USWNT Takes Bronze Medal at Tokyo Olympics: 'We're Very Proud'

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The United States women’s soccer team took home the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, beating Australia in a 4-3 match.

Of their third-place victory, United States captain Becky Sauerbrunn told reporters: “That bronze means so much. It feels like we really had to earn that thing. And we’re very proud of it.”

The road to bronze was not an easy one for the U.S. team, who lost to Sweden in the opening game, then went on to beat New Zealand and tie against Australia in their first go-around. The team would continue to beat the Netherlands but later lose to archrival Canada.

After that loss, Sauerbrunn told The New York Times that the team had a discussion and shared some "truths."

“Obviously we wanted to get a gold medal,” Sauerbrunn recalled. “Everyone wants to get a gold medal, Americans love golds. The fact is we potentially didn’t deserve to get a gold medal. We had to change the goal, and it became, ‘Let’s get that bronze.’”

As USA Today notes, this was only "the third time since the World Cup (1991) and Olympic (1996) tournaments began that the USWNT had failed to make the final." During the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the team was also shut out after losing in the quarterfinals to Sweden.

Thus far, Lloyd told The Times that after this bronze win she plans to take "two or three days and sit by my pool and not move.” 

"Maybe four," she said.

Team veterans Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd each scored twice during the game. Notably, Lloyd's two goals helped secure her the U.S. women's record for most career Olympic goals. She hit a record 10 total at the Olympics, surpassing previous record-holder Abby Wambach.

Now that it has it, the team may be headed into a period of transition. Lloyd is 39, and Rapinoe and Sauerbrunn are 36. Each will have to decide if she is willing to make another multi-year commitment to the program ahead of the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the 2024 Paris Olympics.

This post is part of a series covering the talented female athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Stay up to date on their latest achievements and watch them go for gold here

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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