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2016 Rio Olympics

Rio 2016 Olympics match schedule announced

Brazil's women's team will play Olympic group matches in Rio and Manaus. (Photo copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Brazil’s women’s team will play Olympic group matches in Rio and Manaus. (Photo copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

FIFA has announced the match dates and host venues for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Just like previous Olympics, the soccer competitions will be the first sports to begin play. The women’s tournament will begin on Wednesday, August 3, two days before the Opening Ceremony. The men’s tournament starts August 4.

Both the men’s and women’s gold-medal matches will be played in the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The women’s final will be played on Friday, August 19 and the men’s final will be played the final day.

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Brazil’s women’s national team will be placed in position E1 as hosts among the 12 women’s teams in the competition, therefore playing two group games at Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro and a third group game at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus.

The United States women, currently ranked No. 1 in the world after winning the 2015 World Cup, are likely to be one of the top seeded teams, meaning they would take up either position F1 or position G1 in the group layout of the 12 teams.

There are two rest days in between each group game and the quarterfinals. The full match schedule can be found here.

If the Americans take up position F1, they would play two games at Itaquera Arena in Sao Paulo and the final group game at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia. If they are placed in position G1, they would play their first two games at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte and their final group game in Manaus.

Amazonia Arena in Manaus was infamous during the 2014 World Cup for its extreme humidity and poor field conditions. It has since been the source of scrutiny for its use as a parking lot for buses. The stadium cost $550 million to build.

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