Something wanting an Olympic gold medal merely received’t be ok for the U.S. girls’s nationwide soccer crew. That’s the extent of expectation and strain the USWNT is dealing with when it performs its opening match on the 2021 Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday (4:30 a.m. ET), coming into the event on a dominant 44-match unbeaten run.
However the U.S. girls, heavy favorites to win their fifth Olympic soccer gold medal, will likely be dealing with a long-time nemesis in that first group-stage match: Sweden, ranked No. 5 on the earth, can also be the final crew to bounce the U.S. from a significant event within the quarterfinals of the final Olympics. The USWNT gamers say that early elimination will likely be lots motivation in Tokyo.
Sweden would be the USWNT’s hardest opponent in Group G, which additionally contains Australia (ranked No. 9 on the earth) and New Zealand (No. 22). Along with the 2016 Olympic victory (in a penalty-kick shootout), the Swedes are additionally the final crew to carry the USWNT to a draw: 1-1 in an exhibition match performed on April 10 in Sweden (photograph beneath). It’s the one match that the USA has did not win since January of 2019, and it wanted a late penalty kick simply to come back away with a tie.
Ought to historical past repeat itself on Wednesday, and the USA fails to beat Sweden, it received’t carry the identical penalties. Within the group stage, all of the USWNT has to do is end among the many prime two in Group G and it’ll advance to the single-elimination quarterfinals. The 2 finest third-place finishers additionally get via.
The right way to watch USA vs. Sweden Olympic soccer
- Date: Wednesday, July 21
- Time: 4:30 a.m. ET
- TV channels: USA Community
- Spanish-language TV: Telemundo
- TV replays: NBCSN (8:30 a.m. ET & 6 p.m. ET)
- Streaming: fuboTV, NBCOlympics.com, TelemundoDeportes.com, NBC Sports activities app and Telemundo Deportes app (with consumer authentication)
USA vs. Sweden will air reside on USA Community and Telemundo at 4:30 a.m. ET. It’s additionally scheduled to be replayed later that day on NBCSN at 8:30 a.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET. NBCSN may be streamed on fuboTV (free 7-day trial).
All Olympic soccer matches will likely be streamed within the USA on NBCOlympics.com, TelemundoDeportes.com, NBC Sports activities app and the Telemundo Deportes app — all with consumer authentication.
USWNT vs. Sweden projected lineups
Head coach Vlatko Andonovski is in his first main event on the helm of the USWNT and it’s not anticipated that he’ll spring any surprises along with his lineup alternatives, that are certain to come back underneath heavy scrutiny, as has been the case with USWNT coaches at main tournaments.
The one actual query is the standing of holding midfielder Julie Ertz (above), who’s usually an everyday starter, however has been sidelined with a knee damage since Might. She didn’t recuperate in time to play any of the tuneup matches previous to the Olympics, however she’s been seen in full apply in Tokyo.
Though the standard apply is to ease gamers into motion after a protracted damage absence and provides them minutes off the bench, Ertz is such an vital a part of the crew and that is such an vital sport, that it wouldn’t be fully stunning to see her begin. If she would not, Lindsey Horan would as soon as once more deputize within the Ertz position, as she has all through her damage layoff.
The Swedes performed with a five-defender again line towards the USA in April and it’s anticipated they roll it out once more to make sure they will as soon as once more frustrate the Individuals with a robust defensive stance. However even when the Swedes sit again, they’re proficient in assault and their three forwards will show a problem.
USWNT projected starters (4-3-3, left to proper): 1-Alyssa Naeher — 2-Crystal Dunn, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 17-Abby Dahlkemper, 5-Kelley O’Hara — 3-Samantha Mewis, 9-Lindsey Horan, 16-Rose Lavelle — 15-Megan Rapinoe, 10-Carli Lloyd, 11-Christen Press
USWNT projected substitutes: 18-Adrianna Franch-GK, 12-Tierna Davidson, 14-Emily Sonnett, 8-Julie Ertz, 19-Catarina Macario, 7-Tobin Heath, 13-Alex Morgan. Projected to sit down out: 22-Jane Campbell-GK, 20-Casey Krueger, 6-Kristie Mewis, 21-Lynn Williams
Sweden projected starters (5-2-3, left to proper): 1-Hedvig Lindahl — 2-Jonna Andersson, 6-Magdalena Eriksson, 14-Nathalie Bjorn, 13-Amanda Ilestedt, 4-Hanna Glas — 17-Caroline Seger, 9-Kosovare Asllani — 8-Lina Hurtig, 11-Stina Blackstenius, 10-Sofia Jakobsson
Sweden projected substitutes: 12-Jennifer Falk-GK, 3-Emma Kullberg, 5-Hanna Bennison, 15-Olivia Schough, 7-Madelen Janogy, 19-Anna Anvegard, 18-Fridolina Rolfo. Projected to sit down out: 22-Zecira Musovic-GK, 16-Filippa Angeldal, 20-Julia Roddar, 21-Rebecka Blomqvist
USA vs. Sweden odds & prediction
The USWNT can hear the noise and when the strain is best, it’s a crew that at all times appears to reply. Regardless that it’s solely the opening match, there will certainly be an urgency to its sport, fueled by revenge for 2016.
And the numbers undoubtedly level to a USWNT opening win. The crew’s all-time Olympic document is 25-2-5 (outscoring groups 64-32) and it’s received the primary match in 5 of six journeys to the Olympics with the lone blemish being a loss to Norway in 2008 (2-0).
However this will likely be a good sport as a result of these two groups know one another all too properly. The USA has confronted Sweden at main tournaments greater than some other nation (9 instances) and the familiarity exhibits up within the outcomes: The USA is solely 7-3-6 within the final 15 conferences courting again to 2010 and 7 of the final eight conferences between the USA and Sweden have completed in both a draw or a one-goal victory for one of many groups. The USA received the opposite match by a 2-0 outcome on the 2019 World Cup.
Given all of the above, the printed odds for a one-goal victory by the USA will not be enticing. The best way to play a good matchup could possibly be a have a look at the first-half draw (+110) or both-teams-to-score (+125) — there’s that a lot attacking expertise on either side. A halftime draw coupled with a fulltime U.S. win is out there at +255.
Prediction: USA 2, Sweden 1
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
- Sweden to win: +750
- Draw: +320
- USA to win: -235
- Each groups to attain: +125
- Sweden double likelihood (win or tie): +185
- First-half draw: +110
- Tie at halftime / USA win at fulltime: +255