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United States Women’s National Team to face England on April 2

The United States Women’s National Team will take on England on April 2 at Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road Stadium in London.

This marks the first announced friendly for the United States in 2011 leading up to the Women’s World Cup, which begins in Germany in late June.  The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. ET.  The match is part of a 20 day U.K.-based training camp for the U.S., which will face England and Scotland in training matches during the camp.

“I’ve been on this team for almost 15 years and to be finally going to England is really exciting for our players and staff,” said U.S. captain Christie Rampone. “It will not only be a great experience for our team, but a competitive match against a country that’s also in the World Cup. I’ve played with and against a bunch of English players in WPS and we all have great respect for their commitment to the game.”

Prior to that trip, the U.S. heads to Portugal for the Algarve Cup for games against Japan (March 2), Norway (March 4) and Finland (March 7) in group play.  The U.S. is currently 2-1 in 2011, defeating China and Canada while losing to Sweden en route to a Four Nations Tournament championship earlier in January.

The U.S. is 7-2-1 all-time against England but has never played in England.  The last time the two teams met was Sept. 22, 2007, when the U.S. won 3-0 in the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals.

Playing in England should help the U.S. grow accustom to being on the road and, more specifically, on European soil.  Playing in Germany this summer for the Women’s World Cup will be a lot different for a U.S. team which often plays many matches on home soil.

The English squad itself should also be a test for the United States.  Currently ranked No. 10 in the world, England automatically qualified for the Women’s World Cup out of Europe and has proven quality players that WPS fans should recognize, including Kelly Smith, Alex Scott and Eniola Aluko.

“We expect it to be a very challenging game, which is exactly what we need with a World Cup so close,” England Head Coach Hope Powell said. “People may argue that the USA are not the force that they were, but I would absolutely disagree with that.  They are still a force to be reckoned with and I know, having gone through a difficult qualification process, they are more determined than ever to do well at the World Cup.”


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