England will take on the reigning world champions USA in a friendly internationa
England will take on the reigning world champions USA in a friendly international in America in May. US stars such as Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Kristine Lilly will line-up against England on Saturday May 17th.
England have not played the USA in six years, although the teams played on neutral ground in 2002 with the US winning 2-0 in the Algarve Cup friendly tournament. It will be the first time the two sides have met since The Football Association took over the running of the England women's side in 1993.
US Soccer has been keen to play England for a number of years, but this is the first time the teams could meet due to conflicting fixture schedules. The city and venue for the game is yet to be confirmed, but the match is likely to be televised live in the USA.
England have also lined up an away fixture against the European champions Germany. The match will be played in Darmstadt on Thursday September 11th.
Powell's side played Germany twice in their unsuccessful bid to qualify for the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, which will be held in China in September. England lost twice to Germany in their qualifying group, then went onto suffer the heartache of losing the Play-Off Final for the last European qualifying spot.
England lost 1-3 at Germany in September 2001 in the opening group game, then 0-1 at home in their final qualifying group game - in front of an English record 14,000 spectators at Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park in May 2002.
National Coach Hope Powell OBE has put into place a set of challenging fixtures as England prepare for the 2005 UEFA European Championships, which will be hosted by England - the first major women's international tournament to be held in this country.
England will kick-off their preparations later this month when they travel to Italy for a friendly on Tuesday February 25th.
Meanwhile, England Under-19s will play an international match away at Sweden in May. The game will come a month after the U19 side play their Second Group Qualifier for the 2003 UEFA U19 European Championship - and two months before the Championship itself, should England qualify.
The match, at a venue to be confirmed in Sweden, will take place on 15th May.