U.S. Women’s National Team to Face Sweden, New Zealand and Australia in Group G at Delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics

U.S. Will Open Play Against Sweden on July 21 at Tokyo Stadium; Americans Will Face New Zealand on July 24 at Saitama Stadium and Finish Group Play on July 27 against Australia at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium

CHICAGO (April 21, 2021) – The United States will face Sweden, New Zealand and Australia in Group G at the delayed 2020 Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament taking place from July 21-Aug. 7 in six cities and at seven venues throughout Japan. The Olympic Final Draw took place during the early morning Eastern Time at the FIFA Headquarters in Zürich.

 

Sweden is fifth in the current FIFA Women’s World Rankings while Australia is ninth and New Zealand is 22nd. The USA, ranked number one in the world, drew both hosts of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be co-organized by Australia and New Zealand.

 

The U.S. will open Group G play on July 21 – two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremonies – against Sweden (5:30 p.m. local / 4:30 a.m. ET) at Tokyo Stadium. The Americans will play their second match in Saitama – which is just about 18 miles north of Tokyo – when they face New Zealand at Saitama Stadium on July 24 (8:30 p.m. local / 7:30 a.m. ET). The USA will finish group play against Australia on July 27 (5 p.m. local / 4 a.m. ET) at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium in Kashima, which is on the coast of Japan about 70 miles northeast of Tokyo.

 

 

Tokyo Olympics Schedule -- U.S. Women’s National Team

 

Date                Opponent       Venue                                                             Kickoff

July 21            Sweden           Tokyo, Japan (Tokyo Stadium)                      5:30 p.m. local / 4:30 a.m. ET

July 24             New Zealand  Saitama, Japan (Saitama Stadium)               8:30 p.m. local / 7:30 a.m. ET

July 27             Australia          Kashima, Japan (Ibaraki Kashima Stadium) 5 p.m. local / 4 a.m. ET

 


“After waiting an extra year for this Olympics, the draw represents a real milestone in our journey and helps us focus in even more on our preparation and what we need to do to achieve our goals,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “We have great respect for all three of our group opponents and we know this tournament will push us to our limits both mentally and physically, as well as challenge us every game technically and tactically, so we will do everything we can in the next three months to prepare for success.”

 

The USA’s draw pits the Americans against teams it has faced before at the Olympics. The USA faced Sweden in 2016 in Brazil and 1996 in the USA, New Zealand in 2012 in England and in 2008 in China, and Australia in 2004 in Greece.  

 

It also pits the USA against two former U.S. Women’s National Team coaches. Tony Gustavsson, who is now the head coach of Australia, was an assistant under fellow Swede Pia Sundhage, helping the USA win the 2012 Olympics, and then under Jill Ellis, helping the USA win the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups. Tom Sermanni, the long-time head coach of Australia who now is head coach of New Zealand, was the USA’s head coach from January 2013 to April 2014.

 

The draw also gives the USA an opening match against Sweden, the team that knocked it out of the 2016 Olympics on penalty kicks in the quarterfinal round, which was the USA’s earliest exit in a world championship. The USA played Sweden just under two weeks ago, a 1-1 draw in Stockholm on April 10.

 

 

Said Andonovski on Sweden:

 

“Sweden is obviously fresh in our minds coming off the match in Stockholm, but we of course already knew how talented they are, how athletic they are and how dedicated they are to their tactics. The USA and Sweden have a long history of meeting in world championships, and this will surely be another great match to open the tournament.”

 

In 2016, the USA opened group play in the Olympics against New Zealand, winning 2-0 on goals from Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd. The USA most recently played New Zealand in the lead-up to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, winning 5-0 on May 16, 2019 in St. Louis.

 

 

Said Andonovski on New Zealand:

 

“One thing we know New Zealand brings every time we play them is tremendous heart. They also have some very experienced players who have played in multiple world championships and in top leagues, so they won’t be intimidated by the moment. We also know that they will be organized in the back and not afraid to get forward, so playing New Zealand always brings challenges.”

