The United States Women’s National Team starts its final preparations for the CONCACAF Championship with two friendlies against Uzbekistan. The first of this pair of tests comes this afternoon in Columbus, Ohio
The Uzbekistanis are the 55th different team the USWNT will face in its history. The Americans are the heavy betting favorite as they look for a victory to start cementing their performance towards the continental tournament.
Sizing up the United States vs. Uzbekistan matchup for Saturday
Playing a team for the first time is a good omen for the US. The USWNT has a positive record when facing teams for the first time of 45 wins and three draws against just six defeats. The team is on a run of 29 consecutive wins in such matches. The last time the USA lost to a new opponent was against the Netherlands on May 28, 1991.
Also, the USA is unbeaten in 19 straight matches against teams from Asia, with 13 wins in that span. Coincidentally, their last defeat at home was also the last defeat against an AFC team. That happened in July of 2017, in the Tournament of Nations, against Australia in Seattle.
Additionally, the team’s youth movement seems to be working out so far. Five of the last six goals scored in the SheBelieves Cup were scored by players under 24 years old. Mal Pugh accounted for three of those and the other two belong to Catarina Macario.
It’s a shift of paradigm for the USWNT with only four of the previous 115 goals scored by under-24 players. Pugh will also be looking for a third consecutive match scoring for the USWNT for the first time in her career.
A look at the lines and odds for the match
As of early Saturday morning, FanDuel was the only legal Canadian/US sportsbook offering lines on the match. That might change throughout the day. At the time of publishing, FanDuel had the USWNT a -6000 favorite on its moneyline to win at full time.
Additionally, that was the only market available for the game. The odds on a draw at full time sat +2700 and the same on an Uzbekistan upset was +5000. The action might be more plentiful for the rematch on Tuesday near Philadelphia.
Saturday’s match begins at 5:30 p.m. EDT and bettors can watch on FOX.