Five Things to Know: ColombiaHydrated by BioSteel
The U.S. Women’s National Team kicks off its summer slate on Saturday, June 25, taking on Colombia in the first of two friendly matches against the South Americans before heading into World Cup and Olympic Qualifying at the 2022 Concacaf W Championship. The first match against Colombia, presented by Allstate, will be played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado (7:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. MT on FS1) and the second at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Tuesday, June 28 (10 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. MT on ESPN). These will be the USA’s final friendlies before heading to Monterrey, Mexico for qualifying.
Get ready for the games against Las Cafeteras with Five Things to Know.
COLOMBIA SET FOR KICKOFF IN COLORADO
The Colombian contingent for the two matches against the USA features 23 players, 12 of whom play their club soccer domestically in Colombia’s Liga Femenina, including two players from America de Cali, which won the 2022 first stage tournament, and five from Deportivo Cali, 2021 champions and 2022 runners-up in the first stage of the league. Of the 11 players on this roster who play their club soccer outside of Colombia, seven play in Spain, two in Brazil and one each in Mexico and Israel.
COLOMBIA WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION
Goalkeepers (3): 1-Catalina Perez (Real Betis, ESP), 12-Sandra Sepulveda (Hapoel Marmorek Rehovot FC, ISR), 13- Luz Katherine Tapia (Independiente Santa Fe)
Defenders (7): 2-Manuela Vanegas (Real Sociedad, ESP), 3-Daniela Arias (Pachuca, MEX), 14-Nancy Acosta (Independiente Santa Fe), 17-Carolina Arias (Deportivo Cali), 19-Jorelyn Carabali (Deportivo Cali), 20-Monica Ramos (Gremio, BRA), 22-Daniela Caracas (Espanyol, ESP)
Midfielders (8): 4-Diana Ospina (América de Cali), 5-Lorena Bedoya (Atlético Nacional), 6-Daniela Montoya (Atlético Junior), 7-Ana Gabriela Huertas (Independiente Santa Fe, 8-Angie Castañeda (CP. Caceres, ESP), 10-Leicy Santos (Atlético de Madrid, ESP), 16-Maria Morales (Deportivo Cali), 21-Liana Salazar (Corinthians, BRA)
Forwards (5): 9-Mayra Ramirez (Sporting Club de Huelva, ESP), 11-Catalina Usme (América de Cali), 15-Tatiana Ariza (Deportivo Cali), 18-Linda Caicedo (Deportivo Cali), 23-Elexa Bahr (Racing de Santander, ESP)
SERIES HISTORY: USA vs. COLOMBIA
The upcoming games against Colombia will be the ninth and tenth meetings all-time between the two countries, with the USA holding a 7-0-1 record all-time against Colombia. Four of the previous eight meetings between the USA and Colombia have come at World Championship events – playing twice at the World Cup and twice at the Olympics. The lone draw between these teams came during the group stage of the 2016 Summer Olympics, a 2-2 tie against Las Cafeteras on Aug. 9, 2016. Following that match in Manaus, Brazil, the teams met most recently for a pair of friendlies in January of 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Powered by a hat-trick from Samantha Mewis and a goal from older sister Kristie Mewis, the USA defeated Colombia 4-0 in the first of those two matches on Jan. 18. Three days later, Catarina Macario, who made her international debut in the Jan. 18 game, made her first career start and scored her first international goal in the third minute as the USA downed Colombia, 6-0, to close out the two-game set.
FIFA TOURNAMENT PEDIGREE
Despite failing to qualify for both the 2021 Olympics and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Colombia was consistent presence at world championships in the last decade, appearing in two Women’s World Cups (2011, 2015) and two Olympics Games (2012 and 2016). Colombia debuted at the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany, losing to Sweden by just a 1-0 score, to the USA by a 3-0 score and then drawing North Korea, 0-0. Colombia made its debut at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament the following year at London 2012 when it was drawn in a fiercely tough Group G against holders and eventual champions USA, France (who finished fourth) and Korea DPR. At the 2015 FIFA World Cup, Colombia drew 1-1 with Mexico, defeated world power France 2-0, and then fell to eventual Third-Place finisher England by a 2-1 score to complete group play. The four points were enough to earn Colombia a Round of 16 match with the USA and Las Cafeteras put up quite a fight against the eventual world champions before bowing out, 2-0. Colombia’s most recent appearance at a world championship came at the 2016 Olympics, which pitted Colombia against the USA in the final match of the group stage.
Colombia is currently ranked 28th in the world and second in South America behind Brazil. While the USA has played 38 matches all-time against Brazil, until as of late it had rarely faced other South American teams. The two friendlies vs. Colombia in January of 2021 were just the seventh and eighth meetings between countries. The USA has also played Argentina four times, the most recent of which coming at the 2021 SheBelieves Cup. and Chile three times. In September of 2021, the USA hosted Paraguay for a two-game set in Ohio, making Paraguay just the fifth South American opponent the USA has ever faced at the senior national team level.
2023 SOUTH AMERICAN WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE
Following the matches against the USA, Colombia returns home to host the 2022 Copa America Feminina, which will serve as CONMEBOL’s qualifying tournament for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The tournament will be played from July 8-30 across three cities in Colombia – Bucaramanga, Armenia and Cali – and marks Colombia’s first time ever hosting the tournament. The tournament will provide South America with three direct berths to the World Cup and two spots in the 10-team intercontinental playoff tournament, which will determine the final three teams for the expanded 32-team World Cup field.
Like the Concacaf W Championship, the Copa America Feminina is an eight-team tournament, comprised of a group stage with two groups of four. The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals while the third-place finishers from each group will meet in a fifth-place match. The winners of the semifinal matches as well as the winner of the third-place match will secure their place in New Zealand and Australia, while the fourth and fifth-place finishers will head to the intercontinental playoff.
Colombia finished runner-up at this tournament in both 2010 and 2014 but missed out on the 2019 Women’s World Cup after a fourth-place finish. Brazil are reigning champions and have won the tournament a record seven times. Argentina is the only nation besides Brazil to ever win the Copa America Feminina, doing so in 2006.