Welcome to your live thread for today's Olympic quarterfinal match-up between the United States Women's National Team and Sweden! The winner of today's game will book a semifinal berth, likely against host nation Brazil, which takes on Australia later today.
The U.S. is coming off a surprising 2-2 draw against Colombia to close out group play. The Yanks trailed early in the game and conceded the equalizer with just minutes left after coming back to take the lead. While giving up two goals may make you think the defense needs to step up, keeper Hope Solo is really the one player in need of a better showing today. Solo was at fault on the first Colombian goal, which slipped between her legs, and should have done better to punch away the second free kick that found the back of the net in the 90th minute.
Offensively for the U.S., superstar Carli Lloyd will be the main threat. The Houston Dash midfielder scored in the first two group games, and it was her initial shot that Crystal Dunn finished off after it hit the crossbar to tie the match against Colombia. The Orlando Pride's Alex Morgan came off the bench against Colombia, but expect the Pride captain to get the start today. The U.S. attack looked lackluster at best with Morgan on the bench, but if Lloyd and Morgan are both on the field from the start today, the USWNT's chances of winning get even better.
Dunn and Mallory Pugh both scored Tuesday and both occupy spots out on the wings. While one of them is likely to start on the bench as Tobin Heath re-enters the lineup, having that speed and finishing ability both youngsters carry on the team is definitely an asset.
Unlike most teams in the world, Sweden is a team that has had success against the Americans. The Swedes took down the U.S. in the 2011 World Cup group stage, and held the Yanks to a scoreless draw in last year's World Cup group stage as well. While this Swedish team may not be as strong as some past teams -- Brazil blew out the Swedes 5-1 last week -- this will still be a tough test for the Americans and one U.S. fans won't want to miss!
How to Watch:
Match Time: 12 p.m. ET.
Venue: Mané Garrincha Stadium -- Brasilia, Brazil.
Live Stream: nbcsports.com.
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow @StarsStripesFC or @ussoccer_wnt.
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Enjoy the game. Go USA!