Featured Matches
Previous
Arsenal
Besiktas
1
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Athletic Bilbao
Napoli
3
1
ESPNDeportes FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 2
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
FC Copenhagen
4
0
ESPN3 FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 7 - 2
Game Details
Aston Villa
Leyton Orient
0
1
FT
Game Details
Birmingham City
Sunderland
0
3
FT
Game Details
Stoke City
Portsmouth
3
0
FT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Queens Park Rangers
1
0
FT
Game Details
Arsenal
Besiktas
1
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Athletic Bilbao
Napoli
3
1
ESPNDeportes FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 2
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
FC Copenhagen
4
0
ESPN3 FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 7 - 2
Game Details
Ludogorets Razgrad
Steaua Bucuresti
1
0
ESPN3 FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
Malmo FF
SV Salzburg
3
0
ESPN3 FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 2
Game Details
Aston Villa
Leyton Orient
0
1
FT
Game Details
Birmingham City
Sunderland
0
3
FT
Game Details
Bradford City
Leeds United
2
1
FT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Queens Park Rangers
1
0
FT
Game Details
Stoke City
Portsmouth
3
0
FT
Game Details
Los Angeles Galaxy
DC United
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
León
Herediano
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Municipal
Pachuca
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cobresal
General Díaz
1
2
LIVE 76'
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 4
Game Details
Independiente Terán
Trujillanos
0
0
LIVE 79'
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Libertad
Nacional Potosí
11:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
River Plate
Universidad Católica
11:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Internacional
Bahia
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
Deportivo La Guaira
2:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Alianza Lima
Barcelona
2:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Atletico Rafaela
Newell's Old Boys
2
3
FT
Game Details
Rosario Central
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
0
1
FT
Game Details
River Plate
Defensa y Justicia
3
0
FT
Game Details
Estudiantes La Plata
Boca Juniors
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Irapuato
U.A.N.L
1
0
LIVE 36'
Game Details
Morelia
Celaya
1
0
ESPNDeportes LIVE 25'
Game Details
Oaxaca
Chiapas
0
0
LIVE 9'
Game Details
Atlas
Mineros de Zacatecas
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Correcaminos
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
UNAM
Mérida
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Zacatepec
Guadalajara
ESPNDeportes 2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
América RN
Atletico Paranaense
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Santa Rita
5
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Botafogo
Ceará
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Bragantino
Corinthians
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Coritiba FBC
Flamengo
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Palmeiras
Atlético MG
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
LDU Quito
Deportivo Quito
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
FC Seoul
Pohang Steelers
0
0
FT-Pens
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0FC Seoul win 3-0 on penalties
Game Details
Guangzhou Evergrande
Western Sydney Wanderers
2
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Amazulu
Bloem Celtic
0
2
FT
Game Details
Mamelodi Sundowns
Orlando Pirates
0
3
FT
Game Details
Pretoria Univ
Free State Stars
0
1
FT
Game Details
Silver Stars
Kaizer Chiefs
0
2
FT
Game Details
SuperSport United
Mpumalanga Black Aces
1
2
FT
Game Details
Saprissa
Santos
Postp
Game Details
Carmelita
Club Sport Uruguay
2
0
FT
Game Details
Cartagines
Perez Zeledon
Postp
Postponed - now being played Sun, Aug 31
Game Details
Antigua
Marquense
9:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Petapa
Coatepeque
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vida
Marathon
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next

Serie A season preview: AS Roma

AS Roma 7 hours ago
Read
Jul 11, 2008

U.S. women out for revenge against Brazil

Whether it's Bob Dylan tunes or grass battles, coach Pia Sundhage likes to raise the stakes for the U.S. women's soccer team.

The latest of Sundhage's challenges looks like anything but a relaxing home stretch as the U.S. women prepare for next month's Olympics. In the team's final two matches before the Games begin, the U.S. will face Brazil -- first on Sunday in Commerce City, Colo. (ESPN, 4 p.m. ET) followed by Wednesday's meeting at Torero Stadium in San Diego, Calif.

Enduring one of the most grueling preparation schedules in team history -- which will number 22 games, more than 40,000 miles and seven countries by the end of July -- the U.S. women have doled out their share of punishment to opponents, mostly in visitors mode.

The Yanks even gave their coach a homecoming gift last week, defeating Sweden 1-0 (in Sweden) in a historical game that saw Sundhage -- the most celebrated Swedish female player and coach -- not only rooting for but also coaching the visiting team. The Americans also dismissed Norway 4-0 on their trip to Scandinavia, a successful rehearsal for when they'll face Norway again in Group G to open the Olympics on Aug. 6.

