Carson Pickett becomes first player with limb difference to play for USWNT

Carson Pickett started for the United States women’s national team in their 2-0 win over Colombia on Tuesday, becoming the first player with a limb difference to appear for the country.

A defender who plays for the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL, Pickett was born without a left hand and forearm.

“Carson did very well in training for us last week and with the management of minutes for Emily Fox that we had, we felt like Carson would be a good replacement, and I’m happy that she was able to perform well for 90 minutes,” US coach Vlatko Andonovski said.

The left-back made her 100th NWSL appearance earlier this month and featured in the division’s Best XI for June.

The United States extended their unbeaten streak to 69 games on home soil. Lightning was reported near Rio Tinto Stadium in the 75th minute, causing play to be suspended for more than 30 minutes.

It was the second of two games against Colombia as both teams prepare for World Cup qualifying in July. The US will try for a third straight World Cup title next summer in Australia and New Zealand.

The Americans went ahead on an own goal from Colombia’s Manuela Vanegas off a cross from US right-back Sofia Huerta. It was the fifth own goal from a US opponent this year. Kelley O’Hara scored her third international goal and first since 2016.

“The takeaways were that we do have a very good team and that we found a way to get goals in different ways,” Andonovski said. “Even though today I would say it was not our best performance, we still managed to score goals and get off the field successfully.”

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan started after coming off the bench for the team’s first game against Colombia, a 3-0 victory on Saturday in Commerce City, Colorado. Morgan had a good chance in the waning moments of the first half, but her shot hit the crossbar.

The United States will next head to Monterrey, Mexico, for the Concacaf W Championship. The top four teams earn berths at the World Cup, and the winner also gets a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“It was the type of game that we’re most likely going to have, or the type of opponent most likely we’re going to face in the Concacaf championship,” Andonovski said about Tuesday’s friendly. “It was physical and very, tight. It was good for us to prepare.”