By Jacob Born | January 19, 2021

After 313 days, the longest stretch without games for the team since the early 1990s, the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) was back on the pitch Monday evening, taking on Colombia in the first of two international friendlies. 

The team did not disappoint, dominating the match en route to a 4-0 victory in Orlando. 

Four ECNL alumni were selected to participate in the match Monday evening; Lindsey Horan (Colorado Rush) started at midfield, while Catarina Macario (San Diego Surf), Margaret “Midge” Purce (Maryland United), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado) and Jane Campbell (Concorde Fire) all were available for substitutions. 

Horan earned her 87th international cap in the start and entered the contest as one of the USWNT’s leading scorers in 2020, where she was tied at the top with Christen Press with seven goals and three assists. While Horan didn’t officially find the scoresheet, she played a major role in the USWNT’s attack, facilitating three of the USWNT’s four tallies on the night. 

Horan got the US going after just four minutes as she showed off her exceptional passing skills with a beautiful service to Megan Rapinoe just to the left of the box, earning a reactionary “nice ball” from play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera. Rapinoe then threaded a pass to Sam Mewis inside the box and she buried a shot with her left foot for a 1-0 lead.

Midway through the first half, Horan once again had the “hockey assist” when the USWNT went up 2-0. In the 33rd minute, Horan served a great ball into the box from deep on the left wing. Carli Lloyd was at the far post and headed the ball back into the middle, where Sam Mewis was at the opposite post and buried another header into the back of the net for her second of the game.

Coming out of halftime with a 2-0 lead, Horan once again set up the USWNT for a goal when she was tackled inside the Colombia box just 11 seconds into the second half. Sam Mewis stepped up to the spot and deftly knocked the ball into the bottom left corner of the net for her first career hat-trick. And while it wouldn’t show up on the scoresheet, Mewis doesn’t get her tally without the play of Horan. 

Also at the start of the second 45, Macario made her international debut, and she didn’t look out of place for one second. Confident with or without the ball, Macario was a focal point for the USWNT in the second half. She was the main distributor for the team, consistently play-making and taking all set pieces. At one point midway through the half, Macario cut inside at the top of the box, creating enough space to rip a shot on net that would have been her first full international goal had a Colombian defender not deflected it just enough to go wide.

Purce eventually subbed on for the USWNT in the 72nd minute, aiding the US side in not allowing a single shot by the Colombian offense for the game. The team closed out the contest with a late goal from Kristie Mewis to earn a commanding 4-0 victory.

Sam and Kristie Mewis became the first pair of sisters ever to score in the same contest for the USWNT. The two grew up playing for Scorpions SC, which became an ECNL club a few years after the Mewis sisters graduated from the program. 

The USWNT will take on Colombia for the second of two international friendlies Friday evening in Orlando. Kick-off is at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN 2.


About the ECNL:

The ECNL is the nation’s leading youth soccer development platform. The ECNL respects and celebrates the unique individuality of every youth soccer player and club, supporting and enabling them to unleash their unfettered passion and fierce tenacity in striving to achieve their potential. 

The ECNL mission to Raise the Game is a total commitment to create the best possible environment for players, coaches, referees and administrators, with a determination to constantly question convention and challenge the status quo in youth sports.

The ECNL Commitment:

We will lead, set our eyes on new horizons, and pursue them relentlessly. 

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