Fresh off of winning the SheBelieves Cup, the U.S. women’s national team will play Uzbekistan as its next opponent in two April friendlies. The first game is scheduled for April 9 in Columbus, Ohio while the second game is scheduled for April 12 in Chester, Pennsylvania.
It will be the first time the USWNT has ever played Uzbekistan. They will become the USWNT’s 55th all-time opponent.
Currently, Uzbekistan is ranked 45th in FIFA’s world rankings. The team has never qualified for a World Cup or Olympics. Uzbekistan became an independent country in 1991 following the fall of the Soviet Union.
According to sources from multiple news outlets, including The Athletic and ESPN, a top opponent from East Asia had been lined up to compete in the two friendlies for months. However, due to government-mandated quarantine restrictions upon the team’s return. With other CONCACAF squads in the early stages of World Cup qualifying and European teams also booked, Uzbekistan was reportedly the only option beyond not playing the friendlies at all.
After the April friendlies, the USWNT will have one more window in June before the World Cup/Olympics qualifying. An opponent has been set for that window and the games will reportedly be played domestically, according to ESPN.
The April 9 game will take place at 5:30 p.m. ET on Fox networks while the April 12 game will be at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.