CHICAGO (July 25, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team match against Switzerland on Wednesday, Aug. 20, at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina, is sold out. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET and fans can watch the game live on ussoccer.com and also follow on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp.
The USA’s first match at WakeMed Soccer Park since the expansion to its current 10,000 capacity and the first sellout for the U.S. Women at this venue will also be the first meeting between the countries at the women’s senior level. This is a rare occurrence for the U.S. team, which has been playing international soccer for 29 years.
Switzerland is one of six nations that have already qualified for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup where it will join host Canada. Switzerland has won European Group 3 with one match left to play in qualifying, taking 25 points from nine games with an 8-0-1 record ahead of Iceland and Denmark. The achievement marks the first time Switzerland has qualified for a Women’s World Cup at the senior level.
(Tuesday, Aug. 5; 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU, WatchESPN)
U-20 Women’s World Cup history: Germany has had tremendous success in this tournament, winning it twice (2004 and 2010) and finishing second once and third twice. In fact, the only time the Germans did not finish in the top three was in Russia in 2006 when they fell to the USA 4-1 in the quarterfinal round. Germany has been in the last two U-20 Women’s World Cup Finals, winning at home in 2010 while scoring 20 goals in six games and defeating Nigeria 2-0 in the title game. Numerous players who have played for Germany at the U-20 level have gone on to star for the senior side.
How they got here: Germany fell in the semifinal of the 2013 UEFA U-19 Women’s Championship by a 2-1 score to eventual champion France, but the semifinal berth was good enough to book tickets to Canada. In group play, Germany demolished Norway 5-0, defeated Sweden 2-0 and drew with eventual fellow qualifier Finland 1-1. In the semifinal France’s Kadidiatou Diani scored twice in three minutes (62nd and 64th) and the Germans could only muster a stoppage time penalty kick from Pauline Bremer.
Head coach: Maren Meinert
Did you know: Head coach Maren Meinert played on Germany’s 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team and was the MVP of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) in 2003 with the Boston Breakers under former U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. This will be her fifth U-20 Women’s World Cup at the helm of Germany.
(Friday, Aug. 8; 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU, WatchESPN)
U-20 World Cup history: Brazil has qualified for every edition of the tournament, finishing fourth in 2002 and 2004 (when they were led by two of the world’s best strikers in Marta and Cristiane) before coming third in 2006 (then they defeated the USA in a penalty kick shootout after the match ended 0-0). In 2008, Brazil lost 3-2 in the quarterfinal to a German side that went on to finish third, and were knocked out in the first phase in 2010, losing 1-0 to Korea DPR in their opening game before drawing 1-1 with Sweden. A 4-1 victory over New Zealand in the team’s last match was not enough to avoid elimination. In the most recent World Cup in 2012 in Japan, Brazil did not make it out of the group after drawing with Italy and Nigeria and losing to Korea Republic.
How they got here: Brazil arrives to Canada as South American champions for the sixth time. Brazil defeated fellow qualifier Paraguay 2-0 in the final, meaning that Brazil have now won every edition of the continental tournament at this age level. A penalty from Andressa opened the scoring 35 minutes into the first half after Ludmila was brought down in the area. In the second half, it was Ludmila’s turn to score when the striker received the ball from Andressa, dribbled past two defenders and slipped a shot past the keeper. Brazil finished the tournament with six wins and a draw, also defeating Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela, while drawing with Colombia, in group play, and took down Bolivia (3-0), Colombia (6-0) and Paraguay (2-0) in the final phase.
Head coach: Doriva Bueno
Did you know: Marta won the Silver Ball at this tournament in 2002 and the Golden Ball as the tournament’s top player in 2004.
(Tuesday, Aug. 12; 4 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and WatchESPN)
U-20 World Cup history: While Chinese women’s soccer has been down a bit of late, China does have a strong history in this tournament, having finished as runner-up in two consecutive U-20 Women’s World Cups in 2004 and 2006. The Chinese, however, have since failed to progress beyond the group phase. The Steel Rosebuds suffered an early exit in a difficult group also featuring eventual champions USA and semifinalists France at Chile 2008 and, after missing qualification for Germany 2010, they were eliminated during the group stage in Japan in 2012.
How they got here: China PR finished in third place in Asian qualifying tournament which they hosted to earn its berth to Canada. They opened with a 2-2 draw against the Korea Republic, fell 1-0 to Korea DPR and then earned a hard-fought and crucial 2-1 win over Australia, before drawing 2-2 against Japan. China wrapped up the tournament with a resounding 8-0 demolition of Myanmar to seal third place and qualification.
Head coach: Wang Jun
Did you know: China defeated the USA in a penalty kick shootout in the U-20 Women’s World Cup semifinal 2004 after the match had ended 0-0. It was the first game during the entire cycle that the USA had failed to score at least one goal.
