PREVIEW: USWNT set for Showdown with Fifth-Ranked Sweden in StockholmWatch Sweden-USA on Saturday, April 10 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX
Off to a strong start in 2021 with a 5-0-0 record and a championship at the 2021 SheBelieves Cup in Orlando, the U.S. Women’s National Team returns to the pitch on April 10 against Sweden for the first match of its highly-anticipated two-game European tour. The match against Sweden will be played at Friends Arena in Stockholm (1 p.m. ET/7 p.m. local on FOX) and pits the USA – the top-ranked team in the world – against fifth-ranked Sweden in its first game on foreign soil this year.
Following the match against Sweden, the USA will travel to Le Havre to take on third-ranked France. That match will be played at Stade Océane in Le Havre at 3 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. local on ESPN2 on April 13.
2021 USWNT MEDIA GUIDE
The 2021 U.S. Women’s National Team Media Guide is available for download. The Media Guide features all the history and statistics of the USWNT, as well as full bios on technical staff and the current top players, information on the USA’s Youth National Teams, and general important information on U.S. Soccer.
USWNT DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 5), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 67)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA; 2/0), Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG; 65/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 28/1), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 109/24), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 134/2), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 6/1), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 182/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 51/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 108/20), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 91/20), Rose Lavelle (Manchester City, ENG; 51/14), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 21/4), Samantha Mewis (Manchester City, ENG; 70/21), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 16/0)
FORWARDS (6): Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 299/124), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 173/108), Christen Press (Manchester United, ENG; 142/60), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 173/57), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 3/0), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 33/10)
Head coach Vlatko Andonvoski called up 23 players for the two matches against Sweden and France, but only 18 will suit up for each of the two matches, in which each team is allowed six substitutes. Ten players on this USA roster have experience in the Olympic Games. Eighteen players play in the NWSL and the remaining five in Europe, four in England and one in France.
TOP TESTS IN EUROPE
The two-game tilt against Sweden and France marks the fifth trip to Europe for friendly matches that the USWNT has undertaken in as many years, with four of those being two-game sets. In 2017, the USA played at Sweden and Norway in June. In 2018, the USA finished the year with games at Portugal and Scotland. In 2019, the USA started the year at France and Spain, and in 2020 the USA played at the Netherlands in November. During those previous seven friendly matches in Europe, the USA went 6-1-0, but five of those wins were by 1-0 scores, and one, against the Dutch, was 2-0. Le Havre marks the site of the USA’s most recent loss, a 3-1 setback to host France in the first match of 2019. The USA has run up a 34-0-3 record in its 37 matches following that defeat at Stade Océane and has won its last nine games on European soil – seven of which came during the USA’s run to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup title.
U.S. forward Carli Lloyd is close to an historic milestone as her next cap will be her 300th in a U.S. uniform. Only two players – men or women – have played 300 international matches and both are Lloyd’s former teammates, Kristine Lilly (354) and Christie Pearce Rampone (311). Lloyd debuted in 2005 and this is her 17th year of international competition. Through 299 caps, the USA has an overall record of 249-15-35 in games in which she has played, good for a winning percentage north of 89%. She has appeared for the USA in three different decades, at four World Cups and in three Olympic Games. Not only has her longevity been truly remarkable, but her production as well. Her 124 career goals are fourth all-time in U.S. history and her 62 career assists are sixth all-time. While she has played forward in the latter part of her career, she is still the highest scoring midfielder in U.S. history. Lloyd might also add remarkable chapter to her career during this trip as her next goal would make her the oldest player in USWNT history to score a goal. Lilly is currently the oldest player to score a goal for the USA at 38 years, 264 days. Lloyd will be 38 years, 268 days old on April 10 when the USA squares off against Sweden.
LAST TIME OUT
The most recent on-field action for the USA ended in a trophy lift as the USA won the 2021 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa in emphatic fashion, clinching the championship with a 6-0 victory over Argentina on February 24. After wins over Canada (1-0) and Brazil (2-0) to open the tournament, the USA powered its way to the finish in the final game of the tournament, led by a brace from Megan Rapinoe, first half goals from Lloyd and Kristie Mewis and second-half scores from Alex Morgan and Christen Press. Rose Lavelle was awarded the Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP award for her performance over the course of the tournament.
With the win, the USA clinched its fourth SheBelieves Cup title, becoming the first back-to-back champion in the tournament’s six-year history and the first team to not allow a single goal over the course of the competition.
The USA enters the match against Sweden on a 37-game unbeaten streak and having won its last 16 games overall. The current 16-match winning streak is the third-longest in program history. The USWNT won a record 18 straight matches from July 25, 1990, to May 25, 1991, and recorded 17 straight wins immediately before this run, from March 5 to October 3, 2019.
One driving force behind the win streak has been the USA’s high-octane offense. The USA has scored in 66 consecutive matches – the longest such streak in USWNT history - and has averaged just more than three goals per game in that time. During this 66-game run the USA has outscored the opposition 221-34.
Defensively, the USA has recorded six consecutive clean sheets, last allowing a goal in the 58th minute of its 3-1 victory over Japan on March 12, 2020. During its 16-game winning streak, the USA has outscored the opposition, 60-3. Two of those three goals were scored by Sweden in the first game of the win streak, which was also Andonvoski’s first match as head coach of the USWNT, a 3-2 victory on Nov. 7, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio.
