Two teams enter, one team leaves. Welcome to the Round of 16 Dome.
- Kickoff: June 22nd, 8:00 PM EST • FOX Sports 1, NBC Universo
- Location: Commonwealth Stadium; Edmonton, Canada
These teams don’t like each other. Much of the animosity streams from this sucker punch by Colombia’s Lady Andrade to Abby Wambach’s face in the last Olympics. Although the foul wasn’t spotted during the game, Lady Andrade was later suspended. The two teams have only met once in World Cup history, and the USWNT won that easily 3–0.
By finishing top of the group, the Yanks are avoiding the red hot Brazilians, led by Marta, and have an easier road ahead. The USWNT have not been playing their best soccer, yet still managed to win the group, so this bodes well. There are still concerns in the US camp. The offense has been fairly effective at creating chances but not so good at turning those chances into goals. Offensive powerhouse Alex Morgan played for 66 minutes against Nigeria, her longest stint so far this tournament. She’ll need to continue to improve and start to score goals for the US to succeed in these later rounds. Defensively they’ve looked great—in part due to Meghan Klingenberg’s goal line save and the efforts of newcomer Julie Johnston. Hope Solo continues to be Hope Solo and make her job look easy.
The nickname of the Colombian team is Las Cafeteras (The Coffee Growers), which doesn’t exactly inspire fear—nor does their ranking of 28 coming into the tournament. This is only their third time in the Women’s World Cup and the Round of 16 is as far as they’ve ever reached. Despite their underdog status, they aren’t lacking in attitude. In a recent interview boxer/forward Lady Andrade said, “We’re going to beat them since they like to talk so much.” This confidence comes from a 2–0 win over #3 ranked France in Group Play. One thing the Colombians will be lacking is their starting goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda, who drew her second yellow card on Wednesday and will be serving a mandatory one-game suspension.
The X FACTORS
Colombia managed to pick up eight yellow cards in three games in group play compared to the US’s total of two yellow cards. The Americans are often accused (usually correctly) of playing a very physical game—that combined with Lady “Punchy” Andrade on the opposing side will make for an interesting game. Expect some hard hits and—with the game being played on turf—injuries are a good possibility, which could dramatically change the game. If injuries do occur, the US bench is much better equipped to handle the storm.
Richmond loves soccer, or at least Richmond loves watching soccer from the comfort of their own home or local bar. On Friday when the US played Sweden, Richmond was the number one market in the nation. Overall, for all three US games, the Richmond market ended up tied in third with Milwaukee. St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. took first and second respectively.
Gus’ Bar and Grill home of the Richmond Chapter of American Outlaws has been at capacity for all of the Group Stage and even more are expected for the Knockout Rounds. This is definitely the place to be if you want a taste of supporter life including drinking, singing, profanity, and hugging of strangers after goals are scored. If you don’t get there before 7:00, finding a seat might be a challenge.