Here’s what’s on tap on a busy day full of significant international fixtures:
*The U.S. Women’s National Team beat Germany 3-2 today to lift the Algarve Cup in Portugal on a lucky 70th minute goal by UCLA’s Lauren Cheney. Not an insignificant victory against the nation that hosts next year’s World Cup. More here.
*The newly-anointed 18th best team in the world, the U.S., at least according to the widely-disparaged FIFA rankings (the latest edition was released today) plays the Netherlands at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN2 and Galavision. More here. And here’s the U.S. starting XI.
*Mexico plays New Zealand at the Rose Bowl (8 p.m. on KVEA). One correction to the article: New Zealand’s Ryan Nelsen is out injured and will not play. Also, Mexico will likely play England at Wembley May 23, although the date still has to be confirmed.
*In other games, Germany faces Argentina at 11:45 a.m. on GOLTV, while the same channel has Italy-Cameroon at 1:45 p.m.
*U.S. Soccer has confirmed the East Coast location of the previously scheduled game against the Czech Republic:
AMSTERDAM (AP) — The United States will start its World Cup send-off tour by playing the Czech Republic at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on May 25.
The site of the match was announced Wednesday by U.S. Soccer Federation. The U.S. has played at Rentschler Field twice previously, defeating Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier in August 2005 and beating Latvia 1-0 in its final warmup before the 2006 World Cup.
The Americans play Turkey at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field on May 29 before leaving for South Africa. They also might play fellow World Cup qualifier Australia in an exhibition on June 5 in Johannesburg.
Making its sixth straight World Cup appearance, the U.S. opens June 12 against England, plays Slovenia six days later and completes the first round against Algeria on June 23.
In addition to playing the U.S., the Czechs meet Turkey on May 22 in the first match between national teams at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
At the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the Czechs outplayed the Americans in the tournament opener for both teams, winning 3-0. In 1990, Czechoslovakia routed the U.S. 5-1 in the Americans’ return to the World Cup following a 40-year absence.
The Czech Republic failed to advance to the 32-nation field for this year’s World Cup in South Africa, finishing behind Slovakia and Slovenia in its European qualifying group.
*Lastly, MLS Commish Don Garber says bring on the Brits:
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber wants English Premier League clubs to invest in teams or start new franchises in the United States.
As part of wider discussions with English clubs about co-operation, Garber said Wednesday that money can be made in the expanding MLS.
Some English clubs already travel to the U.S. in the offseason to build their profile by playing exhibitions. Garber said helping to grow the sport in North America is the next logical step for them.