The United States Women’s National Team return to action this coming week as they take on Colombia in two matches, the first being on Monday and the second on January 22nd. It will be the first time that Colombia has lined up against the United States since the 2016 Olympics, which was a 2-2 draw down in Brazil.
Currently ranked 26th in the world, Colombia brings a physical nature to their game, and each of the matches between these two teams - 3 in 2016 and the 2015 World Cup Round of 16 - have had hard fouls and chippy play.
Sandra Sepúlveda, Carolina Arias, Diana Ospina, Liana Salazar, and Catalina Usme are the players on this roster who were on that 2016 Olympic squad. They bring some experience to Orlando, but a ton of youth:
Goalkeepers (3): Natalia Giraldo (América de Cali), Valentina González (Llaneros), Sandra Sepúlveda (Independiente Medellín)
Defenders (7): Viviana Acosta (Independiente Santa Fe), Carolina Arias (Deportivo Cali), Daniela Arias (América de Cali), Ana Maria Bohórquez (Fortaleza C.E.I.F.), Jorelyn Carabalí (Deportivo Cali), Sofía García (Sporting Huelva), Kelly Ibargüen (Deportivo Cali)
Midfielders (10): Kelly Caicedo (Deportivo Cali), Jessica Caro (América de Cali), Gabriela Huertas (Independiente Santa Fe), Daniela Montoya (Junior), María Morales (Millonarios), Diana Ospina (América de Cali), Manuela Pavi (Deportivo Cali), María Camila Reyes (Llaneros), Gisela Robledo (América de Cali), Liana Salazar (Independiente Santa Fe)
Forwards (5): Linda Caicedo (Deportivo Cali), Ingrid Guerra (Deportivo Cali), Sara Martínez (Independiente Medellín), Kena Romero (Independiente Santa Fe), Catalina Usme (América de Cali)
The average age of this squad is 23.56, with the youngest player being 15-year-old forward Linda Caicedo. All but one player (Sofía García) play in Colombia’s Liga Femenina Profesional de Fútbol, They are led by Catalina Usme, Colombia’s all-time leading goalscorer, up front. She’s able to create her own shot, but the majority of their attack will depend on their service and the play of the midfield.
Colombia will be fighting off the rust bug big time this week. When they take the field Monday against the USWNT, it will be the first time they have played in over a year. They last played back in November 2019 in a pair of friendlies against Argentina. They didn’t qualify for the 2019 World Cup, but they did win the gold medal at the 2019 Pan-American Games, also beating Argentina in the gold medal match.
Despite the rust, they are still going to approach this match to play scrappy in an effort to frustrate the USWNT. They have creative flair, but they’re willing to play physical to win possession and go down the field. They have some veterans here to guide the way, but it seems that Colombia is trying to give their new generation some experience against the best team on the planet.
Colombia and the USWNT face off on Monday at 7:00pm (FS1) and on January 22nd at 7:00pm (ESPN2). Catch all the action with a free preview on Fubo TV.