CHICAGO (Thursday, May 1, 2003) - The United States Men's National Team will face 2002 Oceania Football Confederation champion New Zealand on Sunday, June 8 at the University of Richmond Stadium in Richmond, Va. Kickoff for the match is set for 1 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and the Radio Unica network. Fans can follow the match live online via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The U.S. match is part of a double header with the A-League Richmond Kickers, who will face the Atlanta Silverbacks at 3:45 p.m. following the U.S –New Zealand showdown.
The match against New Zealand will serve as the team’s final tuneup prior to the USA’s participation in the FIFA Confederations Cup, and comes just 11 days prior to the USA’s opening match against Turkey on June 19 in St. Etienne, France. As OFC Champions, New Zealand will face France, Colombia and Japan in the prestigious eight-team international competition.
“The New Zealand match will present an important opportunity to help finalize our team as we head to the Confederations Cup,” said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena. “New Zealand are a rugged, physical team and will provide a great challenge to our group. We’re looking forward to playing our send off match in a great soccer area like Richmond.”
The U.S. and New Zealand have met only once before in their history. In their opening match of group play in the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup, goals by Brian McBride and Jovan Kirovski led the USA to a 2-1 victory in Guadalajara, Mexico. The U.S. went on to capture third place in the tournament, their best-ever finish.
After the most successful year in U.S. Soccer history, the U.S. has amassed a 3-1-0 record in 2003, collecting shutout victories against Canada and Venezuela. The U.S. Men’s National Team is making its second appearance in the state of Virginia and at the University of Richmond Stadium, where the U.S. collected a 2-0 victory against Trinidad and Tobago in a World Cup semifinal round qualifier on Nov. 10, 1996. The nearly 23,000 seat stadium played host to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championships from 1995 to 1998, and is the home field for the Richmond Kickers.
Tickets for the doubleheader ranging in price from $18 to $40 can be purchased starting tomorrow, May 2, at 10 a.m. ET through all Richmond area Ticketmaster outlets (including Ukrop's Supermarket, Farm Fresh and Hecht's), by phone at 804-262-8100 (Richmond), 757-671-8100 (Virginia Beach), or 800-527-6384 (Northern Virginia), and on-line at ussoccer.com. Information on group discounts can be obtained by calling 312-528-1290. [Click here for complete ticket information.]
The U.S. Men’s National Team will take on El Salvador and Martinique when they begin their defense of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on July 12 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. The 2003 Gold Cup will run from July 12-27 and will also feature matches at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla., and Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.