U.S. Soccer Wednesday: A Look Ahead

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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:

U.S. MEN VS. ITALY

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. 

U.S. WOMEN VS. DENMARK

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.

U.S. U-23 MEN VS. MEXICO

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.

U.S. U-20 MEN VS. MONTREAL IMPACT RESERVES

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.

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

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in U.S. Men's National Team, U.S. Men's Olympic Team, U.S. Under-20 National Team, U.S. Women's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to U.S. Soccer Wednesday: A Look Ahead

  1. PD says:

    any watching parties going on near Philadelphia, PA

  2. Dinho says:

    So happy to learn that the U-23 match is televised! Thanks!

  3. papi grande says:

    USA u23 vs Mexico u23 is going to be a great game.

    go usa!

  4. charles says:

    sooooo looking forward to the u-23 game!!!!!!

  5. Zac says:

    Mexican-Americans Miguel Angel Ponce and Ricardo Bocanegra.

    This isn’t Carlos’ brother, is it?

  6. Carlito says:

    It is :(

  7. TomG says:

    Wow! Can’t wait for lock the door and ignore the girlfriend Wednesday.

  8. Conrad says:

    According to an Allen Hopkins tweet:

    “#USMNT set to debut new @nikesoccer kits tomorrow v. Italy. Saw them prior to release, like them a lot. Entire collection is fantastic.”

    Hopefully we wear the white/red hoops and Italy wears their new blue home kit…would be a nice-looking match.

  9. mr coolio says:

    It is!? That would really suck if it is.

  10. 2tone says:

    Would be a great day if there is a clean sweep here for all US teams invloved. Anyways really excited for the USMNT against Italy nad of course the U-23’s against Mexico’s U-23’s.

  11. JJ says:

    Nice! 3 Sounder Women against Denmark!

  12. 2tone says:

    Yes. I hope they wear the Red and White hoops.

  13. malkin says:

    Seriously? Why can’t i find anything on the net?

  14. adam says:

    yeah its not….

  15. malkin says:

    (although he definitely looks like carlos)

  16. malkin says:

    Carlos’ wiki: “He was born in Upland, California, to Manuel and Kelly Bocanegra and raised in Alta Loma, Rancho Cucamonga, California, where he attended Alta Loma High School. He has one brother, Diego who played soccer at Grand Canyon College and attended UCLA in 1995-96. His father is of Mexican descent.”

  17. biff says:

    I did not realize the US ladies were in tournament with Germany. Am hoping then that Germany wins its group so the USWNT can kick their you-know-what. After Germany got knocked out of Women’s WC2011 by Japan, the German coach and players were in the stands at the final in Frankfurt making a big scene wildly cheering for Japan and giving high fives when the US ladies missed in the penalty shootout. It was shown on German TV and some German commentators thought it was in poor taste. I imagine some USWNT players now would take great pleasure in beating Germany.

    Here are links showing the German players cheering after Tobin Heath misses and the German coach cheering when Japan equalized.

    link to youtube.com

    link to youtube.com

  18. Dimidri says:

    Just out of curiosity, how many people get Universal Sports(NBC’s Olympic channel that’s broadcasting the men’s soccer qualifiers?) I heard it was taken down towards the beginning of 2012 and my provider doesn’t provide it. Guess I’ll be Telemundo-ing it.

  19. asheppard says:

    It’s not his brother. His full name is Ricardo Bocanegra Vega. Carlos only has one brother named Diego.

    Just check wikipedia

    link to en.wikipedia.org

  20. Zac says:

    “Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject, so you know you are getting the best possible information.” – Michael Scott

  21. Dimidri says:

    I would imagine most neutrals would be cheering for the country who just witnessed the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl and is still(and will for generations most likely) be facing the consequences.

  22. 2tone says:

    COCNACAF tv will be showing it as well. They live free streamed the womens tournament. So I am guessing they will do the same for the Men’s.

  23. malkin says:

    who gives a sh!t who they cheer for? They can cheer for whoever they want. Is everyone just supposed to bow down and cheer for the mighty US of A?

