Sweden Looking To Snap 12-Game Winless Streak - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Sweden Looking To Snap 12-Game Winless Streak

GOTEBORG, Sweden (AP) _ Sweden will try to snap a 12-game winless streak in friendlies when it plays the United States on Wednesday.

Sweden has a nearly perfect record in European Championship qualifying with six wins in seven games, as it tries to reach its fifth straight major tournament.

But friendlies are something else.

Sweden won its last friendly in late 2005, a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic. Since then the Swedes have lost six games and tied six.

``I think it's always better to win games,'' Sweden coach Lars Lagerback said. ``But it seems the results in those friendlies don't seem to be that important because we've managed quite well in competitive matches.''

For Sweden, it's the last tuneup before meeting archrival Denmark in a Euro 2008 qualifier in Stockholm on Sept. 8.

Sweden leads Group F just past the halfway mark of the qualifying phase, three points ahead of Spain and five clear of Northern Ireland.

Lagerback has called up a nearly full-strength side that includes 15 members of the 2006 World Cup squad, led by Inter Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic who has 18 goals in 43 international appearances.

Team captain Fredrik Ljungberg of West Ham is likely to miss the game because of a groin injury.

Up to 13 players from the United States' CONCACAF Gold Cup squad could be in uniform, including the team's leading scorer Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The United States won the tournament in June, beating Mexico in the final in Chicago.

With four goals in the tournament, Donovan moved into a tie for first place on the U.S. all-time goal scoring list with 34 tallies.

``This is a very important opportunity to play a strong opponent in Europe,'' said U.S. coach Bob Bradley, who is making his first trip to Europe with the team. ``This is the first year of a new four-year cycle, the first year before qualifying. The aim is to prepare for qualifying and eventually the World Cup.''

``We have two big goals: to challenge some experienced players to take bigger roles _ players like Carlos Bocanegra, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and DaMarcus Beasley. And to get young players into the side _ players like Benny Feilhaber, Jonathan Bornstein and Michael Bradley. But we will go out with our best team.''

The United States played its first ever official game in Sweden in 1916 _ a friendly at the Olympic Stadium in Stockholm.

The United States, which became a member of FIFA two years earlier, won the game 3-2.

This will be the sixth meeting between the two countries. Sweden has a 3-2 edge, although the United States won the last game 1-0 in Orlando, Florida, in 1998.

European-based players make up all but three men on the United States' roster, with Donovan, defensive midfielder Pablo Mastroeni of the Colorado Rapids and defender Jonathan Bornstein of Chivas USA being the exceptions. Eight members of the U.S. squad play in England and four in Germany.
Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.