The draw for women's Olympics soccer took place Thursday. Jill Ellis will lead her squad against New Zealand, France and Colombia in group play as they go for their fourth consecutive (fifth overall) Olympic gold medal.
The U.S. is slated to face New Zealand on August 3, France on August 6 and Colombia on August 9. The top two teams from each group will advance to the quarterfinals along with two third place finishers.
The first match could be of special interest to FC Kansas City fans. It is highly likely that Becky Sauerbrunn will be with the Olympic team and even though she seems to not be in favor with Ellis, it is a possibility that Heather O'Reilly could be as well. Their FC Kansas City teammate Katie Bowen could be on New Zealand's squad.
The U.S. is ranked number 1 in the world, winning a World Cup will do that. France will likely be their toughest opponent, ranked 3rd. New Zealand is 16th and Colombia 24th.
Desiree Scott returned to FC Kansas City this year and she has been a fixture for the Canadian's. They are ranked 10th and have tough competition in group F. Germany is 2nd in the world and Australia 5th. Zimbabwe will most likely struggle as they are not even rated in the top 50.
Group E includes Brazil 8th, China 12th, Sweden 6th, and unranked South Africa.
The quarterfinal matches are August 12 with the semifinals on August 16. The finals are August 19.
2016 Brazil Olympics Groups - Women's Soccer
Group E (Rio de Janeiro, Manaus, Brasilia):
Group F (São Paulo, Salvador, Brasilia):
Group G (Belo Horizonte, Manaus, Salvador):