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U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

April 14, 2011
THE SEND-OFF MATCH
U.S. vs. Mexico at RBA on June 5


U.S. Captain Christie Rampone hails from New Jersey, as several of her teammates.
U.S. Captain Christie Rampone hails from New Jersey, as several of her teammates.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
HARRISON, N.J. – The U.S. Women's National Team will play their Women’s World Cup send-off match against Mexico at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. on June 5 at 2 p.m. (ESPN2, Univision).

The match will mark the final U.S.-based tune-up for the U.S. women they depart for Europe in mid-June for a pre-Women’s World Cup training camp in Austria. The Americans open the WWC against North Korea in Dresden, Germany on June 28 (ESPN, 11:45 a.m. ET).

Before the match, U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Women’s National Team will honor Kristine Lilly for her career. The only woman to play in five WWCs, Lilly retired in January after a 23-year international career with a world-record 352 career international performances and 130 goals, second only in the world to Mia Hamm.

The match against Mexico marks the first game for any full U.S. National Team at RBA.

The encounter also features a unique side note in that it will be the first game between the two countries since the U.S. was upset by Mexico in the semifinal of the CONCACAF WWC qualifying tournament in Cancun, Mexico in October. The loss forced the Americans to win the third-place match at the tournament then defeat Italy in a home-and-home playoff series for a berth.

“There’s nothing better than having a World Cup send-off game at an amazing venue against a very good opponent in front of a great crowd,” U.S. captain and New Jersey native Christie Rampone said. “It will be an emotional game and a great test for us before we head over to Europe to begin our final preparations.”

The U.S. women have played quite a few matches in New Jersey, performing five times at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford and twice in the mid-1990s at Rutgers University in Piscataway. The contest also will mark a homecoming of sorts for the numerous New Jersey products. Rampone hails from Point Pleasant, veteran flank midfielder Heather O’Reilly is from East Brunswick. Attacking midfielder Carli Lloyd is from Delran while midfielders Tobin Heath and Yael Averbuch hail from Basking Ridge and Montclair, respectively. Backup goalkeeper Jill Loyden is from Vineland.

The USA boasts a 49-game home unbeaten streak, compiling a 44-0-5 record.
   
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