As the top seed in Group E, the United States will play all of their first round matches in New Zealand and possibly all but one of that country’s matches before the August 20 final in Sydney.
The US’s opening match on July 22 in Auckland is against debutant Vietnam, followed five days later by a showdown in Wellington with the eighth-seeded Netherlands, who lost to the US, 2-0, in the 2019 final in France.
The group match will conclude on August 1 in Auckland against the winner of a play-off match in February between Portugal No. 23, Thailand ranked No. 41 and Cameroon ranked 58.
“We got a good draw, but it’s a bit difficult,” USA coach Vlatko Andonovsky said. “I am excited about it. This is when the real preparation begins.”
With a 20-1-3 record in team play, the United States is not expected to have much trouble winning one of the two group seats in the knockout stage. If the rankings hold, they will face 14th-ranked Italy, the second-best team in Group G, in the Round of 16 in Sydney.
However, by finishing second in the group, the Americans are likely to play favorite Sweden in Group G, which they defeated 3-0, in the 2021 Olympic group stage. The United States and Sweden have met in the group stage in the previous five World Cups, where The Americans won three, lost one and drew once.
Former American star Carli Lloyd said, “I’m confident with the group, but it’s not really about the group, because there are a lot of matches to play in the World Cup, and the competition is getting stronger and better.” Co-hosted the lottery party in Auckland.
The Americans were happy with the overall class: Until the final, they were avoiding European champions, England, 2021 Olympic gold medalists Canada, and contenders Germany, France, Brazil and Australia. The top teams are Sweden, Japan and Spain.
Six stadiums in Australia and four in New Zealand will host the 64 matches. All but three participants were recruited. A 10-team playoff from February 18-23 in Auckland will complete the 32-team stadium, the largest since FIFA launched a women’s tournament in 1991.
Although the Americans would make it to the finals as one of the favorites, their work was cut short for them. Early this month, they lost consecutive games for the first time in 5-1/2 years, falling to fourth-ranked England, 2-1, and 6th-seeded Spain, 2-0. They will resume preparations with two friendlies against third-seeded Germany: November 10 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and November 13 in Harrison, NJ:
Preparations for the World Cup will include two friendlies in February and two in April. Opponents and places are not completed.
“We have a lot of work to do next year,” said US midfielder Lindsey Horan. “We need to be better. We need to learn and grow. We hope you will improve a lot next year.”
FIFA ranking in parentheses
Group ANew Zealand (22), Norway (12), Philippines (53), Switzerland (21).
group bAustralia (13), Ireland (24), Nigeria (45), Canada (7).
group CSpain (6), Costa Rica (37), Zambia (81), Japan (11).
group d: England (4), play-off winner*, Denmark (18), China (15).
Group EUnited States (1), Vietnam (34), Netherlands (8), play-off winner**.
F . groupFrance (5), Jamaica (43), Brazil (9), play-off winner ***.
Group GSweden (2), South Africa (54), Italy (14) and Argentina (29).
group hGermany (3), South Korea (17), Colombia (27), Morocco (76).
* Chile (38), Senegal (84) and Haiti (56).
** Portugal (23), Cameroon (58) or Thailand (41).
*** Taiwan (40), Paraguay (51), Papua New Guinea (50) or Panama (57).
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