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US Olympic Women’s Soccer Preview
July 25, 2012Posted by on
Both the Men’s and Women’s Olympic soccer tournaments begin today, two days before the opening ceremonies. Unfortunately the US only qualified one team for this tournament, but the Women’s team will start their run at a medal today so here’s a bit of a preview of that tournament. The US Women’s team includes a few local names, including Heather O’Reilly of East Brunswick, NJ, former Independence GK Nicole Barnhart, Christie Rampone, from Monmouth University and Point Pleasant, NJ, and Villanova’s Jill Loyden, from Vineland, NJ who will be the alternate GK.
12 teams are entered in to this summers tournament, 11 made it through qualifying including 2 from every confederation and one from Oceania along with Great Britain. Unlike the men’s games is a full senior competition so there is no age limit.
The twelve teams which will be competing are Great Britain, Japan, North Korea, South Africa, Cameroon, United States, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, New Zealand, France, and Sweden.
The favorites in the tournament have to be the US and Japan. Both are currently ranked in the top 3 (second ranked Germany missed qualifying), and were the finalists in the most recent World Cup. Sweden, Brazil, France,Canada, and North Korea (along with England who is a large part of the Great Britain team) are ranked in the top 10, leaving Cameroon, South Africa, New Zealand and Colombia as the most prominent underdogs.
While many expect a rematch of the World Cup Final, between Homare Sawa led Japan and the American squad, this is a deep tournament which will surely see strong competition.
Players to watch:
Alex Morgan, USA Age 23, Breakthrough Athlete of the Year 2012 ESPY Awards
Hope Solo, USA Age 30, US Soccer Athlete of the Year 2009, Golden Glove 2011 World Cup
Abby Wambach, USA Age 32, AP Female Athlete of the Year 2011, US Soccer Athlete of the Year 2010, 2011
Homare Sawa, Japan Age 33 2012 World Player Of The Year
Marta, Brazil Age 26 2005-2010 World Player Of The Year
Cristiane, Brazil Age 27 Leading Scorer Olympics, 2004, 2008
Christine Sinclair, Canada Age 29, Canadian Player of the Year 2005-2010
Marie-Laure Delie, France Age 24, 41 Appearances 36 Goals since 2009 with France
Ellen White, Great Britain Age 23, 19 Apparences 21 Goals from 2008-2010 with Leeds Carnegie Ladies
Lotta Schelin, Sweden Age 28, Diamond Ball Winner (Swedish Female Footballer of the Year) 2011