Barcelona star Xavi Hernandez is set to win his 100th cap for Spain today and hopefully U.S. fans will see the midfield maestro up close and personal later this year (AP Photo).
*Spain plays the Czech Republic at 1:55 p.m. today on ESPN2 in a Euro 2012 qualifier and U.S. fans will see the World Cup holders live in on the East Coast in June:
CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. men’s soccer team will play World Cup champion Spain in a June 4 exhibition, their first meeting since the Americans upset the world’s No. 1 team in the 2009 Confederations Cup.
The game will be in Foxborough, Mass., and takes place just three days before the U.S. starts play in the Gold Cup, soccer’s championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean.
It will be just the fifth meeting between the teams, and first in the United States, with Spain winning all but one of their previous games.
The lone U.S. victory came in the semifinals of the 2009 Confederations Cup, when goals by Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey gave the Americans a 2-0 win and ended the European champion’s streaks of 15 wins and 35 unbeaten games.
And for those of you who like to mark their calendars, here’s the full U.S. schedule of games this year announced so far:
Saturday, Jan. 22 — United States 1, Chile 1
Saturday, March 26 vs. Argentina at East Rutherford, N.J., 4:11 p.m.
Tuesday, March 29 vs. Paraguay at Nashville, Tenn., 5:11 p.m.
Saturday, June 4 — vs. Spain at Foxborough, Mass., 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 7 — vs. Canada at Detroit, 5 p.m. (Gold Cup)
Saturday, June 11 — vs. Panama at Tampa, Fla., 5 p.m. (Gold Cup)
Tuesday, June 14 — vs. Guadeloupe at Kansas City, Kan., 6 p.m. (Gold Cup)
Aug. 10 — possible exhibition
Sept. 2 — World Cup qualifier
Sept. 6 — World Cup qualifier
Oct. 7 — World Cup qualifier
Oct. 11 — World Cup qualifier
Nov. 11 — World Cup qualifier
Nov. 15 — World Cup qualifier
*And in another sign of his unwavering commitment to the Galaxy (ahem), David Beckham will wear the captain’s armband for the Galaxy this weekend for the first time in three years:
CARSON (AP) – Coach Bruce Arena decided Beckham will be captain for Saturday’s MLS game at Real Salt Lake, with Landon Donovan away on international duty.
The former England captain took over as L.A. skipper when he joined the team in 2007, but last captained the Galaxy on Oct. 26, 2008. The armband was given to Donovan the following year.
“Bruce has asked me to wear it, and I’ll be proud to wear it,” Beckham said. “It doesn’t change the way I play. It’s something you’re very proud to wear, but you need more that that one leader on the field.”
Donovan will miss the game to be with the U.S. national team for its friendly Saturday against Argentina in East Rutherford, N.J.
*Speaking of scheduling, the PDL, which includes five Southern California teams, has announced its schedule.