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Global Dec 06, 2014

U.S. Women’s National Team to face Australia, Sweden, Nigeria in Group D at 2015 World Cup

OTTAWA, Canada (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Australia, Nigeria and Sweden in Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, taking place from June 6-July 5 in Canada. The Final Draw took place today at the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa.

The U.S. will open Group D play against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium. The USA then faces Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg, followed by Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver.

“It’s a good group to get us ready to play,” said U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis. “Physically, it’s a demanding group, but we’ve got a lot of depth on our roster and we’ll be able to manage against some good teams with some good challenges. It’s probably the toughest group. That’s historically been the path the USA has taken, and we’re obviously going to embrace it.

“At the end of the day, you’ve got to play good teams to win it, and at some point you’re going to match up with quality opponents. We’ll be ready. We’ve got about five or six months to get prepared and ready to go.”

The USA, Nigeria and Sweden have competed in every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The U.S. has a combined 46-6-11 record against its three group opponents, holding a 163-54 scoring advantage. The USA is unbeaten against both Australia (22-0-2) and Nigeria (4-0-0). The U.S. has faced Sweden in the past three FIFA Women’s World Cups and was also the USA’s first ever Women’s World Cup opponent when FIFA’s premier women’s competition began with the 1991 event in China.

Six teams were seeded and placed in position 1 for each group: host nation Canada, Germany, defending champion Japan, the USA, Brazil and France.

Group A will consist of Canada, China PR, New Zealand and Netherlands. Group B is made up of No. 2-ranked Germany, Ivory Coast, Norway and Thailand. Group C features Japan, Switzerland, Cameroon and Ecuador. Group E includes Brazil, Korea Republic, Spain and Costa Rica. Group F is headed by France with England, Colombia and Mexico.

USA’s Group D Opponents:
AUSTRALIA (June 8):

  • Current FIFA World Ranking: 10
  • 2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished second in the 2014 AFC Women’s Cup (3-1-1; 9 GF, 5 GA)
  • Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 6 -1995 (12th), 1999 (11th), 2003 (13th), 2007 (7th), 2011 (8th), 2015
  • Record vs. USA: 0-22-2
  • Head Coach: Alen Stajcic
  • Championship Honors: Oceania Champions (1995, 1998, 2003. Note: Australia moved to the AFC on Jan. 1, 2006); Asian Football Confederation Champions (2010)
  • Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Katrina Gorry (3), Kate Gill (2)
  • Key Players: Lisa De Vanna (Washington Spirit), Caitlin Foord (Sky Blue FC), Katrina Gorry (FC Kansas City), Kate Gill (Perth Glory)
  • Fast Facts: With five Asian berths up for grabs, Australia comfortably won through to Canada by virtue of a runners-up finish at the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup … The team had endured a tumultuous preparation with Alen Stajcic filling the coaching role on an interim basis following the sudden departure of Hesterine De Reus just prior to the qualifying tournament in Vietnam … Australia saw off Jordan and Vietnam, as well as drawing 2-2 with Japan in the group stage, before defeating Korea Republic 2-1 in the semifinals .. The Matildas came within a whisker of retaining their Asian crown only to fall 1-0 against world champions Japan in the final … The current team defy the traditional stereotype of Australian teams and a pacy youthful side boasts a host of talented ball-players including experienced forwards Lisa De Vanna and Kate Gill

SWEDEN (June 12):

  • Current FIFA World Ranking: 5
  • 2014 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished 1st in UEFA Group 4 (10-0-0); 32 GF, 1 GA
  • Women’s World Cup Finals Appearance: 7 – 1991 (3rd), 1995 (5th), 1999 (6th), 2003 (2nd), 2007 (10th), 2011 (3rd), 2015
  • Record vs. USA: 6-20-9
  • Head Coach: Pia Sundhage
  • Championship Honors: UEFA Women’s Championship (1984)
  • Leading World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Lotta Schelin (12)
  • Key Players: Nilla Fischer (Wolfsburg), Lotta Schelin (Lyon), Caroline Seger (PSG), Therese Sjögran (FC Rosengard), Kosovare Asllani (PSG)
  • Fast Facts: Former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage is the head coach of her native Sweden … Canada 2015 will be Sweden’s seventh appearance at the Women’s World Cup, maintaining their perfect record of qualifying … Lost to Germany in the Final in 2003 on a golden goal … Sundhage is highly decorated (two gold medals and FIFA World Coach of the Year Awards while with the USA) but has never coached a team to the World Cup title, finishing second with the USA in 2011

