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Ary Borges: Meet the player behind Brazil’s World Cup hat trick

(Sarah Reed/Getty Images)

Ary Borges had her coming-out party for Brazil in the team’s 4-0 group-stage win against Panama.

In her World Cup debut, the 23-year-old showed no sign of hesitation, completing the first hat trick of the tournament and jumping into the lead of the Golden Boot race. But who is Borges? Just Women’s Sports has you covered.

Age: 23
Position: Forward/Attacking midfielder
Brazil debut: September 17, 2021 vs. Argentina
Total caps: 30

Who is Borges?

Borges is a 23-year-old forward and attacking midfielder with Brazil and Racing Louisville FC. Born in São Luís, Maranhão, she moved to São Paulo at age 10 with her family, where she played as one of three girls on the Santos FC youth team before switching to Centro Olímpico. With that club, she played on the girls’ U-15 team at just 11 years old, as there was not a U-13 option.

A decade later, she stars for club and country, and her life revolves around the game. In her downtime, she watches soccer and plays FIFA.

“There’s always soccer,” she told The Athletic in June. “I play soccer at work and then I go to soccer (after work). Soccer is life.”

Where does she play professionally?

She joined NWSL club Racing Louisville at the end of January and has one goal through 13 appearances. And that goal was a beauty, coming in just her second appearance for the club.

Before joining Racing Louisville, Borges played professionally in Brazil, most recently for Palmeiras from 2020-22. Through 87 appearances with the club, she scored 37 goals as a striker, while at Louisville she has taken on a role in the midfield. That adaptability helped her earn a call-up for the World Cup, where she is also playing in the midfield.

What does she bring to Brazil?

Since earning her first national team call-up in 2021, Borges has scored eight goals – including the three in Brazil’s 4-0 win against Panama.

The move to Racing Louisville has helped her on the international stage. Entering 2023, she had just four goals in two years. Since April, she has matched that total for Brazil, including the team’s lone goal against Germany in their friendly on April 11.

Borges brings versatility to the national team, with the ability to move and flow with the pace of the game. She excels in the midfield but can also contribute on the attack. And while this may be her first World Cup, she’s become comfortable with her role.

“If I say that I don’t think about it, I’d be lying,” she said upon making the World Cup roster. “It’s about a dream. It’s my dream to play and represent my country with the Seleção.”

And she knows her club play with Racing Louisville had a huge impact on Brazil coach Pia Sundhage’s decision to bring her to the World Cup.

“I’m very comfortable with what I’m doing,” Borges added. “I’ve been very comfortable with what I’ve been producing. But I can’t get there if I don’t work well here.”

What have players and coaches said about Borges?

Jaelin Howell, Racing Louisville midfielder: “Ary, I don’t think she gets enough credit for what she does in the middle. I can step out and press because I know that she’s behind me holding it down.”

Kim Björkegren, Racing Louisville head coach: “She is very talented, and already at 22 she has proven that she is an important player not only for Palmeiras but also in the Brazilian national team. She is a box-to-box midfielder. She can win the ball for your team but also finish and score goals.”

Marta, Brazil forward: “I’m very happy for her. Scoring three goals in a debut is not easy, she was blessed. She even gave an assist, so it’s almost four goals. I was honored to step into her shoes, I was even more relaxed.”

Caitlin Clark dunks on Michael Che in surprise SNL appearance

(Julia Hansen/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Caitlin Clark made a surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, which quickly went viral.

The Iowa star showed up on the show’s Weekend Update segment to playfully call out Michael Che’s history of making jabs at women’s sports.

It started when Che joked that Iowa should replace Clark’s retired No. 22 “with an apron.” 

When Clark entered, Che said that he was a fan. But Clark wasn’t convinced – especially not when co-host Colin Jost brought the receipts of Che’s jabs.

“Really, Michael? Because I heard that little apron joke you did,” she said, before making him read some jokes of her own in retaliation. Clark finished her segment by shouting out the WNBA greats that came before her. She then got in one final dig – bringing Che a signed apron as a souvenir. 

When Che promised to give it to his girlfriend, Clark delivered her last playful dig of the night.

“You don’t have a girlfriend, Michael,” she said.

Afterward, SNL castmember Bowen Yang told People that the 22-year-old and teammates Gabbie Marshall, Kate Martin and Jada Gyamfi – who joined her at Studio 8H – “were so cool.”

“She's so charming and witty,” Yang said. “They were just the most stunning, noble people.

“Athletes just have this air about them. They know they're amazing. I mean, these are people who have numeric attachments and values to their performance. That's something that comedians never have.”

Portland Thorns, in uncharted territory, start NWSL season winless

Portland has started the season winless through four games for the first time. (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)

The Portland Thorns continue to struggle to start the NWSL season, falling 2-0 to the North Carolina Courage over the weekend to remain winless through their first four games. 

