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March 6, 2013
Defender captains U.S., scores in her 100th cap

Rachel Buehler scored a goal in her 100th appearance for the U.S. Women's National Team
Rachel Buehler scored a goal in her 100th appearance for the U.S. Women's National Team
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
ALBUFEIRA, Portugal -- How appropriate.

Defender Rachel Buehler returned to where it all began on Wednesday.

Buehler, who earned her first cap at the Algarve Cup, made her 100th international appearance in the U.S.'s 3-0 triumph over Iceland in the competition's opener for both teams.

And to cap it off, Buehler wore the captain's armband and scored a goal in the win, only her fourth international tally.

“Today was an incredible game for me," Buehler said. "It’s sort of coming full circle here in the Algarve. Wearing this jersey is always such an honor and I value every moment of that, but to wear the captain’s armband makes it even more special. And then to get a goal on top of it!"

That certainly was not lost on her teammates.

“I am so thrilled for Buehler to get a goal in her 100th cap," said Abby Wambach, who scored the final goal of the match. "It’s a big deal for any defender to get a goal and for her to do it in her 100th cap is really special.”

As one of the backline players, Buehler's main responsibility was keeping the Americans' opponents off the scoring sheet, which she and her teammates did, earning their first shutout of the year.

“It was great for us to get the clean sheet," she said. "We were tight back there and they didn’t get too many opportunities. In this tournament there are so many good teams and goal difference is really important so I’m happy we were able to come through with no goals against.”

It took the USA more than a half to find itself as Buehler struck for its first goal three minutes into the second half.

“It wasn’t our best soccer game of all time," she said. "Against China, hopefully we can play some better soccer, connect some more passes and get some better rhythm.”

The Americans take on China on Friday at 9 a.m. ET on Friday, the game is available on pay-per-view.

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