March 3, 2010
HARTFORD SEND OFF
U.S. to face Czechs at Rentschler
CHICAGO — The U.S. Men’s National Team will face the Czech Republic on May 25 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., in the first of two Send-Off Series matches before heading to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Kickoff at Rentschler Field is set for 8 p.m. ET and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN and Galavision.
|Landon Donovan, shown here with current Galaxy teammate Chris Birchall (Trinidad & Tobago) in a 2005 game at Rentschler Field.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Four days later, the U.S. will face Turkey at 2 p.m. ET on May 29 at Lincoln Financial Field. More than 20,000 tickets have already been sold for the match in Philadelphia, which will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision.
“The international spotlight will be shining brightly on the State of Connecticut in May as we become part of soccer’s world stage and host one of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s final send-off games before they compete in the FIFA World Cup,” said Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell. “Not only is this a great opportunity for soccer players and fans of all ages in Connecticut to watch some of the sport’s best compete at Rentschler Field, but from the state’s standpoint it provides numerous game day jobs and a good boost to our local economy at a critical time.”
The last U.S. visit to Rentschler Field was also part of a Send-Off Series, with the U.S. defeating Latvia 1-0 on May 28, 2006, before heading to Germany for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Prior to that match, the U.S. defeated Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 with a goal from Brian McBride on Aug. 17, 2005, in the final round of 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying. The two games drew an average of more than 25,000 fans.
“We are very excited about returning to Hartford,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley, who guided the U.S. to a first-place finish through 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying. “The national team has enjoyed a history of success there, and the team has always appreciated the fantastic support from the fans. We are looking forward to an incredible atmosphere as we prepare to compete at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.”
The USA has faced the Czech Republic or its predecessor, Czechoslovakia, on two occasions, both coming in World Cups. Four years ago the U.S. fell 3-0 to the Czechs, then ranked No. 2 in the world, in Gelsenkirchen to open the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany before bouncing back five days later to draw 1-1 with eventual World Champions Italy. Czechoslovakia handed a young U.S. team a 5-1 loss on June 10, 1990, in Italy in the Americans first match in a World Cup in 40 years.
Tickets for the match at Rentschler Field start at $25 and go on sale to the public Thursday, March 11, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Connecticut. Tickets may also be purchased starting Friday, March 12, at the XL Center ticket office in downtown Hartford (open Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.). The ticket office at Rentschler Field is only open on the day of the event. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.
Following the Send-Off Series, the U.S. will travel to South Africa to prepare for its first game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The USA opens the tournament on June 12 against England in Rustenburg, before continuing Group C action against Slovenia in Johannesburg on June 18. The U.S. rounds out group play against Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria.