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U.S. Women's World Cup Send-Off Series to Make June Stops in Cleveland, New York City


CHICAGO (March 12, 2007) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will face China in Cleveland on June 16 and Brazil in East Rutherford, N.J., on June 23 in the first matches of a six-game 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Send-Off Series this summer.

Both opponents rank in the Top 10 of the FIFA World Rankings, and will provide U.S. head coach Greg Ryan with excellent tests to start the summer as the U.S. continues its preparation for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held September 10-30 in China.

The China match will kick off at 7 p.m. ET on June 16 at Cleveland Browns Stadium and will be broadcast live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS. The Brazil match will kick off at 5 p.m. ET live on ESPN2. Additional dates for the Send-Off Series include July 14, July 28, Aug. 12 and Aug. 25, with the four venues and opponents scheduled to be announced at a later date. Fans can follow all the U.S. WNT matches online with ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

“U.S. Soccer has put together an excellent series of matches for us leading into the Women’s World Cup,” Ryan said. “We’ll get to see some teams that will be in China in September, it will give the players a chance to play games at home after so many games abroad recently, and it will give fans across the United States the chance to see the team and cheer them on before we embark on the great challenge of trying to win the Women’s World Cup.”

The meeting with China will be the third time the U.S. faces the Women’s World Cup hosts this year, winning 2-0 at the Four Nations Tournament in China in January and 2-1 at the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March. Overall, the U.S. has an 18-8-11 record vs. China, including a 6-0-2 record in the last eight meetings. China has always been one of the strongest opponents of the U.S. team, with its eight victories vs. the U.S. being the most by any team other than Norway (18), and its 11 ties are the most draws the U.S. has against any opponent.

“Between friendly matches, tournament matches and closed door games, we’ve played China more times than any other team since I’ve been head coach,” said Ryan. “We know each other’s players and style so well, there are no surprises between the teams, but we do know that the match is always exciting and entertaining for the players and fans.”

Cleveland hosts the U.S. Women’s National Team for the first time, marking the ninth game the U.S. WNT has played in Ohio. Most recently the Fan Celebration Tour following the USA’s gold medal at the 2004 Olympics stopped in Cincinnati on Oct. 10, 2004. Last year, Cleveland Browns Stadium hosted the U.S. MNT’s Send-Off Series match vs. Venezuela prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Tickets will go on sale starting Sat., March 17 at 10 a.m. ET online at ussoccer.com, at all Cleveland area Ticketmaster outlets (including Kroger, Giant Eagle, and Macy’s), at the Cleveland Browns Stadium box office (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and by phone at 216-241-5555. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by calling (312) 528-1290 or visiting ussoccer.com. As a special benefit to VISA cardholders, a VISA-only pre-sale will be held at ussoccer.com from Thursday, March 15 at 10 a.m. ET until Friday, March 16 at 11 p.m. ET. VISA is the preferred payment card of U.S. Soccer.

The Brazil match will be the first meeting between the teams since the dramatic 2004 Olympic gold medal match won by the U.S. in overtime. Despite being on the short end of an 18-1-2 all-time record vs. the U.S., Brazil has developed into one of the most dangerous teams in the women’s game behind dynamic playmaker Marta, the 2006 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.

“We are excited to have the chance to play Brazil before the Women’s World Cup,” said Ryan. “Based on their run to the Olympic final in 2004 we know they are capable of doing the same in 2007. They have some of the best attacking players in the world and present unique challenges that can only help to continue development of this team.”

The appearance at Giants Stadium is the first for the U.S. WNT since the 2004 Fan Celebration Tour and a 1-1 draw with Denmark that saw Mia Hamm score the final goal of her career. Overall, the U.S. has a 1-1-1 record in the Meadowlands, including the famous 3-0 victory vs. Denmark to open the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Tickets will go on sale beginning Thursday, March 15 at 10 a.m. ET online at ussoccer.com, at all area Ticketmaster outlets (including Ritmo Latino, Coconuts Music & Movies, and fye), at the Continental Airlines Arena Box Office (Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and by phone at 201-507-8900 or 609-520-8383. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by calling (312) 528-1290 or visiting ussoccer.com. As a special benefit to VISA cardholders, a VISA-only pre-sale will be held on Wednesday, March 14 between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET at ussoccer.com. VISA is the preferred payment card of U.S. Soccer.

Following the USA’s Placement Match at the 2007 Algarve Cup on Wed., March 14, the U.S. returns to start a four-month long residency training camp at the National Training Center in Carson, Calif., on April 2. The U.S. will open its domestic schedule vs. Mexico (tickets) on April 14 in Foxborough, Mass., in a double header with the New England Revolution. The schedule continues vs. Canada (tickets) on May 12 in Frisco, Texas, in a match that will feature the USA wearing pink uniforms to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness, before kicking off the six-game Send-Off Series in June.

The 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup draw is taking place on April 22 in Wuhan, China, at which time the USA will find out its first-round schedule and venues for the fifth FIFA Women’s World Cup.

2007 U.S. Women’s National Team Schedule / Results
Date     Opponent Location Result/Kickoff TV
Jan. 26 Germany + Guangzhou, China 0-0 T
Jan. 28 England + Guangzhou, China 1-1 T
Jan. 30 China + Guangzhou, China 2-0 W
March 7 China @ Silves, Portugal 2-1 W
March 9 Finland @ Ferreiras, Portugal 1-0 W
March 12 Sweden @ VRS Antonio, Portugal 4 p.m. ET
March 14 TBD TBD, Portugal TBD
April 14 Mexico Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.) 5 p.m. ET ussoccer.com MatchACCESS
May 12 Canada Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas) 7:30 p.m. ET Fox Soccer Channel (live) / Fox Sports en Espanol (delay – 11 p.m. ET)

2007 Women’s National Team Send-Off Series
June 16 China Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio) 7 p.m. ET ussoccer.com MatchACCESS
June 23 Brazil Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.) 5 p.m. ET ESPN2
July 14 TBA TBA TBA
July 28 TBA TBA TBA
Aug. 12 TBA TBA TBA
Aug. 25 TBA TBA TBA

Sept. 10-30 FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007

+ Four Nations Tournament
@ Algarve Cup
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