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USA to play South Africa in send off games for Olympics

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The USWNT will face South Africa on July 9 at Soldier Field in Chicago as part of their sendoff for the Rio Olympics.

This is the first of two games, with the second to be announced. The second will also most likely be against South Africa.

The WNT has never played South Africa before; 54th-ranked Banyana Banyana are a team still on the rise under the stewardship of head coach Vera Pauw. They will also likely have some veteran leadership in the form of Janine Van Wyk and Portia Modise. South Africa is one of 12 teams qualified for the 2016 Olympics and will start their tournament in Group E with Brazil, China, and Sweden.

Ellis has stated before that she wants to announce her Olympic squad around early July, so the timing matches up with the sendoff series. This also means WNT players will probably have their last availability for their NWSL club sides through July 2.

The WNT is undefeated in 2016, though the will play Japan in two games in June.