FOOTBALL: FIFA Women’s World Cup draw places U.S. in good group

The FIFA Women’s World Cup draw was held in Paris (FRA) on Saturday, with the U.S. ranked no. 1 and obtaining a fairly easy draw in its group:

Group A: France (3), Korea (14), Norway (13), Nigeria (39)
Group B: Germany (2), China (15), Spain (12), South Africa (48)
Group C: Australia (6), Italy (16), Brazil (10), Jamaica (53)
Group D: England (4), Scotland (20), Argentina (36), Japan (8)
Group E: Canada (5), Cameroon (46), New Zealand (19), Netherlands (7)
Group F: United States (1), Thailand (29), Chile (38), Sweden (9)

The tournament starts on 7 June with France hosting Korea in Paris. The U.S. group-play games will be held on:

11 June: U.S. vs. Thailand, in Reims
16 June: U.S. vs. Chile, in Paris
20 June: U.S. vs. Sweden, in La Havre

The bracket shows that the U.S. could play Spain in the Round of 16, France in the quarterfinals and England in the semifinals.

U.S. Soccer has announced a 10-game, pre-World Cup schedule for the U.S. women and the first will be in Le Havre against no. 3 France on 19 January, followed by a match against no. 12 Spain in Alicante on 22 January. The other eight games will all be in the U.S. against opponents including no. 4 England, no. 6 Australia, no. 8 Japan, no. 10 Brazil and no. 48 South Africa, among others.