The U.S. women's soccer team may be the favorites heading into the 2012 London Olympics, but France cannot be taken lightly.
The U.S. women have won the last two gold medals at the Olympics and were runners-up to Japan in the 2011 World Cup, but don't forget that France played the U.S. tough in the semifinals.
It also must be said that France is coming off an impressive 2-0 victory over Japan.
In that game, the French showed the attacking ability that could make the side dangerous leading up to the Olympics. Marie-Laure Delie, 24, scored first in the match, with 22-year-old defender Wendie Renard adding the finishing touches in the 74th minute.
Beyond Delie, France is led on offense by captain Gaetane Thiney and Louisa Necib. Thiney had two goals and an assist in six international matches in 2011. Necib added two assists on the year.
But if the French are to defeat the U.S. in the two sides' Group G kick-off, they are going to need a balanced effort across the board.
Fortunately for France, this is not a one-sided team. On top of the attacking ability, Camille Abily and Eugenie Le Sommer provide a solid one-two punch in the midfield, which could see the French control the ball more. And, of course, Sonia Bompastor is one of the best backs in the world.
There is no question that the U.S.—with Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach and Hope Solo—have a fantastic core unit, but the French showed against Japan that this is not the same team. Given France's balance on both sides of the ball, the side has a shot at shocking the U.S. women.
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