2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Preview: Netherlands
Netherlands Women's National Team (Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Preview: Netherlands

European Champions Netherlands will try to make a big splash at their second FIFA Women's World Cup.

felix-hernandez-jr_
Felix Hernandez

Netherlands are much improved going into the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. After getting knocked out by Japan in the Round of 16 at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, head coach Sarina Wiegman looks to take the Netherlands to a World Championship run. The eighth ranked Netherlands were drawn into Group E with Canada, Cameroon and New Zealand. Netherlands will kickoff their tournament against New Zealand on June 11 in Le Havre.

Goals, Goals and more Goals

The Netherlands front trio had a very successful season in their clubs squads and will look to rack up goals in the tournament . Lead by 2017 Best FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, Lieke Martens will spearhead Netherlands dangerous attack. Marten’s is also coming off a UEFA Champions League runner-up finish with her club team FC Barcelona. The winger on the other flank will most likely be the speedy Shanice van de Sanden. Van de Sanden can create chances with the ball and give defenders headaches that try to mark her on set pieces. The forward is no stranger to France, as van de Sanden and Olympique Lyonnais Féminin won Division 1 Féminine and the 2019 UEFA Champions League. In the middle, Vivianne Miedema is a 22 year old rising star that lead the English league in scoring and Arsenal to a FA Super League title. Midfielder Daniëlle van de Donk, who played with Miedema at Arsenal, is creative and can be the link to Netherlands forward on counter attacks and set pieces. Veteran midfielder Sherida Spitse can also put the ball in the back of the net. Spitse has scored 30 goals in 161 appearances for the Netherlands and enjoys scoring on short distance free kicks.

(From left to right) Vivianne Miedema, Daniëlle van de Donk, Lieke Martens and Shanice van de Sanden. (Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images)
(From left to right) Vivianne Miedema, Daniëlle van de Donk, Lieke Martens and Shanice van de Sanden. (Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Suspect Defense

There have been struggles in the Netherlands defense as of late. The Dutch are guilty of giving up goals to lower ranked opponents this year. Defeats by Spain and Poland in the 2019 Algarve Cup set the Netherlands to a last place matchup with China PR. They were forced into penalties and avoided a last place finish. Recently they were able to come up with clean sheets against Mexico, Chile and Australia, but there is still cause for concern. Kika van Es went down with a hand injury in Netherland last friendly against Australia. It is unclear on whether van Es will return for the tournament. Defensive depth is a concern as Stefanie van der Gragt and Anouk Dekker have dealt with injuries of their own. Goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal is a capable keeper that can backstopped the Netherland to a World Championship.

Martens, Miedema and van de Sanden need to be in top form. Van de Sanden can dominate the pitch when she wants. Desiree van Lunteren can solidify the backline to frustrate attackers. If the Netherlands fans came come out to France in support and recreate the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euro Championship environment, the Netherlands can be a tough out in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Head coach Sarina Wiegman(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
Head coach Sarina Wiegman(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)

Roster

Goalkeepers: Sari van Veenendaal, Loes Geurts, Lize Kop

Defenders: Desiree van Lunteren, Stefanie van der Gragt, Kika van Es, Anouk Dekker, Merel van Dongen, Danique Kerkdijk, Dominique Bloodworth, Lisa van der Most.

Midfielders: Victoria Pelova, Sherida Spitse, Daniëlle van de Donk, Jill Roord, Jackie Groenen, Inessa Kaagman.

Forwards: Shanice van de Sanden, Vivianne Miedema, Lieke Martens, Renate Jansen, Ellen Jansen, Lineth Beerensteyn.

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