Five Things to Know: Sweden

The U.S. Women’s National Team will play Sweden on June 8 at the Gamla Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg as part of a two-game tour of Scandinavia that will also see the USA face Norway on June 11 at Komplett Arena in Sandefjord, which is located on the southeast coast about 75 miles south of Oslo.

The U.S. Women’s National Team will play Sweden on June 8 at the Gamla Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg as part of a two-game tour of Scandinavia that will also see the USA face Norway on June 11 at Komplett Arena in Sandefjord, which is located on the southeast coast about 75 miles south of Oslo.

Here are five things to know about the Sweden Women’s National Team:

Sweden Women’s National Team Roster by Position

GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Hilda Carlén (Piteå IF), 1-Hedvig Lindahl (Chelsea FC, ENG), 21-Emelie Lundberg (Eskilstuna United DFF)
DEFENDERS (8): 2-Joanna Andersson (Linköpings FC), 4-Emma Berglund (FC Rosengård), 13-Nathalie Björn (Eskilstuna United DFF), 6-Magdalena Eriksson (Linköpings FC), 5-Nilla Fischer (VfL Wolfsburg, GER), 16-Hanna Glas (Eskilstuna United DFF), 15-Jessica Samuelsson (Linköpings FC), 3-Linda Sembrant (Montpellier Hérault SC)
MIDFIELDERS (11):  27-Tove Almqvist (Linköpings FC), 26-Fanny Andersson (KIF Örebro DDF), 7-Lisa Dahlkvist (KIF Örebro DFF), 10-Lina Hurtig (Liköpings FC), 24-Josefin Johansson (Piteå IF), 22-Olivia Schough (Eskilstuna United DFF), 23-Elin Rubensson (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 17-Carolina Seger (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), 25-Petra Andersson (Eskilstuna United DFF), 10-Julia Spetsmark (KIF Örebro DFF), 14-Hanna Folkesson (FC Rosengard),
FORWARDS (6):  9-Kosovare Asllani (Manchester City FC, ENG), 11-Stina Blackstenius (Montpellier FC, FRA), 19-Pauline Hammarlund (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 20-Mimi Larsson (Eskilstuna United DFF), 18-Fridolina Rolfö (FC Bayern Munich, GER), 8-Lotta Schlein (FC Rosengård)

Sweden vs. United States
One of the U.S. WNT's most common opponents, Sweden has played the U.S. 37 times and the Europeans have an overall record of 6-20-11 (W-L-D) against the U.S. The teams' first meeting came in 1987, a 2-1 win for the Swedes in Blaine, Minnesota. More recently, the two sides met in the group stage of the 2015 Women's World Cup in Winnipeg which ended in a 0-0 draw; and in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Olympics, a 1-1 draw after extra time that Sweden went on to win in penalty kicks. Sweden's last win against the United States was in the 2013 Algarve Cup, a 1-0 victory for the Europeans as Lotta Schelin scored the lone goal.

Pia Sundhage
Sweden head coach Pia Sundhage is a former U.S. WNT head coach who led the USA to gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic tournaments and a runner-up finish at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. A former Swedish international, Sundhage stepped down and took the manager position in her native Sweden after the 2012 triumph in London. Since taking over Sweden, she has led them to a third place finish in the UEFA Women's Championship in 2013 which was hosted in Sweden, and led them to the knockout stages of the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada and a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics, the program’s best finish in its history. In four meetings against her former side, Sundhage has yet to lose, winning 1-0 in the 2013 Algarve Cup and drawing three times.

Experienced Roster
Five players on Sweden’s roster have made over 100 appearances for the national team including forward and captain Lotta Schelin (178 caps) who has 86 international goals and is Sweden’s leading scorer and most-capped player. The other four are goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl (136 caps); versatile defender Nilla Fischer (157 caps; 22 goals) who's won a UEFA Women's Champions League medal with VfL Wolfsburg and has a knack for finding key goals; and the veteran and excellent midfield duo of Caroline Seger (168 caps; 23 goals) and Lisa Dahlkvist (127 caps; 11 goals). Seger currently plays for Olympique Lyonnais alongside U.S. WNT forward Alex Morgan.

99 Caps for Kosovare Asllani
About to join the 100 caps club is proficient striker Kosovare Asllani, who with 27 goals in 99 caps, is the second highest scorer in the Sweden roster behind Schelin. She has been playing club soccer for Manchester City in England since 2016, and most recently spent time with WNT co-captain Carli Lloyd, who played for the club the past five months. Previous to her stint in England, Asllani played for Paris Saint-Germain in France, where she was teammates with WNT midfielder Lindsey Horan. Asllani will reach the century mark if she plays against the U.S. on June 8. 

So Far in 2017
Sweden has had a bumpy start to 2017, finishing in seventh place at the 2017 Algarve Cup. The Sweden women kicked off their year with a 2-1 loss against Norway on Jan. 19 in a friendly match in Spain. Sofia Jakobsson scored the only goal for Sweden for an early 1-0 lead, but Norway came back with two goals in five minutes to flip the score. Five days later, Sweden faced England in another friendly but neither team was able to produce a goal.

At the Algarve Cup, Sweden was drawn into Group C alongside Australia, Netherlands and China PR. The Swedes defeated Australia 1-0 on a goal from Lotta Schelin, drew China 0-0 and fell to the Netherlands 0-1 in its final group game. With only four points after three games in a tough group, Sweden finished third in the Group C standings and went on to play in the seventh-place match against Russia, winning easily 4-0 on two goals from Kosovare Asllani and one each from Nilla Fischer and Fridolina Rolfö. Most recently, Sweden faced Canada on April 6 in a friendly in Trelleborg, Sweden, where it fell 1-0 to the North Americans.

EURO Qualifying
Sweden had a pretty easy path through Euro Qualifying as it was drawn into a group with Poland, Denmark, Moldova and Slovakia. Sweden won seven of its matches, six of them by shutouts, and dropped its second to last match 2-0 to Denmark. Sweden’s top scorers were Kosovare Asllani and Fridolina Rolfö with three goals each, but 13 players combined to score the 22 goals, thus showing a lot of versatility and goal-scoring prowess on the roster. The Swedes only allowed three goals through the eight matches of qualification. Sweden kicks off EURO Group B play on July 18 against defending European champion, Germany. Also drawn into Group B were Italy and Russia.