USA Women's head coach, Jill Ellis, recently announced the 18 player roster that will be attending the 2016 Olympic Games. With the roster announced, there are several players and potential records that we are excited to look out for in the upcoming Rio games.
1. Megan Rapinoe
We couldn't be happier that Megan Rapinoe was selected to play on the Olympic roster. Rapinoe has been unable to play all year due to a torn ACL injury that occurred last December. She returned to training camp just a week ago after a spectacular recovery. As an Olympic veteran, Rapinoe is an important player and leader for this Women's Soccer team. Rapinoe will be on the hunt to receive her second Olympic gold medal.
2. Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath, Hope Solo
Veterans Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath, and Hope Solo were also selected to play in their third Olympic Games. This will be Solo's fourth appearance at the Olympics since she was an alternate in the 2004 summer games. We can't wait to watch these three players dominate on the soccer field in only a few weeks' time.
3. Mallory Pugh
Mallory Pugh, a UCLA recruit, will be the second youngest USA soccer player ever to attend the Olympics at age 18. Pugh will join Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, and Allie Long as they make their first major tournament debut. Can you imagine your first major tournament being the Olympics?!
4. Quest for a Fifth Gold Medal
Since soccer was added as an Olympic sport in 1996, the US Women's Soccer Team has played in all five gold-medal matches. The team won gold medals in Athens, Greece, Beijing, and London. Only in Sydney during the 2000 games did they take home the silver medal. Team USA will be looking for their fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal and fifth overall!
5. Back-to-Back Titles
Team USA is entering the Olympics a year after winning the 2015 FIFA World Cup. USA could potentially become the first women's soccer team ever to win an Olympic gold medal the year after winning the FIFA World Cup!
The US Women's Team opens the tournament on August 3rd against New Zealand in Belo Horizonte. USA will also face France on August 6th and Colombia on August 9th to finish out group play. You won't want to miss any of these matches as Team USA continues their pursuit in hopes of another gold medal!