USWNT records convincing 2-0 win over Netherlands, first game in eight months

Alex Morgan celebrates with Kristie Mewis in the USWNT's 2-0 win over the Netherlands
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Playing its first game in 261 days, the U.S. women’s national soccer team (USWNT) took on the Netherlands, a rematch of the 2019 World Cup Final.

The game started with a message of social and racial justice. Before taking the field against the Netherlands, American players announced that they would be wearing “Black Lives Matter” warm-up jackets to “affirm human decency.”

While the U.S. controlled much of the first half, it wasn’t until the 41st minute that the Americans got on the board. Rose Lavelle found the back of the net, taking advantage of a well-paced pass from Christen Press. Just a few weeks ago, Lavelle and Press were on opposite sides of the field in a WSL Derby match between their respective club teams, Manchester City and Manchester United, though Lavelle didn’t see any minutes in that game.

At the start of the second half, Alex Morgan subbed in for Christen Press, marking Morgan’s first appearance for the USWNT since the 2019 World Cup Final. In recent months, Morgan, who gave birth to daughter Charlie in May, has been playing for Tottenham in the Women’s Super League (WSL).

Kristie Mewis subbed in in the 61st minute to play beside her sister Sam in the midfield. Today’s appearance marked Kristie’s 16th cap for the USWNT, but first since 2014. While Sam has become a mainstay of the USWNT in recent years, Kristie stopped receiving national team invitations after 2014. By stepping onto the field today, Kristie recorded the second-longest span between caps by any player in USWNT history. Only defender Keri Raygor went longer, notching 2,466 days without caps between March 1994 to December 2000.

[Related Reading: For the first time in six years, there are two Mewis sisters on the USWNT]

Kristie Mewis didn’t waste much time; less than 10 minutes after being subbed in, she put the U.S. up 2-0. “I was so nervous to shoot it, but I just wound up and gave it the best I could,” Kristie said in her post-game press conference.

Two Americans earned their first caps in today’s game: 20-year-old Sophia Smith and 21-year-old Jaelin Howell, both of whom weren’t alive when the USWNT won the 1999 World Cup. Strangely enough, both Smith and Howell hail from Windsor, Colorado, a town of just over 18,000 people.

The game ended 2-0, the same score as the U.S. team’s win over the Netherlands in the 2019 World Cup Final. All told, the U.S. team had a dominant showing, outshooting the Dutch 14-2.

“From a tactical standpoint, I was very happy with the performance,” U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski  said after the game. “We have to do a little better defending in the middle block. I think we did incredible around our goal, around our box… I’m just proud of all of them and how they did on the field.”

Several Americans were notably absent from this week’s training camp in the Netherlands, including  Carli LloydMegan Rapinoe, and Mallory Pugh. In a press conference last week,Andonovski said he expects all three players to be back in the mix for January’s team camp.

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