We now know when to expect Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz and the rest of the U.S. Women’s National Team at the Tokyo Olympics, as the draw for the tournament was announced today.
Our path is paved. Preparations are underway.
Only 91 days to go until we take the field in #Tokyo2020!
– U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) April 21, 2021
The four-time world and Olympic champions will face Sweden, New Zealand and Australia in Group G. The latter two teams will host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.
Team USWNT competed on the 10th. April in a tough test against the Swedish team. The fifth-ranked Swedes held their own against the Americans and even took a 1-0 lead in the closing stages before Megan Rapinoe converted a controversial penalty kick and ended the match one goal behind.
Sweden is of course still fresh in our minds after the Stockholm game, but of course we already knew how talented, athletic and committed they are to their tactics, said head coach Vlatko Andonovski.
The US and Sweden have a long history of meeting in the World Cup, and this will undoubtedly be another great opening match of the tournament.
Australia and New Zealand are ninth and twenty-second respectively. Both teams played against the United States at the Olympics. New Zealand played against the Americans in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, while the Australians last met the United States in 2004.
The U.S. team plays its first game against Sweden on July 21 at 3:30 p.m. CT, two days before the opening ceremony. The game against Australia will take place on July 24 at 6:30 CT and the game against New Zealand on July 27. July at 3:00 CST.
The other two groups in the women’s Olympic football tournament are:
Group E : Japan, Canada, Great Britain, Chile
Group F : China PR, Brazil, Zambia, Netherlands
Each team plays a round robin format in the group stage, with each team playing three games. The best two teams from each of the three groups will qualify for the quarter-finals, as will the first two teams to finish third.
From that point on, the tournament is a knockout tournament with a single elimination.
Who will win?
The United States are definitely the favorites to win, and it would be a disaster if they didn’t finish at least second in their group. But the Americans will want to win Group G, because they’ll be facing the third-ranked, not the second-ranked, team.
The Swedes will still be a contender and should also qualify for the quarter-finals of Group G.
Great Britain will consist of the best players from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. So we can expect them to be among the contenders alongside the Canadians.
Group F is probably the biggest threat to the U.S., which is looking for its fifth Olympic gold medal. Brazil has always had one of the best women’s teams and, like many other South American countries, takes the Olympics very seriously.
But the biggest threat to the United States is the Netherlands. The Lionesses were the team that faced the American team in the 2019 World Cup final and gave the US a run for their money. Laik Martens is one of the most dynamic strikers in world football and Daniel van de Donk and Jackie Groenen are expected to lead the midfield during the tournament. Watch out for the women in orange.
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