The U.S. women’s national team will begin its quest for a fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup title in Group F.
The World Cup draw was held Saturday at La Seine Musicale, a performing arts center in Paris, and featured an appearance by U.S. star Carli Lloyd, a three-time Olympian. Lloyd made history in 2015 by scoring three goals in the title game.
The top-ranked U.S. will face Thailand, Chile and ninth-ranked Sweden in the preliminary round. The opening match is against first-time World Cup participant Thailand on June 11 in Reims, with Chile following June 16 in Paris and Sweden on June 20 in Le Havre.
Team USA, which went unbeaten in 2018 at 18-0-2, is the defending World Cup champion and a three-time winner overall.
The World Cup begins June 7. The championship game will be played one month later, July 7, in Paris.
The U.S. is one of six top seeds in the tournaments. The others are host France, Group A; Germany, Group B; Austria; Group C; England, Group D; and Canada, Group E.
Sweden and the U.S. are among seven nations that have qualified for every World Cup, and Chile will be making its debut.
France will open the tournament on June 7 in Paris, when it plays South Korea.
The U.S. qualified for the World Cup with its dominating play in the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship. Team USA won all five games, outscoring its opponents by a combined score of 26-0 and defeating Canada in the title game.
Alex Morgan, a two-time Olympian, scored seven goals in the tournament.
Team USA will begin its year in France. The U.S. kicks off its “Countdown to the Cup” schedule on January 19, when it faces France at Stade Oceane in Le Havre, France. The U.S. returns to home soil for final preparations for the World Cup and the final game in the Send-Off Series is May 26, when the Americans face Mexico at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.