- Savanna DeMelo (b. Mar. 26, 1998) is an American professional soccer midfielder.
- The California native was selected to the US Women’s National Team to play in the 2023 FIFA World Cup.
- She made her first appearance for the US at a senior level in the 2023 World Cup.
The US Women’s National Team has made it past the Group Stage and onto the Round of 16 of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Their ticket to the knockout stage was punched after the group secured the draw against Portugal on Tuesday (Aug. 1). While the 0-0 score wasn’t what the USWNT wanted – they would come in second in Group E, after the Netherlands ran up the score, 7-0, in their match against Vietnam – the group, including rookie Savannah DeMelo, are now on to face Sweden in the knockout stage.
This means that Savannah, 25, can still make an impact and etch her name in history. I think the team is in a very good spot,” DeMelo said following her team’s 1-1 draw against the Dutch side on Jul. 29. “I think we are a very close team, so we really lean on each other, and we’re going to be honest with each other. I don’t think we were very happy with our last performance, and we’re OK with that — I think we’re just an honest group, but we’re very hopeful, and we know we’re going to get the job done.”
Team USA has a hard road ahead. Sweden beat the US Women’s Team, 3-0, in the group stage of the Tokyo Olympics. Before that game goes down on Aug. 6, get to know more about Savannah.
What Position Does Savannah DeMelo Play?
Savannah DeMelo is considered an attacking midfielder. As of 2023, she plays for Racing Louisville as part of the National Women’s Soccer League.
In 2023, she was one of 14 World Cup first-timers on the roster, according to Yahoo Sports. Before the appearance, she tried to get onto the team twice, but the midfield was too strong to break into.
She and coach Vlatko Andonovski had “a lot of conversations but one of the hardest things is making this team, so I was never super confident, like, ‘Oh, I’m going to make it. I deserve to make it,’” she told Yahoo Sports. “It was, if it happened, I was super grateful for it, and I was just working hard to get there. But when he called me, it was surreal. Shocked. I was grateful. Excited. But I was ready to get to work.”
Soccer Wasn’t Always Her Main Passion.
Had things gone differently, Savannah might have been competing not on the pitch but on the balance beam. She was a gymnast until she was eight years old, per Yahoo Sports, and started playing soccer seriously when she was nine, a relatively late start. She played volleyball and basketball for fun and gravitated to soccer for the team aspect.
Savannah DeMelo Speaks Portuguese.
When the USWNT faced off against Portugal’s team in the Group Stage of the 2023 World Cup, they had a secret weapon in Savannah. Her father, Robert, is from Portugal and had a successful career playing soccer/football in the country before becoming a coach, per the Associated Press. “I’ll definitely be listening for it,” she told the AP ahead of the game.
Because she has dual citizenship, she could have played for Portugal if she wanted. “It could have been an option,” she told the AP. “But, I think my heart was always with the United States.”
Her Father Didn’t Pressure Her To Play.
Both Savannah’s father and mother knew that pushing her towards soccer would have the opposite effect, so they let her come to the sport on her own. One motivating factor, besides the team aspect, was how Savannah and her father would watch Cristiano Ronaldo play. “He’s like a god at our house,” she told Yahoo Sports.
Savannah’s father still helps her out and still coaches Beach FC. “It’s sometimes hard to have a relationship with your dad, and he has to be a coach at the same time, but I think he perfected that,” she told Yahoo. “He was my first coach, and he really gave me so much insight on what it is to not only be a soccer player but have the lifestyle of a soccer player. It’s not just about going to practice Monday, Wednesday. It’s about what you’re doing on the weekends, how you’re taking care of your body, and the extra stuff you’re doing.”
What College Did Savannah DeMelo Go To?
Savannah attended the University of Southern California and played with the USC Trojans for 75 games. She scored 17 goals and had 28 assists during her college career.
She had to miss her junior season because of an injury. She tore her Achilles tendon and thought that her soccer career was over. She got through rehab and got back out on the field.
“I think it just kept me super hungry to come back and not just come back the player I was, but even better,” she said. “I’m super proud of myself because I think I did do that, and I wouldn’t really have believed it if you told me that back then that I would be better than before I got injured. And I think I have more of an appreciation for the game because it was taken away from me for so long.”
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