Today is an absolute smorgasbord for soccer fans. Especially for USMNT and Chicago Fire fans. One of the best things is that all these games are spread out enough for a day full of soccer action if you play your cards right. We encourage you to join us as we talk soccer throughout the day. We will try to keep things updated as they develop. Follow me after the break for a list of all the must see action. Happy soccer Wednesday!
1. I am starting off with a huge matchup in the matinee slot as it is the earliest game in the day. Granted, it's a friendly, but it's an important game nonetheless. The USMNT has a chance to further test their progress under Jurgen Klinsmann by playing world soccer power Italy. This alone should tell you it's a tough test without me even mentioning that the Americans have never beaten Italy. And while the US will feature more of their veterans than the past few matches, due to injuries we still won't have our "A" team. And that means that Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have still not appeared on the same pitch together for the USMNT under Jurgen Klinsmann. If the US can play a solid, competitive match, I will be happy with that. Most of all, I want to see improvement and progress in Klinsmann's system heading into World Cup Qualifying.
Details: USMNT vs. Italy (friendly from Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa, Italy)
When: 1:30 PM CST
How to watch: ESPN2, ESPN3.com, Galavision
2. Next up is our very own, beloved Chicago Fire. Despite the Fire missing several key members of the starting XI due to international duty today, the boys from Chi-Town will look to notch a win coming off Saturday's 1-0 loss to DC United in the Carolina Challenge Cup. The Men in Red will face the Cow-Town Crew in an attempt to get back to their winning ways, and hopefully will tally a few goals while they are at it. Overall, I think the Fire have certainly created chances this year but have struggled to put them away. A good 4 or 5 goals against the Crew will certainly put some of the uneasiness aside at the lack of scoring lately. Hopefully we will see Federico Puppo's name appear on the scoresheet as well. I really think it would be good for his confidence. No matter what, the season is almost upon us and I for one can't wait.
Details: Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew (Carolina Challenge Cup from Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina)
When: 4:00 PM CST
How to watch: Live stream from chicago-fire.com
3. Fire fans should keep in mind that our very own speedsters Patrick Nyarko and Dominic Oduro will be facing Chile in an international friendly at the Philadelphia Union's very own PPL Park. Oduro was called up to the team late last week, and Fire fans certainly rejoiced over the selection. It got even better when it was announced recently that Patrick Nyarko would be joining him. Nyarko was called upon after Ghana lost a couple of players to injury and visa issues. Despite that, the call ups for both Oduro and Nyarko are well deserved and show what both players are capable of. Ghana has a very good national team, so for them to be called up to the Black Stars says quite a bit about their level of play. Hopefully one, if not both players, get some playing time (maybe even at the same time).
Details: Ghana vs. Chile (friendly from PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania)
When: 6:00 PM CST
How to watch: No official showing listed (you will have to use your resources)
4. To cap off a crazy soccer day, Sean Johnson and the rest of the US U23 team will face Mexico in an international friendly. The fact that the words USA and Mexico are being used in the same sentence should get you excited. It's always a must see event at any soccer level when these two nations clash. It should certainly be a good match to see how our younger players stack up against a very good Mexico side. I am hoping to see a good dose of SJ and his house as well. A win over Mexico would be huge for the US. I will certainly be watching.
Details: US U23 vs. Mexico U23 (friendly from FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas). Remember, it's not Pizza Hut Park anymore, what a shame...
When: 9 PM CST
How to watch: Univision
I think it's pretty amazing that the matches all line up for a good solid 8-9 hours of soccer action, one right after another. It's almost as if a USMNT/Fire fan were put in charge of scheduling all the matches to line up properly. We hope to hear from you during this great day of soccer action!