US Men’s, Women’s National Soccer Teams Prepare For Big Encounters In Respective Competitions
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Both the US Men’s and Women’s National Teams are preparing for big matches in their respective competitions.
The men team are preparing a semifinal clash with Qatar in the Concacaf Gold Cup while the women are bracing for a 2019 FIFA World Cup Final re-match with the Netherlands in the quarterfinal of the Olympics.
Gold Cup Ambitions
The USMNT has been relatively un-tested thus far throughout the Gold Cup after they escaped group play having won all of their games against Haiti, Martinique, and Canada. They then secured a 1-0 victory against Jamaica in the quarterfinal but had to wait until the 83rd minute before Matthew Hoppe headed home the game winning goal.
During the contest against Jamaica, the USMNT conceded 9 shots despite holding 68 percent of the possession. Jamaica was successful exposing the US on the counter attack.
A place in the #GoldCup21 Final is on the line tonight! 🇺🇸🏆
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) July 29, 2021
The opponent in the semifinal, Qatar, are playing an exciting brand of soccer themselves. After drawing with Panama 3-3 in the opening group stage game of their tournament, they have secured three points in every fixture following.
The semifinal fixture against Qatar is poised to be a nailbiting affair.
The US is vying to secure its seventh Gold Cup title. With a win against Qatar, the US will prepare for a Gold Cup Final against the winner of Mexico versus Canada.
Mexico leads all Concacaf countries having secured 11 previous titles.
The USMNT and Qatar will kickoff at 5:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on FS1 from Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.
The Olympic Stage
The USWNT are hoping to construct a more dominant performance as they prepare for Group F winner the Netherlands.
Throughout the group stage, the US began their campaign with a 3-0 loss to Sweden, they then followed up with a 6-1 thrashing of New Zealand before closing out group play with a 0-0 draw with Australia. The US finished second in their group having secured just 4 points.
It was the first time since 1996 that the US failed to top their group at the Olympics and the only time that the US did not pick up at least six points during the group stage at the World Cup or Olympic Games.
The stage is set 🔥
🇺🇸 vs. 🇳🇱 // Friday // 7am ET pic.twitter.com/l6CQjCTzSF
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 29, 2021
Nevertheless, the US remains as one of the favorites to secure gold at the Tokyo Olympics. The team, led by a veteran core of Megan Rapinhoe, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Becky Saurbrunn, among others, has experienced more success than the vast majority of professional soccer players of past.
However, the Olympic games could prove to be the last major tournament for a majority of experienced USWNT players. The pressure to win, given the current status of the veteran players, adds a lot of pressure onto an already pressure filled situation.
The USWNT and Holland will kickoff at 5 a.m. and will be available to stream live with a replay following later in the day on NBCSN.