CHICAGO - The U.S. women's national team's highly anticipated "Fan Celebration Tour" will travel through 10 American cities this fall, beginning with a Sept. 25 match at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y. The match in Rochester sold out on Saturday just a few hours after tickets went on sale to the general public.
The tour was scheduled in the wake of the USA's emotional 2-1 Gold Medal overtime victory over Brazil at the 2004 Olympics on Aug. 26 in Athens, Greece, which was a sweet return to the top of the women's soccer mountain for the U.S. WNT, who previously won the Olympic Gold in the USA in 1996 and FIFA Women's World Cup crowns in 1991 and 1999.
Following the sold-out kickoff match on Sept. 25 in Rochester, the hometown of U.S. Olympic hero Abby Wambach, the tour will immediately embark for the U.S. Women's national team's first-ever match in Western Pennsylvania as the city of Pittsburgh and Heinz Field host the team on Wednesday, Sept. 29.
The team will travel west for the third scheduled match on the tour, which is slated for PGE Park in Portland, Ore., on Oct. 3, site of FIFA Women's World Cup games in both 1999 and 2003. The tour then proceeds rapidly through four cities in the Midwest: Cincinnati (Oct. 10 at Paul Brown Stadium), Kansas City (Oct. 16 at Arrowhead Stadium), Chicago (Oct. 20 at Soldier Field) and Houston (Oct. 24 at Reliant Stadium).
The match in Cincinnati will be played more than 11 years after the team's only previous visit to the city, a 7-0 victory over Canada at Galbreath Field on June 12, 1993. The game in Kansas City will be a doubleheader with the Kansas City Wizards, kicking off on Oct. 16 at 5 p.m. CT, just hours before the Wizards season finale against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Chicago, the home base for U.S. Soccer, has been a wonderful venue for the U.S. in the past, hosting a thundering U.S. victory over Nigeria during the 1999 Women's World Cup and a friendly against Germany as recently as 2001. The match on Oct. 23 will be the team's first at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
The first November date on the tour will see the U.S. at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Nov. 3, a return to the venue that kick-started the 1999 Women's World Cup by hosting the tournament's sold-out opening game in front of 78,972 fans. A second match during the month is slated for Nov. 6 at a venue to be named shortly. The tour will conclude with a final match in December at a venue still to be finalized.
As it becomes available, schedule and ticket information for all 10 matches on the "Fan Celebration Tour" will be released to registered fans at ussoccer.com. The public sale for tickets at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PGE Park in Portland and Giants Stadium in New Jersey will begin this Friday through ussoccer.com and local Ticketmaster outlets in each market.
The entire "Fan Celebration Tour" marks one final chance for the U.S. Women's national team's legion of diehard supporters to see this group of special players on the international soccer stage. The players and fans alike will be able to celebrate the U.S. legacy that includes two Women's World Cup championships, two Gold Medal victories and top three finishes in each of their seven FIFA world championship events.
In addition to the celebrated retirements of Joy Fawcett, Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm, the 2004 Gold Medal winners also include veteran defender Brandi Chastain, midfielder Kristine Lilly and goalkeeper Briana Scurry, as well as the USA's new Gold Medal and FIFA Women's World Cup heroes: Wambach, Shannon Boxx, and Cat Reddick.
2004 "Fan Celebration Tour" Schedule