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USWNT learns group for Women's World Cup qualifying

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The U.S. knows their path to the Women's World Cup.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The United States will be in Group A for the CONCACAF Women's Championship, which is also qualifying for next summer's World Cup. Joining them in that group is Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala and Haiti.

The Americans will play its first match on October 15 in Kansas City against Trinidad and Tobago. They will follow that with a match against Guatemala on October 17 in Chicago, then a clash with Haiti on Washington, D.C. on October 20. The semifinals and final will be played in Philadelphia on October 24 and 26.

Nobody expects the U.S. to be severely tested in qualifying. They are the clear-cut best team in CONCACAF and the undoubted second-best team, Canada, is not participating because they qualified for the World Cup automatically as hosts. Moreover, the U.S. doesn't even need to win the tournament to qualify. They only need to finish in the top three and not doing so is so unlikely that it's borderline unimaginable.

The U.S. won their first four World Cup qualifying tournaments, but lost in the semifinals to Mexico in 2010. That forced them to win the third place match and then a playoff against Italy to make the World Cup, but the World Cup field has expanded this go-around to 24 teams, meaning CONCACAF has an extra spot and the third place team will qualify automatically.

The top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals. Each semifinal winner will qualify for the World Cup, with the third place match being for a spot in next summer's tournament. The fourth place finisher will go to a playoff against a team from South America for a World Cup spot.

Every match from the CONCACAF Women's Championship will be televised on Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 or Fox Soccer Plus. Fox has not yet announced a detailed match schedule, but every U.S. content will presumably be available on Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2.