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Men's Olympic Soccer Draw Results: Groups Drop for Mexico, Brazil, Spain, More

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2021

Brazil's players pose with their gold medals after the final match of the men's Olympic football tournament at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016. Brazil won the gold medal on penalty shoot-out. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Leo Correa/Associated Press

The four groups for the men's soccer tournament at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo this July and August were drawn Wednesday with reigning champion Brazil placed in Group D alongside 2016 runner-up Germany. 

FIFA provided a complete look at the 16-team field:

FIFA.com @FIFAcom

⚔️ The draw for the Men's #OlympicFootball Tournament has thrown up some intriguing clashes! #Tokyo2020 https://t.co/aWBvZJw3Zq

The United States men's national team failed to qualify for the Olympic tournament for the third straight Games after losing in the CONCACAF semifinals to Honduras, a member of Group B following Wednesday's draw.

Brazil's national team faced a lot of pressure in the 2016 Olympics given the country's status as the host nation and its rich soccer history, and the Selecao delivered a memorable victory that concluded with superstar Neymar delivering the game-winning penalty kick in the final against Germany.

While the Olympic event typically features U23 rosters with three overage players allowed, this year's tournament will be contested as a U24 to accommodate players who would have been eligible to play if the Games had taken place on time last year before the postponement because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There were threats that players for clubs that signed up for the controversial European Super League would be barred from all international competition, including the Olympics, but the ESL has lost several core members and appears headed to an immediate collapse following the widespread backlash.

So managers should have their full complement of options to choose from for the event, which is scheduled to run from July 22 through Aug. 7.

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It's a star-studded field with Brazil, Germany, France, Spain and Argentina among the traditional powers represented, while Japan will look to follow in the Brazilian footsteps by capturing gold on home soil.

Group B also carries some intrigue because it doesn't feature any of those star-studded sides. It'll give some other national teams a chance to shine and earn themselves a shot at the knockout rounds.

Meanwhile, the USMNT's chances of heading to Tokyo were hurt by travel restrictions related to the pandemic, which prevented many of the team's European-based players from taking part in the qualifying tournament in March.

The failure to make the Olympics still showcased the continued flaws in the U.S. development system, which were also on full display while missing out on the 2018 World Cup.

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