CHICAGO (Nov. 1, 2004) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will play its final match of the highly successful 10-game “Fan Celebration Tour” on Wednesday, Dec. 8 against Mexico at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. (kickoff 8 p.m. PT). With the confirmation of the last match of the tour, the final game in the legendary international careers of soccer pioneers Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy is now set.
Joy Fawcett, who played every minute of the last three Women’s World Cups and Olympic Games for the USA, will not play due to an injury, but is set to appear at the match so fans can bid farewell to three of the greatest female players in history. Both Foudy and Fawcett grew up in Orange County, an hour’s drive South down the freeway from the Home Depot Center.
Tickets ranging from $17 to $42 go on sale to the public starting this Friday, November 5, at 10 a.m. PT through ussoccer.com. Tickets will also go on sale by phone (213-480-3232 in L.A.; 714-740-2000 in Orange County; 619-220-8497 in San Diego), at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Southern California (including Robinson’s-May, Wherehouse Music and Tower Records), and at The Home Depot Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT). Special edition U.S. Soccer on-field seats (which the purchaser can take home after the game), priced at $150 each, will also go on sale at this time (quantities limited). Fans can also follow all the action live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker presented by Philips.
“I guess this means I’ll have to do some running during my vacation,” said Foudy, a product of Mission Viejo Calif., who will be in Australia between FCT matches. “But playing at the HDC will be great. How many players get the chance to finish a career that spans 17 years of their life in front of their home fans where they grew up? Winning the Olympics in Greece was fantastic, but it’s been a highlight of my career to have these Fan Celebration games in front of the U.S. fans and finishing it up in Southern California will be emotional. I have been thinking that there are not too many more times I’ll be able to play with these women. I will miss competing and scrapping to win and just playing alongside such incredible people. It’s sad in sense that I will miss these women, but it’s also a happy time because we are leaving the team in great hands and it is time to move on."
The “Fan Celebration Tour,” which by the time it reaches Los Angeles will have taken the 2004 Olympic champion U.S. women through 10 cities in 10 states against five different countries in three different time zones, has been part of the historic and record-setting year for the U.S. women. Currently holding a 27-1-3 record, besting the mark for wins in a year, if the USA finishes out the FCT undefeated, they will also set records for fewest losses in a year and highest winning percentage.
The U.S. women won every tournament they entered in 2004, taking four tournament titles culminating with the 2004 Olympics. The U.S. team has lost just once this year, that to Sweden, but also beat the Swedes in the first match of 2004. The USA’s three ties – vs. China, Japan and Australia – were also coupled with wins over those opponents, meaning the USA defeated every team it played in 2004.
The match at The Home Depot Center against Mexico, which the USA defeated 1-0 in the most recent meeting on Oct. 16, will feature seven two-time Olympic gold medallists in goalkeeper Briana Scurry, defenders Fawcett and Brandi Chastain, midfielders Kristine Lilly and Foudy and forwards Hamm and Cindy Parlow.
The “Fan Celebration Tour” has achieved its goals of giving fans across the nation the opportunity to cheer on the USA, celebrate the gold medal victory and see some of the legends of the women’s game for a final time. The FCT matches have seen more than 100,000 fans file through the gates, or more than 15,000 per game.
The final match may feature the entire 2004 Olympic gold medal winning team as young stars Lindsay Tarpley and Heather O’Reilly could join the tour for the first time after completing their college season at the University of North Carolina, pending their final exams. The 21-year-old Tarpley and 19-year-old O’Reilly scored two of the most important goals in U.S. history, with Tarpley tallying in the gold medal match against Brazil and O’Reilly notching the overtime winner in the semifinal against Germany.
“The veterans have done so much for women’s soccer and no doubt helped make me and the other younger players the players we are today,” said Tarpley. “During our Olympic Residency Camp, I made a conscious effort to pick up as many things as I could from them and I know I can speak for the younger players when I say that we all feel lucky and honored to have had the chance play with them for a short time. We are going to miss them on and off the field.”
Two U.S. players have achieved major milestones on this tour. On Oct. 3 against New Zealand in Portland, Ore., Lilly became just the fifth player in the history of international soccer to score 100 goals for her country. The 33-year-old Lilly, one of the veterans who plans to keep playing, is currently sitting on a world-record 288 games played for the USA and will likely become the first player in the history of soccer to hit 300 caps.
