Monday, April 21, 2008
The United States Men's Olympic Team now knows its path to a medal in China after the draw was made for the group phase.

The US will face Japan, Holland and Nigeria in Group B at this summer's Olympic Games to be held in Beijing, one of four groups in the 16-team tournament. Like the World Cup, the tournament is divided into four groups of four teams apiece, with the top two from each group advancing to the knockout phase.

Peter Nowak's team will take on Japan and Holland on August 7 and 10, respectively, at the Olympic Sports Stadium Center in Tianjin before heading to Beijing to face Nigeria on August 13. The Japan and Nigeria games will kick off at 5:00 am EST while Holland tilt will start at 7:45 am EST.

Each opponent on the United States schedule has a pedigree for success in international competition. Japan reached the quarterfinals of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney before being eliminated by the United States, who achieved their best ever finish of fourth at that tournament.

Holland are the defending Under-21 European Champions and boast talent that includes the likes of Liverpool starlet Ryan Babel. Nigeria is also full of talent at all positions and the country's resume includes a 1996 Olympic Gold Medal victory over Argentina in Atlanta.

The 18-man roster heading to China is expected to be revealed in late July, with a warmup tournament scheduled for late May in France.

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