 

The USA is 1-1-1 against Australia in the last three meetings between the teams but won 5-3 in the most recent match on April 4, 2019 in Commerce City, Colorado, which was also a World Cup preparation game.

 

 

Said Andonovski on Australia:

 

“When Australia is playing well, they can be one of the world’s best teams. We all know they have as much attacking talent as any team in the Olympics and that always makes USA-Australia games very entertaining for the fans and guaranteed to stretch us physically.”

 

Prior to the Final Draw, the USA, currently ranked first in the FIFA Women’s World rankings and the reigning Women’s World Cup champions, were seeded in Pot 1 along with third-ranked Netherlands and host Japan. Japan was placed into Group E and will play its first two matches at the Sapporo Dome in Sapporo before finishing group play in Miyagi. The Netherlands and the United States were then drawn in Groups F and G, respectively. The USA was also in Group G at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

 

Drawn into Group E with Japan were Canada, Great Britain and Chile. Group F will consist of the Netherlands, Brazil, China PR and Zambia.

 

Sweden qualified for this Olympics by finishing third, and second among European teams, at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup where the top three finishers from Europe qualified for Tokyo. New Zealand qualified by winning the 2018 OFC Women’s Nations Cup in dominating fashion. Australia qualified by winning Group B during the third and final round of Asia Football Confederation Qualifying, then defeating Group A runner-up Vietnam 7-1 on aggregate in the playoff series.

 

The Olympic Women’s Football Tournament features 12 teams, with the top two finishers in each group advancing to the quarterfinals along with the two best third-place teams. Should the U.S. advance to the second round by winning the group, it would meet a third-place team from Group E or F. If the USA finishes second in the group, it would face the first-place team from Group F. A third-place finish could mean a possible meeting with the first-place team from Group E.

 

Seven teams return from the 2016 Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament in the USA, Brazil, China PR, Sweden, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The Netherlands, Zambia and Chile make their first Olympic appearances while Great Britain will appear in first Olympic Tournament since 2012. Japan, the 2012 silver medal winner, returns after missing out on Rio 2016.

 

The U.S. Women’s National Team has played seven matches in Japan during its history, six against Japan and one against Brazil, winning six and tying one. Three of those matches took place 1998, in Tokyo, Kobe and Yokohama, two in 2006 in Kumamoto and Osaka, and two in 2012, in Sendai and Chiba.

 

 

2020 Tokyo Olympics Groups - Women’s Soccer

 

Group E (Sapporo, Miyagi, Kashima):

E1: Japan

E2: Canada

E3: Great Britain

E4: Chile

 

Group F (Miyagi, Yokohama, Saitama):

F1: China PR

F2: Brazil

F3: Zambia

F4: The Netherlands

 

Group G (Tokyo, Saitama, Miyagi, Kashima):

F1: Sweden

F2: USA

F3: Australia

F4: New Zealand

 

– U.S. All-Time Record vs. Group G Olympic Opponents –

 

Team

GP

W

L

D

GF

GA

Sweden

41

23

6

12

72

36

New Zealand

17

15

1

1

62

6

Australia

30

26

1

3

101

27

Total

88

64

8

16

235

68

 

 

U.S. Women’s National Team

Tokyo Olympics Opponent Capsules

 

 

SWEDEN

 

Current FIFA World Ranking: 5

FIFA Country Code: SWE

2020 Olympic Qualifying: Finished third at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and second among European teams (Top three European teams qualified for Tokyo 2020)

Olympic Games Appearances: 6 – 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016

Best Olympic Finish: Silver Medal (2016)

Overall Record in Olympics: 7-12-6 (GF: 24, GA: 32)

Record vs. USA: 6-23-12

Last Meeting vs. USA: April 10, 2021, in Stockholm Sweden (1-1 Draw)

Coach: Peter Gerhardsson (Sweden)

Championship Honors: European Champions (1984), European Runners-Up (1987, 1995, 2001); Women’s World Cup Runners-Up (2003); Women’s World Cup Third Place (2019)

