The U.S. women's soccer team entered the 2012 Olympics with a target on their back.
They have won three of the four gold medals in the event since it became a part of the Olympic Games, including the past two. The team have been a dominant force in the international soccer world and come into London with a lot of confidence and a high bar set for themselves.
After their heartbreaking loss in last year's World Cup final, the U.S. women look to seek revenge and reclaim the top throne. They have looked very impressive so far in their play with two blowout victories against France and Columbia, respectively.
The North Korean team began their Olympic run in dramatic fashion. They refused to take the field in their first match when organizers displayed a South Korean flag while introducing the team. After the mix-up was corrected, the team finally took the field and took the victory. However, they were easily defeated by the French in their next match.
Team USA meets North Korea in the final group game. The matchup will determine the semifinal pairings.
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
When: July 31, 2012 at 12:15 p.m.
Live Stream: NBC Olympics
U.S. Team Breakdown
The Team USA have shown a lot of guts and poise during their first two games in London.
In their first match against France, they dug themselves a hole by giving up two relatively easy goals. However, with their aggressive attack led by forwards Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan, the team just as quickly erased the deficit and then added two more goals to ice the win.
Columbia played the U.S. tough for 33 minutes, but their intimidation plan finally backfired. A sucker punch to Wambach's right eye can be credited with the spark that ended the U.S.'s first-half funk. Megan Rapinoe scored first, and, four more goals later, the team found victory.
In order to continue their dominance, Team USA must continue their offensive firepower and aggressive shooting on goal. Goalkeeper Hope Solo and the defense must continue to play solidly and shut down their opponents.
With veteran leadership and the team's overall experience, the U.S. women will continue to show why they are the gold-medal favorites and most-feared team.
North Korea Team Breakdown
Even if North Korea never took the soccer field at the 2012 Olympics because of the flag-flop, the outcome would not be affected.
The team was knocked out of the group stage in both Beijing and the World Cup. While they are pretty speedy up and down the field, they have no real power to keep up with a forceful team like the U.S.
Their defense has been sloppy, and after the drama and being romped by France, they have absolutely no confidence. This is not how a team should be if they want to compete with the big dogs.
Prediction: U.S. defeats North Korea
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!