Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Seven Hot Matches

Featuring the summer's final friendlies and some big contests at the Olympics.

Seven Hot Matches

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United States women vs. Colombia at Hampden Park, Glasgow

12:00 p.m. Saturday (NBC Sports Network; NBC Olympic Soccer Channel; NBCOlympics.com)

After an impressive 4-2 win over France in their first group stage game, the U.S. women face a Colombia team that they beat 3-0 at last year’s World Cup. With starting central midfielder Shannon Boxx fighting a hamstring injury, Delran, N.J., native Carli Lloyd could play a significant role helping star forwards Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan.

Chelsea vs. AC Milan at Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.

6:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2; ESPN Deportes; ESPN3.com)

Chelsea’s summer tour of the United States has spanned the country, from Seattle to New York to the MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park. The reigning UEFA Champions League winners will wrap up their trip with a game against one of Italy’s most famous clubs.

It has been a rough summer for AC Milan, whose fans have been outraged by the sale of stars Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain. The backlash included a fan group suing the rossoneri over a claim of false advertising. The team responded by offering to refund season tickets to fans who request it.

Spain vs. Honduras at St. James' Park, Newcastle

12:00 p.m. Sunday (Telemundo; NBCOlympics.com)

Widely tipped as one of the favorites to win the men’s Olympic soccer tournament, Spain was upset by Japan, 1-0, in its opening group stage game. This should be an easier contest for La Roja, whose squad includes Chelsea’s Juan Mata and Barcelona’s Jordi Alba. 

But Honduras gave an impressive performance in its opener, tying Morocco 2-2. New England Revolution forward Jerry Bengtson scored both goals for the Catrachos, whose squad also includes Sporting Kansas City’s Roger Espinoza and D.C. United’s Andy Najar.

Canada women vs. Sweden at St. James' Park, Newcastle

9:30 a.m. Tuesday (NBC Sports Network; NBC Olympic Soccer Channel; NBCOlympics.com)

In a group led by reigning World Cup winners Japan, this could be an elimination game for two teams that also have a lot of talent. Canada will look to star forward Christine Sinclair, who recorded just one shot on goal in a 2-1 loss to Japan on Wednesday. Sweden is led by former Philadelphia Independence midfielder Caroline Seger.

Tottenham Hotspur at New York Red Bulls

7:00 p.m. Tuesday (ESPN2; ESPN Deportes; ESPN3.com)

Although this game is just a friendly, it will have plenty of meaning for two of New York’s biggest stars. 

One is forward Thierry Henry, who  rose to prominence as one of the world’s best forwards in his eight years at Tottenham’s biggest rival, Arsenal. The other is newly-signed Australian midfielder Tim Cahill. Major League Soccer's latest Designated Player could make his home debut with the Red Bulls here, after signing from Everton for $1.5 million on Thursday.

Uruguay vs. Great Britain at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

2:45 p.m. Wednesday (NBC Sports Network; Telemundo; NBC Olympic Soccer Channel; NBCOlympics.com)

Uruguay’s best forward, Luis Suarez, became one of English soccer’s biggest villains last season when he delivered a racial insult to Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. In this game, he’ll face two of Evra’s United teammates, midfielders Ryan Giggs and Tom Cleverley. 

Great Britain needs a win after giving up a late goal in a 1-1 draw against Senegal, but this will be a huge test. Suarez will be joined in Uruguay’s attack by another prolific scorer, Napoli’s Edison Cavani.

Real Madrid at Los Angeles Galaxy

10:30 p.m. Thursday (ESPN2; ESPN Deportes; ESPN3.com)

It’s always a tough ticket when Real Madrid, the most successful team in European soccer history, plays in the shadow of Hollywood. This game will be even hotter then usual, since it will take place at the Galaxy’s 27,000-seat Home Depot Center. 

Even though L.A. has a game three days later, expect all the stars to be out for this one: David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane for the home side, and Cristiano Ronaldo, Meszut Ozil and Sergio Ramos for the visitors.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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