Friendlies, Closed Matches and the Olympics

Now that it is only a few days before the 2012 Olympics start, let’s go over these brackets. But first, what is the difference between a friendly, a closed match and an Olympic match? The Olympic match part may seem easy but what does it all mean?

International Friendlies

The U.S. Women’s National team played against Canada in a friendly match (it was also a send-off match) on June 30, 2012. What does this mean? The game really has no meaning for the upcoming Olympics. Pretty much any match that isn’t a qualifier for a tournament or an actual tournament game is classified as a friendly. It means more caps and goals for the players though, and adds a win, loss or tie to the team’s overall record.

Closed-Door Training Match

The U.S. Women’s National team played a closed-door training match in pre-Olympic training this week. They won 2-0 versus Norway. It doesn’t mean anything, just think of it like a scrimmage.

Olympics – Brackets

I want to focus on the USWNT for this post. The next post will go over more about the Men’s side of the competition. The U.S. Men’s U-23 team did not qualify for the competition. So how does the women’s side breakdown?

GROUP E

GREAT BRITAIN
NEW ZEALAND
CAMEROON
BRAZIL

GROUP F

JAPAN
CANADA
SWEDEN
SOUTH AFRICA

GROUP G

UNITED STATES
FRANCE
COLUMBIA
KOREA DPR

Each team will have three group games. The USWNT plays France first on Wednesday, July 25th at noon. This is a rematch of the 2011 Women’s World Cup semi-final game. The USWNT won that match 3-1 but they need to watch for Louisa Necib and Sonia Bompastor as real threats to winning this game. I’m expecting a good, fast-paced match.

Abby heads in the second US goal v France

As for the other 2 group games, the USWNT played both Colombia and Korea DPR in group play of the 2011 Women’s World Cup. The second Olympic game (Saturday, July 28 at noon) is against Columbia, who they beat 3-0 a year ago. The third group game is Tuesday, July, 31 at 12:15 PM against Korea who they beat 2-0 in World Cup play.

If the USWNT comes out on top of Group G during group play, they hopefully avoid playing any of those world powers (Japan and Brazil to name two) in quarterfinals. We will cross that bridge when the time comes.

What do you predict is going to happen in group play? Not only with the USWNT but other groups as well. Want to check out more about the group play and overall bracket? Go to the FIFA page.

Twitter recommendation for this post:  Jeff Kassouf, creator of Equalizer and of NBCOlympics.com, among others! He is a great source for all things Olympic soccer.

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3 thoughts on “Friendlies, Closed Matches and the Olympics

  1. I think the France game is one to watch! I remember watching Sonia Bompastor in the old WPS. She is very good. Go USA!

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