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USA wemons team goalkeeper, Hope SoloUSA wemons team goalkeeper, Hope SoloGoalkeeper is on the brink of a world record number of appearances, as USA opens against New Zealand.

Hope Solo ready to lead USA to unique World Cup and Olympic football double.

The goalkeeper with the golden gloves will, barring injury or illness, make history at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and cement her place as one of the great women footballers.

Hope Solo collects titles, medals and awards with such regularity it is difficult to look beyond USA when it comes to contenders for the gold medal.

On a personal level, Solo is just two caps away from her 200th international appearance, a record which no other goalkeeper, male or female, can claim. She also has a record 100 clean sheets to her name.

In what could be the most open women's Olympic Games tournament in years, Solo and her team-mates are still odds-on favourites to win their fifth gold medal in six Games when the final is held at the iconic Maracana Stadium on 19 August.

If they succeed, they become the first team of either gender to add an Olympic Games gold medal to a World Cup title back-to-back. Considering they have lost just once in their last 41 games, it would take a brave person to bet against them.

The USA start their group G campaign against New Zealand at Mineirao, Belo Horizonte, on 3 August. The footballing Ferns are ranked 17th in the world and could prove a tough test before the matches against France, who are ranked third, and Colombia.

'The Queen of Football' may have something to say about the USA's progress, however. Marta, five-time female footballer of the year, has a gap in her trophy collection - a gold medal in the Olympic Games.

Like the men's team, the Brazilians have yet to win an Olympic tournament, collecting a silver medal behind USA at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

Group E features Brazil playing China at the Olympic Stadium on 3 August before matches against Sweden and outsiders South Africa, who are still looking for their first win at a Games.

The lowest-ranked side in the event are Zimbabwe (No.93), who have never qualified for a major tournament outside Africa and who find themselves in the competitive group F. Twice-bronze medallists Germany and Canada and improving Australia all have reason for optimism.

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