Megan Rapinoe Says USWNT 'Got Our Asses Kicked,' Were 'a Little Nervous' vs. Sweden

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 21, 2021

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 21:  Megan Rapinoe, 15, of the United States reacts during her sides 3-0 loss during the USA V Sweden group G women's football match at Tokyo Stadium during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 21, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

United States women's national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe didn't mince words following Team USA's Olympic-opening 3-0 loss to Sweden on Wednesday at Tokyo Stadium.

According to Goal.com's James Westwood, Rapinoe said: "We got our asses kicked, didn’t we? I think we were a little tight, just a little nervous. Just doing dumb stuff like not passing the ball, not tapping the ball."

The match marked Team USA's first loss since falling 3-1 to France in an international friendly in January 2019. It was also the first time the Americans recorded a result other than a win since April, when they tied Sweden 1-1 in a friendly.

Regarding Wednesday's surprising loss, Rapinoe continued:

"This is the highest level and these are the best teams in the world, Sweden being one of the best teams ever, certainly in Europe, so if we don't play well, game in, game out, we're not going to win these games.

"So, there's a lot of stuff [to improve on]. We want to be a lot better. I think we played a little bit tight, and just hurt ourselves a lot. I don't think we can really say one thing specifically, they took their chances, got into better space and inevitably scored more goals."

As Rapinoe alluded to, the USWNT didn't lose to a pushover. The Americans are ranked No. 1 in the world by FIFA, but Sweden isn't too far behind at No. 5.

Team USA also has a history of struggling against Sweden at times, most notably at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

At that event, the Americans shockingly fell 4-3 to Sweden in the quarterfinals, denying them a medal for the first time since women's soccer was introduced to the Olympic program in 1996.

Sweden went on to take silver, marking the country's first Olympic medal in women's soccer.

Team USA has four gold medals and one silver to its credit in six Olympic women's soccer competitions, and that dominance means the Americans remain the favorites to take gold in Tokyo even after Wednesday's defeat.

After losing for the first time in 44 matches, the USWNT will have a chance to bounce back Saturday when it faces New Zealand at Saitama Stadium, followed by its final match in group play Tuesday against Australia on Tuesday.