OLYMPICS — August 9, 2012 at 2:11 am

U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan – 2012 London Olympics; Gold Medal Game Wembley Stadium; London, England


Aug. 8, 2012

USA SEEKS FOURTH GOLD WHEN IT FACES JAPAN IN OLYMPIC FINALE: The U.S. Women’s National Team is shooting for its fourth gold medal and third straight when it takes on 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Japan at 2:45 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 9, at Wembley Stadium in London. The match will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network, NBC Olympic Soccer Channel and streamed on NBC Live Extra. NBC Sports will begin its pre-game coverage at 2 p.m. ET. Fans can follow the match via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt. The USA is coming off a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory against Canada on Monday, while Japan defeated France 2-1 in the other semifinal match.

On the Air: Dial Global Radio Network will air live play-by-play coverage of the gold medal game between the U.S. Women’s National Team and Japan, with coverage starting at 2:30 p.m. ET and carried on affiliate stations across the country, as well as Sirius/XM satellite radio (Sirius 93/XM 209). For a list of Dial Global affiliates, visit dialglobalsports.com.

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach PIA SUNDHAGE
On getting another chance at Japan:
“It’s a game and it’s a final. It’s against an opponent that we’ve played a couple of times this year. I’m not looking back to 2011 when we played against Japan and tied the game but lost in penalty kicks. I look at it as: we’re playing against a technical team and we’re playing a team that struggled quite a bit against France in the last 20 minutes. I look at the way the coach took out [Mizuho] Sakaguchi. That’s interesting to me. That’s intriguing, and the name of the country doesn’t matter.”

U.S. forward ALEX MORGAN
On how much interest the team has gained in the United States:
“I think interest has definitely been high in the last couple of days. I think everyone was watching the game (against Canada) and we turned peoples’ heads and we made people pay attention to us in a positive way. With the unfortunate folding of the (women’s professional) league, it kind of made people realize what had just happened in the last year with us getting the silver medal (at the World Cup) and now being in the gold medal match of the Olympics and not even having a league to support the U.S. players. There will hopefully be a change in the next couple months.”

On going up against her friend and former club teammate Homare Sawa against Japan:
“I think that Homare Sawa has proven herself to be one of the best players in the world. She led her team to a world championship. I have the greatest respect for her. She came to play in the United States a couple of times and took what she learned back to her country and they’ve done an extraordinary job over the last couple of years putting it together. I do think that we also have a great team. We’re at a place that I think is solid. I think the fact that we lost the World Cup and the way that we did gives us even more passion and desire to go out and perform tomorrow. We saw each other in the Village. We told each other that we’re both glad that the other had won because we believe that we’re the top two teams in the world and our fans deserve to see a great final. This gold medal match is going to be nothing short of that.”

U.S. midfielder MEGAN RAPINOE
On the feelings between Japan and the U.S. WNT:
“I think that both teams have the utmost respect for one another on a lot of different levels. We’ve played with quite a few of the players and we’ve played against them quite a few times. We definitely respect the way that they play and they respect the way that we play. We just know that it’s going to be a good game. There is no animosity. They snatched our dream last year and still we have that respect for them. There’s nothing off the field, there’s no antics. All that matters is that we play an entertaining style of game tomorrow.”

For more Olympic gold medal pre-game comments from the U.S. WNT, visit ussoccer.com .

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION – Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Hope Solo, 18-Nicole Barnhart
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Heather Mitts, 3-Christie Rampone, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 16-Rachel Buehler
MIDFIELDERS (6): 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 17-Tobin Heath
FORWARDS (4): 11-Sydney Leroux, 12-Lauren Cheney, 13-Alex Morgan, 14-Abby Wambach

2012 Olympic Schedule



Time (ET)



Aug. 3

France 2, Sweden 1

7 a.m.


Hampden Park; Glasgow, Scotland

Aug. 3

USA 2, New Zealand 0

9:30 a.m.


St. James’ Park; Newcastle, England

Aug. 3

Japan 2, Brazil 0

12 p.m.


Millennium Stadium; Cardiff, Wales

Aug. 3

Canada 2, Great Britain 0

2:30 p.m.


City of Coventry Stadium; Coventry, England

Aug. 6

Japan 2, France 1

12 p.m.


BC Place, Vancouver, Canada

Aug. 6

USA 4, Canada 3 (OT)

2:45 p.m.


Old Trafford Stadium; Manchester, England

Aug. 9

Canada vs. France

8 a.m.

