The first match the USWNT played at “The RioT” was on March 31, 2010, when it faced Mexico in an infamous blizzard-laden match that the U.S. won, 1-0, courtesy of an Abby Wambach goal in the 60th minute. Due to the frigid temperatures in Sandy, only 3,700 fans attended the National Team’s first-ever visit to the world-class Stadium, a game remembered for the viral snow-angel celebrations as well as numerous milestones in what have become storied careers for USWNT superstars.
That match gave very first caps to Orlando Pride FW Alex Morgan and URFC DF Brittany (Taylor) Kolmel, while USWNT legend Kristine Lilly earned her first start for the U.S. since 2007. Wambach’s goal enabled her to draw even with Michelle Akers’ 105 goals for their country, good for third all-time.
Hosting Canada at Rio Tinto Stadium two years later in June, 2012, the USWNT would ride a Canadian own goal and an 85th minute winner from active Utah Royals FC FW Amy Rodriguez to propel the “Stars-and-Stripes” to a 2-1 victory in front of nearly 17,000 fans.
Rio Tinto Stadium would again host a friendly between the USWNT and Mexico in 2014 – this time with no snow – and goals were abundant. Led by two goals each from Wambach and Morgan, the USWNT routed its rivals 8-0, scoring four times in each half for the biggest USWNT win at Rio Tinto. Others adding goals aside from the Mexican OG were Whitney Engen, Sydney Leroux and Heather O’Reilly.
That match would prove to be the first tune-up for the very much anticipated FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015, which the USWNT ultimately claimed after going unbeaten with a 6-0-1 mark en route to the nation’s third world title.
Switzerland was the most recent country to visit Sandy to face the USWNT, back in October, 2016, as the Americans would move to a perfect 4-0-0 in Sandy with a 4-0 win over the Swiss while entertaining 14,000+ U.S. supporters. Goals from Lynn Williams, Tobin Heath, Christen Press and Samantha Mewis in the second half propelled yet another USWNT victory.