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U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

February 7, 2011
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
U.S. women to play in England for the 1st time on April 2


Abby Wambach and the U.S. women will play in England for the first time on April 2.
Abby Wambach and the U.S. women will play in England for the first time on April 2.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Incredible as it may sound, but the U.S. Women's National Team has never played a game in England.

Well, that will be remedied on April 2 when the Americans face the hosts in an international friendly at Matchroom Stadium in east London on April 2.

The stadium, also known as Brisbane Road, home to English League One side Leyton Orient. It seats slightly more than 9,000 specators. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. ET.

The match will be a part of a 20-day training camp in the United Kingdom for the U.S., which is preparing for the Women’s World Cup in Germany from June 26-July 17.

“First of all, England is a soccer country and the atmosphere while playing a game there will be wonderful,” U.S. women’s national coach Pia Sundhage said in a statement. “The World Cup is being played in Europe so the more time we can spend there the better.”

The U.S. has met England just 10 times in its 27-year history. Four of the games have been in Europe (two in Italy, one in France, one in Portugal) and four in the United States. The last two matches took place in China, including the most recent meeting, a 3-0 quarterfinal victory for the USA at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Sundhage will bring 23 players to England on a trip that will also feature training matches against England and Scotland.

England features one of the world’s best players in former Seton Hall University standout midfielder Kelly Smith, who plays for the Boston Breakers in Women’s Professional Soccer. Smith finished fourth in the voting for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year last year.

“England has an interesting way of attacking and some talented wing players,” Sundhage said. “Seeing how we deal with Kelly Smith will also be an important experience for our team.”

The U.S. side is finishing up a training camp in Florida, after which Sundhage will chose a roster for the Algarve Cup in Portugal. The U.S. will face Japan (March 2), Norway (March 4) and Finland (March 7) in group play during the tournament. The placement matches are on March 9. The U.S. team then will have 10 days off before the team leaves for England on March 21.
   
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