The U.S. women’s national team face Australia, Sweden and New Zealand at this summer’s Olympic Games, while Brazil, the men’s tournament’s gold medalists in 2016, will take on Germany following the group-stage draws on Wednesday.
The USWNT are four-time winners of the women’s tournament and will be the favorites this summer, following the failure of Germany, the reigning champions, to qualify.
Team GB’s women’s side will take on hosts Japan in the group stage, as well as Canada and Chile. On the men’s side, hosts Japan were drawn alongside France, while Spain and Argentina will meet in Group C.
USWNT Olympic draw
|Group E||Group F||Group G|
When are the Olympic soccer tournaments in 2021?
- Start date: July 21
- Women’s final: Aug. 6
The women’s teams, all senior national teams unlike the Under-23 rules for their male counterparts, will kick things off on July 21, with Team GB to face Chile in the opening fixture in Sapporo before Japan take on Canada later that evening.
The men’s tournament begins the next day, as Mexico clash with France in Tokyo, with Japan and South Africa to follow.
The final for the women’s tournament takes place on August 6, in Tokyo, and the men’s gold medal match comes on August 7, in Yokohama.
Who will win Olympic gold?
The United States are firm favorites for the women’s tournament as they pursue a fifth gold medal. The reigning world champions will look to get some revenge as early as the group stage in their bid for that, taking on a Sweden side that knocked them out in the quarter-finals in 2016.
The Netherlands will be strong contenders, having finished as runners-up at the 2019 Women’s World Cup. They face a tough group stage opponent in Brazil, led by the game’s greatest ever player, Marta, and the coach who eliminated the United States five years ago, Pia Sundhage.
Great Britain have made no secret of their desire to win gold this summer, though the England team, likely to make up most of their squad, have had a troubling few months in terms of results.
On the men’s side, Brazil and their incredibly talented youngsters will be strong contenders to retain their gold medal. They have a huge group-stage clash with Germany to test those credentials early on.
Argentina, two-time winners and two-time runners-up, have illustrious history at the Olympics too, with Mexico, France and Spain also former champions.