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Usa V. China at KSU Soccer Stadium

August 23, 2010 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release


KENNESAW, GA (Aug. 23, 2010) - Kennesaw State University Soccer Stadium, home of the Atlanta Beat Women's Professional Soccer team and the KSU Owls, will host a stadium first, an international friendly featuring the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team against China on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 6:00 p.m. ET in what will the first of two early October exhibition matches between these countries and one of the final matches for the U.S. team before it enters CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.

The match will be the first for the USA at the world's only women's soccer-specific venue of this magnitude, which opened Sunday, May 9 for the Beat's WPS home debut.

Tickets for the international contest start at $18, and go on sale to the public Friday, August 27, at 9:00 a.m. EST through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.

As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale starts Thursday, Aug. 26, at Noon ET and runs until Friday, August 27, at 9 a.m. EST at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.

This match against China will be one of the final exhibitions for the USA before the team participates in the 2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying Tournament held from Oct. 28 through Nov. 8 in Cancún and Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The eight-team competition will send the two finalists to Germany for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup being held June 26-July 17, while the third place finisher will earn the right to play for a World Cup berth during a two-leg playoff against the fifth place finisher from Europe.

"There's a commitment in Atlanta and at Kennesaw to grow soccer and especially the women's game and that's easily seen with the construction of this stadium and the support of the fans for the Beat," said U.S. and Atlanta Beat goalkeeper Hope Solo. "To get quality international games before World Cup qualifying is extremely valuable and it's great that the fans in Atlanta can come to see the national team in the premier women's soccer facility in the country."

The U.S. women have not played in the Atlanta area in over 10 years, last appearing in May of 1999 against Japan at Dekalb Memorial Stadium. The team also played three matches during the mid-1990s at Decatur High School and of course two famous games - the semifinal and gold medal matches at the 1996 Olympics -- at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga. This will be the first U.S. Soccer event held at the $16.5 million, 8,300-seat KSU Soccer Stadium that opened this year specifically for the Beat and the KSU women's soccer program.

The USA and China have one of the longest-running rivalries in women's soccer, having met 42 times previously dating back to 1986. China comes to USA during a down time in its storied women's soccer history as the Steel Roses failed to qualify for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The USA hasn't faced China since a two-game series at the end of 2008 in Carson, Calif. and Detroit, Michigan, in which the Americans picked up a pair of 1-0 victories.

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage will be holding a training camp prior to the first match, bringing in a group of players on Sept. 20. The beginning of camp will feature players from WPS teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs with additional players joining the camp after their respective WPS seasons come to an end. The WPS Championship Game will be played on Sept. 26 at the stadium of the team that finishes first during the regular season.

The U.S. women carry an 8-0-1 record in 2010 into the meeting with China, having tied and defeated Sweden in its most recent matches in mid-July. The USA is riding a 46-game unbeaten streak at home, compiling a record of 42-0-4 during that time.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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