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USWNT to face Ireland on gold medal tour, again

It wouldn’t be a U.S. women’s Olympic gold medal tour without the Irish.

The U.S. women will face Ireland in Portland, Ore. on Nov. 28 and again in Glendale, Ariz. on Dec. 1 as part of their post-Olympic gold medal tour, U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday. The U.S. has won three-straight Olympic gold medals and this will mark the third consecutive gold medal tour that the the Americans will welcome Ireland to the States.

The forthcoming matches against Ireland will serve as the sixth and seventh stops in what is being called a “Fan Tribute Tour.” The final three matches of the expected 10-game tour are yet to be announced, but would be played in early-to-mid December.

Ireland is winless (0-8) all-time against the U.S. Things shouldn’t quite get as ugly as they did in the 8-0 romping of Costa Rica on Sept. 1, but the matches will certainly be easier than the two against Germany on Oct. 20 and Oct. 23. Who doesn’t like a nice world Top 2 showdown?

Most interesting is that these matches against Ireland could be the first matches in charge for a potential new coach of the U.S. The Germany matches are less than three weeks away and U.S. Soccer is yet to name a new coach for the women’s national team. That decision would have to come very quickly in order to insert the coach into the high-pressure situation of hosting world No. 2 Germany.

[Insert shouting about who the next coach will be and when we’ll know who it is. Answer: There really is not any indication yet. Former Philadelphia Independence coach and two-time WPS coach of the year Paul Riley got an interview. Jill Ellis, Erica Walsh and Marcia McDermott are reportedly, per ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle, are not pursuing the job. Dozens of people submitted their names. After that, we don’t know much.]

Also interesting is that the two USA-Ireland matches will be broadcast on Fox Soccer, per Fox Soccer TV talent Rob Stone:

We have a long way to go until 2015, but this could serve as a nice initial (very raw, very preliminary) look at what we can expect out of 2015 Women’s World Cup coverage. Remember, that will be the first year that Fox takes over World Cup rights from ESPN, following ESPN’s farewell to the rights at the 2014 men’s World Cup in Brazil.

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