U.S. Soccer Wire - May 15, 2006
See what this week has in store for your favorite U.S. National Team, including MNT training camp in Cary, N.C., and a recently finished WNT tour of Japan!
May 15, 2006
U.S. MNT Kicks Off Pre-World Cup Training Camp in Cary, N.C.;
U.S. WNT Sweeps Japan in Two-Game Tour
U.S. WNT Sweeps Japan in Two-Game Tour
MNT SETTLES IN CARY, N.C.: The USA's 2006 World Cup team arrived into training camp on Wednesday (May 10) and got right into their first workout on Thursday (May 11) morning. Once-a-day sessions are planned for the rest of the week as the team goes through a series of medical evaluations and other administrative issues. Almost half the roster is feeling right at home in Cary, having spent almost two weeks here four years ago as part of the 2002 World Cup training camp. The United States will play matches in the "Send-Off Series" on May 23 in Nashville, May 26, in Cleveland (presented by Sierra Mist) and May 28 in East Hartford, Conn., (presented by Hyundai) with all three games airing live on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. ET. The team is scheduled to depart for Germany on June 1 from Newark, N.J., arriving into Hamburg the following day. During the four-year cycle, 85 players have earned at least one cap for the U.S. as the team collected a 36-9-14 record. Additionally, 46 players appeared in at least one of the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, giving Arena an extremely thorough opportunity to evaluate players based both domestically and abroad. More information about the 23 players representing the U.S. in Germany, including exclusive, behind-the-scenes action from the MNT training camp is available at ussoccer.com.
U.S. WNT WINS TWICE IN JAPAN: The U.S. Women’s National Team finished its two-game tour of Japan with a hard-fought 1-0 win against the host country on May 9 as forward Natasha Kai came off the bench to head in the winning goal in the 65th minute in front of a large crowd at Nagai Stadium. The USA had won the first leg between the two teams last Sunday (May 7), 3-1, but this match produced few offensive fireworks from either nation. The U.S. defense, marshaled by Cat Whitehill, was especially stingy, allowing Japan just three total shots, all coming in the first half, and only one on goal. The USA returned home and resumed its Residency Training Camp on Friday (May 12) at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The USA’s next match will be its first domestic contest of 2006, facing European power Sweden on July 15 at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn (tickets). Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. CT, and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
U.S. WNT Results
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal scorer(s)
May 7 Japan 3-1 W Wambach (3)
May 9 Japan 1-0 W Kai
BRING ON THE ENERGIE: U.S. MNT defender Gregg Berhalter converted a penalty kick during Energie Cottbus' 3-1 win against TSV 1860 Munich on Sunday (May 14). The victory clinched third place in the second Bundesliga for the squad, earning the team promotion into the Bundesliga, joining VfL Bochum and Alemmania Aachen. Cottbus played in the Bundesliga from 2000-2002 but were relegated in 2003. Cottbus fell behind to 1860 Munich in the first half but Berhalter scored on a penalty three minutes before halftime to tie the match. Vragal da Silva and Kevin McKenna both scored in the second half to put Cottbus ahead.
McBRIDE HONORED AS FULHAM’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR: U.S. MNT forward Brian McBride was named the Fulham FC Player of the Season last week at the club’s end-of-the-season dinner. Voted on by Fulham supporters, McBride was running neck and neck in the poll with teammate Steed Malbranque, but was able to squeak by in the end to win the award. McBride scored 10 goals and three assists in 39 games to help Fulham finish in 12th in the English Premier League.
– WORLD CUP UPDATE –
CZECH NAME VETERAN SQUAD FOR GERMANY: Czech Republic manager Karel Bruckner has pulled together a veteran squad to head to Germany in announcing his 23-man roster on Monday (May 15). Borussia Dortmund striker Jan Koller has sufficiently recovered to make a squad list that includes a few injury concerns, most notably Bordeaux midfielder Vladimir Smicer. Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedved and Chelsea goalkeeper Peter Cech headline a group loaded with international experience. "This squad was created for EURO 2004 in Portugal with the 2006 World Cup in mind," Bruckner told a news conference. The 2004 European Championship semifinalists will start training together on May 20 at Seefeld in Austria.
