On Tuesday, August 9, the United States Woman’s National Team will take on Colombia in its final match of 2016 Olympic group G play.
The USWNT has already clinched a spot in the 2016 Olympics quarterfinals with its two wins over New Zealand (2-0) and France (1-0) and currently sits in first place in its group.
Colombia, on the other hand, has yet to win an Olympic group match, falling 0-4 to France in their Olympic opener and 0-1 to New Zealand on Saturday, August 6.
Although it has already been determined that the USWNT will move on to the next round of the tournament and that Colombia is essentially out barring a huge upset over the U.S., Tuesday night’s match is still of importance.
If the U.S. finishes out at the top of the group, they will face an easier opponent in the quarterfinals. Therefore, it is still a must-win match for the USWNT, although Head Coach Jill Ellis may rotate in some new players to the lineup to rest some of the regular starters before the knockout rounds.
The USWNT has been without Megan Rapinoe, who is making her comeback from a torn ACL and subsequent calf injury, so far this tournament. It was reported before the Olympic soccer tournament began that Rapinoe would be out for the USWNT’s Olympic opener, but it is still uncertain if she will see any minutes during group play as she was not dressed for either of the team's previous matches.
Center back Julie Johnston and forward Mallory Pugh also sat out Saturday’s match against France as they tended to minor injuries. Johnston has been dealing with a nagging groin injury first suffered in the team’s January training camp, while Pugh was recovering from an ankle knock suffered in the team’s Olympic opener against New Zealand. Both players were still available for the match against France, but neither saw any time on the field.
Colombia is also without one of their star players for this tournament. Twenty-three-year-old Yoreli Rincon, who was the team’s captain and has been compared to a young Marta, fractured her right fibula during training at the start of July and had to have surgery to repair it. She is expected to be out for approximately three months as she recovers from the injury.
Rincon’s absence from the Colombian roster is no doubt a factor in the team’s level of play this tournament, although they fell to the USWNT 0-7 and 0-3 with Rincon in two international friendlies back in April.
The teams played their previous two group matches in Belo Horizonte but will take on Colombia in Manaus, the metropolis of the Amazon.
The USWNT take on Colombia on Tuesday, August 9 at 6 p.m. EST. The game will be aired on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and NBC Universo and will be streamed online at nbcolympics.com.
United States Women’s National Team Roster by Position
DEFENDERS (6): Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (4): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)
HEAD COACH: Jill Ellis
Colombia Women’s National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Catalina Perez (University of Miami), Sandra Sepulveda (Maccabi Kirya Gat)
DEFENDERS (7): Carolina Arias (Liga Vallecaucana), Nataly Arias (Atlanta Silver), Angela Clavijo (Club Kamatsa), Isabella Echeverri (Toledo University), Mildrey Pineda (Generaciones Palmiranas), Liana Salazar (Futuro Soccer), Orianica Velasquez (Club Gol Star),
MIDFIELDERS (6): Carolina Arbelaez (Formas Intimas), Tatiana Ariza (Houston Aces), Natalia Gaitan (CF Valencia), Diana Ospina (Formas Intimas), Leicy Santos (Club Gol Star), Catalina Usme (Formas Intimas)
FORWARDS (3): Lady Andrade (Western New York Flash), Nicole Regnier (Liga Vallecuacana), Ingrid Vidal (Generaciones Palmiranas)
HEAD COACH: Fabian Taborda