[UNDER-17 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] The USA will face European runner-up France, Gambia and North Korea in Group B at the 2012 Under-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan.
The tournament will held Sept. 22-Oct. 13 at six venues. Five are in Baku with one stadium located about 175 miles south in Lankara, where the Americans will open against France.
The USA, host Azerbaijan, European champion Germany and Asian champion Japan earned seeds.
The USA plays its first Group B match at Lankaran Stadium on Sept. 22 against France before moving to Baku, where it faces Gambia on Sept. 25 at Dalga Arena and North Korea four days later at Bayil Stadium.
"It's very exciting to have the opportunity for the team to play some of the top countries in the world, especially in group play," said U.S. U-17 head coach Albertin Montoya. "I've seen France and North Korea play in the past year and I would put them in the top five in the world. I had the opportunity to watch France in the European U-17 championships and they are very technical and have one of the most special players in the world in their No. 10 [Sandie Toletti]. I thought Korea was the best team in Asian qualifying although they lost to Japan on a last-minute goal. They are typically strong all over the field but also athletic, and they will be dangerous. Honestly, we don't know much about Gambia, but we'll get a chance to see them play over there before our match."
Gambia's Girl Scorpions, who defeated Tunisia (1-0 and 2-1) for their berth to Azerbaijan, will be making their first appearance in a FIFA Women's World Cup.