Czech Republic 2006 FIFA World Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS: Jaromir Blazek (Sparta Prague), Petr Cech (Chelsea), Antonin Kinsky (Saturn Ramenskoye)
DEFENDERS: Zdenek Grygera (Ajax Amsterdam), Marek Jankulovski (AC Milan), Martin Jiranek (Spartak Moscow), Radoslav Kovac (Spartak Moscow), Pavel Mares (Zenit St Petersburg), David Rozehnal (Paris St Germain), Tomas Ujfalusi (Fiorentina)
MIDFIELDERS: Tomas Galasek (Ajax Amsterdam), David Jarolim (Hamburg SV), Pavel Nedved (Juventus), Jaroslav Plasil (Monaco), Karel Poborsky (Ceske Budejovice), Jan Polak (Nuremberg), Tomas Rosicky (Borussia Dortmund), Vladimir Smicer (Girondins Bordeaux)
FORWARDS: Milan Baros (Aston Villa), Marek Heinz (Galatasaray), Jan Koller (Borussia Dortmund), Vratislav Lokvenc (Red Bull Salzburg), Jiri Stajner (Hannover 96).
LIPPI NAMES ITALY SQUAD: Italian National Team head coach Marcello Lippi named his 23-man roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Included in the Azzuri squad are Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, Roma captain Francesco Totti, AC Milan's Fillipo Inzaghi and Juventus forward Alessandro Del Piero. The Italian squad will be based in Duisburg and train at Bundesliga club MSV Duisburg. Italy kicks off their World Cup campaign against Ghana on June 12, before facing the United States on June 17 and finishing group play against the Czech Republic on June 22.
Italy 2006 FIFA World Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Angelo Peruzzi (Lazio), Marco Amelia (Livorno)
DEFENDERS: Massimo Oddo (Lazio), Cristian Zaccardo (Palermo), Marco Materazzi (Inter Milan), Andrea Barzagli (Palermo), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Gianluca Zambrotta (Juventus), Fabio Grosso (Palermo)
MIDFIELDERS: Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan), Simone Perrotta (Roma), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Simone Barone (Palermo), Francesco Totti (Roma)
FORWARDS: Luca Toni (Fiorentina), Alberto Gilardino (AC Milan), Filippo Inzaghi (AC Milan), Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Udinese)
GHANA NAMES WORLD CUP ROSTER: Ghana became the first African nation to name their 2006 FIFA World Cup roster on Friday (May 12) when head coach Ratomir Dujkovic revealed his list of 23 men who will travel to Germany. Dujkovic made drastic changes to the team which competed at the 2006 African Cup of Nations, including calling in an uncapped defender and several players who had been absent from the national team for several years. Less than half the players who competed in the continental tournament, in which Ghana failed to advance out of the first round, will be making the trip to Germany. Stephen Appiah will lead the team as captain at the World Cup and Chelsea’s Michael Essien returns to the squad after sitting out the African Cup of Nations due to injury. The U.S. MNT will face Ghana in the World Cup on Thursday, June 22, in their third and final Group E match.
Ghana 2006 FIFA World Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS: Sammy Adjei (Moadan Sport Ashdod, Israel), Richard Kingston (Ankaraspor, Turkey), George Owu (AsantiGold).
