The U.S. women’s national team continues its preparation for the 2019 World Cup in France when it faces New Zealand on Thursday in an international friendly. After beating South Africa 3-0 in a friendly on Sunday, the U.S. will look to test itself against another World Cup participant in the Kiwis. The U.S. will play its last tune-up game on Sunday against Mexico.
These games are all about building chemistry, staying fresh and avoiding injury, so don’t be shocked to see the team play with a bit of caution.
Here’s how you can watch the match and what to know:
Friendly: USWNT vs. New ZealandDate: Thursday, May 16
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Busch Stadium
TV channel: ESPN2
USWNT: Jill Ellis is tinkering with the lineup quite a bit — as she should leading up to the World Cup. Carli Lloyd isn’t the same player she was four years ago, but keeping her in the squad makes a lot of sense because of her prior experience. Though the best option may be to have her as a super substitute.
New Zealand: This is a quality team that just beat a good Norway side, but two games against the U.S. in recent years saw New Zealand fail to score. When it comes to Fiji (8-0 win), New Caledonia (8-0 win), Fiji again (10-0 win) and Tonga (11-0 win), this team has no trouble. Going up against the U.S. is great preparation for the World Cup.
USA vs. New Zealand prediction
Lloyd scores, Alex Morgan adds two more goals and the U.S. easily beats New Zealand.
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