INSIDE THE SERIES
The USA has played Sweden 40 times dating back to 1987 – the fourth most of any country behind Canada, China PR and Norway. In the last 15 matches with Sweden dating back to 2010, the USA is 7-3-5, making for one of the most competitive rivalries among top teams in recent years. This will be the first meeting between the teams since Vlatko Andonovski’s first match in charge of the USA. That came on Nov. 7, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio and the USA won 3-2 on two goals from Carli Lloyd and one from Christen Press. Both of Sweden’s goals were scored by forward Anna Anvegard, who is not on the roster for this match.
While the USA and Sweden have met quite often in world championships – including five times in a row at the World Cup – this will be just the fourth matchup between the teams to be played in Sweden, with the USA winning the previous three meetings.
The USA last played in Sweden on June 8, 2017, in Gothenburg, a 1-0 win on a goal from Rose Lavelle. The USA first faced Sweden in 1987, but the first match between the teams in Sweden came 22 years later in the 24th meeting on July 5, 2008 in Skellefteå, a 1-0 U.S. win on a goal from Carli Lloyd. The teams also played in Halmstad on June 16, 2012, a 3-1 U.S. victory, as Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath scored.
TEN TEAMS IN, TWO TO GO FOR TOKYOTen countries have secured their berths into the Olympic tournament: the USA and Canada from Concacaf, Australia and Japan from Asia, Great Britain, Netherlands, and Sweden from Europe, New Zealand from Oceania and Zambia from Africa. One of the remaining two berths will be decided when Cameroon faces Chile in a two-leg intercontinental play-off scheduled to take place on April 10 and 13 in Antalya, Turkey. The other berth will go to South Korea or China, which opened its two-leg series on April 8 with a 2-1 China victory in South Korea. The visitors took the lead in the 33rd minute in Goyang through Zhang Xin, but the Chinese advantage lasted only six minutes before Kang Chae-Rim equalized for the Koreans. A penalty kick from Wang Shuang in the 73rd minute settled the first leg, giving China the one goal advantage to defend on April 13 in Suzhou. With two away goals conceded, South Korea will need to win the second leg by two clear goals, or score at least three in a victory, to secure their first Olympic appearance.
The Final Draw for the 2021 Olympic Football Tournament was scheduled to take place on April 1 but was moved to April 21 and will be held virtually in Zurich, Switzerland. The women’s draw will place 12 teams into three groups of four teams each.
USA ROSTER NOTES
The average age for this travel roster is 28 and the average caps per player is 79.
Carli Lloyd is by far the most-capped player on the roster with 299, followed by defender Becky Sauerbrunn with 182 caps and Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, both with 173. Christen Press is currently at 142 while midfielder Julie Ertz (108) and defenders Kelley O’Hara (134) and Crystal Dunn (109) also represent the USA’s Century Club.
On the other end of the spectrum, nine players on this roster have 33 caps or fewer. Goalkeeper Casey Murphy is the only uncapped player on the roster. Every player on this roster has been on at least one match day roster already in 2021.
So far this year, 11 players have scored the USA’s 19 goals: Megan Rapinoe (5), Samantha Mewis (3), Kristie Mewis (2), Christen Press (2), Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan, Catarina Macario, Margaret Purce, Lynn Williams, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd.
Twelve different players have also tallied an assist in 2021: Carli Lloyd (4), Lindsey Horan (4), Crystal Dunn, Ali Krieger, Samantha Mewis, Megan Rapinoe, Emily Sonnett, Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis, Casey Krueger, Christen Press and Alex Morgan.
After missing the SheBeleives Cup due to injury, Samantha Mewis returns to the USA roster. Mewis recently named as the #1 player in the world on the ESPN FC and espnW top-50 female players in the world list, one of 11 members of the USWNT – and 10 from this current roster – to be recognized in the rankings. Crystal Dunn (#6), Julie Ertz (#8), Tobin Heath (#13), Rose Lavelle (#15), Lindsey Horan (#23), Christen Press (#26), Abby Dahlkemper (#29), Alex Morgan (#38), Megan Rapinoe (#40) and Becky Sauerbrunn (#45) were also named to the inaugural list.
U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 16-0-0 in his first 16 games (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020 and five so far in 2021), setting a record for best start for a head coach in USWNT history.
IN FOCUS: SWEDEN | FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
FIFA World Ranking: 5
UEFA Ranking: 4
Olympic Appearances: 6
Best Olympic finish: Silver Medal (2016)
Record vs. USA: 6-23-11
Head Coach: Peter Gerhardsson
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)
SWEDEN ROSTER NOTES
Sweden head coach Peter Gerhardsson named his 25-player squad on March 30. 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.
Sweden has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics courtesy of its third-place finish at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Sweden has numerous players considered among the best in the world at their positions, including at goalkeeper with the absent Hedvig Lindahl, a finalist for the 2020 FIFA Best Goalkeeper of the Year who was orginally named to the roster but was later ruled out due to contact tracing at her club, at defender with Nilla Fischer (who was named to the 2020 FIFA Women’s Best XI) and Linda Sembrant, in the midfield with Kosovare Asllani and Caroline Seger and up front with Sofia Jakobsson and Stina Blackstenius.
Seger is just four caps away from becoming the all-time leader in international appearances for her country. Therese Sjögran, who played for Sweden for 19 years, has career 214 caps.
While Sweden has one of the most competitive professional leagues in the world, it has 11 players playing for top clubs outside the country, seven of them on teams that are currently in first place in their respective leagues. Three players play in England for league leaders Chelsea FC , two in Spain (for Real Madrid ), four in Germany (two for Wolfsburg and two for league leaders Bayern Munich) and two in Italy for league leaders Juventus.
Magdalena Eriksson (67 caps and eight goals for Sweden) and Jonna Andersson (53 caps, one goal) have both developed into important stalwarts for Chelsea.
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.
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.