CHICAGO (Thursday, March 13, 2003) — The United States Men’s National Team will face fellow 2002 World Cup finalists Paraguay in an international friendly on Sunday, July 6 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus. Kickoff for the match is set for 3 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. The game will also be broadcast on Telemundo and the Radio Unica network, and fans can follow the match live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
The key international match falls in between the USA’s participation in two major tournaments. The U.S. will compete in the FIFA Confederations Cup from June 18-29 in France, and the match against Paraguay comes just six days prior to the U.S. opening its defense of the CONCACAF Gold Cup championship, to be held July12-23 in the United States and Mexico.
“The match against Paraguay provides an important link between the completion of the Confederations Cup and our team’s participation in the Gold Cup,” said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. “Paraguay is traditionally one of the stronger teams from South America and will provide a good challenge for our team. It’s always nice to return to Columbus and one of the best soccer facilities in the country. The fans are extremely supportive, and we look forward to a great atmosphere.”
The U.S. and Paraguay have meet three times in their history, with the U.S. holding an unbeaten 1-0-2 record, including a 3-0 victory in the inaugural World Cup on July 17, 1930 in Uruguay. The teams last met in San Diego on March 14, 1998, resulting in a 2-2 draw. Led by flamboyant goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert, Paraguay have advanced to the second round in the last two World Cup finals.
After the most successful year in U.S. Soccer history, the U.S. has amassed a 2-1-0 record in 2003, collecting shutout victories against Canada and Jamaica. The U.S. Men’s National Team is undefeated and unscored upon at Columbus Crew Stadium, boasting a 1-0-2 record. Crew Stadium, which was named Best Soccer Stadium in U.S. Soccer’s 2002 "Best Of" Series, has played host to two World Cup qualifiers, including the 2-0 victory against Mexico on February 28, 2001, that launched the USA’s successful run through final round qualification.
Tickets ranging in price levels from $20 to $44 go on sale to the general public starting Saturday, April 12, at 10 a.m. ET through Ticketmaster. Prior to this, only Columbus Crew season ticket holders have an opportunity to purchase tickets (at special prices) for USA vs. Paraguay. To inquire about Crew season tickets and the process for obtaining USA vs. Paraguay tickets prior to the public sale, call the Crew at 614-447-CREW (2739).
The United States is also slated to play Mexico on May 8 in Houston at Reliant Stadium and are finalizing plans to add to more matches in advance of the Confederations Cup.