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U.S. U20 WNT learns World Cup group draw

Article Written by U.S. Soccer
Published: March 8, 2018

The U.S. U-20 Women's National Team will face Japan, Paraguay and Spain in Group C at the upcoming 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup, taking place from Aug. 5-24 in four venues in the Brittany region of France. The draw took place today at the Rennes Opera House in Rennes, the capital of Brittany.

The U.S. opens the tournament on Monday, Aug. 6 against Japan at 1:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. local), faces Paraguay on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 1:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. local) and finishes the group against Spain on Monday, Aug. 13 at 7:30 a.m. ET (1:30 p.m.) local. The USA will play its first two group games at Stade Guy-Piriou in Concarneau and its third group game at Stade du Clos Gastel in Dinan Léhon.

"It's great that we now can really focus in on our opposition," U-20 WNT head coach Jitka Klimkova said. "All three teams in our group present unique challenges and all 16 teams that qualified for the World Cup are quality. I'm excited about the opportunity to compete in a group that will test our players to find ways to win."

The USA was drawn out of Pot 2, which also included Nigeria, Mexico and New Zealand. Teams were sorted into pots based on ranking determined by success in the last five U-20 Women's World Cups and in the Confederation championships. Host France, Germany, Korea DPR and Japan were in Pot 1.

The 2018 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup features 16 nations divided into four groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the quarterfinal stage to be held on Thursday, Aug. 16 and Friday, Aug. 17. The winners of those games will advance to the tournament semifinals on Monday, Aug. 20, at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes. The championship and third-place matches are also at Stade de la Rabine on Aug. 24.

If the USA advances to the quarterfinals, it would face a team from Group D that features Haiti, China PR, Nigeria or Germany. Haiti upset Canada in the Third-Place game of CONCACAF qualifying tournament to earn its first-ever World Cup berth.

This tournament will be the ninth FIFA Women's World Cup for this age level (the first two events were held as U-19 events). The USA won U-20 World Cups in 2002 in Canada, 2008 in Chile and 2012 in Japan and have finished third twice. Led by current U.S. WNT National Team player Mallory Pugh, the USA finished fourth in Papua New Guinea in 2016.

The USA earned its berth to the World Cup by winning its semifinal match of the CONCACAF Qualifying tournament against host Haiti last January, but fell to Mexico in penalty kicks in the championship game.

Japan defeated the USA in the third-place match of the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Papua New Guinea. The Japanese qualified as victors of the 2017 AFC U-19 Women's Championship, their fifth confederation title. Paraguay has qualified for the World Cup for just the second time, finishing second to Brazil at the 2018 South American Under-20 Women's Football Championship. Spain is the reigning European champion after winning the 2017 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship.

The USA played Japan in the 2016 U-20 Women's World Cup, falling 1-0 in the Third-Place match.

The 16-team field for the tournament is a strong one, featuring Mexico, the USA, Haiti, host France, England, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Ghana, Nigeria, Brazil, Paraguay, China PR, Japan, Korea PRK and New Zealand. Germany has won the tournament three times (2004, 2010, 2014) while Korea DPR has won it twice, in 2006 and most recently in 2016.

Broadcast information for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup will be released at a later date.

2018 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup

Group C Schedule - USA

Date

Match

Kickoff (local time / eastern time)

Venue

Aug. 6

USA vs. Japan

7:30 p.m. / 1:30 p.m.

Stade Guy-Piriou; Concarneau, France

Aug. 9

USA vs. Paraguay

7:30 p.m. / 1:30 p.m.

Stade Guy-Piriou; Concarneau, France

Aug. 13

USA vs. Spain

1:30 p.m. / 7:30 a.m. ET

Stade du Clos Gastel; Dinan-Léhon, France

2018 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Groups

Group A
France
Ghana
New Zealand
Netherlands

Group B
Korea DPR
England
Mexico
Brazil

Group C
USA
Japan
Paraguay
Spain

Group D
Haiti
China PR
Nigeria
Germany

Related Topics: Youth National Teams
 
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