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March 28, 2010
U.S. to face Mexico twice this week

Abby Wambach is one of six U.S. players with 100 or more caps.
Abby Wambach is one of six U.S. players with 100 or more caps.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The United States Women’s National Team openes up its 2010 domestic schedule with a pair of games against Mexico this week. Coming off another Algarve Cup win, the Americans will play Sunday at Torrero Stadium in San Diego and on Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

The players in the camp include a mixture of youngsters, as well as some familiar faces. Back in camp with the team after a more than one year hiatus is Kristine Lilly. Lilly, who has 342 career caps has not played for the national team since late in 2008, after she took that year off to have a child.

“After a year goes by, I didn’t think it was going to happen,” said Lilly of the call. “I was happy to hear from her,” she said referring to U.S. Women’s National Team coach Pia Sundhage, who, ironically, was Lilly’s coach with the Boston Breakers in the Women’s United Soccer Association..

Lilly is the world’s second all-time leading scorer for women’s international soccer, having scored 129 goals for the USA, behind only Mia Hamm. If she makes the game roster and gets into one of the Mexico matches, she will have represented the USA in four different decades.

The U.S. roster for the Mexico matches includes five uncapped players, but it is still a veteran-laden team. In addition to Lilly, USA also has 100-cap club members Abby Wambach (135), Cat Whitehill (132), Shannon Boxx (122), Heather O’Reilly (120) and Heather Mitts (107). Next to 100 caps could be Carli Lloyd (89) or Hope Solo (88), but Stephanie Cox (58) seems to have played her way back into the mix, especially with the absence of Lori Chalupny (92) leaving an opening at left back. Chalupny has taken time off from soccer due to concussion related issues.

Sunday’s match at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego kicks off at 5:00 p.m. ET live on FSC and Fox Sports Español and the March 31 game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah starts at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2. These two matches are the final international games for the USA before the second season of WPS kicks off on the weekend of April 10 and 11. The U.S. call-ups left WPS pre-season camps for these two matches and will be returning immediately to their clubs from Salt Lake City.

Mexico is a familiar foe to the United States. The two sides have met 23 times before, but just one has been in Mexico, that coming in the most recent meeting in Ciudad Juarez during CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying in April of 2008. The US holds a 22-0-1 advantage over El Tri.

The U.S. Women’s National Team will have a busier schedule in 2010. Part of the year will still be designed around the WPS season. In addition to the Mexico matches, the USA will face Germany on May 22 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, (6 p.m. ET live on ESPN2) on a weekend that the WPS will not play matches. The U.S. team may play two more yet to be confirmed matches during the WPS season and will likely play two more domestic games right after the conclusion of the season to prepare for the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup that will serve as the qualifying tournament for Germany.
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