The United States women’s national team faces perhaps its stiffest test of the group stage of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Wednesday night, taking on the Netherlands in Wellington, New Zealand. The game is a highly anticipated rematch of the 2019 World Cup final, which the USWNT won, 2-0. But that doesn’t mean Wednesday will be easy by any stretch.

Both teams won their opening matches, with the U.S. beating Vietnam, 3-0, and the Netherlands downing Portugal, 1-0. Now they meet for a key Group E clash.

We’ve put together everything you need to know ahead of kickoff.

How to watch United States vs. the Netherlands:

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  • The match will air on FOX and the FOX Sports app with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Full replays of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be available on FOXSports.com and the FOX Sports App. Here’s how to watch every game of the tournament.

What to know about the Netherlands matchup:

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  • What do U.S. fans need to know about the Netherlands? Doug McIntyre broke down what makes the Dutch dangerous, key players and the history with the USWNT in his scouting report.
  • The U.S. got a good look at the Dutch on Sunday. And compared to Vietnam, the Netherlands will be a colossal step up in quality. If the USWNT hopes to achieve its initial goal of topping the group and securing the more favorable round of 16 matchup that comes with it, winning this match is imperative.
  • The U.S. women’s national team squandered a slew of golden scoring opportunities against Vietnam. Those are the sort of chances the U.S. can’t afford to waste against the Netherlands Wednesday in what USWNT legend Carli Lloyd calls “a final within the group stage.” How can the Americans be more ruthless in front of the net? Few know better than Lloyd, whose 134 goals for her country rank fourth, men’s or women’s, in international soccer history.
  • Talented, skillful and determined, the Dutch are unusually well set up to go toe-to-toe with the world champ USWNT, but there is one area the USA feels it has the edge. Being scary. Throughout the history of the national team program, the USA became great and stayed great, by being stronger, more ruthless and more intimidating than whichever team was unfortunate enough to face it. For the Netherlands’ part, however, the team says it isn’t afraid.

Did the Netherlands prove they’re a SERIOUS threat to the USWNT?

  • USWNT superstar Alex Morgan is trying to put a missed penalty kick behind her – a mistake she knows the team can’t afford to repeat against the Netherlands. Luckily, for an American at the World Cup, having your penalty kick actually saved by a goalkeeper is more rare than flat out missing the target. Morgan was the first USWNT player to have a PK saved since U.S. icon Mia Hamm was denied by Norway goalkeeper Bente Nordby in 2003. (Separately, on the subject of Alex Morgan, she is embracing her first World Cup experience as a mother. “When she’s here, I know that I’m playing two roles, as mom and soccer player,” she said.)
  • Sophia Smith is living up to the hype — and then some. The young USWNT star put together a masterpiece in the team’s first game against Vietnam, scoring twice and a notching an assist (setting her up nicely in the Golden Boot race). The expectations heading into the tournament were for Smith to take hold of her moment this summer more than any other USWNT player. And her supreme confidence definitely helps. “From Day 1, I’m a winner,” Smith said. “I have to win. It makes me sick to lose anything. Card games, anything. When it comes to soccer, I just find a way.”
  • Will Rose Lavelle regain her starting spot against the Netherlands? The USWNT could use Lavelle’s finesse and slithery ability to get out of tight situations on the field and create opportunities, especially against the Dutch who pose a more tactical and physical threat than Vietnam. And the team has reason to believe the 2019 World Cup hero is primed for an encore.
  • Julie Ertz was steady and had a presence on the field against Vietnam despite an unexpected move to center back. She was always talking to her teammates, kept the back line organized and didn’t allow a single Vietnamese player to get behind her. She made important tackles and had a few scoring opportunities, too. Will Ertz stick there?
  • It’s hard to quibble too much with a decisive, multi-goal victory in a World Cup and a clean sheet on the other end, but USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski and his players also know they’ll have to be far more efficient in front of the net against the Netherlands than they were against Vietnam.
  • The “World Cup NOW” crew — Jimmy Conrad, Leslie Osborne, Melissa Ortiz and Stu Holden — previewed the colossal tilt, and explained how the Dutch can expose a certain weakness of the U.S. squad.

‘First time that the US team will be tested defensively’ – Ari Hingst on the USWNT’s upcoming match up vs. Netherlands
Intro to the USWNT:

  • Just getting familiar with this version of the USWNT? Take a look at our full guide to the 23-woman roster and Carli Lloyd’s look at the 15 most important U.S. players. Our FOX panel of experts also debated the team’s most important player.
  • Lindsey Horan’s name might not come to mind as quickly as Alex Morgan or Megan Rapinoe — at least not yet. But the USWNT co-captain has a clear goal to help her squad. “We have a lot of young players coming into this World Cup,” she said. “But it’s more about making them as confident as possible in their abilities.”
  • The U.S. women’s national team has a chance to make more history this summer if it wins a record fifth title and third in a row. Only four teams have gone back-to-back. No nation has completed the three-peat. Here’s more on the U.S. quest. By the way, the whole U.S. title chase is being followed for a Netflix docuseries.
  • Wondering how the U.S. gets out of this opening stage? First, get to know the teams also in Group E. Then, take a look at which teams our experts feel pose the biggest threat to the United States’ three-peat hopes.

Will the USWNT STILL win the group over the Netherlands, Portugal?
Editor’s picks — our favorite pregame reads:

  • The USWNT is rooted in a simple objective: Leave the game better than you found it for posterity. It’s built on a bond created and fostered by mentorship that’s proudly passed down through generations. This year’s team has three players the perfectly exemplify that. (Read Laken Litman on the USWNT mentorship circle)
  • Trinity Rodman is a candidate to be a breakout star for the USWNT – and yep, she’s Dennis Rodman’s daughter. And not only has she internet-binged Dennis’ basketball highlights for years, but she still uses his hardwood techniques to benefit her own soccer game. “I watched my dad play a lot more than people really know,” she said. “My brother [USC transfer DJ Rodman] lived for watching my dad’s clips.” (Read Martin Rogers on how Trinity is modeling her game after her father’s)
  • For the world champion 2015 U.S. women’s national team, the ’99ers were the inspiration. But for this version of the national team, the 2015 squad is the touchstone. (Read Doug McIntyre on how this young roster was shaped by the 2015 squad)
  • Alex Morgan’s father, Mike, never misses his daughter’s games. Literally. Since Alex was 14, Mike guesstimates he has been to every single match. “He’s literally at everything,” Megan Rapinoe said. (Read Laken Litman on the ultimate soccer dad)
  • The 2023 version of the USWNT has three mothers on the roster, matching a previous record set in 2015. But it wasn’t always that way. “I’m just really grateful for the women before me that fought for mom athletes,” Alex Morgan said. (Read Laken Litman on the “badass” OG moms of the USWNT

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