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U.S. Women’s National Team announce first match at Lower.com Field

A short-notice change of opponent brings Uzbekistan to Central Ohio, in the first of two friendlies ahead of the summer’s World Cup qualifying tournament.

2022 SheBelieves Cup - New Zealand v United States Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

After hosting two World Cup Qualifying matches for the United States Men’s National Team, it’s time for Lower.com Field to host the four-time World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s National Team. On Thursday, Massive Report learned that Columbus, Ohio will host the Red, White and Blue as they take on Uzbekistan on Saturday, April 9, at 5:30 p.m. ET.

April’s friendly is one of two against an Uzbekistan side that’s ranked 45th in the world and ninth in the Asian Football Confederation. The second meeting takes place on Tuesday, April 12 at Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Originally, the United States was slated to play a top Asian side, but due to COVID-19 quarantine requirements the players would face upon return, it wasn’t feasible playing in the United States.

In addition to the team backing out, other confederations have packed summers, making a short-notice switch to a high-profile team difficult. This summer, Europe holds the European Championships, a once every four years tournament that pits the best teams from the continent in a World Cup-style tournament.

Among CONCACAF nations, Mexico is hosting this summer’s CONCACAF Women’s Championship in July, in which the United States will compete. The winner of the tournament earns a spot in the 2023 World Cup, held in Australia and New Zealand and the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France.

The match in Columbus will serve as a warmup game, as the Stars & Stripes build up for the tournament, which takes place July 4-18.

With a busy summer tournament season ahead, these two friendlies are key in helping the United States continue to integrate new talent with high-profile veterans.

Over the past few years, newer names have joined the United States National Team collection of players. Supporters will recognize the likes of Alex Morgan or Tobin Heath but new names like Trinity Rodman and Catarina Macario bring youth and excitement to a U.S. side that’s kept a similar roster over the past two World Cup cycles.

So far in 2022, the Americans tried to bounce back from a performance in the 2020 Summer Olympics that didn’t meet the team’s high expectations. The United States won a thrilling quarterfinal penalty kick shootout against the Netherlands but then fell short against the eventual gold medalists from Canada. After the 1-0 loss to their neighbors to the north, the U.S. bounced back, beating Australia 4-3 to secure the bronze medal.

Since that loss, the national team has gone 10 straight matches without a defeat. Included in that run was the recent SheBelieves Cup. After starting the annual friendly tournament with a 0-0 draw against the Czech Republic, the U.S. won the final two matches 5-0 against New Zealand and Iceland. In seven editions of the tournament held in the United States, the Americans won five times and have three straight triumphs.

Columbus is the unofficial home for U.S. Soccer and is widely known for the “Dos-a-Cero” victories against rival Mexico on the men’s side. But Ohio’s capital city has its fair share of history with the women’s team too. The match on April 9 will be the 10th time Columbus has hosted the national team.

In 2003, historic Crew Stadium hosted a World Cup match between the United States and North Korea. Massive Report voted it eighth on the top 10 most historic moments in the history of historic Crew Stadium. The SheBelieves Cup was also played at historic Crew Stadium with the USA winning 1-0 over Germany on March 1, 2018.

Most recently for the women’s national team, Columbus hosted a chilly friendly against Sweden on Nov. 7, 2019. In the match, the United States won 3-2 on a brace by now-retired forward Carli Lloyd and Christen Press, who could showcase for the United States at the match at Lower.com Field next month.

Tickets for the friendly go on presale March 7. Sales open to the general public on March 14.