• Monday Jun 22, 2015

    U.S. women not looking past Colombia

    The USA's Megan Rapinoe (white jersey) shoots during a FIFA Women's World Cup match against Nigeria on June 16, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

    EDMONTON, Canada – Though it was idle Sunday, the United States was reminded how fragile life can be for a favorite in the FIFA Women's World Cup.

    Case in point: Australia's 1-0 upset of Brazil in the round of 16.

    That stunning result certainly did not escape the Americans, who are set to play Colombia at Commonwealth Stadium on Monday. The CONCACAF champion is ranked second in the world, the Colombians are 28th.

    "Nothing's taken for granted," U.S. head coach Jill Ellis said.  "We need to have a laser focus on what we need to do."

    The objective would be to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals in Ottawa against China, a 1-0 winner over Cameroon.

    The Colombians certainly have the USA’s respect.

    "I don't think it is a fluke that they (Colombia) beat France," midfielder Megan Rapinoe remarked.  "They've played pretty well in the matches that we've seen.  I think they will try to high pressure us when they can.  We have to be on our best."

    The Americans have dominated Colombia in previous competitions, posting 3-0 wins in the 2011 Women's World and the 2012 Olympic Games.

    "I see a more complete team and more mature one," Rapinoe said of the South Americans.

    Colombia likes to counterattack and the U.S. knows what is required to combat that tactic.

    "We have to get pressure on the ball initially," noted Ellis.  "Our backline has to be aware of not getting pulled out of shape.  We have to move the ball very quickly.  We have to recognize where the space is.  We have to circulate the ball quickly."

    The U.S. has advanced to the quarterfinals and beyond in each of the previous six editions of the Women’s World Cup.

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