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USWNT to play Japan on June 2 in Colorado

Mallory Pugh will not turn professional in the NWSL with Portland Thorns FC, according to her father, who says Pugh will attend UCLA in the fall. (Photo: CONCACAF)

Mallory Pugh will not turn professional in the NWSL with Portland Thorns FC, according to her father, who says Pugh will attend UCLA in the fall. (Photo: CONCACAF)

Mallory Pugh will have a chance to wear a U.S. shirt in her home state of Colorado. (Photo: CONCACAF)

The United States will host Japan on June 2 at Dick Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. The match will kick off at 9 pm. EDT and be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1. A second match that weekend is expected to be announced at a later date. Tickets are on sale Thursday, April 7 at noon EDT via ussoccer.com.

The U.S. most recently thumped Japan 5-2 last July in Vancouver to capture their third World Cup championship. It was the third consecutive global competition that saw the two countries meet in the final. Japan won the 2011 World Cup in penalties over the United States, but the U.S. flipped the result at the following year’s Olympics, winning 2-1. There will not be a fourth straight final this summer in Rio. Japan flamed out at the recent Asian qualifying tournament and finished third in a race for two spots. Australia and China will represent Asia in Brazil. After the qualifying meltdown, Japan coach Norio Sasaki stepped down.

“Given the history and rivalry of these two teams, we know this match will provide challenges and pressures similar to what we will see in Rio,” U.S. head coach Jill Ellis said. “So in terms of preparation, we couldn’t ask for a better match up.”

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The match will mark the fourth trip to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the United States women. They played one other match in Denver at old Mile High Stadium. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park was also host to the famous “Snowpocalypse” match, a 1-0 qualifying win for the men’s national team over Costa Rica in a 2013 match played on a pitch entirely covered in snow.

The Japan match may run into trouble attracting young soccer fans in the area. Local youth coach Lauren Meehan tweeted that most of the youth soccer programs in Colorado have their final tryouts on June 2.

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