Bronze Medal

City of Coventry Stadium; Coventry, England

Aug. 9

USA vs. Japan

2:45 p.m.

Gold Medal

Wembley Stadium; London, England

The USA has advanced to its fifth Olympic gold medal game. Here is a look back at the team’s four previous appearances at this stage:

Aug. 24, 2008: USA 1, Brazil 0 (OT): The U.S. held Brazil scoreless for 120 minutes and Carli Lloyd took the spotlight with a game-winning goal in the sixth minute of overtime in front of 51,612 at Worker’s Stadium in Beijing. Lloyd’s left-footed strike from just outside the box was the finishing touch for the USA’s third gold medal in four Olympic Games. Goalkeeper Hope Solo made six saves for the clean sheet. – Carli Lloyd: “It was definitely the finest moment of my career. It was the biggest goal I had scored in my life, besides the other goal in the Olympics against Japan. It was a surreal moment.”
Aug. 26, 2004: USA 2, Brazil 1 (OT): Abby Wambach’s snap header from about 12 yards out in the 112th minute flew past Brazil goalkeeper Andreia for the winner as the young Wambach capitalized on Kristine Lilly’s corner kick. Lindsay Tarpley gave the USA a first-half lead in the 39th minute and Brazil’s Pretinha equalized in the 73rd minute. The Athens Olympics served as the final international championship for retiring players such as Joy Fawcett, Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm. – Abby Wambach: “This is for them. It is for these players going through their last world championship: Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly, Joy Fawcett, Julie Foudy, Briana Scurry, Mia Hamm … all these players that have done so much for this team. This is for them.”
Sept. 28, 2000: Norway 3, USA 2 (OT): Tiffeny Milbrett scored the game’s first goal and forced overtime with a clutch tally two minutes into second-half stoppage time. But Norway had the final say with Dagny Mellgren’s winner in the 102nd minute, albeit a goal that had some controversy attached to it as replays showed that Mellgren knocked the ball down with a portion of her arm before striking the golden goal. It marked the only time the USA has not captured gold in the Olympics. – Head coach April Heinrichs: We may have won the silver medal, but their game was golden tonight. I’m incredibly proud of each one and incredibly proud of their achievements. … We couldn’t have started better and it was a coach’s dream to push the ball around the way we did and have as much possession as we did.”
Aug. 1, 1996: USA 2, China PR 1: Tiffeny Milbrett scored off of a strong run and pass from Joy Fawcett in the 68th minute to give the USA its first gold medal in front of 76,481 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga. Fawcett attacked down the right side into the penalty area, drew a China defender and slid the ball to a wide open Milbrett. Shannon MacMillan scored the first goal in the 19th minute, rebounding Mia Hamm’s initial shot that was saved by China goalkeeper Hong Gao and deflected off the post. China’s Lihong Zhao tied the score at 1-1 in the 32nd minute.


Five players on the U.S. roster have scored in this Olympics and seven total players have scored in an Olympics: Abby Wambach (4 goals in 2004; 5 goals in 2012), Carli Lloyd (2 goals in 2008; 2 goals in 2012), Heather O’Reilly (1 goal in 2004; 2 goals in 2008), Shannon Boxx (1 goal in 2004), Amy Rodriguez (1 goal in 2008), Alex Morgan (3 goals in 2012), Megan Rapinoe (3 goals in 2012) and Sydney Leroux (1 goal in 2012).
Heath earned her 50th career international cap during Monday’s win against Canada. There are now 14 players on the USA’s 2012 Olympic roster who have played in 50 or more career matches.

For more roster notes, visit ussoccer.com.


The U.S. is 1-1-1 against Japan this year, most recently coming off a 4-1 victory on June 18 in the Volvo Winners Cup in Halmstad, Sweden. Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan each scored twice during the team’s second-to-last tune-up match for the 2012 Olympics.
The USA and Japan have faced each other three times in Olympic competition, with the U.S. winning all three meetings.

For more series notes, visit ussoccer.com.


Abby Wambach scored her ninth career Olympic goal during the USA’s 4-3 overtime win against Canada on Aug. 6. She is atop the U.S. leaderboard in career Olympic goals, having surpassed the previous record of five held by Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett. Wambach has five goals in the 2012 Olympics alone, and her five goals in five consecutive games in this year’s Summer Games is an Olympic record.
Wambach is one goal away from matching the career Olympic goals record set by Germany’s Birgit Prinz (10).

