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Fourth Send-Off Series Stop Sees WNT Face Japan on July 28 at Spartan Stadium


CHICAGO (April 19, 2007) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Japan at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif., at 7 p.m. PT on Saturday, July 28, in the fourth game of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Send-Off Series as the team returns to the Bay Area for the first time in nearly four years.

The USA’s six-game Send-Off Series begins June 16 vs. China in Cleveland, and continues on June 23 vs. Brazil in East Rutherford, N.J., and July 14 vs. Norway in East Hartford, Conn. Following the Japan game, the U.S. will face New Zealand in Chicago on Aug. 12 and Finland on Aug. 25 in Carson, Calif., in a pair of matches also announced today. Five of the USA’s six opponents for the Send-Off Series, with the exception of Finland, have qualified for this fall’s Women’s World Cup, and four of the countries have qualified for every Women’s World Cup.

“U.S. Soccer has put together an excellent series of matches for us leading into the Women’s World Cup,” U.S. WNT head coach Greg Ryan said. “We’ll get to see some teams, including Japan, that will be in China in September, it will give the players a chance to play games at home after so many games abroad recently, and it will give fans across the United States the chance to see the team and cheer them on before we embark on the great challenge of trying to win the Women’s World Cup.”

Tickets starting at $22 will go on sale starting Thursday, April 26, at ussoccer.com, all San Jose area Ticketmaster outlets (including Ritmo Latino and fye), the HP Pavilion Main Box Office (Monday – Friday; 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.) and by phone at 408-998-8497. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets at reduced prices by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtaining a group order form at ussoccer.com.

Additionally, as a special benefit to VISA cardholders, a VISA-only pre-sale will be held between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. PT on Wednesday, April 25, at ussoccer.com. VISA, the preferred payment card of U.S. Soccer, is the only payment method accepted for this advance sale opportunity.

The U.S. vs. Japan game will be broadcast live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS, and fans can follow along with live commentary and stats via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

Several players hoping to be named to Ryan’s 21-player Women’s World Cup squad have ties to the Bay Area and Northern California. Midfielders Aly Wagner – a San Jose native – and Leslie Osborne were standout performers at Santa Clara University, leading the Broncos to a national title in 2001. Stephanie Lopez, a 20-year-old from Elk Grove, Calif. near Sacramento, has the ability to play either outside midfield or defense and has established herself as a regular contributor as one of four players to see time in all eight games so far in 2007.

The last visit to the Bay Area by the U.S. WNT came on Sept. 7, 2003, in a 5-0 win vs. Mexico at Spartan Stadium. The most important match ever played by the U.S. WNT in the region was a 2-0 Independence Day victory vs. Brazil in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto. The U.S. also topped Brazil 4-0 in the team’s Send-Off match before the 2000 Olympics at Spartan Stadium. Overall, the team has played six games in the region, holding a 6-0-0 all-time record while not allowing a goal.

Japan has never beaten the U.S. in 19 meetings, and in fact has come away with only three ties including the last meeting in the U.S. on May 9, 2004, in Louisville, Ky. The U.S. last faced Japan in a two-game series in Japan in May 2006, with the U.S. winning 3-1 on May 7 behind an Abby Wamach hat trick and 1-0 on May 9 on a Natasha Kai header. The WNT also topped Japan 2-1 en route to a Gold Medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
Japan recently qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup with a 3-2 aggregate goals victory after a home-and-home playoff series with Mexico in mid-March to earn the 15th berth to the tournament. Ninth in the latest FIFA Women’s Rankings, Japan is one of eight teams that have qualified for all five FIFA Women’s World Cups, dating back to 1991.

The 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup draw is taking place on April 22 in Wuhan, China, at which time the USA will find out its first-round schedule and venues for the fifth FIFA Women’s World Cup. The U.S. is coming off a 5-0 victory vs. Mexico in the first domestic match of 2007 on April 14. The team will return to
Residency Training Camp in Carson, Calif., on April 21 and play Canada on May 12 in Frisco, Texas (tickets), before kicking off the Send-Off Series one month later.

2007 U.S. Women's National Team Schedule & Results

Date Opponent Location Result / Kickoff TV Tickets
Jan. 26 Germany + Guangzhou, China 0-0 T    
Jan. 28 England + Guangzhou, China 1-1 T    
Jan. 30 China + Guangzhou, China 2-0 W    
March 7 China @ Silves, Portugal 2-1 W    
March 9 Finland @ Ferreiras, Portugal 1-0 W    
March 12 Sweden @ VRS Antonio, Portugal 3-2 W    
March 14 Denmark @ VRS Antonio, Portugal 2-0 W    
April 14 Mexico Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.) 5-0 W    
May 12 Canada Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas) 7:30 p.m. ET FSC (live) /
Fox Sports en Espanol (delay)
Available
           

2007 Women’s National Team Send-Off Series
Date Opponent   Location Kickoff TV Tickets
June 16 China     Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio) 7 p.m. ET ussoccer.com's MatchACCESS Available
June 23 Brazil     Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.) 5 p.m. ET ESPN2 Available
July 14 Norway     Rentschler Field (East Hartford, Conn.) 6 p.m. ET ESPN2 Available
July 28 Japan   Spartan Stadium (San Jose, Calif.) 7 p.m. PT ussoccer.com's MatchACCESS Coming Soon
Aug. 12 New Zealand   Soldier Field (Chicago, Ill.) 12 p.m. CT ESPN2 Coming Soon
Aug. 25 Finland   The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) TBA   ESPN2 Coming Soon
             
Sept. 10-30 FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007 FIFA.com
 

 + Four Nations Tournament
@ Algarve Cup

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