TOKYO, Japan — UPDATE: The U.S. Women's National Team stumbled early Wednesday with a 3-0 loss to Sweden.
They had been seeking revenge against the team that shockingly knocked them out of the 2016 Olympics without medaling - but instead the Swedes got yet another one up on the Americans.
The loss ended a 44-match unbeaten run for the U.S.
It's not over for the USWNT, though - they can still make things up with group round games remaining against New Zealand on Saturday and Australia next Tuesday.
Original story below
The nation was captivated two years ago by the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (USWNT) as they marched to a fourth World Cup title in France.
Beginning this morning, they're back together, and this time out for Olympic gold.
The USWNT will be in action against Sweden in the first of three group matches in Tokyo. If you've watched them at any point over the last few years, you should recognize the names and faces who are now on the hunt for Olympic glory.
- Who: US Women's National Soccer Team
- What: Olympic soccer group stage vs. Sweden
- When: 4:30 a.m. ET (replay broadcast scheduled for 8:30 a.m. ET)
- Where: Tokyo, Japan
- TV: USA Network, Olympic Channel
- Stream LIVE on NBC Olympics
Household names who have been national team stars for the last decade including Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Abby Dahlkemper are all in Tokyo, as well as virtually every other player of significance from the 2019 World Cup-winning squad.
US Women's Soccer begins run at Olympics
The only player, in fact, who appeared in the 2019 World Cup final not on the Olympic roster is Ali Krieger. She and her wife, Ashlyn Harris, were both in France in 2019 and both left off the USWNT roster by coach Vlatko Andonovski. The pair adopted their first daughter in February, though Andonovski has said that did not factor into his decision.
Mallory Pugh was also left off the roster, after struggling with injuries since the World Cup.
Locally in Atlanta, we'll again be watching for defenders Kelley O'Hara (from Peachtree City) and Emily Sonnett (from Marietta).
O'Hara, you may recall, produced one of the signature moments of the World Cup when she rescued an American flag that had fallen to the ground.
The match this morning against Sweden provides something of an opportunity for redemption for this group - in Brazil in 2016, the U.S. women were stunned by the Swedes when a 1-1 game went to penalty kicks, with the US losing the PKs and exiting the Olympics without even medaling.
That Sweden team went on to win silver in the tournament, losing to Germany 2-1 in the gold medal game.
Heading into Tokyo, the USWNT looks finely tuned - they breezed through a series of friendlies in the lead-up to the Olympics, winning all four of their matches (1-0 vs. Portugal, 4-0 vs. Jamaica, 2-0 vs. Nigeria, and 4-0 vs. Mexico).
Following the Sweden match, the US women will have New Zealand on Saturday and then finish out the group round with Australia next Tuesday.