Chapman to Make Olympics Debut Wednesday

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Women's Olympic Football Tournament +0
Chapman to Make Olympics Debut Wednesday

BATON ROUGE – While the opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympic Games is scheduled to take place Friday night, the competition officially kicks off Wednesday as former LSU Soccer standout Allysha Chapman and the Canadian Women’s National Team faces Australia in their first group match with kickoff set for 1 p.m. CT.

Chapman will make history in Brazil over the next two weeks as LSU Soccer’s first Olympian after being named by head coach John Herdman to Canada’s 18-player squad for the 2016 Olympic Games.

LSU in the 2016 Olympics

The Canadian Women’s National Team qualified for the Rio Olympics at the 2016 Confederation of North, Central American & Caribbean Association Football Qualifying Championship in February to which Chapman had a key role in her country earning its third-straight Olympics appearance. She was named to the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Best XI as one of the top players in the qualification tournament.

Canada, the reigning Olympic Bronze Medalists in women’s soccer after placing third overall at the 2012 London Olympics, is set to battle Germany, Australia and Zimbabwe in Group F as the Rio 2016 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament is set to begin with the first group-stage matches on Aug. 3. Their bronze medal four years ago was Canada’s first medal in a summer team sport since the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany.

After opening the group stage against Australia in Sao Paulo on Wednesday, Canada faces Zimbabwe on Saturday at Corinthians Arena before wrapping up group play against Germany on Aug. 9 in Brasilia.

Twelve women’s soccer nations will compete in three four-team groups at the 2016 Olympic Games with eight teams advancing into the knockout quarterfinals. The famed Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro will host the Gold Medal Match on Friday, Aug. 19, with the Bronze Medal Match also being played at Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on the same day.

Chapman was a catalyst in helping the host nation advance to the quarterfinal round of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup held in Canada last summer as they look to return to the Olympics podium in August.

Chapman, who plays professionally with the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League, has emerged as one of the first names on Herdman’s team sheet with her performance in recent years as she owns 34 international caps with the Canadian Women’s National Team after making her senior debut on Oct. 24, 2014.