U.S. women’s soccer team to face rival Sweden in Tokyo Olympics opener

LYON, FRANCE - JULY 07: Megan Rapinoe of the USA celebrates with teammates after scoring her team's first goal during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Final match between The United States of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon on July 07, 2019 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX *** ** OUTS - ELSENT, FPG, CM - OUTS * NM, PH, VA if sourced by CT, LA or MoD **

Megan Rapinoe, center, commemorates with colleagues after scoring an objective versus France throughout the 2019 World Cup. The Americans’ Tokyo Olympics draw was set early Wednesday early morning and consists of a match with competing Sweden. (Getty Images)

The United States will deal with competing Sweden as it presses to end up being the very first ladies’s group to win the World Cup and Olympic gold back to back.

The Americans, ranked No. 1 in the FIFA soccer rankings, discovered their Group G will consist of No. 5 Sweden, No. 9 Australia and No. 22 New Zealand throughout Wednesday’s draw kept in New Zealand.

Host Japan, ranked No. 11, is signed up with by No. 8 Canada, No. 6 Great Britain and No. 37 Chile in Group E, while No. 14 China, No. 7 Brazil, No. 104 Zambia and No. 3 Netherlands complete Group E.

No. 2 Germany, the 2016 Olympic gold winner, and No. 4 France did not receive the Olympics.

“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,” U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski stated in a press release. “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.”

The draw provides the U.S. a chance at redemption after a quarterfinal loss to Sweden in penalty shot ousted the Americans from the 2016 Olympics in Rio. U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo snapped right away after the loss, calling Sweden “a bunch of cowards” for utilizing defensive-heavy methods that reduced the effects of the powerful American attack. Sweden coach Pia Sundhage, a previous U.S. coach, protected the methods that resulted in the upset.

The stinging defeat assisted stimulate the U.S. go to a 2019 World Cup win in France.

The U.S. ladies will start their push for gold on July 21 versus Sweden in Tokyo at 1:30 a.m. PST, prior to dealing with New Zealand on July 24 in Saitama at 4:30 a.m. PST and Australia on July 27 in Kashima at 1 a.m. PST.

On the guys’s side, which is restricted to professional athletes under the age of 23, Mexico signs up with Japan, South Africa and France in Group A.

New Zealand will deal with South Korea, Honduras and Romania in Group B.

Egypt, Spain, Argentina and Australia remain in Group C, while Brazil, Germany, Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia complete Group D.

The U.S. guys’s group did not receive the Olympics and has actually not completed in the global competition given that 2008. The Americans, nevertheless, include an appealing crop of young skill that was not launched by European clubs to contend in the Olympic certifying competition in March.

Guy’s Tokyo Olympics soccer draw

Group A: Japan, South Africa, Mexico, France

Group B: New Zealand, South Korea, Honduras, Romania

Group C: Egypt, Spain, Argentina, Australia

Group D: Brazil, Germany, Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia

Women’s Tokyo Olympics soccer draw

Group E: Japan, Canada, Great Britain, Chile

Group F: China, Brazil, Zambia, Netherlands

Group G: Sweden, United States, Australia, New Zealand

This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Times.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.