If you're calling Germany home these days and stuck for a last-minute gift idea, here's a thought. Those of you who were in the country back in the summer of 2006 no doubt remember the heady atmosphere brought on when the nation hosted the FIFA World Cup soccer matches. Soccer's coming back to Germany in 2011, and this time it's the ladies taking to the field.
The FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011 (http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/news/index.html) will play out between June 26 and July 17 of the upcoming year. The U.S. team is in fine form and currently ranked number one. Why not turn out to a match or two and lend them your support? They certainly deserve our admiration, having won the last two Olympic Gold Medals and finishing third in the last two FIFA Women's World Cups. Could 2011 be the year they go all the way?
Playing in Group C, their matches (http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/matches/index.html) will be played in Dresden on June 28 (facing Korea DPR), in Sinsheim on July 2 (against Colombia) and in Wolfsburg on July 6 (taking on Sweden). If they're successful in their division, they'll move on to the quarter-finals in either Augsburg or Dresden. Should they reach the semi-finals, that match will play out in either Frankfurt am Main or Moenchengladbach. The final takes place on July 17 in Frankfurt.
Tickets for most matches remain available, and they may be purchased online through Dec. 31. Prices start at 30 euros for an adult ticket and cost 15 euros for those under the age of 17. For details, visit the ticket shop (http://tinyurl.com/2uykkxe).
Tickets to the first match and a trip to Dresden to go along with it -- now wouldn't that be a nice thing to find in your stocking?