The U.S women’s soccer team face Switzerland for the second time in five days on Sunday afternoon as Jill Ellis’ side complete their double-header against the European outfit (1.45pm ET on Fox Sports 1).
The United States ran out comfortable winners in the first clash between these two teams on Wednesday night, as our betting preview of that first game predicted. Goals from Lynn Williams, Tobin Heath, Samantha Mewis (pictured) and Christen Press helped the hosts to a 4-0 victory in front of a partisan home crowd at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah.
Ellis’ charges took a while to get going against the Swiss, with the first goal of the game not arriving until the first few seconds of the second period, when Williams collected a loose ball and fired past goalkeeper Gaelle Thalmann. From there the United States were dominant, finding the back of the net three more times and playing some excellent attacking football as their opponents tired and grew more disjointed. All in all, then, it was an excellent result for the Stars and Stripes, who are trying to move on from a disappointing showing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with a young and new-look squad of players.
Switzerland will have been pleased with how they performed in the first half, when they managed to nullify the United States with a well-organised and disciplined defensive shape. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s women also posed a sporadic threat on the counter-attack at times in the opening 45 minutes, but they were unable to resist when the United States upped the tempo after the interval.
Overall, Switzerland would probably have been left feeling a little disappointed with the account they gave of themselves. After all, this is a team who were excellent throughout the qualification campaign for the 2017 Women’s European Championship, with victories over Czech Republic, Georgia and Northern Ireland in the summer making it eight wins from eight games in their successful bid to reach next year’s tournament in the Netherlands.
It will be interesting to see whether Ellis opts to heavily rotate her squad or sticks with a similar starting XI to the one that began the first encounter against Switzerland earlier this week. Press, Williams, Mewis, Ashley Hatch, Kelley O’Hara and Abby Dahlkemper all started on the substitutes’ bench last time out and will hope to be involved from the first whistle on Wednesday. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris will be hoping for some game time after not entering the field at the Rio Tinto Stadium, particularly as Jane Campbell has now returned to club side Stanford Cardinal.
Switzerland boss Martina Voss-Tecklenburg may also decide to ring the changes, particularly as she did not make many substitutions during the first game on Wednesday. Indeed, Stenia Michel, Seraina Friedli, Fabienne Bangerter, Fabienne Humm and Vanessa Bernauer did not play a single minute and will all be pushing for a start, while Voss-Tecklengburg could also be tempted to move away from the 4-4-2 configuration she employed in the 4-0 loss.
It is difficult to look past another comfortable Team USA win at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Sunday afternoon. Ellis will probably stick with a 3-5-2 formation for the second encounter between these two outfits, with Allie Long having starred in the central positioning within the three-woman backline on Wednesday. The hosts will again enjoy the lion’s share of possession as they seek to make it four victories in a row, and it is difficult to see how the Swiss will be able to halt their illustrious opponents. A 3-0 home win could therefore be the way to go in this one, with Press a potentially good-value choice to find the back of the net before any other player on the pitch.
Here are our preview’s picks and betting predictions. The US sportsbooks have yet to publish their betting lines on this women’s international friendly soccer match.
- Betting Pick: USWNT to beat Switzerland by the margin of 3-0.
- Betting Pick: Christen Press to score the first goal of the game.