Women's soccer is set to get under way two days before the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and it will do so with a bang.
Group play will be well under way by the end of Wednesday, and there are plenty of compelling matches to get things started.
Check out the Wednesday's schedule and where you can catch the action.
Olympics Schedule for Wednesday, July 25
*all times ET
Group E: Great Britain vs. New Zealand at 11 a.m. on MSNBC
Group F: Japan vs. Canada at noon on NBCSN
Group G: U.S.A vs. France at noon on NBCSN
Group E: Cameroon vs. Brazil at 1:45 p.m. on NBCSN
Group F: Sweden vs. South Africa at 2:45 p.m. MSNBC
Group G: Colombia vs. North Korea at 2:45 p.m. MSNBC
Check the NBC TV coverage schedule here.
Live Stream: NBCOlympics.com
United States vs. France Preview
The United States enters as the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist, and it will start off its quest to turn that into a three-peat in grand fashion. France is one of the teams that many feel could give the U.S. a run for its money.
These two powerhouse squads met in the semifinals of the last World Cup, and while the U.S. prevailed 3-1, it was pretty clear its margin for error was non-existent.
Both of these teams will figure to advance out of Group G, but this match will be pivotal in determining the winner of the group and who will receive better seeding in the next stage.
Top Athletes in Action on Wednesday
Homare Sawa, Japan
Sawa is one of the best in the world. She also has a knack for coming up big in big stages. Case in point, her game-tying goal against the U.S. in the finals of the last World Cup to tie the game at two and send it to a shootout just before the extra time ran out.
Sawa still doesn't get some of the hype of some of the other top women's soccer players, but make no mistake about it, she is one of the best.
Marta has been dominating women's soccer for years. She is widely regarded as the best player in the game, and perhaps the greatest female soccer player of all time.
The most frightening thing for opponents about all of this is that she is just 26 and showing no signs of slowing down.
Abby Wambach, U.S.A
Wambach has led the U.S. team into many battles over the years, but the 2008 Olympics was not one of them. She fractured her left tibia and fibula leading up to the games and was not able to participate.
She will be looking to make up for lost time in London, and it is a safe bet that will lead to some dynamic performances.
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