The second round of the Women’s World Cup begins for the USA on Wednesday (9pm ET; TV: Live on Fox). Following their rather straightforward win against the Vietnamese on match-day one, they now have a tougher task. Netherlands will be the opponents in what will be a replay of the 2019 World Cup Final at Sky Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand.
How will it play out? Read on for our full matchup preview with betting predictions and picks against the U.S. friendly online bookmakers.
Simple start for both
USWNT were always likely to enjoy themselves on match-day one. After all, we are talking about the current soccer world champions and a team that is generally considered by most to be the best in the business. The Vietnamese were never likely to cause Vlatko Andonovski’s players any problems and they didn’t.
The performance was still a pleasing one, though, and it was nice to see that the team hasn’t lost its desire to get on the front foot and really hurt teams, even in easy games against inferior opposition. After taking an easy lead against very poor opposition, it would have been easy for the U.S. women to take it easy, but they moving forward and increase their lead, scoring three in total and it wasn’t for lack of trying that they didn’t bag more.
For the Netherlands, it wasn’t as simple, and it was never going to be against a Portuguese side that should also prove to be too good for the Vietnamese, though the Dutch still got the job done in very sturdy fashion. They too scored early, and although they weren’t able to add to Stephanie van der Gragt’s 13th minute goal, they were totally dominant. Better finishing will be called for if they are to go as far as they did in 2019, though it is fair to say that they’ve laid solid foundations from which to build with that first win.
USWNT have perfect recent record
The US women’s soccer team comes here with a perfect recent record. Not only did they make light work of brushing aside their match-day one opponents, but they have been winning with regularity, not just beating weak teams. Prior to the World Cup, sure, they picked up wins against Wales and Ireland, which without meaning to sound disrespectful, isn’t all that impressive. Prior to that, they showed that they’re still top dogs when defeating some of the best teams in the business at the SheBelieves Cup in February.
In that competition, Andonovski’s team got the better of Canada, Japan and Brazil, and they conceded just one goal in the process, scoring a total of five. That mini tournament was a timely reminder that Team USA are still the squad to beat when it comes to the women’s game.
Don’t underestimate the Dutch
We all know how strong the U.S. are and they are worthy favorites ahead of this match, but this game is likely to be their toughest test for some time. This Dutch team can tussle with the best in the business, as we saw at the last World Cup. The team is now arguably even stronger, what with the likes of Jill Roord, Lineth Beerenstein and Lieke Martens all now hitting their peak years.
Such players ply their trade for some of the best clubs in the world, so they know a thing or two about tussling with top opposition, which is why the Dutch have won plenty of games in the lead up to this tournament. They arrived here off the back of big wins against both Poland and Belgium, while they looked like they meant business against the Portuguese. OK, this is much tougher, but the women in orange will certainly be up for it.
USA dominant in this fixture
This won’t be the first time that the teams have faced off since that final in 2019, but it will be the first time in two years. The pair met in friendly action in 2020, just over a year after USWNT won the World Cup in France thanks to their victory over the Netherlands, and it was once again a similar story, as they won by two goals to nil. In 2021, though, the Netherlands held their own, drawing 2-2 at the Olympics, before losing on penalties. Although that was an improved showing against the colossus of women’s football, the Netherlands are still without a win against the US.
USWNT vs Netherlands: Go for both to score in the betting
The US team is heavily favored in the early betting and it’s not too difficult to see why, but this won’t be easy. It will certainly be a lot harder than their first assignment at this tournament, so I’d argue that the odds for USA are a little short. In contrast, the odds for ‘Both Teams to Score’ may just be a little generous.
Both teams are packed full of offensive quality. The Dutch players mentioned above are amongst the best offensive players playing their club football in Europe today, so don’t for one minute think that they can’t hurt the US, because they absolutely can. The team is not all that different from the one that scored twice when this pair last met, so don’t be surprised if USWNT fail to keep a clean sheet, even if they do come out on top.
Of course, where the Dutch may come unstuck here is at the back. If anything, they are a little top heavy, and you would argue that most of their top quality is in the final third. Against top teams, they struggle for clean sheets, as the likes of Germany, Austria and Norway have proven in the last year. They can compete here, much as they did when the teams last met, but they lack the defensive security to hold off a US team that can score goals for fun, especially with Sophia Smith leading the line, so ‘Both Teams to Score’ rates as the best option. So, for the predictions and picks, this preview relies on this one: