July 27, 2012
By Michael Lewis
THE LONG ROAD TAKEN
US Women are used to playing on the “road” in the Olympics
GLASGOW -- A lot has been made of the U.S. women not playing in London until the gold-medal match in these Olympics.
Well, guess what? It's been like that since the start of women's soccer at the 1996 Games. They have been on the road for the longest times.
In fact, they have played games in the host city only four times in the four previous Summer Olympics.
If the Americans run Group G and win in the quarterfinals, they will finally play in London -- at Wembley Stadium -- on Aug. 9.
Here is a quick rundown of what the U.S. has endured through the years at the Summer Games:
The Americans played their first two games in Orlando, Fla., their third group stage match in Miami. They never actually reached Atlanta because all of the medal-round matches in soccer were played at the University of Georgia stadium in Athens, Ga., some 80 miles or so northeast of the the Olympic headquarters.
The U.S. played all their group stage matches in Melbourne, Australia. The USA wound up meeting Brazil at Canberra in the semifinals before playing for the gold medal at the Sydney Football Stadium in Sydney.
The Americans started their group games in Heraklion, Greece then played three consecutive matches (including the quarterfinals) in Thessaloniki before returning to Heraklion for the semifinals. They then played for the gold medal in Athens.
In a rare abberation, the U.S. played twice in the host city -- at Workers Stadium in the semifinal and gold-medal match after performing in their first four matches outside of Beijing.