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U.S. women shut out Colombia in Chester

After last year's World Cup championship, the U.S. women's soccer team appears even hungrier as it approaches this summer's Olympic Games.

United States' Carli Lloyd (10) looks to make her move on Colombia's
Leicy Santos (16) during the first half of an international friendly soccer match, Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Chester, Pa.
United States' Carli Lloyd (10) looks to make her move on Colombia's Leicy Santos (16) during the first half of an international friendly soccer match, Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Chester, Pa.Read more(Chris Szagola/AP Photo)

After last year's World Cup championship, the U.S. women's soccer team appears even hungrier as it approaches this summer's Olympic Games.

The Americans continued their dominance Sunday with a 3-0 win over Colombia in an international friendly before 17,275 at Talen Energy Stadium, home of the Union.

Defender Julie Johnston, who is engaged to Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, scored twice for a U.S. team that applied relentless pressure.

Johnston, who has seen the passion of fans at Eagles games, said playing in the Philadelphia area was a big deal.

"It was awesome," she said. "I had Zach here and my family here, and it is always fun to play in front of all of our fans, but especially when they are here, it makes it a little more special."

The biggest ovations went to Delran's Carli Lloyd, the reigning FIFA women's world player of the year.

Lloyd created several chances but was kept off the board. She departed in the 73rd minute to a standing ovation.

When asked whether she was pressing to score in front of the home crowd, Lloyd replied: "I am always pressing for a goal. That is the life of soccer player. . . .

"I would have liked to score in front of the home crowd, but it is not the end of the world, and we won the game and that is the most important thing."

If coach Jill Ellis is looking for some teaching tools, she can point to several chances her team did not cash in, but maybe that's nitpicking.

The U.S. team outshot Colombia, 22-3, and had seven corner kicks while allowing just one. U.S. keeper Alyssa Naeher wasn't forced to make a single save.

The result continued an impressive 2016 in which the U.S. team is now 11-0 and has outscored its opponents by 42-1.

As for Colombia, it was a better showing than Wednesday's 7-0 loss to the Americans in East Hartford, Conn. Colombia showed great heart but couldn't match the technical ability and athleticism of its U.S. counterparts.

Christen Press opened the scoring in the 26th minute. Lindsey Horan set up the goal, lofting a pass over the Colombia defense that Press flicked past goalkeeper Catalina Perez.

Perez, who made seven saves, kept the score respectable as she had several impressive stops.

In the 42nd minute, Johnston volleyed a Tobin Heath free kick into the back of the net.

The duo connected again in the 79th minute, when Johnston headed in a Heath free kick. It was her seventh international goal, all from set pieces.

It was interesting because Heath has been an attacking player and was moved to the back for this game as an experiment. "Tobin has a good mind and good feet and good versatility," Ellis said.

She also has good vision and showed nice chemistry with Johnston.

"It's all Tobin," Johnston said. "She played the set pieces where they needed to be, and I was lucky enough to be in the right spots."

So it was another successful day for the U.S. women, and their popularity was demonstrated by the fans' passion during the game and even afterward, when a few Colombian players approached Lloyd to have their photo taken with her.

It could have been described as a picture-perfect day for the U.S. team.

mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard