USWNT: Recapping their wins over Colombia

Sam Mewis celebrates with her USWNT teammates after scoring her second goal.
Sam Mewis celebrates after scoring her second goal of the first half against Colombia at Exploria Stadium on January 18, 2021. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

On January 18 and 22, the USWNT held two international friendlies against Colombia. The games wrapped up their January training camp, which took place in Orlando, Florida.

The camp began on January 9 and, within a few days time, the squad was able to have full team training. This in itself was a breath of fresh air. Allowing the capacity for all players to train together ensures that everyone pulls their weight.

Call-ups included several familiar faces from recent years. Yet, a few new and up-and-coming names were also included. Catarina Marcario and Emily Fox are two such examples of young players expected to be top caliber.

Head coach Vlatko Andonovski made clear of his focus going into the camp. His main goal was to put together what this team has been able to do over the last few camps and nail down the specifics. In the end, that was exactly what happened once both match days came around.

USWNT vs Colombia 4–0

Becky Sauerbrunn of the USWNT tackles the ball from Gisela Robledo of Colombia.
Becky Sauerbrunn tackles the ball from Gisela Robledo of Colombia during the first half at Exploria Stadium on January 18, 2021. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

The first match’s starting lineup was exactly what USWNT fans would’ve expected. The star-studded crew went to town with newly-named captain Becky Sauerbrunn anchoring the defensive line.

Andonovski’s tactics displayed no signs of relief for the Colombian side. His focus on details began to show as the USWNT was able to pick apart the seams in the middle of the park. Colombia, ranked 26th in the world and second in South America, proceeded to play like they were not up against the best team in the world.

During the first four minutes of the half, the American side showed its dominance with a goal from Sam Mewis. The match soon generated more love and appreciation to the Mewis sisters.

At the half, Sam led the team with two goals over a high-pressured Colombian side. Despite the scoreline, the US still had some kinks that were in the process of getting sorted out.

Within a minute of starting the second half, Sam captured her first international hat-trick. From there, it was not long until Andonovski began making substitutions. This is where we saw Marcario step onto the pitch for the first time, as well as a Mewis sister swap.

It was a tale of two sisters, as Kristie Mewis went on to score in the 85th minute. She was also the last person to score for the USWNT in 2020, meaning the Mewis sisters are on track for another great year.

USWNT vs Colombia 6–0

Megan Rapinoe celebrates with her USWNT teammates after scoring.
Megan Rapinoe celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the USWNT vs Columbia match at Exploria Stadium on January 22, 2021. (Photo by Cory Knowlton)

The second match provided a different vibe than that on January 18. Both sides made significant changes. Seven new faces started for the Stars and Stripes, while Colombia made five changes to their starting XI.

Marcario secured her first start after an impressive debut in match one. Then, after three minutes of play, the US took the lead from none other than Marcario herself. The scoreline began to read the same as it did in match one.

By the end of the half, Megan Rapinoe joined Marcario on the score sheet. It was a notable return for Rapinoe, who was returning after a year off of play, reminding spectators that she is still in-form after scoring two goals.

The scoreline continued to show the consistent dominance of the US as the second half commenced.

With substitutes coming on, a new spectacle unfolded: Crystal Dunn playing as a forward. Normally, Dunn is part of the national team’s solid back-line. Yet, for the North Carolina Courage, we do see Dunn become more versatile.

As the final whistle blew, the scoreline read 6-0. Several players got on the board, including Lynn Williams, Lindsey Horan, and Midge Purce.

Next up: SheBelieves Cup

What do these international friendlies and January camp mean for the USWNT? Everything! These two matches display the final preparations that this squad will be making as they enter into next month’s SheBelieves Cup.

Coming up against three powerhouse teams, Canada, Brazil and Japan, the US will have to pay close attention to the little details in every match. Only then will they be able to claim their fourth SBC title and make the necessary steps to a successful run at the Olympics.