Perez gets to realize her dream
EDMONTON, Canada — Growing up in Florida, Catalina Perez said she often daydreamed about playing against the U. S. national team.
Monday she finally got her chance, starting in goal for Colombia in a World Cup elimination game. So did she do better in the dream or in the game?
“I think in the game,” she said with a laugh. “Other than the red card. That was never in the dream.”
In fact the red card, which came two minutes into the second half, turned Perez’s dream into a nightmare.
After making three brilliant saves in a scoreless f irst half, Perez was penalized for a hard tackle on Alex Morgan. The call not only forced Colombia to go with just 10 players, but Perez’s replacement, Stefany Castano, gave up goals on the first two shots she had a chance to stop.
Still Colombia, which had never won a game in World Cup or Olympic competition before beating third- ranked France in group play here, isn’t going home a loser.
“We showed a lot of character and a lot of passion,” said Perez, who plays for the University of Miami. “We’re leaving here with more respect than we came in [ with].”