Tickets Go On Sale to Public Friday, Jan. 11; USA Opens 2013 against Scotland on Feb. 9 in Jacksonville, Fla.
CHICAGO (Dec. 20, 2012) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will make a two-game tour of the southeast to open 2013 as a second U.S. WNT match against Scotland has been added on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. The kickoff time at the home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and broadcast information will be released at a later date.
U.S. Soccer is celebrating its 100-year Anniversary in 2013 and will host a number of commemorative events throughout the year.
Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, Jan. 11, at 10 a.m. CT through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Central Tennessee (including Kroger stores) and the LP Field ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.
As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale starts Thursday, Jan. 10, at 10 a.m. CT and runs until Friday, Jan. 11, at 8 a.m. CT at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.
The USA will play its first match of 2013 on Feb. 9 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. That match will kick off at 5 p.m. ET. The two-game set against Scotland will be the first official games for new U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni and they will come against the country of his birth.
Fans can follow U.S. WNT matches live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.
· The Feb. 13 match will mark just the fourth for the U.S. WNT in the state of Tennessee. The USA played two games against Sweden in Chattanooga in 1997 (one of them a closed-door contest) and faced Canada at LP Field (when it was named The Coliseum) on July 2, 2004, in one of the final matches before the 2004 Olympics in Greece.
· The USA has played Scotland in an official match just one time in its history. Scotland visited Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, in September 2002 in what turned out to be an 8-2 victory for the Americans.
· Abby Wambach scored her first career hat trick in that game in Columbus. The goals were just the second, third and fourth of her career. Mia Hamm also had a hat trick in that match, the last of eight that she had in her career.
· Wambach currently has 152 goals, just six short of tying Hamm for the most goals in the history of international soccer.
· Scotland barely missed out on a berth in the 2013 European Championships, coming seconds away from qualifying before giving up a goal in stoppage time of overtime to Spain in the second leg of a two-game playoff.
· The U.S. WNT finished 2012 with a record of 28-1-3 will finish the year at No. 1 in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings.
– ussoccer.com –
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The fan aspect of Jake Locker’s personality will appreciate his first opportunity to play at Lambeau Field. His competitive spirit, however, will need more than a historic setting to enjoy the experience.
Locker will make his 10th career start when the Titans (5-9) visit the Green Bay Packers (10-4).
“I’m a huge football fan, always have been,” Locker said, “so I can’t count the number of times as a little kid, sitting on the couch, watching games and hearing the announcer talk about, ‘It’s the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field,’ and just everything that came along with that, so it’s a great opportunity, something I’m excited about.”
The good news for players on both teams is that the snowstorm that was hitting Wisconsin will be gone by kickoff Sunday, but temperatures at game time are expected to be in the mid- to low-20s. Locker, a Washington native, said he’s experienced some cold weather games in the past, and the most important key to them is not letting weather “affect how you prepare or play.”
Florida native Chris Johnson also recalled seeing cold-weather games on television. Although he prefers warm temperatures, Johnson said he’ll be able to manage the cold and looks forward to playing a significant role in the game. His only previous trip to Lambeau Field occurred in the preseason of his rookie year when he rushed eight times for 24 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 46 yards.
“I wouldn’t say I looked forward to (playing in cold weather), but I would say it’s something that everybody should experience at least once,” Johnson said. “The running game is going to have to step up a notch in weather like that because sometimes it’s pretty hard to throw the ball and catch the ball in weather like that.”
Johnson delivered a franchise-record 94-yard touchdown run that put the Titans up 7-3 Monday against the Jets, and Tennessee answered a touchdown by New York with the decisive touchdown drive in the third quarter.
“To me, that was the storyline for this team, for this game,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “They go down and score and take the lead, and these guys put together a drive they needed to put together to go win the game. It was a good drive, Jake was 3-of-4 on the drive, made some big plays, had a couple of explosive passes.”
The Titans drove 64 yards in seven plays that included passes of 21, 12 and 13 yards by Locker to Michael Preston, Nate Washington and Kendall Wright, respectively. Locker then capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run.
“I felt our tempo was really good (on the second touchdown drive),” Locker said. “We were in and out of the huddle pushing the tempo. We had positive plays. First and second down, obviously, we were getting chunks of yardage and weren’t putting ourselves behind the sticks with penalties or negative plays, and I think that makes a big difference in having a successful drive or not.”
Washington said he was encouraged by the way the Titans felt the sense of urgency and responded with solid execution.
“We got down, we understood the mentality of being down,” Washington said. “I think guys went in for that drive, knowing we had to do everything we can.”
The Titans did not face third down and did not suffer from a penalty or a play that lost yards on either of their touchdown drives against the Jets.
“The most important thing to us was we didn’t have a third down,” Loggains said of the second scoring drive. “If you can stay in first and second down, manageable distances, we can be a lot better offense and that starts with not having the negative plays, gaining four yards on first down and being able to run the football a little bit.”
Tennessee went 2-for-13 on third downs against New York and wants to do much better this week to sustain drives and limit the amount of time Green Bay QB and reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers has with the football. Rodgers is leading the NFL with a 104.7 passer rating and has thrown 32 touchdowns against eight interceptions.
Titans coach Mike Munchak said Sunday’s game will be a “fun challenge” for a defense that has shown significant statistical improvements since Nov. 11, but he hopes the Titans’ offense will put together multiple drives like the one that resulted in the winning score against the Jets.
“A great quarterback, a great offensive system, we’ll be challenged quite a bit there on how to shut that down,” Munchak said. “The best thing that can help is our offense. If offensively, we can control the ball and help keep them off the field, kind of like when we played Peyton Manning all of those years. It’s that type of offense where you want your offense to stay on the field, so you can help the defense.”
