover from last night's #USWNT game:— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) July 12, 2022
I asked Vlatko Andonovski if the quick corner kick that Megan Rapinoe took to start the play that led to the goal was a rehearsed set piece, or a moment of invention.
His answer: pic.twitter.com/25GVpmhNu6
- Sofia Huerta started twice and earned an assist in the 5-0 win over Jamaica. The right back was nominated for player of the match in that game, although Sophia Smith took home the honors with her two goals.
Huerta was also featured in this fantastic U.S. Soccer profile, where she talked about her unique journey from the Mexico to U.S. national teams.
"Everything has come full circle." @schuerta details her journey from playing with the Mexican National Team to earning her role with the #USWNT at the 2022 @ConcacafW Championship pic.twitter.com/gPMgzJSRhg— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 10, 2022
Quinn and new OL Reign signing Jordyn Huitema have been representing Canada in the Concacaf W championship. Like the U.S., they won their group and qualified for the 2023 World Cup. They’ll also be facing the U.S. in the final on Monday, with the winner automatically qualifying for the 2024 Olympics.
- Quinn has started in three of the four matches so far for Canada and has been a consistent force in the midfield — often dictating the tempo of the match and helping shield the backline. Like the U.S., Canada has yet to give up a goal, and Quinn has played a big role in earning those shutouts. The midfielder has played 274 minutes and completed the fourth most passes in the tournament (152, 91% pass completion rate), just behind OL Reign teammate Cook.
- Jordyn Huitema has played 148 minutes, coming on as an impact sub in all fourth matches so far for Canada. The forward has two assists for Canada, including one in their semifinal match against Jamaica — a flicked header to Adriana Leon on the back post.
64': Assist ️— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) July 15, 2022
76': Goal ⚽
Adriana Leon is on fire! pic.twitter.com/AEAzXnbH00
Huitema also had a goal and assist against Trinidad & Tobago, making a smart run in the box before opening up her body to pass the ball into the goal with her left foot.
Her flicked assist was cheeky as well.
JULIA GROSSO GETS HER FIRST EVER PROFESSIONAL GOAL.— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) July 6, 2022
The 21-year-old puts Canada up 2-0. pic.twitter.com/nnkvmbXk6k
It was a tough, tough tournament for Concacaf W Championship hosts Mexico, who lost all three group-stage matches and failed to qualify for the World Cup. That wasn’t due to poor play from left back Jimena López, however, who was a bright spot for Mexico in their 1-0 loss to the U.S. López was voted player of the match in Concacaf’s poll. She completed 76 passes in two starts, with a 93% pass completion rate.
While Mexico’s time in the Concacaf W tournament is over, it is unclear whether López has rejoined the Reign or will be available this weekend. Some Mexico players have already returned to their club teams, but we wouldn’t blame her for taking a little time to decompress.
Angelina joined Brazil for Copa América Feminina, the South American World Cup qualifying tournament that runs through July 30. The midfielder has played 157 minutes in two Brazil wins, a 4-0 victory over Argentina and a 3-0 win against Uruguay. Angelina has been playing in a deeper-lying midfield role for Brazil and looks quite comfortable there.
Brazil closes out their group-stage matches against Venezuela on July 18 and Peru on July 21. If they finish in the top two in their group, which looks likely, they’ll advance to the semifinals. The top three teams in the tournament will automatically qualify for the World Cup, with the fourth and fifth place teams going to a playoff for the final spot.
The tournament is being streamed on FS1/FS2 or the ViX website and app, which is free to follow.