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World Champion USWNT to Play September Games in Detroit and Birmingham, Alabama

CHICAGO (July 21, 2015) – The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion U.S. Women’s National Team will play its third and fourth matches on its post-Women’s World Cup tour in Detroit and Birmingham, Alabama, this September. 

The games are part of a 10-match tour to celebrate the USA’s third World Cup title. The remaining six match dates, venues and opponents will be announced as they are confirmed. 

The USA will face Women’s World Cup quarterfinalist Australia on Thursday, Sept. 17, at Ford Field in Detroit (7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1) followed by a match on Sunday, Sept. 20, at historic Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama (1:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2). 

Tickets for the September games go on sale to the public Friday, July 31, at 10 a.m. local time at ussoccer.com. For the Detroit contest, tickets are also available by phone at 1-877-212-8898 and at the Ford Field ticket office (Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). For the event in Birmingham, tickets are also available by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers (including Publix and Walmart locations). [Note: Tickets are not sold at Legion Field except on the day of the event.] 

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

The press credential application for media planning to cover the post-Women's World Cup tour matches is available online by clicking here. The deadline to submit the U.S. Soccer press credential application for the matches against Australia will be Friday, September 11. 

The USA and Australia met in the opening Group D game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 3-1 U.S. victory on two goals from Megan Rapinoe and a game-winner from Christen Press that kick-started the USA’s run to the championship. 

The USA’s tour begins on Aug. 16 against Costa Rica at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. More than 37,000 tickets have been sold for that match. [TICKETS] The USA will then play Costa Rica at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Aug. 19. That match is sold out with over 20,000 fans expected to attend.

Additional Notes:

  • The Sept. 17 clash with Australia will mark the USA’s fourth match in the Detroit area and third at Ford Field, home to the NFL’s Detroit Lions.
  • The USA played indoors at the Pontiac Silverdome in 1993 on grass in a test match for the 1994 World Cup, and then played at Ford Field in December 2008 and 2012 at the end of victory tours to celebrate the Olympic gold medals in Beijing and London, respectively.
  • The USA returns to Alabama for the first time in more than seven years. The U.S. Women played at Legion Field in 2003 against England, in 2004 against Brazil and in 2008 against Australia, a wild 5-4 victory that saw the Americans race out to a 4-1 lead only for the Matildas to roar back and tie the match. The U.S., which scored not one but two own goals in the game, won the match on a goal from Angela Hucles in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time.
  • In Canada this summer, Australia finished second in Group D and defeated Brazil 1-0 in their Round of 16 match on a goal from Boston Breakers forward Kyah Simon, before falling in the quarterfinal to eventual Women’s World Cup finalist Japan, 1-0, on an 87th minute score.

Sharp Names 14-Man Roster for 2015 Parapan American Games

CHICAGO (July 29, 2015) – U.S. Paralympic National Team head coach Stuart Sharp has named 14 players to represent the United States at the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto, Canada.

Preliminary matches begin Sunday, Aug. 9, for the USA when it faces Canada. It will then face Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil on the following consecutive days. Elimination games will take place on Friday, Aug. 14, before the placement games and closing ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 15.

“The players and staff are looking forward to getting on the plane to Toronto to join up with the rest of Team USA at the Parapan American Games next month,” said Sharp. “It has been a busy and successful year for the USPNT program and all the U.S. Soccer National Teams in general, therefore we are keen to continue this momentum.

“We will be taking a squad with only two changes to the group that recently made the quarterfinals of the World Championships, therefore we will have a nice blend of youth and experience in Canada.”

Daniel Hoffman and Jackson McCabe join the team as the only two members who did not participate with the U.S. at the 2015 C.P. World Championships in England. The U.S. finished in 7th place at the World Championships to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“In 2015 so far, with squad qualifying for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, we have managed to achieve a number of our objectives but this season is not yet over,” said Sharp. “I am sure there will be teams in Toronto going out prove themselves against us, however we are firmly focused on finishing the competition in a podium place and representing the USA to our best.”

