The team, in a must-win-to-advance match against Colombia yesterday, earned a spot in the quarterfinals with a 2-0 victory. During the game, however, the U.S. team’s most dangerous offensive threat, Megan Rapinoe, picked up her second yellow card. That penalty earned her a one-game ban, forcing her out of the quarterfinal match against China on Friday. Teammate Lauren Holiday also triggered her second penalty of the tournament, meaning that she, too, will sit on the sidelines for the next game.
For the Nike-sponsored squad — most of the team plays in the brand’s Hypervenom II, Mercurial, Magista and Tiempo cleats — the loss of two players is a hurdle in beating China. The two nations met in 1999 in a memorable final that ended with the U.S. winning on penalty kicks.
Now, the U.S. is on a hot streak — it hasn’t given up a goal in 333 minutes of play. The strength of the team was featured earlier this month in a Nike-produced video in which stars Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe show how they train and stay motivated.
You can watch it here:
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