Becky Sauerbrunn places herself in historic position among the club but her successes and historical achievements that predate her commitment to the Royals are something to behold. A World Cup winner and three-time NWSL Defender of the Year, Sauerbrunn boasts an incredible club and international résumé.
Here is a list of some her biggest accomplishments ahead of the centerback’s move to Utah for the Royals FC inaugural season:
Sauerbrunn began her national team experience at 14 years old when she attended the United States U-14 Girl’s National Team Identification Camp. From 2000-2002, she represented the United States as a member of the U-16 Women’s national team. During that three-year spell, she competed in the US Amateur Soccer Festival while featuring on the U-16 roster for both a three-game series against the IMG Academy and another three-game series against Houston.
From 2003-2004, she was a member of the United States U-19 national team program where she turned heads and paved her way to both the U-23 side and the senior national team. She started in the USYS Cup and appeared in the Philips Lighting U-19 Women’s Soccer Invitational before representing the United States in the CONCACAF U-19 Women’s Qualifying tournament, highlighting the 2003/2004 season. Adding to her busy year, she was named co-captain while with the U-19 side.
Sauerbrunn later represented the United States at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship after being named co-captain and played every minute of all six matches. Following the tournament, she was named to the All-Tournament team by the FIFA Technical Study Group.
Sauerbrunn competed in both the 2007 and 2008 Nordic Cups where the United States earned repeat championships. Sauerbrunn earned her first cap with the senior national team in a match against Canada in January of 2008 in Carson, California.
After nearly a two-year hiatus from the national team, the St. Louis native returned to the Senior National Team In 2010 after being called up to replace an injured teammate. Sauerbrunn appeared in the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament where the United States placed third and earned a berth into a two-game series against Italy for the last spot in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a series in which they ultimately won.
Appearing on the preliminary roster for both matches against Italy, Sauerbrunn made her first start in three years at the 2011 Four Nations Tournament against Canada, where she played the full 90 minutes.
A member of the 2012 Olympic team, Sauerbrunn featured in matches against South Korea, Canada and Japan, helping the United States to a gold medal finish in London.
Starting nearly every match she played in 2013, Sauerbrunn wore the captain’s armband in her first match of the Algarve Cup – the team’s second match of the tournament – and later helped the United States win the final game and cup title.
During 2014, she made her 50th appearance for the National Team in a match against Canada. It was there that she became the 46th player in United States Women’s National Team history to reach 50 caps.
Sauerbrunn was the only player to start all 25 national team matches in 2015 and boasted the most minutes of any player on the team, racking up 2,184 total minutes.
In arguably her most significant year as an international player, Sauerbrunn represented the United States in her second World Cup for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, for which she played every minute of every match. She became a World Cup Champion on July 5, 2015 after the United States topped Japan in the final by a score of 5-2 and later joined the national team on a Victory Tour around the United States that began in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and culminated in New Orleans, Louisiana.
On January 9, 2016, Sauerbrunn was named Captain of the United States Women’s National team along with teammate Carli Lloyd and made her 100th appearance for the national team the following month in the final of the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament. She was later named to the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Best XI team for the tournament.
That summer, Sauerbrunn represented the United States at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio, Brazil where she got her first Olympic start in the team’s opening match against New Zealand and was named the Player of the Match. She appeared in matches against France and Colombia and started the quarterfinal game against Sweden, a game the United States subsequently lost.
Professional Club Career
Sauerbrunn began her professional career in 2009 with the Washington Freedom which later became magicJack. She also joined the Røa IL of the Norwegian Toppserien for a three-month loan spell in 2009, helping the team advance to the quarterfinals in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Sauerbrunn joined the National Women’s Soccer League on January 11, 2013 for the inaugural season and was allocated to FC Kansas City. While with Kansas City she served as the side’s captain for five seasons, received the NWSL Defender of the Year in 2013, 2014 and 2015 as well as an NWSL Best XI for her performance during those seasons. Sauerbrunn started in all 66 games she played, scored three goals and led the team to two NWSL Championships in 2014 and 2015.
University of Virginia
Sauerbrunn attended the University of Virginia and started every game she appeared in for the Cavaliers from 2003-2007. The only matches she missed during her collegiate career were during the 2004 season while she was on national team duty for the 2004 Women’s World Championships in Thailand.
During her four years with the Cavaliers, she started 90 games playing over 6,000 minutes, was a four-time All-ACC Player, earned NSCAA All-Region selections, All-American First and Second team selections, Scholar Athlete of the Year honors, All-ACC All Tournament, First and Second team honors, ACC All-Academic team honors, and made the Academic All-American team. As a senior, she was named NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year and ACC Player of the Year.
Season tickets to see Sauerbrunn and the rest of Royals FC in its inaugural season are now available and can be purchased by calling 844.REAL.TIX.