U.S. Paralympic National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (1): Keith Johnson (Houston, Texas)
DEFENDERS (2): Bryce Boarman (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Kevin Hensley (Memphis, Tenn.)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Mason Abbiate (San Diego, Calif.), Adam Ballou (Virginia Beach, Va.), Tyler Bennett (Wadsworth, Ohio), David Garza (Chula Vista, Calif.), Daniel Hoffman (Reisterstown, Md.), Seth Jahn (Tampa, Fla.), Gavin Sibayan (Colorado Spring, Colo.), Marthell Vazquez (Long Beach, Calif.), Jordan Weise (Jacksonville, Fla.)
FORWARDS (2): Jackson McCabe (Boulder, Colo.), Michael Moore (Plano, Texas)

 

Shannon Boxx and Lauren Holiday to Finish International Careers at End of 2015

CHICAGO (July 27, 2015) – The 10-game fall tour to celebrate the USA’s championship run at the 2015 Women’s World Cup will be the final matches in a U.S. uniform for midfielders Shannon Boxx and Lauren Holiday. 

Holiday, 27, made public her decision to retire for club and country in early July, two days after the Women’s World Cup Final. Boxx, 38, recently confirmed her plans to finish her international career at the end of the year as well, but will also immediately retire from professional club soccer and will not be returning to the Chicago Red Stars for the remainder of the season. 

Both players have been vitally important contributors to the success of the U.S. Women’s National Team team over their careers and both finish with multiple Olympic gold medals, a Women’s World Cup title and a professional club championship. 

Boxx, who grew up in Torrance, California, and attended Notre Dame, played in all three incarnations of U.S. professional women’s soccer leagues. She was drafted by the San Diego Spirit into the WUSA and also played for the New York Power. In the WPS, she played for the Los Angeles Sol, the St. Louis Athletica, magicJack and FC Gold Pride, with whom she won a league title in 2010. She ends her career with the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL. 

“I’ve been blessed to play soccer professionally for 15 years,” said Boxx. “Much of my success at the international level — three gold medals and a World Cup victory — is owed to the professional women’s soccer leagues in which I’ve played. I’m excited to see the NWSL grow and inspire a new generation of girls who may, one day, have their dreams come true just as mine did.” 

Boxx was famously named to the 2003 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team before ever earning a cap. She scored in her first three WNT matches, including the opening game of that tournament, and grew into a fixture at center midfield for years. Known for her tremendous ball-winning in the air and on the ground, as well as sophistication with the ball at her feet in the attack, she currently has 191 caps and 27 goals. 

Boxx was on the short list for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2008, 2005 (when she finished third) and 2004, and captained the FIFA Women’s World All-Star Team against Germany in Paris in May of 2005. She was named MVP of the prestigious Algarve Cup in 2004 and 2006. Boxx has struggled with injuries and illness over the past few years, and gave birth to her first daughter, Zoe, in February of 2014. She embarked on a remarkable comeback to make her final Women’s World Cup Team. 

Even more impressive, Boxx has been dealing with Sjogren’s syndrome and Lupus for years and been outspoken about her struggles to cope with the diseases while becoming a role model for many who are similarly afflicted. 

“This is the right decision for me right now,” said Boxx. “And though I’ll continue on with the U.S. team and our victory tour, I look forward to the next chapter in my career. Having the time to focus more on my family, whose support has made everything possible, is something I will cherish as much as the game.” 

Holiday grew up in Indianapolis and attended UCLA (where she finished as the Bruins all-time leading scorer). She played for the USA at the 2006 Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia and debuted for the full team in January of 2007 against Germany. 

She displayed tremendous versatility throughout her career, playing forward, flank midfield and several roles in the center of the midfield as well. One of the team’s smoothest passers and the USA’s best players with her back to the net, she has scored a bushel of world-class goals during her time in a U.S. jersey. 

The former Lauren Cheney was one of the youngest players on the 2008 Olympic Team. She currently has 130 caps and 24 goals, including her epic volley in the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final that would turn out to be the game-winner. 

“I prayed about it for a couple years and really over the last year, I’ve had a lot of clarity that I was ready to move on,” said Holiday. “It is a bit bittersweet as I have a lot of emotion invested in the Women’s National Team, but I’m also excited to start the next chapter of my life. I’ve accomplished and fulfilled all my dreams in soccer and now there are other things I want to do. I want to serve other people and focus on my family.” 

