SWE – Sofia Jakobsson 28 USA – Tobin Heath (Alex Morgan) 81
The U.S. Women’s National Team came from behind to tie Sweden 1-1 on Saturday, November 19th at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game was the culmination of a two-week training camp for the U,Darrelle Revis Jets Jersey.S. side, who were based in nearby Scottsdale.
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By Tim Grainey
When asked about Morgan’s role and why she doesn’t play 90 minutes, Sundhage said that currently Morgan is performing an important role as a late substitute: “It is perfect. That is the reason why she is so good. She is coming off the bench, she has a small role. She understands it and respects it, and the team does as well. It was a small role and she did perfectly well.” Sundhage emphasized that Morgan’s specific role, making direct runs at a tiring defense, would not work for 90 minutes.
The U.S. goalscorer Tobin Heath, who now has 3 goals in 34 appearances, said that they would have liked to have achieved the win but: “We were happy about our last push. We really wanted to get that second goal to get the win. I think that if we had five more minutes we could have gotten it. There were a lot of things to take away from it and build off, as well.” When asked about her role in the new 4-2-3-1 formation, Heath, a second half substitute on the left side of midfield, said: “My role is pretty much the same. This game I played on the outside, I can play on the inside as well. But I think everyone’s roles are a little bit different in positioning, having three in the center. But for the most part, it is pretty much the same,Tim Tebow Youth Jersey.”
Head Coach Pia Sundhage was pleased with the effort her team displayed and how they adapted to her new 4-2-3-1 formation, which replaced the U.S.’s traditional 4-4-2 lineup this fall. Sundhage said: “I am very happy that we were patient with the system. The most important thing is that we are comfortable with the system and that we did create chances. It was a great warm-up game for qualification [for the Olympics in January of 2012]. It was very important that we scored that goal, it was a fantastic goal and we deserved it.”
The game attracted a crowd of 18,D.J. Williams Jersey,842, the largest for a women’s national team game in the state of Arizona, breaking the previous high of 12,039 for a game in 2000 versus Japan at Chase Field (then Bank One Ballpark), the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks National League baseball team. Abby Wambach called the crowd “fantastic” and was a key part in their late push for a winning goal. The large advanced sale of 14,000 showed that the overwhelming positive response from the U.S. public to the team’s run to the World Cup Finals is still appreciated more than four months after.
Sweden took the lead in the 28th minute on a wonderful curving ball from the top of the box by Sofia Jakobsson. The twenty-one year old forward’s shot touched U,J.J. Watt Texans Jersey.S. defender and Captain Christie Rampone slightly as it sailed into the top right corner of the goal, beyond goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart’s dive. The U.S. tied up the match in the 81st minute on midfielder Tobin Heath’s follow-up strike of forward Alex Morgan’s initial blast off of Swedish goalkeeper Kristin Hammarstrom. Morgan, who entered the game just seven minutes before, was a handful for the Swedish defense. Four minutes after she assisted with the tying goal, Morgan struck a post with another shot, one of three times that the woodwork denied the Americans of scoring chances, the others being midfielder Shannon Boxx’s shot that hit the crossbar in the 40th minute and forward Abby Wambach’s header that bounded off a post in the 67th minute. The U.S. had long periods of ball control and dangerous forays on goal, particularly in the second half, which was reflected in their 19-6 shot and 11-4 shots-on-goal advantage over Sweden for the game.
Right sided midfielder Heather O’Reilly talked about the importance of the team’s two week camp in Arizona, particularly as they now look forward to January’s CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament in Vancouver B.C. O’Reilly explained, “We are getting level after that World Cup. It was so emotional. It took a lot out of us to play in that World Cup, come back and finish our WPS seasons, and I think that we are back to being level-headed and back towards Olympics. I think that is what this camp was all about, rolling up our sleeves and looking forward and not looking back on last summer.” O’Reilly felt that the team’s preparation is better looking forward to the 2012 Summer Olympics than ahead of this summer’s World Cup, since they have not been juggling club and national team commitments since WPS ended in August.
Lineups: USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart; 11-Ali Krieger (2-Heather Mitts, 46), 19-Rachel Buehler, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (14-Stephanie Cox, 74); 9-Heather O’Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd, 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez (17-Tobin Heath, 46), 12-Lauren Cheney; 20-Abby Wambach (13-Alex Morgan, 74) Subs not used: 6-Amy LePeilbet, 16-Lori Lindsey, 21-Jill Loyden Head coach: Pia Sundhage
Swedish goalscorer Sofia Jakobsson scored her first national team goal in six appearances for Sweden. She is on a year’s contract with Russian club power FC Rossiyanka, home to former Chicago Red Stars and Brazilian National Team forward Cristiane. Jakobsson has been impressed with the strength of her Russian team, which is through to the quarterfinals of this year’s UEFA Women’s Champions League. Dennerby felt that Jakobsson’s technical play is improving some from her time in Russia.
SWE: 12-Kristin Hammarström; 2-Emma Berglund, 3-Linda Sembrant, 4-Annica Svensson,Dennis Pitta Youth Jersey, 6-Sara Thunebro; 17-Lisa Dahlkvist, 18-Nilla Fischer (capt.), 14-Johanna Almgren (22-Louise Fors, 61); 10-Sofia Jakobsson (20-Susanne Moberg, 87),Desmond Bishop Jersey, 9-Jessica Landström (16-Madelaine Edlund, 75), 8-Lotta Schelin Subs not used: 1-Hedvig Lindahl, 5-Marina Pettersson Engström, 7-Sara Larsson, 13-Emmelie Konradsson, 19-Jessica Samuelsson Head coach: Thomas Dennerby
Swedish Coach Thomas Dennerby felt that the game was prestigious for his team, since it involved two of the top three rated teams in the world. Sweden will play a practice game this week against the Canadian National Women’s Team before heading home.