CHICAGO (April 14, 2011) â€“ The U.S. Women's National Team will play its Womenâ€™s World Cup Send-Off match against Mexico on June 5 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. The match will kick off at 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
The match will mark the final contest for the U.S. women before the team departs for Europe 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 (ESPN at 11:45 a.m. ET) at Rudolf Harbig Stadium in Dresden, Germany.
Tickets starting at $22 go on sale to the public Monday, April 18, at 10 a.m. ET 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. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages which include a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. national team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.
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, Lilly retired last January after a 23-year international career with a world-record 352 career caps and 130 goals, second only in world history to Mia Hamm.
The match against Mexico marks the first game for any full U.S. National Team at spectacular Red Bull Arena, one of the newest jewels in the growing collection of world-class, soccer-specific stadiums in the United States.
The match also features a unique side note in that it will be the first game between the two countries since theÂ USA was upset by Mexico in the semifinal of the CONCACAF Womenâ€™s World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Cancun, Mexico last November. The loss forced the USA to win the third-place match at the tournament then defeat Italy in a home-and-home playoff series for the last of 16 berths at the World Cup.
â€œThereâ€™s nothing better than having a World Cup send-off game at an amazing venue against a very good opponent in front of a great crowd,â€ said U.S. captain and New Jersey native Christie Rampone. â€œIt will be an emotional game and a great test for us before we head over to Europe to begin our final preparations.â€
The U.S. women have played quite a few matches in New Jersey, playing 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 numerous New Jersey products who have consistently made U.S. rosters this year. Rampone hails from Point Pleasant, N.J., veteran flank midfielder Heather Oâ€™Reilly is from East Brunswick. Attacking midfielder Carli Lloyd is from Delran while midfielders Tobin Heath and Yael Averbuch hail from Basking Ridge and Montclair, respectively. In addition, backup goalkeeper Jill Loyden is from Vineland.
The USA is riding a 49-game unbeaten streak at home, compiling a record of 44-0-5 during that time.
The U.S. WNT will kick off itsÂ 2011 FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup campaign in Group C against Korea DPR live on ESPN on Tuesday, June 28 at 11:45 a.m. ET from World Cup Stadium in Dresden. The match will also be available on ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV. The U.S. will then face Colombia on July 2 at 11:30 a.m. ET from World Cup Stadium in Sinsheim, and close out group play against Sweden on July 6 at 2:30 p.m. ET from World Cup Stadium Wolfsburg. Both matches will be broadcast live on ESPN and ESPN3.com.
Mexico is in Group B at the 2011 FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup where they will face Japan, New Zealand and England.