The U.S. women’s national team will square off against Colombia Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. The game is the first of a pair of friendlies set up against the South Americans in preparation for the Concacaf W Championship in July on Paramount+. The Concacaf W Championship in Monterrey, Mexico, will serve as qualifiers not only for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, but also the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.
Colombia, on the other hand, are preparing to host the 2022 Copa America Femenina — which serves as World Cup qualifying for CONMEBOL. The two sides faced each other in 2021 with the USWNT sweeping the previous two-game series.
Here’s how you can watch the match and what to know:
Game: International friendly
Date: Saturday, June 25 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park — Commerce City, Colorado
TV: FS1 | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
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Final prep ahead of qualifiers
Since November 2021, the player pool has expanded under head coach Vlatko Andonovski to include several new players to the squad ahead of the 2023 World Cup. Though a recent flurry of injuries has have sidelined players like midfielder Samantha Mewis, defender Tierna Davidson, and forward Lynn Williams. The team is also without Julie Ertz and Casey Krueger as they are in pregnancy; Crystal Dunn recently gave birth to her son Marcel Sobrier. A recent injury to Catarina Macario also signals to some rotation expected for the team ahead of the Concacaf W Championship.
The unavailable players have opened up opportunities for even newer faces to the squad such as defender Naomi Girma, midfielder Taylor Kornieck and Trinity Rodman. Rodman just made her national team debut in February during the SheBelieves Cup and Girma did the same against Uzbekistan in April.
For Kornieck, who is looking to earn her first cap with the team, the friendlies against Colombia will serve as her final and only prep ahead of qualifiers in July. The San Diego Wave FC midfielder joins the fray thanks to her two goals and two assists this season in NWSL.
What role will veterans play?
Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe make their return to the team after extended absences. Morgan has been in remarkable form with San Diego, leading the league in goals scored with 11 goals in 10 appearances. Rapinoe has been navigating through injury and building on minutes, with only 228 minutes logged over five appearances with OL Reign. Andonovski has been adamant on her inclusion with the team, implying that her place in the team will likely supersede an actual starting role and be one that is more of leadership and experience.
Defenders Kelley O’Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn have been building on their minutes after navigating lower leg injuries earlier this season. The two players will likely see extended playing time against Colombia alongside less experienced defenders in an effort to establish chemistry ahead of qualifiers.
USWNT vs. Colombia prediction
The USWNT has the return of Alex Morgan alongside Mal Pugh and Sophia Smith. It doesn’t matter how long of an absence players have from the pitch, or the new faces they bring into the mix, expect there to be goals in this one. Pick: USWNT 4, Colombia 0.