Leading Olympic Qualifying Scorers (from 2019 Women’s World Cup): F Stina Blackstenius (2 goals), F Sofia Jakobsson (2), F Lina Hurtig (1), F Madelen Janogy (1), F Fridolina Rolfo (1), D Elin Rubensson (1), D Linda Sembrant (1)  

Other Key Players: G Hedvig Lindahl, D Magdalena Eriksson, D Nilla Fischer, D Hanna Glas, M Kosovare Asllani, M Caroline Seger, F Olivia Schough  

Language: Swedish 

 

FAST FACTS: Sweden is ranked fifth in the world, but is perhaps playing the best soccer of any of the European powers and tied the USA 1-1 on April 10 in Stockholm … Sweden was the team that knocked the USA out of the 2016 Olympics in penalty kicks … Despite getting out-shot 27-6 during regulation in the Quarterfinal in Brasilia, Sweden played a tactically savvy and aggressive match, earning a 1-1 tie in regulation before holding the USA at bay in overtime and then prevailing 4-3 in PKs … Sweden also won its semifinal against Brazil in penalty kicks (4-3 again) and then fell to Germany in the gold medal game (2-1) … Sweden head coach Peter Gerhardsson led his squad to a third-place finish at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup … Sweden finished second behind the USA in Group F, losing 2-0 to the Americans while beating Chile 2-0 and Thailand 5-1, then downed Canada (1-0) and Germany (2-1) in the knockout rounds before falling to the Netherland (1-0) in the semifinal … Sweden then defeated England (2-1) to take third place, its highest World Cup finish since losing to Germany in the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final on a golden goal … Sweden has faced the USA in six Women’s World Cup tournaments, including the last five, but has played the USA only twice in the Olympics, a 2-1 loss in group play in 1996 and the penalty kick triumph in the 2016 quarterfinal round … Sweden has some of Europe’s and world’s best attacking players in Stina Blackstenius (16 career international goals) who scored against the USA at the 2016 Olympics, Sofia Jakobsson (23 career goals), Fridolina Rolfo (14 career goals), Lina Hurtig (12 career goals), who scored against the USA on April 10 of this year, and Kosovare Asllani (38 career goals) … Sweden has never failed to advance out of the first round of a Women’s World Cup … Sweden’s six all-time wins against the USA are third-most by any country, behind Norway and China, and its 36 all-time goals against the USA are also third-most, behind the same two countries.

 

 

NEW ZEALAND

 

Current FIFA World Ranking: 22
FIFA Country Code: NZL
2020 Olympic Qualifying: New Zealand won the 2018 OFC Women’s Nations Cup (5-0-0, 43 GF, 0 GA), which served as the confederation’s qualification for both the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2020 Women’s Olympic Tournament
Olympic Games Appearances: 3 – 2008, 2012, 2016
Best Olympic Finish: Quarterfinals (2012)
Overall Record at Olympics: 2-7-1 (GF: 6, GA: 17)
Record vs. USA: 1-15-1
Last Meeting vs. USA: May 16, 2019, in St. Louis, Mo. (5-0 U.S. Win)
Coach: Tom Sermanni (Scotland)
Championship Honors: Six-time OFC Women’s Nations Cup champions (1983, 1991, 2007, 2010, 2014, 2018)
Leading Olympic Qualifying Scorers (at 2018 OFC Women’s Nations Cup): F Sarah Gregorius (8 goals), M Emma Rolston (6), F Rosie White (6), M Betsy Hassett (5), M Annalie Longo (5)
Other Key Players: G Erin Nayler, D Abby Erceg, D Ria Pervical, D Ali Riley, M Katie Bowen, F Hannah Wilkinson
Language: English

