This will be the third straight Women’s World Cup Final appearance for the United States. The USWNT were stunned by Japan in 2011, but they were able to get their revenge by blasting Japan 5-2 in the 2015 Final. They are out to win back-to-back titles for the first time in their history and add a fourth star to their emblem this Sunday when they take on the Netherlands. The Netherlands are the eighth different country to make it to the World Cup Finals, and they are out to be the fifth different country to win the World Cup.
- Date and Time: July 7, 2019, 11 a.m. ET
- Location: Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Decines-Charpieu, France
- US Television Coverage: FOX
- Betting Line: United States -1 and -1.5, O/U 2.5
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The 2017 European Championship winners have rapidly ascended the ladder in women’s soccer, and a win over the United States would establish the Netherlands as the world’s premier team.
Victories haven’t come easily for the Oranje during their World Cup win though. Although they have won all six of their games to reach the final, none of their wins have been by more than two goals, and they have largely relied on breaking their opponents in the second half. The Dutch have scored 9 of their 11 goals at the World Cup after the halftime whistle.
In the knockout rounds, the Netherlands needed a 90th minute penalty from Lieke Martens to beat Japan, and they didn’t break a scoreless deadlock against Italy until Vivianne Miedema found the back of the net. Sweden proved to be the toughest test yet, as the Netherlands and Sweden played the first semifinal to go to added time in Women’s World Cup history. Eventually, the Dutch prevailed thanks to a Jackie Groenen goal in the 99th minute.
The USWNT had no trouble with any of their opponents in the Group Stage, but they have been significantly tested after being drawn into the tougher half of the knockout round bracket. All of their games have been decided by a score of 2-1, and the USWNT were significantly tested against both France and England.
On Tuesday, the Three Lionesses gave the Americans all they could handle. The USWNT went into halftime up 2-1 thanks to goals from Christen Press and Alex Morgan, but England were much better in the second half and the US had to continually hold them off. Alyssa Naeher came up with a huge stop on a penalty kick and a disallowed goal due to VAR proved to be the difference.
Netherlands Player to Watch
Lieke Martens was the FIFA Player of the Year in 2017, but she has not had the best World Cup. The best player on the Netherlands notched a brace in her country’s win over Japan in the Round of 16, but she has been held scoreless aside from that game. She has been dealing with a toe injury ever since the game against Japan, and Martens was subbed off at halftime against Sweden on Wednesday. Martens needs to have an excellent game for the Dutch to pull off the upset.
United States Player to Watch
Megan Rapinoe was a surprise scratch for the USWNT on Tuesday. After the game, it was reported that Rapinoe had suffered a slight hamstring strain in training, and she was held out as a precaution. She started afterwards that she should be ready to go for Sunday, which gives the USWNT their most potent weapon in the knockout rounds once more. Rapinoe scored both US goals against both Spain and France.
Netherlands vs. United States Free Picks
I don’t think the Netherlands have much hope of pulling off the upset here. The USWNT have an extra day of rest, and the Dutch had to play an extra 30 minutes on Wednesday. I think the Americans will strike quickly and put this one away in the first 20 minutes.
Netherlands vs. United States Prediction: United States 3, Netherlands 0
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