The United States women’s national soccer team are in action for the second time this week, with the Netherlands providing the opposition at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday night (7pm ET).
Jill Ellis’ charges stormed to a 9-0 victory in their previous friendly clash against Thailand on Thursday evening. A hat-trick from Carli Lloyd, a brace from Alex Morgan and further goals from Christen Press (pictured), Heather O’Reilly, Crystal Dunn and Tobin Heath helped the United States to a convincing win. It was a much-needed result after their disappointing showing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last month when Sweden defeated them on penalties at the quarter-final stage.
Thailand were never going to be the sternest of opposition. The country currently find themselves in 32nd place in the FIFA world rankings, below Finland, Costa Rica and the Republic of Ireland among others, and are certainly not powerhouses in the women’s game like the USWNT. It was nevertheless a confidence-boosting result and performance from the hosts at the Mapfre Stadium.
The Netherlands, who are 12th in the FIFA rankings, did not compete at the Olympic Games. They did take part at the last women’s soccer World Cup in Canada last year. The Dutch advanced to the knockout stage after finishing third in Group A thanks to a victory against New Zealand and draw with the hosts.
They then succumbed to defeat at the hands of eventual runners-up Japan in the round of 16. They avenged that loss by beating the Japanese in a friendly last November. Holland have also got the better of Belarus, France, Denmark, New Zealand and South Africa in non-competitive fixtures in the last 12 months. Sunday’s meeting with the three-time world champions and four-time gold medal winners will be a different task altogether.
The United States’ 9-0 thrashing of Thailand was 31-year-old O’Reilly’s final game for the national team. The midfielder is retiring from the international game after winning 231 caps and scoring 47 goals. She will therefore not be involved against Arjan van der Laan’s charges this weekend.
Former No. 1 goalkeeper Hope Solo is also missing out after her national team contract was publically ended for critical comments she made of Sweden following the United States’ defeat in the last eight of the Olympic Games.
The other goalscorers against Thailand – Press, Dunn, Heath, Lloyd and Morgan – will hope to be involved once more. Alyssa Naeher, Megan Rapinoe, Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg and Emily Sonnett are all pushing for starts after beginning Thursday’s match on the Team USA substitutes’ bench.
The Netherlands are able to call upon Seattle Reign forward Manon Melis, with most of their other players plying their trade in the European game. Sari van Veenendaal, Dominique Janssen and Danielle van de Donk play for Arsenal. Mandy van der Berg and Shanice van de Sanden represent Liverpool. Vivianne Miedema is on the books at Bayern Munich and Jackie Groenen is at Frankfurt.
Angela Christ, Desiree van Lunteren, Kika van Es, Merel van Dongen, Tessel Middag, Kelly Zeeman, Myrthe Moorrees, Eshley Bakker and Jeslynn Kujipers are based in their home country with either Ajax or PSV/FC Eindhoven.
Our Preview’s USWNT v Netherlands Betting Picks Verdict
Taking everything into account, it is worth backing the U.S. to pick up another victory in their second friendly of the week. This game will not be as easy to negotiate as Thursday’s against Thailand, however, with the Netherlands likely to be desperate to cause an upset against the best team in women’s soccer. The USWNT should prove too strong for them, however, with a 3-1 triumph probably the best betting option in the correct score market.
As usual the USA sportsbooks have been very slow to release their betting lines on a women’s international friendly soccer match. At time of writing this preview there are none. However these are our betting picks for the game:
- Betting Pick: The United States women’s national team to beat the Netherlands by the correct score margin of 3-1.
- Betting Pick: Alex Morgan to score the first goal of this international friendly soccer game.