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Alex Morgan misses penalty in USWNT’s scoreless draw with Colombia

Alex Morgan reacts to a missed scoring opportunity during the USWNT's scoreless draw with Colombia on Oct. 26. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

The U.S. women’s national team remained stuck in its its 2023 World Cup rut in Thursday’s scoreless draw with Colombia.

In its final three World Cup matches, the USWNT scored just one goal, and the team finished the tournament on a 238-minute scoring drought. While two September friendlies against South Africa provided a reprieve, the struggles with finishing returned with a vengeance in the first of two October friendlies against Colombia.

While the USWNT and Colombia each finished with two shots on goal, the USWNT had nine total shot attempts to Colombia’s three. Yet the hosting team failed to deliver in a frustrating contest at America First Field in Sandy, Utah.

Just Women’s Sports staff writer Claire Watkins pointed to a need for “new ideas” for the USWNT — which is a problem that starts with U.S. Soccer. While former head coach Vlatko Andonovski has moved on, the national team is right where he left them, repeating the issues that marked his tenure.

Alex Morgan’s penalty kick chance, which the 34-year-old striker banged off the post in the 44th minute, provided the best scoring opportunity for the USWNT. She sent a follow-up chance sailing over the crossbar.

Sophia Smith returned from an MCL sprain for her first international minutes since the 2023 World Cup. The 23-year-old forward entered as a substitute in the 76th minute, and she had a look at the net late in extra time, but Colombia goalkeeper Natalia Giraldo got a foot on the ball.

Becky Sauerbrunn made her first USWNT appearance since April. The 38-year-old defender missed the World Cup with a foot injury, but she entered at halftime for Naomi Girma and played the entire second half.

Jaedyn Shaw earned her first cap, entering in the 87th minute. The 18-year-old is in her second camp with the USWNT, but while she received a call-up in September, she did not appear in either match against South Africa. Her fellow 18-year-old debutante Olivia Moultrie did not suit up for the match, but she could get her chance at 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday, when the U.S. will meet Colombia in a rematch at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego.