Nike U.S. Women's Cup 2000 Comes to Portland, Oregon; New Format Features Doubleheaders on May 5 & 7 at Civic Stadium
CHICAGO (Friday, February 25, 2000) - The NIKE U.S. Women's Cup will for the first time be based at one venue as Civic Stadium in Portland, Ore. plays host to two doubleheaders on May 5 and 7. Through the first six years of the tournament, the four-team competition has been played in as many as three to six venues. For the first time, it will be played as two events in just one stadium with the May 5 event featuring semifinals and the May 7 doubleheader consisting of a 3rd place match and the Final.
The Friday, May 5, games will see Canada take on South Korea at 6 p.m. PT followed by the USA-Mexico clash at 8:30 p.m. PT in the nightcap. On Sunday, May 7, the semifinal winners will play for the championship at 11:30 a.m. PT (Live on ESPN2) while the two semifinal losers will play for third place at 2 p.m. Natural grass will once again be put down at Civic Stadium, which played host to four highly successful matches in the 1999 Women's World Cup as well as the USA's "Send-Off" match prior to the start of the tournament which drew 23,325 fans.
Two-day ticket packages will be available at Ticket Master (503/224-4400) starting Saturday, March 4, at 10:00 a.m. Individual game tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, April 5, at 10:00 a.m., also at Ticket Master. Special group prices are available by calling the NIKE U.S. Women's Cup 2000 hotline at 503/972-6799. Tickets will also be available at the Civic Stadium Ticket Office.
"I have so many fond memories of the Portland soccer fans," said U.S. forward Tiffeny Milbrett, who scored a then-NCAA record 103 goals for the University of Portland from 1990-'94. "They are knowledgeable about the game, they really appreciate good soccer and everyone always gets so excited when the team comes to town. We want to put on a great show for them at Civic Stadium."
The USA has won all six renditions of the NIKE U.S. Women's Cup dating back to the inaugural event in 1994. The USA is 18-0-0 in the tournament having scored 79 goals to its opponents eight. Both of the USA's regional foes -- Mexico and Canada -- bring newly hired coaches to the tournament. Mexico has hired Leonardo Cuellar, who guided the team in 1999 Women's World Cup, on a full-time basis, marking the first time in its history that Mexico has had a full-time women's national team coach. Canada brings a new weapon in Head Coach Even Pellerud. The Norwegian is one of just three coaches to win a Women's World Cup title, that coming at the helm of his home country at the 1995 Women's World Cup, a victory that included a 1-0 win over the USA in the semifinals.
This will be the third NIKE U.S. Women's Cup for Canada and the second tournament for both South Korea, which competed last year, and Mexico. All four of those appearances resulted in last place finishes. The USA's most recent match with Canada was the spirited 4-2 victory at Civic Stadium on June 6, 1999, in the final match before beginning Women's World Cup play. The most recent meeting with Mexico was on March 28, 1999, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. in a hard-fought 3-0 victory for a U.S. team that held just a 1-0 lead until the final minutes. The Americans defeated South Korea, 5-0, in last year's NIKE U.S. Women's Cup in front of a sell-out crowd of 23,101 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 3, 1999.
"Portland has always proven to be a great city for soccer," said Emilio Pozzi, the Managing Director of Events for U.S. Soccer. "Because of the busy schedule for the women this year, we were looking for one venue to hold the U.S. Cup tournament and Portland was a perfect fit. Because of great cooperation from the Portland Sports Authority and Portland Family Entertainment, as well as Civic Stadium, we are once again bringing grass and women's soccer to Civic."
The NIKE U.S. Women's Cup will mark the fifth and sixth appearances for the USA in Portland, where it is undefeated. The Americans won games at the University of Portland's Merlo Field against Brazil (4-1) in 1995 and England (5-0) in 1997. The USA defeated Australia, 4-0, at the NIKE World Headquarters in Beaverton on June 3, 1999, and made their first appearance at Civic in the "Send-off Match" as a raucous crowd bolstered by both the Oregon youth and adult soccer community cheered the USA onto the Women's World Cup.
U.S. forward Mia Hamm is the tournament's all-time leading scorer with 21 goals. Kristine Lilly has scored 10 goals in the tournament and was named MVP of last year's NIKE U.S. Women's Cup.
|NIKE U.S. Women's Cup 2000 Schedule|
|Friday, May 5||Canada vs. South Korea||Civic Stadium (Portland, Ore.)||6:00 p.m. PT / --||503/224-4400|
|USA vs. Mexico||Civic Stadium (Portland, Ore.)||8:30 p.m. PT / --|
|Sunday, May 7||Championship Game||Civic Stadium (Portland, Ore.)||11:30 a.m. PT / ESPN2||503/224-4400|
|Third-Place Match||Civic Stadium (Portland, Ore.)||2:00 p.m. PT / --|
|U.S. Women's Cup All-Time U.S. Goal Scorers|
NIKE U.S. Women's Cup All-Time Finishes
1994: USA, China, Germany, Norway
1995: USA, Norway, Australia, Chinese Taipei
1996: USA, China, Japan, Canada
1997: USA, Italy, Australia, Canada
1998: USA, Brazil, Russia, Mexico
1999: USA, Brazil, Finland, South Korea