Preview: USWNT going for gold, World Cup trophy against Netherlands

USWNT
USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, Lindsey Horan, Becky Sauerbrun, Rose Lavelle and Christen Press (top row, left to right) Abby Dahlkemper, Kelley O'Hara, Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz, Crystal Dunn and Tobin Heath (bottom row, left to right) (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images).

Preview (July 6, 2019) — It all comes down to one more match for the U.S. Women’s National Team. There’s one more match for the USWNT to make history. Only one more match to reach that fourth star.

The American Outlaws have dubbed this FIFA Women’s World Cup the “Tour de Four.” Right now, the USWNT is, you guessed it, one day away from game time. The final competition comes down to the United States taking on the Netherlands. It’s a match up that will provide plenty of sparks.

A former European champion in 2017, the Netherlands made their World Cup debut a mere four years ago in Canada. For a team to propel from debuting to making it to a World Cup final is an impressive feat. Four years ago, the Dutch were ousted in the Round of 16.

Win or lose, the Dutch have a lot to be proud of. Meanwhile, the United States is a team that has won three World Cup titles already. Losing isn’t in their mantra. They’ve been licking their chops for this moment ever since they fell out of the Olympics in 2016.

For a moment, it looked like the USWNT would face off with Sweden, the team that knocked them out of the Rio Olympics. However, the Dutch had other plans, with Jackie Groenen scoring the game-winning goal over Sweden.

Can Groenen be a hero again on Sunday? Will Lieke Martens hit the game-winner that she was destined to hit? Megan Rapinoe has been on fire lately, can she somehow out-score Alex Morgan? Will Alyssa Naeher make magic again?

There’s a lot to dive into here, so let’s get started.

How the team have looked in France

Both sides had an incredibly different tournament.

While the United States and Netherlands picked up nine points in their respective groups, the knockout rounds seemed easy for one team and more difficult for another. The Dutch knocked out Japan in the Round of 16 — the team that went to the 2011 and 2015 World Cup final. Then, the Dutch narrowly avoided danger against Italy and went into extra time against Sweden.

The United States have endured some difficult opponents, but made scoring look easy. Spain, France and England were no easy match ups. France even beat the United States back in January in a friendly.

According to U.S. Soccer records, the USWNT hold a historical advantage over the Dutch, with a 6-1-0 record. The last time these two sides met up was in September 2016, when the United States won, 3-1.

Player to Watch: Vivianne Miedema

Lieke Martens is an impeccable striker — nobody will doubt that.

However, she isn’t the player to watch for the Netherlands. The Dutch have a young striker named Vivianne Miedema who is incredibly already the highest-scorer in Dutch WNT history. Did we mention that she’s only 22-years-old?

Miedema — who features for Arsenal at the club level — began her career at SC Heerenveen Vrouwen in the Netherlands. Her knack for finding the goal is second-to-none. At her first club, Miedema scored more goals than she made appearances, with 78 goals in 69 matches. She then took her talents to Bayern Munich for three seasons, tallying 35 goals in 61 appearances.

Internationally, Miedema has 61 goals in 80 appearances for the Dutch. She became the all-time leading Dutch scorer on June 15 when the Netherlands took on Cameroon. She is the leading scorer in both men’s and women’s football, as she passed Robin van Persie’s record of 50 goals earlier.

Her goal against Cameroon bested the record from Manon Melis.

Have we mentioned her age again? Don’t doubt the talents of Miedema. The United States is going to have their hands full with her and the rest of the front three, which includes Martens and Lyon striker Shanice van de Sanden.

When is the Match?

Tomorrow, so be there and cheer on your favorite national team. The USWNT and Netherlands kick off at 11 a.m. EST/8 a.m. PT. Set your alarm clock early, wake up a few friends and watch as the USWNT strive to make more history.

 

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