Diamond Bar High School alumnae Alex Morgan among those playing in Rio for the U.S. Women's Olympic Soccer Team. Viewing parties information
DIAMOND BAR, CA—The 18-player U.S. Women”s Soccer team prepares to play and viewing parties are cropping up across Los Angeles County to watch the ladies go to work. Viewing parties will be held in Los Feliz, Long Beach and Tustin for Wednesday”s telecasts of the U.S.-New Zealand women”s Olympic soccer game.
The game from Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, will begin at 3 p.m. and be televised in English by cable”s NBC Sports Network and the Soccer Specialty Channel and in Spanish by cable”s NBC Universo.
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The game will also be shown online by NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports App.
The viewing parties will be held at 1739 Public House, 1739 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Shannon”s On Pine, 209 Pine Ave., Long Beach; and The Auld Dubliner, 2497 E Ave., Tustin.
The parties are organized by chapters of American Outlaws, a nationwide support group for the U.S. men”s and women”s national soccer teams.
The team includes three players who played on the high school level in Los Angeles County — including forwards Alex Morgan and Christen Press and defender Whitney Engen.
Morgan, a graduate of Diamond Bar High School, was also a member of the gold medal-winning 2012 team. Press, a Chadwick School alumnus, and Engen, a former Peninsula High School standout, will be playing in their first Olympics, although Press was an alternate in 2012.
All but one of the U.S players play in the National Women”s Soccer League, now in its fourth season. The one exception is 18-year-old forward Mallory Pugh, who plays for the club team Real Colorado. She has signed a letter of intent to accept an athletic scholarship from UCLA.
Olympic soccer competitions customarily begin before the opening ceremony, which will be conducted Friday, because of the time needed to conduct a tournament with each team playing three games in group play, followed by three rounds of single-elimination play.
Belo Horizonte is 270 miles north of the Olympic host city of Rio de Janeiro. Because there are not enough soccer stadiums in host cities to conduct men”s and women”s soccer tournaments, soccer games are held in different parts of the host nation.
When Los Angeles played host to the 1984 Olympics, soccer games were held at Harvard, Stanford and the U.S. Naval Academy in addition to the Rose Bowl.
The U.S. is 14-0-1 in 2016, recording 13 shutouts, including 10 by Hope Solo, and outscoring its opponents 52-4. The U.S. is first in the rankings compiled by FIFA, soccer”s international governing body. New Zealand is ranked 17th.
The U.S. is 11-1-1 against New Zealand, including a 4-0 victory in their most recent meeting, on April 4, 2015 in St. Louis. The only blemishes to the record came in the first game, a 1-0 loss in 1987, and a 1-1 tie on Oct. 30, 2013. The U.S. has outscored New Zealand, 47-5.
The roster for New Zealand, known as the Football Ferns, consists of four players who play in New Zealand, three in the U.S. — defender Abby Erceg, who plays for the Western New York Flash of the NWSL and midfielder Katie Bowen of the league”s FC Kansas City, and forward Hannah Wilkinson at the University of Tennessee — three in Sweden, and one each in Australia, England, Germany, Japan, Netherlands and Spain. Two players are unattached.
New Zealand has two players with ties to Los Angeles. Defender Ali Riley, whose father is from New Zealand, was raised in Pacific Palisades and graduated from the Harvard-Westlake School. Forward Rosie White played at UCLA from 2011-2014.