TOKYO, Japan — Megan Rapinoe maintained confidence after the U.S. women's soccer team fell flat in their opener Wednesday against Sweden.
The USWNT had been seeking revenge against the team that shockingly knocked them out of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil - but instead stumbled to a 3-0 loss.
Rapinoe, though, said the team would "take it on the chin and move forward."
"I think it's just we hurt ourselves a lot on top of (Sweden being) a really good team," she said in her post-match interview with NBC. "Not gonna get away with it at this level."
"We got our a**es kicked, didn't we?" she asked wryly.
Back in 2016, Sweden took the Americans to a 1-1 tie through full time in the quarterfinals before winning the game on penalty kicks. That left the U.S. stunningly departing Brazil without a medal.
The team wound up reliving that on Wednesday, as Stina Blackstenius scored 25 minutes in to put the Swedes ahead, and then made it 2-0 with another goal shortly after the start of the second half.
Lina Hurtig put a bow on things for Sweden with their third goal in the 72nd minute.
Rapinoe said the U.S., who still have two more group games to go, just need to "be more composed, trust ourselves more, just enjoy it."
"We know this wasn't our best," she said. "I think we beat ourselves a lot. There's some easy stuff we can take from it, and I think just to relax and enjoy it. We can play tight like that and nervous, or we can just relax and enjoy it...I mean s*** we're at the Olympics!"
The 36-year-old has been the face of the USWNT for much of the last decade, but didn't start the game Wednesday. She came on as a substitute for Tobin Heath on 64 minutes.
She said the key when the USWNT returns to action on Saturday against New Zealand will be to "stay together."
"These games come fast and quick, just stay together, recover, we barely have time to think about this one before the next one, which is a good thing," she said. "Normally we don't have two bad performances back-to-back."