Key dates: July 28; U.S. plays Colombia Venue: Six stadiums throughout England, Scotland and Wales Big story: The U.S. made it to the gold-medal match in all four previous Olympic tournaments for women, winning three times and losing once in overtime. But the field here looks to be the deepest it has ever faced. The U.S. has lost just six of 98 matches in five years under Coach Pia Sundhage, but her .883 winning percentage is just third all-time among U.S. coaches. Top U.S. prospects: Former UCLA striker Sydney Leroux is only player who wasn't on the U.S. roster in last summer's World Cup. It's a deep, veteran team led by forwards Abby Wambach (138 international goals in 182 matches) and Alex Morgan (27 goals in 42 caps) up front and Hope Solo (above), the world's best goalkeeper, on the back line. But the 12-nation Olympic field will be challenging since it features eight of the world's top nine teams, according to FIFA. Others to watch: The U.S. has failed to win just twice in 16 matches this year, and that tie and draw came against Japan, the team that beat the Americans in last summer's World Cup. Brazil, the two-time Olympic silver medalists and the World Cup runner-up in 2007, is always dangerous with five-time World Player of the Year Marta. Little-known fact: The U.S. is the only country to hold World Cup and Olympic titles at the same time. Japan could become the second if it reaches the top of the medal podium in London.
Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times
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