The U.S. women’s national team continues their 2023 World Cup campaign Wednesday against Netherlands.
The Americans are vying for a third straight World Cup victory, which would be a record, and fifth overall. The USWNT is also undergoing a generational shift, with more than half the roster playing in their first major international tournament.
With columnist Nancy Armour on the ground, USA TODAY Sports will offer the latest updates, highlights, analysis and more throughout the USWNT’s second match. Follow along.
USWNT starting lineup today
We’ve got the starting lineup for the USWNT’s second group game of the 2023 World Cup, vs. the Netherlands, and it’s the same as the other night vs. Vietnam.
WORLD CUP CENTRAL: 2023 Women’s World Cup Live Scores, Schedules, Standings, Bracket and More
Here’s the full lineup:
Goalkeeper: Alyssa Naeher
Defenders: Crystal Dunn, Naomi Girma, Julie Ertz, Emily Fox
Midfielders: Lindsey Horan, Andi Sullivan, Savannah DeMelo
Forwards: Sophia Smith, Alex Morgan, Trinity Rodman
USWNT game tonight
The United States play their second Group stage game Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. They face Netherlands.
USA vs. Netherlands predictions
Nancy Armour, columnist: It will be another tight and physical game, as they always are when the USWNT and the Netherlands play. But the USWNT tends to respond when people claim they’ve lost their edge on the rest of the world, and I expect no different in this game. USWNT 3-0.
Lindsay Schnell, reporter: It’s time for Alex Morgan to join the scoring party, and you can expect the veteran forward to do just that. This game will be a mix of old and new, with both Morgan and Sophia Smith scoring — and I think both will come on assists from Trinity Rodman. USWNT 2-1.
Yes, the forward is in the USWNT’s starting lineup, and looking to add to her 121-goal total. Morgan missed a penalty kick in the Americans’ opener vs. Vietnam, but she’s not stressed about it.
The Americans wore their custom menswear-inspired “business” suits again for Game 2, arriving in style to Wellington Regional Stadium.
The 2023 World Cup marks just the ninth time the event has taken place. (The men’s World Cup, meanwhile, has been played since 1930.) The U.S. is seeking to become the first team, men’s or women’s, to win three consecutive titles. Germany, which won in 2003 and 2007, had a chance to do that in 2011 but couldn’t pull it off. The U.S. has won more women’s World Cup titles than any other country. Here’s a list of every women’s World Cup winner.
1991: United States 1995: Norway 1999: United States 2003: Germany 2007: Germany 2011: Japan 2015: United States 2019: United States
USWNT missed opportunities vs. Vietnam: Why you shouldn’t be concerned
When Sophia Smith has two goals and an assist in her first World Cup game, Lindsey Horan has a highlight reel’s worth of sick passes, and a roster full of newcomers get a much-needed dose of confidence, it’s hard to question the result.
And yet, this is the United States women’s national team. Leave goals out on the field, as the USWNT did several times over in their 3-0 win against Vietnam on Saturday (Friday night in the U.S.), and those watching are going to be picky.
The good thing is, the USWNT isn’t satisfied, either.
The Netherlands will be without two key pieces vs. the USWNT: Forwards Lineth Beerensteyn (ankle) and Vivianne Miedema (ACL) both started for the Dutch in the 2019 World Cup final, which the U.S. won 2-0. Many are looking at the 2023 meeting tonight as a rematch of sorts.
Beerensteyn was injured in the Netherlands’ opening game vs. Portugal, a 1-0 win for the Dutch. Miedema, 26, is one of the best players in the world. She tore her ACL in December.
USWNT jerseys and merch
Looking for official the World Cup kits worn by Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and others? We’d recommend visiting the official U.S. soccer online merch store. Our favorite item is definitely the player bag clip — collect all of them and be the envy of all your friends.
USA vs. Netherlands live stream, how to watch
All 2023 World Cup matches, including USWNT games, will be broadcast in the U.S. by Fox, on both its main channel and FS1. It’s also available to stream on FoxSports.com and the Fox Sports app. Spanish-language coverage will be on Telemundo.
How old is Sophia Smith?
USA women World Cup schedule
The Americans are scheduled to play two more group games on the following days and times:
USWNT watch parties near me
Looking for a watch party for the U.S. women’s national team game against the Netherlands? U.S. Soccer created a handy dandy map that allows you to find one near wherever you’re located. Check it out.
How many World Cups has Alex Morgan played in?