By Teresa M. Walker
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee defense was giving up more points than anyone else in the NFL earlier this season. The Titans were so bad they had nowhere to go but up.
Over the past six weeks they’ve gotten better.
The Titans head to Green Bay on Sunday ranked in the top five in six different categories, including fourth in scoring defense holding opponents to 17.6 points per game since Nov. 11. That may not seem like much, but Tennessee gave up an NFL-worst 181 points through the first five games and still rank 30th in that category for the season.
Coach Mike Munchak says defensive coordinator Jerry Gray has to be happy with how the Titans have weathered the early storm.
“We knew it wasn’t all the defense,” Munchak said. “It was turnovers, it was the offense. It was a lot of things that were leading to statistically things looking worse than they were. We obviously weren’t playing as well as we needed to play on either side of the ball.”
Starting with a 37-3 win at Miami on Nov. 11, the Titans rank third in total defense holding opponents to 286 yards per game, first averaging 3.4 sacks per game, second in interceptions (10), sixth in third-down percentage (32.4 percent), eighth against the run (104.6 yards per game) and second in opponent’s passer rating (60.7).
That’s despite not having defensive captain Colin McCarthy at middle linebacker the past three games as he recovers from concussion symptoms.
“There are a lot of good things developing here as we finish up,” Munchak said.
Defensive end Derrick Morgan, the first-round draft pick in 2010, had been perceived as a bust tearing an ACL in his first month as a rookie. But Morgan leads the Titans with 16 quarterback pressures, and he’s tied for second with 4 1/2 sacks, including one in the win against the Jets.
Second-year linebacker Akeem Ayers is tied with end Kamerion Wimbley for the team lead with five sacks, and Ayers is second with 96 tackles. Rookie linebacker Zach Brown, who has started 11 games this season, was marked down by some in the draft for not being physical. The second-round pick out of North Carolina has 4 1/2 sacks, 79 tackles and is fourth in tackles.
Munchak said the young linebackers are starting to show the type of plays they can make with their size and strength.
“They have a lot of growing left. These guys are going to be a lot better than they are now,” Munchak said.
The Titans were at their best this season against the Jets forcing a season-high five turnovers and also had four sacks for a second straight game. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers said the Titans played really good Monday night.
“I like to judge a team by kind of how they’re playing lately, and I think they’re playing really well,” Rodgers said. “They’re an opportunistic defense. They have some guys with some ball skills in the secondary, they’ve got some athletic players. They’re very young overall. I think it’s a team that has a bright future.”
This streak started Nov. 11 when the Titans beat Miami 37-3 on the road. They also have played tough offenses in Houston and Indianapolis along with the struggling Jaguars and Jets.
The Packers (10-4) offer a stiffer challenge. Rodgers has been sacked 45 times this season, but he has a 104.7 passer rating throwing for 32 touchdowns with only eight interceptions. Only New England has had fewer passes intercepted this season.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said they are spending extra time studying film of the Titans (5-9) since these teams haven’t played since 2008.
“They fly around, they have excellent length. Their secondary, also, is making plays,” McCarthy said.
Cornerback Jason McCourty said the biggest key is the Titans are just playing better even though wins haven’t resulted. Now they want to create more stops, turnovers and sacks to help the offense score more points and get more wins.
“Even though we’re playing better, we want to get wins,” McCourty said.
NOTES: The Titans went through a light 45-minute session Wednesday. Munchak said receiver Kendall Wright is very sore after hurting his ribs against the Jets and will have to improve a lot to play in Green Bay. McCarthy will practice Thursday with no restrictions to test the linebacker. WRs Kenny Britt (knee) and Damian Williams (hamstring) were limited, while C Kevin Matthews (right ankle), CB Ryan Mouton (hamstring) and DE Scott Solomon (knee) also did not practice.
NORMAL, Ill– Illinois State broke open a tie game with a half-ending 14-2 run as Austin Peay State University fell, 83-57, Saturday afternoon in non-conference basketball action played at Redbird Arena.
The loss was APSU’s fourth straight, dropping the Governors to 4-8 heading into Christmas. Meanwhile, Illinois State, a member of the Missouri Valley, improved to 9-3.
Turnovers again proved to be a Govs problem as they committed 25, six coming in the final 6:35 of the first half as ISU broke open a 26-26 game. It was the fifth time this season APSU had 20 or more turnovers.
After ISU took the lead 28-26 on a Tyler Brown layup, APSU failed to take a shot on its next five possessions, all ending in turnovers. By the time the Governors could take another shot, the Redbirds were leading 36-26 as the turnovers turned into ISU layups or dunks.
Illinois State took advantage of APSU’s 12 first-half turnovers by scoring 18 points and 28 overall from turnovers during the game.
The turnover flurry more than offset a strong first 14 minutes by the Govs. With junior guard Travis Betran and freshman post player Chris Horton both struggling, the Governors held their own against a Redbird team that has built an impressive early season resume. Anthony Campbell nailed four first-half three pointers to spur the Govs.
In fact, Campbell tallied his second 20-point game of the week, going for 20 on 7-of-13 shooting (5 of 9 three-point field goals). He was APSU’s only double-figure scorer.
Junior walk-on point guard Jeremy Purvis, in just his second game, and freshman forward Preston Herring, in only four minutes, added eight points.
The Govs began the game knocking down 7 of 14 shots, but went just 13 of 35 (37 percent) the game’s remainder. As a result of turnovers, the Governors have attempted less than 50 shots in four of the last six games.
Jackie Carmichael, the preseason All-MVC forward, recorded his second straight double-double, scoring a ISU-high 18 points to go with 11 rebounds.
Brown added 16 points and six of his Illinois State’s 12 steals.
The Redbirds, shooting better than 50 percent from the floor entering the game, maintained that consistency by going 34 of 68 from the floor.