ATLANTA – The US and Canadian women’s national teams learned their group-stage assignments for the 2019 Women’s World Cup on Saturday as FIFA held their draw for next summer’s tournament in France.
The USWNT were drawn into Group F, where they will face off against familiar adversaries Sweden for the fifth consecutive World Cup, and also meet Thailand and Chile. While the latter two opponents are relative minnows in the women’s game, Sweden will be a grudge match for the reigning WWC champions, who were memorably upset by the Nordic side in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympic soccer tournament in Brazil.
“I’m excited to play Sweden," said USWNT veteran and Georgia native Kelley O’Hara, who watched the draw from the official 2018 MLS Cup hotel and spoke to media afterwards. "They obviously knocked us out of the 2016 Olympics, so I think there’s going to need to be a little bit of redemption there. I think that’s going to be a really good game to just evaluate us for the rest of the tournament.
“We have a great rivalry, I would say, with Sweden, and they’re always a really difficult opponent.”
Bring on the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 8, 2018
The USWNT draws Sweden, Thailand and Chile in the group stage! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/tJNwaPIq4h
The US will open their hunt for a fourth WWC title against Thailand at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims on June 11, then face Chile at Paris' iconic Parc des Princes on June 16. Sweden-US takes place on June 16 at Stade Oceane in Le Havre. (Read full group and schedule info on FIFA.com.)
The CanWNT were drawn out of the same Pot 1 (composed of the tournament’s top teams based on the FIFA World Rankings) as the USWNT. But with Cameroon, New Zealand and reigning European champs the Netherlands, they will face a dicier lineup of adversaries in Group E.
Les Rouges open against Cameroon at Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier on June 10, then face New Zealand at Grenoble's Stade des Alpes on June 15 before rounding out group play against the Dutch in Reims on June 20.
The top two finishers in each group will advance to the knockout phase, as will the four top third-place finishers, with the next WWC champion to be crowned at the cup final on July 7 in Lyon.