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U.S. to Face Mexico, Guatemala in 1999 NIKE U.S. Cup

CHICAGO (Thursday, January 21, 1999) - U.S. Soccer announced today that the sixth Nike U.S. Cup, the most prestigious annual men's event conducted by the U.S. Soccer Federation, will take place as doubleheaders on March 11 and 13 in Los Angeles and San Diego, respectively. The three teams joining the host United States to make up the four-team field are Bolivia, Guatemala and two-time defending champion Mexico.

The U.S. National Team will open the 1999 Nike U.S. Cup against first-time participant Guatemala at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, March 11 at 5:30 p.m. (PT), with Bolivia facing off against Mexico in the second match at 8 p.m. (PT). The USA-Guatemala match at 5:30 p.m. (PT) will be televised live by ESPN.

The U.S. squad will then face two-time defending U.S. Cup champion Mexico at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., at 12:30 p.m. (PT) live on ABC. The second part of the doubleheader pits Bolivia against Guatemala at 3 p.m. (PT).

In a change from the previous five tournaments, each of the four teams will play two games as part of two doubleheaders, rather than playing three separate games, with the champion being decided first by total points (3 for a win, 1 for a draw), then head-to-head competition and then goal differential.

For ticket information on the 1999 Nike U.S. Cup, fans in Los Angeles can call 213-413- 3951 and fans in San Diego can 619-460-7612.

Mexico won the last two U.S. Cup tournaments in 1996 and 1997 with a combined record of 3-0-3. One of those draws came in a 2-2 match against border rival USA in front of 92,216 fans at the Rose Bowl on June 16, 1996, that provided a dramatic end to the tournament and provided Mexico the first of their two titles. [Since the U.S. Cup is not held in World Cup years, there was no U.S. Cup in 1998.]

The U.S. National Team holds a 6-6-3 all-time record in the U.S. Cup, with its best finish coming in 1995. With a field that included World Cup '94 participants Colombia, Nigeria and Mexico, the USA won the championship with a 2-0-1 record and an impressive seven goals. After a tough 3-2 comeback victory against Nigeria in the opener, the U.S. returned to the pitch seven days later to blast Mexico 4-0 in front of a crowd of 38,615 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The nationally televised match still stands as the USA's most lopsided victory ever against Mexico. The last game, a rematch of the USA's emotional 2-1 World Cup victory over Colombia, resulted in a 0-0 tie after Mike Burns leaped from his goal line to head away what would have been a tournament-winning goal by Colombia in the final minute of play.

Another memorable U.S. Cup moment for the home side occurred in 1993, when the then two-year-old tournament yielded its greatest field yet. Seen as a prelude to the '94 World Cup, U.S. Cup '93 featured a star-studded lineup that included England, Brazil and Germany. In what became a tournament of firsts, the USA defeated England 2-0 for the first time since 1950. The following 4-3 loss to Germany marked the first time network TV (in this case, ABC) conducted a national television broadcast without commercial interruption of game action.

The United States claimed the inaugural U.S. Cup title in 1992 after impressive victories over Ireland (3-1) and Portugal (1-0) and a critical 1-1 draw with three-time world champion Italy in Chicago on June 6.

The complete schedule for the 1999 U.S. Cup is listed below.

Date Opponents Stadium Kickoff / TV Ticket Info
March 11 U.S. vs. Guatemala Memorial Coliseum 
(Los Angeles, Calif.)
5:30 p.m. PT / ESPN 213-413-3951 
(for ticket info)
March 11 Mexico vs.Bolivia Memorial Coliseum
(Los Angeles, Calif.)
8 p.m. PT / None 213-413-3951
(for ticket info)
March 13 U.S. vs. Mexico Qualcomm Stadium
(San Diego , Calif.)
12:30 p.m. PT / ABC 619-460-7612
(for ticket info)
March 13 Guatemala vs. Bolivia Qualcomm Stadium
(San Diego, Calif.)
3 p.m. PT / None 619-460-7612
(for ticket info)

Year Champion Other Participants  
(in order of finish)
1992 United States Italy, Ireland, Portugal  Foxboro, RFK, Soldier Field, Yale Bowl
1993 Germany Brazil, USA, England Foxboro, RFK, Soldier Field, Yale Bowl
1995 United States Colombia, Mexico, Nigeria Cotton Bowl, Foxboro, Rutgers, RFK
1996 Mexico Ireland, USA, Bolivia Cotton Bowl, Foxboro, Giants, RFK, Rose Bowl
1997 Mexico Denmark, Peru, USA Qualcomm Stadium, Rose Bowl
1999  -  - Los Angeles Coliseum, Qualcomm Stadium

Year Games Average Total
1992 6 games 31,305 187,829
1993 6 games 47,794 286,761
1995 6 games 26,189 157,133
1996 6 games 33,002 198,013
1997 6 games 28,100 168,598
1999  4 games  -. .-.
TOTAL 30 GAMES 33,728 998,334