FIVE THINGS TO KNOW: SwedenHydrated by BioSteel
The U.S. Women’s National Team kicks off its two-game European trip on April 10, taking on Sweden at 1 p.m. ET (FOX) at Friends Arena in Stockholm. Unbeaten through five matches in 2021, the USWNT will face its steepest test yet this year, taking on a talented and experienced Swedish side ranked No. 5 in the latest FIFA World Rankings
SWEDEN SET FOR ACTION ON HOME SOILAs Sweden prepares to play its first fixture on home soil since October 2020, head coach Peter Gerhardsson has called in 25 players to camp. The veteran-laden roster is similar to the one he brought to France, with 16 players from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster on this squad to face the USA. The roster also features players plying their trade across the European continent. While 14 members of this roster play their club soccer in Sweden, 11 are competing for top clubs outside the country: four in Germany (two for Wolfsburg and two for league leaders Bayern Munich), three in England for league leaders Chelsea FC, two in Spain for Real Madrid and two in Italy for league-leading Juventus.
SWEDEN WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jennifer Falk (BK Häcken FF), Emma Holmgren (Eskilstuna United), Zecira Musovic (Chelsea FC, ENG)
DEFENDERS (9): Jonna Andersson (Chelsea FC, ENG), Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea FC, ENG), Nilla Fischer (Linköpings FC), Hanna Glas (FC Bayern Munich, GER), Amanda Ilestedt (FC Bayern Munich, GER), Emma Kullberg (BK Häcken FF), Josefine Rybrink (Kristianstads DFF), Linda Sembrant (Juventus FC, ITA), Jessica Wik (FC Rosengärd)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Filippa Angeldal (BK Häcken FF), Kosovare Asllani (Real Madrid, ESP), Hanna Bennison (FC Rosengärd), Filippa Curmark (BK Häcken FF), Johanna Rytting Kaneryd (BK Häcken FF), Olivia Schough (FC Rosengärd), Carolina Seger (FC Rosengärd)
FORWARDS (6): Stina Blackstenius (BK Häcken FF), Rebecka Blomqvist (VfL Wolfsburg, GER), Lina Hurtig (Juventus FC, ITA), Sofia Jakobsson (Real Madrid, ESP), Madelen Janogy (Hammarby), Fridolina Rolfö (VfL Wolfsburg, GER)
LAST TIME OUTSweden enters the match with the USA unbeaten in its last eight matches, with its last loss coming over a year ago in a 2-1 defeat to Denmark in the 2020 Algarve Cup in Portugal. The Blue and Yellow have taken the field twice since the calendar turned to 2021, playing a pair of matches during the February FIFA international window. On Feb. 19, Sweden beat Austria, 6-1, followed by a 3-0 blanking of Malta four days later. Eight different players scored for Sweden during the two-game stretch, including a brace by 27-year-old striker Fridolina Rolfö in the win over Austria.
Following the match against the USA, Sweden will play its second game in this FIFA window at Poland, traveling to Lodz for a friendly on April 13.
HERE WE GO AGAIN!
The April 10 fixture between the USA and Sweden will be the 41st meeting all-time between the nations and the third in the last three years. While the USA leads the overall series 23-6-11, six of the last seven meetings between the USA and Sweden have been decided by one goal or fewer. The USA is 3-1-3 over that span and has won the last three matchups, it’s longest win streak in the head-to-head series in over a decade.
The teams met most recently on Nov. 7, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio, in what was Vlatko Andonovski’s first match in charge of the USA. The USWNT won 3-2 on two goals from Carli Lloyd and one from Christen Press, while both of Sweden’s goals were scored in the second half by forward Anna Anvegard, who is not on the roster for this match.
That match in Ohio came less than five months after the teams met in the final Group F match in Le Havre, France, a 2-0 victory for the Americans on goals from Lindsey Horan and a Sweden own goal that was created by Tobin Heath. The match in Le Havre was the sixth time – and fifth World Cup in a row – in which the U.S. had played Sweden in a World Cup.
Sweden’s roster features not just a level of familiarity with the USA, but a wealth over experience overall on the international level. With 211 caps, midfielder/forward Caroline Seger is the most experienced player on Sweden’s roster. The 36-year-old has represented Sweden in four World Cups and three Olympics, and is only four caps away from becoming the country’s all-time leader in international appearances, on the verge of eclipsing Therese Sjögran’s record of 214 career caps. Defender Nilla Fischer is nearing the 200-cap mark herself, with 184 international appearances to go along with 23 career goals. Kosovare Asllani (145 caps), Linda Sembrant (125) and Sofia Jakobsson (119) have also reached the 100-cap milestone, while Asllani – a versatile attacker now playing for Real Madrid in Spain – is the leading scorer on Sweden’s current roster with 38 international goals.
Veteran goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl has 171 caps and has long been Sweden’s first choice goalkeeper, but was ruled out of the match on April 4 due to contract tracing at her club in Spain, Atletico Madrid. She did not test positive. Lindahl was replaced by the uncapped Emma Holmgren.
Sweden currently holds the distinction as the only nation to finish in the top three at each of the last two world championship events – finishing third at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and taking silver at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, its best ever result at the Olympics.
Sweden qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics courtesy of its third-place finish at the 2019 World Cup, its best result at the World Cup since finishing runner-up to Germany in 2003. After falling to the USA 2-0 in the final match of the group stage, Sweden’s run to the podium in 2019 saw the swedes dispatch of Canada in the Round of 16 (1-0) and Germany in the quarterfinal (2-1). Sweden bounced back from a 1-0 loss to the Netherlands in the semifinal to defeat England, 2-1 in the Third-Place match.
Sweden easily qualified for the delayed 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro, to be staged in England, winning seven games and drawing one in Group F that also included Iceland, Slovakia, Hungary and Latvia. Sweden outscored its opponents 40-2 over the eight matches. Sweden last won the European Championships in 1984 and was eliminated in the quarterfinal round in 2017 by the eventual champions, the Netherlands.