- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

The U.S. women’s national soccer team will open the 2016 season with a match against Ireland on Jan. 23.

The match in San Diego will cap the team’s January training camp in Los Angeles.

The United States, ranked No. 1 in the world following the team’s victory in the World Cup last summer, is preparing to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

Qualifying for the North and Central America and Caribbean region is set for Feb. 10-21 in Frisco, Texas, and in Houston. The U.S. will play Mexico, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico in the group stage.

U.S. coach Jill Ellis must pare her roster to 20 for qualifying.

Ireland has never defeated the United States in 10 meetings. The team will also play the U.S. under-23 women’s team in a closed-door match in Carson, California, on Jan. 25.

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