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World Champions to Ride Wave of Success to Columbus, Kansas City & Louisville for NIKE U.S. Women's Cup '99


CHICAGO (Wednesday, August 11, 1999) - With their breathtaking victory in front of more than 90,000 screaming fans at the 1999 Women's World Cup Final still fresh in their minds, the U.S. Women's National Team will bring its nationwide phenomenon to the Midwest for its next tournament, the NIKE U.S. Women's Cup '99. The U.S. Women's Cup, an annual tournament that began in 1994, will feature the USA and three teams to be determined in a series of three doubleheaders on Saturday, Oct. 3 (in Columbus, Ohio), Thursday, Oct. 7 (in Kansas City, Mo.), and Sunday, Oct. 10 (in Louisville, Ky.). The four teams will each play three games, with the winner decided by record, points and goal differential.

The tournament opener will take place at the newly-completed Columbus Crew Stadium on Saturday, October 3 in front of a sell-out crowd of more than 23,000 fans. As of last week, every seat in the 22,500-seat stadium plus an added 1,000 tickets had been quickly bought up by the soccer-hungry fans from Columbus and nearby areas. The stadium itself, which was completed less than four months ago, stands as the first stadium in the country that was built specifically for a Major League Soccer team and is already seen as a soccer stadium prototype.

The teams then travel to Kansas City, where they will play on October 7 at Arrowhead Stadium, one of the premiere sports venues in the United States and home to the MLS' Kansas City Wizards and the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs. Tickets, which are priced at $15 (youth 15 and under) and $17 (adult) for the lower level and $20 for the club level, go on sale Friday, August 13 at 10 a.m., and are available by calling the local TicketMaster at 816/931-3330 or via the Internet at www.ticketmaster.com.

The last stop in the NIKE U.S. Women's Cup '99 is in Louisville, Ky., site of U.S. Soccer's recent Annual General Meeting. The games will be played at the University of Louisville's new Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Tickets, which are priced at $14 (corner and end zone seating), $17 (sidelines) and $25 (club), will be available on Friday, Aug. 20, by calling TicketMaster at 502/361-3100. For group ticket information, call the University of Louisville ticket office at 502/852-5863. The games will mark the first international event in the 42,000-seat stadium, which was recently completed in 1998.

Team USA is the five-time defending champion of the U.S. Women's Cup, posting a remarkable 15-0 mark since 1994. U.S. superstar forward Mia Hamm holds the overall tournament scoring record with 18 goals, as the U.S. has outscored opponents by a combined 64-6 in the tourney's history. Last year, the Americans defeated Brazil, 3-0, on September 20 at the University of Richmond to earn the title.

As in 1998, the winner of the 1999 NIKE U.S. Women's Cup will be presented with a special Waterford Crystal trophy.

The complete 1999 NIKE U.S. Women's Cup schedule, with the three teams and pairings for each site, will be announced by U.S. Soccer at a later date.

NIKE U.S.  WOMEN'S CUP '99 SCHEDULE
DateThe Match-UpsVenueKickoff
Sun., Oct. 3Game 1Columbus Crew Stadium
(Columbus, Ohio)
1:30 p.m. ET
Game 2 (USA vs. TBD)4:00 p.m. ET
Thurs., Oct. 7Game 1Arrowhead Stadium
(Kansas City, Mo.)
5:00 p.m. CT
Game 2 (USA vs. TBD)7:30 p.m. CT
Sun., Oct. 10Game 1Papa John's Stadium
(Louisville, Ky.)
10:30 a.m. ET
Game 2 (USA vs. TBD)1:00 p.m. ET

TOURNAMENT YEAR-BY-YEAR RECAPS

1998: Under the tournament's new name, Nike U.S. Women's Cup '98 was a smashing success in four East coast venues. The U.S. women continued their dominance of the annual event, earning impressive shutouts against three 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying teams: Mexico (9-0, in Foxboro, Mass.), Russia (4-0, in Rochester, N.Y.) and Brazil (3-0, in Rich-mond, Va.). The American standouts were MVP Joy Fawcett, who scored two goals (including the game-winner against Brazil) from her defensive position, and Mia Hamm, who in addition to scoring four goals, broke the century mark in netting her 100th and 101st career goals. Hamm scored #100 against Russia on Sept. 18 in Rochester, as a capacity crowd at Frontier Field gave the women's soccer icon a standing ovation.

1997: The U.S. squad held true to form once again, defeating Canada (4-0, New Britain, Conn.), Australia (9-1, in Ambler, Pa.) and upstart European power Italy (2-0, in Washington, D.C.). Of the USA's 16 goals in the tourn- ament, Mia Hamm scored six and assisted on one other.

1996: The U.S. won U.S. Women's Cup '96 without allowing a single goal, while scoring 11 against Canada (6-0, in Worcester, Mass.), Japan (4-0, in Horsham, Penn.) and China (1-0, in Washington, D.C.). The final versus China marked the first live broadcast of a U.S. Women's National Team match in the program's history. Veteran Michelle Akers, the USA's all-time leading scorer at the time, provided the heroics with an unassisted goal in the second half to earn the tournament championship. U.S. Women's Cup '96 served as one of the USA's final warm-ups before claiming the gold at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta where, ironically enough, the U.S. defeated China by a goal in the final match.

1995: Just months after the U.S. Women dropped a heartbreaking 0-1 semifinal result to Norway at the 1995 Women's World Cup, the two team faced off again at U.S. Women's Cup '95. Unfortunately for Australia and Chinese Taipei, two relative newcomers who rounded out the field, the U.S. and Norway were on a crash course to meet in the tournament's final match. Together, the U.S. and Norway defeated Australia dn Chinese Taipei by a combined score of 27-3, setting up the dramatic rematch at Washington, D.C.'s RFK Stadium on Aug. 6. After ending 90 minutes of regulation tied at 1-1, U.S. substitute Tammy Pearman, playing in her first ever international match, scored the "golden goal" to give the U.S. a 2-1 victory.

1994: The U.S. Women's Cup was established by the U.S. Youth Soccer Association's Region I (East) in 1994 under its original name, the Chiquita Cup. The United States claimed the first U.S. Women's Cup (or Chiquita Cup) in 1994, among a tournament field that included world powers Norway, Germany and China. After hard-fought victories over Germany (2-1, in Washington, D.C.) and China (1-0, in Piscataway, N.J.), the U.S. lashed out on rival Norway, 4-1, in a match played in Worcester, Mass. Chiquita Cup '94 proved to be a fitting preview for the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden, as the four teams involved turned out to be the top four finishers.

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