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USWNT drawn into so-called ‘Group of Death’ for 2015 Women’s World Cup

USWNT by Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

By CAITLIN MURRAY

American soccer fans who have unpleasant memories of the moment the U.S. Men’s National Team drew the Group of Death last year may have felt a bit of deja vu Saturday.

The U.S Women’s National Team were drawn into Group D to face Sweden, Australia and Nigeria next summer in Canada.

USWNT forward Alex Morgan, recovering from injury, was on hand for Fox Sports’ live draw coverage and confirmed what many fans were thinking: “We got the toughest countries in all the pots,” she said. “It’s definitely the Group of Death.”

Sweden, the non-seeded team that would’ve made any group a possible Group of Death, is the only team in the entire tournament that has beaten the USWNT in the past two years. Sweden coach Pia Sundhage led the USWNT to silver in the 2011 Women’s World Cup and Olympic gold in 2012 before taking over in Sweden.

Australia, ranked 10th in the world, behind No. 1-ranked U.S. and No. 5-ranked Sweden, features some top talent that plays alongside Americans in the National Women’s Soccer League and represents a historically tough opponent for the Americans.

Nigeria is a bit of a wild card — the last time the USWNT played them was on Sept. 18, 2007, winning 1-0. But Nigeria is widely considered the toughest team from the African federation, having won the African Women’s Championship this year.

To advance to the knockouts, teams must finish in the top two of their group after a round robin of group play. The four best third-place teams will also advance to the Round of 16.

Hosts Canada drew one of the tougher groups, facing New Zealand and the Netherlands. Germany, a sure contender to win the tournament, made off with perhaps the easiest group thanks to an expanded field of 24 teams from 16 last cycle. Reigning champs Japan also face an easier group of all first-time qualifying countries.

Here are all the groups for the 2015 Women’s World Cup:

GROUP A
Canada
China
New Zealand
Netherlands

GROUP B
Germany
Ivory Coast
Norway
Thailand

GROUP C
Japan
Switzerland
Cameroon
Ecuador

GROUP D
USA
Australia
Sweden
Nigeria

GROUP E
Brazil
Korea Republic
Spain
Costa Rica

Group F
France
England
Colombia
Mexico

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What do you think of the draw? What does the Group of Death mean for the USWNT and coach Jill Ellis? What do you think about the other groups?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Is there anything to do in Winnipeg? I was thinking of taking the family on vacation for the WC but I don’t know what to do between games.

    Reply
    • I’m probably not the expert (I’ve been there in the summer once, as well as a few other parts of Canada), but if it’s helpful I’d suggest that the answer really depends on what you and your family are into (and how old the kid(s) are). There are some absolutely beautiful parts of surrounding Manitoba and if you are into “outdoorsy” things you will not be disappointed by the place, rest assured. There is also some very good dining.

      Be advised that it is not a huge metropolis, and although there is a considerable amount of culture on offer, if you are looking for “in town” things to do you may find you have exhausted most of the museums and other attractions within a few days. It can also be extremely humid during summer/

      If you and your family do well on outdoor adventures, you might find it’s a great trip. But I would also defer to anybody who knows the area (or Canada generally) better.

      Reply
    • The last group match for the USWNT is in Vancouver. You could just go to that. If you would be willing to chance not seeing the USWNT, the final will be in Vancouver so you could just plan around that. I’ve always wanted to visit BC and now I have an excuse, can’t wait

      Reply
  2. How they always manage to get the exact intended draws to come out truly is shameful. This Fifa is even more corrupt than the obola administration.

    Obviously Fifa rejoiced when our WNT lost last time and they would love nothing more than to see our dominance in women soccer slide downward. The facts that it’s just so “in your face” obvious that they scheme against the US is appalling to me.

    One day, by the grace of God, the USMNT will find a way to win their crappy bobble of a trophy, and at which time, it’s my hope that we will, before the eyes of the world whom will also be disappointed that we finally won their cup. .. set it at center pitch, encircle it and in tandem urinate all over it, and then walk away with it steaming in the sunlight, never to return to participate in their game again. Bah humbug!

    Reply
    • Please leave your political views off these boards. There are plenty of other sites for you to show off your political POV. Thanks!

      Reply
      • Agni, if you’re referring to “my” specific above posting, then please understand that my description was relevant imho, to describing and correlating the level of corruption I was referencing when discussing Fifa. I’m very sorry if you may not have cared for my adjective phrasing. Please don’t read any more of my bi-line’s in the future since you might not enjoy or appreciate (or would that actually be disagree with) the direct meaning. Sorry to have penetrated what may possibly be your thin skin sir.

      • I agree with Agni. You should leave your personal political feelings out of these posts. They only diminish the credibility of any soccer related things you have to say.

      • @Rich…. errr actually the specific reference was in fact relative to the adjective description intended when associating Fifa corruption and that of .. ok, I’ll just be PC to please and soothe your thin skin Rich, ….. Fifa corruption and that of ‘you know who’..
        Does that do it for ya? or could it have actually been that you in fact do approve of ‘you know who’ .. in which case I’d have a lateral complaint, in regards to the one you stated..

  3. If you are a true number one then it doesnt matter who you play. That being said, I am not very confident in our coach or with the team she will most likely put together

    Reply
  4. Wow! Can’t help thinking FIFA is showing its displeasure with Abby and the girls over the discrimination/turf issue. Despite the tough draw the US is still heads and tails better than the other teams in the group and should advance as group winner.

    Reply
  5. The top 4 third place finishers also advance as well! This is a tough group but the USA will be fine and as the #1 team they will beat all 3! So it is a group of death for the other teams not the USA! That said I think FIFA sucks and is subtly sticking it to the USA because of the field turf lawsuit!

    Reply
    • Sweden is a top team, why in the world are they NOT seeded.

      Pia knows all USWNT’s weakness… and the Matildas are often tough capable of stealing points from the US.

      Reply
      • The reason Sweden is they were the lowest ranked non-champion among the top five. Canada is a one because they host. Japan deserves a won being defending Champions. The only maybe in the group is France as a one seed. You can make good cases for both teams being seeded though.

      • The USA won’t lose to the Matilda’s or Sweden… Jill knows Pia’s tendencies as well as she served as her assistant.

    • The U.S. will play its first group match against Australia on June 8 in Winnipeg. Its second group match will take place on June 12 in Winnipeg against Sweden. In its third and final group match, the U.S. will face Nigeria on June 16 in Vancouver.

      Reply

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