CHICAGO (Tuesday, December 9, 2003) – The United States Men’s National Team will play its first match at The Home Depot Center when they face 13th ranked Denmark on Jan. 18 in Carson, Calif. Kickoff for the match is set for 12:30 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN. Fans can also follow the match live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
“Denmark is traditionally a very solid team with some outstanding talent,” said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena. “This a great challenge for us as we begin the process of preparing for 2006 World Cup qualifying. We’re looking forward to the excitement of playing our first match at the wonderful new Home Depot Center.”
The U.S. and Denmark have met three times in their history, with the United States still in search of their first victory after posting a 0-1-2 record. The teams last faced off nearly seven years ago, Denmark winning 4-1 in the final match of U.S. Cup ’97 in Pasadena, Calif.
Despite its size, Denmark has a history of being one of the stronger and most consistent sides in Europe. Having qualified for their third consecutive World Cup finals, the Danes impressed by reaching the Round of 16 in the 2002 World Cup, emerging from group play with victories against defending champions France and Uruguay. Winners of the 1992 European Championship in Sweden, Denmark has once again qualified for the 2004 event, where they have been drawn into Group C along with Italy, Bulgaria and Sweden.
The Home Depot Center opened to rave reviews in June 2003 and has already served as host to several major soccer events, including the MLS All-Star game, MLS Cup and several games in the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, including the Third Place Match and Final. The Home Depot Center also serves as U.S. Soccer's National Training Center, with all of U.S. Soccer's 13 national teams training at the facility. Serving as the home of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, the facility in located on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Tickets for the Jan. 18 match will go on sale Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. PT at all Los Angeles area Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone [L.A. 213-480-3232; Orange County 714-740-2000; San Diego 619-220-8497], or online at ussoccer.com. Tickets are priced at $50 for Midfield, $35 for Sideline, $27 for Corners, and $20 for Endlines. Information on group discounts is available by calling 312-528-1290 (click here for complete ticket information).
After posting a 10-4-2 record in 2003, which included a third place finish at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the United States will embark this year on the road to qualification for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The U.S. begins CONCACAF qualifying June 13, 2004, against the winner of the home-and-away series between Grenada and Guyana, with their first match scheduled to be played in the United States. With the semifinal round slated to begin Aug. 18, the U.S. will play a series of friendlies in preparation throughout the year.