USA Women's Olympic Soccer Team: Winners and Losers So Far
The United States Women's National Team has gotten their Olympic tournament off to a rousing start as only two matches into their group stage campaign has seen them qualify for the quarterfinals and are almost guaranteed a medal of some precious sort.
However, while there have been great stories of players rising to the occasion, there are also those that have managed to bring less attention to the achievements of the team, and more focus to matters off the pitch.
As we marvel at those that have been a great part of the USWNT's group stage victories over France, Colombia and the Republic of North Korea we also take a look at another that seems to love bringing the dark clouds of controversy over what should be an exciting time for US women's soccer.
Alex Morgan: Winner
A brace in the opening match against France saw the 23-year-old once again answer any critics that she is the future of the United States Women's National Team's attack.
Morgan leveled for the nation in the 32nd minute before putting the match out of reach for France with a fourth goal for her country at the 66th minute as the match would finish 4-2 in favor of the United States.
Abby Wambach: Winner
Abby Wambach continues to be on target for the United States. After the nation went down 0-2 against France in their opening match of the Olympic tournament, it was the 32-year-old veteran striker that pulled the first one back and ignited the nation's comeback.
However, it was the goal against Colombia in the nation's second group match that made her all the more a winner as she had been on the receiving end of a sucker punch to the right eye from Colombian, Lady Andrade who has since been suspended for two matches following the incident according to the Boston Globe.
Wambach also was the lone US player on the score sheet for the nation's final group stage victory over the Republic of North Korea making her the only USWNT player to score in every match of the group stage.
The goal continues her strong USWNT career that now has 185 caps and 141 goals to its tenure with no sign of stopping
Carli Lloyd: Winner
Carli Lloyd has been on the USWNT for the better part of the last decade, but so far her Olympic performance has stood out above those of her past. This summer, Lloyd has already added two goals in two matches for her country and has helped them lock up a place in the quarterfinals.
Lloyd has been also writing personal notes published by the Philadelphia Inquirer where she made the following comment:
I have been having the time of my life playing these past two games. Not only are we winning but we are scoring a lot of goals! I have added two to the score sheet. It's a great feeling but I still want to contribute more with goals and outstanding performances.
As the quarterfinals swiftly approach, it is certain that Lloyd will be a major part of the USWNT's chances for gold.
Megan Rapinoe: Winner
Many could say that Megan Rapinoe would have faced much criticism and controversy going into this Olympics after having come out as an open homosexual athlete in the July 2nd, 2012 interview with Out Magazine that was also published on USmagazine.com.
However, despite the fears of a fan backlash, Rapinoe has been a picture of poise and confidence for the USWNT midfield so far this Olympics and her goal against Colombia in the nation's second group stage match only proved her worth to the team even more.
Hope Solo: Biggest Loser
Since her emergence into the spotlight, it has been well noted that USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo has been a fan of basking in the forefront of media hype.
However, despite the USWNT having powered their way into the quarterfinals with a match to spare in the group stage of the Olympic tournament, this summer, Solo has been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
A recent Twitter rant directed towards former USWNT international Brandi Chastain has grown out of proportion in the minds of many. Chastain is part of NBC's Olympic coverage team and Solo's comments from her official Twitter account, @hopesolo, that follow have opened up quite a controversy:
Lay off commentating about defending and gking until you get more educate @brandichastain the game has changed from a decade ago. #fb
Its 2 bad we cant have commentators who better represents the team&knows more about the game @brandichastain! #fb
Its important 2 our fans 2 enjoy the spirit of the olympics. Its not possible when sum1 on air is saying someone is the worst defender!
All points to Solo, but if you want to grow the game and be a winner, put your blackberry down and win the US a gold medal. That speaks more volumes for the sport and the USWNT than a tirade at a commentator, whether it is or is not relevant.