World Cup update: international friendlies and recent news

The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup is now less than two months away, and more teams have added friendlies to their preparation. There’s also new news out of Nigeria and France. Regarding friendlies, Nigeria will play Ghana twice in May before heading to Germany. In Germany, Nigeria will play a handful of practice matches (against as yet unnamed opponents), according to Coach Eucharia Ngozi Uche. Japan will play South Korea on June 18 as their sendoff game in Ehime, Japan. New Zealand, after its two matches against Australia, will play China en route to Germany.

In other World Cup news … Cynthia Uwak, a forward who plays for FC Saarbrücken (German Bundesliga), is still not a guaranteed lock to make Nigeria’s World Cup squad, according to Uche …

On Monday, June 6, French National Team Coach Bruno Bini will announce his final 21-player World Cup roster. Bini currently has 36 players on his roster. They are:

Goalkeepers: Karima Benameur (Toulouse FC), Sarah Bouhaddi (Olympique Lyonnais), Céline Deville (Montpellier HSC), Audrey Malet (FCF Juvisy), Laëtitia Philippe (Montpellier HSC), Berangere Sapowicz (Paris-SG)

Defenders: Sonia Bompastor (Olympique Lyonnais), Sabrina Delannoy (Paris-SG), Corine Franco (Olympique Lyonnais), Kelly Gadéa (Montpellier HSC), Laura Georges (Olympique Lyonnais), Laure Lepailleur (Paris-SG), Ophélie Meilleroux (Montpellier HSC), Mélissa Plaza (Montpellier HSC), Wendy Renard (Olympique Lyonnais), Julie Soyer (Paris-SG), Sabrina Viguier (Olympique Lyonnais)

Midfielders: Camille Abily (Olympique Lyonnais), Laure Boulleau (Paris-SG), Elise Bussaglia (Paris-SG), Ludivine Diguelman (Montpellier HSC), Amandine Henry (Olympique Lyonnais), Jessica Houara (Paris-SG), Hodda Lattaf (Montpellier HSC), Louisa Necib (Olympique Lyonnais), Caroline Pizzala (Paris-SG), Léa Rubio (Paris-SG), Sandrine Soubeyrand (FCF Juvisy)

Forwards: Sandrine Brétigny (Olympique Lyonnais), Camille Catala (AS Saint-Etienne), Pauline Crammer (FCF Hénin-Beaumont), Marie-Laure Delie (Montpellier HSC), Eugénie Le Sommer (Olympique Lyonnais), Elodie Thomis (Olympique Lyonnais), Gaëtane Thiney (FCF Juvisy), Laëtitia Tonazzi (FCF Juvisy)