NewsTeam Handball News

Men’s National Team Learns Group for 2025 IHF World Championship

by Matthew Collins

The United States will face Brazil, Norway, and Portugal in Group E at the 2025 IHF Men’s Handball World Championship, set for January 14th to February 2nd, 2025. The tournament will be co-hosted by Croatia, Denmark, and Norway and will be the 29th edition of the World Championship.

The 32 nations that qualified for the World Championships were divided into eight groups of four at the draw held in Zagreb, Croatia on May 29th. The US was awarded a Wild Card spot for the tournament.

“It is certainly a challenging group, but we have been playing top level teams and gotten some good results,” MNT Head Coach Robert Hedin said. “Our goal is to top our finish at the last World Championship. We will do our best and this is a great chance to improve.”

The most recent appearance for the United States at the World Championships was in 2023, where a historic tournament culminated in a 20th-place finish. After the first victory in World Championship history for the Senior Men’s National Team in the Group Stage versus Morocco, the Americans advanced to the Main Round where they were defeated by eventual champions Denmark but finished the tournament with a win against Belgium. 

The American side recently played all of its Group E opponents at the Gjensidige Cup last January, which served as a tune-up tournament before the 2023 IHF World Championship. In addition, the United States faced Brazil in the Semifinals of the 2023 Pan American Games, where Brazil came out on top, 40:27.

“Having played these teams recently can help our preparation. But in the end, you have to play a complete match with few mistakes to beat teams of this quality,” Hedin added.

Norway qualified for the tournament as a host nation and claimed second place at the 2017 and 2019 editions of the World Championships. The strong South American side in Brazil clinched their berth by winning the 2024 South and Central American Men's Handball Championship earlier this year. A victory in a two-leg playoff versus Bosnia and Herzegovina saw Portugal secure their spot.

Unity Arena in Oslo will serve as the location for the Preliminary Round matches for Group E, and with a capacity of 15,000, will surely be sold out when the US plays the Norwegians. After the Preliminary Round matches, the top three teams in Group E will advance to the Main Round.

“Playing against the hosts in their largest arena will be a great atmosphere for our team to compete on the world stage.”

Our goal is to top our finish at the last World Championship. We will do our best and this is a great chance to improve.
Robert Hedin