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U.S. WNT vs. Japan 8/20/04

A stern reminder about an upcoming U.S. Soccer-related event, whether you plan to check it out live and in person, on the “telly” or that wacky world wide web.

WNT vs. Japan – Friday, August 20 @ 11 a.m. ET
[LIVE on MSNBC, Telemundo and’s MatchTracker]
It’s a case of “good news, bad news” in Greece for the U.S. Women’s National Team. What do you want to hear first? The good news? Good choice.

The good news is that the U.S. Women continued their unbeaten streak in the opening round of Olympic competition while giving up just one goal in three games, defeating Greece 3-0 on Aug. 11, edging Brazil 2-0 on Aug. 14 and drawing 1-1 with Australia on Aug. 17.  Need more good news? Well, Abby and Mia continue to spark the U.S. offense, with each player scoring in both of the opening round wins. And the defense looks solid, with Joy Fawcett shutting down even the quickest of opponents and owning our third with Ms. Perfect, Briana Scurry.

Now for the bad. We’re not complaining here, nor demanding perfection, in what is an extremely difficult tournament set-up, but it’s fair to say that the U.S. Women don’t look as dominating or as sharp as we’re used to seeing them.  We probably should’ve scored a couple more goals against Greece, could’ve been down 2-nil at halftime versus Brazil and then without Abby, had trouble breaking down a defense that we scored three goals against in one half with her in the lineup less than a month ago.

Now for more of the bad.  Standing in our path just to GET to the gold medal match are Japan and Germany, two teams that have given us problems in recent years.  Up first in the quarterfinals on Friday (Aug. 20) is Japan, who we’ve only been able to draw in the last three meetings, including the last meeting on June 6 in Louisville, Ky.  Abby and Mia will have to be in top form in the attack, while Shannon Boxx will be counted on to shut down their star Homare Sawa in order to meet the reigning world champs for a chance at WWC revenge in the medal round.

Fans can follow the match live on MSNBC and Telemundo at 11 a.m. ET or on’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.