Minnesota's new football stadium will swap its field for a pitch again this fall.
Soccer – the sport that christened U.S. Bank Stadium earlier this month – is returning to Minneapolis on October 23rd when the U.S. women's team takes on Switzerland, stadium officials announced Tuesday.
The August 3rd match between two European powers, AC Milan and Chelsea, was the very first event in the $1 billion stadium that's home to the Vikings. The 64,000 fans who attended were the biggest crowd at any soccer match in Minnesota.
U.S. Soccer announced the Americans and Swiss will play a pair of "friendlies," with the first in Utah on October 19 and the follow-up match a matinee kicking off at 12:45 p.m. on the 23rd. Tickets go on sale Sep. 12.
After the Milan-Chelsea match there were some complaints about long lines at bathrooms, concession stands, and light rail stops. But the new stadium does have a "wow" factor that impresses fans – including many of those at the Vikings first pre-season game there last Sunday.
First MN visit in more than a decade for U.S. women
The October contest will be the first by the U.S. women's team in Minneapolis, but not their first in Minnesota.
In fact, according to the website fiftyfive.one, the U.S. women have played in Blaine, Minnesota, more often than they've played in any other city with 13 matches at the National Sports Center there dating back to 1986. There's been none more recent than 2006, though.
The timing of the friendlies with Switzerland should be convenient for the players, since the National Women's Soccer League will have wrapped up its season with the championship game on Oct. 9, U.S. Soccer says.
Of course, one of the best-known American players will not be on hand. Goalkeeper Hope Solo was suspended for six months for her disparaging comments about the Swedish national team after they upset the U.S. on penalty kicks in the Olympic quarterfinals in Rio.