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A stern reminder about an upcoming U.S. Soccer-related event, whether you plan to check it out live and in person, on the "telly" or that wacky world wide web.

U.S. Women's National Team vs. Group A – FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003

  • WNT vs. Sweden – Sunday, Sept. 21 – 12:30 p.m. ET (live on ABC)
  • WNT vs. Nigeria – Thursday, Sept. 25 – 7:30 p.m. ET (live on ESPN2)
  • WNT vs. North Korea – Sunday, Sept. 28 – 3:30 p.m. ET (live on ABC)

It’s #1 vs. #5 in arguably the best game of the opening weekend of the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003. The USA, who are 0-1-2 against the Swedes in their last three matches, will have their hands full with established scorer Hanna Ljunberg and company, who have improved enough to be included in the same breath with traditional European powers like Norway and Germany. Stuck in a difficult Group A, April and the gang will need a strong start to boost their confidence in the next two matches. The road to a third world title starts in the nation’s capital at historic RFK Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 21 at 12:30 p.m. (ET).

Next up is Nigeria (ranked #23), who caught the U.S. off-guard in a similar opening round match in ’99. The Super Falcons scored in the fifth minute to stun the sold-out Soldier Field crowd, but it was only a matter of time before the potent U.S. attack got going and poured in seven unanswered goals for a 7-1 result. Don’t expect it to be that lopsided this year, as Nigeria still embodies perhaps the most athletic and physical team in the field. The battle begins on Thursday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field.

The USA’s final Group A match finds them playing yet another ’99 opening round foe. And like Nigeria, it’s a team that nobody wants to play. While Korea DPR (or North Korea to most; ranked #25) struggled to make any kind of impact four years ago, now they’re the defending Asian champions and have defeated China not once, not twice, but three consecutive times. If the U.S. comes into this game with the pressure of needing three points, added to the politically-charged environment that already surrounds this match-up, expect this contest to have all the drama and pressure of a Women’s World Cup final. It all unfolds at what will surely be a sold-out Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, Sept. 28 at 3:45 p.m. (ET).


Table of Contents
1) Armchair Midfielder (A Look at the U.S. Women’s World Cup Team)
2) In Threes (w/ MNT midfielder Steve Ralston)
3) Whatever Happened to... (former WNT forward Carin Gabarra)
4) Queries & Anecdotes (w/ U-17 MNT defender Julian Valentin)
5) Mark That Calendar (WNT vs. Group D Opponents – Sept. 21, 25, 28)
6) Superstar!!! (w/ WNT midfielder Shannon Boxx)
7) FAN Point/Counterpoint (Who will win the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003?)
8) "You Don’t Know Jack (Marshall)" (Women’s World Cup Trivia)

Download this issue of Center Circle (.pdf).

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