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"Nike Road to Pasadena" Tour Set as U.S. Women's National Team Enters Final Run to 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup This Summer

CHICAGO (Wednesday, February 10, 1999) - The U.S. Women's National Team will play nine matches on the "NIKE Road to Pasadena" during its final preparations for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. The nine "NIKE Road to Pasadena" games are the final matches in an unprecedented 19-game 1999 schedule for Head Coach Tony DiCicco's squad, which will take the USA across the country and into four Women's World Cup venues. It is the most ambitious preparation schedule ever assembled for a women's national team in training for a World Cup. Seven of the nine "Road to Pasadena" games are against Women's World Cup-qualified teams. The USA has already played two games this year, defeating Portugal twice in Florida at the end of January.

"The Road to Pasadena games come at a crucial time for the team as we fine tune and smooth out the last details of our Women's World Cup preparations," said DiCicco, who will use the games to make final evaluations before choosing his World Cup Team roster. "We are facing World Cup opponents that are equal to the quality we will see in the World Cup and the teams are certainly diverse in their styles of play, which will help us. We are excited about the opportunity that NIKE and U.S. Soccer has given us to prepare to regain the World Cup trophy."

The tour opens on March 28 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. -- site of the 1999 Women's World Cup Final on July 10 -- when the USA will take on Mexico as part of a doubleheader with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer. The USA returns to action on April 22 in Hershey, Pa., to take on World Cup qualifier China, then faces the Asian power again three days later at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, site of the Opening Game of the Women's World Cup on June 19. The game will be played as part of a doubleheader with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars. China is one of the top seeds in the 1999 Women's World Cup along with Germany, Norway and the USA.

The U.S. team will then travel to Charlotte, N.C. for an April 29 match against a Japan team preparing for its third Women's World Cup. The match will be played at Ericsson Stadium, site of the 1999 and 2000 NCAA Men's College Cups, and will be a homecoming of sorts for the numerous U.S. players who played their college soccer at UNC-Chapel Hill. The USA will then complete the two-game set against Japan in Atlanta at Dekalb Memorial Stadium, returning for the first time to Georgia since winning the Olympic gold medal in Athens, Ga., in 1996.

The tour moves onto Milwaukee, Wis. on May 13 as the USA faces Holland at Uihlein Soccer Park before playing the Dutch again on May 16 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., as part of a doubleheader with the Chicago Fire. The Americans will face Brazil on May 22 at a site to be determined and then play Canada on June 6 at Civic Stadium in the final match before starting Women's World Cup play. The historic send-off match is expected to draw an electric crowd and will be televised live on ABC. It will also be the first game of a doubleheader featuring Women's World Cup teams Australia and Brazil.

The USA will also take one tour abroad in 1999, traveling to Portugal in March to participate in the Algarve Cup, an eight-team tournament featuring six teams qualified for the 1999 Women's World Cup. The USA has never won the Algarve Cup in four attempts.

Following is the complete schedule for the U.S. Women's National Team leading up to the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. The USA will also play two closed-door full-international matches in their preparation schedule.

U.S. Women's National Team
Schedule Leading To USA '99
Date Opponent Venue Kickoff (ET) TV Ticket Number*
Feb. 14 FIFA World Stars Spartan Stadium 
(San Jose Calif.)
8:00 p.m. espn2 408/924-4086
Feb. 27 Finland Pepin/Rood Stadium 
(Univ. of Tampa)
4:00 p.m. espn2 813/287-8844 
Mar. 14 Algarve Cup Portugal -- -- --
Mar. 16 Algarve Cup Portugal -- -- --
Mar. 18 Algarve Cup Portugal -- -- --
Mar. 20 Algarve Cup Portugal -- -- --
NIKE Road to Pasadena
Date Opponent Venue Kickoff (ET) TV Ticket Number*
Mar. 28 Mexico** Rose Bowl
(Pasadena, Calif.)
5:00 p.m. ESPN 310/445-1260
(Los Angeles Galaxy)
Apr. 22 China Hershey Park
(Hershey, Pa.)
7:00 p.m. -- 717/534-8900
(Hershey Wildcats)
Apr. 25 China** Giants Stadium
(East Rutherford, N.J.)
4:30 p.m. espn2 201/583-7000
(NY/NJ MetroStars)
Apr. 29 Japan  Ericsson Stadium
(Charlotte, N.C.)
7:00 p.m. -- 704/522-6500
May 2 Japan Dekalb Memorial Stadium
(Atlanta, Ga.)
2:00 p.m. espn2 404/377-5575
(Atlanta Silverbacks)
May 13 Holland Uihlein Soccer Park
(Milwaukee, Wisc.)
8:00 p.m. -- 414/358-2510
(Milwaukee Kickers)
May 16 Holland** Soldier Field
(Chicago, Ill.)
1:00 p.m. espn2 888/657-3473 
(Chicago Fire)
May 22  Brazil TBD 7:30 p.m. espn2 TBD
June 6 Canada
Australia v. Brazil
Civic Stadium
(Portland Ore.)
2:00 p.m. 
4:30 p.m. 
ABC 503/525-8800 
(Portland WWC)
1999 FIFA Women's World Cup First Round Schedule
Date Opponent Venue Kickoff (ET) TV Ticket Number*
June 19 TBD Giants Stadium
(East Rutherford, N.J.)
3:00 p.m. ABC 1-800/WWC-TIKS
June 24 TBD Soldier Field
(Chicago, Ill.)
8:30 p.m. ESPN 1-800/WWC-TIKS
June 27 TBD Foxboro Stadium
(Boston, Mass.)
7:00 p.m. ESPN 1-800/WWC-TIKS
*Ticket prices vary from venue to venue. 
** Doubleheader with Major League Soccer.