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U.S. Women's National Team Will Open 2000 Down Under; USA to Compete in Australia Cup from January 7-13


CHICAGO (Wednesday, December 8, 1999) - The U.S. Women's National Team will begin its quest for gold at the 2000 Olympics in the same place they will end it, when the team travels to Australia in early January to compete in the Australia Cup. The Americans will take on the Czech Republic (Jan. 7), Sweden (Jan. 10) and host Australia (Jan. 13) in the four-team, six-game tournament.

The USA will play its first two matches in Melbourne and the third in Adelaide as the U.S. team takes its first steps in becoming acclimated to the conditions, fields and environments they will encounter next September when they defend the Olympic title won in Athens, Ga. in 1996. The U.S. team will depart for Australia on Jan. 2.

The USA is scheduled to play all three of its Olympic first-round matches in Melbourne at the Cricket Ground, but will play its Australia Cup matches at two different stadiums, Olympic Park and Bob Jane Stadium. While there are Olympic matches scheduled for Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide, the site of the USA-Australia tournament finale, the Americans are not scheduled to play in Adelaide during the Olympics. Should the USA qualify for the knockout round in the Olympics, the semifinals will be played at the Sydney Football Stadium or Bruce Stadium in Canberra. The bronze-medal match and gold medal match will be played at the Sydney Football Stadium.

The meeting with the Czech Republic will be the first-ever meeting between the two countries and is reflective of the continued growth of women's soccer in Eastern Europe. The USA is 9-1-2 all-time against Sweden, but the most recent meeting was a 1-1 draw at the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March of 1999. Sweden is coming off a solid performance at the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, making the quarterfinals and earning a berth in the 2000 Olympics despite losing 3-1 to Norway in the quarterfinals. The Americans are perfect all-time against the Australians -- nicknamed the Matlidas -- and hold an 11-0-0 record. The most recent meeting was a 4-0 victory for the USA in its the second-to-last match before the Women's World Cup.

The tournament marks the 2nd Annual Australia Cup. The Americans only previous appearance in Australia was in late February and early March of 1997 when they swept the Matildas on a three-game tour. The USA's 18-player roster will be announced later in the month. Following is the complete schedule for the 2000 Australia Cup:

2nd Annual Australia Cup Schedule
DateTeamsVenueCityKickoff (local/ET)
Jan. 7USA vs. Czech RepublicOlympic ParkMelbourne6:00 p.m./ 2:00 a.m.
Jan. 7Australia vs. SwedenNorth Sydney OvalSydney6:00 p.m./ 2:00 a.m.
Jan. 10Sweden vs. USABob Jane StadiumMelbourne5:30 p.m. / 1:30 a.m.
Jan. 10Australia vs. Czech RepublicBob Jane StadiumMelbourne7:30 p.m. / 3:30 a.m.
Jan. 13Czech Republic vs. SwedenHindmarsh StadiumAdelaide5:30 p.m. / 1:30 a.m.
Jan. 13Australia vs. USAHindmarsh StadiumAdelaide7:30 p.m. / 3:30 a.m.

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