Holiday played two seasons for the Boston Breakers in WPS and will finish her professional career at the end of this NWSL season with FC Kansas City, with whom she was the league MVP in 2013, leading the league in goals and assists. Last year she helped the Blues to the league title in 2014 and was MVP of the championship game. 

“I have so much respect for FC Kansas City and when I made my decision to retire, I knew I wanted to come back and finish out the season, not only for the club, but for the fans,” said Holiday. “Hopefully we can win another title and really go out on top.” 

Four games of the 10-game tour have been confirmed with the first match coming on Aug. 16 against Costa Rica at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The USA will then play Costa Rica at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Aug. 19. The USA will face Women’s World Cup quarterfinalist Australia on Thursday, Sept. 17 at Ford Field in Detroit followed by a second match against the Matildas on Sunday, Sept. 20, at historic Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. 

“It’s been an incredible honor and privilege to play so many games for the National Team, but I’m at peace with my decision,” added Holiday. “The tour will be a lot of fun over the next few months to celebrate not only a great World Cup win, but also my career and spending time with my teammates.”

U.S. MNT to play 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier in St. Louis on Nov. 13

The U.S. Men’s National team will play its first home match of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The match will be played Nov. 13 against the winner of the Third Round Qualifying match between St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Aruba.

Tickets go on sale to the public Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 10 a.m. CT through ussoccer.com, by phone at 314-345-9000 and at the 8th Street ticket windows at Busch Stadium (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.). Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

The kickoff time and broadcast information will be provided in the near future. The two-legged playoff between St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Aruba is scheduled for Sept. 4 and Sept. 8.

This past weekend, the U.S. was drawn into Group C for the Semifinal Round of CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. During the Semifinal Round, the MNT will play each of its Group C opponents twice, once at home and once away. The dates of the games are Nov. 13 and 17, March 25 and 29, 2016 and Sept. 2 and 6, 2016; the opponents for those match days will be determined after the completion of the Third Round of Qualifying (Schedule below). Group C includes Trinidad & Tobago, and the winners of Third Round Qualifying matches between St. Vincent & the Grenadines/Aruba or Antigua and Barbuda/Guatemala. The Group C winner and runner-up advance to the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying known in CONCACAF countries as the Hexagonal.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be playing our first World Cup qualifier towards Russia 2018 in St. Louis,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “There is no more appropriate place to start this campaign than a city that has contributed so much to the history and tradition of soccer in the United States. Some of the best players we have ever produced have ties there, and now we look forward to bringing the National Team back home to St. Louis where we know the support will be incredible.”

The match marks the MNT’s first game in the United States’ one-time soccer capital in nearly 20 years, with the side last playing to a 0-0 draw with Paraguay at Busch Conference & Sports Center (now St. Louis Soccer Park) on June 4, 1997. It will be the first World Cup qualifier played in the St. Louis area since the USA’s 0-0 tie with El Salvador in 1989, which was also played at Busch Conference & Sports Center.

“This is a historic opportunity for St. Louis as the U.S. Men’s Team kicks off its quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup at Busch Stadium,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals. “We’re incredibly excited to be the host for this match and are looking forward to showing that we have some of the best soccer fans in the country.”

The MNT is 5-2-1 all time in the city of St. Louis (4-1-1 in World Cup Qualifiers) and is 7-2-2 in the state of Missouri.

In April, the U.S. Women’s team played a World Cup tune-up in St. Louis at Busch Stadium, drawing a crowd of 35,817, which ranks as the largest crowd in U.S. history for a standalone Women’s National Team friendly match.

World Cup Qualifying Match Dates

Date

Match A

Match B

Nov. 13, 2015

USA v VIN-ARU winner

ATG-GUA winner v TRI

Nov. 17, 2015

TRI v USA

VIN-ARU winner v ATG-GUA winner

March 25, 2016

ATG-GUA winner v USA

VIN-ARU winner v TRI

March 29, 2016

USA v ATG-GUA winner

TRI v VIN-ARU winner

Sept. 2, 2016

VIN-ARU winner v USA

TRI v ATG-GUA winner

Sept. 6, 2016

USA v TRI

ATG-GUA v VIN-ARU winner

St. Louis - A History of the USMNT in the Gateway to the West

The U.S. MNT returns to one of the country’s soccer hot beds when it opens 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying against either St. Vincent and the Grenadines or Aruba on Nov. 13 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.

