U.S. National Teams
For the first hour of Wednesday's game at PPL Park, the Union went blow-for-blow with the two-time reigning MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy.
But by the end of the night, there was no question as to which team was better.
As the Union grew tired, Landon Donovan never wavered. With speculation rampant about his national team future, Donovan delivered three goals and an assist in L.A.'s 4-1 rout.
Ian Darke, ESPN's top soccer commentator, caught a lot of people off guard Thursday morning when he announced Thursday morning that he's joining new British sports TV channel BT Sport:
At superb launch today of BT Sport who I am joining to cover Premier League and other games next season in UK.— Ian Darke (@IanDarkeESPN) May 9, 2013
The channel, run by British Telecom, landed a package of Premier League TV rights in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of the new round of TV rights deals that start this summer. It will also have a wide range of other sports events, including Major League Soccer.
U.S. women's national team star Alex Morgan paid a visit to ESPN headquarters on Monday to do some interviews and create some buzz.
Morgan stopped by SportsCenter to take a few penalty kicks against former Eagles defensive end Hugh Douglas, who now works as a studio analyst on ESPN's NFL shows.
The U.S. women's team will be back on your televisions on June 2, when they travel to Toronto to face Canada (4:30 p.m., ESPN News). It's the first matchup between the teams since the epic semi-final contest at last summer's Olympics. I'll be up there for the game, as it's the day after the Union play at Toronto FC.
Norwich City at Arsenal
10:00 a.m. Saturday (Fox Soccer Channel)
After a rough start to the season, Arsenal has quietly re-established itself as one of the Premier League’s best teams. A win in this game would see the Gunners rise to third place in the standings.
United States women at Germany
12:15 p.m. Friday (ESPN3.com)
Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach lead the U.S. women in a rare friendly on European soil. Perennial power Germany will use this game as a springboard to World Cup qualifying, which begins later this year.
Wales at Scotland
4:00 p.m. Friday (ESPN3.com)
Club soccer around the world stops for a few days as attention turns to national teams in World Cup qualifying games. This contest features two teams that share a country - yes, really. When it comes to soccer, England and Britain aren’t the same thing. The United Kingdom, as it’s officially called, has four separate teams within it: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Veteran U.S. national team defender Heather Mitts has announced that her playing career is over. But her connections to the American soccer community will continue, as she's joining the Philadelphia Union's television team.
"The time has come for me to move onto a new stage of my career," Mitts wrote in a statement on her Facebook page. "I truly appreciate the women who paved the way, to my friends and dear teammates that I will never forget."
Mitts will be a sideline reporter and analyst during the Union's local television broadcasts. Her debut will come Saturday, when the Union host the New England Revolution at PPL Park. The Comcast Network will air the game, with kickoff set for 5:00 p.m.
CONCACAF, North American soccer's governing body, has released the schedule of games for this summer's Gold Cup.
The United States will be in a group with Belize, Costa Rica and Cuba. That should be an easy enough group to advance from, but having the final group stage game against the Ticos wil be tricky.
Should the United States advance, its quarterfinal matchup will likely be in Baltimore. That's the closest the team will come th Philadelphia.
Delran, N.J., native Carli Lloyd suffered a broken bone in her left shoulder while playing for the U.S. women's national team's at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.
Confirmation of the injury came Tuesday afternoon from the U.S. Soccer Federation. Lloyd suffered the injury in the U.S.' Algarve Cup opening game last Wednesday, a 3-0 win over Iceland.
"Although it's an unfortunate circumstance, I've been through injuries before and have come back even stronger,” Lloyd said in a press release. “I'm disappointed that I'll be missing some National Team events and some league games, but as soon as my shoulder allows, I'll be back and ready to compete.”
Twelve years ago today: the U.S. national team's historic 'dos a cero' World Cup qualifying win over Mexico
UPDATE: I was sent a very polite e-mail by renowned soccer historian - and former Inquirer sports copy desk stalwart - Roger Allaway on Friday morning which pointed out that this wasn't the first "dos a cero" U.S. win over Mexico.
In 1991, the United States recorded a 2-0 upset El Tri in the semfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The goals were scored by John Doyle and current Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes. So technically, the 2001 World Cup qualifier wasn't the first "dos a cero" game. I updated the headline accordingly.
Exactly 12 years ago on Thursday, the U.S. national team recorded one of its all-time signature victories.