It’s uncharted territory for Portland, who has never started the NWSL regular season without a win in four games before.

Following the loss, defender Becky Sauerbrunn voiced her frustrations with the start. 

“It’s hard to find a lot of encouraging things, but what I find encouraging is that people are frustrated,” she said. “People are pissed off that we’re not doing well. We care, and I think that’s really important.” 

She also added that while the team will reflect individually, “there’s going to be no finger pointing.”

“We’re going to look at ourselves and figure out what we should have done, or I should have done better,” she said. “There is a list of things that I could have done better, and I’m going to make sure I know every single thing and watch this game back.”

The Thorns currently sit at the bottom of the league table with just one point, having allowed 10 goals – tied for the worst in the league. They’ve yet to lead in a match. And as questions grow, attention turns to head coach Mike Norris. 

Norris is in his second year as head coach of the club after leading the team to a second-place finish in the regular season last year. When asked about the possibility of pressure growing after the unprecedented start, Norris said that the pressure has been there “from day one.”

“I cannot be driven by my day-to-day and the longer vision of the pressure of the job,” he said. “We’ve got a belief in how we want to play, how we operate. We’ve got to stick with the process of that. While we do it, we have to review and see what is working, what’s not working.

“I’ll be showing up for the team and being there for what they need from me as we approach getting back together as a group next week.”

Maria Sanchez reportedly requests trade from Houston Dash

Mar 23, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Dash forward Maria Sanchez (7) warms up before the match between Racing Louisville and Houston Dash at Shell Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Maria Sanchez, who signed one of the biggest deals in NWSL history just four months ago, has reportedly requested a trade from the Houston Dash. 

ESPN was the first to report the news, which was confirmed by multiple sources.

In a statement to ESPN, the team said: “​​Maria Sanchez is under contract, a choice she made in free agency at the end of 2023." 

In December, Sanchez signed a new three-year contract with the Dash worth $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. At the time, it was the largest contract in NWSL history – something that was eclipsed by multiple contracts in the following months. 

The winger was a restricted free agent in the offseason, meaning that Houston could match any offer from another team and retain her rights. Should the team trade Sanchez, her contract would remain as it has been signed with the league. That limits the number of teams that could take on her contract. 

In three starts with the Dash this season, Sanchez has zero goals and an assist. The Dash are 1-2-1 through four games and have allowed a league-worst 10 goals.

The team hired a new coach, Fran Alonso, in December. Earlier this year, former goalkeeper coach Matt Lampson was fired for violating the league’s Coach Code of Conduct and Anti-Fraternization policy. 

Both the NWSL trade window and transfer window close at midnight ET on Friday.

Canada beats U.S. Hockey 6-5 in thrilling World Championship win

UTICA, NEW YORK - APRIL 14: Team Canada raises the Championship Trophy after winning The Gold by defeating The United States in OT during the 2024 IIHF Women's World Championship Gold Medal game at Adirondack Bank Center on April 14, 2024 in Utica, New York. (Photo by Troy Parla/Getty Images)

Canada got its revenge on Sunday, winning the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship and taking down the U.S. in a 6-5 overtime classic.

Marie-Philip Poulin, a longtime star for Canada, got her first two goals of the tournament, while Danielle Serdachny had the game-winner. 

"I hate to say you're not trying to rely on it, expect it, but I know I've grown to expect it," Canada coach Troy Ryan said of Philip-Poulin. "Tonight was just a whole other level. I could see in her eyes every time we called her name that she was ready to go. It's just special."

The win came after Canada lost 1-0 to the U.S. in the group stage of the tournament. On Sunday, the two teams met for the 22nd time in 23 tournaments in the gold medal game – and the action between the two teams delivered. 

Among those scoring for the U.S. were Megan Keller, Alex Carpenter, Hilary Knight, Laila Edwards and Caroline Harvey. Julia Gosling, Emily Clark and Erin Ambrose had the other three goals for Canada, giving them their 13th World title after falling to the U.S. in last year’s title game in Toronto. 

This year’s game was held in New York, and it was the second-highest scoring final between the two teams. The U.S. won a world championship 7-5 in 2015. 

"Oh man, that feels good to win it on U.S. soil," Canada goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens said after the game. "We owed it to them and owed it to ourselves to win that one."

Canada also denied Knight a record 10th World Championship win, although she did become the most decorated player in women’s world championship history with 14 medals. After the game, Poulin gave Knight a hug on the ice. 

"We just said 'that was unbelievable,'" Poulin said.

U.S. coach John Wroblewski echoed the sentiment that it was an outstanding game after being asked about ending the game on a power-play after leaving too many players on the ice. 

"Instead of talking about the isolated events of tonight's game, I think that normally that's an interesting storyline,” he said. “But I think the entity of an amazing 6-5 game is an amazing hockey game that took place."

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