The last time the United States women’s soccer team took the field in an international tournament, the Red White and Blue cruised to the CONCACAF championship, dismantling Costa Rica 6-0 to win its seventh title.
Things are bound to get a whole lot harder when Team USA takes the field next summer in the World Cup — especially given the tough draw the United States was given when the tournament’s groups were announced Saturday.
The United States, seeking its first World Cup title since its storybook run in 1999, is paired with Sweden, Australia and Nigeria in Group D: A group people are already calling the “Group of Death.”
Sweden and Australia both advanced to the knockout round in 2011 in Germany, and Sweden won Group C, which included the United States.
Team USA advanced to the final in 2011 but lost to Japan in penalty kicks after finishing regulation tied at 2. The Americans finished third in both 2003 and 2007.
Team USA opens World Cup play Monday, June 8 against Australia, then plays Sweden on June 12 and Nigeria on June 16.