For more record books information and “by the numbers,” visit ussoccer.com.


2012 Olympic Games Home Page
The WNT Blog
Behind the Crest: Carrying the Momentum
Behind the Crest: The Second Chapter
Behind the Crest: South to Manchester
Behind the Crest: The Tournament’s Here
Back Home Video Series: Kelley O’Hara: Kelley by the Bay
Back Home Video Series: Megan Rapinoe: ‘B’ in P.E.
Back Home Video Series: Megan Rapinoe: Redding Royalty
Back Home Video Series: Lauren Cheney: A Lady Giant
Back Home Video Series: Lauren Cheney: Always Indy
Back Home Video Series: Hope Solo: Solo on the Sound
Back Home Video Series: Hope Solo: Emerald City ‘Keeper
Back Home Video Series: Carli Lloyd: New Jersey State of Mind
Back Home Video Series: Carli Lloyd: From Delran to the Pros
Back Home Video Series: Alex Morgan: Daughter of Diamond Bar
Back Home Video Series: Alex Morgan: Pride of the Brahmas
Inside the Lines Video Series: WNT Small-Sided Game in Glasgow
Inside the Lines Video Series: WNT Trains in Glasgow, Scotland
Studio 90: WNT Recaps Thrilling Win Against Canada in Olympic Semifinal
Studio 90: WNT Set for Olympic Semifinal with Familiar Foe
Studio 90: Depth and Defense Key for WNT at Olympics
Studio 90: WNT Finishes First in Group Ahead of Quarterfinals
Studio 90: WNT Ready for Korea DPR at Old Trafford
Studio 90: WNT Arrives in Manchester
Studio 90: WNT Heading Toward Match with Colombia
Studio 90: WNT Preview Olympic Opener
Studio 90: MNT Players Visit WNT Training in Glasgow
Studio 90: Veteran Lloyd, Youngster Leroux Prep for Olympics
Studio 90: WNT Arrives in Glasgow
Studio 90: WNT Completes Camp in Northeast England
Studio 90: Kristine Lilly Inducted into U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame
Studio 90: WNT Arrives in England for Pre-Olympic Camp
Studio 90 Extra Time: Alex Morgan
Studio 90 Extra Time: Hope Solo
Studio 90 Extra Time: Sydney Leroux
Studio 90 Extra Time: Christie Rampone
Studio 90 Extra Time: Megan Rapinoe
Studio 90 Extra Time: Kelley O’Hara
Studio 90 Extra Time: Carli Lloyd
Studio 90 Extra Time: Rachel Buehler
Video: 1-on-1 with Heather Mitts
Video: Heather O’Reilly Tours Pre-Olympic Training Camp
Video: Classic Castle and WNT Wizards
Video: Pia the Pioneer
Podcast: Studio 90 Extra Time: Alex Morgan
Podcast: Studio 90 Extra Time: Hope Solo
Podcast: Studio 90 Extra Time: Sydney Leroux
Podcast: Studio 90 Extra Time: Christie Rampone
Podcast: Studio 90 Extra Time: Megan Rapinoe
Podcast: Studio 90 Extra Time: Kelley O’Hara
Podcast: Studio 90 Extra Time: Carli Lloyd
Podcast: Studio 90 Extra Time: Rachel Buehler
Podcast: Studio 90 Extra Time: Tobin Heath
Podcast: Postgame: USA vs. France
Podcast: Recap Show: Olympics Underway in the UK
Podcast: Recap Show: WNT Prepares for Olympics
Podcast: WNT Olympic Conference Call
Podcast: Christie Rampone: Flying Solo
Release: Wambach Goal Gives U.S. WNT 1-0 Victory Against Korea DPR, Group G Title
Release: U.S. WNT Clinches Quarterfinal Berth with 3-0 Victory Against Colombia
Release: U.S. WNT Defeats France 4-2 to Open Group G Play at 2012 Olympics
Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT vs. Korea DPR
Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT vs. Colombia
Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT vs. France
Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT head coach Pia Sundhage Conference Call
Feature: Carli Lloyd’s Goal to Remember to win 2008 Olympics

Nippon Sakka Kyokai (Japan Soccer Association)
Founded: 1921 (Joined FIFA in 1929)
Head Coach: Norio Sasaki
FIFA World Ranking: 3
Best FIFA World Cup Finish: First Place (2011)
Best Olympics Finish: 2012 Gold Medal Game; Previous Best: Fourth Place (2008)

For Japan roster notes, visit ussoccer.com.

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