From ACC rivals to Olympic teammates: Virginia Cavaliers stars Morgan Brian and Becky Sauerbrunn see Carolina blue at every turn as they join five former Tar Heels on the U.S. women's soccer team.

As Team USA attempts to win its fourth gold medal in four Olympics — the program's sixth total medal in six Olympic Games — Brian and Sauerbrunn are teaming up with North Carolina Tar Heels Crystal Dunn, Whitney Engen, Tobin Heath, Meghan Klingenberg and Allie Long in the quest.

But to hear Brian talk, any enmity between the Cavaliers and Tar Heels is nonexistent. Instead, she's grateful and excited to play for the U.S. Women's National Team.

"For me, just being in this environment, this is very magnetic. You want more, and it pushes you to your limits every single day. I think for me, as an athlete, that's exactly what I want," Brian told in October 2014

Brian and Sauerbrunn were officially named to the Olympic team on July 12, along with alternate Emily Sonnet.

Brian, a midfielder, ranks fifth all-time in Virginia history with 41 goals. Her 43 assists are second-most. Becky Sauerbrunn, a defender, was a three-time All-American at Virginia.

"Any time you get to represent the United States is a tremendous honor. I'm thrilled to be going to my second Olympic Games. It is a truly unique experience being a part of Team USA with all these athletes competing in all these different disciplines. There's a real sense of camaraderie and being a part of something bigger than just your team," Sauerbrunn said in a statement released by the University of Virginia.

Rio will be the second Olympic experience for Sauerbrunn, who was a member of the 2012 gold-medal winning team. That puts her one up on Brian, who will make her Olympic debut.

It seems likely Brian will be partnered with Lindsey Horan — also competing in her first Olympics — upfront. 

"The two [center midfielders] on this team, I think, are in charge of setting the tempo. The ability we have to get the ball a lot and influence the game a lot — I think if we're touching the ball a lot, and we're going through the midfield, [the team] is playing well. It's kind of like the engine of the team. We're the center of the park, so everything goes through us," Brian told in March 2016

Contact Us