CHICAGO (Monday, June 16, 2003) - U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia and FIFA Executive Committee member Worawi Makudi unveiled the entire 32-match, 23-day tournament schedule for the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 at a press conference today at RFK Stadium, site of the tournament’s first U.S. Women’s National Team match and opening ceremonies on Sunday, Sept. 21.
In securing matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003, RFK Stadium will join the Rose Bowl (in Pasadena, Calif.) and Stanford Stadium (in Palo Alto, Calif.) as the only stadiums in the world to have hosted matches in a FIFA World Cup, a FIFA Women’s World Cup and an Olympic Soccer Tournament.
"Washington, D.C. is an historic place for soccer in the United States and we are thrilled to be able to open the Women’s World Cup under the shadow of our nation’s capitol," said Contiguglia. "Everyone knows what kind of history this stadium has helped chart for the sport in our country, and Sept. 21 will mark yet another chapter in U.S. Soccer’s illustrious legacy."
Following the USA opener, RFK Stadium will see a pair of games played on both Wednesday, Sept. 24 and Saturday, Sept. 27, featuring action from Groups A, B and C. The USA’s second match takes place in the sparkling new Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Thursday, Sept. 25. The first game of the 2003 Women’s World Cup will actually kickoff in Philadelphia with a doubleheader featuring matches from Groups A and B on Saturday, Sept. 20.
First round group play for the U.S. WNT will end in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday, Sept. 28 at Columbus Crew Stadium, the first major soccer-specific stadium ever constructed in the United States. Crew Stadium will host three sets of doubleheaders, including two matches on the tournament’s first day of action on Saturday, Sept. 20, which will feature "Welcome to the Women’s World Cup Ceremonies," and games on Wednesday, Sept. 24. All four of those games will feature action from Group C.
The tournament quarterfinals will be played as doubleheaders on Wednesday, Oct. 1 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., and on Thursday, Oct. 2 at PGE Park in Portland, Ore. Should they advance to the knockout stage, the U.S. Women would play their quarterfinal match in Boston. In addition to the game three finales of Group D on Sunday, Sept. 28, PGE Park will also host the tournament semifinals on Sunday, Oct. 5. Gillette Stadium’s other matches are game three matches from Group B and C on Saturday, Sept. 27.
"Ultimately, we feel this schedule not only gives our fans an excellent chance to see the 16 greatest women’s soccer teams in the world competing on the world’s grandest stage, but also will eliminate the need for the four semifinal teams to crisscross the country from west to east and back again," said Contiguglia, in highlighting the fact that the first round matches in Portland and Los Angeles will feature competition exclusively in Group D.
The final and third place matches of the Women’s World Cup will be played as stand alone games on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, respectively, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Group D action will kickoff with consecutive doubleheaders at the HDC on Sunday, Sept. 21 and Thursday, Sept. 25.
A complete TV schedule with match times will be released in the near future. Ticketing details will also be announced shortly and will include a private pre-sale for members of the U.S. Soccer community.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003, which is being presented by MasterCard, will mark the third time in 10 years that the U.S. Soccer Federation has hosted a FIFA World Cup event. In 1994, the FIFA World Cup was introduced to the American public for the first time, resulting in the highest attended event in FIFA history, and in 1999 the groundbreaking FIFA Women’s World Cup was, by every measurable yardstick, the most successful women’s sporting event ever.
In addition to MasterCard, the event is being supported by FIFA partners adidas, Avaya, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Deutsche Telekom, Fly Emirates, Fujifilm, Hyundai, McDonald’s, Philips, Toshiba and Yahoo!.
|Venue (Match Dates)||Dates||Note|
|RFK Stadium (3)||Sept. 21, 24 & 27||Opening ceremonies and U.S. opener on Sept. 21|
|Lincoln Financial Field (2)||Sept. 20 & 25||Tournament kicks off Sept. 20, U.S. visits Sept. 25|
|Columbus Crew Stadium (3)||Sept. 20, 24 & 28||Group A finale with U.S. on Sept. 28|
|Gillette Stadium (2)||Sept. 27, Oct. 1||Oct. 1 quarterfinal match-ups could feature U.S.|
|PGE Park (3)||Sept. 28, Oct. 2 & 5||Host Group D finales, quarterfinals and semifinals|
|Home Depot Center (4)||Sept. 21 & 25, Oct. 11 & 12||2003 crown to be decided at Home Depot Center|