U.S. Women's National Team

U.S. Soccer Wednesday: A Look Ahead


Photo by ISIphotos.com

Wednesday is most notable in U.S. Soccer circles because of the men's national team's friendly in Italy, but teams on three of the federation's other levels will be in action as well.

The women's national team kicks off its quest for a third consecutive Algarve Cup championship in Portugal, the U-23 men's team faces Mexico in the final friendly leading into next month's CONCACAF Olympic qualifying and the U-20 men's team faces the Montreal Impact reserves as Tab Ramos continues guiding his current camp down in Florida. All of the games happen to be staggered timewise, meaning it's possible to keep up with multiple facets of U.S. Soccer throughout the day.

Here is a closer look at all of Wednesday's U.S. Soccer matches:


WHEN: 2:30 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN3.com/Galavision

Jurgen Klinsmann seeks his fourth win in a row against perhaps the stiffest competition he has faced yet as manager, as the U.S. men go after their first-ever win against the Azzurri (0-7-3 all-time).

Injuries have depleted Klinsmann's roster, with potential starters Landon Donovan, Jose Torres, Timmy Chandler and Jermaine Jones all withdrawing from taking part in the friendly. Oguchi Onyewu injuring his knee just days before the roster announcement prevented him from participating as well. 

As a result of the injuries, Brek Shea and Sacha Kljestan were called in for the match, the final one before a three-game stretch starting in late May that leads into World Cup qualifying. Considering who he now has at his disposal, Klinsmann's lineup choice should be intriguing. With Shea able to man the left flank, it could provide the versatile Fabian Johnson with an opportunity to play at left back, where he has performed for Hoffenheim. 


WHEN: 12 p.m. 

The U.S. women are in search of their ninth Algarve Cup title and their third in a row, but this year's field will provide stiff resistance. Pia Sundhage's side kicks things off against Denmark, a team that the U.S. women have beaten in the Algarve Cup eight straight times.

It will only get more difficult for Abby Wambach, Hope Solo & Co., as they'll face Norway two days later and Japan in a rematch of the World Cup final three days after that in a competitive Group B. The winner of the group will face the winner of Group A (Germany, Sweden, Iceland, China) in the championship game on March 7, meaning the U.S. women can play up to four top-notch opponents in an eight-day stretch.

After appearing primarily as a reserve in past competitions, Alex Morgan seems poised for a starting role alongside Wambach. The 22-year-old forward was stationed there for a closed-door friendly against China on Saturday. The other lineup decision to keep an eye on is how Sundhage molds her back line, which has been a point of contention since right back Ali Krieger tore her ACL and MCL during the opening game of Olympic qualifying.


WHEN: 10 p.m., Univision

Caleb Porter's U-23 side concludes its latest training camp with a rivalry match against Mexico at FC Dallas Stadium.

With Terrence Boyd and Shea getting called into the senior national team, the opportunities are there for other attacking players to step up and stake their claim for a place on next month's Olympic qualifying roster.

The match also presents a chance for the late-arriving players to get their feet wet. Players like Joe Gyau, Joe Corona, Sebastian Lletget, Mix Diskerud and Alfredo Morales just arrived over the weekend, and they'll look to get integrated into the lineup against a Mexico side that will feature the likes of striker Marco Fabian and Mexican-Americans Miguel Angel Ponce and Ricardo Bocanegra.

An MLS-heavy side has guided the U-23s to victories over FC Dallas and the San Antonio Scorpions during camp so far. Shea was a big part of both wins, scoring goals in both games.


WHEN: 10:30 a.m.

Three days after playing the FC Dallas reserves to a 2-2 draw, the U-20s get another crack at MLS opposition by facing the Impact.

Daniel Cuevas and Villyan Bijev scored against FCD for the U-20s, who are in the process of building cohesion leading into qualifying for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. The match against the Impact will be the final scrimmage of the camp, which ends on March 1.

Of note in U-20 camp is that Molde FK left back Sean Cunningham withdrew because of an injury and club commitments, and he was replaced by Javan Torre, who plays in the Los Angeles Galaxy academy.


Excited for all the various U.S. Soccer action? How do you see Wednesday's games unfolding?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Isaac

    Y’know, if JK wins, it’ll be pretty sweet for him considering Italy ARE the side that knocked the German team he was in charge of out of the 2006 World Cup.

    Just a thought. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody on ESPN’s staff takes that angle :)


  • b

    I want to record the U-23 game but the DirecTV guide lists the Mexico Colombia game on Univision and then a bunch of other stuff that doesn’t appear to be soccer. Help?


  • Isaac

    This photo is funny to me for some reason…

    ” I know one y’all got da gatorade!!!”

    sumthin stooooopid liek that haha


  • Rlw2020

    Mexico senior team is playing columbia

    The u23 team is playing our u23 squad..i believe same time


  • James M

    That photo will cost you $40 to use it for your personal Facebook timeline photo. If you are into that sort of thing. Bummer…

    “Hi James,
    Thanks for the email and glad you like the USMNT image. Unfortunately, we cannot allow a free use of that image. But, we could license the image rights for your personal FB page for $40.”

    Nice interaction with the company, though!


  • Goalscorer24

    Here in Los Angeles I found the listing for the U23’s game on KMEX at 7pm, but of course with the Mexican channels you never know.


  • FrederickRemington

    is it just me, or would the picture above make a really great public sculpture in honor of the US team?


  • biff

    I hear what you are saying. But I don’t think that sympathy for Japan was a factor for the German coach and players, who were in the stands at the World Cup Final representing the host nation. I imagine their public spectacle probably stemmed instead from the Germany-USA rivalry. Each team now has three WC Champion stars on their uniforms and the Germans simply did not want to see the US ladies with four stars. That is understandable and, of course, they have the right to cheer for whomever they want. But I am quite certain that in similar circumstances, a WC hosted in the USA, we would see more class in the stands from Pia Sundhage and the US ladies and from Jurgen Klinsmann and the US men. I guess to fully understand the videos, one needs to know more background about the very hard fought semi-final match a few days before between Germany and Japan. It was an ugly match totally lacking in respect for Japan.

    Anyway, I love Japan’s women’s team and if the USWNT had to lose a heartbreaker in the WC final, I am glad it was against Japan. Classy ladies who never gave up and they deserved to win. But Germany is a major rival of the USWNT and I think in future US-German matches, and they will come, the US ladies the day before the game can watch those videos of the German coach and players as motivational tools. That’s my point. Go USWNT!


  • Rorymiller

    “The problem with quotes on the internet is that you never know which ones are true”–Abraham Lincoln


  • Rory

    I wish Nike put some effort into making kits that look like real soccer kits and not designer leisurewear for NBA stars. That blue shirt with the beuty pagent sash and white sleeves is horrible… $15 from finishing second place in a beauty pageant aside, is it worth the Nike money to look so bad?


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