The United States women’s national team have been drawn against old rivals Sweden as well as Australia and New Zealand in Group G for the Tokyo Olympic football tournament, it was announced on Wednesday.
Great Britain will face Canada and Chile as well as hosts Japan in Group E, while European champions Netherlands were drawn against Brazil, China and Zambia in Group F.
The USWNT are seeking to become the first women’s side to win a World Cup and an Olympic gold medal back-to-back.
“After waiting an extra year for this Olympics, the draw represents a real milestone in our journey and helps us focus in even more on our preparation and what we need to do to achieve our goals,” USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski said.
“We have great respect for all three of our group opponents and we know this tournament will push us to our limits both mentally and physically, as well as challenge us every game technically and tactically, so we will do everything we can in the next three months to prepare for success.”
There will be a new winner in the women’s tournament, with 2016 champions Germany failing to qualify.
Great Britain will be led by former Olympic gold medallist Hege Riise at the tournament.
“There is no doubt we have been drawn in a very exciting group. The host nation Japan are an extremely talented team and have been a strong force in women’s football for many years,” she said in a statement.
“Canada are another very good physical team, as we saw earlier this month when England and Wales both faced them at home in the April FIFA window. Chile are not a team I know quite as well, but they put in a very impressive performance against Cameroon to secure their place in this summer’s Games for the first time in their history.”
Riise will name her 18-player squad — which will feature players from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — at the end of May.
The men’s draw saw Rio 2016 Olympic men’s champions Brazil being drawn against Germany, Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia in Group D.
Hosts Japan will face Mexico, South Africa and France in Group A while two-time Olympic champions Argentina will play Spain, Egypt and Australia in Group C.
Group B consists of New Zealand, South Korea, Honduras and Romania.
The football tournament at Tokyo will take place from July 21 to Aug. 6 in six cities across Japan.
Men’s Olympic draw
Japan, South Africa, Mexico, France
New Zealand, South Korea, Honduras, Romania
Egypt, Spain, Argentina, Australia
Brazil, Germany, Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia
Women’s Olympic draw
Japan, Canada, Great Britain, Chile
China, Brazil, Zambia, Netherlands
Sweden, United States, Australia, New Zealand
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