In their first match in 261 days, the U.S. women’s national team defeated the 4th-ranked Netherlands 2-0 in an international friendly at Rat Verlegh Stadium in Breda. The last time the two sides met was in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final in Lyon, France, when the USWNT also won 2-0 to secure their fourth World Cup trophy.
Earlier in the week, U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski had told the media that the team were "nowhere close to our best, not from tactical perspective, not physically preparation, not even our technical and mental preparation.” He added that “only a few of our players are 90 minutes ready."
But there was little evidence of that in the way the USWNT came out on Friday. After a tribute and moment of silence for Black Lives Matter, the USWNT had multiple chances and it was only a matter of time before someone found the back of the net.
That someone was Rose Lavelle just before halftime, blasting a shot into the side netting to put the US up 1-0.
The second half had several notable subs, including Alex Morgan’s first cap in 509 days and first since the birth of her daughter, while Kristie Mewis made her first appearance for the USWNT since 2014 and Sophia Smith earned her first cap for the senior side, becoming the first player born in the 2000s to feature for the USWNT.
Kristie Mewis wasn’t content with just getting back on the pitch — the Houston Dash midfielder also scored the second goal for the USWNT to seal the win.
The U.S. kept the Netherlands to just two shots (none on goal) in goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher's 37th career shutout.
The win marks Andonovski’s 11th in his first 11 games, giving him the best start for a head coach in USWNT history. Six of those games have been against teams ranked in the top 13 in the world.