The United States women’s national team and Colombia drew 0-0 in their recent friendly match, showcasing a performance that mirrored the USWNT’s performance in the most recent FIFA Women’s World Cup. The match was in stark contrast to the team’s previous friendlies against South Africa, where the USWNT looked relaxed and celebrated the careers of Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe.
The lack of a celebratory mood seemed to affect the US team’s performance, as they struggled to find their rhythm. This was reminiscent of their disappointing showing in the World Cup. However, credit must be given to Colombia, who put up a strong fight. Their performance in the World Cup quarterfinals was no fluke, and their absence of key players, such as midfielder Mayra Ramírez and striker Catalina Usme, made their performance even more impressive.
The US defense, on the other hand, was solid throughout the match. They stifled Colombia’s superstar Linda Caicedo, preventing her from causing any major damage. Caicedo recorded zero shots and only created one chance. The return of center-back Becky Sauerbrunn, who had missed the World Cup due to a foot injury, was a welcome sight for the US defense.
The US attack, however, looked tentative for most of the match. The midfield also appeared sluggish, and it wasn’t until the second half that the team started to impose their will on Colombia. Substitute Ashley Hatch injected some energy into the attack, forcing a sharp save from the Colombian goalkeeper. Another substitute, Sophia Smith, came close to scoring in stoppage time, but her shot hit the post.
The match also highlighted the struggles of US forward Alex Morgan. She missed a penalty in first-half stoppage time, reminiscent of her failure to convert a penalty in the World Cup. Her overall performance was below par, raising questions about her role as the team’s leading striker. Interim manager Twila Kilgore will need to consider alternatives in the limited time she has left in charge.
Morgan’s numbers for her club team, the San Diego Wave, have also dropped considerably this season, further fueling the debate about her form. However, Kilgore remains confident in Morgan’s abilities and trusts her to continue taking penalties.
As the US women’s national team recovers from their World Cup hangover, it is clear that there is work to be done. The performance against Colombia highlighted areas that need improvement, particularly in the attack and midfield. With the second friendly against Colombia approaching, it remains to be seen if the USWNT can rectify these issues and find their winning form once again.