The United States Women's National Team is back on the pitch as the team takes on Colombia in the Round of 16. After advancing from group play in the top spot, the US are now in a win-or-go-home situation in the Knockout stages of the World Cup. While the team finished group play No.1, they failed to look truly dominant and now they must get up for a heated rivalry game against Colombia that has spurred a one-sided trash talking war prior to the match.
Colombia got things moving for this match by claiming the US has been disrespecting them. The last time these two teams met in the World Cup, the US won 2-0 while star Abby Wambach was sucker-punched by Lady Andrade. Now, Andrade is stirring the pot and making it clear the team will be the Americans on Monday.
"They belittle us. They think we're a team they're going to walk all over and it will be an easy game for them," Andrade said via USA TODAY Sports. "We're going to beat them since they like to talk so much."
No one has truly heard from the US in regards to potential trash talking between teams, but the Americans would be wise to fear the Colombians entering this match. While the USWNT topped their group, they have lacked an offensive spark that highlighted the teams in years past. At this point in the tournament, they only have four goals to their name. Two were scored by Megan Rapinoe in the opener along with one by Christen Press while Wambach got in a goal against Nigeria. Besides that, the offensive action has been lacking which is a major concern entering the next match.
"Long gone are the days where we just come out and beat teams five or six to nothing. Those days are over," midfielder Carli Lloyd said, via the Guardian. "Teams are so much better now and we're in tougher group than some of the other teams. I think that we've just got to keep the faith and belief in ourselves and know that with each game, we're going to get a little bit better and more comfortable and we'll be alright."
The US will likely alter up the lineup once again. Alex Morgan continues to get healthy which could help jumpstart the offense. The biggest question mark will be Wambach who started against Australia and Nigeria, but came off the bench against Sweden. After the last World Cup, Wambach likely has a lot of motivation entering this game and will not take kindly to the idea of starting on the side.