The United States will play Sweden at Gamla Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg this June as part of a two-game away jaunt in Europe. The WNT will first hit Sweden on June 8 in a rematch from the Olympic quarterfinals (just...don’t think about it too much and the sadness will fade, there you go), then they’ll face Norway on June 11.
"With the next World Cup in France, any games we can get in Europe are a positive,” said Jill Ellis via team press release. “Especially against two teams that will be sharp and in the final stages of their preparations for the Euros.”
The United States very infrequently plays away, so this road trip to Scandinavia is a bit of a surprise, although a mostly welcome one. Though the games fall in a FIFA window, they may still disrupt NWSL, which has games scheduled the weekend of June 3-4. Probably players will be able to travel and acclimate while still playing for their clubs based on the FIFA window.
We’ll also see if, against tougher opponents than Russia, Jill Ellis decides to continue reworking the three back, or if she sticks with four defenders, having seen what she needs of her 3-4-1-2. The frequent use of the three back came about precisely as a response to that ill-fated game against Sweden, when the team absolutely could not find a way to break down Sweden’s determined defense, putting nine and 10 players behind the ball. Ellis shifted to three in the back during the quarterfinal but the team didn’t seem to know how to execute it. So it would be fitting for Ellis to break it out here to see if the US can really take control of the midfield with increased numbers and overwhelm the Swedish defense.
The USWNT kicks off against Sweden on Thursday, June 8, at 1:30 PM ET on ESPN 2 and Univision Deportes.