DEFENDERS: Eric Addo (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Issah Ahmed (Randers, Denmark), Shilla Alhassan Illiasu (Asante Kotoko), Samuel Osei Kuffour (AS Roma, Italy), John Mensah (Stade Rennes, France), Habib Mohammed (King Faisal Babes, Ghana), John Painstil (Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel), Emmanuel Pappoe (Hapoel Kfar Saba, Israel), Daniel Quaye (Hearts of Oak), Hans Sarpei (VfL Wolfsburg, Germany)
MIDFIELDERS: Otto Addo (FSV Mainz, Germany), Stephen Appiah (Fenerbahce, Turkey), Derek Boateng (AIK Stockholm, Sweden), Haminu Dramani (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro), Michael Essien (Chelsea, England), Sulley Ali Muntari (Udinese, Italy)
FORWARDS: Matthew Amoah (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Asamoah Gyan (Modena, Italy), Razak Pimpong (FC Copenhagen, Denmark), Alex Tachie-Mensah (St. Gallen, Switzerland)
– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –
U.S. U-20 WOMEN CONTINUE WC PREP IN EUROPE: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team won three of its first four games on a four-game tour of Germany, one of which was a big win over the German U-21 Women’s National Team. The U-20s, currently in the middle of intense preparations for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia, started off the nine-day tour of Germany with a 3-1 loss to the German U-21s on May 9 in Duisburg. Jordan Angeli scored the lone U.S. goal, in the 71st minute after the Germans had scored twice in a three-minute span early in the match. The Germans added a clincher just two minutes after Angeli tallied. The U-20s rallied to defeat the German U-21s, 3-2, on May 11 in Dusseldorf, with Angeli again scoring the first U.S. goal, this time in the 14th minute. There would be two more U.S. goals this time, however, in the back and forth match. Germany tied the game in the 30th before midfielder Allie Long put the USA ahead at the stroke of halftime. The Germans equalized again just three minutes into the second half, but Danesha Adams, fresh off a tour of Germany with the U-21s that saw her score four goals, tallied the winning goal just two minutes from the end of the match. Adams had entered the match with 17 minutes left before getting her winner. Forward Amy Rodriguez and defender Stephanie Lopez had arrived in Germany just before the May 9 contest, Rodriguez due to final exams at USC while Lopez was with the full Women’s National Team in Japan. Both played the last eight minutes of the game, during which time the USA manufactured Adams’ winning goal. In the third game of the tour on May 13, the USA took a bus ride over the border to Holland to play the Saestum women’s club, winning 2-1, on goals by Jessica Rostedt and Rodriguez. Rostedt tallied in the 10th minute, her 17th of the year for the U-20s, while Rodriguez got the eventual winner in the 34th minute. The Dutch club had equalized in the 15th minute. The USA finished up the tour on Monday (May 15) against Wattenscheid 09, a German women’s club, with a 5-0 win. All the goals were scored before the 55th minute, in order, by Jordan Angeli, Allie Long, Amy Rodriguez, Danesha Adams and Angeli again, making for four goals in four games for the Colorado product. The USA will open the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship on Aug. 18 against Nigeria or DR Congo, face Argentina on Aug. 21 and finish group play against France on Aug. 24. All the first-round matches will be played in Moscow. The U-20s return to action with a training camp at the Home Depot Center on May 28-June 4.
U.S. Under-20 WNT Results
Date Opponent Score U.S. Goal Scorers
May 9 Germany U-21 WNT 1-3 L Angeli
May 11 Germany U-21 WNT 3-2 W Angeli, Long Adams
May 13 Seastum 2-1 W Rostedt, Rodriguez
May 15 Wattenscheid 09 5-0 W Angeli (2), Long, Rodriguez, Adams
U.S. U-20 WOMEN WILL FACE NIGERIA OR DR CONGO IN FIRST WC MATCH: The U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team will open the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship, being held Aug. 17-Sept. 3 in Russia, against either Nigeria or the Democratic Republic of Congo, after both countries advanced this past weekend to the championship game of the African qualifying tournament. Following the African U-20 championship game (date TBD), FIFA will hold a draw to determine which team goes into Group D to face the United States on Aug. 18 in Moscow, and which team will go into Group B to face China, Finland and Canada. Nigeria tied huge underdog Liberia in the first leg of the two-leg home-and-home series, 1-1, in Liberia, then showed why the Falconettes are the class of African women’s soccer, routing Liberia, 9-1, in Abuja, Nigeria. Congo pulled out a huge 1-0 win over South Africa in Kinshasa. South Africa had won the first leg, 2-1, at home, but the 1-0 score line in the second leg tied the aggregate goals at 2-2, and the Congo’s one away goal sent them to Russia.
