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USWNT vs. Netherlands, 2020 Olympic quarterfinals: What to watch for

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We’ve reached the knockout stage, and our first opponent is a tough one.

United States v Australia: Women’s Football - Olympics: Day 4 Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The United States Women’s National Team have reached the knockout stage of the 2020 Olympics, and from here on out the margin for error is gone. One loss, and they will not see through to their goal of winning the program’s 5th gold medal. Standing in their way tomorrow is the team that faced them in the 2019 Women’s World Cup Final, the Netherlands. The Netherlands arrived at this position by way of winning group F, scoring 21 goals and allowing 8 in their group stage matches. The USWNT were the Group G runners-up, scoring just 6 goals and allowing 4.

The USWNT will have a tough road to the gold medal, and it starts with this quarterfinal matchup. The two teams last faced each other back in November, where the USWNT won 2-0 in Amsterdam. Now, the winner of this match will move on to have 2 chances to win a medal.

What To Watch For

  • Control Miedema. Vivianne Miedema has been the best player in the tournament so far, scoring 8 goals in the group stage. The USWNT will have to keep an eye on her and make sure she can’t engineer any offense. Of course, Miedema’s not the only Dutch player that can make you pay. Lieke Martens and Daniëlle van de Donk are also potent goalscorers that the Americans need to check. However, if they can keep Miedema at bay, that will really help the confidence of the USWNT.

Assert themselves. The USWNT has not played to their capability yet in this tournament. Tomorrow would be a great time to assert themselves and play like they are the best team on the planet. They should play with confidence, but also with chips on their shoulders. People are saying the world has caught up and that their chances of getting a gold medal, or a medal of any kind, aren’t nearly as promising as we thought. The Gals should come out ready to squash all doubt and show they are the team that needs to be feared.

Put shots on goal. The Netherlands may have scored 21 goals, but they’ve also allowed 8 so far. The Dutch defense hasn’t played particularly well, so the Americans should do all they can to light up the net with shots. Make the defense have to make plays, and eventually they will stop doing that. Goals can come. They need to have a focus on creating those scoring chances and then taking those shots.

Prediction

This is a hard one to predict. The USWNT can beat anyone in the field, but they haven’t yet played like the team we expect to see on any given day. It’s another tough one, but the USWNT break through late and it’s Christen Press with the goal to win 1-0.