With the U.S. women's national team set to face Colombia in the Women's World Cup Round of 16 on Monday, the two teams have traded verbal barbs on Saturday.
"They belittle us. They think we're a team they're going to walk all over and it will be an easy game for them," Colombian star Lady Andrade told USA Today. "We're going to beat them since they like to talk so much."
U.S. forward Alex Morgan and coach Jill Ellis were less inflammatory in their responses.
"We never started (this)," Morgan told USA Today. "We have respected every team we have played in the World Cup so far. We want to let our actions speak on the field."
Ellis questioned whether her team had actually disrespected the Colombians.
"I think the word (used) was 'belittle'", Ellis said, according to USA Today. "I think the thing for me is I would ask…what have we said that was belittling? What I know about this team is that they're classy. They like to play with their feet. I can't imagine our players acting that way. If you said to me, 'We said this', I can respond. But to say that we belittled and there is no fact behind it or comment behind it? I will address it, but I just know my players."
The U.S., ranked No. 2 in the world, is an overwhelming favorite against 28th-ranked Colombia. Las Cafeteras defeated France in the group stage in what is considered one of the greatest upsets in Women's World Cup history.
- Dan Gartland