Ford Field soccer match still on vs. new opponent

Terry Foster
The Detroit News
The Americans defeated Japan in the World Cup championship match in July.

The United States women's national soccer team will play its match at Ford Field next week, despite its scheduled opponent, Australia, canceling its participation in the event, sources told The Detroit News on Wednesday.

The sources requested anonymity because the new opponent has not been announced.

The match will go on as scheduled on Thursday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. The American squad features members of the team that won the World Cup this summer.

That is great news for local soccer fans that plan on attending the event.  A number local soccer clubs, including the Plymouth Reign and Bloomfield Hills Force, bought tickets for their players to attend.

Amy McGrath, who is in charge of the Reign premier girls teams, said she plans on attending the game with club players.

“The girls are really looking forward to seeing their heroes play,” she said. “It is great to go out and see that level of soccer. It does not happen often.”

According to the Associated Press, the Australian team’s tour was called off late Wednesday afternoon, a day after players refused to show up at a practice session in Sydney.

Spokesman Beau Busch of the Professional Footballers Australia union told the AP that the U.S. tour, which also included a match in Birmingham, Alabama, was called off as the team is in the middle of working out a new collective bargaining agreement.

The union is seeking an increase in wages and other benefits for the women’s team.

The Ford Field match is part a 10-game victory tour for the U.S. team following the World Cup championship.

This will be the third trip to Ford Field for the women's national team, which also visited in 2008 and 2012 after earning gold medals in the Olympics each year. They also visited the Pontiac Silverdome in 1993 to prep for the 1994 World Cup.