Photo Courtesy: www.wpsmagicjack.com - Captain Christie Rampone, 36, who intends to retire after the Olympic Games.
Americans will be working toward berths in the London 2012 Olympic Games in women’s soccer and men’s racewalking this weekend. A full schedule of winter sports includes a bobsled World Cup on the historic St. Moritz track, a home speedskating World Cup in Salt Lake City, the figure skating national championships in San Jose, Calif., and the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Austria. Check out the full Olympic Weekend Preview for all the details.
CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Jan. 19-29, Vancouver
The U.S. Women’s National Team will begin play Friday night in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, when it faces the Dominican Republic. The United States will play three games in four days, including Sunday against Guatemala and Monday against Mexico.
Of the 20 players on the world’s top-ranked U.S. squad, 19 were on the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup team that won silver. The team includes high-scoring forward Abby Wambach, who has 125 career international goals, and captain Christie Rampone, 36, who intends to retire after the Olympic Games.
The only new player is forward Sydney Leroux, a native Canadian who came to the United States as a high school student. She was an All-Pac-10 player at UCLA.
The U.S. women have never lost an Olympic qualifying match, going 8-0-1. They must finish among the final two in the eight-team tournament in order to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Following preliminary group play, the all-important semifinals will be held Jan. 27, followed by the championship game Jan. 29. All games will be played indoors at BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“We believe that we are one of the best teams in the world, (but) you can’t just show up for qualifications and expect to win nowadays,” said Wambach, an Olympic gold medalist with the 2004 U.S. team.
U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Venezuela, Jan. 21, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
TV: 9 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN3, Galavision
FIBT World Cup, Jan. 20-22, St. Moritz, Switzerland
A full U.S. team, including 2010 Olympians Katie Uhlaender, women’s bobsled pilot Bree Schaaf and four-man bobsled pilot Steven Holcomb, will compete this weekend on the famed course in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The 1,722-meter course is the only non-refrigerated track on the World Cup tour, has hosted two Olympic Games and will be host to its 22nd FIBT World Championships in 2013.
“This is a favorite location for many of our athletes, so it’ll be a great way to cap the European portion of tour,” U.S. skeleton coach Tuffy Latour said.
Schaaf finished 10th in 2010 and 13th in 2011 on the course. Uhlaender earned a bronze medal at the 2007 World Championships held in St. Moritz. Elana Meyers and Katie Eberling earned bronze in a Europe Cup race last week in St. Moritz. Both