CHICAGO (Monday, May 3, 2004) – Tickets for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s return match against Poland on Sunday, July 11, at the newly renovated Soldier Field in Chicago go on sale tomorrow (May 4) at 10 a.m. CT. Kickoff for the match, which will be broadcast live on ESPN2, is set for 6 p.m. CT. Fans can also follow the match live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
The match, which is part of a doubleheader that also features the Chicago Fire hosting the New England Revolution at 8:30 p.m., will be the U.S. MNT’s first appearance in the Windy City since June 13, 1993, a 4-3 loss to Germany. Overall, the U.S. holds a 1-2-1 record in Chicago, including a 1-0 loss to the Poles in 1973.
Advance tickets ranging in price levels from $28 to $80 are available at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Illinois (including Coconut, Hot Tix, and Tower Records stores) and by phone at 312-559-1212, while groups of 20 or more can order discounted tickets through U.S. Soccer by calling 312-528-1290 [Click here for complete ticket information].
The U.S. recently defeated Poland 1-0 on March 31, in Plock, Poland, behind a DaMarcus Beasley goal in the 26th minute. The victory marked the USA’s first victory of 2004 and the first victory for the U.S. in Europe under manager Bruce Arena in nine matches.
“We are looking forward to our return to Chicago, one of the great soccer cities in America,” said Arena. “With the large Polish-American population in the area, we expect another fantastic atmosphere as we are hopefully preparing for the semifinal round of World Cup qualifying.”
In their history, the U.S. has played Poland more times than any other European opponent (13 times dating all the way back to 1924). Poland leads the all-time series with a 7-5-1 record, including a 3-1 victory in the final Group D match of the 2002 World Cup. The U.S. took the spoils in the last meeting on U.S. soil, a 3-1 victory on May 9, 1990 in Hershey, Pa.
The rare Soldier Field match presents an opportunity for Chicago Fire stars like midfielders Chris Armas and DaMarcus Beasley to play for the U.S. in front of their hometown fans. Chicago area soccer fans were honored by U.S. Soccer in 2003 as the Best Soccer Fans in the country in ussoccer.com's annual Best of U.S. Soccer Series voting. The match could also be a homecoming for former Fire defender Carlos Bocanegra and Arlington Heights, Ill., native Brian McBride, as both joined Fulham of the English Premier League in January.
Arena will likely call in a full-strength team against Poland as it will be the final match before the U.S. begins the six-game, four-team semifinal round competition of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying on the road on August 18, should the U.S. advance through their preliminary round. The U.S. begins qualifying with a two-game, home-and-away series against Grenada on June 13 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, at 1 p.m. ET (ESPN2 / Telemundo) and June 20 in Grenada.