Loss to Sweden a blessing in disguise

United States women’s national team (USWNT) midfielder Rose Lavelle has said that the loss against Sweden on the opening day of the Tokyo 2020 women’s soccer tournament was a blessing in disguise for the team.

The USWNT were dismantled 3-0 by Sweden on July 21, snapping a 44-game unbeaten streak for Vlatko Andonovski’s side.

Rose Lavelle emerges as the USWNT’s reluctant star
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However, they recovered with a 6-1 win over New Zealand on Saturday, with Rose Lavelle scoring their first goal after less than 10 minutes.

“I think that first game we knew that one of the things we pride ourselves in [mentality] was very lacking,” Lavelle said at a news conference on Monday.

“I think we feel like although the loss obviously sucks, it is a bit of a blessing in disguise to get the loss in early on in the tournament and we know we have no room for error. It’s just bringing that same energy we had against New Zealand and elevating it even more and continuing to build and learn and then get ready for the next.”

Their next challenge comes against Australia — who challenged Sweden but ultimately fell to a 4-2 loss — on Tuesday.

Andonovski said he was happy with how the team had responded since the loss.

“First day, they responded well. We are very happy with the job they did. Obviously we came with the mindset to win, with the mindset to score goals and we accomplished that but as soon as that [the win against New Zealand] happened we didn’t have time — or want — to celebrate because we wanted to focus on the next game and that has been our main focus since the game ended.

“In terms of the mentality, the players have done an incredible job reevaluating the mentality. They’ve done an incredible job getting back to our roots, to who we are. Obviously myself, I do just a little bit of that to remind them of what it is it can look like if we’re not rpepared, if we’re not ready mentally for the game.

“There are things we could do better. There are certainly little things I would like to see better. We have already addressed it. We haven’t had a lot of time to work on it but hopefully we can do some more today [Monday].”

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