The U.S. women's national team is set to play a pair a friendlies against Uzbekistan beginning Saturday. It will be the first time both sides face each other in their respective histories. Uzbekistan is ranked 48th overall and they ended up being the USWNT's opposition during this international window due to availability and thanks to some scheduling conflicts among other national teams. These are the first friendlies post SheBelieves Cup, where the USWNT won their fifth title, and head coach Vlatko Andonovski has called in several players from the 2022 SheBelieves Cup winning side.
Here's how you can watch the match and what to know:
- Date: Saturday, April 9 | Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Lower.com Field -- Columbus, Ohio.
- TV: Fox
- Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
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USWNT players to watch
Catarina Macario: The Brazilian-American midfielder is currently playing overseas in France with European giant Olympique Lyonnais, and has recorded five goals during Champions League competition this season. The former Stanford Cardinal had a breakout performance during the SheBelieves Cup, scoring two goals and recording one assist during the title winning run for the USWNT.
Her ability to play out of crowded spaces and pick out teammates has helped the USWNT stretch backlines recently, and if her and Rose Lavelle can continue to develop chemistry together, they could be a lethal duo spearheading attacks. USWNT midfielder Lindsey Horan is also currently playing in Lyon, and their extended time together could have a big pay off for the USWNT in the near future.
"I'm very happy for Cat, very excited for her and her future, and I'm sure everyone could tell the potential that she has a long time ago," said Andonovski during the team's pregame conference.
"I don't want to sound cocky or arrogant, but I do believe she's on a good path to be one of the best players in the world. The things that she does are very good for her individually, but also for the national team. So very happy to see that, excited to see that, and looking forward to see what the future looks like for her."
Sophia Smith: The Portland Thorns forward currently leads her team in goals scored with two during the 2022 Challenge Cup. The forward has been consistently called into camps with the USWNT since last September, and all that time at the senior level is paying off for the 21-year-old forward.
"I definitely feel confident in where I am in my career. I'm always realizing that I have so much more I want to do, but at the same time being really happy with where I am and how much I've grown so far," Smith said during media availability.
"I still don't feel like I have that much experience, but I think having confidence can help someone so much and I think, just controlling what I can control, and my mindset is something that I can control. So I just try to approach every day with the mindset of I want to learn, and I want to grow, and at the same time I'm really proud of where I am and confident in who I am and what I can bring to this team."
Mallory Pugh: The 23-year-old forward currently leads the USWNT in goals scored during 2022 with three so far this year. She recorded all of them during the 2022 SheBelieves Cup, and has been called into regular camps with the national team since September. Pugh also leads the NWSL Challenge Cup in goals scored after recording four goals in four matches with her NWSL club, Chicago Red Stars. Pugh' ability on the ball means she can break defensive lines and create her own shot as well as create space for others.
USWNT vs. Uzbekistan prediction
It's another set of matches for this extended group of younger players to show head coach Vlatko Andonovski what they can do. The team will want to impress against a less experienced side, and a low score would be a disappointment. If the attack can get on the scoreboard early, there'll be no looking back . Pick: USWNT 4, Uzbekistan 0.