June 23, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Naval Academy Athletic Association and head men's soccer coach Dave Brandt have announced that this year's soccer game against Army will be played at PPL Park, the home of the MLS' Philadelphia Union, in Chester, Pa., on Sept. 30. In addition, the 2013 meeting will also be played at the facility.
The 2012 meeting will mark the 75th straight year that the two Service Academy rivals have met on the soccer field with Navy owning a 38-27-13 series advantage. The Midshipmen have won three games in a row in the series, all coming by 1-0 scores, for the first time since winning 10 contests in a row from 1955-64.
The two-game series at PPL Park mark just the fourth neutral-site meeting between the two rivals and the first since the 1996 Patriot League Tournament finals played in Hamilton, N.Y., won by Army. The previous two neutral-site contests came in the 1963 NCAA Tournament (Brunswick, N.J.) and 1966 NCAA Tournament (Philadelphia, Pa.). The 2012 contest will be first neutral-site regular-season match between the two teams.
PPL Park, which was constructed from 2008-10 and cost $120 million to build, is a state-of-the-art 18,500-seat Major League Soccer stadium that serves as the Philadelphia Union's home facility and sits on the banks of the Delaware River. The stadium is ideally located about 15 miles from downtown Philadelphia, with easy access to major roadways such as I-95, I-476, US-322 and PA-291. The stadium features a natural grass pitch, 30 luxury suites, sideline roofs to provide protection from the elements, expansive grass areas and large promenades surrounding the stadium for tailgating and outdoor music festivals and a state-of-the-art LED scoreboard.
The facility opened in June 2010 has hosted such events as the 2012 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Quarterfinals, the Collegiate Rugby Championship in 2010 and 2011, the "Battle of the Blue" football game between Villanova and Delaware in November 2011 as well as several high-profile concerts.
Last year's Navy squad went 7-7-5 overall and head coach Dave Brandt
will return 17 letterwinners and nine starters from that squad. Army posted a 7-10-1 overall record and finished sixth in the Patriot League with a 2-4-1 mark in 2011.
# GO NAVY #