GETTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Just in time for Olympics mania, Texas is getting the ball rolling by welcoming some of the most kick-ass female athletes in the world.
Q2 Stadium — the new $260 million state-of-the-art soccer venue in Austin that’s home to Austin FC, the city’s Major League Soccer team — announced Thursday, May 6 that it will host the reigning FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion U.S. Women’s National Team — including superstar player Megan Rapinoe — in an exhibition match against the Nigerian Super Falcons on Wednesday, June 16 at 8 pm.
Tickets for the event will be released in the coming weeks.
Part of the 2021 WNT Summer Series, the match will be the first ever to be played at Q2 Stadium, as home team Austin FC won’t take to the field until June 19 against the San Jose Earthquakes.
The series will have the women’s team kicking around Texas. The USA’s three games of the summer series start with a match against Portugal June 10 in Houston at BBVA Stadium, followed by a meeting with Jamaica on June 13, also at BBVA Stadium, before the team heads to Austin to face Nigeria on June 16. Tickets for the Houston matches will be available soon.
The women’s match in Austin will be nationally televised on ESPN2, and marks a significant moment for both Q2 Stadium and Austin, as this will be the first-ever visit from a U.S. Soccer senior team.
“We are extremely excited for U.S. Women’s National Team to play the first soccer match at Austin FC’s Q2 Stadium,” says U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “The development of Austin FC has been impressive and fun to watch, and the way the community has embraced the club is inspiring. We can’t wait to play there and feel that energy.”
The June 16 match in Austin against Nigeria at Q2 Stadium will be the final USWNT international game before coach Andonovski names the 18-player Olympic Team roster. USA will also play two Olympic send-off matches in early July before leaving for Japan, where the Olympics are hosted this year. Based on the Olympic final draw, the USA will face Sweden on July 21, New Zealand on July 24, and Australia on July 27 during group play.
“We are both thrilled and honored that the first-ever match at Q2 Stadium will feature the four-time FIFA World Champions,” says Austin FC president Andy Loughnane. “Hosting the USWNT at Q2 Stadium speaks to the world-class nature of our city, our facilities, and the popularity of the sport in our region.”