  24. ac says:

    time to call in sick to work tomorrow…haha!

  25. Wispy says:

    Well, yeah.

  26. GL6GL6 says:

    The American Outlaws meet here

    Dark Horse Pub
    Philadelphia, PA

    http://www.theamericanoutlaws.com

  27. hogatroge says:

    I seriously hope that all the leaks so far have been used to throw us off the trail…

  28. john.q says:

    BRO HUG

  29. CSD says:

    Italy announced there line up and changed a lot since there match against Uruguay. The Italians are in some flux as always between big tournaments. They will be build until tournament time and then peak.

  30. CJ says:

    It’s good. We’re getting it now on Dish. Just watched speed skating and rugby 7s the other day. They show sports ESPN wouldn’t touch with a pole.

  31. ANM says:

    Just from an artistic standpoint, that’s a really terrific photograph.

  32. CSD says:

    I hope they wear something tomorrow that you think is pretty enough for the occasion.

  33. A wise man once says:

    I was about to say the same thing! Epic photo.

  34. Paddy Megroyn says:

    Like the USMNT’s version of the Iwo Jima statue.

  35. Dinho says:

    How pissed off do Edson and Timmy look in that picture.

  36. Edwin in LA says:

    If you have cable or satellite most likely you get the version of NBC Universal Sports.

    NBC Bought out the old Versus channel, I know for DirecTv it’s like 603 or 613 or somewhere between there…

    Most basic and any sports packages have that channel should be okay. Plus like 2tone said^^^ they did streamings of the woman’s I’m sure they will do some of the Mens as well, hell I think NBC Universal did it online it didn’t even have to be Concacaf…

  37. MemRook says:

    Does anyone else have Comcast (xfinity)? I’m not seeing the U-23 game listed on Univision; are we not getting it or is it an error?

  38. Edwin in LA says:

    They’re not pissed off, they are relieved and CONCENTRATED since I believe it was their 3rd goal of the night! HA

  39. Edwin in LA says:

    It will be there, no worries Univision has been promoting the hell out of it during the weekend Mexican League Matches and at night in their Local and National News broadcasts as well as in their dumb Novelas from what I been told, got family that watch Univision at night so they will show it, what part of the country will you be in?

  40. dinho says:

    dude, I know they weren’t pissed. just saying they LOOK pissed.

  41. MicahK says:

    Cannot wait for USA to beat Mexico U-23!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Edwin in LA says:

    I know just making a bit of an attempted joke on the artistic look of the pic lol

    Jozy is thinking to himself….”Is this what Landon feels like all the time?”

  43. MemRook says:

    I’m in Memphis. I hope you’re right cuz I’ll be at work and will just set “blind recordings” and hope I successfully record the game.

  44. malkin says:

    lol, fair enough.

  45. alabamafutbol says:

    DirectTV guide says Mexico-Colombia friendly tomorrow night.. hope that’s incorrect and we get the U-23- Mexico game

  46. Dan in New York says:

    That photo’s incredible, especially when you click on it and see the detail. It says ISIphotos.com but I wonder who the actual photographer is.

  47. Brandt in De Pere says:

    Mexico v Colombia 1st, then the USA U-23 v Mexico

  48. Isaac says:

    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 :)

  49. b says:

    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?

  50. Isaac says:

    This photo is funny to me for some reason…

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

    sumthin stooooopid liek that haha

  51. Rlw2020 says:

    Mexico senior team is playing columbia

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

  52. DaveW says:

    Univision’s schedule(link to futbol.univision.com) lists the U23 game on Telefutura but they were promoting it as on UnivisiĆ³n during the weekend games. If your DVR allows you to record 2 at once do both channels just to be safe.

  53. James M says:

    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!

  54. Goalscorer24 says:

    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.

  55. FrederickRemington says:

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

  56. simon says:

    thats true info, i played against him in high school

  57. biff says:

    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!

  58. Rorymiller says:

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

  59. Rory says:

    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?