Ukraine Match Broadcast Live on ESPN2 at 3:30 p.m. PT from the Univ. of Portland; Iceland Match Broadcast Live on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. PT from the HDC;
Tickets for Both Matches Go On Sale Friday, June 17, at 10 a.m. PT
CHICAGO (June 14, 2005) -- The U.S. Womenâ€™s National Soccer Team will play two matches in the month of July, taking on Ukraine on Sunday, July 10, at Harry A. Merlo Field on the campus of the University of Portland and facing Iceland on Sunday, July 24, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The match against Ukraine kicks off at 3:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 while the match against Iceland, also live on ESPN2, kicks off at 2 p.m. PT.
"Anytime you play European teams it makes for difficult matches because they are sure to be organized and committed," said U.S. head coach Greg Ryan. "Both of these teams are pushing to make it into the upper tier in Europe. They are both young and physical teams and I am sure they will be highly motivated."
The meeting with Ukraine marks the second domestic match of the year for the U.S. women and is the back-end of a unique U.S. Soccer doubleheader in the northwest as the U.S. Menâ€™s National Team will play a CONCACAF Gold Cup match against Canada the day before at Qwest Field in Seattle.
The meeting with Iceland comes less than a year after the two teams played one of the wildest games in U.S. Womenâ€™s National Team history. On Sept. 25, 2004, the USA opened the â€œFan Celebration Tourâ€ in Rochester, N.Y., hometown of U.S. star Abby Wambach, who delighted the crowd with two goals and an assist to Mia Hamm heading into halftime. Iceland then scored three goals in a six-minute span in the second half â€“ record for a U.S. opponent, but the USA pulled out the win with a last minute goal from defender Heather Mitts.
Tickets for both matches go on sale starting this Friday, June 17 at 10 a.m. PT. Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1249 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com.
Tickets for the USA-Ukraine match in Portland range in price levels from $18 to $50 and are on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout Oregon and Washington (including G.I. Joeâ€™s and Fred Meyer), online at ussoccer.com, and by phone at 503-224-4400.
Tickets for the USA-Iceland range in price levels from $15 to $40 and are on sale at all Southern California Ticketmaster ticket centers (including Robinsonâ€™s-May, Wherehouse Music and Tower Records), the Home Depot Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), online at ussoccer.com, and by phone at 213-480-3232.
The U.S. women played two matches at Merlo in the mid-1990s, defeating Brazil 4-1 on May 14, 1995, and England 6-0 on May 11, 1997. The USAâ€™s last four matches in Portland have been played at the downtown PGE Park. The University of Portland womenâ€™s soccer program has featured numerous U.S. Womenâ€™s National Team players, most notably forwards Tiffeny Milbrett and Shannon MacMillan, two of the top scorers in U.S. history.
More recently, the Pilots have been the training ground for some of the top young players in the U.S. Womenâ€™s Youth National Team programs, including forward Megan Rapinoe, midfielder Angie Woznuk and defender Stephanie Lopez, all members of the U.S. team that participated in the 2004 U-19 World Championship in Thailand. Portland also features rising senior midfielder Lindsey Huie, who will join the U.S. camp in Virginia later this month before the USA takes on Canada on June 26 in the first domestic match of 2005.
Ryan will bring rosters of 24 players into both markets to train about a week before the matches and will then choose 18 players to suit up for the games. The rosters will likely feature a mix of Olympic gold medallists and exciting young players as Ryan continues to develop his talent pool in preparation for qualifying for the 2007 FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup.
Ukraine is ranked 19th in the world and 12th in Europe in the most recent FIFA womenâ€™s rankings, but had the misfortune of being drawn into Germanyâ€™s group in the qualifying for the 2005 European Womenâ€™s Championship and failed to get through to the finals. Iceland is ranked 18th in the world and 11th in Europe in the most recent FIFA womenâ€™s rankings. Iceland finished third in Group 3 in qualification for the European Championship behind France and Russia. The USA and Ukraine have actually met three times previously, with the USA winning all three. Interestingly, the first meeting came in Campinas, Brazil, during a tournament held the January before the 1996 Olympics. The USA and Iceland have met seven times in their history with the USA winning every contest.
- ussoccer.com -