We’re just under 100 days until the July 27 Opening Ceremonies for the London Olympic Games and teams are starting to move into the final stages of preparation. That’s right, Megan Rapinoe is getting her trademark hair colored and cut so she will be easily visible in the sea of humanity that is the Opening Ceremonies (and the lesbians thank you). OK, so everyone’s favorite blonde-haired sparkplug has to make the team first (details, details).
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As the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team preps for London it traveled to Japan earlier this month to play Japan and Brazil in the Kirin Cup. Both games were rematches of the epic Women’s World Cup matches last summer and the U.S earned a draw with Japan and beat Brazil (without its star Marta) 3-0. If you are hoping to see the U.S. Team take to the pitch without dropping all of your money on an international flight, you may be in luck. The U.S team is going to play two games in the States before heading to London. For those who live outside the U.S., or have the cash to pay for that flight, the U.S. just added two games in Sweden before the Olympics.
Before any of the players get to play those games they have to make the team. Out coach Pia Sundhage has selected 27 players to participate in the intense, two week, training camp in Florida from which she will select the 18 players who will go to London to defend the gold medal the U.S. won in Beijing. There are plenty of fan favorites like Rapinoe, Abby Wambach and Hope Solo on the training camp roster as well as a few brand new faces hoping to make the team for the first time. After the team completes the grueling training camp in the heat of Florida they will be ready to play a few matches.
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The team will face China on May 27 in Chester, Pennsylvania before traveling to Sweden for two more games against Japan and Sweden in Halmstad on June 16 and June 18. Finally, on June 30 the U.S. team will be back home and will make its final appearance in the States when it takes on our neighbors to the north, Canada, in Sandy, Utah. A ticket to Utah is a touch out of my budget so I will be parking myself on a couch in front of the television. The game against Canada will be on NBC so I can watch the lovely ladies of both Team Canada and Team USA play the beautiful game.
Before the U.S. athletes can don their matching outfits and march through the stadium during the Opening Ceremonies they have to make the team and get into top form if they want to defend the gold medal they won in China against increasingly tough international competition. Lucky for the fans, they are going to do some of that tuning up Stateside so we can get a last look at the team and give them a proper send-off for the games.
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Will you be heading out to try to catch a glimpse of the team before it heads to London? Who are your favorite players to watch on the pitch?