August, 23, 2010
U.S. Women to play in Philly, Atlanta
CHICAGO – The U.S. Women's National Team will face China twice in early October in what will be the final matches for the U.S. team before it enters CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
|Hope Solo and the U.S. Women's National Team will make their first apperances at PPL Park and KSU Soccer Stadium.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The first match will take place at 6 p.m. ET on Oct. 2 at the Kennesaw State University Soccer Stadium, home to the Atlanta Beat of Women’s Professional Soccer. The second leg will be contested at 7 p.m. ET on Oct. 6 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., home to the MLS expansion Philadelphia Union. The match in Chester will be broadcast live on ESPN2. It will be the first matches for the USA at the soccer-specific venues, both of which opened this year.
These will be the final exhibitions for the USA before the team participates in the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament being held from Oct. 28 through Nov. 8 in Cancún and Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The eight-team competition will send the two finalists to Germany for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup being held June 26-July 17, while the third place finisher will earn the right to play for a World Cup berth during a two-leg playoff against the fifth place finisher from Europe.
“There’s a commitment in Atlanta and at Kennesaw to grow soccer and especially the women’s game and that’s easily seen with the construction of this stadium and the support of the fans for the Beat,” said U.S. and Atlanta Beat goalkeeper Hope Solo. “To get quality international games before World Cup qualifying is extremely valuable and it’s great that the fans in Atlanta can come to see the national team in the premier women’s soccer facility in the country.”
The U.S. women have not played in the Atlanta area in more than 11 years, last appearing in May of 1999 against Japan at Dekalb Memorial Stadium. The team also played three matches during the mid-1990s at Decatur High School and of course two famous games – the semifinal and gold medal matches at the 1996 Olympics -- at Sanford Stadium in Athens. This will be the first U.S. Soccer event held at the $16.5 million, 8,300-seat soccer stadium that opened this year specifically for the Beat and the KSU women’s soccer program.
While the U.S. women have played three times in Philadelphia, all at Lincoln Financial Field and most notably the 5-0 win against Nigeria at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, this will be the first match for a U.S. National Soccer Team at 18,500-seat PPL Park.
The USA and China have one of the longest-running rivalries in women’s soccer, having met 42 times previously dating back to 1986. China failed to qualify for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.