Thursday, April 06, 2006

US Women to play Japan twice in May

The US women will continue their preparations for next year's World Cup when they play two matches against Japan in Japan.

They are set to face off on May 7 in Kumamoto and again on May 9 in Osaka. This will mark the first time since 1998 that the US women have played a match in Japan. It will also be the first time the sides have clashed since the 2004 Olympic quarterfinal (which the US won 2-1).

The USA has never lost to Japan, but three of their last four matches have ended in a draw. Currently the Japanese women are ranked 11th best in the FIFA World Women's Rankings.

By the way, the US now knows how it can qualify for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup as CONCACAF has unveiled the format for the 2006 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup. The finals will see six teams in a single-elimination format. The top two teams will qualify directly while the third-place finisher will play a home and away playoff against the third place Asian Confederation finisher. Since the USA and Canada will earn byes to the semifinal round of the Women's Gold Cup, they will have to win just one game to earn a spot in China.



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