The U.S. Women’s National team rang in the new year with a bang on Monday night at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, topping Colombia 4-0 in the first of two friendly matches this week.
Coming into the camp from Manchester City, it was Samantha Mewis leading the charge for the Americans as she produced the ultra-rare perfect hat-trick early on.
After opening the scoring with her left foot in the fifth minute, Mewis earned the brace with her head in the 33rd minute. It wasn’t until the Americans were awarded a penalty in the first minute of the second half that she got to take a chance with her preferred right foot, and with all the momentum flowing through her, it was no surprise that she buried it.
Safe to say the Colombians had enough of Mewis, and head coach Vlatko Andonovski showed a little mercy by putting an end to the Mewis show in the 64th minute.
But it prompted another of sorts, as Samantha’s sister Kristie Mewis delivered the fourth goal in the 86th minute after coming on in substitution, marking her second goal in as many appearances in her return to the USWNT rotation.
After missing out on the team’s December camp in the Netherlands, veterans Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd each marked their returns to the National Team fold with assists in the first half. Going with the run of play, Rapinoe crossed one into the box to find Mewis isolated. Lloyd took a cross from Lindsey Horan and volleyed it on her head to set up the second goal.
The night also saw the debut of exciting youngster Catarina Macario, who replaced Rapinoe for the second half. Though she did not get in on the scoring, the newest member of French powerhouse Lyon did not look one bit out of place in her shift.
The two sides will meet again in Orlando on Friday.
Woman of the Match
Living up to her nickname The Tower of Power, Samantha Mewis was on fire en route to her three goals in her 68th USWNT appearance.
Moment of the Match
Mewis’ penalty to open the second half gave the Americans a comfortable 3-0 lead to work with, and afforded Andonovski room to make some drastic personnel changes as he tries to zero in what the upcoming Olympic team will look like.
Match to Forget
If you want to stop the USWNT, you will at least want to have a full-strength squad. Given that Colombia was shorthanded due to four players compromised by recent COVD-19 tests, the loss is forgivable.
That said, Colombian goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda will be having nightmares about Monday night. To be fair, her defense did not do much to help her, but each of the Americans’ opportunities was scored from inside the box, and she overcommitted in the wrong direction on the penalty.