Video: USWNT back in action

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The U.S. Women’s National Team will play its first two matches since the end of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup when it faces Canada in a two-game “Celebration Series,” with games in recently opened Major League Soccer Stadiums on Sept. 17 in Kansas City and on Sept. 22 in Portland. The games will help the U.S. team celebrate with the fans that supported the team so wonderfully this summer during the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, while also allowing the USA to takes its first step towards Olympic Qualifying being held this January in Vancouver, Canada. The match at the spectacular LIVESTRONG Sporting Park will kick off at 6 p.m. CT and be broadcast live on Fox Soccer while the second leg at JELD-WEN Field, which underwent massive renovations and has developed into one of best soccer environments in MLS, will be shown live on ESPN2 and ESPN3 at 8 p.m. PT. Fans can also follow along on’s MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer_wnt. After the World Cup, the U.S. players went back to their WPS clubs and have not played together since their spectacular run to the championship game in Germany where the USA fell to Japan in a dramatic penalty kick shootout. The roster for these two matches will consist of the 21 players that represented the USA in Germany. For training camps in November and December, U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage will call in new and additional players as she starts to formulate her squad for Olympic Qualifying.

Date Opponent Time TV Venue
Sept. 17 Canada 6 p.m. CT Fox Soccer LIVESTRONG Sporting Park; Kansas City, Kan.
Sept. 22 Canada 8 p.m. PT ESPN2 JELD-WEN Field; Portland, Ore.

And check out Alex Morgan throwing out the first pitch at a Kansas City Royals game (below):

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via SportingNews.

Two CONCACAF Gold Cup defeats on home soil contributed to the U.S. national team’s drop to 24th in the new FIFA world rankings. The updated table of FIFA’s 207 members was released Wednesday, the first set of rankings since May 22. Gold Cup champion Mexico, meanwhile, was the big winner this month, rocketing 19 places to ninth thanks to a fantastic tournament that ended with a 4-2 victory over the Americans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. El Tri is in the top 10 for the first time since July 2007.

FIFA officials say 22 of the 25 Gold Cup matches impacted the ranking. That’s because Guadeloupe, which the U.S. defeated in the Gold Cup’s first round, is not a FIFA member. The tiny French protectorate does compete in CONCACAF competitions, however, and has qualified for the past three Gold Cup tournaments.

The U.S. began 2010 ranked 18th and now is at its lowest point of the year. The last time it concluded a calendar year below 22nd was in 2006, when it finished 31st. The U.S. currently has no games scheduled but likely will announce exhibition opponents for the upcoming dates already set aside for international matches on the FIFA calendar — Aug. 17 and Sept. 3-7.

World champion Spain, which demolished the United States 4-0 on June 4, remained atop the world rankings, while World Cup runner-up Netherlands stayed at second. Germany and England moved up to third and fourth, respectively, knocking Brazil down to fifth. Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Mexico and Argentina rounded out the top 10.

Click through the jump to check out the top 50 rankings.

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American World Cup midfielder Clint Dempsey scored twice during Fulham’s 3-0 victory over Bolton to increase his season total to 12 and set the club record for career Premier League goals. Not only did Clint Dempsey make history on the pitch, he also made it on The 91st Minute after being posted two days in a row, a true accomplishment. Congratulations Clint!

Click through the jump to see one of his two goals.

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Who cares about Cricket?

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Apparently the Cricket World Cup has started play and I have to ask, why should an American care about cricket? I know it’s hypocritical, because soccer is an international game, but I just can’t imagine cricket, or other international sports (i.e. rugby), gaining major footing here.

My gripe is with ESPN. Can you please stop trying to shove this ridiculous, wannabe baseball, down my throat? Today, they ran an entire OTL report about Johnny cricket player. The problem is, even the reporter didn’t know a thing about this poor guy.

I realize it took soccer a long time to gain it’s semi-solid footing here, but keep-in-mind there was a demand for it. Soccer is the largest youth sport in the United States and has more collegiate athletes than any other sport! But, let me ask you, do you see any youth cricket leagues in your area? How about Division 1 Men’s or Women’s Cricket squads? (Video inside post)

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