It seems time to start a 2019 thread for The Netherlands, yes? I hate that my first post in this thread is a negative: Apparently, in either her first or second appearance on the field for Barcelona after recovering from a knee injury that kept her out of action for months, centerback Stephanie Van der Graft suffered another knee injury in a match a few days ago, after she'd come on as a substitute. She is back on the shelf. I haven't read what the exact nature of the industry is, don't know if it's the same knee that was injured previously--but it seems fairly serious and she is not among the 25 players who are now in camp for an upcoming friendly against South Africa. It seems likely that she will miss the World Cup as well, and that's a blow for The Netherlands as Van der Gragt is a good player at a vital position. That said, I think the Dutch can be OK without her: Dominque Bloodworth stepped into her position for the national team a few months back and she is quite capable, IMO. She doesn't have a ton of experience at centerback but she's played the position for a while now, and she has got some size, athleticism and ball skills. I'm pretty confident in her. She'd previously played outside back for the Dutch--the position she plays for Arsenal. Van der Gragt's injury does, however, cut into the depth of The Netherlands side, which doesn't have a lot of quality depth to begin with--very little, in fact. Had Van der Graft regained her fitness, she might have reclaimed her centerback spot and perhaps Coach Wiegman would have moved Bloodworth back to one of the fullback positions. I can't see that happening now, which means that Van Es and Van Lunteren are locked into the outside back positions. They don't get much notoriety, but they're experienced and have shown themselves over the last year or two to be solid players. They haven't been tested a lot by good teams in recent months--the Dutch have dominated the ball in most of their matches over the last year--but even so my confidence level in them, like Bloodworth, has been growing.