Wembley Stadium, the site of the 2012 Olympics gold medal match between the U.S. and Japan
When the U.S. Women’s National Team takes the field Thursday against Japan, it will be a step on another legendary football ground that has epitomized the USA’s journey through the 2012 Olympic Games. More than 85,000 fans are expected at England’s National Stadium, which has previously hosted a World Cup Final, Champions League matches and the FA Cup Final to name a few.
The U.S. began group play at Hampden Park, the national stadium of Scotland. When it opened, the stadium sat more than 120,000 fans and has since been the site of numerous big games, including Scottish National Team matches, the European Cup final, the European Cup Winners Cup, and the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen.
The “Theatre of Dreams” proved to be a magical place for the U.S. team, as Old Trafford witnessed the epic victory against Canada in the semifinals. The second largest stadium in England behind Wembley, Old Trafford opened in 1910 and is rich in history. In addition to hosting FA Cup finals, the stadium was used for three group matches and a quarterfinal and semifinal in the 1996 European Championship. AC Milan and Juventus dueled there in the 2003 Champions League Final, and the ground serves as the home of famed Manchester United.