The Nike U.S. Women's Cup tournament opens two weeks from Friday. Four of the world's top women's teams play a six-game tournament in the Midwestern United States. The Chicago area will host three games.
The tournament opens Friday, September 7 in suburban Chicago, with Germany taking on Japan. The U.S. women's team plays Germany in downtown Chicago the following Sunday. U.S. national team head coach April Heinrichs says this tournament will help shape the team she takes to the 2003 World Cup in China. "We will have qualifyings [matches] starting next year," she said. "I feel like it is the pre-season for us. We are just getting our player pool together. We are going to have a look at all of them."
China rounds out the four-team Nike Women's Cup tournament field. Heinrichs says the U.S. will have no easy opponents. "That is far more similar to a "group of death" in a world championship than it is a fluffy (easy) tournament. Our players are going to have to play well for us to succeed," she assured
Tournament games are also scheduled for Columbus, Ohio. The last game is a rematch of the 1999 Women's Cup final, with the United States taking on China in Kansas City on September 16.