The United States women’s national team enters the knockout stage with a ton of uncertainty as they pursue a third consecutive Women’s World Cup, and it is waters they have not been in very much.
After a 0-0 draw against Portugal last week, it appears the Americans have a steep hill to climb against Sweden, who were the winners of their group and have yet to drop a game. The U.S. defeated Vietnam soundly but drew criticism with ties against the Netherlands and Portugal.
The U.S. has never been eliminated before the third-place game. The last time the team finished in third place came in 2007, when Abby Wambach was lighting up goalkeepers, and Hope Solo was making saves.
Lindsey Horan downplayed the criticism lobbed at the team and likened it to just “noise.”
“Again, it’s noise and, again, it’s an opinion and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. We know that’s how it goes,” Horan said. “I always want to defend my team and say, ‘You have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes, you have no idea every single training what we’re doing individually, collectively, etc.”
The U.S. will be without a key part of their last Women’s World Cup run – Rose Lavelle. She received her second yellow card of the tournament against Portugal and will be forced to miss Sunday’s game.
The last time the U.S. and Sweden faced off was at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Sweden won 3-0. The U.S. last topped Sweden 3-2 in an international friendly back in 2019. The U.S. beat Sweden in group play during the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
Here is what to know about the Round of 16.
How can you watch the U.S. vs Sweden?
USA vs. Sweden will kick off at 5 a.m. ET on Tuesday on FOX with coverage beginning at 4 a.m. ET. Fans can tune in to watch the match here.
Who plays for the U.S.?
- Goalkeepers: Aubrey Kingsbury, Casey Murphy, Alyssa Naeher
- Defenders: Alana Cook, Emily Fox, Crystal Dunn, Naomi Girma, Sofia Huerta, Kelley O’Hara, Emily Sonnett
- Midfielders: Savannah Demelo, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Kristia Mewis, Ashley Sanchez, Andi Sullivan
- Forwards: Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Trinity Rodman, Sophia Smith, Alyssa Thompson, Lynn Williams
Who plays for Sweden?
- Goalkeepers: Zecira Musovc, Jennifer Falk and Tove Enblom
- Defenders: Jonna Andersson, Linda Sembrant, Stina Lennartsson, Anna Sandberg, Magdalena Eriksson, Amanda Ilestedt and Nathalie Bjorn.
- Midfielders: Flippa Angeldal, Caroline Segar, Johanna Kaneryd, Hana Bennison and Elina Rubensson
- Forwards: Madelen Janogy, Lina Hurtig, Kosovare Asllani, Sofia Jakobsson, Stina Blackstenius, Rebecka Blomqvist, Fridolina Rolfo and Oliva Schough.
How did the U.S. and Sweden get here?
The U.S. finished second in their group after defeating Vietnam and tying with the Netherlands and Portugal. The squad is looking for its third consecutive World Cup title.
Sweden has yet to lose in the World Cup thus far. The team defeated South Africa, Italy and Argentina on their way to a group win and a knockout round berth against the U.S.