November 29, 2010

Women's World Cup: US Gets Tough Draw in Group C

FIFA had the drawing for the 2011 Women's World Cup and they did the US no favors. The United States will be joined by Sweden, Korea DPR, and Colombia in Group C. This is the third consecutive time that Sweden and Korea DPR have been in the same group as the United States. North Korea was in the same group as the US in 1999, 2003, and 2007.

Sweden was the highest ranked team (#4) not to be seeded in the tournament. Many thought they should have been the fourth seeded team instead of Japan. Korea DPR is ranked sixth in the world and was the highest ranked Asian team that was not seeded. Colombia is ranked 32nd and was the second CONMEBOL team to qualify, behind Brazil.

The host team and two time defending champion, Germany, also got a tough draw. Joining them in Group A will be France, Canada, and Nigeria. France, ranked 8th in the world, features WPS stars Camille Abily and Sonia Bompastor. Canada is now ranked 9th after winning the CONCACAF tournament, while Nigeria has consistently been the top team from Africa.

Perhaps the weakest group is Group B, in which Japan was the seeded team. They are joined by the other CONCACAF qualifier, Mexico, as well as England and New Zealand. Brazil, runners-up in the last World Cup, is joined by Norway, Australia, and Equatorial Guinea in Group D.

Germany will face Canada in the opening match on June 26, 2011.

The United States will face Korea DPR on June 28, Colombia on July 2, and Sweden on July 6.

Groups with current FIFA rankings:

Group A: Germany (2), France (8), Canada (9), Nigeria (27)
Group B: Japan (5), England (10), Mexico (22), New Zealand (23)
Group C: USA (1), Sweden (4), Korea DPR (6), Colombia (32)
Group D: Brazil (3), Norway (7), Australia (12), Equatorial Guinea (62)