LONDON (AP) -- The luck of the draw was not very kind to the U.S. Olympic taekwondo team.
When fighting gets under way this week, many of the Americans will face the top seeds in their first bouts. But that doesn't seem to trouble their coaches much.
U.S. taekwondo star Steven Lopez, a double Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion, meets top-ranked Ramin Azizoz of Ajerbaijan, according to the fight list drawn on Monday.
Lopez is hoping to improve on the bronze he won in Beijing. His coach, older brother Jean, dismissed any concern about his brother fighting the top seed so early in the Olympics, which is a knockout competition. Losing in the first round means your medal chances are over.
"Whether you draw the No. 1 seed or not doesn't matter because this is the Olympics," Jean Lopez said. "Everyone has the same motivation to win."
Lopez's sister Diana is fighting in the women's 57-kilogram division, and her first bout is against world champion Hou Yuzhou of China. Jean Lopez described Hou as a "crafty" fighter, but was confident Diana could win if she executed their game plan properly.
"As a coach, it's like I just press the 'run' button on the computer," Lopez said. "They know how to adapt on the fly if they need to be more aggressive or counter more."
The rest of the Americans also are headed for challenging preliminary fights.
In 2010, Jennings lost to Tazegul at the Olympic world qualifiers in a closely contested bout. Tazegul is known for his spinning kicks, which make it look as if he's flying across the mat.
"(Tazegul) is talented, but there is one person in the world who can beat him and that's Terrence," said Jennings' coach, Juan Moreno. "Tazegul spins in a certain way (when he kicks) so we have to make sure we kick into that. We have to make sure we match his intensity and shut down his fight."
The only member of the U.S. team who was not drawn against a top seed was Paige McPherson, and she faces hometown favorite and former world champion Sarah Stevenson of Britain.
Stevenson has not fought in a major competition all year after a knee injury in February. She won a bronze at Beijing and some questioned whether she was ready for the London Games. The selection committee - which included her husband - ultimately picked her.
"Paige is going to have to deal with a huge crowd cheering for Stevenson," Moreno said. "We need to score first to get ahead.
"Paige will have to rely on her youthful swagger and fight like she has nothing to lose. But I think it is possible to slay this dragon."
Jean Lopez said he was most concerned about his fighters producing good performances to solidify their reputations.
"This is about protecting their legacy as being the best fighters," he said. "But we are still in it to win it and we definitely want those medals."