U.S. Soccer Wire - December 26, 2006
See what this week has in store for your favorite U.S. National Team, including the first MNT training camp roster of 200, Peter Nowak being named U.S. U-23 MNT assistant coach and "Best of U.S. Soccer" and "Athlete of the Year" award winners announced.
Dec. 26, 2006
Bradley Assembles His First U.S. MNT Training Camp Roster;
"Best of U.S. Soccer, "Athlete of the Year" Winners Announced;
Peter Nowak Named U.S. U-23 MNT Assistant Coach
"Best of U.S. Soccer, "Athlete of the Year" Winners Announced;
Peter Nowak Named U.S. U-23 MNT Assistant Coach
U.S. MNT HEAD COACH NAMES FIRST 2007 TRAINING CAMP ROSTER: U.S. MNT head coach Bob Bradley has named his first training camp roster for a camp which begins Jan. 4 at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The group will prepare for the USA’s first match of 2007, a friendly against Denmark on Jan. 20 at The Home Depot Center (tickets). The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 beginning at 1:50 p.m. PT (and will be tape-delayed on Univision). Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. After the Denmark match, the U.S. will host regional rivals Mexico on Feb. 7 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (tickets). Along with a series of friendlies, the United States will compete in two major championships next summer. The three-time champions will first try to defend their title against 11 other teams at the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, scheduled from June 6-24 in several cities across the United States. Just a few days later, the U.S. will participate in the 2007 Copa America, the regional championship of South America. The 12-team tournament will run from June 26 to July 15 in nine cities across Venezuela. For the United States, the appearance will mark their third entrance into CONMEBOL’s signature event.
ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (4) – Joe Cannon (Los Angeles Galaxy), Troy Perkins (D.C. United), Matt Pickens (Chicago Fire), Matt Reis (New England Revolution)
DEFENDERS (11) – Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Bobby Boswell (D.C. United), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Danny Califf (Aalborg BK), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Todd Dunivant (New York Red Bulls), Bryan Namoff (D.C. United), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjælland), Dasan Robinson (Chicago Fire), Eddie Robinson (Houston Dynamo)
MIDFIELDERS (10) – Kyle Beckerman (Colorado Rapids), Brian Carroll (D.C. United), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), Joshua Gros (D.C. United), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Brian Mullan (Houston Dynamo), Pat Noonan (New England Revolution)
FORWARDS (6) – Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Alecko Eskandarian (Toronto FC), Nate Jaqua (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire)
ONYEWU, LILLY NAMED 2006 MALE, FEMALE ATHLETES OF THE YEAR: For their excellence at the highest levels of the sport, U.S. Soccer named U.S. Men’s National Team defender Oguchi Onyewu as the 2006 Male Athlete of the Year and U.S. Women’s National Team forward Kristine Lilly as the 2006 Female Athlete of the Year. Under-20 MNT forward Josmer Altidore and WNT forward Danesha Adams won the Young Male and Young Female Awards, respectively. Onyewu is the first defender to win the award since Alexi Lalas was honored in 1995, while Lilly becomes just the third player on the women’s side to win the award for the third time. Altidore has earned a starting position with the Under-20s, but made his mark during the end of his rookie season with the New York Red Bulls, scoring three goals in the last seven regular season games. Against D.C. United in the home-and-away Eastern Conference Semifinal Series, Altidore notched the lone goal for the Red Bulls with a world-class header in the second match. Adams was a standout for both the U-20 and U-21 Women’s National Teams in 2006, and also earned her first cap for the senior Women’s National Team against Chinese Taipei. She was the leading scorer for the U-21s in 2006, won the Bronze Ball at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship as the tournament’s third most valuable player and was named to the FIFA All-Star Team.
2006 U.S. Soccer Athletes of the Year
Male – Oguchi Onyewu
Female – Kristine Lilly
Young Male – Josmer Altidore
Young Female – Danesha Adams
NOWAK NAMED ASSISTANT COACH: U.S. Soccer has named Peter Nowak the assistant coach of the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team. The 42-year-old Nowak, who coached D.C. United to an MLS Cup title in 2004, is being reunited with U.S. National Team head coach Bob Bradley, having captained the Chicago Fire for five years from 1998-2002 while Bradley served as head coach. A former captain of the Polish national team, Nowak’s professional career spanned 23 years and five countries. Nowak began his career in Poland before heading to Turkey, Switzerland and Poland. In 1998, Bradley brought him to the expansion MLS club Chicago Fire, where he won the 1998 MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup. For five years, Nowak patrolled the midfield for the Fire, being named to the MLS Best XI three times and leading the Fire to another Open Cup title in 2000. He was named head coach of D.C. United in 2004, where he led the team to a combined 42-27-25 regular season record, including winning the Supporters’ Shield for best regular season record in 2006 with a 15-7-10 record. In addition to his duties of helping prepare the U.S. team for Olympic qualifying for the 2008 Beijing games, Nowak will assist Bradley with the full national team, beginning Jan. 4 in Carson, Calif.
