[WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] The United States will face North Korea, first-time finalist Colombia and Sweden, in that order, in Group C at the Women's World Cup in Germany. For the complete draw ...
Group A:Germany, Canada, Nigeria, France.
Group B:Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, England.
Group C:USA, North Korea, Colombia, Sweden.
Group D:Brazil, Australia, Equatorial Guinea, Norway.
The Americans open June 28 against North Korea in Dresden, then face Colombia July 2 in Sinsheim and Sweden July 6 in Wolfsburg.
“This is the best thing that could have happened," said U.S. coach Pia Sundhage. "It’s a tough group and that’s exactly what we need. Coming off qualifying and playing in the playoff, knowing who we’re playing and going forward is the best thing that could happen. We’ll have the chance to play against different opponents and we’ll have to adjust our tactics and that’s fun. It will be easy as we go from one game to another to focus on different things because we’re playing against different cultures.”
The draw has Sundhage going up her native country of Sweden, whose national team she captained during a playing career of 146 games and 71 goals. She coached Swedish youth national teams in 1990-2001.
"Honestly, it’s a game," she said. "It’s two 45 minute halves. There will be some weird questions before the game and after the game, but otherwise just play the game."
Said midfielder Heather O'Reilly, “You can see it on her face every time we’re preparing for Sweden. Obviously she takes that game very personally. I think we’ll be very well prepared for it and have some good insight on their style and a lot of their players."