U.S. U-17 MNT DEFEATS JAMAICA TWICE IN TWO MATCHES AT IMG ACADEMY: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team faced Jamaica twice last week, winning, 2-0, against the junior Reggae Boyz on Wednesday, May 10, and 2-1 on Friday, May 12. Ellis McLoughlin scored both goals for the U-17 MNT in the first match assisted by Tommy Meyer and Jared Jeffrey. McLoughlin notched another in the second game of the series assisted once again by Meyer while Kirk Urso assisted Brek Shea for the team’s second goal in the 2-1 victory.
U.S. Under-17 MNT Results
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal scorer(s)
May 10 Jamaica U-17 2-0 W McLoughlin (2)
May 12 Jamaica U-17 2-1 W McLoughlin, Shea
– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –
MLS ALL-STAR VOTING NOW OPEN ONLINE: Major League Soccer fans can now vote for the 2006 MLS All-Star XI at www.mlsnet.com, selecting who will face English powerhouse club Chelsea FC on Aug. 5, 2006. The Chicago Fire will host the nationally televised 2006 All-Star match at the new Bridgeview Stadium in Bridgeview, Ill. The game will be broadcast live at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
USL FIRST DIVISION ALL-STAR GAME ON FOX SOCCER CHANNEL: The 2006 USL First Division All-Star game against second-tier English side Sheffield Wednesday will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 19, on Fox Soccer Channel. The match will take place at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., and will feature the announcement by Triangle Professeional Soccer of the logo and colors of its expansion USL First Division team, which will begin play at SAS Soccer Park in 2007.
U.S. SOCCER REFEREE IN POLAND: U.S. Soccer and FIFA referee Arkadiusz Prus was invited by the Polish Football Association (PZPN) to officiate three matches in Poland, including an international friendly on May 14 between Poland and the Faroe Islands. The friendly match resulted in a 4-0 win for Poland as the squad prepares for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Prus also officiated a second division match between KSZP Ostrowiec and Gornik Polkowice, a 1-0 win for Gornik Polkowice. Prus was also the center referee in the first division match between Gornik Zabrze and Legia Warsaw, which saw Legia Warsaw clinch the Polish championship.
*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***
PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. MNT defender Gregg Berhalter helped his club, Energie Cottbus, earn promotion into the German Bundesliga on Sunday (May 14) after converting a penalty kick in his squad’s 3-1 win against TSV 1860 Munich. Berhalter’s penalty tied the match at one after Cottbus fell behind in the 21st minute. Cottbus returns to the Bundesliga after playing in the top flight from 2000-2002 and being relegated in 2003.
MARQUEE MATCHUP: As the world’s best players are traveling across the globe to meet up with their country’s national team, there are still a few sticking with their clubs as Arsenal and Barcelona prepare to square off in the 2006 Champions League final in Paris. The match between the two European powerhouse clubs will kick off at 2:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 17, live on ESPN2.
SOCCER SHOCKER: Several World Cup coaches opted for the element of surprise when naming their 23-man World Cup rosters, and Poland coach Pawel Janas was no exception. Janas will lead to Germany a squad that does not include Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, whose penalty saves helped Liverpool beat AC Milan in the Champions Leage final last year. Dudek lost his starting spot at Liverpool to Pepe Reina, which Janas took into consideration when selecting the roster.
QUOTABLE: “There is no accounting for bad taste out there. They must be letting anyone in."
-- Former U.S. MNT defender and Los Angeles Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas joking about being elected into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame 2006 Induction Class.