The U.S. will participate in the eight-nation Confederations Cup from July 24 - August 4 in Mexico, and in order to replicate the altitude it will experience in Guadalajara (5,000 feet above sea level), the squad will train the week before departure in Denver (5,280 feet). The U.S. will train at the Colorado Rapids' new training center in Westminster from July 11-18, before departing for the Confederations Cup on July 18.
Derby County, which finished eighth in the 20-team English Premier League, have two players quite familiar with the American team. Costa Rican forward Paulo Wanchope and Jamaican forward Deon Burton each played against the U.S. during CONCACAF qualifying for World Cup France '98. The two tied with nine goals apiece to lead Derby in scoring during the 1998-99 season.
The United States has not played a match in Denver in more than seven years, with the last contest being a 0-1 loss to Scotland on May 17, 1992. Prior to that, the U.S. defeated Uruguay, 1-0, on May 5, 1991.
In the second match of the doubleheader, the Colorado Rapids will take on a yet to be decided team in the third round of the 1999 U.S. Open Cup. The Rapids, who qualified for the Open Cup by defeating the Kansas City Wizards, 4-1, on April 17, will face either a team from the United Soccer Leagues (A-League, D3 Pro League or Premier Development League), or one of four U.S. Amateur Soccer Association entrants.
The United States will open the Confederations Cup against New Zealand on July 24, continue on to face Brazil on July 28 and will close out group play against reigning European Champions Germany on July 30. All three of the USA's matches - and the entire Group B schedule - will be played at the Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara. The matches in Group A, which include Mexico, Egypt, Bolivia and Saudi Arabia, will take place at the Guillermo Canedo Stadium in Mexico City. Only the top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals.
The FIFA Confederations Cup was contested under FIFA's auspices for the first time in 1997 and replaced the Intercontinental Championship, which was played in 1992 and 1995. Each of these three tournaments were held in Saudi Arabia.
Fans can purchase tickets for the doubleheader in Denver by calling the Colorado Rapids ticket office at 303/299-1599.