The United States will meet Russia in the opening game of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup on Aug. 19.

The draw for the event was held Thursday in Zurich, Switzerland.

Actually, the USA will play a team from the Football Union of Russia, which is the member association of the Russian Federation. In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and a December 2020 decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, this team will participate at Russia 2021 representing its national sports federation.

The Americans also will play Japan Aug. 21 and Uruguay Aug. 23 in Group A.

Should the USA advance to the quarterfinals, it would face a team from Group B.

The U.S. was drawn out of Pot 4 which included Oman, Belarus and Mozambique. Teams were sorted into pots based on a ranking determined by success in the last five Beach Soccer World Cups, with more recent tournament results weighted more heavily, as well as performance in confederation qualifying tournaments factored in.

This year marks the 11th FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and 21st world championship for beach soccer. Before FIFA took over organization of the competition in 2005, it ran annually as the Beach Soccer World Championships from 1995-2004. The USA finished second at the 1995 tournament as well as third and fourth in 1996 and 1997, respectively. In 2009, FIFA switched the tournament from annual to biennial.

Host Football Union of Russia has a strong recent history at the Beach Soccer World Cup. Russia finished third at the 2019 tournament and won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2013.

Japan was selected to participate by the Asian Football Confederation after the original qualifying tournament was canceled and is one of two teams to participate in every World Cup. The nation has been a frequent foe for the USA at the competition as this year will mark their fourth meeting at the tournament.

Paraguay has reached the last five World Cups, winning the third-place match at the 2021 CONMEBOL qualifiers to clinch the last berth from South America for this year’s competition.

Defending champions Portugal will begin defending its title against Oman, with whom it shares Group D, together with Senegal and Uruguay.

The competition will be held from Aug. 19-29.

The quarterfinals are set for Aug. 26, semifinals Aug. 28 and the third-place match and final for Aug. 29.