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Olympic Soccer TV Schedule: How to Watch Highly Anticipated US vs. Japan Match

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
Eric BallFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2012

It all comes down to this.

The U.S. women’s soccer team has been on a run for the ages at the London Olympics, and is one win away from hoisting the gold medal.

The No. 1 ranked team has been one of the stories of the Olympics for the Americans, as they dramatically reached the finals after a legendary 4-3 win over Canada in a controversial finish.

Now America gets another shot at Japan, the team that ripped their hearts out last summer when they defeated them on penalty kicks in the World Cup final.

The pain has not been forgotten, and now they have a shot for redemption.

 

Olympic Soccer TV Schedule

 

Women’s Gold Medal Match 

USA vs. Japan

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

TV: NBC Sports Network

Live Stream: NBC Olympics

 

Men’s Gold Medal Match 

Mexico vs. Brazil

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

TV: NBC Sports Network

Live Stream: NBC Olympics

 

Preview

The U.S. women have scored the most goals of any team in the Olympics, and somehow have three of the top 10 scorers.

They are led by the incredibly cerebral Abby Wambach, who uses her brain to take advantage of every opportunity presented. Her brilliance in convincing the ref to call a six-second violation on the goalie in the Canada win was one of the smartest and slyest plays I’ve ever seen, and that’s just one example.

Wambach has registered five goals in the Olympics, while the entire Japanese team has scored six. She is the heart and soul of this team, and will be the catalyst on offense.

Along with rising star Alex Morgan and the always consistent Megan Rapinoe, the Japanese are going to have their hands full.

Good thing defense is Japan’s specialty.

Japan is led by FIFA player of the year Homare Sawa, who excels when she has time to survey the pitch and make her move.

She is one of the few offensive threats the Americans have to worry about. Japan relies on ball control and methodically making their move. They depend on stellar defense, which has led to multiple shutouts in the Olympics.

They played with terrific aggression, and seem to rarely make a mistake. It’s not going to be easy for America to sneak one by.  

Then again, they’ve endured two 0-0 draws.

 

Prediction

The U.S is still the favorite here. They are the No. 1 ranked team and the two-time defending Olympic champs.  

Losing to Japan last year was a significant upset. The Americans have more talent, the additional motivation of last year and are still riding off the tremendous high of their semifinal win over Canada.

Expect the red, white and blue to gradually wear down the less athletic Japanese for the gold.

U.S 3, Japan 1

 

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