First cap, first goal. That was Stephanie McCaffrey's day for the USWNT in front of 32,869 fans at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
Congrats @smccaffrey9. First cap. First goal. First official @mPinoe hug/tackle. #VictoryTour pic.twitter.com/KFVjuHHvsl— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) October 26, 2015
McCaffrey subbed into the game in the second half for Tobin Heath and was immediately on the prowl, making several forays up the right deep into Brazilian territory. She made a series of crosses into dangerous spots in the box and went headfirst into several one-on-one challenges.
Though the United States was slowing down and Brazil was looking for the equalizer late in the game, McCaffrey finally put the scoreline beyond reach in the last minute of stoppage. Megan Rapinoe lofted a nice ball far post and an unmarked McCaffrey was able to run in and one-time it into the goal to make it 3-1.
It was about as good a debut as anyone could hope for from a young striker fresh out of her rookie pro season. Breakers fans already know that McCaffrey is a threat on the attack but were perhaps looking more for her to provide than to score. In her own words, McCaffrey considers herself "more of an assist first, score second."
Indeed, it looked as though McCaffrey would come out of the game with at least an assist based on the service she was providing, but she took it to another level against a team that had been giving the United States some fair amount of trouble for two games in a row.
There are four games remaining on the USWNT's Victory Tour, and head coach Jill Ellis will undoubtedly want more data to go on before she assembles her Olympic qualifying roster. It's fair to say that McCaffrey has more than earned a shot at another callup.