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Ottawa to host W-league Championship


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Ottawa to host 2004 W-League Championship

Canada’s capital second Canadian city to host W-League finals

Ottawa, ON – United Soccer Leagues announced today that the 2004 W-League Championship will be hosted by the Ottawa Fury Soccer Club. The regular season winners of the Eastern, Central, and Western Conferences will join the host Ottawa Fury in the final four competition to be held August 7th and 8th in Canada’s capital city. USL also announced the 2004 W-League playoff format.

In 2003, Eastern Conference champion Ottawa was joined by Chicago and Seattle in the finals won by the host team from Virginia Beach, the Hampton Roads Piranhas.

“Winning the Eastern Conference last year put us in a good position to bid for the championships,” said Fury owner John Pugh. But just as importantly, we were able to highlight the tremendous support shown by our local fans for top-class soccer. The 17,000-plus crowds for the Canadian Women’s National Team pre-World Cup friendlies against Brazil and England last summer proved that by working together with local soccer organizations and clubs, Ottawa is a great city in which to stage major soccer events. We are very proud and thrilled to bring the W-League finals to Ottawa.”

Games will be played at Keith Harris Stadium at Carleton University. Semifinal matches will be played on Saturday, August 7th and the final will take place following the third place match up on Sunday August 8th. The final game will be broadcast live across the US and Canada by Fox Sports World.

“Ottawa is one of the most scenic and historic cities in North America and it will provide an outstanding setting for our 2004 W-League championship event,” said USL CEO Dave Askinas. “The Ottawa Fury have a done a tremendous job establishing high level women’s soccer since they entered United Soccer Leagues and we are confident they will be a wonderful host for the event.”

Fury Head Coach Frank Lofranco is delighted that the finals will be coming to Ottawa and that his squad will get another shot at the championship. “Four of our players missed the finals last year due to commitments with the Canadian National team. Now we get the chance to win the North American championship in front of our own fans. What greater motivation could there be for our players, coaches and our club.”

The 2004 season marks the 10th anniversary of the W-League, whose previous championship winners include the Hampton Roads Piranhas (2003), Boston Renegades (2002, 2001 W-1), Charlotte Lady Eagles (2001 W-2) Chicago Cobras (2000 W-1), Springfield Sirens (2000 W-2), Raleigh Wings (1999 W-1, 1998 W-1), North Texas Heat (1999 W-2), Fort Collins Force (1998 W-2), Long Island Lady Riders (1997, 1995), and Maryland Pride (1996).

Ottawa is the second Canadian franchise to host the W-League Championship, with Vancouver receiving the honor as the first to host the finals north of the border in 2002. The Whitecaps drew nearly 2,500 for the semifinals and just over 1,500 for the final despite their team’s semifinal loss.

Ottawa will play host to a lot of important soccer action this summer. In addition to the W-League Championship, the Canadian Soccer Association is hosting the FIFA CONCACAF U-19 Women’s Championships in Ottawa and Montreal from May 28th to June 6th.

W-League Playoff Format

To determine the three conference champions to join the Fury in the semifinals, the three conferences will use the following systems:

Central Conference: A division championship match between the top two teams in each division will determine who plays in the conference championship match.

Eastern Conference: The regular season conference champion will receive a bye to the four-team conference playoff, which will also consist of the three division champions. The top two teams in each division will play in the division championship matches.

Western Conference: The top two teams will play for the conference championship.

Gerald Barnhart - USL Public Relations - Tampa, FL - 813.963.3909 - fax 813.963.3807


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Great news!

I wonder if there will be a demand for tickets for the Finals such as they move into Lansdowne? The 2,000 at Harris hardly seems enough, but maybe I'm getting a bit too optimistic. I guess they (which I guess is the Fury organization responsible for the administration) will have time to look into that now that they have been awarded the finals. If the U-19's CONCACAF tournament is a success in lateMay/earlyJune, we may see the frenzy continue, like what happened in Edmonton after the U-19 Worlds in '02.

Here's hoping that at least one other Canadian W-League team makes it to the finals... I guess that the Whitecaps have the best chance.

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