WINNERS OF “BEST OF U.S. SOCCER” AWARDS ANNOUNCED: U.S. Soccer has unveiled the 2006 winners of the increasingly popular “Best of U.S. Soccer” Awards after nearly three weeks of online fan voting at ussoccer.com. Fans had a chance to vote from Nov. 30 to Dec. 20 for all 11 categories once a day. The fifth annual installment of the awards were presented this year by Soccer America, the No. 1 soccer magazine in the United States. The U.S. Men’s 1-1 draw with Italy on June 17 in the 2006 FIFA World Cup at Fritz-Walter-Stadion in Kaiserslautern, Germany, was a part of five awards, including Best Performance (Team), Best Performance (Player), Best U.S. Atmosphere, Best Action Photo and Best U.S. Fan Photo from the World Cup. The World Cup was the also the stage for this year’s Best Goal, with Clint Dempsey easily walking away with the award for his scintillating one-timer against Ghana on June 22 in the USA’s final group game. The “Hospital Visit in Kaiserslautern,” which provided an inside look as players and staff visited Landstuhl Regional Medical Hospital in Germany, the major definitive care facility for the U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, was voted Best all_access video. Nike’s red “Don’t Tread on Me” jerseys, which the U.S. Men’s National Team wore in their final Send-Off Match against Latvia before heading to Germany for the World Cup, outlasted the MNT players’ World Cup suits and sunglasses to win Best Look/Style. Ginger’s Ale House had some tight competition from the Brewhouse Café in Atlanta, but in the end the Chicago pub pulled away for their fourth straight Best Soccer Bar award. The Best Soccer Store went to Angelo’s Soccer Corner in Pennsylvania.
2006 Best of U.S. Soccer Winners
Best Soccer Bar - Ginger’s Ale House (Chicago, Ill.)
Best Soccer Store - Angelo’s Soccer Corner (Pennsylvania)
Best Goal - Clint Dempsey vs. Ghana (June 22)
Best Kristine Lilly Goal - Nov. 4 vs. Canada – Seoul, South Korea
Best Performance (Player) - Kasey Keller vs. Italy (June 22)
Best Performance (Team) - U.S. MNT 1, Italy 1 (June 17)
Best all_access video - Hospital Visit in Kaiserslautern
Best Action Photo - McBride Crunch
Best U.S. Fan Photo from the World Cup - Flag Over Kaiserslautern
Best U.S. Atmosphere - U.S. MNT 1, Italy 1 @ Kaiserslautern, Germany
Best Look/Style - Don’t Tread on Me Jerseys
Best Videos of 2006 | Best Photos of 2006
U.S. WNT TO KICK OFF 2007 AGAINST GERMANY: The U.S. Women’s National Team will open its slate of matches in 2007 by participating in the annual Four Nations Tournament from January 26-30, 2007, in Guangzhou, China. The four-team, round-robin competition will feature the USA, Germany, China and England, all teams that will compete in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The Americans open their tournament on Jan. 26 against Germany, facing England on Jan. 28 and playing host China on Jan. 30. Ryan will conduct a training camp from Jan. 11-15 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with at least 30 players before choosing a roster of 20 to travel to China. The USA will be without four regular starters in China as Ryan will not bring forwards Kristine Lilly and Abby Wambach, midfielder Aly Wagner or defender Christie Rampone. Wambach is the only one of the four that will attend the training camp. The USA won the Four Nations Tournament in 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2006, failing to take top honors only in 2002. All the matches in the 2007 Four Nations Tournament will be played in Guangzhou in the Guangdong Province in the southeast part of the country. The U.S. WNT will play their first domestic match of 2007 on April 14 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The opponent, kickoff time and TV network for the U.S. women’s game are all TBA.
