The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team will face Germany, Brazil and China PR in Group B at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, taking place at four venues in Canada from Aug. 5-24. The Final Draw took place in Montreal.
The U.S. plays its first two Group B matches at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, opening its tournament on Aug. 5 against Germany in a rematch of the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup Final, before facing Brazil on Aug. 8. The USA will finish group play on Aug. 12 against China PR at Moncton Stadium in Moncton, which is located in the province of New Brunswick on the far eastern side of the country.
“Looking ahead to the draw, we knew that no matter the results, we would be in a tough group,” said U.S. U-20 head coach Michelle French. “Once you reach the World Cup, it would be naive to think that any team in the tournament would not pose their own set of challenges for us. We have a great deal of respect for the teams in our group and fully expect each opponent to be excellent both technically and tactically, as well as extremely organized and competitive.”
The USA has a rich history with Germany in this tournament as the countries have combined to win it five times – twice by Germany and three times for the U.S. The USA was placed with two of the same teams it faced in group play during the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan, where the U.S. tied China 1-1 and lost to Germany 3-0. The USA went on to defeat Korea DPR 2-1 in overtime in the quarterfinal, beat Nigeria 2-0 in the semifinal and then took down Germany by a 1-0 score in the World Cup Final in Tokyo.
“By the time we set foot in Canada in August, we want to ensure the players are armed with any and all information, on and off the field, that will help them feel prepared and confident no matter the situation and no matter the opponent,” said French.
While Brazil has qualified for every edition of this tournament, this will mark the first time the USA and Brazil will meet in group play. The countries clashed in the third-place games of both the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand (3-0 U.S. win) and the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia (0-0 draw with the USA falling 6-5 in PKs).
“The challenges and successes we have experienced over the past year were important moments for this group to remember and draw upon as we continue to prepare for the World Cup,” said French. “We’re looking forward to our final camps, particularly now that we know our group opponents.”
Host Canada, the CONCACAF champion USA, Asian champion Korea Republic and European champion France were seeded into the groups. Canada, which was placed into Group A, drew Ghana, Finland and Korea DPR. Canada will open the tournament against Ghana at the National Stadium in Toronto. Group C features England, Korea Republic, Mexico and Nigeria. Group D features New Zealand, Paraguay, France and Costa Rica.
The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup features 16 teams, with the top two finishers in each group advancing to the quarterfinals. Should the U.S. advance to the second round by winning the group, it would meet a second-place team from Group A. If the USA advances by finishing second in the group, it would face the first-place team from Group B.
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