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USWNT World Cup player preview: Get to know Savannah DeMelo

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(Lachlan Cunningham/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

Plenty of new faces are heading Down Under with the U.S. women’s national team for the World Cup. Just Women’s Sports is taking a look at a few of the newcomers and introducing them to fans new and old.

Savannah DeMelo

Age: 25 years old
Position: Midfielder
USWNT debut: July 9, 2023 vs. Wales
Total caps: 1

How has she looked in her NWSL season?

DeMelo muscled herself onto the USWNT roster with her outstanding start to her second NWSL season. She has been involved in eight goals (6 goals, 2 assists) since the beginning of May for Racing Louisville. At the time of USWNT selection, few were playing better than DeMelo.

“I just felt confident, I felt like I was playing well, I felt like my team was playing really well,” DeMelo told Just Women’s Sports. “And I think that’s just a huge part when your team is doing well. It helps me succeed. I think I owe it all to my teammates, because our team has been playing really well.”

What does she bring to the USWNT?

DeMelo often plays as a No. 10, operating as Racing Louisville’s playmaker. While she sometimes has limited opportunities to touch the ball, she knows how to make an impact with the chances she does have. That could work in her favor at the World Cup, as she could see limited minutes with the squad given her inexperience. She had never played a single minute for the USWNT before Sunday’s send-off match.

Her vision and smart decision-making paired with quality execution make her an asset. And while her lack of international experience could work against her, it could also work to her benefit. Opponents don’t know her style of play yet, which could make her a dark horse.

While DeMelo is good on the ball, she is great off it. DeMelo knows how to find and create space, making her difficult to defend. She was great off the bench in her first international appearance, immediately opening up a scoring opportunity for the USWNT.

And DeMelo is no stranger to the national team despite her lack of international experience. She has been called up into a number of camps, and that has helped prepare her for the World Cup.

“Everyone is just amazing, like people are super willing to come up to you, help you out in any way,” she said. “Everyone’s been awesome. It’s going to take everybody to win this, and I think everyone’s just trying to become a team really quickly, a family.”

What have USWNT coaches and teammates said about DeMelo?

Vlatko Andonovski, head coach: “Her performance in the league was one of the biggest reasons why she’s on the team. And based on the needs that we have in terms of the opponents and different situations that we may face, we see Sav being very important to us going forward.”

Ashley Sanchez, midfielder: “It doesn’t happen every day but she played her way in. And I think when your form was as good as hers, or is as good as hers, she deserves it.”