On Friday, the U.S. Women’s National Team will take the field for the first time in 261 days when it faces the Netherlands at 12:30 p.m. ET at Rat Verlegh Stadium in Breda, the Netherlands. The match, which will be the final game of 2020 for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions, will be televised live on ESPN2 and TUDN.
Here are Five Things to Know about the reigning European Champions and Women’s World Cup runners-up.
NETHERLANDS NOVEMBER CAMP ROSTER
Nine of the 14 players who saw action for the Netherlands during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final are on this roster, led by midfielder Sherida Spitse, the Netherlands’ all-time leader in caps. Spitse has 180 caps and 41 goals for the Netherlands. She received a yellow card early in the World Cup Final in Lyon. Of the 23 players on the roster, 12 play outside of the Netherlands, with a strong contingent of five in England, two in Spain, three in Germany, one Norway and one in France. Of the 11 domestic-based players, three play for Ajax, three play for PSV, and five play for FC Twente, which are the top three teams currently in the Women’s Eredivisie, respectively.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Lize Kop (Ajax), Sari van Veenendaal (PSV), Daphne van Domselaar (FC Twente)
DEFENDERS (8): Stefanie van der Gragt (Ajax), Dominique Janssen (Wolfsburg, GER), Kika van Es (Twente), Merel van Dongen (Atlético Madrid, ESP), Danique Kerkdijk (Brighton & Hove Albion, ENG), Aniek Nouwen (PSV), Lynn Wilms (Twente)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Sherida Spitse (Vålerenga, NOR), Daniëlle van de Donk (Arsenal, ENG), Jackie Groenen (Manchester United, ENG), Inessa Kaagman (Brighton & Hove Albion, ENG), Victoria Pelova (Ajax)
FORWARDS (8): Lieke Martens (Barcelona, ESP), Shanice van de Sanden (Wolfsburg, GER), Lineth Beerensteyn (Bayern Munich, GER), Renate Jansen (Twente), Sisca Folkertsma (Twente), Katja Snoeijs (Bordeaux, FRA), Jill Roord (Arsenal, ENG), Joëlle Smits (PSV)
WE MEET AGAIN
Friday’s game will be the eighth meeting all-time between the USA and Netherlands and the fourth in the last eight years. The USWNT leads the overall series with a record of 7-1-0, with its lone loss to the Dutch coming in a 4-3 defeat during the first matchup between the teams in 1991. Since then, the USA has won the last seven games and outscored the Netherlands over that span, 24-2. Friday’s match will be just the third time the U.S. Women have played in the Netherlands. The most recent match took place on April 9, 2013, in The Hague, a 3-1 U.S. victory. Tobin Heath had one goal and Christen Press had two in that match while Sydney Leroux dished out a pair of assists. The goals were the fifth and sixth international goals for Press, who is now in the top-10 in U.S. Women’s National Team history with 58 career goals.
ORANJE IN ACTION
Only three of the Netherlands’ UEFA qualifiers were played this year, a 1-0 victory over Russia in September in Moscow followed by the drubbings of Estonia and Kosovo during the most recent FIFA window. Forward Katja Snoeijs tallied a hat trick for Netherlands in their 6-0 win over Kosovo while midfielders Daniëlle van de Donk and Jackie Groenen both tallied braces in the 7-0 victory over Estonia.
Following the match against the USA, the Netherlands will play Kosovo on December 1 to finish the UEFA group play, but with a nine-point cushion over Russia in Group A, qualification for the Euros is already secured.
The Netherlands will be without one of its star forwards in Arsenal star Vivianne Miedema, who has a hip injury. At the age of 24, she has scored a remarkable 71 goals in 90 games for the Dutch. With Miedema’s absence, the top scorer on the roster is now Martens, who at age 27 has 46 goals in 116 caps. Martens won the Bronze Boot as the third leading scorer and the Golden Ball as the best player at the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euros and was named the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2017.
WIEGMAN ERA WINDS DOWN, BUT NOT BEFORE TOKYO 2021
Head coach Sarina Wiegman, who was recently named to the seven-person shortlist for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2020, will coach the will coach the Netherlands through the Olympics next summer before taking over as the head coach of England. Wiegman played college soccer in the USA at the University of North Carolina and earned 104 caps representing the Netherlands as a player. Six months after becoming head coach of Netherlands, Wiegman led her home country to the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euro title, a feat that earned her the 2017 Best FIFA Women’s Coach award.