U.S.A. Women's National Team Drawn Into Group of Death
~photo credits HM Larson
The United States Women's National Soccer team will compete in what is considered the toughest group of the Women's World Cup Canada 2015 next summer. Group D will consist of #1 ranked United States, #5 ranked Sweden, #10 ranked Australia, and #35 ranked Nigeria. Eerily similar to the U.S. Men's National Team draw for the World Cup in Brazil last summer, Group D will pose as a strong test for this U.S. team. We can only hope that next summer's group results are similar to the men's, as the men's team was able to shock the world and advance.
The main difference is the U.S. will not be underdogs by any means. Expectations remain high as the #1 ranked team in the world looks to bounce back from their loss to Japan in the 2011 Women's World Cup finals to Japan in shootouts. The road will be difficult but the team will take on the group draw with optimism, realizing that the talented group will elevate their play hopefully through the knockout round.
It wouldn't be FIFA without controversy, Sweden (ranked #5 in the world) was anticipating a #1 seed in the tournament but were placed in Pot 2 as Brazil (#6) sneaked by with a #1 group seed. One would wonder why FIFA wouldn't follow the world rankings, world rankings that FIFA defines.
4 pots consisting of 6 teams each are drawn from individually in order to decide group play. Coincidentally, U.S.A., Sweden, Australia, and Nigeria, were the top ranked teams in their respective pots. To put the difficulty of this Group (of) D(eath) in perspective, Group B, led by #2 ranked Germany will consist of #9 ranked Norway, #30 ranked Thailand, and #64 ranked Cote d'Ivoire.
The United States Women's National Team will have their work cut out for them next summer, but still have high hopes of adding that third star to their uniforms and repeat what they were able to accomplish in 1991 and 1999.
Their first match will take place on Monday June 8th, 2015 against Australia in Winnipeg. Go Team USA!