At stake: three automatic berths to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. After a successful second season of the National Women’s Soccer League, many of the U.S. players will get the chance to play in front of the same fans that cheered them on for the clubs as all the group matches will be played in NWSL cities. With a tremendous 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil setting a new standard for support of the U.S. National Team, the focus now turns to the U.S. Women as they begin their quest to qualify for a seventh consecutive Women’s World Cup.
CHICAGO (July 24, 2014) – The 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which will qualify three teams for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will be played in four host cities in the United States: Chicago, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
The tournament, which will take place from Oct. 15-26, features eight countries divided into two groups of four with the top two finishers in each group after round-robin play moving on to the semifinals. All the countries, including the U.S. Women’s National Team, will play one match in each of the three first-round venues. Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas, Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, and RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., will each host two doubleheaders, one each for Groups A and B.
PPL Park in Philadelphia will host the semifinal matches on Oct. 24, along with the third-place match and championship games on Oct. 26. The two finalists and the winner of the third-place match will qualify directly for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. The fourth-place team will enter a playoff with a South American country for a final berth.
“We are honored to serve as the local organizing committee for this tournament as we continue to support and grow women’s soccer in this region on a large scale,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “The second season of the NWSL has been exciting to follow, and this tournament provides fans with another opportunity to see some of the best women’s soccer players in the world compete on the international level. With the tremendous success and popularity of the men’s World Cup here in the United States this summer, we are looking forward to carrying that momentum right through to the Women’s World Cup in Canada and beyond.”
The group stage matches for the tournament will all be played in cities with NWSL clubs, meaning several of the U.S. WNT players will get the chance to play in front of their hometown fans. The tournament begins at Sporting Park on Oct. 15 with the first two matches of Group A followed by the first two matches of Group B on Oct. 16. All eight teams will then move to Toyota Park where the Group A doubleheader matches will take place on Oct. 17 and Group B matches on Oct. 18. The teams will finish first round play at RFK Stadium with the Group A doubleheader games taking place on Oct. 20 and Group B on Oct. 21.
The final four teams will then move on to PPL Park for the last four games. The top two finishers in each group will cross over for the semifinal matches as the Group A winner will play the Group B runner-up and vice versa.
“We look forward to an exciting World Cup qualifying round played in the United States at some of the best stadiums in the world in front of passionate football fans," said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb.
All matches will be televised live across FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 or FOX Soccer Plus, and will also be available on multi-platform devices via FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer 2GO and FOXSportsGO.com.
As host of the Women’s World Cup, Canada has already secured its berth, so the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship will feature the USA, Mexico, Costa Rica (the Group II winner in the Central American qualifying tournament), Guatemala (the Group I winner in the Central American qualifying tournament) and the four semifinalists in the final round of the CFU Women’s Caribbean Cup, which will take place Aug. 19-26 in Trinidad & Tobago.
The final tournament schedule and kickoff times will be set at the Final Draw on Sept. 5 in Miami. Ticket information will be made available in the near future.
The U.S. last hosted the Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament in 2006 and split hosting responsibilities with Canada in 2002 when games were played in Seattle and Vancouver, Canada.
Up next for the U.S. WNT is a match against Switzerland on Aug. 20 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be live on ussoccer.com. Fans can also follow both games on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt. Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, July 25, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the Triangle area (including many Walmart stores). Purchases will be limited to six tickets per household.
MIAMI (July 23, 2014) – CONCACAF has announced that Jamaica will host the upcoming U-20 CONCACAF Championships in January of 2015, a tournament that will yield four qualifiers for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
The National Stadium in Kingston as well as the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Montego Bay will host group matches as the tournament switches to a new format. The final round will also be played at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
The new format will feature 12 teams divided into groups of six that will play a round-robin format kicking off on January 9, with the top finisher in each group receiving an automatic bid to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup and a spot in the championship match on January 24.
The second and third-place finishers in each of the two groups will then be re-seeded into a four-team table. The top seed will play the fourth seed and the second and third seeds will face off on January 24. The winners of each of those matches will also qualify for the 2015 World Cup.
In total, the tournament will have a record 33 matches over 11 match days with a triple-header on each match day. The new tournament structure is to enhance competition for the championship and increase development with more matches.
Of the 12 teams, five will come from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), four from the Central American Football Football Union (UNCAF) and three from North America. Mexico is the two-time defending U-20 CONCACAF champion, winning the title in Mexico in 2013 and in Guatemala in 2011.
CONCACAF U-20 Championships Jamaica 2015
Dates: January 9 – January 24, 2015
Location: Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica
Stadiums: National Stadium (Kingston) and Montego Bay Sports Complex
Participating Teams: 12
Caribbean Football Union: 5 Teams
North America: 3 Teams
Central American Football Union: 4 Teams
Number of teams qualifying to the FIFA World Cup: 4
Format: The twelve (12) teams shall be divided into a group stage consisting of two (2) groups (A, B) of six (6) teams each. The group winners qualify automatically for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. The second- and third-place teams from each group are re-seeded by group stage results, with the top team of the four facing the fourth-best team, and the second-best finisher facing the third-best. The winner of each of those two matches also advances to the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015.