Morgan, Wambach up top for US against Colombia
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Alex Morgan was up top along with Abby Wambach for the United States on Monday as the Americans left their starting lineup unchanged for a second-round match against Colombia at the Women’s World Cup.
It was Morgan’s second straight start after working her way back from a bone bruise in her left knee that had sidelined her from April 11 until June 8. The speedy 25-year-old came in off the bench for U.S. team’s first two games of the tournament.
Wambach, who scored her first goal of this World Cup last Tuesday in a 1-0 victory over Nigeria, was the American captain. The United States finished atop Group D to advance to the elimination-round match against Colombia, and the round-of-16 winner advances to a quarterfinal against China on Friday.
Catalina Perez, a 20-year-old junior at the University of Miami, started in goal for Colombia because first-choice goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda was serving a suspension for yellow-card accumulation.
Sepulveda had six saves as No. 28 Colombia’s upset third-ranked France 2-0 in the group stage.
Colombia coach Fabian Taborda did not announce in the days prior to the match whether he would start Perez or 21-year-old Stafany Castanol, who was in goal for Colombia’s 1-1 draw against Mexico in its opener.
The U.S. lineup included Hope Solo in goal; Ali Krieger at right back; Becky Sauerbrunn and Julie Johnston in central defense; and Meghan Klingenberg at left back. Lauren Holiday, Carli Lloyd were in the central midfield of the 4-4-2 formation, with Megan Rapinoe wide right and Tobin Heath wide left.
It was the first time the United States started the same lineup in consecutive games since June 2012, and the first time under coach Jill Ellis.