Nine years after winning the U-20 FIFA World Cup in Japan, Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz and Samantha Mewis look back on that experience as they get ready for #Tokyo2020
Let the Games begin! After a year of waiting, the U.S. Women’s National Team will launch its Olympic campaign on July 21, taking on Sweden in its first match at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. local/4:30 a.m. ET at Tokyo Stadium in Tokyo and the match will be broadcast in the United States on the USA Network and Telemundo, with streaming coverage also provided at NBCOlympics.com and through the Telemundo Deportes App. The match will also be replayed later that day on NBCSN at 8:30 a.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET.
The USA enters the tournament looking to capture its fifth gold medal and, in the process, become the first reigning Women’s World Cup champion to capture Olympic gold. Seventeen players on the USA’s Olympic roster helped the USA win its fourth World Cup title in France during the summer of 2019.
To do so, the USA will not only have to navigate a grueling schedule with only two rest days between matches in the heat and humidity of the Japanese summer, but will also have to contend with a talented field of opposition, beginning with Sweden.
Ranked fifth in the world, Sweden played the USA to a 1-1 draw on April 10 in Stockholm -- the only match the USA has failed to win since January of 2019 – and has been a common foe for the Americans at world championships. Sweden and the USA have met six times in World Cup play and this will be the third meeting between the nations at the Olympic Games. Sweden knocked the USWNT out of the 2016 Olympics on penalty kicks in the Quarterfinals and eventually went on to win the silver medal.
Following the match against Sweden, the USA will be back on the field three just days later for its second group stage match against New Zealand on July 24 (8:30 p.m. local/7:30 a.m. ET; NBCSN, Telemundo, NBCOlympics.com. Telemundo Deportes App).
USWNT OLYMPIC WOMEN’S SOCCER ROSTER BY POSITION (CAPS/GOALS)
Following the match between the USA and Sweden, Australia and New Zealand will kick off at 8:30 p.m. local/7:30 a.m. ET to round of the action in Group G. Co-hosts for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Australia is currently ranked No. 9 in the world while New Zealand is 22nd.
Should the U.S. advance to the second round by winning the group, it would meet a third-place team from Group E or F. If the USA finishes second in the group, it would face the first-place team from Group F. A third-place finish could mean a possible meeting with the first-place team from Group E.
Group E is comprised of Japan, Canada, Great Britain and Chile. Group F consists of the Netherlands, Brazil, China PR and Zambia.
USWNT EYES OLYMPIC HISTORY
The U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team had advanced to the gold medal game of every Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament that had been contested until 2016, when the Americans were knocked out in penalty kicks in the quarterfinal round by Sweden. The USA won the inaugural gold medal in 1996 in Atlanta, won silver in 2000 in Sydney and then won three straight golds after standing atop the podium in Athens, Greece in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
The USA has lost just one game in regulation in the Olympics, that coming in the opening match of the 2008 Beijing Games, a 2-0 setback to Norway, but the USA would go on to win the gold. The USA has not lost an Olympic match in regulation time since that tournament, winning all six matches in England in 2012 and winning two and tying two in Brazil in 2016, which included that penalty kick loss Sweden. That match officially counts as a draw. The other four draws were against China PR (1996), China PR (2000), Australia (2004) and Colombia (2016). In the 2000 Olympic gold medal game, the USA lost 3-2 to Norway on a controversial “golden goal” that hit the arm of forward Dagny Mellgren, causing the ball to move forward toward the goal before she scored past U.S. goalkeeper Siri Mullinix.
The 2021 U.S. Women’s National Team Media Guide is available for download. The Media Guide features all the history and statistics of the USWNT, as well as full bios on technical staff and the current top players, information on the USA’s Youth National Teams, and general important information on U.S. Soccer.