USA to host China in Colorado
The U.S. women's soccer team will host China in an exhibition game on April 6 at Commerce City, Colo.
The game, announced Thursday, follows the Algarve Cup in Portugal, where the Americans play Japan on March 5, Sweden two days later, and Denmark on March 10. China also will be at the tournament and faces Germany, Iceland and Norway.
"China seems to be getting to the stage where they've got some increased stability in coaching staff and their player pool, and the results of that stability and planning are beginning to show on the field," said U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni. "As always, the match will be a chance for our players to make claims for spots on the World Cup qualifying roster later in the fall, but it will also be just before the players head into the NWSL as friendly combatants, so we'll want to put in quality performances for our home fans."
The USA has faced China more than any other nation besides Canada, and the meeting in April will mark the 51st between the long-time rivals. The USA and China last met during the 2013 Algarve Cup in Portugal, a 5-0 victory for the Americans.
The U.S. team, which is ranked No. 1 in the latest FIFA Women's World Rankings, is 3-0-0 in 2014 and has scored 16 goals while allowing zero. Forward Christen Press leads the USA in scoring this year with three goals in just 87 minutes of action, but four players have scored twice.
The match will also serve as Women's World Cup qualifying preparation for China, which competes in the AFC Women's Asian Cup in Vietnam in mid-May, a tournament that will send the top five finishers to the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. China is 19th in the current FIFA Women's World Rankings.