all scores

USWNT teens should enter Colombia friendlies with ‘no expectations’

Olivia Moultrie trains with the USWNT in Sandy, Utah. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images for USSF)

Olivia Moultrie and Jaedyn Shaw are looking for their first caps, but the U.S. women’s national team is managing expectations for its teenage contingent ahead of the upcoming friendlies against Colombia.

Shaw is participating in her second camp, while Moultrie is experiencing her first call-up to the USWNT. Fellow 18-year-old Alyssa Thompson, meanwhile, continues to be a mainstay after playing in her first World Cup over the summer.

While Shaw didn’t see any game action last time around, she impressed interim head coach Twila Kilgore. At the time, Kilgore called the San Diego Wave forward “excellent” and a “top player” in some training activities. Shaw could get her first look at game action this time around.

“It’s fair to think anytime you’re invited into camp that you should be ready to be called upon at any moment,” Kilgore said Wednesday. “I think the best thing about this team is that whether you’re a long-term veteran or a new-time player, that you know that you have to be ready and that there’s nothing guaranteed. It’s about staying ready and being ready to do whatever it takes to help this team win and move forward.”

That element of the USWNT is “definitely something that the young players understand,” Kilgore said. But at the same time, the team isn’t placing high expectations on their shoulders; instead, the focus is on integrating them into the system so they will be ready if and when called upon.

“It’s also important that everyone understands there’s no expectations to do anything, but compete every single day and make sure that they’re ready to participate,” Kilgore said.

The USWNT will face Colombia at 9 p.m. ET Thursday at America First Field in Sandy, Utah, and then again at 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego.