WNT To Face Iceland on Oct. 8 in Richmond, Va.
CHICAGO (August 21, 2006) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Iceland at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 8, at the University of Richmond Stadium in Richmond, Va. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, and fans can follow online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
Tickets starting at $16 will go on sale beginning Wednesday, August 23, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, all Richmond Ticketmaster outlets (including Hecht’s, Tower Records, and Ukrop’s Supermarket), and by phone at (804) 262-8100. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtaining a group order form at ussoccer.com.
The match will serve as the final domestic contest before the U.S. women enter competition at the 2006 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, which will serve as the qualifying tournament for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China. In 2006, the U.S. WNT has a 9-0-3 record, including three consecutive victories on domestic soil over Sweden, Ireland and Canada by a combined 10-2 margin.
Forward Abby Wambach leads the team with eight goals this year, upping her strike rate to a record 57 goals in 75 appearances for the National Team. Timeless captain Kristine Lilly, the world record holder with 309 international appearances, is second on the team with six goals in 2006, running her career total to 110 – trailing only Mia Hamm (158) on the all-time scoring chart for women.
The U.S. last appeared at University of Richmond Stadium on September 20, 1998, when Michelle Akers scored in a 3-0 victory against Brazil. Overall, the U.S. has a 4-0-0 record in the Commonwealth, including a pair of victories at George Mason in Fairfax in 1991 and 1994. The last appearance for the U.S. in Virginia came on June 26 of last year as Lori Chalupny and Christie Welsh scored to give the U.S. a 2-0 victory over Canada at the Virginia Beach SportsPlex.
The USA and Iceland have met eight times in their history, with the USA holding a 7-0-1 edge in the series, but the meeting on September 25, 2004, produced some shocking results. The U.S. won, 4-3, but Iceland scored its first-ever goals on the USA, all in a six-minute span. The USA has allowed three or more goals in a game just 14 times over the last 21 years, but never has the USA allowed three goals in such a short span. But the Iceland-USA series has a history of strange results.
The two teams played one of the most unusual two-game series’ in U.S. history in April of 2000 as the USA downed Iceland, 8-0, on April 5 using a team of mostly young players, then tied 0-0 three days later with a team of mostly veteran players as Iceland goalkeeper Thora Helgadottir, a Duke graduate, played a brilliant match. Of the first five matches, they have either been blowouts (6-0 and 8-0) or close games (two 1-0 wins and a 0-0 tie), but the last three have been 4-3, 3-0 and 3-0 U.S. victories. Those results have been positive for such a small soccer country, which features about 300,000 people and a very small number of registered female players, as well as a national stadium in the capital of Reykjavík that seats just 14,000.
The match vs. Iceland will be the seventh domestic game in 2006 for the U.S. team, which opened its slate of summer games on Saturday, July 15, with a wild 3-2 victory against Sweden in Blaine, Minn., before topping Ireland, 5-0, in San Diego on July 23 and Canada by a 2-0 margin in Cary, N.C., on July 30.
The next match for the U.S. will be vs. China at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., on Sunday, August 27, at 1 p.m. ET live on ESPN2. The U.S. will then face Mexico on Sept. 13 in Rochester, N.Y., with an 8 p.m. ET kickoff time, before an October 1 match at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., as part of the first Women’s Nike Friendlies. All of the matches will be on ESPN2.