Short takes

• The U.S. women’s national team plays Portugal this week and Scotland next week, its first road games in nearly a year. It’s designed to be a difficult test, but the U.S. is likely to have an easy time with all but a smattering of other teams in the world, including these two. The women’s team is trying to be fully prepared for next summer’s World Cup, but with the steep differences in quality in the global game, it’ll be hard to do.

• The planned La Liga game in Miami between Barcelona and Girona, scheduled for January, is looking less likely. FIFA President Gianni Infantino said this week that he and the FIFA Council are opposed and would deny any request to move the regular Spanish league game overseas.

• FIFA also approved a South American request to move the continent’s Copa America championship to an every-four-years schedule, rather than the irregular two- or three-year cycle the tournament is on. This, however, means there will be a Copa America in both 2019 and 2020, and you can bet that the governing body will at least ask about playing the 2020 edition in the U.S., as it did with the 2016 edition.