Olympic Soccer TV Schedule: Who Will Be National Hero in Gold Medal Matches?

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Olympic Soccer TV Schedule: Who Will Be National Hero in Gold Medal Matches?
Stanley Chou/Getty Images
Alex Morgan will look to come up big once again when the US Women's National team takes on Japan for the Gold medal tomorrow.

The medal rounds for the world’s most popular sport are finally upon us, with the Team USA women facing a familiar foe in Japan in the Gold Medal match Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the men’s final between soccer juggernaut Brazil and upstart Mexico will close out the action on the pitch on Saturday morning.

Here is the match schedule:

Women’s Gold Medal Match 

USA vs. Japan

When: Thursday, Aug. 9, 2:45 p.m. ET

TV: NBC Sports Network

 

Men’s Gold Medal Match 

Mexico vs. Brazil

When: Saturday, Aug. 11, 10:00 a.m. ET

TV: NBC Sports Network

 

Women’s Final Breakdown

Stanley Chou/Getty Images
Abby Wambach is the leading scorer for Team USA with five goals in the tournament thus far.

Team USA is in its fifth consecutive Olympic final, and they have plenty of motivation to capture the Gold considering that they lost to Japan in the 2011 World Cup final.

Thanks to the heroics of forward Alex Morgan—who scored a thrilling last-second goal to defeat Canada 4-3 in the semis—the U.S. will get its shot at redemption. 

Morgan, along with forward Abby Wambach—who as B/R colleague Brian Mazique points out, has almost single-handedly equaled Japan’s scoring output to this point—will look to push the pace against a Japan squad known for slowing the tempo and playing solid defense. 

If the U.S. hopes to defeat Japan, chances are that Morgan and Wambach will need to come up big once more. 

If Japan hopes to break out of its recent scoring slump, reigning FIFA player of the year Homare Sawa will have to regain the form she displayed in last year’s run to the World Cup.  (h/t Brian Straus, Sporting News).

 

Men’s Final Breakdown

Despite its storied history as one of the world’s premier soccer powerhouses, Brazil is still in search of search of its first gold medal. 

Striker Leandro Damiao has been one of the breakout stars of these Olympic games, with two of his tournament-leading six goals coming in Brazil’s 3-0 semifinal victory over South Korea. 

Stanley Chou/Getty Images
Leandro Damiao hopes to lead Brazil to its first Gold medal in soccer when they face Mexico on Saturday.

Damiao and fellow forward Neymar—and midfielder Oscar—represent some of the world’s up-and-coming young stars. They've helped Brazil notch three goals in each of their five matches leading up to the final. 

Mexico is guaranteed to medal in soccer for the first time in their country’s history, thanks to its 3-1 triumph over Japan in the semis. 

Forwards Giovanni dos Santos—whose three goals lead Mexico in that category thus far—and Oribe Peralta must match the brilliance of their Brazilian counterparts if they hope to pull off the upset. 

 

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