CHICAGO (Feb. 7, 2011) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will play its first match in England when it faces the host on April 2 at Matchroom Stadium in east London, home to English League One side Leyton Orient. Matchroom Stadium, also known as Brisbane Road, seats just more than 9,000 fans. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow the match via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.
The match will be a part of a 20-day training camp in the U.K. for the U.S., which is preparing for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany from June 26-July 17.
“First of all, England is a soccer country and the atmosphere while playing a game there will be wonderful,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage. “The World Cup is being played in Europe so the more time we can spend there the better.”
The U.S. has met England just 10 times in its 27-year history. Four of the games have been in Europe (two in Italy, one in France, one in Portugal) and four in the United States. The last two matches took place in China, including the most recent meeting, a 3-0 quarterfinal victory for the USA at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Sundhage will bring 23 players to England on a trip that will also feature training matches against England and Scotland.
England features one of the world’s best players in midfielder Kelly Smith, who plays for the Boston Breakers in Women’s Professional Soccer. Smith, who played her college soccer at Seton Hall in New Jersey, finished fourth in the voting for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2010.
“England has an interesting way of attacking and some talented wing players,” said Sundhage. “Seeing how we deal with Kelly Smith will also be an important experience for our team.”
The U.S. team is currently finished up a training camp in Florida, after which Sundhage will chose a roster for the 2011 Algarve Cup in Portugal. The USA will face Japan (March 2), Norway (March 4) and Finland (March 7) in group play during the tournament. The placement matches are on March 9. Following the Algarve Cup, the U.S. team will have 10 days off before the team leaves for England on March 21.
“I’ve been on this team for almost 15 years and to be finally going to England is really exciting for our players and staff,” said U.S. captain Christie Rampone. “It will not only be a great experience for our team, but a competitive match against a country that’s also in the World Cup. I’ve played with and against a bunch of English players in WPS and we all have great respect for their commitment to the game.”