FAST FACTS: New Zealand will be making its fourth consecutive appearance at the Olympics, having qualified for every Olympic Games since its debut in 2008…This also marks the fourth consecutive Olympics in which the Football Ferns will face the United States ... The Football Ferns’ best showing at the Olympics came in 2012 when they reached the quarterfinal round, before falling to the USA 2-0… New Zealand and the USA met in the opening group stage match at the 2016 Olympics, a 2-0 win for the USA behind first half goals from Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan … New Zealand qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Games after winning the 2018 OFC Women’s Nations Cup in New Caledonia, which also served as Oceania’s qualification tournament for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup … New Zealand outscored the opposition 43-0 during the course of the OFC Women’s Nations Cup, winning its fourth consecutive title … In 2019, New Zealand made its fourth consecutive World Cup appearance, but went winless in Group E … The Football Ferns have qualified for every world championship beginning with the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and already have a secured  place in the 2023 World Cup, automatically qualifying as a co-host along with Australia … Head coach Tom Sermanni is in his fourth year with the Football Ferns, after being hired in October of 2018 … Sermanni coached the USWNT from January 2013 to April 2014, amassing a record of 18-2-4 ... Forward Sarah Gregorius led the Football Ferns with eight goals in qualification, but announced her retirement from international football in March of 2020.

 

 

AUSTRALIA

 

Current FIFA World Ranking: 9

FIFA Country Code: AUS

2020 Olympic qualifying: Australia won Group B during the third and final round of Asia Football Confederation Qualifying, then defeated Group A runner-up Vietnam 7-1 on aggregate in the playoff series

Olympic Games appearances: 3 – 2000 (host), 2004, 2016

Best Olympic Finish: Quarterfinals (2004, 2016)

Overall Record in Olympic Matches: 2-5-4 (GF: 13, GA: 15)

Record vs. USA: 1-26-3

Last Meeting vs. USA: April 4, 2019 in Commerce City, Colorado (5-3 U.S. Win)

Coach: Tony Gustavsson (Sweden)

Championship Honors: OFC Women’s Nations Cup Champions (1994, 1998, 2003); AFF Women’s Championship Champions (2008); AFC Women’s Asian Cup Champions (2010)

Leading Olympic Qualifying Scorers: M Emily van Egmond (5 goals), F Sam Kerr (4), D Caitlin Foord (3), F Hayley Raso (3), F Kyah Simon (2), M Steph Catley (1), M Katina Gorry (1), F Chloe Logarzo (1), M Clare Polkinghorne (1)  

Other Key Players: G Lydia Williams, D Alana Kennedy, D Ellie Carpenter, M Elise Kellond-Knight, F Lisa De Vanna

Language: English

 

FAST FACTS: Australia, which has been playing women’s international soccer as long as all but the earliest pioneering European teams, has of late evolved into one of the world’s top teams and currently has players playing in leagues all over the world … The USA and Australia have been playing since 1987, but Australia beat the USA for the first time on June 27, 2018, a 1-0 victory in Seattle, Washington … The teams tied 1-1 on June 29, 2018 in East Harford, Conn., but the USA picked up a rousing win in the most recent meeting, a 5-3 triumph on April 4, 2019 … Due to the competitiveness of the most recent meetings, the USA-Australia rivalry has become one of the most exciting in international women’s soccer … Australia boasts one of the world’s top strikers in Sam Kerr, who is the all-time leading scorer in the NWSL even though she transferred to Chelsea FC for the latest WSL season, and is now one of the top scorers in England’s top division … Almost all of Australia’s top players have at one time or another played in the NWSL, but only one is playing this season, Chloe Logarzo for Kansas City … Australia moved to the Asian Football Confederation from the Oceania Football Confederation on January 1, 2006, and the move – and higher level of competition – has been a positive development for the Matildas … Australia’s new head coach is Tony Gustavsson, who was the assistant coach for the USA under Pia Sundhage in 2012 and under Jill Ellis from 2014-2019, helping the USA win the Olympic gold medal in London and Women’s World Cup titles in 2015 and 2019 … Australia took a knock on the chin in the most recent FIFA window, losing 5-2 to Germany and 5-0 to the Netherlands in the first matches under Gustavsson, but was playing without several key players.

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