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Global Aug 16, 2015

USWNT embarks on Victory Tour across the country

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(Via U.S. Soccer) – Following its historic run to the championship of the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, the U.S. Women’s National Team embarks on a 10-game Victory Tour across the country that will serve the dual purpose of celebrating the USA’s third Women’s World Cup title with the fans, while also preparing the team for the 2016 CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament that will take place in early February of next year.

The USA opens the Victory Tour on Aug. 15 against fellow Women’s World Cup participant Costa Rica at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh (1:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports Go) and then will travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to meet the Ticas on Aug. 19 at Finley Stadium (6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and WatchESPN).

Six games of the Victory Tour have been confirmed with the USA also playing Australia in Detroit and Birmingham, Alabama, in September and Brazil in Seattle and Orlando in October. There will be no WNT matches in November and the team will finish its tour with four matches in early to mid-December. The U.S. team has lost just one match this year, that being its first game of 2015 against France in Lorient, a 2-0 defeat in early February that the USA flipped one month later when the teams met in the championship game of the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal. The USA is 13-1-3 this year, including a record of 3-0-1 on home soil.

2015 U.S. WNT SCHEDULE/RESULTS:

Date Opponent Time TV/Result Venue
Feb. 8 France 0-2 L Stade du Moustoir; Lorient, France
Feb. 13 England 1-0 W stadiummk; Milton Keynes, England
March 4 [email protected] 2-1 W Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal
March 6 [email protected] 3-0 W Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal
March 9 [email protected] 0-0 T Lagos, Portugal
March 11 [email protected] 2-0 W Faro, Portugal
April 4 New Zealand 4-0 W Busch Stadium; St. Louis, Mo.
May 10 Ireland 3-0 W Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.
May 17 Mexico 5-1 W StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.
May 30 Korea Rep. 0-0 T Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.
June 8 Australia* 3-1 W Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada
June 12 Sweden* 0-0 T Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada
June 16 Nigeria* 1-0 W BC Place Stadium; Vancouver, Canada
June 22 Colombia* 2-0 W Commonwealth Stadium; Edmonton, Canada
June 26 China* 1-0 W Lansdowne Stadium; Ottawa, Canada
June 30 Germany* 2-0 W Olympic Stadium; Montreal, Canada
July 5 Japan* 5-2 W BC Place Stadium; Vancouver, Canada
Aug. 16 Costa Rica > 1:30 p.m.ET FS1 Heinz Field: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Aug. 19 Costa Rica > 6:30 p.m. ET ESPN2 Finley Stadium; Chattanooga, Tenn.
Sept. 17 Australia > 7 p.m. ET FS1 Ford Field; Detroit, Mich.
Sept. 20 Australia > 1:30 p.m. CT ESPN2 Legion Field; Birmingham, Ala.
Aug. 21 Brazil > 7 p.m. PT FS1 CenturyLink Field; Seattle, Wash.
Aug. 25 Brazil > 2:30 p.m. ET ESPN2 Citrus Bowl; Orlando; Fla.

@ Algarve Cup * Women’s World Cup> Victory Tour

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), 21-Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), 1- Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (8): 16-Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), 6-Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), 19-Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), 11-Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), 3- Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 7-Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), 14-Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), 12-Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), 9-Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): 2-Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), 13-Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 8-Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), 20- Abby Wambach (unattached)

WNT LOOKS TO EXTEND HOME UNBEATEN STREAK: The USA’s current 96-game unbeaten streak at home (84-0-12 since Nov. 6, 2004) is a team record. The next-highest streak is 50 games (48-0-2) from Feb. 10, 1996, through April 22, 1999. The USA tied the record on May 14, 2011 (2-0 win against Japan at Columbus Crew Stadium) and broke the record with the 51st game on May 18, 2011 (another 2-0 win against Japan at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina).

CROWDS ARE FAN-TASTIC: During its run in Canada, the USWNT played in front of what felt like seven straight home crowds, averaging 37,732 fans per game, all of which it seemed were wearing red, white and blue.The knock-out round matches were the most impressive, with electric atmospheres at each game including crowds of more than 50,000 for the semifinal in Montreal and championship game in Vancouver.

