June 29, 2012
By Charles Cuttone
US Women set for final game before London
Still feeling the sting of losing in the World Cup final last year, the US Women's National Team is ready for its final tuneup ahead of the 2012 London Olympics when it hosts Canada at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
|National Team forward Amy Rodriguez says the US has a chip on its shoulder.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The match will be broadcast live on NBC. More than 13,500 tickets have been sold for the match at Rio Tinto, the home of Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake.
The USA is coming off victories against Sweden and 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup champion Japan to win the Volvo Winners Cup in Halmstad, Sweden. The team has not been taking its preparation games lightly, running up a 13-1-1 record so far this year, with the loss and tie coming to Japan before the recent win in Sweden.
"We obviously have a little bit of a chip on our shoulder, coming off World Cup,” said US forward Amy Rodriguez, who said the team is very clear on its goal for London.
"I think that this team we are going into the Olympics with is an incredible team. We are very stacked. We have playing in the World Cup and the last year together, which is great for our chemistry. We expect this team to win the Gold Medal."
Already in 2012, Canada has posted a record of nine wins and three losses in 12 international matches. Canada posted four wins and one loss at the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament in January, losing only to the USA in the championship final. More than 20,000 fans were in attendance for Canada's last two matches at BC Place, a 3-1 win over Mexico in the semifinal, which qualified them for the Olympics, and a 4-0 loss to USA in the final.
Canada's most recent international match was a 1-0 victory over China PR on 30 May 2012. Diana Matheson set up Christine Sinclair for the added-time winning goal in the 93rd minute at Stade Moncton 2010.
"I think Canada will be a great pre-Olympic match for us,” said Rodriguez. “They are a hard-nosed team that brings a tough game. They will definitely be a challenge.
"We are not sure who is going to play what positions and what kind of play they are going to put on the field [Saturday], but we're really looking forward to the challenge. It's always a fun battle to play against Canada, being such close rivals. They are going to be big preparation game for the Olympics."
Following the Canada match, the U.S. will have a nine-day break before heading to the U.K. for its pre-Olympic training camp. The Americans open their Olympic Games on July 25 - two days before the official Opening Ceremonies - with a clash against France at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland. Three days later they play Colombia, also in Hampden Park, before heading to Manchester, where they play North Korea at Old Trafford on July 31.