The match marks the MNT’s first game in the United States’ historic soccer capital in nearly 20 years, with the side last paying to a 0-0 draw against Paraguay at Busch Conference & Sports Center (now St. Louis Soccer Park) on June 4, 1997.

What made St. Louis such a bastion for soccer in the United States?

Clubs from the city made an early mark on the U.S. Open Cup (then known as the National Challenge Cup), with Ben Millers first lifting the Dewar Trophy in 1920. Scullin Steel followed up two years later before Stix, Baer and Fuller (later known as St. Louis Central Breweries) went to four straight finals from 1932-1935, winning all but the first.

Much of St. Louis’ continuing soccer strength came from the city’s representation on the U.S. team that went to the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Five of the 11 players that appeared in the USA’s historic 1-0 victory against England hailed from St. Louis: goalkeeper Frank Borghi, defenders Charlie Colombo and Harry Keough and midfielders Gino Pariani and Frank Wallace.

In 1948, Borghi, Colombo and Pariani all won National Challenge Cup titles with Simpkins Ford, while Wallace joined them to win the title in 1950. Keough would taste domestic cup glory of his own, winning with St. Louis Kutis in 1957.

Upon retirement as a player, Keough wrote another chapter in the city’s soccer history when he became the head coach of St. Louis University. With five NCAA tournament championships already in the trophy case, Keough guided the Billikens to another championship in his first season in 1967. He’d go on to lead the school to four more tournament titles in five years from 1969-1973.

One of the top players in U.S. MNT history, Brian McBride attended the school from 1990-1993, before going on to play in three World Cups and build a famous club career, most notably with Fulham FC in the English Premier League. Other World Cup participants that hail from St. Louis include Mike Sorber (1994) and Brad Davis (2014).

Current U.S. MNT defender Tim Ream, as well as former U.S. internationals Taylor Twellman, Steve Ralston, Chris Klein and Pat Noonan also earned their soccer stripes coming up in the Gateway to the West.

Though it’s been a while since the MNT’s last appearance in St. Louis, the team has been successful in the Mound City, going 5-1-2 all-time with the only defeat being a World Cup qualifying loss to Canada on July 6, 1957. Six of the eight matches played in St. Louis have been World Cup qualifiers, with the MNT earning two wins (against Jamaica and Costa Rica) and a draw (against El Salvador) in the team’s successful campaign to qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. 

MNT to Face Mexico in Playoff for 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Berth

The U.S. Men’s National Team will face archrival Mexico in a playoff game for a berth in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup that will be played on Friday, Oct. 9, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. 

Kickoff time and television information are still to be determined. Participating member associations and supporter groups will have access to purchase tickets in advance of the public sale. Tickets will be available to the general public in September. 

The USA’s place in the playoff was secured when it won the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Mexico won the 2015 edition of the tournament and in so doing qualified for the playoff. The Oct. 9 playoff game will be played during a FIFA international match window.

The loss to Jamaica in the semifinal ended a nine-match unbeaten run for the United States in 2015 that included consecutive victories against Mexico in San Antonio, and away wins against then sixth-ranked Netherlands and 2014 FIFA World Cup winners Germany. Overall, the U.S. has a 3-1-1 record this year against teams ranked in the top 20 in the world.

In April of 2013, CONCACAF announced the split of the region’s berth to the Confederations Cup between two editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, assuring that both editions of the Gold Cup in each four-year cycle have the same competitive importance.

The Confederations Cup is the prestigious dress rehearsal that takes place in the host country a year before the World Cup. In 2017, the Confederations Cup will be played in the same stadiums the teams will use during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. In the 2009 edition in South Africa, the USA beat then No. 1-ranked Spain in the semifinals and advanced to the final, finishing as runner-up to Brazil.

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