LE HAVRE, France - One of the biggest rivalries in Women’s World Cup history is finally upon us, as Sweden and the U.S. meet on the field Thursday, June 20 in one of the most-anticipated matches of the tournament.
Giving the U.S. a hard time shouldn’t be a problem for Sweden, especially with star striker Stina Blackstenius on their roster. Blackstenius scored three goals in seven appearances during the country’s World Cup qualifying rounds, which put the spotlight on her as a truly significant player.
If anyone can beat the U.S., it might be Sweden. They knocked out the USA in the quarterfinals of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Rio in 2016, which denied the USWNT a podium finish for the first time in history.
The two teams may be tied for the lead in Group F with two wins apiece, but the U.S. squad has 16 goals to Sweden’s seven, and that’s not even counting what may be Sweden’s biggest threat: veteran star Carli Lloyd.
Lloyd is making a big return after she played 18 matches and scored six goals at the last 2015 tournament in which the U.S. won. Lloyd is the oldest player on the roster at 36.
Since the first Women’s World Cup in 1991, only seven teams have made an appearance at every tournament, two of them being Sweden and the United States.
Given that this is the seventh time the Americans and the Swedes have faced off in eight total Women’s World Cups,it’s almost certain that this match will be epic, especially since Sweden was the USA’s first Women’s World Cup opponent ever when the tournament was first held in China in 1991.
Although all-star coach Jill Ellis led the U.S. to victory in the last Women’s World Cup tournament, she also led them to a bitter defeat back in 2016, the last time the two teams met on the field.
That’s why the USWNT players are looking to redeem themselves in a comeback that has been years in the making.
Watch the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on FOX from June 7 through July 7.