The USA and Sweden will renew an interesting rivalry onÂ Nov. 19 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Since Swede Pia Sundhage took over the U.S. team at the beginning of 2008, the two nations have met seven times, with the USA winning three, Sweden winning two (the most recent two in fact) and two ties.
The first meeting between the USA and Sweden under Sundhage took place IN Sweden, in the EXTREMELY northern city of Skelleftea. U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd scored the lone â€“ and winning â€“ goal for the USA in the match while Nicole Barnhart came off the bench to make several great saves in goal during the second half. The match was a tune-up for the 2008 Olympics where the USA would go on to win its second consecutive gold medal and third overall. Lloyd, who played the match against Sweden wearing a mask to protect a broken nose, would also go on to score the winning goal in the gold medal game.
Match Report:Â U.S. Women Defeat Sweden 1-0 in Sweden
- This match was the first for the USA in Sweden since the 1995 FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup.
- It was the first and thus far only match ever between the USA and Sweden that was played IN Sweden.
- Abby Wambach entered this game with 99 careers goals. She wouldnâ€™t score there, or in the next game against Brazil on July 13, then broke her leg on July 16 against Brazil, making her wait a year for number 100.
- Carli Lloyd scored in both legs of the USAâ€™s Scandinavian tour, also tallying in the 4-1 victory over Norway in Fredrickstad three days earlier.
- Since that match in Skelleftea, the teams are 2-2-2 against each other.
They Said It:
U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On what she wants to accomplish in the final two pre-Olympic matches against Brazil:
â€œContinue what we are doing and emphasize finding the rhythm. We are trying to speed up the game and slow it down a bit and try different players off the bench because the bench will be very important in the Olympics.â€
U.S. Women's National Team Forward ABBY WAMBACH
On the match:
â€œGreat team, great crowd, great city. Playing a team like Sweden before an Olympics is nothing but good for this team to get all those young players the experience at that high speed, high pace level. The game was non-stop. Granted, there werenâ€™t a lot of great chances for either team. Maybe the one (Heather Oâ€™Reilly) hit off the crossbar, but Carli (Lloyd) really took it upon herself to score that goal and it was huge.â€- U.S. Women's National Team forward Abby Wambach