Forward Abby Wambach, coming off a U.S. record-tying five goals against Ireland on Oct. 23, has a team-leading 28 goals in 2004, the second highest total ever in a calendar year for a U.S. Women’s National Team player. The 28 goals, combined with 12 assists, give her a total of 68 points in 2004 and move her past Hamm (60 points in 1998) for the second-most points in a year behind only Michelle Akers (85 pts in 1991). The USA also improved to 37-0-1 in games in which Wambach has scored.
Hamm has scored four goals on the FCT, improving her world record total of international goals to 157. Her four assists to Wambach against Ireland, one off a U.S. record, moved her even more amazing career assist total to 142, far and away the most in U.S. history.
2004 U.S. WNT “Fan Celebration Tour” Results / Schedule
# Date Match-up / Result Venue City Kickoff / Attendance
1 Sat., Sept. 25 USA 4, Iceland 3 Frontier Field Rochester, N.Y. 14,870
2 Wed., Sept. 29 USA 3, Iceland 0 Heinz Field Pittsburgh, Pa. 6,386
3 Sun., Oct. 3 USA 5, New Zealand 0 PGE Park Portland, Ore. 16,544
4 Sun., Oct. 10 USA 5, New Zealand 0 Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati, Ohio 18,806
5 Sat., Oct. 16 USA 1, Mexico 0 Arrowhead Stadium Kansas City, Mo. 20,435
6 Wed., Oct. 20 USA 5, Ireland 1 Soldier Field Chicago, Ill. 12,856
7 Sat., Oct. 23 USA 5, Ireland 0 Reliant Stadium Houston, Texas 16,991
8 Wed., Nov. 3 USA vs. Denmark Giants Stadium East Rutherford, N.J. 7:30 p.m. CT
9 Sat., Nov. 6 USA vs. Denmark Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia, Pa. 3:55 p.m. ET
10 Wed., Dec. 8 USA vs. Mexico Home Depot Center Carson, Calif. 8 p.m. PT
2004 U.S. WNT “Fan Celebration Tour” Team Roster
No. Player Pos. Ht. DOB Hometown College Caps/Goals
1 Scurry, Briana GK 5-9 09/07/71 Dayton, Minn. UMass 152
2 Mitts, Heather D 5-5 06/06/78 Cincinnati, Ohio Florida 30/2
3 Rampone, Christie D 5-6 06/24/75 Pt. Pleasant, N.J. Monmouth 133/4
4 Reddick, Cat D 5-5 02/10/82 Birmingham, Ala. UNC 71/5
5 Tarpley, Lindsay M 5-5 09/22/83 Kalamazoo, Mich. UNC 32/8
6 Chastain, Brandi D 5-7 07/21/68 San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara 189/30
7 Boxx, Shannon M 5-8 06/29/77 Redondo Beach, Calif. Notre Dame 38/11
8 Hucles, Angela M 5-7 07/05/78 Virginia Beach, Va. UVA 42/5
9 Hamm, Mia F 5-5 03/17/72 Chapel Hill, N.C. UNC 272/157
10 Wagner, Aly M 5-5 08/10/80 San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara 77/16
11 Foudy, Julie - C M 5-6 01/23/71 Mission Viejo, Calif. Stanford 268/44
12 Parlow, Cindy F 5-11 05/08/78 Memphis, Tenn. UNC 155/75
13 Lilly, Kristine M 5-4 07/22/71 Wilton, Conn. UNC 288/101
14 Fawcett, Joy D 5-6 02/08/68 Huntington Beach, Calif. California 239/27
15 Markgraf, Kate D 5-7 08/23/76 Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Notre Dame 134/0
16 Wambach, Abby F 5-11 06/02/80 Rochester, N.Y. Florida 52/42
17 O’Reilly, Heather F 5-5 01/02/85 East Brunswick, N.Y. UNC 29/4
18 Luckenbill, Kristin GK 5-9 05/28/79 Paoli, Pa. Dartmouth 11
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kristin Luckenbill, Briana Scurry;
DEFENDERS (6): Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Kate Markgraf, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone, Cat Reddick;
MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx, Julie Foudy, Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly, Lindsay Tarpley, Aly Wagner;
FORWARDS (4): Mia Hamm, Heather O’Reilly, Cindy Parlow, Abby Wambach.