To state the obvious: The U.S. women's national team got off to a nightmare start at the Olympics with a 3–0 loss to Sweden. However, the silver lining is that there's plenty yet to be done about it.
Sweden continued to haunt the USWNT at the Olympics. After eliminating the U.S. from the quarterfinals in 2016, the first time the USWNT had failed to medal, Sweden routed the U.S. behind two goals from Stina Blackstenius.
With its first loss since Jan. 2019, the USWNT saw its 44-match unbeaten streak come to an end while Vlatko Andonovski suffered his first loss as U.S. coach. Now it's all about how the team responds.
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Time: 7:30 a.m. ET
TV Channel: NBCSN, Telemundo
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USWNT XI: Naeher; Sonnett, Dahlkemper, Davidson, Dunn; Ertz, Horan, Lavelle; Heath, Lloyd, Rapinoe
New Zealand XI: Leat, Riley, Erceg, Moore, Bott; Bowen, Percival, Cleverley, Hasset; Wilkinson, Chance
The U.S. will now look to its second of three group-stage matches as a must-win with a critical game against a New Zealand side ranked 22nd in the latest FIFA world ranking. However, the U.S. should take solace in the fact that the top two third-place teams from the three groups will also advance to the quarterfinals. Despite the U.S.'s rough start, the format is rather forgiving.
New Zealand dropped its opening match at the Olympics to regional rival Australia in a 2–1 defeat. Indiana University forward Gabi Rennie scored the lone goal for the Football Ferns in second-half stoppage time, but the late consolation wasn't enough to overcome Australia's two first-half goals.
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