The USWNT takes on the Netherlands in the final game of their two-game post-Olympic friendlies. The United States is coming off of a 9-0 win over Thailand this past Thursday at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. This will be the seventh all-time meeting between the two nations.
Last time out
As mentioned above, the United States is coming off of a 9-0 win over Thailand. The U.S. got off to a roaring start as they scored a goal within the first minute of the game. Before five minutes had even been played, they were up 3-0. Thailand was clearly no match for the United States as they were dominated in every single phase of the game.
The last time that the United States played the Netherlands was in April of 2013 and the United States won that game 3-1. The goals were scored by Tobin Heath and Christen Press scored a brace. Melon Melis scored the lone goal for the Dutch. The only win that the Netherlands have against the United States came in their first ever meeting way back in 1991. The Dutch won that game 4-3 in Vianen.
Sixth time playing in Atlanta metro area
This will be the sixth time that the USWNT will be playing in the Atlanta metro area when they take on the Netherlands. This will be the second time ever that they will play in the Georgia Dome. The previous time was an 8-0 victory over Russia in 2014. A natural grass surface will be installed for this game unlike previous times that the USWNT have played in big NFL stadiums.
The United States have too many key players to focus on just one or two. Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat-trick against Thailand, has been playing amazing soccer since the summer of 2015. Even though she missed three months due to a knee injury, you can’t tell that as she hasn’t missed a beat. She just makes everyone better on the pitch and she is as fresh as can be this late into the year.
One position to keep an eye on with be the goalkeeper spot. With Hope Solo suspended for the next six months, Jill Ellis needs to find one to replace her for the time being, if not permanently. Ashlyn Harris started in goal against Thailand, so it would be safe to assume that Alyssa Naeher will start this game. The Netherlands are a much tougher opponent than Thailand, so Naeher could have a busy night.
The Netherlands will be led by 26-year-old captain Mandy van den Berg. She was named to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster, their first ever appearance in the World Cup, but she was removed due to picking up an injury to her knee. The Dutch are the 12th ranked team in the world as of the latest FIFA World Rankings released on August 26,2016.
This game won’t be as easy for the United States as the one on Thursday. Expect a much better defensive team in the Dutch and will put up a fight against the Americans. That being said, the U.S. will win this game but it won’t be decided until late.