Olympics 2012: U.S. women’s soccer players face uncertain future

Even Wambach is not a given. Though she craves a World Cup title and has said she intends to play through the 2015 tournament, she turned 32 this summer and her body has begun showing signs of the wear and tear from her fearless playing style.

“I can only be positive that there is a spot for players to play in the future,” Solo said. “In the near future.”

In the meantime, the Americans will do a “victory tour,” beginning next month. The first two games have already been announced: Sept. 1 against Costa Rica and Sept. 16 against Australia. Some well-deserved downtime will come after that. O'Reilly and her husband never did take a honeymoon after their wedding last fall, and Lloyd is craving some beach time.

But at some point, the Americans will have to figure out what comes next.

It might present an even bigger challenge than Japan did.

“We haven’t really thought too far in advance,” Lloyd said. “There’s a lot of missing parts, whether there’s a league — we just heard bits and pieces about a league coming back. But we’re going to go after it. I want to win a world championship before my career is over. So that’s the next thing.”

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