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U.S. soccer women to open their Olympic play in match with France

April 24, 2012|Kevin Baxter
  • U.S. players celebrate their victory over Canada during a qualification match for the Women's U20 Soccer World Cup in March.
U.S. players celebrate their victory over Canada during a qualification… (Alejandro Bolivar / EPA )

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The U.S. women's soccer team, top-ranked in the world, was drawn into Group G for this summer's Olympic Games, where it has been matched with 2011 World Cup qualifiers France, Colombia and North Korea.

The U.S. will begin play July 25 -- two days before the Games officially open -- against France at Hampden Park, Scotland's national stadium in Glasgow. The U.S. will play Colombia in its second match in Glasgow on July 28 before finishing group play against North Korea on July 31 at Old Trafford in Manchester, the home of Manchester United.

France is ranked sixth in the most recent FIFA ratings, two spots ahead of North Korea. Colombia is 28th.

The draw, held Tuesday at London's Wembley Stadium, saw the host country draw New Zealand, Cameroon and Brazil into its group while World Cup winner Japan is matched with Canada, Sweden and South Africa.

The 12-team tournament will be played at six venues throughout Great Britain, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the second round along with the top two third-place teams. The U.S. has won three of the four Olympic soccer tournaments, finishing second in 2000.

"Once again we will be facing teams with different playing styles, and that is a challenge our team enjoys," U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said. "When the draw happens it energizes our players and brings even more of a focus to our team. We also have the chance to start scouting and preparing for what will be an entertaining and extremely competitive first round."  

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U.S. women to open Olympic soccer play with France

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