The group stage for this summer's Olympic men's and women's soccer competition is set after FIFA conducted the official draw of teams in Zurich Wednesday.
The 12 women's teams and 16 men's teams were randomly sorted into groups of four. Each country will play the other three teams in its group in the preliminary round of the tournament.
Attention immediately converged on Group G of the women's competition, which contains the United States, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand. In the Rio 2016 quarterfinal round, Sweden handed the U.S. its earliest exit at any major competition ever. The two nations also squared off in the group stage of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, which resulted in a 2-0 United States victory. The U.S. is 5-1-2 against Sweden at the World Cup and Olympics in what has become one of the most frequently contested rivalries in major women's competition.
Australia, led by star striker Sam Kerr, represents another difficult test for the U.S. Women's National Team in Group G. Conceivably, the U.S., Sweden and Australia could all qualify for the knockout stage as all first and second place teams in each group, along with the best two third place teams, advance.
Group D of the men's competition offers a tantalizing rematch of the Rio 2016 gold medal game, when Brazil defeated Germany in an emotional penalty shootout. However, since the Olympic men's soccer tournament is largely age-restricted, there are unlikely to be any players on either country's roster from the Rio final.
Mexico faces a difficult path to the knockout stage in Group A. They will face France, South Africa and hosts Japan with two places available in the next round.