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Game Preview: USWNT looks to extend head coach Vlatko Andonovski’s unbeaten streak

Colorado Real Soccer alums Mallory Pugh and Sophia Smith scratched from tonight’s friendly vs. Colombia

John A. Babiak - @Photog_JohnB

The U.S. Women’s National Team will face-off with Colombia tonight at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. MT. The international friendly will close out the women’s January training camp.

The Lady Yanks are coming off of a dominating 4-0 victory over the same Las Cafeteras team on January 18. The U.S. fired off 22 shots at the Colombian goal in front of more than 2,000 fans. Three found the back of the net off the foot of Samantha Mewis (including a penalty kick) and her sister Kristie Mewis added the fourth. The pair became the first sisters to score in the same match for the USWNT.

That being said, head coach Vlatko Andonovski believes there is room for improvement.

“I don’t think that was our best performance. And in our recap with the team, the players agreed,” Andonovski said during yesterday’s press conference. “We all know that we can get better and we all agree and are willing to do whatever it takes to get better.”

He continued, “It just speaks about the mentality of the team. We don’t look at the opponent and go with the mindset of doing only enough to win the game. We just look at ourselves and go with the mindset... what does it take to be the best version of ourselves? That is our main motivation.”

Concurrently, a hardened USWNT defense held Colombia to zero shots on goal.

The U.S. is unbeaten in its last 49 home matches. The run has afforded the USA to outscore their opponents 173-27, including a remarkable differential of 43-3 during its last 11 matches here at home. The team is 12-0-0 under Andovoski’s leadership.

Monday night’s line-up included two Coloradoans: Rush Colorado alumni Lindsey Horan and Real Colorado graduate Sophia Smith. Smith got an injury during her pregame warm-up routine and did not play. Andonovski told the Burgundy Wave that Smith will not suit up for tonight’s game. Horan, who is coming off of the coronavirus, started and played 64 minutes.

Soccer: U.S. Women’s National Team International Friendly Soccer-Colombia at USA Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Horan and talented Colorado Real alum Jaelin Howell are both expected to be available for tonight’s game.

When asked about how on-the-rebound Mallory Pugh was performing in camp, a downcast Andonovoski informed the Burgundy Wave that Pugh incurred an injury very early in camp, and is currently “rehabbing.”

Andonovski will select 18 players from the camp roster ahead of tonight’s fixture.

How to Watch

Match Date/Time: Friday, January 22 at 5 p.m. MT

Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando, Florida

TV Information: ESPN2

Follow along on Twitter @USWNT or Instagram @USWNT

USA CAMP ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit; 0), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 3), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 25), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 64)

DEFENDERS (10): Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA; 1/0), Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG; 62/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 26/1), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 105/24), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC; 3/0), Ali Krieger (107/1), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 132/2), Margaret Purce (Sky Blue FC; 2/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 178/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 46/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 103/20), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 86/19), Jaelin Howell (Florida State; 1/0), Rose Lavelle (Manchester City, ENG; 46/13), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA; 0/0), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 15/1), Samantha Mewis (Manchester City, ENG; 67/18), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 16/0)

FORWARDS (5): Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 294/123), Mallory Pugh Injured (Chicago Red Stars; 63/18), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 168/52), Sophia Smith, Injured (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 29/9)