CHICAGO (May 26, 2011) â€“ The 2011 U.S. Womenâ€™s World Cup Team will arrive in New Jersey on Monday for a week of training leading into its Womenâ€™s World Cup Send-Off Match against Mexico at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. on Sunday, June 5. The match kicks off at 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow on ussoccer.comâ€™s MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.
Tickets starting at $22 are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-877-727-6223 (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET only) and at the Red Bull Arena ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.Â
The game will be a rematch of the semifinal from the 2010 CONCACAF Womenâ€™s World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Cancun, Mexico, last November, in which Mexico defeated the USAÂ for the first time ever to earn an automatic berth to the Womenâ€™s World Cup in Germany. The USA then had to win the third-place match of the tournament against Costa Rica and a two-game home-and-home playoff series against Italy to earn its place in the 16-team tournament.
U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage brings 22 players to New Jersey, five of them hailing from the Garden State, and will train Monday through Saturday before facing Mexico on Sunday. After the game, the players will have a break before leaving in mid-June for a pre-Womenâ€™s World Cup training camp in Austria. The USA opens the 2011 FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup against Korea DPR on June 28 at Rudolf Harbig Stadium in Dresden, Germany.
The match at spectacular Red Bull Arena is the first international match for any U.S. Soccer National Team at one of the newest jewels in the growing collection of world class soccer-specific stadiums in the United States. The U.S. women have played quite a few matches in New Jersey, appearing five times at the old Giants Stadium in East Rutherford and twice in the mid-1990s at Rutgers University in Piscataway.
The match will also mark a homecoming of sorts for the five New Jersey products on the USAâ€™s Womenâ€™s World Cup roster, the most of any state besides California, which also had five. Team captain Christie Rampone hails from Point Pleasant and veteran flank midfielder Heather Oâ€™Reilly is from East Brunswick. Attacking midfielder Carli Lloyd is from Delran and flank midfielder Tobin Heath is from Basking Ridge. Back-up goalkeeper Jill Loyden is from Vineland.
Sundhage and her staff head into the week of training with several unsettled issues on the final Womenâ€™s World Cup roster. The U.S. lost veteran midfielder Lindsay Tarpley to a torn ACL in the match against Japan on May 14 and Sundhage is still considering replacements while veteran defender Heather Mitts is still trying to bounce back from a hamstring injury. Defender Whitney Engen and midfielder Kelley Oâ€™Hara have been called in to train with the team during the week and should be available for selection against Mexico.
Before the match against Mexico, U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Womenâ€™s National Team will honor U.S. legend Kristine Lilly for her historic career. The only woman to play in five FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup tournaments, LillyÂ retired last January after a 23-year international career with a world-record 352 career caps and 130 goals, second in world history only to Mia Hamm.
U.S. Womenâ€™s National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Philadelphia Independence), Jill Loyden (magicJack), Hope Solo (magicJack)
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler (Boston Breakers), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), *Whitney Engen (Western New York Flash), Ali Krieger (out of contract), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Atlanta Beat), Christie Rampone (magicJack), Becky Sauerbrunn (magicJack)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (magicJack), Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat), *Kelley Oâ€™Hara (Boston Breakers), Heather Oâ€™Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence)
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (magicJack)
*Called in to train due to injuries, but are not on the official WWC roster