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If Sophia Smith sounded especially reflective after the U.S. women’s national team’s penalty shootout win against Canada in the W Gold Cup semifinal on Wednesday, it was with good reason.

Her interim coach Twila Kilgore shared that the striker teared up at the end of the game, which saw her score a goal in extra time and bury a penalty kick in the shootout.

The culmination of the sequence was a far cry from Smith’s painful tears that fell last year. For a goalkeeper who’s often emotionless, Naeher’s wry celebratory smile was equally powerful.

So often, a team’s tournament performance is remembered for the performances of their striker and goalkeeper. In this Gold Cup, the U.S. women’s national team program is no exception. Read more below.


USWNT’s Sophia Smith, Alyssa Naeher vanquished World Cup demons en route to Gold Cup final

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