U.S. coach Tony DiCicco and his 20-player Women's World Cup team will arrive in Portland, Ore., on June 1 to begin preparations for its final two matches before kicking off the third world championship for women's soccer. The Americans will take part in the Opening Game doubleheader on June 19th, facing Denmark at Giants Stadium in New Jersey in front of a projected crowd of 70,000 or more.
The final two warm-up games will take place on June 3, when the USA faces Australia in a closed-door match at the NIKE World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., and June 6, when the U.S. team faces Canada in the NIKE Road to Pasadena "Send-Off" match at Civic Stadium in Portland. The week will also be highlighted by the dedication of the newly constructed Mia Hamm Building on the NIKE Campus at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 4.
The USA vs. Canada match will be the first-ever women's game televised on ABC, kicking off at 11 a.m. (PT). About 4,000 tickets are still available by calling (503) 224-TIXX or at any Fred Meyer FASTTIXX outlet.
The USA brings two world record holders to Portland in Kristine Lilly, who with 178 appearances for the national team, has played more games than any man or women in the history of international soccer, and Mia Hamm, who scored her world-best 108th career goal against Brazil on May 22 in Orlando, Fla.
The U.S. Women's World Cup team also features two former University of Portland stars in strikers Tiffeny Milbrett and Shannon MacMillan. The "M & M Line" terrorized defenses on the West Coast and around the country from 1990-'95, combining for almost 200 goals, including 103 by Milbrett, which was an NCAA record (shared with Hamm) before it was broken last season by another member of the U.S. World Cup Team, Danielle Fotopoulos.
"The Road to Pasadena tour has been beneficial to the team in many ways," said DiCicco. "We've been able to identify the players that can best help us win, faced some tremendous competition to test ourselves and been able to formulate our best lineup. These final two games will be extremely competitive and help us fine-tune some little things before the World Cup in less than three weeks."
The USA has a 10-0-0 record against the Australians, nicknamed the Matildas, but will be facing an improved and physical side that has recorded wins over China, Italy and Sweden in the past 18 months. The match is closed to the public but open to the media and kicks off at 3 p.m. on the new North Campus Soccer Fields.
The USA has a long history against Canada, having played their Northern neighbors more times than any team except Norway. The USA holds a commanding 18-1-0 record over Canada and won the most recent meeting, 4-0, in August of 1998 in Orlando, Fla.
Here is the U.S Women's World Cup team roster:
Goalkeepers: Tracy Ducar, Briana Scurry, Saskia Webber.
Defenders: Brandi Chastain, Lorrie Fair, Joy Fawcett, Carla Overbeck, Christie Pearce, Tiffany Roberts, Kate Sobrero, Sara Whalen.
Midfielders: Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Tisha Venturini.
Forwards: Danielle Fotopoulos, Mia Hamm, Shannon MacMillan, Tiffeny Milbrett, Cindy Parlow.
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