One of the biggest soccer teams (or soccer teams, depending on which country you live in) is preparing for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo with three friendly matches for June.
The US women’s national team will play two games at Houston’s BBVA Stadium and one more matchup at Austin’s Q2 Stadium.
The first two games will take place on June 10th and 13th. The team meets Portugal and Jamaica. The game in Austin, which will be played on June 16, is against Nigeria.
This series of games marks the last time head coach Vlatko Andonovski has a chance to rate players before naming his 18-player roster.
In contrast to the World Cup squad, Andonovski can only take 18 players to the Olympic Games, while a World Cup team consists of 23 players.
Andonovski is really embarrassed when it comes to choosing his team for the Olympics. There are so many good players in the US, including veterans like Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd, looking for one last chance at Olympic gold.
There is also a new class of players made up of new athletes looking to start their first major tournament roster, such as Sophia Smith and Catarina Macario. The team is allowed to bring four alternate players to Tokyo, so you can probably expect those newbies to take those seats.
The team will play two more games in July before heading to Tokyo. Then the competition begins. The soccer tournament for the USA starts on July 21st in Tokyo. The team will face rivals Sweden, followed by New Zealand on July 24th and Australia on July 27th. As soon as the group game is over, the knockout rounds begin. Compared to other major tournaments, the USA should come out on top in their group.
In the 2016 Olympics, the US was beaten by Sweden before they even made it to the semi-finals. It was their worst performance in Olympic history so this team will have a lot to prove when it comes to Tokyo.
The Tokyo Olympics officially begin on July 23.