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Complete soccer coverage
Posted at 02:36 PM ET, 04/23/2012

Monday kickaround: Olympic draw, U.S. men’s team, D.C. United’s Chris Pontius, TV for Barcelona-Chelsea, soccer ball in Alaska

*The U.S. women’s national soccer team, ranked No. 1 by FIFA, joined Great Britain and World Cup champion Japan as the top seeds ahead of Tuesday’s Olympic draw at Wembley Stadium (6 a.m. ET).

[updated] The Americans will play their group matches at Glasgow’s Hampden Park (twice) and Manchester’s Old Trafford. Olympic soccer first-round play is staged in venues beyond the host city.

The other nations to qualify: Brazil, Colombia, Canada, Sweden, France, Cameroon, South Africa, North Korea and New Zealand.

Based on the pots for the draw, the U.S. team can’t play Japan, Great Britain, Canada or Brazil in the first round.

The United States has won three of the four gold medals and one silver since the sport’s introduction in 1996.

Much more.....

*Reports from afar say Russia and the United States are planning to meet in a friendly on Nov. 14, which is a FIFA fixture date. The Americans will have completed the semifinal round of 2014 World Cup qualifying a month earlier. The sides haven’t faced one another since 2000 in Moscow.

Meantime, Juergen Klinsmann is making preparations for the three friendlies and two qualifiers in May-June. Camp is scheduled to open May 16 in Orlando. A roster isn't expected to be finalized until a few days ahead.

As of last Friday, ticket sales for the home matches were:

24,000 for Scotland on May 26 in Jacksonville

42,000 for Brazil on May 30 in Landover, Md.

5,000 for Antigua & Barbuda June 8 in Tampa

*Chris Pontius, who recorded a hat trick in D.C. United’s 4-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday at RFK Stadium, was named MLS player of the week — the third time in his career he has been so honored.

*Looking ahead to Tuesday’s second leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal between Barcelona and Chelsea, Fox Soccer will carry the match live at 2:30 p.m. ET and replay it at 8 o’clock. Fox Soccer Plus will show a replay at 5 p.m. Online coverage is not available until 5 p.m. on foxsoccer2go.com.

*The soccer ball that drifted across the Pacific and washed ashore in Alaska has been claimed by a Japanese teenager who lost the ball during the tsunami in March 2011.

By  |  02:36 PM ET, 04/23/2012

Tags:  U.S. national team, Olympics, MLS, Champions League

 
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