U.S. women’s soccer team to play two friendlies against Uzbekistan in April

U.S. forward Catarina Macario and midfielder Ashley Sanchez celebrate Macario's goal.
U.S. forward Catarina Macario (20) and midfielder Ashley Sanchez (13) celebrate Macario’s goal against Iceland in a SheBelieves Cup match on Feb. 23 in Frisco, Texas.
(Jeffrey McWhorter / Associated Press)

After suddenly becoming stuck for an opponent for a pair of April friendlies, the U.S. women’s national team will face Uzbekistan for the first time April 9 at Field in Columbus, Ohio, followed by an April 12 game at Subaru Park in Chester, Pa.

The U.S. thought it had games lined up against another team from the Asian soccer confederation, but that unnamed country backed out recently, citing complications over COVID-19 travel restrictions.

With the top European teams playing World Cup qualifiers in April, as are many of the lower-ranked teams in CONCACAF, the Americans were left with few options. Not playing wasn’t one of them: with the CONCACAF W Championship, which will determine the region’s automatic qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup and 2024 Olympics looming in July, the U.S. needed a game.

The team also had obligations to its players, sponsors and broadcast partners. So the top-ranked Americans will play No. 45 Uzbekistan for the first time. Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic that gained its independence in 1991, will be the 55th country the U.S. has faced in women’s soccer.

Uzbekistan played in the Turkish Women’s Cup in February, beating Lithuania, losing to Ukraine and battling Venezuela to a scoreless draw.


Catarina Macario and Mallory Pugh each scored two goals and the USWNT beat Iceland 5-0 on Wednesday night to win the SheBelieves Cup.

Feb. 23, 2022

Presale tickets for U.S. Soccer Insiders will begin Monday at 7 a.m. Pacific with tickets going on sale to the general public on March 14.

The U.S. women, who last month won the SheBelieves Cup for the fifth time, are unbeaten in their last 65 matches at home and haven’t given up a goal at home since March 11, 2020, a span of 17 games and 1,562 minutes, the longest streak in U.S. soccer history.