The USWNT will fly to Tokyo this summer looking to redeem themselves off the backs of the 2012 tournament, despite their previous Olympic triumphs
The U.S. women’s national team are known for their World Cup successes – winning their fourth trophy in 2019 in France – but they have been formidable on the Olympic stage as well.
The USWNT has won four Olympic gold medals. They first won gold in in 1996, the year of the inaugural Olympic women’s soccer tournament.
They then won first-place medals in 2004, 2008, and 2012. The USWNT has won more gold medals than any other participating country in the Olympics.
The USWNT won their first gold medal after winning 2-1 against China in Atlanta during the 1996 games, where they were the host nation.
Their 2012 victory was awarded when they defeated Japan in the gold medal match, held in London.
Carli Lloyd scored both goals in the 2-1 victory, with Yuki Nagasato netting the consolation goal for Japan.
The USWNT’s road to their gold-medal win included victories against France, New Zealand, Colombia and Canada.
Vlatko Andonovski’s side will head to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics (delayed a year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic) looking for redemption in the tournament, however, despite being crowned World Cup champions in 2019.
The USWNT had a disappointing turnout at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, losing to Sweden in the quarter-finals during a penalty shoot-out after the match ended 1-1 in regular time.
Alex Morgan equalised for the USWNT 10 minutes after Sweden netted their opener, but lost 4-3 on penalties.
Former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo infamously called Sweden, who went on to win silver, a “bunch of cowards” following the loss – criticising their approach to the game.
“I thought we played a courageous game,” Solo said at the time.”I thought we had many opportunities on goal. I think we showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down, I’m very proud of this team.
“And I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today, I strongly, firmly believe that.
“They didn’t want to open play. They didn’t want to pass the ball. They didn’t want to play great soccer. It was a combative game, a physical game … And they tried to counter with longballs.”
USWNT Olympic Games record
|1996||Gold medal||5||4||1||0||Tony DiCicco|
|2000||Silver medal||5||3||1||1||April Heinrichs|
|2004||Gold medal||6||5||1||0||April Heinrichs|
|2008||Gold medal||6||5||0||1||Pia Sundhage|
|2012||Gold medal||6||6||0||0||Pia Sundhage|
|2016||5th place||4||2||2||0||Jill Ellis|