There is still some unconquered territory for the storied U.S. women's national team, believe it or not.
No team to win a Women's World Cup title has ever followed it up the following summer with an Olympic gold medal, and that's something the U.S. women will strive to do–provided they qualify for Tokyo 2020.
That path has now been set after Thursday's Concacaf draw revealed the groups, dates and locations for the eight-team qualifying tournament, from which two teams will advance to the Olympics.
The U.S. women were drawn in Group A with Costa Rica, Panama and Haiti and will play group games on Jan. 28, Jan. 31 and Feb. 3 in Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium. The teams in Group B–Mexico, Canada, Jamaica and St. Kitts & Nevis–will play their group games at H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the Feb. 7 semifinals at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.
The two semifinal winners will punch their tickets to Tokyo, while the winner of the tournament two days later will take regional bragging rights.
The U.S. is expected to achieve both without much resistance. It has qualified for every Olympic tournament thus far, dating back to Atlanta 1996, and has won the last four Concacaf Olympic qualifying tournaments.
Regional success didn't result in global dominance in 2015, though. In trying to become the first reigning Women's World Cup champion to win Olympic gold, the U.S. infamously stumbled, losing to Sweden on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals for its worst finish ever. By virtue of its success in France this past summer, the U.S. will have another go at making yet another kind of history.