Good morning all. The U.S. men's national kicks off its World Cup preparations tonight when it takes on the Czech Republic (8pm, ESPN2) in a friendly that will decide the roster fate of several fringe players.
On Monday, it was the U.S. team's opening World Cup opponent in action as England's World Cup preparations kicked off with a 3-1 victory against Mexico at Wembley Stadium.
Goals from Ledley King, Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson made the difference against a game Mexican side that played the better soccer through most of the match. Mexico connected on twice as many passes as England, but squandered several quality scoring chances in defeat.
The English weren't the only world power to win in exhibition play on Monday. Argentina flexed its attacking muscle in a 5-0 thrashing of Canada in Buenos Aires. Maxi Rodriguez scored twice while Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero added goals in Argentina's final pre-World Cup tuneup match.
Here are the highlights (along with some other news items from Monday and today):
Portugal humbled in scoreless draw vs. Cape Verde
If Cristiano Ronaldo is going to have that statue erected like in the new Nike commercial, both he and Portugal are going to have to step up their game.
Portugal failed to score a goal in a 0-0 draw vs. Cape Verde on Monday. The tiny nation is currently ranked 117th in the world.
Hurtado suffers torn ACL
Seattle's forgettable season got a bit worse on Monday amid word that standout defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado had suffered a torn ACL. The injury should keep Hurtado out for the rest of the season, though Sounders officials were still holding out hope that he might be able to return before the end of the season.
Algeria loses midfielder to injury
USA Group rival Algeria won't have the services of Mourad Meghni, who failed to overcome a knee injury in time to make the Algerian World Cup squad.
What did you think of Monday's friendlies? Impressed with England, or did you come away believing the United States can beat the English? Think Seattle can overcome the loss of Hurtado?
Share your thoughts below.