The United States Women's soccer team will face off with Japan today for the gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics. The game takes place at 2:45 eastern time and can be seen live on NBC Sports Network or streamed online at NBCOlympics.com
For the US, its a chance at sweet redemption against a Japan team that defeated them in upset fashion a little over a year ago at the women's World Cup. A chance at redemption they've all been hoping to get.
"I've been hoping for this final," Abby Wambach said, "from the moment I stepped off the podium in Germany."
Delran's Carli Lloyd says redemption against Japan is on their mind, but their larger goal is still the same.
"It's definitely redemption," said Lloyd. "But it's also an opportunity, an opportunity to show the world that we're the No. 1 team."
Japan have taken a relatively methodical path back to the finals dominating medal favorites Brazil in the quarters and leading from wire to wire against France in the semis. The Americans, however, have displayed their typical flair for the dramatic. In the semifinals against Canada, the US women came from behind 3 separate times just to force extra time and won on a spectacular 122nd minute Alex Morgan header.
While this game may be every bit as competitive as the Canada match for the Americans, don't expect quite the same level of chippiness for trash talk. Despite their growing rivalry, the US and Japanese women have great respect for one another. When Abby Wambach ran into a group of Japanese players in the Olympic village, the two sides agreed they were excited to face off again.
"We told each other that we were glad the other had won," Wambach said. "Because we believe that we're the top two teams in the world, and we believe our fans deserve to see a great final."
Wambach says today should be a big one for the sport.
"The truth is, this is going to be a great day," she said. "A great day for soccer, a great day for women's sports, and something that hopefully we'll able to remember for the rest of our lives - and hopefully it's in a good way."
Overall, its been a very strong Olympics for women's sports overall from a US perspective. Women have won the majority of the gold medals for Team USA and particularly in team sports have dramatically outperformed their male counterparts.
The US women's soccer team will add to the female driven medal count today, the only question is what color?