U.S. national team updates, Americans abroad

September 16, 2013
(U.S. Soccer Federation)
(U.S. Soccer Federation)

*The USSF does not plan to finalize the second of two proposed friendlies in Europe in November until the UEFA World Cup qualifiers are settled next month. A Nov. 15 match against Scotland in Glasgow was announced last week. The second game would come four days later against Austria in Vienna.

However, the Austrians remain in the hunt for Group C’s playoff berth in November — three points behind Sweden with two matchdays remaining. They will visit the Swedes on Oct. 11, and with a victory, would extend the race to Oct. 15, when Austria visits the last-place Faroe Islands and Sweden hosts first-place Germany.

Chances are, Austria will not win in Sweden, clearing the date with the United States. However, until the group is settled, an announcement will have to wait.

Side note: U.S. assistant coach Andy Herzog is Austria’s career leader in caps with 103.

*The U.S. women’s national team will play Australia in an Oct. 20 friendly at San Antonio’s Alamodome, the USSF announced. NBC will provide coverage, starting at 1:30 p.m. ET. U.S. Coach Tom Sermanni guided the Matildas from 1994 to ’96 and 2005 through ’12.

The Americans, who are unbeaten this year and remain No. 1 in the world, will play as many as four friendlies this fall, then face Canada in January at a venue to be determined. The other proposed games are in the negotiating stages. The United States has not played in San Antonio since 1996. As for playing indoors, the Americans have done it nine times previously and won all nine.

*Americans abroad Tuesday:

MF Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht begin the group stage of the UEFA Champions League at Benfica. Coverage begins at 2:45 p.m. ET on www.foxsoccer2go.com. (MF Jermaine Jones and Schalke will host Steaua Bucharest on Wednesday.)

In the English Championship …

D Tim Ream and Bolton vs. Derby County

D Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest vs. Middlesbrough

D Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City at Burnley

D Zak Whitbread and Leicester City vs. Blackburn Rovers

*Every Champions League match is available at 2:45 on www.foxsoccer2go.com (subscription required). DirecTV will show matches on channels 481-487. Fox Sports 1 will carry Manchester United vs. Bayer Leverkusen. Fox Sports 2 and Fox Deportes will present Galatasaray vs. Real Madrid while Fox Soccer Plus has Plzen vs. Manchester City. At 8 p.m., FS2 will replay United-Leverkusen and FS1 will show Plzen-City.

*In Sweden, four American women started in Tyreso’s 2-2 draw at Umea: goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, defender Ali Krieger, midfielder Meghan Klingenberg and forward Christen Press. Krieger exited in the 68th minute to make way for Brazilian superstar Marta, who was returning from injury … and wearing jersey No. 100.

 

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 | September 16, 2013