The U.S. Women’s National Team has been placed in Group G for the Olympics, along with New Zealand, Colombia, and France. And this is a great place for them to be in. The USWNT handled the Colombian team twice in April, outscoring them 10-0. Our women haven’t played New Zealand since April 2015, but have an all-time record of 11-1-1 vs. the Kiwis. These should both be good warm-up games.
The only game in the group stage that should be a challenge is France.
France, along with Germany and England, is our main competition in this Olympics. We played them in March, and barely won the game 1-0 in the last minute of stoppage time (thanks Alex Morgan!). Playing them in group stage will give the women some real competition early, instead of breezing through and then having to adjust in the knockout round. This also means that, assuming the U.S. and France are the two that move on from Group G, France will be on the other side of the bracket and we wouldn’t have to face them again until the gold medal match, if at all.
What to Watch For
- Colorado locals! Look for 18-year old rising star Mal Pugh and Lindsey Horan. Pugh is a potential starter, but Horan is more likely to come in as a sub.
- As Hope Solo continues to get shutouts (102) and add to her international caps (200), you can bet her confidence is continuing to grow as well.
- While the USWNT is definitely the favorite to bring home the gold, we have a young team with 11 Olympic rookies. We are really catching a glimpse into the future of our women’s team, and that future is looking bright.
- For the most part, the women chosen for the Olympics team is exactly as we expected; however, some people were surprised that Alyssa Naeher was chosen over Ashlyn Harris for goalkeeper and that Megan Rapinoe was chosen over Heather O’Reilly in the midfield. While Naeher won’t likely see any minutes, we expect head coach Jill Ellis to build up Rapinoe’s minutes just like she did with Alex Morgan in the World Cup. Rapinoe tore her ACL back in December, but has been practicing with the team and is apparently ready for international play, though didn’t play in the first game of the group round.
USWNT Team Roster
Goalkeepers: Hope Solo, Alyssa Naeher
Defenders: Whitney Engen, Julie Johnson, Meghan Klingenberg, Ali Krieger, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn
Midfielders: Morgan Brian, Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Carli Lloyd, Allie Long, Megan Rapinoe
Forwards: Crystal Dunn, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Mallory Pugh
Alternates: Ashlyn Harris, Emily Sonnett, Samantha Mewis, Heather O’Reilly
How to Watch the Group Stage Matches
August 3: UWSNT 2, New Zealand, 0
August 6: USWNT 1, France, 0
August 9: USWNT 2, Colombia, 2
All matches will also be streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra.