The U.S. U-17 national team will play the first-ever international match at Raymond James Stadium, in Tampa, Fla., against England's U-17s on June 27 (kickoff set at 3:30 p.m. ET) in the second match of an MLS doubleheader featuring the Tampa Bay Mutiny against the Los Angeles Galaxy (1:00 p.m. ET kickoff). "This young, exciting team has cast a spell over the fans and media who have been fortunate enough to watch them play", said U.S. Soccer's Secretary General Hank Steinbrecher. "It's a testament to how far we have developed as a soccer playing nation to be able to stage games with our youth national teams, and I know that the Tampa Bay fans who come out to catch this team will not be disappointed." The USA recently qualified for the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship to be hosted by New Zealand, November 10-27, after defeating El Salvador in the CONCACAF home-and-home playoff series by a combined score of 10-1, including a 4-0 victory at the new Columbus Crew Stadium on May 22. England is an opponent the USA played twice in 1998 at the ARCO Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. The USA defeated England, 4-1 on June 23 but fell to the English, 3-2, three days later on June 26. England competed in the 1999 UEFA U-17 Qualifying Tournament for New Zealand last month hosted by the Czech Republic. England beat Sweden (2-1), Slovakia (3-1) and tied Hungary (1-1) to win Group B and advance to the quarterfinals of the UEFA tournament before being knocked out of the qualifying tournament with a 1-0 loss to the Czech Republic. The $168.5 million Raymond James Stadium, which opened on Sept. 20, 1998 is the home field to the Tampa Bay Mutiny (MLS), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL), the University of South Florida, the Outback Bowl, Pace MotorSports and American Invitational. The stadium has seating capacity of 66,321, a natural grass surface and amenities ranging from club/lounge seating to luxury suites. For ticket information for the USA-England doubleheader match at Raymond James Stadium on June 27 please contact the Tampa Bay Mutiny at (813) 289-6811.
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