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4 USWNT players come home to Colorado for match vs. Colombia

Sophia Smith, Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh and Jaelin Howell come home to play in front of the Colorado faithful Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

COMMERCE CITY, Colo — It’s a homecoming of sorts for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team.

Sophia Smith, Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh and Jaelin Howell all get to come home to play in front of the Colorado faithful when the U.S. faces off against Colombia in a friendly on Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

“Living this life has been a dream come true,” said Fossil Ridge High School alum Sophia Smith. “It’s like almost full circle because I dreamed of this moment,” 

Smith, who is currently second in the National Women’s Soccer League in goals scored, with eight, will be playing in front of family and friends in Denver for the first time. 

“I’m more excited because it’s in front of a home crowd and my family and I’m just gonna soak it in,” said Howell, who also went to Fossil Ridge. 

“Having the whole Colorado fanbase behind some of us that are from here is just really special,” said Pugh, who is a Mountain Vista High School grad and is right behind Smith for NWSL goals scored, with six.

The four Colorado natives on the USWNT roster are joined by former Colorado Buffalo Taylor Kornieck. Smith was asked how much of a calming presence it is, knowing she has other Colorado women she can connect with. 

“Jaelin and I grew up together," Smith said. "I’ve known Mal for a long time. Lindsey and I are super close, so it’s really fun. It will be a night that we all remember for a long time.”

While home, Horan and Pugh took time to connect with the Rapids youth soccer club at a clinic hosted by UCHealth. The players watched the girls go through drills and talked about what it takes to make it to a professional level, 

“They can look up to a player that they aspire to be and they see a role model,” said Horan, who went to Golden High School.

Horan, who has played in Denver three times since joining the National Team, said it never gets old. 

“Coolest thing in the world," she said. "It’s exciting. You can’t wait to get into that stadium and hear the crowd. It’s amazing.”

The USWNT’s matchup against Colombia will kick off at 5:30 p.m. MT Saturday in Commerce City at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

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