The Games of the XXX Olympiad do not open officially until Friday’s Opening Ceremonies in London but the ladies of the US Women’s National Team aren’t waiting to get started on their quest to bring home a third straight Gold Medal. The US takes the field against France in Glasgow on Wednesday. The game, which is the first for both teams in the group play portion of the tournament, will be a rematch of last summer’s World Cup Semifinal match.
That semifinal ended with the U.S. winning 3-1 with Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe both coming off the bench to contribute to the win when Morgan scored off of an amazing feed from Rapinoe that sent Morgan in behind France’s defenders.This summer both Morgan and Rapinoe have cracked the starting lineups and are critical to the U.S.’s quest to bring home the Gold Medal. Morgan is one of the youngest and fastest players on the team and is set to be a star for many years to come.
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It has been a long road back for Rapinoe since she was dropped from the starting lineup shortly before the World Cup last summer and she is ready to take advantage of the opportunity. Abby Wambach called Rapinoe “the best player” on the field in the U.S.’s final tune-up match against Canada and offered that Rapinoe has “a chance to be a breakout star” of the Olympics.
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Fans should also keep an eye on Wambach who says she is as healthy as she has been in a long time and guaranteed Robin Roberts that the team would bring home the Gold Medal. Captain America, Christie Rampone, may be playing in her last tournament. Rampone, the only mom on the team, is the captain of the U.S. team and is the last remaining player from the 1999 World Cup winning squad. If it proves to be her last tournament, you can be sure she and the rest of the team want to make sure she goes out on top.
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The French team would love nothing more than to knock off the U.S. and throw the tournament a bit of a curveball. Les Bleus finished fourth in last summer’s World Cup and recently beat World Cup Champion Japan. Sonia Bompastor, who scored France’s goal against the U.S in the World Cup, Louisa Necib and Gaetane Thiney are some of players to watch for France as they attempt to cement its place in the upper echelon of women’s soccer.
After its difficult opening game against France, the U.S. continues with a match against Colombia on Saturday, and finishes group play on July 31st against North Korea. The game Wednesday airs at 12 ET on NBC Sports Network and the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel.
Will you be watching the game this Wednesday? What teams and what players do you look forward to seeing take the field?