Arts & Entertainment

Women's World Cup: US vs. Sweden, plus where to watch the game

USA midfielder Megan Rapione laughs during a training session in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on June 11, 2015.
USA midfielder Megan Rapione laughs during a training session in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on June 11, 2015.

Sweden's Caroline Seger said she'd received a text from U.S. defender Meghan Klingenberg before the World Cup match between the two teams, but wouldn't reveal its content.

No, it wasn't trash talk.

"I just asked if she would like to trade jerseys after the game," Klingenberg explained Thursday. "And she said yes. Still friends!"

That prompted an "Awwww," from coach Jill Ellis.

The second-ranked U.S. women face No. 5 Sweden on Friday night in the second group-stage match for both teams. The Americans opened the World Cup with a 3-1 victory over Australia, while Sweden settled for a 3-all tie with Nigeria after taking a 2-0 lead.

The most talked-about connection between the two teams is Sweden coach Pia Sundhage, who used to coach the U.S. women. But there are other friendships that cut across both teams.

Klingenberg played professionally for two seasons with the Swedish side Tyreso Fotbollsforening before returning to the United States last year to play for the Houston Dash of the NWSL.

Likewise, forward Christen Press played for Tyreso FF after a season with Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC, in 2012.

"It's a really special place to me. I really love Sweden: I love the league, I love my team and I love the players that I played with," Klingenberg said. "So we know them really well. They are incredible friends, they are incredible people. I think it adds a little bit extra edge to the game. It kind of gives a sense of bragging rights. So we're really excited about it, we know they're going to be a good opponent and we know it's going to be fun."

Press had gone to Sweden to ply her craft in hopes of earning a spot on the U.S. team. But any fond feelings she has for the country and its players will be temporarily pushed aside on match day.

"I owe a lot to the country for being here this moment. I think it really helped my career, and helped me grow as a human being as well. But this is the World Cup, and I think that trumps everything. It's an important game in our bracket and that's where all of my focus is," Press said.

Most of the crowd at the match will be behind the United States: A decidedly patriotic horde has crossed the border to see the team to Winnipeg.

"We absolutely love it. It's been incredible, but if they could just keep it down a little bit when I'm trying to tell Pinoe (Megan Rapoine) instructions, that would be great," Klingenberg joked, pouring on the sarcasm. "They can bring it back up afterward."

Restaurants and bars having viewing parties for tonight's match

Bread & Barley 626-339-3310 130 N. Citrus Ave. Covina LA
Dave & Buster’s (Westfield Santa Anita) 626-802-6115 400 S. Baldwin Ave. Arcadia LA
The Man Cave 323-851-2283 3575 Cahuenga Blvd. Universal City LA
Q's Billiard Club 310-477-7550 11835 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles LA
Shannon's On Pine 562-436-4363 209 Pine Ave. Long Beach LA
Underground Pub & Grill 310-318-3818 1332 Hermosa Ave. Hermosa Beach LA
The Auld Dubliner 714-259-1562 2497 Park Ave. Tustin ORANGE
Dave & Buster’s (Ontario Mills) 909-987-1557 4821 Mills Circle Ontario INLAND EMPIRE

Source: American Outlaws

The game starts at 5 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports 1 and NBC Universo.