Rose Lavelle scored the USA’s first goal. (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)
BREDA, the Netherlands – The U.S. women’s national team has the Netherland’s number.
Actually, make that two numbers as in two and 0.
For he second time in as many years on European soil, the USWNT recorded a 2-0 victory over the Dutch Friday.
Rose Lavelle, who has been a thorn in the Dutch side in both encounters, scored the first goal and Kristie Mewis came off the bench to tally her first international goal since 2013.
The Americans defeated the Dutch by that same score at the 2019 Women’s World Cup final.
Not bad, not bad for a team that hadn’t played a game together in 261 days, or since March.
For the Netherlands, which has players performing domestically and all over Europe, it was a nasty reminder on how far it must improve.
The USWNT’s strategy was to press the Dutch from the opening whistle and it resulted in a sizable possession advantage in the opening half, keeping the host side on its heels.
Lynn Williams came close to giving the USA a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute but her shot from the left side of the penalty area sailed just over the right side of the crossbar. Eleven minutes later, Christen Press put the ball into the back of the net, but she was called for offside.
Press, however, was relentless. In the 41st minute, after a quick change of possession in the USA end, she and Lavelle found themselves on a two-on-five break against the Dutch. The U.S. forward found Lavelle on the right flank and the midfielder struck a left-footed shot from 16 yards out into the farleft side for a 1-0 lead.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) November 27, 2020
Last year, Lavelle, named the Bronze Ball winner as the third best player in the 2019 Women’s World Cup final, scored the second goal of the Americans’ 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in the title game.
Friday’s score was Lavelle’s 13th international goal.
A couple of second-half substitutes were notable for the U.S. women.
At halftime, Alex Morgan came on for Press as the Tottenham striker made her first international appearance in 509 days or since the 2019 World Cup final.
On the hour, Kristie Mewis replaced Lavelle, joining sister Sam Mewis on the field for the USWNT team for the first time since 2014.
Only 10 minutes after coming on, Kristie Mewis cashed in on her opportunity.
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who had very little to do in the match, started the scoring sequence with a long punt. A teammate headed the ball to Williams, who sent lead pass to Mewis. The Houston Dash player raced into the box and drilled an eight-yard shot home for a two-goal advantage.