CHICAGO (March 23, 2005) — Tickets for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s May 28 friendly against England go on sale March 31 at noon CT, but registered members of ussoccerfan.com will get the first opportunity to by tickets as an exclusive presale begins Saturday, March 26, 2005.
Tickets range in price from $28 to $95 will be available to the general public through ussoccer.com, by phone at 312-559-1212 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Chicagoland (including Carson Pirie Scott, Coconuts, Hot Tix, FYE, Tower Records, and Ritmo Latino stores). Beginning March 31, groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com.
The Memorial Weekend match-up at Chicago’s Soldier Field kicks off at 2 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN. The meeting between the two quarterfinalists at the 2002 FIFA World Cup comes amidst the qualifying schedules for both nations as they aim for a spot in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
"England are one of the better teams in Europe and the match will serve as great preparation for our World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Panama," said U.S. manager Bruce Arena, who has a 5-9-3 record vs. European teams, including a 2-1-3 record in matches played at home. "The game will generate a lot of excitement and we look forward to a great atmosphere in Chicago."
By the time Memorial Day Weekend rolls around, the U.S. will have completed three of their 10 final round qualifying matches in the CONCACAF region. Following a 2-1 victory in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on Feb. 9 in the opening game, the U.S. will travel to face Mexico in Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca on March 27 at 1 p.m. ET (live on ESPN2 & Telemundo) and then host Guatemala in Birmingham, Ala., on March 30 at 8 p.m. ET (live on ESPN2 & delayed on Telemundo). Following the match vs. England, the U.S. gets right back into the thick of qualifying as they host Costa Rica on June 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2 & delayed on Telemundo) at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.
This will mark England’s sixth visit to face the United States, with England posting a convincing 4-1-0 series lead state-side, including a 29-6 advantage in goal differential. England’s victories included 6-3, 8-1, 10-0 and 5-0 decisions in 1953, 1959, 1964 and 1985, respectively. The U.S. finally turned the tables on June 9, 1993, in Foxboro, Mass., with their historic 2-0 win behind goals by Thomas Dooley and Alexi Lalas.
“Playing the USA in their own country is a big test,” said England Manager Sven-Goran Eriksson. “They are an excellent team who have made enormous progress over the last ten years or so, and were very unlucky not to make the semifinals at the last World Cup. They have some very good young players like Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley, and we have also seen in the Premiership that they have a choice of top-class goalkeepers."
England will be the second European power to visit the U.S. in Chicago in the last year. The U.S. men played their first game in Chicago since 1993, hosting Poland on July 11, 2004, in the return leg of a two-game series. A boisterous crowd of 39,592 saw a late header from former Chicago Fire defender Carlos Bocanegra earn a 1-1 tie. This will be the fifth match the U.S. has played in Chicago since 1992, and the fifth different European power to come to the Windy City as an opponent. The U.S. has a 1-1-2 record in Chicago since 1992 versus the likes of Portugal, Italy and Germany in addition to the aforementioned Poland match-up in 2004.
In addition to the live ESPN broadcast of USA-England, fans can also follow the action online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips.
U.S. MNT 2005 Schedule
* FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match + CONCACAF Gold Cup ^If necessary