The U.S. Women’s National Team opened its two-game European tour with a 1-0 shutout against Sweden at Gamla Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden, as 22-year-old midfielder Rose Lavelle scored the lone goal of the match in the 56th minute. The game was the first of two international friendlies on their Scandinavian trip.
The win was the first for the USWNT against a Pia Sundhage-coach team in five tries. Sundhage, former U.S. WNT national coach, had led her native Sweden to three draws and a victory in four previous meetings since leaving as U.S. coach.
The U.S. had several good chances in the first half, including a Carli Lloyd shot from a Meghan Klingenberg cross that she knocked just wide and a semi-breakaway from Crystal Dunn, who fired at the net and forced the Sweden goalkeeper into a kick-save.
In the second frame, the USA scored in transition as Dunn ran with pace at the Sweden defense and then slipped a pass to Lavelle in the right side of the box. Lavelle cut toward goal and then struck a rolling shot just inside the left post from a wide angle.
Sweden created a couple of chances late in the game, particularly in the 86th minute when Kosovare Asllani’s shot was deflected by goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, hit the top of the cross bar and flew out for a corner kick. The U.S. defense, led by Becky Sauerbrunn, put on a strong performance to maintain the shutout and gut out the 1-0 victory.
Sweden had a dangerous chance in the 44th minute after a give-away in midfield and Caroline Seger got free in the box. Her shot from the left side of the penalty area looked to be going wide before it was blocked by Allie Long. The ball then bounced over sliding U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, but Long was able to recover and sweep the ball off goal line to avoid an own goal and send the teams to the break tied 0-0.
Up Next: The U.S. will finish its week in Europe when the team travels to Sandefjord to face Norway on June 11 (1p.m. ET; FOX).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Rose Lavelle (Crystal Dunn), 56th minute: A perfectly timed run from the midfield for Crystal Dunn led to a beautiful through-ball for Rose Lavelle, who was making her way inside the box from the right side. Lavelle received the pass and calmly finished to the far post for her second international tally in her fifth international appearance. USA 1, SWE 0 FINAL
- The USA is now 21-6-11 all-time against Sweden and since 2010 has had a 5-3-5 advantage.
- The USA is now 3-0-0 while playing Sweden in Sweden, with the two previous wins coming in 2008, a 1-0 win in Skelleftea; and a 3-1 win in Halmstad in the summer of 2012.
- Today marked the first time that the USA has defeated a Pia Sundhage-coached Sweden team. Before today, the teams had met four times with three games resulting in a draw, and one in a Sweden win.
- Rose Lavelle scored her second international goal in just her fifth cap. Lavelle played her first game for the senior team on March 4 against England, playing 90 minutes of excellent soccer in a widely-praised debut. She became the first player to earn a first cap in 2017 and the 14th player to earn a first cap from Ellis. Lavelle was the first overall pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft by the Boston Breakers.
- Defender Abby Dahlkemper entered the match in the 46th minute to earn her third cap with the U.S. WNT. Her first appearance since a friendly against Switzerland on Oct. 23, 2016.
- Alyssa Naeher made her 14th appearance for the USA and recorded her ninth career shutout.
- Kelley O’Hara earned her 96th cap tonight, inching her closer to the century mark.
- Samantha Mewis makes her 13th career start and earned her 23rd cap. Alongside Sauerbrunn and Lloyd, she is the only player to be in the starting lineup of every game the WNT has played in 2017.
- Crystal Dunn earned her fifth start of the year and 51st cap. She assisted on Lavelle’s goal for her 12th career assist and first of 2017.
- Becky Sauerbrunn is the only player to have played all 540 minutes played so far. She earned her 125th cap tonight, tying Alex Morgan and Lindsey Tarpley for 26th on the all-time caps list.
– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Sweden Women’s National Team
Date: June 8, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Gamla Ullevi Stadium; Gothenberg, Sweden
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. local / 1:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 60 degrees; Sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
SWE 0 0 0
USA – Rose Lavelle (Crystal Dunn) 56th minute
USA : 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara (8-Julie Ertz, 84), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 14-Casey Short, 7-Meghan Klingenberg (6-Abby Dahlkemper, 46); 16-Rose Lavelle (15-Megan Rapinoe, 90+2), 20-Allie Long, 3-Sam Mewis, 22-Mallory Pugh; 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.) 9-Lindsey Horan, 46), 19-Crystal Dunn (23-Christen Press, 75)
Subs not used: 2-Sydney Leroux, 18-Abby Smith
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
SWE : 12-Hilda Carlén; 15-Jessica Samuelsson, 3-Linda Sembrant, 5-Nilla Fischer (6-Magdalena Eriksson, 75), 2-Joanna Andersson; 9-Kosovare Asllani, 7-Lisa Dahlkvist (11-Stina Blackstenius, 87), 17-Carolina Seger, 22-Olivia Schough 10-Julia Spetsmark, 63); 18-Fridolina Rolfö (20-Mimi Larsson, 46), 8-Lotta Schlein (capt.)
Subs not used : 1-Hedvig Lindahl, 4-Emma Berglund, 14-Hanna Folkesson, 16-Hanna Glas, 19-Pauline Hammarlund, 21-Emelie Lundberg , 24-Josefin Johansson, 25-Petra Andersson
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage
Stats Summary: USA / SWE
Shots: 7 / 13
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 2 / 10
Fouls: 4 / 14
Offside: 4 / 2
Referee: Olga Zadinova (Czech Republic)
Assistant Referee 1: Jana Zaplatilova (Czech Republic)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriela Hanakova (Czech Republic)
4th official: Lucie Sulcova (Czech Republic)