The U.S. Women’s National Team kicks off play in the knockout rounds of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Friday, July 30, taking on the Netherlands at 8 p.m. local/7 a.m. ET at International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama, Japan. The match can be viewed in the United States on NBCSN and Telemundo, with streams also available through NBCOlympics.com and the Telemundo Deportes App.
The quarterfinal matchup pits the USA – second-place finishers from Group G and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions – against the Netherlands – winners of Group F, the reigning European champions and runners up at the 2019 World Cup – with a spot in the Olympic semifinal on the line.
Here are Five Things to Know about the Netherlands.
OFFENSIVE OUTPOURING IN OLYMPIC GROUP STAGE
Making their first ever appearance at the Olympics, the Netherlands finished atop Group F with seven points from three matches (2-0-1). Brazil also finished with seven points, but the Netherlands claimed first in the group with a plus-13 goal differential, compared to plus-6 for Brazil.
The Netherlands opened the tournament with a 10-3 victory over fellow Olympic debutant Zambia in a match that featured four goals from standout Netherlands’ striker Vivianne Miedema and a hat trick from Zambia’s Babra Banda. The eye-catching score line set Olympic records for the most goals scored by one team during an Olympic match (10) as well as the most combined goals from both teams (13). In the second group game, the Netherlands and Brazil played to a 3-3 draw in Miyagi. The back-and-forth affair saw Miedema score a brace while Dutch defender Dominique Janssen tallied the equalizer in the 79th minute after Brazil took a 3-2 lead in the 68th off a goal from Ludmila. The Oranje offense continued to click in the final group stage match, downing China 8-2 on Tuesday night in Yokohama behind the strength of goals from Lineth Beerensteyn (2), Lieke Martens (2), Miedema (2), Shanice van de Sanden (1) and Victoria Pelova (1).
In total, the Netherlands have scored 21 goals so far at Tokyo 2020, 12 more than any other team in the tournament and already setting a record for the most goals scored by any team at an Olympics. The previous single-tournament high was 16 goals, set by the USA during its run to gold at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Miedema’s eight goals are an Olympic record for the most goals scored by any player in a single Olympics, breaking the record of six previously held by Canada’s Christine Sinclair for her performance at London 2012. Her four-goal effort also tied the Olympic single-game scoring record, matching Germany’s Birgit Prinz, who scored four goals against China during the 2004 Olympics.
Overall, seven different players have scored for the Netherlands at Tokyo 2020 and 11 different players have tallied an assist, led by midfielder Danielle van de Donk, who leads the tournament with four assists.
INSIDE THE ROSTER
With 81 international goals, Miedema is not only the leading scorer on the Netherlands Olympic roster, but the top scorer in the history of the Netherlands Women’s National Team with 81 goals in 99 career caps. Miedema could earn her 100th cap against the United States, which would make her the fourth player on the Netherlands Olympic roster with 100+ caps. Forward Lieke Martens is the most experienced player on the roster with 126 international appearances and is second in scoring with 53 international goals. Reserve goalkeeper Loes Geurts (125 caps) and van de Donk (117) have also eclipsed the 100-cap milestone for the Dutch.
Sherida Spitse, the Netherlands’ all-time leader in caps with 188 international appearances, was originally named to the Olympic roster put had to withdraw just days before the tournament after suffering a knee injury in training. She was replaced by forward Joëlle Smits.
Overall, the Netherlands’ Olympic roster features 11 of the 13 players who saw action against the United States during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, including captain and goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, who played a fine match against the USA in Lyon. Twelve of the 13 players who took the field against the USWNT in November of 2020 – a 2-0 victory for the USA in Breda -- are also on the Olympic roster.
NETHERLANDS OLYMPIC WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Sari van Veenendaal (PSV), 16-Lize Kop (Ajax), 22-Loes Geurts (Hacken, SWE)
DEFENDERS (8): 2-Lynn Wilms (FC Twente), 3-Stefanie van der Gragt (Ajax), 4-Aniek Nouwen (Chelsea, ENG), 5-Merel van Dongen (Atletico Madrid, ESP), 12-Sisca Folkertsma (FC Twente), 15-Kika van Es (FC Twente), 17-Dominique Janssen (Wolfsburg, GER), 21-Anouk Dekker (Montpellier, FRA)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 6-Jill Roord (Wolfsburg, GER), 10-Danielle van de Donk (Arsenal, ENG), 13-Victoria Pelova (Ajax), 14-Jackie Groenen (Manchester United, ENG), 20-Inessa Kaagman (Brighton & Hove Albion, ENG)
FORWARDS (6):7-Shanice van de Sanden (Wolfsburg, GER), 8-Joelle Smits (PSV), 9-Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal, ENG), 11-Lieke Martens (Barcelona, ESP), 18-Lineth Beerensteyn (Bayern Munich, GER), 19-Renate Jansen (FC Twente)
SERIES HISTORY: USA vs. NETHERLANDS
Friday’s quarterfinal matchup will be the ninth meeting all-time between the USA and the Netherlands and their second matchup in the knockout rounds of a world championship. The first such meeting came on July 7, 2019, as the USA defeated the Netherlands, 2-0, in Lyon, France to capture the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup title. Megan Rapinoe converted a penalty kick in the 61st minute for what would prove to be the game-winning goal and Rose Lavelle added an epic finish in the 69th to secure the USWNT its fourth star.
This will be the third time the World Cup finalists have met in the knockout rounds of the subsequent Olympics and the second such instance involving the USWNT. In 2012, the USA beat Japan, 2-1, in the Olympic final, avenging it’s 2011 penalty kick loss at the 2011 World Cup. Brazil and Germany also met in the semifinals of the 2008 Olympics one year after squaring off in the World Cup final.
The most recent meeting between the teams came on November 27, 2020, a 2-0 win for the USA in Breda, the Netherlands in the team’s first match in 261 days after a long pause in programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A first half goal from Lavelle and a second half score from Kristie Mewis proved to be the difference as the USA closed its 2020 campaign with a victory.
Overall, the USA leads the series with a record of 8-1-0, 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 eight games, though each of the last five meetings between the teams has been decided by two goals.
THE ROAD TO TOKYO
The Netherlands qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by virtue of its second-place finish at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, as the top three European teams at the World Cup qualified for Tokyo 2020. This is the first ever Olympic appearance for the Netherlands, who only qualified for their first World Cup in 2015. The Netherlands reached the Round of 16 in Canada, which prompted a mini-tournament between the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Norway to decide UEFA’s third and final spot at the 2016 Olympics. Sweden went on to win that tournament and eventually took silver at the 2016 Games in Rio.
Following the Olympics, the Netherlands will begin UEFA’s qualification competition for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The Netherlands were drawn into Group C along with Iceland, Czech Republic, Belarus and Cyprus.
The reigning European Champions, the Netherlands rolled through qualification for the delayed UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, winning all 10 of their group matches and outscoring the opposition 48-3.
WIEGMAN ERA WINDS DOWN
Head coach Sarina Wiegman, who won The Best FIFA Women’s Coach in 2020, is coaching her final event for the Netherlands, as she is slated to take over as head coach of England following the conclusion of the Olympics. 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.
In May of 2021, the KNVB announced that current Portland Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons will succeed Wiegman as head coach of the Netherlands, following the conclusion of the 2021 NWSL season.