Thursday, May 8, 2008

RFK Preview/Rewind

The U.S. team took in the first 45 minutes of the D.C. United-Chicago Fire game tonight at RFK Stadium. The players got to walk on (well, next to) the field before the game and were impressed with the plushness of the surface, which surely made everyone even more excited to play on Saturday night. Interesting note about RFK Stadium. Back in 1995, RFK hosted the first-ever domestic WNT match that was played in a big stadium. It was actually the final game of that year at the Nike U.S. Women's Cup, which came just after the USA returned from the third-place finish at 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden. The USA beat Norway that day (the same team that had knocked them out of the WWC and gone on to take the title), winning 2-1, on goals from Mia Hamm and player named Tammy Pearman, who came off the bench in her first-ever cap to score the winning goal, which turned out to be the only goal of her career. She would play in just eight more games for the USA spanning 230 minutes. That game was watched by 7,083 fans, which was at the time the largest crowd ever to watch the U.S. women in the United States. Just under a year later, 76,489 would watch the Olympic gold medal game in Athens, Ga...thus introducing the WNT to America and the world.

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