The US women's national team goes looking for its second straight victory in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup tournament Friday night against Sweden.
The American ladies will look to build upon their 3-1 win over Australia Monday evening, which didn't start off as well as they would have hoped. Fortunately for the US, midfielder Megan Rapinoe scored twice in the match. Forward Christen Press, who put the US ahead for good, became the eighth American player to score a goal in her first World Cup match, according to USSoccer.com.
“I was so excited to start the World Cup. We’ve been waiting for so long,” Press said. “Stepping out on the pitch, coming through the tunnel, there were so many emotions going through my body. It was awesome; it was an awesome experience!”
Sweden gave up a two-goal lead in a tough first match against Nigeria Monday that ended in a 3-3 tie.
The Swedish team is coached by former US head coach Pia Sundhage, who was critical of both US goalie Hope Solo and midfielder Carli Lloyd in comments published by The New York Times Tuesday.
“Carli Lloyd was a challenge to coach, by the way,” Sundhage said ... “When she felt that we had faith in her, she could be one of the best players. But if she began to question that faith, she could be one of the worst.”
From an historical standpoint, the USA has defeated Sweden in three out of four prior Women's World Cup contests. But this Swedish team, currently ranked fourth-best in the world, has the talent in striker Sofia Jakobsson, midfielder Caroline Seger, and goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl to compete and beat the Americans.
The US-Sweden match, to be played at Winnipeg Stadium in Winnipeg, Manitoba, will begin at 8 p.m. Eastern time Friday. You can watch it on Fox.
An interesting side note to this weekend's action is the number of television viewers that tuned into both the Women's World Cup opening match between Canada and China and the US women's victory over Australia, as reported by FIFA.com.
A record number of Canadians tuned in to watch the host nation beat China in the opening match, with 1.8 million viewers watching on CTV, TSN and RDS. That was the biggest television audience in Canada for any FIFA Women’s World Cup match on record.
U.S. broadcaster Fox Sports 1 attracted 3.3 million viewers to the game between the United States and Australia, more than three times higher than Team USA’s first group stage match in 2011.
Back to the action Friday, the other three matches include the second Group D contest between Australia and Nigeria at 5 p.m. Eastern time, also in Winnipeg. You can watch this match on Fox Sports 1.
In Group C action, Switzerland takes on Ecuador in Vancouver, British Columbia at 7 p.m. Eastern. That match can also be seen on Fox Sports 1.
The final game of the evening is between a pair of undefeated squads. Defending Women's World Cup champion Japan and Cameroon, both victorious in their first contests, meet at 10 p.m. Eastern time, also on Fox Sports 1.