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U.S. Women's Soccer Team Returns to Charleston on Feb. 16 to Face Iceland

CHICAGO (Tuesday, January 7, 2003) - The U.S. Women's National Team will face Iceland in its second domestic game of 2003 on Sunday, February 16, at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina.  The match will kick off at 6 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

It will be the second ever match for the U.S. women at Blackbaud Stadium after having opened the 2002 campaign there with a 7-0 win over Mexico in front of a sell-out crowd of 5,364 on a rainy January night.  Tickets ranging in price levels from $18 to $35 go on sale starting Thursday, January 9, at 10:00 a.m. ET at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout the Carolinas (including Publix and Cat’s Music Stores), at Blackbaud Stadium during business hours, by phone (843-554-6060), and online at  Groups of 20 or more can order through U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290. [Click here for complete ticket information]. The picturesque Blackbaud Stadium, which opened in the spring of 1999, is the home of the Charleston Battery of the A-League and has a capacity 5,113.

Like all matches in 2003, the Iceland game will carry the added significance of Women’s World Cup preparation as U.S. head coach April Heinrichs continues to formulate her roster for the 2003 Women’s World Cup, taking place in China from September 23-October 11 of this year.  The match will also give Heinrichs a chance to look at her team before choosing a roster for the highly competitive Algarve Cup, which will be the USA’s next event after the Iceland match when they travel to Portugal in mid-March.

The U.S. women have played Iceland four times in their history, all in the United States.  The four matches came in two-game sets in which the USA dominated the first game, but not the second.  The USA defeated Iceland 6-0 on May 8, 1998, in Indianapolis, but then two days later scraped out a 1-0 win in Bethlehem, Penn.  In 2000, the two teams played twice in North Carolina with the USA winning 8-0 on April 5 in Davidson, N.C., but then tied 0-0 three days later on a freezing cold night in Charlotte, N.C. as Iceland goalkeeper Thora Helgadottir made 11 saves, many of them spectacular, to keep the USA off the board.

Blackbaud Stadium, which is fast becoming one of the top smaller soccer venues in the United States, held the men’s Under-20 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament last November in which the USA earned a trip to the FIFA U-20 World Championships in the United Arab Emirates.

The U.S. women earned their berth to the 2003 Women’s World Cup at the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup last November, defeating Costa Rica in the semifinals to earn their berth before downing Canada, 1-0, in the championship game on a “golden goal” in overtime from Mia Hamm to win the regional title.