CHICAGO (May 16, 2011) – The autographed, game-worn jerseys of the players from the U.S. Women’s World Cup Team who faced Japan on May 14 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, are now available via an online auction with all the proceeds benefiting the American Red Cross's tsunami relief efforts in Japan.
The Japan Women’s National Team is in the United States to prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and these are the first international games for the squad since the devastating tsunami hit the northeast part of the country, causing billions of dollars in damage and the loss of at least 18,000 lives.
The May 14 match marked the on-field debut of the new black U.S. WNT jersey. Following the match, the jerseys were washed and each shirt was signed by 20 players and head coach Pia Sundhage.
“We all watched the unbelievable devastation and understand the impact on the Japanese and their culture,” said U.S. forward Abby Wambach. “Our country has gone through natural disasters and I think we can relate to the hard times and struggles they are going through. We really respect the Japanese team, their players, their people and their country so we want to do whatever we can as a team to help them in any small ways that we can.”
A moment of silence was observed prior to the match in Columbus to honor the victims of the disaster, and a similar moment of silence will be observed before the game against Japan on May 18 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan 2-0 in its third-to-last match before opening the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, getting first-half goals from forwards Abby Wambach and Amy Rodriguez. The win extended the USA’s domestic unbeaten streak to 49 games.
The USA is seeking its third World Cup title in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup that will take place from June 26-July 17 in nine venues across Germany: Berlin, Frankfurt, Mönchengladbach, Sinsheim, Wolfsburg, Augsburg, Bochum, Dresden and Leverkusen. The USA will face Korea DPR, Colombia and Sweden in first round play. For more information on the U.S. Women's National Team, please visit ussoccer.com.
U.S. Soccer fans looking to help those affected by the tsunami in Japan can text the word "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Standard message and data rates may apply. Fans can also donate online at redcross.org.