2007 Four Nations Tournament Schedule
Jan. 26 Germany
Jan. 28 England
Jan. 30 China
WERNER FRICKER NOMINATION PERIOD ENDS JAN. 5: Nominations are now being accepted for U.S. Soccer's most prestigious recognition - the Werner Fricker Builder Award. The U.S. Soccer Werner Fricker Builder Award is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer, without regard to personal recognition or advancement. The award is designed to honor those who have created or fostered programs that will outlast their own active involvement in the sport and that establish a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States. Interested persons can nominate individuals for the annual Werner Fricker Builder Award by downloading and completing the nomination form and mailing it to U.S. Soccer, c/o the Werner Fricker Builder Award Committee, 1801 S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616 or emailing it to email@example.com. This form is also available at ussoccer.com, and applications must be postmarked or sent by January 5, 2007.
– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –
U-20 MNT DEFEATS CANADA, HEADS HOME FOR PRE-QUALIFYING BREAK: The United States Under-20 Men’s National Team wrapped up a 12-day training camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., on Saturday, Dec. 23. The U-20 MNT defeated the Canada U-20 men, 2-0, on Wednesday (Dec. 20) as part of the camp. All 26 players that head coach Thomas Rongen called into camp gathered for the last time before Rongen names his final 20-player roster for the 2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament, which will take place from Jan. 17-21 in Panama City, Panama. Three of the 26 players participated in “Roster Spot,” presented by ussoccer.com’s Studio 90. “Roster Spot” is a two-part series that goes behind the scenes into the intense selection process for a FIFA World Championship qualifying roster (watch). The U.S. is in Group A of the 2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament with Guatemala, Haiti and the host Panama (draw recap). The top two teams in the group will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, which will take place from June 30-July 22 across six cities – Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Burnaby and Victoria. The U.S. will be attempting to qualify for their sixth straight FIFA World Cup (formerly FIFA World Youth Championship).
– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –
JULIE FOUDY TO REMAIN WITH ESPN THROUGH 2009: Former U.S. WNT captain Julie Foudy reached an agreement with ESPN that will last through 2009. Foudy joined the network full time in 2005 as a U.S. WNT game analyst and 2006 FIFA World Cup studio analyst. She will serve as an analyst for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China, as well as play a role in Major League Soccer coverage. Expanding on her current role, Foudy will also provide features for ESPN studio programs, including SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown. Foudy was a member of the U.S. WNT from 1987-2004, earning 271 caps and serving as team captain from 2000-2004.
2007 USL SECOND DIVISION SCHEDULE RELEASED: First-year clubs Crystal Palace Baltimore and Bermuda will kick off the 2007 USL Second Division season on Friday, April 20, when they take on the Charlotte Eagles and New Hampshire Phantoms, respectively. The 2007 opening weekend will continue on Saturday, April 21, with the Cincinnati Kings visiting the Richmond Kickers and the City Islanders hosting the Wilmington Hammerheads. Each USL-2 team will play 20 matches during the season, which concludes on Saturday, Aug. 11. The entire USL-2 league schedule is available at USLsoccer.com.
*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***
PEAK PERFORMER(S): Many “Peak Performers” are commended for a terrific match or series of matches at some point throughout the year. This week’s “Peak Performer” honors go to the 2006 Athlete of the Year Award winners, who have each had a stellar year at the top level. U.S. MNT defender Oguchi Onyewu earned his keep at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, marking the likes of the Czech Republic’s Jan Koller and Italy’s Luca Toni. U.S. WNT captain Kristine Lilly reached, and surpassed, the astounding 300-cap mark, all while scoring 13 goals for the WNT. And we can’t forget U-20 MNT forward Josmer Altidore and U-21 and U-20 WNT forward Danesha Adams, who proved themselves repeatedly at the MLS and Youth National Team levels, respectively, throughout the year.
MARQUEE MATCHUP(S): Just four days after drawing, 2-2, with second-place English Premier League club Chelsea on Boxing Day, Reading gets to take on current EPL leader Manchester United at Old Trafford. Reading is currently in ninth place during their first-ever season in England’s top league. The match will be broadcast live on Saturday, Dec. 30, at 9:45 a.m. ET on Setanta Sports USA.
QUOTABLE: “Anything is possible. My wife has stayed with me for 11 years so six points from these two games is definitely possible!”
-- Reading and U.S. MNT goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann on facing Chelsea and Manchester United on the road in consecutive weeks. Reading tied Chelsea, 2-2, on Dec. 26 and travel to Manchester on Saturday.