The US women wrap up their 2016 campaign tonight, hosting Romania at the StubHub Center (née Home Depot Center) in Carson, California at 8:30 pm CT on FS1. Since the soccer-specific stadium opened in 2003, the USWNT have played there 11 times (tonight is match #12), so here’s a look back at some of the historic games played at the venue.
September & October, 2003
The 2003 Women’s World Cup was originally scheduled to be played in China, but the SARS epidemic forced FIFA to move the event to the USA. The Home Depot Center ended up hosting six WWC games, as well as one of the two USWNT send-off matches.
On September 1, the US women topped Costa Rica 5-0 in a match that saw midfielder Shannon Boxx make her USWNT debut (after being named to the WWC roster) and score her first international goal. Six weeks later, the USWNT were back at HDC for the WWC third-place match against Canada. In front of a near-sellout crowd, the Americans prevailed 3-1 off goals from Kristine Lilly, Shannon Boxx and Tiffeny Milbrett (and yep, Christine Sinclair scored to goal for Canada).
The next USWNT match at Home Depot Center was the final game for Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy. The Americans defeated Mexico 5-0 in front of a midweek crowd of 15,549 to send Hamm & Foudy out in style, with goals scored by Aly Wagner (2), Shannon Boxx and Abby Wambach (2). Mia wore a “Garciaparra” jersey in the second half in honor of her husband’s family. Teenager Heather O’Reilly fittingly came on as a sub for Hamm in the 80th minute, and Lindsay Tarpley replaced Foudy 4 minutes later.
This USWNT friendly versus Chinese Taipei at HDC saw three players score their first international goals – Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Leslie Osborne. The Americans dominated the match, winning 10-0.
Just a month later, the USWNT was back at the HDC for Women’s World Cup qualifying. Unlike recent qualifying tournaments, the Americans were given a bye to the semifinal round, needing just one win to claim a berth in the 2007 Women’s World Cup in China. They beat Mexico 2-0 thanks to two Abby Wambach goals on November 22, and four days later topped Canada 2-1 in overtime on a Kristine Lilly penalty kick to claim the CONCACAF title.
The USWNT played Olympic “victory tour” matches at Home Depot in both 2008 and 2012, and returned to the renamed Stub Hub Center last year for a pre-Women’s World Cup friendly against Mexico. The US women won 5-1 in front of a sold-out crowd of 27,000, a first for the USWNT at the venue.
• The USWNT are 11-0-0 so far at Home Depot/StubHub Center, allowing just four goals while scoring 42.
• Abby Wambach has scored the most USWNT goals at this venue with 10, followed by Shannon Boxx (6) and Kristine Lilly (4).
• Five USWNT players have scored their first international goals here – Boxx, Tina Ellerston, Carli Lloyd, Leslie Osborne and Megan Rapinoe.
• Home Depot Center was the home field for the LA Sol in the 2009 season of WPS (Women’s Professional Soccer), hosting the WPS championship final between LA Sol and Sky Blue FC. Heather O’Reilly scored the game-winning goal to give Sky Blue the first WPS title.