The U.S. is preparing for Sunday's 7 p.m. international friendly against China at PPL Park in Chester. A U.S. Soccer official said the game is near a sellout in the 18,500-seat stadium.
Four years ago, because of her last-minute addition to the team, Cheney didn't have high personal expectations entering the Olympics.
"I thought I was only going to cheer people and be that sort of teammate," she said. "Then, I was able to get in and contribute and it was fun, but definitely a different role that I had."
This time it will be a different role as well for Cheney, who turns 25 in September. She is coming off a highly successful 2011, which included being named to the World Cup's all-star team after starting all six games and scoring two goals.
The United States advanced to the final before losing to Japan on penalty kicks. Her play in 2011 has carried into this year.
"I think playing well in a big tournament always boosts your confidence," she said. "As any athlete knows in sports, it's always a roller coaster, with your confidence going up and down."
It's up now, and she has the confidence of coach Pia Sundhage.
"She is a smart player, and reads the game well and is an athlete," Sundhage said. "So she has everything."
Sundhage then said that she'd like to see Cheney improve in the air.
"She has a very bright future - but as you know with young players, you go through ups and downs," Sundhage said. "If she shows up every practice, there is no doubt in my mind she is a player who will have many years on the national team."
Of course Sundhage mentioned that with all young players, the key is remaining consistent.
Cheney has enjoyed having the current camp in Princeton. It has allowed her to attend 76ers playoff games in Philadelphia.
Her boyfriend is Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday, who, like Cheney, attended UCLA. During the preseason, Holiday talked about how he was looking forward to attending the Olympics. It's a case of one high-profile athlete following another.
"I think we do the best we can to support each other and watch each other's game," Cheney said. "Off the field we don't talk much about basketball and soccer."
It's not surprising that she says she get more nervous watching him play than competing herself.
"It's not nervous in a bad way, but I'm excited," she said. "I want him to do well and I always like to see him smile."
As much as Holiday enjoys seeing Cheney, no doubt he hopes to miss Sunday's game. That would mean the Sixers season would be extended after Saturday's Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Boston.
Contact Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @sjnard.