She scored her first goal that fall and since then, she’s scored 121 times for the Stars and Stripes and won back-to-back World Cups. The Southern California native was named a captain for this year’s tournament where the team will attempt to make history with their third straight title. — Victoria Hernandez
How Alex Morgan grew from USWNT rising star to powerful advocate and disruptor
Most of America knows Alex Morgan as the USWNT’s active leading goal scorer, No. 5 on the all-time list. Or as one of its most marketable stars: Attractive and wholesome-looking, appealing to both soccer diehards and those who don’t know the first thing about the sport.
But Morgan is also a disruptor. Keenly aware of the advantages her stardom has afforded her, she actively uses them to advocate for others.
“She deserves a ton more credit than she gets in this regard,” said Becca Roux, executive director of the USWNT Players Association. “A lot of people talk,” Roux added. “She does a lot of work that people never see.”
Read Nancy Armour’s full feature here.
How Naomi Girma, Sophia Smith keep friend, late Stanford teammate Katie Meyer in hearts
Katie Meyer’s parents joke that their daughter would have taken a plane, a ferry, even “a trained dolphin” to be in the stands at this World Cup, cheering on the Stanford teammates who were so close they were more like sisters than friends.
Gina and Steve Meyer are certain their daughter is still riding with the U.S. women, thanks to Sophia Smith, Naomi Girma and other players using the biggest moment of their careers to make sure Katie isn’t forgotten and no one else has to feel a similar loss.
“It is so heartwarming. And heartbreaking,” Gina Meyer told USA TODAY Sports. “We’re just so proud of them. They didn’t have to do anything but to remember their friend, but they really want to talk about this subject, which is usually brushed under the rug.
“It’s such a beautiful thing that this whole team jumped on board and said, ‘We want to be a part of this.'”
Read Nancy Armour’s full feature here.
USWNT: Why the Americans embrace the pressure of this World Cup
It doesn’t matter whether the U.S. women are in sweats, training gear or those sharp-looking Nike x Martine Rose suits they’re rocking at this World Cup.
They always wear a target on their backs. They’re well aware of this. And they embrace it.
“This is not team that does any sort of resting on its laurels,” Megan Rapinoe said last month. “That’s what has been the fuel for this team always: To strive to be the very best. To try to win every single game, whether it’s in practice or actually on the field.
“For us, it’s just about continuing to put our best foot forward and continuing to try to be dominant and be the best team in the world.”
Read Nancy Armour’s full column here.
Wellington weather forecast: Windy
USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour is on the ground in Wellington, New Zealand and reports that it’s very, very windy at the stadium. The temperature might read low 50s, but it feels like the 40s. (Remember, it’s winter in New Zealand.) On a positive note, there’s also sunshine in the forecast, which has not been the case at many other World Cup games that have been played in Wellington the last few days. Quite a few of those have been played in the pouring rain.
Youngest player on USWNT
USWNT World Cup roster
The 2023 World Cup roster is one of, if not the, most diverse in U.S. women’s soccer history. This year marks a passing of the torch, as a new generation of soccer talent makes its World Cup debut and tries to continue the Americans’ win streak. Of the 23-player roster, 14 will be playing in their first World Cup. You can learn more about each player from the U.S., as well as some of the standout international stars.
Goalkeepers: Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars); Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage); Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit). Defenders: Alana Cook (OL Reign); Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns); Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage); Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave); Sofia Huerta (OL Reign); Kelley O’Hara (NJ/NY Gotham); Emily Sonnett (OL Reign). Midfielders: Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville); Julie Ertz (Angel City); Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon); Rose Lavelle (OL Reign); Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham); Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit); Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit). Forwards: Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave); Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign); Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit); Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns); Alyssa Thompson (Angel City); Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham).
USWNT World Cup wins
World Cup bracket
Here’s how the 2023 World Cup bracket is set up.
How many groups are in the Women’s World Cup?
There are eight groups, four teams per group, with the top two seeds from each group advancing to the knockout round. The groups are as follows:
Group A: New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Switzerland Group B: Australia, Canada, Nigeria, Rep. of Ireland Group C: Costa Rica, Japan, Spain, Zambia Group D: China, Denmark, England, Haiti Group E: Netherlands, Portugal, United States, Vietnam Group F: Brazil, France, Jamaica, Panama Group G: Argentina, Italy, South Africa, Sweden Group H: Colombia, Germany, Morocco, South Korea
What time is it in New Zealand?
Auckland is 16 hours ahead of the East Coast of the United States.
Where is the 2023 World Cup being played?
For the first time in women’s World Cup history, the tournament will be hosted by two countries, Australia and New Zealand. (The 2022 men’s World Cup was hosted by Japan and South Korea and in 2026, it will be hosted by the U.S., Mexico and Canada.)
Many people associate Australia and New Zealand with surfing, sandy beaches and stunning swimming spots, all happening in sunny weather. But it’s winter in the southern hemisphere, which means temperatures will be anything but scorching.