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Mariners Open A-League Season on April 18

January 23, 2003 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Virginia Beach Mariners News Release


Virginia Beach, VA – The Virginia Beach Mariners released their official schedule for the 2003 season. The Mariners will play the first game of the season in the entire A-League when they host the Cincinnati Riverhawks on Friday, April 18, 2003 at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. “We have a very competitive schedule, but we also will have a very competitive roster,” said team owner Mike Field.

The MarinersÂ’ regular season consists of 28 games with half the games played at home. Twelve of the Mariners 14 home games fall on a Friday or Saturday. According to league mandate, the Mariners will play four games against each of its four rivals in the Southeast Division, which consists of the Richmond Kickers, Charlotte Eagles, Atlanta Silverbacks and Charleston Battery. The Southeast Division is widely regarded as the most competitive in the A-LeagueÂ’s four regions. Charleston, for example, finished the 2002 season ranked second overall in the A-League while Richmond lost the league championship to Milwaukee in overtime. Atlanta and Charlotte ended the season ranked ninth and twelfth, respectively.

Two of the MarinersÂ’ matches against the Charleston Battery (May 3 and May 17) will be considered qualifying matches for the U.S. Open Cup. The Mariners also will play two back-to-back series against their longtime rivals, the Richmond Kickers. The first series is June 27-28 and the second is August 8-9. A series of eight, consecutive intra-divisional games starting on July 26 could be the most pivotal period in the Mariners 2003 season.

Of the 12 games the Mariners will play outside the Southeast Division, ten will be against teams in the A-LeagueÂ’s Northeast Division, which includes teams in Pittsburgh, Montreal, Toronto, Rochester and Syracuse (the A-LeagueÂ’s expansion franchise for 2003). The Mariners will end the regular season Sunday, August 31 with a match against the Toronto Lynx in Toronto. The USL and Fox Sports World will announce the A-LeagueÂ’s 2003 broadcast schedule next week.

Mariners season tickets are on sale now. Prices are $98 for adults and $48 for children ages 7-12, with kids 6 and under admitted free. Season tickets include all 14 home games and reserved parking. Mariners fans unable to attend most home games should consider the five-pack, which sells for $45 for adults and $25 for children. The five-pack provides admission to any five home games during the regular season. For more information about Mariners tickets, please call 757.430-9800 or visit www.MarinersSoccer.com.

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