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Global Dec 15, 2012

U.S. Women open Sermanni era against Scotland on Feb. 9 in Jacksonville, Fla.

CHICAGO – The U.S. Women’s National Team will start its 2013 schedule in the same state where it will end 2012, facing Scotland on Feb. 9 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. The match will kick off at 5 p.m. ET, and broadcast information will be released at a later date.

The clash with Scotland will mark the first official game for new U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni, and in a quirk of scheduling, it will be against his native country. Sermanni, who hails from Glasgow, started his playing career there before moving on to England and then Australia, where he began his long coaching career.

“It’s great to have the first game set and it’s even more exciting that my first opponent as the U.S. coach is against the country of my birth,” said Sermanni. “[Scotland coach] Anna [Signeul] has done a terrific job with the program and they have made great strides over the past four or five years. They are now a very competitive team in women’s international football. The first match is going to be something very new, but I’m really looking forward to getting started with this team.”

The match will take place almost 17 years to the day after the USA’s last appearance in Jacksonville. The U.S. Women defeated Norway 2-1 at the venue (formerly Jacksonville Municipal Stadium) on Feb. 4, 1996, in the run-up to the 1996 Olympics. EverBank Field is home to the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

The USA has played Scotland in an official match just one time in its history, when the British side visited Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, in September 2002 in what turned out to be an 8-2 victory for the Americans. Abby Wambach scored her first career hat trick in that game. The goals were just the second, third and fourth of her career. Mia Hamm also had a hat trick in that match, the last of eight that she had in her career.

Scotland narrowly missed out on a berth in the 2013 European Championships, coming seconds away from qualifying before giving up a goal in stoppage time of overtime to Spain in the second leg of a two-game playoff.

The U.S. WNT has compiled a record of 27-1-3 in 2012 and will finish a busy and successful year with the final match of the Fan Tribute Tour tonight against China PR at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. ET (broadcast live on NBC Sports Network and Univision Sports Network).

Tickets starting at $22 go on sale to the public Friday, Dec. 21, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the Jacksonville area.

Cardholders of a credit card which is a leading U.S. Soccer sponsor will have access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public, starting Thursday, Dec. 20, at 10 a.m. ET and running until Friday, Dec. 21, at 8 a.m. ET at ussoccer.com.

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