June 30, 2012; Sandy, UT, USA; USA midfielder Tobin Heath (17) controls the ball during the first half against Canada at Rio Tinto Stadium. USA defeated Canada 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
The women's football tournament at the 2012 Olympics gets underway on Wednesday, before the games' opening ceremonies.
The women's Olympic football tournament begins on Wednesday before all other Olympic events, with all 12 of the participating teams in action. The hosts play the first match of the day, followed by a slate of five other overlapping games. Great Britain, a fringe medal contender, gets their tournament underway against a New Zealand team that won't roll over, but that they're expected to beat.
The day's two marquee matches both kick off an hour later. The United States face off against France in a potential preview of a medal-round match. France finished fourth at last year's World Cup and their players have the advantage of playing yet another year at the highest club level possible, while most of the United States players did not play high-level club football this year. At the same time as that match, defending world champions Japan take on Christine Sinclair and Canada.
Related: USA vs. France preview | Japan vs. Canada preview
Brazil and Sweden are heavy favorites in their late matches, while North Korea and Colombia could be playing for one quarterfinal spot in their match.
TV Schedule (All times ET)
Great Britain vs. New Zealand - 11:00 a.m., MSNBC
USA vs. France - 12:00 p.m., NBC Sports Network
Japan vs. Canada - 12:00 p.m.
Cameroon vs. Brazil - 1:45 p.m.
Colombia vs. North Korea - 2:45 p.m., NBC Universal
Sweden vs. South Africa - 2:45 p.m.
All matches are streaming live on NBCOlympics.com.
We'll have coverage of all of Wednesday's games in our 2012 Olympics, Women's Soccer Day 1 StoryStream.