Sweden Invitational Will Feature the Top Three Finishers at the 2011 FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup
CHICAGO (April 18, 2012) â€“ The U.S. Womenâ€™s National Team will participate in the Sweden Invitational this summer when it travels to the home country of head coach Pia Sundhage to take on Sweden on June 16 and Japan on June 18.
Both U.S. matches will take place at Ã–rjans Vall Stadium in Halmstad, which is located on the southwest coast of Sweden about 90 miles south of Gothenburg.
The USA-Sweden match will kick off at 4 p.m. local (10 a.m. ET) and USA-Japan will kick off at 1 p.m. local (7 a.m. ET). Sweden and Japan will also meet on June 20 at Stadium Rambergsvallen in Gothenburg.
The three-nation event features the top three finishers from last summerâ€™s FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup and will give all three countries excellent preparation heading into the Olympics.
The Sweden Invitational will be played in two of the host cities for the 2013 European Womenâ€™s Championships as both Halmstad and Gothenburg will host games in that tournament from July 10-28, 2013.
â€œAll games are important and playing against two of the top teams in the world is the absolute best preparation for the Olympics,â€ said Sundhage. â€œWe are of course very familiar with both Sweden and Japan, but we are always excited about the different challenges those teams present. Being in Sweden during the summer and playing in a venue that will be used for the European Championships will create a great soccer atmosphere for our team.â€
The Sweden Invitational will be played during the 2012 European Championships in Poland/Ukraine, so the U.S. team will be in Europe during the continentâ€™s biggest soccer event, one in which the Sweden Menâ€™s National Team will compete.
The Sweden Invitational will be held on dates in accordance with the FIFA womenâ€™s international match calendar. Sweden has qualified for the Womenâ€™s Euros as host, meaning the dates were open for the Swedish F.A. to stage this tournament. There also will be numerous qualifying matches for the Womenâ€™s European Championships taking place during that time.
The USA has already played Sweden once and Japan twice so far in 2012. The USA defeated Sweden 4-0 in the third-place match of the Algarve Cup in Portugal while falling to Japan 1-0 in that same tournament. On April 1, the USA tied Japan 1-1 in Sendai in its first of two matches at the Kirin Challenge Cup.