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U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM PLAYERS TO GIVE “SHIRTS OFF THEIR BACKS” TO BENEFIT JAPAN TSUNAMI RELIEF
The U.S. Women’s World Cup Team Debuted New Jerseys, Which Were Signed for Online Charity sale to Benefit The American Red Cross’s Tsunami Relief Efforts in Japan
The autographed, game-worn jerseys of the players from the U.S. Women’s World Cup Team who faced Japan on May 14 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, are now available via an online sale with all the proceeds benefiting the American Red Cross's tsunami relief efforts in Japan.
The Japan Women’s National Team is in the United States to prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and these are the first international games for the squad since the devastating tsunami hit the northeast part of the country, causing billions of dollars in damage and the loss of at least 18,000 lives.
The May 14 match marked the on-field debut of the new black U.S. WNT jersey. Following the match, the jerseys were washed and each shirt was signed by 20 players and head coach Pia Sundhage.
“We all watched the unbelievable devastation and understand the impact on the Japanese and their culture,” said U.S. forward Abby Wambach. “Our country has gone through natural disasters and I think we can relate to the hard times and struggles they are going through. We really respect the Japanese team, their players, their people and their country so we want to do whatever we can as a team to help them in any small ways that we can.”
Prior to both matches this month against Japan – in Columbus and on May 18 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. – a moment of silence to honor the victims of the disaster was observed.
The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan 2-0 in its third-to-last match before opening the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, getting first-half goals from forwards Abby Wambach and Amy Rodriguez. The win extended the USA’s domestic unbeaten streak to 49 games.
Solo made her first start since recovering from major shoulder surgery last September and looked extremely sharp on the night, making three saves to earn her 51st career shutout. She was extremely solid on balls served into the penalty box and defused a dangerous Japanese attack in the 58th minute when she raced out of the goal to punch away a bouncing ball with one fist. Solo’s return to action came on May 2 when she played the second half of the match against England.
The USA is seeking its third World Cup title in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup that will take place from June 26-July 17 in nine venues across Germany: Berlin, Frankfurt, Mönchengladbach, Sinsheim, Wolfsburg, Augsburg, Bochum, Dresden and Leverkusen. The USA will face Korea DPR, Colombia and Sweden in first round play. For more information on the U.S. Women's National Team, please visit ussoccer.com.
U.S. Soccer fans looking to help those affected by the tsunami in Japan can text the word "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Standard message and data rates may apply. Fans can also donate online at redcross.org.