The SheBelieves Cup helped give Vlatko Andonovski more to think about as he tries to decide the U.S. Women’s National Team’s Olympic roster, but now he will have two more matches to help his decision-making process.
The USWNT will take on Sweden in an international friendly in Stockholm on April 10, U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday. The friendly will come three days before a second planned friendly in Europe on April 13.
“We want to play as many of the top teams as possible to prepare for the Olympics and Sweden certainly falls into that category,” said head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “They are proven winners, have tremendously athletic players, are led by an excellent coach and are tactically savvy and experienced.”
Currently fifth in the global FIFA rankings, Sweden should present the Americans with the kind of challenge that can bring the best out of the world champions. It was the Swedes who eliminated the USWNT from the 2016 Olympics in the quarterfinals.
The March friendlies may be Andonovski’s last chance to evaluate his team before selecting the 18 players who will head to Tokyo.
“We need as many tests as possible like the ones we’ll face at the Olympics and these games in Europe will give us that,” Andonovski said. “We only have a few matches left before we have to pick the Olympic Team so we need the players to show how they can impact the success of our team and we need to see them do it against world class teams.”
The USWNT hosted the Swedes in November of 2019, and ended the game clinging to a 3-2 lead.
So far, the Americans are perfect in 2021, having beaten Colombia in a pair of friendlies in January before posting consecutive shutout wins against Canada, Brazil, and Argentina to claim another SheBelieves Cup title.