The buzz has certainly carried over to home soil, as the USA will play in front of more than 40,000 fans at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, setting a record not only for a soccer match in Pittsburgh, but also for the largest crowd ever for a stand-alone domestic friendly for the USWNT. The previous record was set earlier this year when 35,817 turned out to see the USA defeat New Zealand 4-0 at in St. Louis. The all-time record for any friendly match for the U.S. Women is 46,037 for a double-header with the U.S. WNT in Washington, D.C. on May 30, 1998, a 5-0 win vs. New Zealand. The Aug. 19 match in Chattanooga sold out its 20,000 available tickets in a few hours and tickets sold for both of the September matches vs. Australia in Detroit and Birmingham are already over 21,000.

KLINGENBURGH: The match in Pittsburgh will be a homecoming for U.S. defender Meghan Klingenberg, who grew up in Gibsonia, about 17 miles north of Heinz Field. Klingenberg graduated from Pine-Richland High School in 2007 where she was the captain of her high school team and led the Rams to the 2005 Pennsylvania state high school championship. She was an NSCAA All-America selection and a Parade High School All-American before heading to the University of North Carolina, where she won two NCAA titles.

HISTORY AT HEINZ: The WNT’s match in Pittsburgh marks the team’s second visit to Heinz Field, home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. The USA defeated Iceland there by a 3-0 score in 2004 following the Olympic gold medal run in Greece.  The USA has played 15 matches in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but this will be just the second in Pittsburgh.

ACT TWO AT FINLEY: The USA has also played at Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium once before, but not since 1997, when it defeated Sweden 3-1 at the home of the National Premier Soccer League’s Chattanooga FC and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Moccasins football and women’s soccer teams. That trip in 1997 also featured a closed door match that counted as a full international. Played at the Baylor School, it was also a 3-1 win for the USA over Sweden and featured a goal from Kristi DeVert, which was her only one in four career caps that spanned 99 minutes. The Aug. 19 match will be the USA’s fifth game in Tennessee with two having taken place in Chattanooga and two in Nashville.

HUGE TV RATINGS FOR WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup was record setting for TV ratings and increased for every U.S. match. FOX scored a new high for its soccer coverage when an average audience of 5.7 million tuned in to watch the United States beat China in the quarterfinal match on June 26. The match was also the third most-watched women’s soccer match on record in the United States, after the 1999 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals. Four days later, that record was broken as the USA vs. Germany semifinal on June 30 hit an average of 8.4 million viewers, establishing yet another soccer record as the most viewed semifinal ever in the U.S. (men or women) and third-most watched women’s soccer match of all time. The first six USA matches on FOX and FOX Sports 1 averaged 5.3 million viewers, 121% better than the 2011 tournament averaged through the semifinals (2.4 million).

The Final

The USA’s 5-2 victory over Japan in the World Cup Final averaged 25.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history, according to Nielsen and an increase of 88% from the 2011 WWC Final (13.5 million) and up 41% from the USA-China on ABC in 199 (18 million). The match posted a 12.9 household rating/share with 25.4 million viewers and peaked at 30.9 million in the second half between 8:30-8:45 p.m. ET. The previous U.S. viewing record was 18,220,000 for the USA-Portugal game on ESPN at the 2014 World Cup. The average audience exceeded every game of the NBA Finals and pushed the 2015 tournament average to 1.824 million viewers per each of the tournament’s 52 matches across all networks (FOX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2), up 21 percent over 1,511,000 averaged on ESPN and ESPN2 for the 32 matches played in 2011. The match earned the second-largest soccer audience ever in the U.S. – trailing only last year’s Germany/Argentina World Cup Final on ABC and Univision (26.5M).

To date for this year, USA-Japan ranks as the fifth-most watched sporting event outside of the NFL. Only the three-game College Football Playoff and the Duke/Wisconsin NCAA Basketball Tournament title game (28.2M) scored larger numbers. The match had a larger audience than every NBA game since Spurs-Heat Game 7 in 2013 (26.6M on ABC and ESPN Deportes), every Major League Baseball game since Rangers-Cardinals Game 7 in 2011 (25.4M on FOX), and every hockey game since the Canada-United States final in the 2010 Olympics (27.6M on NBC).

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