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The United States drew the toughest group for the Women's World Cup next year in Canada and will face Australia in its opening match on June 8.
In addition to 10th-ranked Australia, the Group D included No. 5 Sweden, led by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, and No. 35 Nigeria, winners of nine African women's championships.
"I think it's going to be a physically challenging group and I certainly think our depth is going to come into play for us again," U.S. coach Jill Ellis said. "We've played Sweden and Australia many times and I know we've played Nigeria in the World Cup, but they're all presenting slightly different challenges."
The top-ranked U.S. women are making their seventh World Cup appearance. The United States won the inaugural tournament in 1991 and added their second title in 1999. The team was runner-up in 2011 Germany, falling to champion Japan on a penalty shoot-out after a draw in regulation.
The World Cup, which features and expanded field of 24 teams, will be played in six Canadian cities from June 6 through July 5. The field includes eight teams that are making their World Cup debuts.
After the opener against the Matildas in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the United States faces Sweden on June 12 before traveling to Vancouver, British Columbia, to compete against Nigeria on June 16 to wrap up group play.
"As far as playing Pia - we had a giggle about it this morning that we would be in the same group and it turned out to be prophetic," Ellis said.
Host Canada, along with the United States, Germany, defending champion Japan, Brazil and France, were seeded and all placed in separate groups so as not to meet in the initial stage.
The eighth-ranked Canadians topped Group A and will face No. 14 China in their opening match on June 6 in Edmonton, Alberta. The group includes No. 19 New Zealand and No. 15 Netherlands, playing in its first World Cup.
Second-ranked Germany, which won the World Cup in 2003 and 2007, was in Group B and will face Ivory Coast in its first match on June 7 in Ottawa, Ontario. Ninth-ranked Norway and Thailand round out the group.
Japan leads Group C, which will open against Switzerland in Vancouver on June 6. Cameroon and Ecuador, both playing in their first World Cup competition, were also in the group.
Sixth-ranked Brazil and veteran Marta, seeking a first World Cup title, join South Korea, Spain and Costa Rica in Group E. The Brazilians meet South Korea in the opening match on June 6 in Montreal.
The final group was led by No. 4 France, playing in its third World Cup, along with No. 7 England, Columbia and Mexico, with an intriguing opener between England and France in Moncton, New Brunswick, on June 9.
The draw was held Saturday at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec.
The U.S. women team was in Brazil on Friday for the International Tournament of Brasilia, a four-team competition at the National Stadium Mane Garrincha.
The Americans will face China on Dec. 10, Brazil four days later and Argentina on Dec. 17. The championship and third-place game will be Dec. 21.
The Women's World Cup will include 52 overall matches. The decision to play it artificial turf continues to hang over the event.
At a news conference held in advance of the draw, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke was adamant that the event would go on as planned, dismissing claims by a group of players who say that being forced to play on an artificial surface amounts to gender discrimination.
Valcke said FIFA is advancing the Women's World Cup with increased prize money - to $15 million - and the use of goal-line technology, which was used in the men's World Cup last summer in Brazil.
A group of players, including U.S. forward Abby Wambach and German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, has brought a discrimination claim against FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. There is no timetable for a decision.
The players say that artificial turf can cause injuries and changes the way the game is played because it can affect ball movement. But they also claim that playing on fake grass amounts to discrimination because their male counterparts would never play a World Cup on artificial turf.
FIFA and the CSA both maintain the artificial turf that will be used is FIFA-approved for top international competitions. Canada has stipulated all along that it planned to play the tournament matches on turf.