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U.S. Women to Play World Cup Send-Off Series Match vs. Norway at Rentschler Field


CHICAGO (April 14, 2007) – For the third time in four years, a U.S. Soccer National Team will play a preparation match for a major tournament at Rentschler Field when the Women’s National Team hosts Norway on Saturday, July 14, at 6 p.m. ET in the third game of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Send-Off Series.

The USA’s six-game Send-Off Series begins June 16 in Cleveland, and continues on June 23 in East Rutherford, N.J. After facing long-time rival Norway, ranked third in the latest FIFA world rankings, the series continues on July 28, Aug. 12 and Aug. 25 in games that will be announced shortly. The 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held September 10-30 in China.

“U.S. Soccer has put together an excellent series of matches for us leading into the Women’s World Cup,” U.S. WNT head coach Greg Ryan said. “We’ll get to see some teams, including Norway, 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.”

Tickets starting at $19 will go on sale on Thursday, April 19 at 10 a.m. ET online at ussoccer.com, at all Hartford area Ticketmaster outlets (including Macy’s and FYE), and by phone at 860-525-4500. Tickets will also be available at the Hartford Civic Center box office beginning Friday, April 20 at 12 p.m. ET. Groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets at reduced prices by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtaining a group order form at ussoccer.com.

Additionally, as a special benefit to VISA cardholders, a VISA-only pre-sale will be held between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 18, at ussoccer.com. VISA, the preferred payment card of U.S. Soccer, is the only payment method accepted for this advance sale opportunity.

The USA vs. Norway match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, and fans will be able to follow the action online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

U.S. Women’s National Team captain Kristine Lilly, a who grew up in Wilton, Conn., returns to her home state for the fourth time in her career that has spanned 20 years and a world record 324 games. Her first appearance in Connecticut came nearly 16 year ago, a 1-0 loss to Norway at Willowbrook Park in New Britain on Aug. 30, 1991. Overall, Lilly is second to only Mia Hamm among all-time female goal scorers with 121 for her career and shows no sign of slowing down, scoring two goals at the Algarve Cup in March including the game-winner vs. Denmark in the title game.

“It’s great for us to come back to Hartford, especially after our game against China before the 2004 Olympics was such a great send-off for us,” said Lilly, who lives in Boston. “The stadium has a wonderful atmosphere and the fans in Connecticut have always been great. I’m glad the people of Connecticut can be a part of our Send-off Series.”

Throughout the history between the two women’s soccer nations with the greatest history of success in world championship events, Norway has always been the most difficult rival for the U.S. Women. It took a six-game winning streak between 2002 and 2006 for the U.S. to pull ahead in the all-time series at 19-18-2. The last meeting between the teams in the U.S. was a 1-0 victory for the Americans in the quarterfinals of the 2003 FIFA World Cup in Foxborough, Mass.

“I love playing Norway,” said Lilly, who has faced the Scandinavians 30 times (including her 300th cap). “First, they are a great competitive team and one of our biggest rivals. Second, they are going to be in the World Cup which gives us another preparation game against a World Cup-caliber team, and third, I think it will be great soccer for the Connecticut area to see. Norway is a team that is World Cup champions and Olympic gold medalists. Both teams are respectful of one another’s great tradition and history of women’s soccer and both nations have played a major role in the growth of women’s soccer internationally over the years. It should be one of best games of the Send-Off Series.”

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. The U.S. WNT is currently in Residency Training Camp in Carson, Calif., and will play vs. Canada on May 12 in Frisco, Texas, before kicking off the Send-Off Series on month later.

2007 U.S. Women’s National Team Schedule / Results

Date Opponent Location Result / Kickoff TV Tickets
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 3-2 W    
March 14 Denmark @ VRS Antonio, Portugal 2-0 W    
April 14 Mexico Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.) 5-0 W    
May 12 Canada Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas) 7:30 p.m. ET FSC (live) /
Fox Sports en Espanol (delay)
Available
           

2007 Women’s National Team Send-Off Series
Date Opponent   Location Kickoff TV Tickets
June 16 China     Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio) 7 p.m. ET ussoccer.com's MatchACCESS Available
June 23 Brazil     Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.) 5 p.m. ET ESPN2 Available
July 14 Norway     Rentschler Field (East Hartford, Conn.) 6 p.m. ET ESPN2 Available
July 28 TBA     TBA   TBA   TBA   Coming Soon
Aug. 12 TBA     TBA   TBA   TBA   Coming Soon
Aug. 25 TBA     TBA   TBA   TBA   Coming Soon
             
Sept. 10-30 FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007 FIFA.com
 

 + Four Nations Tournament
@ Algarve Cup

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