CHICAGO (September 9, 2008) – The gold medal-winning U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team returns to the field on Saturday, Sept. 13, in the first of three matches against Ireland to begin the 10-game Achieve Your Gold Tour which will take the Olympic champs across the USA to celebrate its historic run to the top of the podium in Beijing.
The tour gets underway Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field with an 8 p.m. kickoff against the Irish (tickets), and continues on Wed., Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The last of these three games will be played on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. CT at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Fans can follow all the matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
For all three contests, tickets can be purchased through ussoccer.com, by phone at 215-336-2000 (Philadelphia), 201-507-8900 (New York/New Jersey) and 312-559-1212 (Chicago), and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers in the metro areas of the three games. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (a special VIP package which includes a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. national team jersey with your name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits), are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.
Fifteen of the 18 players who helped win gold on Aug. 21 at Beijing Workers Stadium during the dramatic 1-0 overtime victory against Brazil will be on the roster for the next three games. The USA’s college players – Amy Rodriguez (USC), Tobin Heath (UNC) and Lauren Cheney (UCLA) will not be playing due to commitments to their college seasons. Olympic alternates Briana Scurry and midfielder Kacey White were added to the roster for the Achieve Your Gold Tour matches. The two other Olympic alternates – India Trotter and Ali Krieger – are currently playing in Germany and were not available for the Ireland games.
The rest of the players who played major roles in the USA’s six-game run to the gold medal will be featured, including midfielder Carli Lloyd, who scored the game-winning goal in the championship game. The roster also features forward Angela Hucles, who led the team in scoring during the Olympics with four goals, team co-captains Christie Rampone and Kate Markgraf, who solidified the defense that shut out Brazil for the title and goalkeeper Hope Solo, whose stellar play all tournament long, but especially in the gold medal game, helped the Americans to Olympic glory.
The USA heads into these three matches against Ireland with a 26-1-1 record in 2008 with the only loss coming in the opening game of the 2008 Olympics to Norway, a setback the USA famously rebounded from to win the gold medal. The U.S. team led the Olympic Games in scoring with 12 goals, one more than silver-medalist Brazil, and has scored 73 times in 28 games so far this year.
The United States and Ireland have met five times in a series dating back to 1999, with the United States collecting an unblemished 5-0-0 record. The teams last faced off on July 23, 2006, in San Diego, the U.S. powering to a 5-0 victory.
During the three games, several U.S. players will be honored for cap milestones that were achieved at the Olympics. In Philadelphia, Heather O’Reilly will be honored for earning her 100th career cap, that coming against Brazil in the gold medal game. At Giants Stadium, New Jersey native Rampone will be honored for earning her 200th cap, one of just six players ever to do so. Her 200th came against Canada in the Olympic quarterfinal. Shannon Boxx will be honored in Chicago for earning her 100th career cap which came against New Zealand in the USA’s third and final first round match.
The dates and venues for the remaining seven matches of the Achieve Your Gold Tour will be announced as they become finalized.
U.S. WNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.);
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.);
MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.), Kacey White (Arlington, Texas);
FORWARDS (2): Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii).
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage; Redondo Beach, Calif.
General Manager: Cheryl Bailey; Redondo Beach, Calif.
Athletic Trainer: Gigi Garcia; Miami, Fla.
Equipment Manager: Andrew Dessert; Kansas City, Mo.
Massage Therapist: Mark Higgins; Chicago, Ill.
Videographer: Noelle Jouglet; San Diego, Calif.
Videographer: Libby Wells; San Diego, Calif.
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz; Cypress, Calif.