CHICAGO (Wednesday, July 16, 2003) — The U.S. Women’s National Team will learn its three opponents in Group A of the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET. Live coverage of the draw will be available on ESPNews between 2 and 3 p.m. ET from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Live coverage of the entire draw, including a full schedule and team capsules, will also be available via ussoccer.com’s DrawTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
Two U.S. Women’s World Cup veterans and former World Champions, Michelle Akers and Carin Gabarra, as well as Lynn Morgan, the President/CEO of the Women’s United Soccer Association, will preside over the event.
Current U.S. Women’s National Team stars Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett and head coach April Heinrichs will also be in attendance, as will some of the top players from around the world, including Hege Riise of Norway, Zhang Ouying of China, Daniela of Brazil, Sandra Minnert of Germany and Kelly Golebiowski of Australia.
With Japan’s 2-0 win over Mexico to advance in a two-game playoff series last weekend, all 16 spots for USA 2003 has been filled. The Final Draw will place these 16 qualified teams into four groups (A, B, C and D) of four teams and decide all the match-ups for the 32-game tournament. As the tournament host and defending Women’s World Cup champion, the USA has already been slotted as team A1.
The U.S. will play their group play games at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 21, Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Sept. 25, and Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 28. Potential match-ups for the quarterfinals will also be revealed with the draw. Team’s advancing from the USA’s Group A will face Group B opponents for two quarterfinal matches in Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., on Oct. 1.
The FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003 will mark the third time in 10 years that the U.S. Soccer Federation has hosted a FIFA World Cup event. In 1994, the World Cup was introduced to the American public for the first time, resulting in the highest attended event in FIFA history, and in 1999 the Women's World Cup was the most successful women's sporting event ever. This year’s event was originally scheduled to be played in China, but was relocated to the U.S. by FIFA on May 3, 2003 because of the threat of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.