The U.S. women’s soccer team will face China on May 27 at PPL Park in Chester, Penn. and play its send-off match on June 30 against Canada on June 30 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The send-off match will be aired live on NBC.
But that much we knew. Here are some updates on those matches:
As of Monday, 13,400 tickets had been sold for the May 27 match against China and 9,600 tickets had been sold for the June 30 match in Utah. Those are pretty solid presale numbers, especially considering the game against Canada is still six weeks away.
If anybody were doubting the still-present Women’s World Cup bump, consider this: Last year’s Women’s World Cup send-off match at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. drew only 5,852 fans. And surely nobody forgets that abysmal Oct. 6, 2010 evening when the U.S. barely tied China 1-1 on an 83rd minute Alex Morgan goal (the beginning of ‘Alex Morgan Time’) in front of just 2,505 fans at PPL Park. The most exciting thing to happen that night came during pregame when Abby Wambach’s errant shot cost a man his dinner.
The match at Rio Tinto on June 30 is close to doubling last year’s send-off match attendance in presale numbers alone. The last time the U.S. women were in Sandy, Utah, on March 31, 2010, the crowd was 3,732. Granted, that was the one and only Snow Bowl match.
Fans outside of those who will be in attendance on May 27 can get ready to start the usual gripe: There will be not TV or webcast for the match against China. Yes, that will be annoying for a lot of people, but this site will have a few people on hand to keep you all in the loop on what is happening.
Plus, on a very positive note, the U.S.-Canada game will be the first time the U.S. women have played on a broadcast network (those first few channels on your TV) in a very long while. We (and the very helpful folks at U.S. Soccer) are still looking into the last time the U.S. women were on a broadcast network, but we can tell you that they were not on NBC during the 2008 Olympics and they were not on ABC during the 2007 Women’s World Cup. That means that it may have been 2003 or 2004 since the women last played on such a mainstream TV outlet, which means June 30 will mark some real progress.
No word yet on whether the June 16 USA-Sweden match or the June 18 USA-Japan match will be webcast. Both matches take place in Halmstad, Sweden.