Normally, Kelly O’Hara and Morgan Brian are the two players representing the state of Georgia for the U.S. women’s national team. Whether it was to appease the Atlanta fans or get a young player some quality playing time, Jill Ellis featured a different Georgia duo inside the Georgia Dome yesterday.
Emily Sonnett earned her 12th cap for the USWNT against the Netherlands, marking the first time she’s played professionally in the state of Georgia. The 22-year-old subbed on for Julie Johnston to start the second half and managed a good performance, holding the Netherlands scoreless for the remainder of the match.
“Sonnett came in and added another dimension to our game, I think she did exceptionally well,” Ellis said after the match.
Sonnett filled the center back role and was part of a back line that limited the Netherlands attack in that second half. She even managed a shot on a header that sent the ball over the bar, negating what would have been a great set-piece goal.
“So close!” she said post game. “It was super awesome to be able to have a chance like that in the Georgia Dome.”
She didn’t promise any family and friends in attendance any goals, but they surely hoped they could witness a moment of greatness from the Fellowship Christian School product.
For Morgan Brian, a staple among the USWNT roster, playing inside the Georgia Dome was also a first.
Ellis mentioned she joked with Brian pregame about subbing her out so she could get an ovation.
“I laughed about it a little bit,” she said. “It was awesome. To be able to come off the field, Atlanta and Georgia in general is a special place to me.”
So special in fact, she and Sonnett are planning on living in Atlanta for the next six months. She’s hoping to train with one of the academy programs in Atlanta.
Kelley O’Hara unfortunately was away from the team dealing with a death in the family, and was understandably not a part of the match-day activities.