Meanwhile, Brazil posted a 1-1 draw against Canada on July 10 in Toronto and will be eagerly looking to bring a win back home as the Olympics approach.

In June, the United States defeated Brazil 1-0 in the 2008 Peace Queen Cup, but the Carinhas did not bring their full squad, so the Americans didn't achieve true redemption for their 4-0 loss to Brazil in the 2007 World Cup semifinals. But the narrow 1-0 win against Brazil's supporting roster might be a portent of the Rocky Mountains ahead for the United States' first game in Colorado. The U.S. Soccer Federation doesn't expect Marta to be present during Brazil's domestic tour, as she continues to fulfill European club duties.

U.S. women's schedule
Sunday
U.S. vs. Brazil
Dick's Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.
4 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN360.com)

"Marta is a great player, but she needs a team behind her, and she needs to play against a team, as well," Sundhage said. "You have to respect her quality. I think it's fun. That's what coaching is all about."

In any case, Marta is one puzzle the U.S. won't be solving anytime soon, but don't expect Sundhage to alter her game plan for the star forward. "If you look at our defenders, I think we will play well against Brazil, with or without Marta," the coach said. Even without Brazilian playmakers Marta, Cristiane and Daniela -- who most likely will be no-shows due to club obligations -- give credit to the U.S. coaching staff for selecting Brazil as the last pit stop for the Americans. The Carinhas' style of play embodies the X factor the U.S. will be up against in a diverse Group G with Japan, New Zealand and Norway. Brazil is extremely physical -- borderline dirty, really -- but also possesses speed, vertical dexterity, creative flair, superior ball control and an explosive yet capricious attack.

"[We will] continue what we are doing and emphasize finding the rhythm," Sundhage said in addressing her goals for the team. "We are trying to speed up the game and slow it down a bit and try different players off the bench, because the bench will be very important in the Olympics."

Riding the pine has never been this good for U.S. players, as the entire bench has made a concerted run for the 12th woman on the field. Nicole Barnhart has played remarkably well since her arthroscopic knee surgery, subbing in for Hope Solo in the second half against Sweden to make some crucial saves. In fact, Solo and Barnhart just might make the case for a true goalie tandem, as they seem to bring out the best in each other: they've led the team to a five-game shutout streak, the longest scoreless stretch since 2005.

The stifling defensive play is also the happy product of the back line's quartet of Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone, Kate Markgraf and Lori Chalupny, who have finally crystallized their communication and positioning as the back four. Rachel Buehler's growing confidence and experience also situates her as a terrific candidate to stand in for either of the flank defenders Mitts or Chalupny.

The midfield is operating like a well-oiled engine, as Carli Lloyd and Shannon Boxx seem to have worked out the kinks in the central transition, in part because Sundhage has given the pair free run of the field.

"I'm no longer considered a defensive midfielder, which is fun -- she's given the midfielders a chance to really learn to work together," Boxx said. "Carli and I are working great together. Heather O'Reilly and Lindsay Tarpley have done a great job. You've got Ang [Angela Hucles] coming and scoring big-time goals for us the end of games. The way we move in the midfield is going to be hard for other teams to play against us." Brazil's defense took a major blow in the previous friendly between the two teams; captain Aline went down early after tearing a knee ligament and will miss the Beijing Olympics. It will be up to defensive stalwarts Tania and Rosana to contain the 3.0 version of the triple-edged sword of Abby Wambach, Natasha Kai and Lindsay Tarpley. Each player has tallied double-digit goals for 2008, and in addition to the combined 33 goals the trifecta has scored, Carli Lloyd's seven goals adds a fourth dimension.

The upcoming games at home also will offer U.S. women's national team faithful to see history in the making. While it's not quite the home run record, Abby Wambach is pursuing her 100th goal, which would tie her with Tiffeny Milbrett. The prestigious mark would launch her into a legendary U.S. goal-scoring group that also includes Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Michelle Akers.

"I know I've been pretty consistent and that I have one of the highest goal-scoring rates in the history of the national team," Wambach said, "but I really believe if you were to go back and look at all the records of all those goals, I would say 99 percent of them have assists. What that shows you, what that shows me, is that I need my teammates to be successful on an individual basis." Abby said she just "wants to get the 100th over with," and maybe get a little sweet revenge against the team that notoriously shut her down last year.

Records aside, the U.S. women will face Brazil on Sunday, and they won't be looking in the rearview mirror this time.

Lindsey Dolich is a contributor to ESPN The Magazine and covers the U.S. women's national team for ESPNsoccernet. She can be reached at soccerdols@gmail.com.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.