A few weeks ago we got the schedule for Canada's mens team but because the women had to wait to wrap up Olympic Qualifying before locking down their friendlies, that schedule was yet to be finalized. Today though, reports are coming out of Sweden suggesting that their Ladies team would be hosting the Canadian Womens National team for a friendly on March 31st in Malmö, Sweden.
This friendly makes good sense for Canada for a pair of reasons. The first is that Sweden are ranked at number 5 in the world and will be representing UEFA at the 2012 London Olympics. The second reason why this friendly makes sense is that a good portion of Canada's national team players are based in the Swedish league so it would mean less travel involved for them. This sort of friendly is the ideal preparation for Canada who will want to get in as many matches as possible before the Olympic tournament in the summer.
The team does have a bit of a rocky history against Sweden though as the two sides have met thirteen times with Canada having only won on two occasions, including a 2-1 win when these two sides met last fall. With Sweden also playing a number of other tune up games they will certainly be no easy ask for Canada which will be good as Canada is in need of a few stiff tests after the CONCACAF Qualifiers. In Vancouver the women were barely tested all the way through the semifinals and then in the final they got steam rolled by a very strong US side. Now the Swedish team is not quite on the level of the Americans but they are not far off and are the kind of team that Canada will need to beat when they head to London if they have any hopes of bringing home a medal.
The CSA, and coach John Herdman, did indicate that they would like to play more games in Canada in the coming year as it is something that has been lacking in recent years. This game away in Malmö does little to address that so it is a fairly safe bet that this match will be the first of several that will be arranged over the coming months.