The United States Women’s National Team return to the field tomorrow when they take on Colombia in the first of two friendlies against them in this international window. The USWNT are coming off a September window where they defeated South Africa twice while not conceding a goal. They also said goodbye to Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe, who played their final national team matches during the window.
Now, with most players back healthy, including Becky Sauerbrunn and Sophia Smith, the team starts to look towards a 2024 where they will first have the first ever W Gold Cup and then the 2024 Summer Olympics, where they hope to get back to the top of the world. Preparations and evaluations begin now, even with Twila Kilgore leading the team in the interim while the search for a permanent head coach continues.
The USWNT face a Colombia team that broke out onto the world’s stage during the 2023 Women’s World Cup, advancing to the quarterfinals and almost getting past England to go even further. They have a bonafide young star in Linda Caicedo, and Las Cafeteras will present a strong challenge for the USWNT. The first test is tomorrow night in Utah.
W (2-0) - South Africa - Friendly
W (3-0) - South Africa - Friendly
D (0-0) - Sweden - 2023 Women’s World Cup Round of 16*
D (0-0) - Portugal - 2023 Women’s World Cup
D (1-1) - Netherlands - 2023 Women’s World Cup
*Lost on penalties
L (1-2) - England - 2023 Women’s World Cup Quarterfinals
W (1-0) - Jamaica - 2023 Women’s World Cup Round of 16
L (0-1) - Morocco - 2023 Women’s World Cup
W (2-1) - Germany - 2023 Women’s World Cup
L (2-0) - South Korea - 2023 Women’s World Cup
GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (9): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign), M.A. Vignola (Angel City)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon), Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
FORWARDS (9): Mia Fishel (Chelsea FC), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham)
What To Watch For
Have we learned from the past? We know a lot of the things that kept the USWNT from winning a 3rd straight World Cup title, and now is the time where we get to see if the team has learned from those tactical errors. Against a Colombia team that will not be afraid of the USWNT, the players on the field have to execute their game plan and go right at Colombia to spread their defense and get some goals in the back of the net.
Hungry yet humble. The USWNT almost have to play this match like they’re the underdogs. They have to come out knowing that Colombia can punish their mistakes and they have to bring the hunger and drive that is needed on the field. The USWNT have to decide that they will not allow themselves to lose this match and they have to have the courage to go out there and play that way.
Time to step up. There are 27 players on this roster, but as evaluations begin to see who will be on the roster for the Olympics (an 18-person roster at that), individual players have to understand that the clock begins now to show that they should be on that roster. Make sure they get some good game tape for the coaching staff to review and consider them a reliable player that should be on the plane to Paris.
Colombia is good, but look for the USWNT to take advantage of the cold weather to escape with a 1-0 victory.