In their first match since winning the World Cup, the U.S. women play Costa Rica today (Aug. 16) in Pittsburgh.
Sunday’s match, at 12:30 p.m. CT, is on Fox Sports 1.
Here are five oddities, curiosities or (possibly) interesting facts about the game and its participants:
The World Cup victors will get a thunderous welcome when they step onto the pitch at Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. More than 40,000 tickets have been sold, shattering the U.S, women’s record for a stand-alone friendly. The previous record: 35,817 for a game against New Zealand at Busch Stadium in St. Louis in April.
The Americans will wear their ‘3-star’ kits for the first time. The stars represent the team’s three World Cup titles (more than any other women’s team). The jerseys were presented to players after their lopsided victory over Japan in the final of this summer’s World Cup in Canada.
Sydney Leroux will not play, and Alex Morgan and Hope Solo are questionable.
Leroux is recovering for ankle surgery, Morgan from minor knee surgery.
Solo hurt her knee during the World Cup, an injury she says was caused and aggravated by artificial turf.
Costa Rica is ranked 34th in the world.
The Americans have a 16-game unbeaten streak. They haven’t lost since their first game of the year, on Feb. 8, when they fell 2-0 to France.