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Olympic Soccer 2021: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Match Times for Weekend

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 22, 2021

United States' Julie Ertz (8) dribbles during an international friendly women's soccer match between the United States and France in Le Havre, France, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
David Vincent/Associated Press

The first set of Olympic soccer matches in Japan set up an intriguing schedule of games across Saturday and Sunday.

Both the men's and women's group stages are being played over six days. That means the deeper squads could be rewarded as fatigue potentially sets in with the summer heat in Japan. 

The United States women's national team will be under the largest microscope following its defeat to Sweden on Wednesday. 

The USWNT will try to rebound from the surprising result against New Zealand, which also sits in the bottom half of Group G. 

On the men's side, France, Germany, Argentina and Spain need to bounce back from disappointing results on Thursday to be in better positions to advance to the quarterfinals. 

       

Opening Weekend Soccer Schedule

All games can be live-streamed on NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports app

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Saturday, July 24 (Women's Soccer)

Chile vs. Canada (3:30 a.m. ET)

China vs. Zambia (4 a.m. ET) 

Sweden vs. Australia (4:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN)

Japan vs. Great Britain (6:30 a.m. ET)

Netherlands vs. Brazil (7 a.m. ET)

United States vs. New Zealand (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN)

    

Saturday's slate is chock full of terrific clashes between powerhouses of the sport, but the USWNT's situation takes center stage from an American perspective. 

The USWNT is not in a dire situation yet because eight of the 12 teams entered into the group phase qualify for the quarterfinals. As long as the Americans take four points from the next two matches, they should be in a good position to hunt for the gold medal. 

To get there, though, the USWNT needs to be much better in all facets of the game after Sweden bossed it around for 90 minutes on Wednesday. The good news is New Zealand is a much weaker opponent, so the U.S. should control the possession battle and create the majority of the chances. 

The status of Julie Ertz will come under more focus as well. The defensive midfielder entered as a halftime substitute on Wednesday as she works back from a long-term injury. If Ertz is able to start, or play a more effective role in front of the back four, the Americans will have more bite in defense and could start a few more transition moves into the final third. 

The USWNT should be rooting for a draw between Sweden and Australia in Group G's first game on Saturday. If that occurs and the Americans beat New Zealand, there is a chance the USWNT could win the group with three points versus Australia. 

The two matches happening around the same time of the USWNT game pit some medal contenders against each other. 

Great Britain can get closer to locking up Group E with a win over Japan. Team GB turned in a strong 2-0 win over Chile in its opener, while Japan had to fight for a point against Canada. The Canadians face Chile in Group E's other game in what should be a comfortable win for the North American side.

Over in Group F, the Netherlands and Brazil will face off for first place. The two sides combined to score 15 goals in their opening matches. 

The Netherlands could be viewed as the top European threat to the USWNT. It sits in the top five in the FIFA women's world rankings.

Brazil is the top South American side in the competition, and star player Marta will go head-to-head with Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema on Saturday in a battle of players who emerged as the favorites to win the women's Golden Boot. Miedema had four goals versus Zambia, and Marta struck twice versus China. 

           

Sunday, July 25 (Men's Soccer)

Egypt vs. Argentina (3:30 a.m. ET) 

France vs. South Africa (4 a.m. ET)

New Zealand vs. Honduras (4 a.m. ET)

Brazil vs. Ivory Coast (4:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN)

Australia vs. Spain (6:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN)

Romania vs. South Korea (7 a.m. ET)

Mexico vs. Japan (7 a.m. ET, Telemundo)

Saudi Arabia vs. Germany (7:30 a.m. ET) 

   

Germany and France find themselves in must-win situations on Sunday against the weaker sides in their respective groups. 

The former suffered a 4-2 loss to Brazil on Thursday that put it at the bottom of Group D. 

Die Mannschaft still have time to recover from the loss, but they will be looking to balance their goal difference with a heavy victory over Saudi Arabia. If that happens, Germany will go into the final group matchday needing a win over Ivory Coast to ensure safe passage into the final eight. 

With 16 teams in the men's tournament, the top two teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals. 

France finds itself on the bottom of Group A after a 4-1 thumping at the hands of Mexico. Like Germany, France needs a dominant win on Sunday to find level footing in the standings. 

Les Bleus take on South Africa, while Mexico meets Japan in a top-of-the-group clash. France's ideal situation would be to have Japan lose to Mexico, or for a draw to occur, so that it can gain a second-place finish through a head-to-head win over the host nation. 

Argentina and Spain face plenty of pressure as well in Group C with a head-to-head clash looming on the final matchday.

Both teams failed to score on Thursday. Spain played to a scoreless draw with Egypt, while Argentina fell to Australia. 

The two powerhouses need to pick up points on Sunday to avoid entering the final matchday in the worst-case scenario of having to beat another strong team to advance to the final eight. 

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