By DAN ITEL
On a day of international friendlies around the globe, one of Wednesday’s most highly anticipated matches will happen right here on American soil — although it won’t feature the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Mexico, still trying to find their form after a perilous World Cup qualifying cycle that nearly left them out in the cold, will be greeted by their loyal followers north of the border when they take on Nigeria at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
The game might not be on the same prestige level as, say, Spain vs. Italy, but it is a big deal in Georgia, with the fixture expected to draw 60,000-plus spectators, which would make it the largest crowd to watch a soccer game in the state’s history. That would certainly be a feather in the city’s cap when it comes to their MLS expansion efforts, which commissioner Don Garber discussed Tuesday.
Speaking of Spain vs. Italy, that is certainly a showdown between two world powers never to be missed.
This World Cup tune-up at Madrid’s Estadio Vicente Calderón will feature the second international debut of striker Diego Costa for defending champion and No. 1 Spain. The Atletico Madrid striker who has 21 La Liga goals this season, ironically, made his first debut for Brazil against Italy (No. 8 in FIFA rankings) last March but controversially changed allegiances.
In another meeting of giants Wednesday, Germany (No. 2) will play host to Chile (No. 14) at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart.
And it could be a day for history for the Germans, with Miroslav Klose seeing his chance to become Die Mannschaft’s all-time leading scorer. The 35-year-old Lazio striker is tied with the legendary Gerd Muller at 68 goals heading into the clash.
If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action. (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump):
1 pm – Colombia vs. Tunisia – beIN Sports
1 pm – Ukraine vs. USA – ESPN2, Unimas, ESPN3, Univision Deportes
1:30 pm – Turkey vs. Sweden – beIN Sports 1
2 pm – Romania vs. Argentina – ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, Watch ESPN
2:30 pm – Austria vs. Uruguay – beIN Sports USA
2:45 pm – Germany vs. Chile – Galavision, ESPN3, Watch ESPN
2:45 pm – Ireland Republic vs. Serbia – GolTV USA
3 pm – France vs. Netherlands – ESPN3, Univision Deportes, Watch ESPN
3 pm – England vs. Denmark – Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer 2Go
3 pm – Australia vs. Ecuador – BeIN Sports
3:45 pm – Portugal vs. Cameroon – ESPN3, Watch ESPN
4 pm – Spain vs. Italy – ESPN Deportes, ESPN2, ESPN3
8:30 pm – Mexico vs. Nigeria – UniMas, ESPN3, Watch ESPN, Univision Deportes