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Olympics: Women's soccer starts today

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Megan Rapinoe
Armando Franca/AP

While the Olympics don’t officially kick off until July 27, early round soccer play starts today. The U.S. women’s team, which has won gold in three of the four Olympics since women’s soccer was introduced as a sport, takes on France. Catch the match live at noon ET on NBC Sports Network or NBCOlympics.com.

We asked first-time Olympian Megan Rapinoe what makes women’s soccer great TV. “Look for me, I think I’m great TV,” she said, laughing. If you saw her grab an on-field mic and sing “Born in the U.S.A.” after scoring a goal at the 2011 World Cup, you know she’s not lying. “I think that we’re different from the past teams. I feel like they were pretty girl-next-door. We have a good mix for everyone. There are some darker players, some happy-go-lucky players,” she says. “And we’re good. And we win. And it’s always fun to root for the winning team.”*

*Especially if some of its players visit a castle where Harry Potter was filmed on their day off from training, risk injury to play Quidditch (watching defender Kelley O’Hara wipe out at 2:18 in the video below will never not be funny), and make a Katniss reference while shooting a bow and arrow.

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