At the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016, the Swedish women’s national team beat the then-USA Olympic champion after a decisive penalty kick from Lisa Dalqvist in the quarter-finals.
They meet again on Saturday, in a match that will be a crucial decision before the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. If you ask Macedonian-American coach Flattko Andonovsky, there were several reasons why they had met Sweden.
He described the Swedish national team as very organized, disciplined and flowing well in the offensive match. As American women prepare for the Olympics, they must confront teams that can present challenges that other teams cannot.
When we prepare for the Olympics, we want to meet some of the best teams in the world with some of the best players in the world, and Sweden has it all, he said during the press conference on Friday.
Andonovsky was asked about the single player in the Swedish national team who could present challenges to the Americans during tonight’s match. Then he had a hard time choosing just one of the Swedes, but first and foremost he mentioned Real Madrid superstar Kosovar Aslani.
She is well established, creative and has a good understanding of using the surfaces that her opponent gives her. Since then, right-winger Sophia Jakobson has been a very dynamic and really hacking game, so she’s someone who we’ve carefully studied to make sure we can stop it, as Andonovsky said and fast-paced:
– Stena Blacksteinius, incredible runs. And Caroline Seeger, dictates the attack and it all starts. As I said, there are a lot of good players with different qualities who will present us with different challenges and obstacles. The more threatened we feel, the more we prepare to take on these challenges as they will help us to improve before the Olympics.
Bitterness after the Olympic Games in Rio brings with it the United States
US striker Alex Morgan also took the opportunity to pay homage to former club teammate Caroline Seager during Friday’s press conference.
– She played for Seger at Lyon too and is a player who simply dominates the midfield. So it would be fun to meet her and play against her. Morgan said, I know it’s always good quality on board.
She also said that it is not without the physical and mental hardships that one encounters in Sweden on Saturday. No American woman has forgotten the end of the Olympic Games in Rio 2016.
– Obviously there will always be some bitterness at the end of the 2016 Olympic Games. Obviously I remember when they beat us and also in the 2011 World Cup, so they are definitely a team that is difficult to confront and break down. I think many of the players who participated in the 2016 Olympics have this in their minds and we will make sure to remind those players who did not participate.