The U.S. women’s national team are set to square off against New Zealand on Friday at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand to close out their trip. The match is the second of two friendlies for the USWNT against the Football Ferns to close out their January camp, having defeated New Zealand 4-0 in their first friendly of the series on Tuesday.
Here’s how you can watch the match and what to know:
- Date: Friday, January 20 | Time: 10 p.m. ET
- Location: Edan Park — Auckland, New Zealand
- Live stream: HBO MAX
- Odds: New Zealand +6000; Draw +950; USWNT -5000
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USWNT: The team kicked off their new year with a big 4-0 win against New Zealand with all goals scored in the second half. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski initially named a 24-player roster for the camps and utilized 16 players in the opening game. Forward Ashley Hatch was unavailable for Tuesday’s match with a slight knock. Mallory Swanson and Trinity Rodman put up strong individual performances with Swanson scoring two goals and Rodman providing two assists.
Lynn Williams made her return to the roster after a 10-month absence due to surgery on her hamstring but scored in her first game back with the team. The second match against New Zealand could feature more time for players making their return back to the player pool, including defender Emily Sonnett, who did not make an appearance in Tuesday’s game. The team will want to build off their electric second-half performance after a disjointed, slow start in the opening 45 minutes.
New Zealand: The team did a good job of stifling any central play for the USWNT. Gabi Rennie and Ava Collins, two players in U.S. collegiate systems, were able to disrupt central passes but unable to generate any meaningful attack for the Ferns. Head coach Jitka Klimkova will likely make some player rotations with the quick turnaround. New Zealand captain and Angel City FC defender Ali Riley got the start in Wellington. She may anchor the backline once more and will need support if the team makes any attempt to build out from the back on Friday.
USWNT vs. New Zealand prediction
The USWNT will want to have a definitive game to close out the series and could score some goals in the first half this time. Pick: USWNT 5, New Zealand 0.