The U.S. women's national team opened the year with a win as they defeated Colombia 3-0 on Monday night at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The win comes after the team closed out their 2020 back in November with a 2-0 win against the Netherlands in Europe.
The USWNT starting lineup saw the return of veterans Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd, as they worked the top line with Lynn Williams. Lindsey Horan, Julie Ertz, and Sam Mewis were tasked with winning the ball in the midfield. Alyssa Naeher got the start in net, while team captain Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O'Hara, Abby Dahlkemper, and Crystal Dunn rounded out the backline.
USWNT were largely considered favorites heading into the match and they made early work of their goal scoring. The opening goal came in the 4th minute as Rapinoe made quick work of the open lanes Colombia provided early on, feeding Sam Mewis who broke through on net. Mewis would score another ahead of halftime in the 33rd minute, and converted a penalty kick in the early minutes of second half giving USA a three goal lead in the 47th minute as she recorded her hat-trick.
Coach Vlatko Andonovski made adjustments for the second half, subbing out Rapinoe for Catarina Macario who earned her first cap for the USWNT. The team would remain active in their press, keeping up their pursuit of the ball and closing in and luring Colombia into various traps, although they were unable to capitalize on their opportunities off of set pieces in search of a fourth goal.
Kristie Mewis was subbed into the match past the hour mark and would score the fourth and final goal for USA on a left footed shot within the six yard box in the 85th minute, assisted by Lloyd for her second assist on the night. The first competitive match for the team in 2021 wasn't without missed opportunities, but even with minor rust, systematically the wheels were unstoppable as Crystal Dunn and Sam Mewis were the driving forces behind the constant movement.
USWNT 4, Colombia 0 (FT)
⚽ USA: Sam Mewis (5')
⚽ USA: Sam Mewis (33')
⚽ USA: Sam Mewis (PK:47')
⚽ USA: Kristie Mewis (85')
Sam Mewis opens the scoring: Horan and Rapinoe take advantage of the open lanes from Colombia to set up Mewis for a well executed opening goal.
Kristie Mewis scores late game goal: Subbed on during the 64th minute and left her mark on the game by scoring a left footed volley from the corner of the six yard box.
Sam Mewis, USWNT: The midfielder has scored three goals for the team against Colombia and did well to link up with the top line while regulating things in the mid. Smart runs into the box when needed and ball winning throughout.. Rating: 10
Crystal Dunn, USWNT: She was on the defensive line against Colombia, but with the aggressive high press, remained in relentless pursuit of the ball while recovering defensively when needed. Dominated the left side, while staying fluid throughout various areas of the pitch . Rating: 9.5
Sandra Sepulveda, Colombia: Four goals were conceded, with one being a penalty kick, but that shouldn't minimize the effort in front of goal. Tasked with facing 22 shots and 11 attempts on target from the USWNT, Sepulveda kept things manageable for her team throughout. Rating: 7.5
Four Colombian players were held out of this match as a precaution due to inconclusive COVID-19 testing, but could see action on Friday if results remain negative. Head coach Andonovski, communicated to the media that Sophia Smith had a tweak in pregame warm ups, slotting in Macario in the eleven spot during substitutions. Both teams will face off once again on Friday, Jan. 22.