With the announcement of two friendlies today, the U.S. women’s national team has filled three of four proposed match dates this fall.
The Americans will play New Zealand twice:
Oct. 27 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco
Oct. 30 at Columbus Crew Stadium (aka DosACero Arena)
Oct. 20 vs. Australia at Alamodome in San Antonio
The last fall friendly is in the works: at home in November.
The Americans will then face Canada in January at a U.S. venue to be determined, probably play a friendly in February and then enter the Algarve Cup in Portugal in late February-early March.
The New Zealand matches fall in a FIFA fixture window, allowing Tom Sermanni to recall players with European clubs without interference. The Australia game is not in the window, so he is likely to rely on players without overseas commitments.
The other issue is the college season. Sermanni summoned three NCAA players for the Mexico friendly Sept. 3 in Washington — Virginia’s Morgan Brian, North Carolina’s Crystal Dunn and Illinois’ Vanessa DiBernardo. With the conference and national tournaments approaching, Sermanni may not want to disrupt their schedules. Virginia and North Carolina collide Oct. 20 in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The next major competition comes in the fall of 2014: World Cup qualifying. Canada will not operate the CONCACAF tournament because, as the World Cup host in 2015, it is already an automatic qualifier. The United States stages such things well but stadium and logistical costs will probably prevent it this time. So don’t be surprised if Mexico hosts for the second consecutive time or another country steps up.
All but one of the 15 U.S. matches this year have come against teams in FIFA’s top 20 rankings. (About 175 countries field women’s teams.) The only exception was neighboring Mexico (24th). The opponents include four teams (five games) in the top 10: Germany twice, Sweden, Canada and Australia.
On the local college front Thursday …
Top-ranked Virginia (8-0-0) came from behind to win at Boston College, 2-1. The Cavaliers, No. 1 for the first time since 1990, will visit Pittsburgh (4-4-1) on Sunday.
Tenth-ranked Georgetown (7-0-1) settled for a 1-1 home draw against Central Florida (6-2-1) ahead of Sunday’s visit to Connecticut (6-3-0).
No. 23 Virginia Tech (7-1-1) earned a 2-0 home victory over No. 21 Maryland (5-3-0).