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U.S. WNT To Host China on August 27 in New Chicago Fire Stadium


CHICAGO (July 22, 2006) – The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team will face China at 12 p.m. CT on Sunday, August 27, in Bridgeview, Ill. at the brand new Toyota Park which opened earlier this summer. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, and fans can follow online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

Tickets starting at $16 go on sale starting Saturday, July 29, at 10 a.m. CT through ussoccer.com, by phone at 312-559-1212 and at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout Chicagoland (including Carson Pirie Scott, Coconuts, Hot Tix, FYE, Tower Records, and Ritmo Latino stores). Starting Friday, July 28, groups of 15 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com.

The match will be the first in Chicagoland for second-year U.S. head coach Greg Ryan, who won the 1981 Soccer Bowl while playing with the NASL’s Chicago Sting for five years from 1980 to 1984. After taking over the team in 2005, the assistant coach for the 2004 Olympic champion U.S. team has compiled a 15-0-4 record. In those 19 games, the U.S. team has allowed just three goals from the run of play and five total.

Ryan's top assistant coach, Bret Hall, also has strong Chicago ties. A former Sting player and member of the Soccer Bowl '81 champs, Hall is the only head coach in United Soccer League outdoor history to win three consecutive USL championships, leading the Chicago Stingers to the 1998 D3 Pro League championship and the team's successor, the Chicago Sockers, to two straight Premier Development League titles in 1999 and 2000. He was also the first coach of the Chicago Fire Reserves when the team replaced the Sockers in 2001. Hall played a total of six seasons outdoor and indoor for the Sting. He finished his career playing six more seasons with the Chicago Power of the NPSL.

Home to the Chicago Fire, Toyota Park seats 20,000 and should provide a fantastic atmosphere for the U.S. women, who will be playing in the area for the seventh time. Five of the USA’s six previous matches in Chicagoland were played at Soldier Field, including a 7-1 win over Nigeria during the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The most recent appearance for the U.S. was on October 20, 2004 as the team celebrated its 2004 Olympic Gold Medal will a 5-1 victory over Ireland on the “Fan Celebration Tour.” The first match for the U.S. the Chicago area came in 1997 with a 6-1 victory over Korea Republic in St. Charles’ Norris Stadium.

The match will be the third for the U.S. against China in 2006 as the teams continue one of the biggest rivalries in women’s soccer. The U.S. holds a 15-8-11 in the series against China, the opponent in the 1999 FIFA World Cup final in which the U.S. famously won on penalty kicks. Earlier in 2006, the U.S. topped China 2-0 on a pair of goals by team captain Kristine Lilly to win the Four Nations Tournament in China in January, before the teams tied 0-0 in the Algarve Cup opener in Portugal in March. China’s last trip to the United States came in 2004, when the U.S. came away victorious by a 3-1 margin in the 2004 Olympic send-off match.

The U.S. women have played ten matches so far this year, with nine coming outside of the country (China, Portugal and Japan), and have a 7-0-3 record.

The match vs. China is the fifth domestic game confirmed so far this year for the U.S. women, who opened its slate of summer games on Saturday, July 15, with a wild 3-2 victory against Sweden in Blaine, Minn. Up next for the U.S. is Ireland on Sunday, July 23, at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego (1 p.m. PT) before traveling to Cary, N.C. to face Canada at SAS Soccer Park on Sunday, July 30 (1 p.m. ET).

Following the match in Bridgeview, the U.S. will next face Mexico on Sept. 13 in Rochester, N.Y. with an 8 p.m. ET kickoff time. All of the matches will be on ESPN2 and fans can also follow all the games on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The USA-Canada match will also be broadcast live in Spanish on Telemundo. The U.S. women will likely play two more domestic matches this fall in addition to the ones already confirmed.

TICKET INFORMATION FOR JULY WNT MATCHES
USA vs. Ireland – July 23, 2006, Torero Stadium – San Diego, Calif. – ESPN2 (1 p.m. PT)
Tickets for USA-Ireland are on sale now at ussoccer.com, at all San Diego and Southern California area Ticketmaster outlets (including Tower Records, Robinson's-May and Second Spin stores) and by phone at 619-220-8497. (Note: Tickets will be available at Torero Stadium only on the day of the event.) Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by logging onto ussoccer.com or calling (312) 528-1290.

USA vs. Canada - July 30, 2006, SAS Soccer Park – Cary, N.C. – ESPN2 & Telemundo (1 p.m. ET)
Tickets are on sale online at ussoccer.com, at all Cary area Ticketmaster outlets (including Hechts, FYE, and Publix Stores) and by phone at 919-834-4000. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by logging onto ussoccer.com or calling (312) 528-1290.

USA vs. China – August 27, 2006, Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill. – ESPN2 (12 p.m. CT)
Tickets starting at $16 go on sale starting Saturday, July 29, at 10 a.m. CT through ussoccer.com, by phone at 312-559-1212 and at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout Chicagoland (including Carson Pirie Scott, Coconuts, Hot Tix, FYE, Tower Records, and Ritmo Latino stores). Starting Friday, July 28, groups of 15 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com.

USA vs. Mexico – September 13, 2006, PAETEC Park – Rochester, N.Y. – ESPN2 (8 p.m. ET)
Tickets starting at $18 will go on sale starting Tuesday, July 25 at 10 a.m. ET at ussoccer.com, at all Rochester area Ticketmaster outlets (including Kaufmann’s and Ticket Express), at PAETEC Park’s Main Box Office (Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and by phone at 585-232-1900. Groups of 12 or more can purchase tickets by calling 312-528-1290 or visiting ussoccer.com.

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