MUST SEE: Argentina vs. USA (Women)
This is the must-watch game of the day between Team USA and Las Leonas. The U.S. has continued to be a challenge for this dominant Argentina squad, most recently pulling off a big win at the 2015 Pan American Games. Argentina’s eight-time FIH Player of the Year Luciana Aymar has retired, and they will now look to rising superstar 22-year-old Florencia Habif to lead in Rio.
Team USA’s 2012 Olympic appearance ended with a last-place finish. With a rejuvenated program and a chip on its shoulder, the team is determined to get things started with a win. Although this is only a first round game, the energy is bound to be that of a medal event.
Australia vs. New Zealand (Men)
Australia comes to Rio as the favorite to win gold, but this isn’t the first time that has been the case. The Kookaburras also entered Beijing and London favored to win, but ended up taking home bronze instead. This time they are looking to finally fulfill that expectation.
Led by five-time FIH Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer, they will look to attack right off the bat against New Zealand, who qualified this year by securing a top ranking in the World League Semifinals. The Black Sticks have not won a medal since the 1976 Montreal Games where they defeated Australia to win gold.
Canada vs. Germany (Men)
Although Germany has had some bumps in the road since London, the team will look to defend its gold medal in Rio. Germany could be the first team to earn three consecutive gold medals since India’s outstanding reign earlier in the sport’s Olympic history. The player to watch for the Germans is 24-year-old Florian Fuchs, whose offensive prowess was a major key to Germany’s second gold medal performance.
Canada on the other hand, who recently dubbed itself the Red Caribou, will look to add another upset win to the books. The team previously shocked New Zealand at the 2015 World League Semifinal in a shootout win to qualify for the Rio Games. Based on both teams’ recent showings, this matchup certainly has the potential to be full of surprises.
All action can be streamed live right here on NBCOlympics.com.