USWNT to face Japan at Crew Stadium May 14

Crew Stadium to host U.S. Women's National Team vs. Japan on May 14

Crew Stadium (DL)

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Crew Stadium will play host to a U.S. Women's National Soccer Team match vs. Japan on May 14, it was announced today. It will be the first of two games the USWNT will play against Japan in May, as both teams prepare for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, with the second scheduled for May 18 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

The match in Columbus will kick off at 6:30 p.m. ET and be broadcast live exclusively on Fox Soccer. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, March 29, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000, at all central Ohio Ticketmaster ticket centers (including Kroger stores) and the Crew Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form for either game at ussoccer.com or by calling 312-528-1290.

The U.S. women have a rich history at Crew Stadium, having played there four times in front of some large crowds. Those games included a victory celebration match following the triumph at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup that came just five months after the stadium opened, and a group game at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 3-0 victory against Korea DPR.

“It is always a pleasure to welcome U.S. Soccer back to Crew Stadium, where we have created some indelible memories together,” said Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers. “The fact that it has been nearly eight years since the women have played here and that it is an important match for them, gives it added significance and appeal for fans in our region. It is also an opportunity to show our support for the nation of Japan, as it continues its recovery.”

The USA will be playing Japan for the second and third times in 2011 after having defeated the perennial Asian power 2-1 on March 2 in the opening game of the Algarve Cup on goals from Amy Rodriguez and Megan Rapinoe.

“Our entire team and staff have great sympathy for the people of Japan following the tragedies that struck their country and we are looking forward to hosting the team here in the United States,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “We have tremendous respect for the Japanese players, for the way they play the game and for the heart they show on the field, and we will be expecting two excellent matches.”

Japan qualified for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup by winning the third place match at the 2010 Asian Women’s Championships 2-0 against China. Japan, which has qualified for every FIFA Women’s World Cup, is playing in Group B in Germany along with New Zealand, Mexico and England.

The U.S. women have a record of 6-1-0 so far in 2011, having won two tournament titles with championships at the Four Nations in China in January and the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March. It is riding a 49-game unbeaten streak at home, compiling a record of 44-0-5 during that time. Following the matches against Japan, the U.S. women will have one more domestic friendly before departing for a pre-Women’s World Cup training camp in Austria in mid-June. That game will be on June 5 with an opponent and venue still to be confirmed.