Women's Olympic Soccer 2012: Players Who Will Shine in Gold Medal Match

Ben Layman@@houtexmajorinCorrespondent IAugust 8, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: Alex Morgan of United States dribbles during the Women's Football Semi Final match between Canada and USA, on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Old Trafford on August 6, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

The U.S. women's soccer team continued their dominance over Canada with an epic 4-3 victory that will certainly be remembered for years to come.  

The back-and-forth match was filled with drama, and paved the way for a possible encore against Japan in the final.

This game will unquestionably be a difficult test for Team USA.  They must rely on their stars in order to win the gold. Luckily, their best players are performing at a high level at just the right time.  

Here are some players who will shine in the final match. 


Alex Morgan

The breakout star is making a big name for herself, whether by scoring clutch goals or making the right pass at the right time for her team.

Alex Morgan's dominance has carried Team USA all the way to the final, and her teammates have helped put her in great positions to succeed.  

Her star should only shine brighter on the biggest of stages, and she could become the face of women's soccer (if she hasn't already) with a big game.


Abby Wambach

Leadership is essential in any chase for the gold in the Olympics, and Abby Wambach brings that coolness and calmness to Team USA.  Her presence alone is huge for this team, and they will rely on her in the bigger moments.  

No moment was bigger than when Wambach stepped up and made the game-tying goal, which paved the way for Morgan to perform her late game-winning magic.  


Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe's goals in the semifinals against Canada helped Team USA keep pace with the sensational Christine Sinclair. If Team USA is going to win the gold, they will need a big scoring game from Rapinoe.  

The U.S. will need to attack when they have the ball in Japan's territory, and Rapinoe is an aggressive scorer who will take her chances. The Americans will need Rapinoe to stay aggressive against Japan. 


Heather O'Reilly

It is easy to forget Heather O'Reilly's brilliant pass to Morgan on the game-winning header, but it was just as important as the goal. Scoring opportunities are precious. Any time a teammate can set up her superstar with a precision pass like O'Reilly provided, good things will happen in the box.  

O'Reilly's willingness and ability to set up her teammate was crucial, and more plays like this against Japan will be necessary to win.