ORLANDO, Fla. — A mix of veteran and young U.S. women’s national-team stars combined for a blowout 6-0 victory over Colombia on Friday, capping January camp with two friendly wins for the United States.
Superstar Megan Rapinoe, returning this month after nearly a year away from the pitch because of the pandemic, scored twice. Rapinoe, who is on the roster of Tacoma-based OL Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League, netted her first goal with a backside shot, leading to a Rapinoe air-guitar celebration.
Rose Lavelle of the U.S. team sent a cross into the box. While it deflected off a Colombia defender, U.S. defender Emily Sonnett was able to keep the ball alive near the 18-yard-line and got it to Rapinoe, who fired a bouncing shot through traffic, off a Colombia defender, and just inside the left post.
Rapinoe closed the first half with a penalty kick to give the United States a 3-0 lead
The match opened with a bang when 22-year-old Catarina Macario netted the first goal of her international career in the third minute. That goal was the payoff of years of work on and off the field for Macario. The Brazilian native became a U.S. citizen in the fall while formally applying to change her national team affiliation.
The switch was approved last week, allowing Macario to debut on Monday night and notch her first goal on Friday. Orlando Pride captain Ali Krieger assisted the goal with a high-arcing cross from outside the box, which Macario tapped into the net with her first touch.
After Rapinoe’s goals, the U.S. team continued to pour on the pressure in the second half, making way for Lynn Williams and Lindsey Horan to add goals.
Midge Purce closed the match by netting her first international goal, leaping to flick a header into the net.
The U.S. previously beat Colombia 4-0 on Monday night. The U.S. team’s high press continued to overpower its opponent, forcing the Colombians onto their heels for most of the match. U.S. outshot Colombia 33-2, forcing keeper Sandra Sepulveda to make five saves to prevent a wider deficit.
The matches are the first step of gearing up for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics. The Times of London cited an anonymous source stating Japanese government officials expected the games to be canceled, but numerous officials refuted the report Friday and the games are still scheduled to be staged despite the challenges presented by the difficult to contain coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. team will return to Orlando to host the SheBelieves Cup at Exploria Stadium in February.