The U.S. women’s team begins its quest for a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in 11 days. (The Opening Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro is Aug. 5, but the women’s soccer tournament, for some reason, starts two days earlier.)
The Americans’ first game is against New Zealand. Three days later, on Aug. 6. they play France, which should be the toughest opponent in their group. Their final group match, against Colombia, is Aug. 9.
Here are five oddities, curiosities, or (possibly) interesting facts about the U.S. roster:
Christie Rampone is the only American to play in four Olympics — 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. Rampone, now 41, tried to qualify again this year, but withdrew from consideration when she realized that injuries and age had taken their inevitable toll.
Hope Solo and Carli Lloyd are tied for the most Olympic appearances among those on the current roster. Each has played in 12 Olympic matches.
Carli Lloyd scored the winning goal in the gold medal game at each of the last two Olympics.
In 2008, her goal in overtime gave the United States a 1-0 victory over Brazil.
In 2012, she scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Japan.
Ali Krieger, who turns 32 on July 28, is the oldest American woman to be taking part in her first Olympic soccer tournament.
Krieger would have made the 2012 team, but sustained a devastating knee injury during the qualifying tournament.
Should 18-year-old Mallory Pugh score, she would be the youngest American ever with an Olympic goal. The only U.S. player younger than her to make an Olympic roster — Cindy Parlow, in 1996 — did not score.