Match Preview: World Cup Final rematch between USWNT and Netherlands

For the first time in a Women’s World Cup, the finalists of the previous tournament will face off in the group stages. Fresh off a 3-0 win against Vietnam, the USWNT is now faced with the task of defeating the Netherlands. The two teams faced off in the 2019 World Cup final, where the USWNT locked up their fourth championship with a 2-0 win. They haven’t played each other since the US beat the Netherlands in a penalty shootout in the knockout round at the Tokyo Olympics.

Major changes to both teams

Both teams have undergone serious changes since the last World Cup. Both teams have new head coaches, as Sarina Wiegman has since gone to England and Jill Ellis has retired from coaching. Now Andries Jonker coaches the Netherlands and Vlatko Andonovski coaches the US. Superstar forward Vivianne Miedema was not named to the Dutch roster after an ACL tear in December. Lineth Beerensteyn, who has started up front in Miedema’s place, will also miss the match after picking up an injury against Portugal.

The US has also had its fair share of injuries. Starting centerbacks Becky Sauerbrunn and Tierna Davidson were not named to the roster due to injury. Clutch forward Christen Press recently underwent her fourth surgery after tearing her ACL a year ago. Midfielder Sam Mewis is recovering from a knee injury, which also kept her off the roster.

Players to watch

While the Netherlands are missing some of their offensive firepower, they still have plenty of options on offense, including Lieke Martens, Jill Roord, and Danielle van de Donk. These three players are no stranger to international tournaments. However, one World Cup newcomer that could make or break the tournament for the Netherlands is goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar. The 23-year-old stole the show during the 2021 Euros when she helped the Netherlands get to the tournament’s knockout rounds. She helped the Dutch keep a clean sheet against Portugal in their first match of the tournament and will likely make it difficult for the US to score during their match tonight.

Sophia Smith made quite the World Cup debut against Vietnam when she scored twice and assisted the third goal for the US. She is the first US player to score a brace in the first half of their World Cup debut. She is already a frontrunner to win the golden boot award and is a no-brainer to start against the Netherlands. Smith thrives under pressure, so look for her to have a big game on Wednesday night.

Final score prediction: US 2, Netherlands 1

The US has an 8-1-1 record against the Netherlands. Fans can watch the match on Fox or Telemundo at 9 pm ET on Wednesday night. Can’t get enough women’s soccer? Tune into Paramount+ to watch the 2023 NWSL season. Follow me on Twitter and check out Beyond Women’s Sports for more sporting news.

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About Ally Bichsel

Big fan of all things women's soccer. I mostly follow national teams, WSL and NWSL, but am starting to get into the Frauen-Bundesliga and Primera División.

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