Previewing United States WNT
FIFA Ranking: 1 (as of July, 2012)
Coach: Pia Sundhage
Number of Olympics Appearances: The US has participated in every Olympics where women’s soccer has been a sport (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012), with three gold medals (1996, 2004, 2008) and one silver medal (2000).
Group: G (Colombia, France, North Korea)
First match: Against France on 7/25
The United States Women’s National Team heads to London seeking a third straight Olympic gold medal and fourth overall. Behind the attacking prowess of Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach, the US has outscored its 2012 opponents to date by a score of 68-8 in compiling a 14-1-1 record. Hope Solo has put up 7 shutouts in her 15 starts with a goals-against average of 0.48. Opening the Games against the toughest opponent in their group, 2011 Women’s World Cup semifinalist France, the US should get a hearty test ahead of later group matches against Colombia and North Korea.
Expected first XI: Hope Solo; Amy LePelibet, Rachel Buehler, Christine Rampone, Kelley O’Hara; Megan Rapinoe, Shannon Boxx, Lauren Cheney, Tobin Heath; Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach.
Prediction of finish: Anything less than a gold medal would be a massive disappointment for the US. There is no reason to believe the US will not be in the gold medal match and have an opportunity to make up for their penalty kick loss in the 2011 Women’s World Cup final to Japan.