Friday, July 14, 2017

An Update to the Story of Galbreath Field


You may remember the "From the Archives" story back in February 2017 about Galbreath Field. The stadium was a high school football venue and once a cornerstone of the departed College Football Hall of Fame. In addition to American football, Galbreath also hosted the Cincinnati Riverhawks, a defunct pro soccer team that came well before the rise of FC Cincinnati. I explored the place in its abandoned state in 2007. There's not much left of it ten years later, but an interesting historical tidbit has popped up, one I never came across when researching the place initially: The United States Women's National Soccer Team once defeated the Canadian Women's National Soccer Team here by a score of 7-0. 

The U.S. Women's Team had won the FIFA Women's World Cup in 1991. They'd go on to get third place in 1995, but would eventually win again in 1999 in what became an iconic victory that greatly rose the profile of the squad as well as Women's soccer in general. They took third place in 2003 and again in 2007, followed by second place in 2011. In 2015, they won it all for a third time after having racked up four Olympic gold medals. The team has previously played matches locally at Paul Brown Stadium in 2004 and 2008 amidst stronger recognition and at a much nicer venue than they found in 1993 when only 1,100 fans showed up to Galbreath Field in Cincinnati's northern suburbs.

This piece of history came to light when it was announced that the USWNT will be returning to Cincinnati for the first time in nearly a decade on September 19, 2017. Instead of Paul Brown Stadium though, the team will play at Nippert Stadium, the home of FC Cincinnati.

While the Women's National Team has faced pay disparity and other challenges compared to their male counterparts, the team enjoys strong support that has been rapidly increasing since 1999. I'm incredibly excited to watch them play at Nippert. Soccer in this country and in this city has come quite a long way since games at Galbreath in the early 1990's. That's evident in the rise of FC Cincinnati and will be evident once more when the USWNT takes on New Zealand in the Queen City this fall.

The original story about Galbreath Field, its history, its pro soccer team, and its demise is located here.

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