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USWNT Vs. Colombia: Red, White, And New!

I will not lie; I was very nervous about this game. However, when the starting lineup was released, my fears were alleviated. The United States Women’s National Team finally proved to the world that they can change and in this exciting game, they are starting to look invincible once again!

The Players We Need

Before the game started, the fans learned about what lineups the USWNT management planned to use for this do-or-die game. They made many much-needed changes in their lineup, with the addition of Jaedyn Shaw and Jenna Nighswonger midfield and Korbin Albert and Tierna Davidson defending. Alyssa Naeher was our goalie tonight, but more on her later. 

Many people were against Lindsey Horan and Alex Morgan starting, but they were crucial for this victory. In my last article, I stated that they needed younger players starting along with the addition of veterans to give the younger players confidence. Morgan played like she was in her twenties again and Horan is the tallest midfielder on the roster, and the captain. For me, these two are irreplaceable at the moment.

First-Half Offense

Alex Morgan got a penalty in the box for a penalty kick. The Colombian team was not budging, as they refused to let any USWNT member take the penalty for two minutes. Their attempt to get in the US women's heads failed, as Horan scored their first goal with a beautiful penalty kick.

The younger players including Trinity Rodman and Jaedyn Shaw were very confident in this game and forced Colombia to give up the ball multiple times. In the 22nd minute, an assist from Morgan allowed Nighswonger to score and increase their lead. Speaking of Morgan, the effort she showed tonight reminded me of what everybody knows her as, The GOAT. Every time she got a touch on the ball, the crowd roared with applause!

Finally, in extra time (45+2), Rodman passed the ball to Shaw, and she found an opening to score the third and final goal of the game. Horan also had a free kick in extra time but narrowly missed the goal.

First-Half Defense

Colombia's Linda Caicedo was a player I was afraid to see in this game. She did a terrific job baiting the defensive players towards her, to leave the right field open for the Colombian forwards to score. However, the US players would not give them a chance to score and they did a great job deflecting each chance Colombia tried to create.

My player of the game, however, goes to Alyssa Naeher, who earned her 100th cap with the USWNT tonight. She had one of the greatest blocks I have seen from a goalie in a long time as she refused to concede any points in this game.

Second-Half Offense and Defense

At the start of the second half, Margaret “Midge” Purce was put into the game as a substitution for Trinity Rodman. I found myself missing Sam Mewis a bit in this half, as Horan, our tallest player, was just short of a perfect header. Not long after the second half began, Rose Lavelle was subbed in for Shaw. The USWNT put in lots of effort, some of the best I have seen in a very long time. Sophia Smith and Olivia Moultrie were put in towards the end of the game, and no more goals were scored.

I started this second half of the game thinking that the USWNT should start playing more tricks on the Colombians, and give them a taste of their own medicine. They did do that and it helped to keep a clean sheet. Naeher and the backline made sure not to create any absences in the box, as that was one of their biggest mistakes from their game versus Mexico.

Another thing that I liked was the defensive pressure to fill in the back when needed. They did not allow themselves to fall behind Colombia’s tempo or get caught off guard with their tricks. They learned from the previous half that every major goalscorer of Colombia should be surrounded to prevent goals. Naeher also had beautiful saves in the second half and earned a well-deserved clean sheet.

Improvements and Moving Forward

Another thing I noticed during this game was the leadership of everybody on the team. Sam Coffey made great calls during this game, and though the captain’s armband was passed to Emily Fox at the end of the game, Coffey seems like she would be a great future captain. 

The players lacked composure during the game, which caused Morgan, Horan, Rodman, and Shaw to all receive yellow cards this game. Since these cards carry on to the next game against Canada, their tempers must be kept down so they do not accrue red cards at the next game.

Loss of possession also seems like a major problem for us. Their passes are not as accurate as they would like them to be, and they gave up the ball many times during the game. They always won the ball back, but these mistakes could be disastrous. 

That being said, the effort shown tonight was some of the best I have seen from the USWNT in years and their persistence makes them invincible. They lose games when they show a lack of effort, so hopefully, when they play Canada, they play with the ferocity of the four-time Women’s World Cup team that we all know and love.

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