The USWNT’s First Game of 2021

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@uswnt on Instagram

The final score with an image of Samantha Mewis’s penalty kick during the second half.

Abigail Frank, Journalist

On January 18, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) played the Columbian Women’s National Team in Orlando Florida. This was the first game for the USWNT for the 2021 year. The two teams battled it out in the international friendly match. The game ended with the United States winning four to zero.

Both teams had a roster of 18 players. Colombia had a much younger age average for their roster. Their youngest player being 15 years old. Multiple other players were 17 and 18 years old. The United States had older players, including Carli Lloyd who is currently 38 years old.

The USWNT’s starting lineup against Columbia’s National Team on January 18, 2021. (ussoccer.com)

This age difference was evident during the first half of play. The older United States team had much better control on the ball and made more thought out passes than the younger Colombian team did, offensively.

USWNT fan, Alyssa, thought “the intensity wasn’t as high as it could’ve been.” She elaborated, saying, “I think Colombia isn’t top competition and a lot of the times when a team can’t match the USA’s talent, the USWNT tends to not be their best self.”

Another USWNT fan, Samantha, thought “Colombia was a good team to start the year with. It was good to see what the team may need to work on going forward, especially offensively.” She also thought that the 15 year old on Colombia’s team was “such an inspiration for her and other young girls.”

Samantha Mewis was the stand out player during the game. Mewis was named woman of the match. She scored three of the four goals for the Unites States. This was her first international hat trick of her career.

She was able to get in great positions offensively to help put her team on top early on. Her first goal was during minute four with an assist from Megan Rapinoe. Her second goal was a header in the 33rd minute with an assist from Carli Lloyd. Her third goal, to complete her hat trick, was scored a mere minute after the second half started. This goal was scored off a penalty kick in the 18 yard box.

The fourth goal was scored by Samantha Mewis’s sister, Kristie Mewis. The goal happened late in the game during the 85th minute, with an assist from Carli Lloyd. The pair became the first sisters to score in the same match for the USWNT.

Samantha Mewis (right) and Kristie Mewis (left) celebrating their win after Monday’s game. (@uswnt on Instagram)

The USWNT’s head coach, Vlatko Andonovski, has a 12-0-0 record. This is the best starting record from any head coach for the USWNT. The previous record holder, Pia Sundhage, had a starting record of 10-0-0. He hopes to continue to grow and get even better as the year progresses and the rescheduled 2020 Olympics approach.

Catarina Macario made her USWNT debut against Colombia. She was born in Brazil, but moved to the United States when she was 12 years old. She played in the collegiate division with Stanford University. She decided to skip her senior year in order to pursue a career professionally. She was a highly decorated college athlete and her start with the USWNT was highly anticipated.

Macario’s debut was all that was expected when she started in the second half. She looked right at home amongst the rest of the team. Her skill and control of the ball was evident on the field. She even managed to get a few shots off that were close to being goals. The USWNT and fans are looking forward to what she does on the field moving forward as a member of the team.

Catarina Macario (in white) in her first international appearance against Colombia. (@uswnt on Instagram)

Becky Sauerbrunn played in her first match since officially being named captain on January 17. She has a presence on the back defensive line that is dominating on the field. She played a full 90 minute game against Colombia. This allowed her to surpass her childhood idol, Carla Overbeck, in order to move to 13th place all time in minutes played for the USWNT. She now has played a total of 13,940 minutes.

Alyssa shared her thoughts about the upcoming competition for the USWNT. “No other team in the world has talent like they do and the DEPTH. They have so much talent available.” She continued, “The key to this year might be the newest players, like Emily Fox. But also utilizing veterans strengths, like Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe.”

Samantha is excited to see how the team will continue to grow, especially over the next few months. “There is a lot of talent on the team. It will be interesting to see how both the younger and older talent will be utilized in the upcoming games and the Olympics.”

The USWNT is scheduled to play against Colombia again on January 22 at 4 p.m. Pacific Time. They will also play in the She Believes Cup in February meeting opponents Canada, Brazil, and Japan. The USWNT will also play in the 2020 Summer Olympics that are rescheduled to start in late July.