ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – In their first friendly of the new year, the U.S. Women’s National Team played host to the Colombian Women’s National squad at Exploria Stadium. Newly-minted captain Becky Sauerbrunn earned her 179th cap for the U.S. team with this game. With 90 minutes completed at the final whistle, Sauerbrunn positioned herself 13th all time for total minutes played with the USA team. The USWNT look to continue building off of positive momentum as they are unbeaten in their last 32 encounters on the national stage.
Match Recap: USWNT vs. Colombia
The action got going early after beautiful build-up play facilitated by Lindsey Horan and Megan Rapinoe. The US women’s team were naturally faster than their opponents and Horan used that speed to deliver a beautifully angled ball to Rapinoe on the flank. Rapinoe delivered a low cross straight into the middle of the box that found Samantha Mewis in a prime position to score. With just four minutes on the clock, Mewis found the back of the net to put the U.S. up 1-0.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) January 19, 2021
The domination continued in the first half for the United States as their physical imposition on the pitch was too much to overcome. Oftentimes the U.S. defensive line were pushed up well past the defensive third as they suffocated Colombia into their side of the box. The offensive output became a pressure cooker situation for Colombia as Manuela Pavi became the first player to receive a booking in retaliation to all the forward press.
Sandra Sepulveda developed a mini highlight reel with her impressive saves seemingly keeping Colombia in the encounter. However, that confidence was short lived as Horan found Samantha Mewis once again with a beautifully lofted header into the box. Mewis put the right amount of contact onto the ball to send it coolly into the back of the net, and all of a sudden the plot had seemingly started to unravel for a Colombia roster hoping to build up confidence in their youth.
It’s obvious that Samantha Mewis is building off the praise she received last year as she was voted the U.S. Soccer Female player of the year by the association. Her exploits for the USWNT and Manchester City have not gone unnoticed as Mewis has a knack for scoring in important situations, most notably her FA Cup Final appearance last year where she scored against Everton. In this international friendly, her full range of skill was on display as she combined with Horan, Rapinoe and Lloyd on multiple occasions to put together her first international hat trick.
Immediately after completing the triumph, Stephanie Mewis was substituted for Kristie Mewis as the USWNT opted for a different frame of attack in the second half. Kristie would go on to find the back of the net in this encounter as well, bringing the tally to 4-0 for the U.S. Women’s team.
Catarina Macario was a name on many fans’ lips as she received her callup to the international team after spurning the NWSL in favor of a move to Lyon post-graduation. The 21-year-old showed glimpses of brilliance in her debut for the U.S. Women’s team, and will hopefully continue her development as a member of one of the most fearsome female teams in European football.
Nicolas Vera is a contributing writer for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org