Thursday kickaround

*Following predictable results Wednesday night — the Galaxy defeated Herediano at home and the Dynamo lost at Santos Laguna — the MLS vs. Mexico CONCACAF Champions League semifinals are set for April 2-4 and 9-11:

Los Angeles vs. Monterrey

Seattle vs. Santos Laguna

Video from the Galaxy’s 4-1 victory:

*With Alex Morgan scoring twice, the U.S. women’s national team, top ranked in the world, regained the Algarve Cup trophy with a 2-0 victory over second-rated Germany in Portugal. Afterward, defender Heather Mitts (age 34, 1999 debut, 137 caps, three Olympic gold medals) announced her retirement. Match video:

*Not that it matters, but the U.S. men’s team dropped one slot in the FIFA rankings, to No. 33. Mexico remains 15th. The Americans’ qualifying opponent next week, Costa Rica, is No. 53. How seriously should these be taken? Croatia, Ecuador, Greece and Switzerland are all ahead of Brazil (18th).

*The U.S. friendly against Belgium on May 29 is now official: Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The Americans have never played a home match against Belgium.

Meantime, the USSF, which has jurisdiction over all matches staged in this country, has approved a proposed friendly between Spain and Haiti on June 8 at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium.

*Americans abroad:

Wednesday

D Oguchi Onyewu not in the 18 for Malaga’s 2-0 victory over Porto in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16. Malaga advances on 2-1 aggregate.

MF Joe Corona first 45 and D Greg Garza 27 in Tijuana’s 3-0 loss at Corinthians in the Copa Libertadores group stage. Tijuana remains atop the group with nine points from four matches.

F Herculez Gomez went 90 and scored in the 28th of Santos Laguna’s 3-0 victory over Houston in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals (3-1 aggregate).

MF DaMarcus Beasley went 90 and scored in the 54th, while Michael Orozco Fiscal was sent off in the 89th of Puebla’s Copa Mexico victory at Pachuca. Puebla advanced on penalties, 5-3.

D Clarence Goodson 90 in Brondby’s 1-1 home draw with Esbjerg in first leg of Danish Cup semifinals.

Thursday

GK Brad Friedel and Spurs take a 3-0 lead into the second leg of an UEFA Europa League round of 16 by visiting Inter Milan (2 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer, foxsoccer2go.com; tape at 8 on Fox Soccer). MF Clint Dempsey, recovering from a calf injury, did not travel. (Nice feature about Friedel and his parents from the Independent.)

 

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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Steven Goff | March 13, 2013