NIGERIA (June 16):

  • Current FIFA World Ranking: 35
  • 2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished 1st in 2014 African Women’s Championship (16 GF, 3 GA)
  • Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 7 – 1991 (10th), 1995 (11th), 1999 (7th), 2003 (16th), 2007 (12th), 2011 (9th), 2015
  • Record vs. USA: 0-4-0
  • Head Coach: Edwin Okon
  • Championship Honors: African Women’s Championship (1991, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014)
  • Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Desire Oparanozie (5)
  • Key Players: Desire Oparanozie (Guingamp), Azizat Oshoala (Rivers Angels)
  • Fast Facts: Nigeria is the dominant women’s side of Africa and has qualified for the Women’s World Cup every year it’s been held … The Super Falcons are also the most decorated side of the African Women’s Championship, which they’ve won seven times … Nigeria’s best World Cup performance was in 1999 when they were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Brazil after finishing second in their group and seventh overall

2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Groups
Group A (Edmonton, Montreal, Winnipeg):
Canada
China PR
New Zealand
Netherlands

Group B (Ottawa, Winnipeg, Moncton): 
Germany
Ivory Coast
Norway
Thailand

Group C (Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton): 
Japan
Switzerland
Cameroon
Ecuador

Group D (Winnipeg, Vancouver, Edmonton): 
USA
Australia
Sweden
Nigeria

Group E (Montreal, Moncton, Ottawa):
Brazil
Korea Republic
Spain
Costa Rica

Group F (Moncton, Ottawa, Montreal):
France
England
Colombia
Mexico

– U.S. All-Time Record vs. Group D World Cup Opponents –

GP W L T GF GA
Australia 24 22 0 2 83 20
Nigeria 4 4 0 0 16 2
Sweden 35 20 6 9 64 32
Total 63 46 6 11 163 54

– U.S. 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Schedule –

Date Opponent Venue Kickoff
June 8 Australia Winnipeg Stadium TBD
June 12 Sweden Winnipeg Stadium TBD
June 16 Nigeria BC Place; Vancouver TBD

2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup notes:

  • The USA is making its seventh appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup and is one of seven countries to appear in all seven editions of the tournament, the others being Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Norway and Sweden.
  • The U.S. WNT is one of four CONCACAF representatives at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup after winning the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. The runner-up of that qualifying tournament, Costa Rica, is also on hand, as well as third-place finisher Mexico and World Cup host Canada.
  • The U.S. is the only country to have reached semifinals of every FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA won in 1991 and 1999.
  • Despite winning four of the six previous tournaments (two each), the USA and Germany have never met in a FIFA Women’s World Cup final.
  • The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup features six venues: Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Moncton Stadium in Moncton, Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Frank Clair Stadium in Ottawa, BC Place Stadium in Vancouver and Winnipeg Stadium in Winnipeg. Nine matches, including the semifinal, will be played at Olympic Stadium.
  • The 90,185 spectators on hand at the Rose Bowl for the USA’s victory against China PR in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup represent the largest attendance in the tournament’s history. The largest venue at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup is Olympic Stadium, which seats 66,308.
  • Abby Wambach’s 13 goals in FIFA Women’s World Cup competition rank third all-time. She trails only Brazil’s Marta and Germany’s Birgit Prinz who have 14 goals apiece.
  • The U.S. WNT is 27-5-4 all-time in the Women’s World Cup, outscoring its opponents 98-32 in 36 games. The 27 wins, 36 games played and 98 goals scored are all FIFA Women’s World Cup records.
  • The USA’s most lopsided victory in the tournament was a 7-0 win against Chinese Taipei in 1991.
  • Michelle Akers’ five goals against Chinese Taipei are the most in a single match in tournament history.
  • The U.S. holds two other individual records with Kristine Lilly playing a record 30 games in five World Cups and goalkeeper Briana Scurry earning a record 10 shutouts.
  • The USA officially clinched a spot in this year’s World Cup with a 3-0 semifinal victory against Mexico on Oct. 24 in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. The USA capped off qualifying with a 6-0 win against Costa Rica in the title game on Oct. 26, led by four goals from Wambach.

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