The Thunder, a long-time A-League power who is promoting the game, opened a private sale to its season ticket holders, sponsors and other partners on April 21 and sold more than 1,000 tickets in the first six hours. As of today, more than 3,000 tickets have been sold. The National Sports Center will seat 8,500 for this match.
Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 651/989-5151 or online at www.mnthunder.com or www.us-soccer.com. Group discounts (20 or more) are available through the Minnesota Thunder office at 763/785-3668. Ticket prices are $30 reserved, $20 adult general admission and $15 youth general admission.
The match is part of a two-game Independence Day Series that will feature home-and-home matches between the long-time confederation rivals. The USA will play Canada in Toronto at Varsity Stadium on June 30 before traveling to Minnesota. The match in Canada will be preceded by a game featuring the Under-19 Women's National Teams of the USA and Canada, both of whom are preparing for the first-ever FIFA U-19 Women's World Championships which will be staged in Canada in 2002. The USA's match in Canada comes the day before Canada Day, which celebrates the events that occurred on July 1, 1867, when the British North America Act created the Canadian federal government. The match in Blaine comes one day before the USA's Independence Day.
U.S. midfielder Julie Foudy, 30, is currently sitting at 199 caps for the Women's National Team. While the roster has not yet been finalized, if she is called in for the games, Foudy will likely play in her historic 200th match either in Toronto or in Blaine. Of all the players to ever represent their country in international soccer, only U.S. teammates Kristine Lilly (225) and Mia Hamm (216) have played in more matches.
The U.S. women have not played a domestic game since December 17, 2000, when they tied Japan, 1-1, in Phoenix, Arizona. Although the USA and Canada have played each other 26 times, the Independence Day Series carries some added spark as the USA has failed to beat Canada in the last three meetings, including losses in the last two games, after having reeled off 21 consecutive wins from 1986-2000. The all-time record stands at 22-3-1 for the Americans.
The U.S. roster is expected to be a mix of 2000 Olympic veterans, up-and-coming WUSA stars and some of the brightest young talent in the women's national team program. This will be the first domestic match for the U.S. women in the WUSA era as for the first time players will be coming together from their professional clubs to play for their country.
The clash in Blaine will be a rematch of the first meeting between the teams on July 7, 1986, in the USA's first-ever domestic game.