CHICAGO (Aug. 23, 2010) â€“ The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team will face China twice in early October in what will be the final matches for the U.S. team before it enters CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup.
The first match will take place at 6 p.m. ET on Oct. 2 at the Kennesaw State University Soccer Stadium, home to the Atlanta Beat of Womenâ€™s Professional Soccer. The second leg will be contested at 7 p.m. ET on Oct. 6 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., home to the MLS expansion Philadelphia Union. The matchÂ on theÂ Chester waterfront will be broadcast live on ESPN2. It will be the first matches for the USA at the soccer-specific venues, both of which opened this year.
Tickets for the game in Georgia start at $18 and go on sale to the public Friday, Aug. 27, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com and at the KSU Soccer Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET) Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.
As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, VisaÂ® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for the Oct. 2 match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale starts Thursday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m. ET and runs until Friday, Aug. 27, at 8 a.m. ET at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.
Ticket information for the match at PPL Park will be released shortly.
These will be the final exhibitions for the USA before the team participates in the 2010 CONCACAF Womenâ€™s World Cup Qualifying Tournament being held from Oct. 28 through Nov. 8 in CancÃºn and Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The eight-team competition will send the two finalists to Germany for the 2011 FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup being held June 26-July 17, while the third place finisher will earn the right to play for a World Cup berth during a two-leg playoff against the fifth place finisher from Europe.
â€œThereâ€™s a commitment in Atlanta and at Kennesaw to grow soccer and especially the womenâ€™s game and thatâ€™s easily seen with the construction of this stadium and the support of the fans for the Beat,â€ said U.S. and Atlanta Beat goalkeeper Hope Solo. â€œTo get quality international games before World Cup qualifying is extremely valuable and itâ€™s great that the fans in Atlanta can come to see the national team in the premier womenâ€™s soccer facility in the country.â€
The U.S. women have not played in the Atlanta area in more than 11 years, last appearing in May of 1999 against Japan at Dekalb Memorial Stadium. The team also played three matches during the mid-1990s at Decatur High School and of course two famous games â€“ the semifinal and gold medal matches at the 1996 Olympics -- at Sanford Stadium in Athens. This will be the first U.S. Soccer event held at the $16.5 million, 8,300-seat soccer stadium that opened this year specifically for the Beat and the KSU womenâ€™s soccer program.
While the U.S. women have played three times in Philadelphia, all at Lincoln Financial Field and most notably the 5-0 win against Nigeria at the 2003 FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup, this will be the first match for a U.S. National Soccer Team at 18,500-seat PPL Park. Yet another in a cavalcade of state-of-the-art soccer specific venues for MLS clubs, PPL Park opened just this past June.
The USA and China have one of the longest-running rivalries in womenâ€™s soccer, having met 42 times previously dating back to 1986. China comes to USA during a down time in its storied womenâ€™s soccer history as the Steel Roses failed to qualify for the 2011 FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup. The USA hasnâ€™t faced China since a two-game series at the end of 2008 in Carson, Calif., and Detroit, Mich., in which the Americans picked up a pair of 1-0 victories.
U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage will be holding a training camp prior to the first match, bringing in a group of players beginning Sept. 20. The beginning of camp will feature players from WPS teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs with additional players joining the camp after their respective WPS seasons come to an end. The WPS Championship Game will be played on Sept. 26 at Pioneer Stadium on the campus of California State University East Bay.
The U.S. women carry an 8-0-1 record in 2010 into the meetings with China, having tied and defeated Sweden in its most recent matches in mid-July. The USA is riding a 46-game unbeaten streak at home, compiling a record of 42-0-4 during that time.