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U.S. Women to host Japan twice in May

The United States Women’s National Team will host Japan on May 14 in Columbus, Ohio and again on May 18 in Cary, N.C., U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday.

The May 14 match will take place at Columbus Crew Stadium at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel.  Four days later, the game in WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary will be aired live on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. ET.  Also in the works for the U.S. is a June 5 friendly before the team leaves for training camp in Austria, although an opponent and venue have yet to be chosen.

The announcement of the two friendly matches comes amidst tragic times for Japan, which continues to deal with the after effects of the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country last week.

“Our entire team and staff have great sympathy for the people of Japan following the tragedies that struck their country and we are looking forward to hosting the team here in the United States,” U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage said in a release. “We have tremendous respect for the Japanese players, for the way they play the game and for the heart they show on the field, and we will be expecting two excellent matches.”

The United States has never lost to Japan, compiling a 20-0-3 record against the traditionally strong team from the Asian Football Confederation.  That includes a 2-1 win on March 2 in the 2011 Algarve Cup.  The U.S. is also 4-0-0 all-time in Cary, N.C. and 3-1-0 in Columbus Crew Stadium.  Currently, the Americans are on a 49 game unbeaten streak at home (44-0-5).

WPS games are scheduled for May 13 and May 15 as well as the following weekend on May 21 and May 22.  U.S. players would likely miss those fixtures.

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