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  • DateSunday, November 16, 1997
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Host for 2015 Open Cup Final to be Determined Tomorrow

CHICAGO (August 4, 2015) – The draw to determine the potential host for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final will be conducted on Wednesday, Aug. 5, at Soccer House in Chicago. The draw will be streamed live on U.S. Soccer’s YouTube channel and ussoccer.com beginning at 11 a.m. CT.

All four semifinalists have applied to host the Final. In order to determine hosting rights, individual cards containing the names of the Chicago Fire, Philadelphia Union, Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City will each be placed into separate envelopes, shuffled and then selected at random. The chronological order in which the four envelopes are chosen will determine the hosting priority for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final.

The 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals take place on Wednesday, Aug. 12, with 2014 finalist Philadelphia Union hosting four-time champion Chicago Fire at 7:30 p.m. ET at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. Two-time U.S. Open Cup winner Sporting Kansas City hosts 2013 finalist Real Salt Lake at 7:30 p.m. CT at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Both matches will be shown live U.S. Soccer’s YouTube channel and ussoccer.com.

Q&A: Javier Perez Discusses Open Nordic Cup and New U-18 MNT Cycle

The U-18 Men’s National Team and head coach Javier Perez are in Sweden for the Open Nordic Cup. Perez talked with ussoccer.com to discuss the team and the new players which open a new cycle with this tournament.

ussoccer.com: What’s it like to be back at it with a new group of players for a brand new U-18 MNT cycle?
Javier Perez: “Every time we start a new cycle it’s very exciting. Especially for us coaches. We just finished two years of work with the ’97 group and we feel that’s a very strong pool for coach Tab Ramos and the new U-20 Men’s National Team. We have 87 players in that pool, from all over the world, from Europe and from MLS, and many of them, which is different than previous cycles, are already professionals and many have already logged minutes with their first teams, which is great. I think that pool is really strong. As we start with this new group, the ‘99’s, this is a very good group because we can start all over again and we have two years ahead of us. 

“We’ll start in a different way than we have in the previous cycles. [In the past], we started with a domestic camp where we invite 36 players and we take a look at them.  In this case, I’ve had the chance to attend different events and I’ve already been looking at these players for six months now. In April, I was with the U-16 National Team, which is a part of this group, for a tournament that they played in Holland. After that, I was at the DA Cup in Dallas, and after that I was at the Showcase and finally I was at the Academy Finals; so, I’ve had a good six months to make a proper evaluation and prepare this team for the first camp, which is going to be a little different because we are going to a tournament. We want to throw players into the cold water right away and see how they respond to the competition.

ussoccer.com: This is a young group, but an experienced one that has played in the Academy and at the U-15, and U-16 levels. What will they bring to the table?
“We are in a country where we have a lot of resources and we are a country in progress in soccer. We are hungry. We’re hungry to know more about the game, we’re hungry to be one of the leading nations in soccer and all the changes that have been made in the last three or four years have been changes that have gone in the direction of creating a leading program.
JP: “One of the things, for instance, in the Academy was a goal of making the Academy bigger to add more players and reach more age groups. That was accomplished with the Academy extending its age group to U-14’s, which is really good for us because it gives us an opportunity to see players at a younger age and make a proper identification. Then we bring them into the program with the U-14 National Team and the U-15 National Team with John Hackworth and then on to the U-16 and U-18 groups.

“Right now we are making an earlier identification of the players and we provide them with more experience at an earlier age, which is beneficial for them to build the knowledge and the background that they need to compete against the top players in the world.”

ussocccer.com: What do you hope to accomplish at the upcoming Open Nordic Cup in Sweden?
JP: “This is the first camp for us, so I think the most important aspect for us as a coaching staff is to get to know the group and to provide experience to the players and then go there like we always go with the mentality to just compete, with a mentality to play with our style of play and with a mentality of course to win games. Every game we go on the field we go with the mentality that we are going to win. We want to do things right.

“I want to give opportunity not only to players that have lots of experience but also to some new ones that did well in the Academy and in the Showcase in Indianapolis. Right now they have the opportunity to show that they belong at the next level.”

U-17 WNT Head to Training Camp as World Cup Qualifying Prep Continues

CHICAGO (July 31, 2015) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team head coach B.J. Snow will hold a training camp from Aug. 9-16, at the U.S. Soccer National Team Training Center in Carson, California. Snow has called up 24 players for the event, with 16 born in 1999, which is the age cut-off year for the 2016 U-17 Women’s World Cup. The remaining eight players were born in 2000.

The U.S. U-17s are still seven months away from qualifying for the next Women’s World Cup. The 2016 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship will be held on the Caribbean island of Grenada next March. The tournament will send three teams to the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup to be played in Jordan in September of 2016. 

The Under-17 Women's Championship will feature eight teams, three from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), two from the Central American Football Union (UNCAF) and three from North America. 

Canada, Mexico and the United States are automatically qualified from North America, while the qualifying processes in CFU and UNCAF will take place in coming months. As host country, Grenada is automatically qualified as one of the three representatives of CFU. 

The eight teams will be drawn into two groups of four teams each and after the group stage, the winner and second-place team from each group will cross-over for the semifinals. The winner of each semifinal match qualifies directly to the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup while the two losing semifinalists will play a third-place match with the winner also advancing to the World Cup. 

U.S. U-17 WNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Hillary Beall (West Coast FC; Laguna Beach, Calif.), Brooke Bollinger (Space Coast United; Indialantic, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (8): Kerry Abello (Team Chicago; Aurora, IL.), Chyanne Dennis (Lauderhill Lions; Sunrise, Fla.), Naomi Girma (Central Valley Crossfire; San Jose, Calif.), Shae Holmes (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Karlie Paschall (Tennessee SC; Brentwood, Tenn.), Kiara Pickett (Eagles SC; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Karina Rodriguez (SoCal Blues; Torrance, Calif.), Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Pa.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Coriana Dyke (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Emina Ekic (Javanon; Fairdale, Ky.), Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Brianna Pinto (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Taryn Torres (Solar-Chelsea SC; Frisco, Texas), Olivia Wade (LaRoca FC; Kaysville, Utah), Summer Yates (Pac NW; Pasco, Wash.)
FORWARDS (7): McKinley Burkett (Richmond United; Moseley, Va.), Rachael Dorwart (PA Classics; Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Rachel Jones (Tophat SC; Lawrenceville, Ga.), Civana Kuhlmann (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Alexa Spaanstra (Michigan Hawks; Brighton, Mich.), Francesca Tagliaferri (PDA; Colts Neck, NJ.), Jordan Taylor (Ohio Premier Eagles; Wadsworth, Ohio)

More than 20,000 Tickets Sold for WNT Matches Against Australia in Detroit and Birmingham

CHICAGO (July 31, 2015) – On the first day that tickets went on sale to the public for the U.S. Women’s National Team’s September matches in Detroit and Birmingham, Ala., more than 20,000 tickets have been sold for each venue. 

The USA will face Women’s World Cup quarterfinalist Australia on Thursday, Sept. 17, at Ford Field in Detroit (7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1) followed by a match on Sunday, Sept. 20, at historic Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama (1:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2). 

The games are part of a 10-match Victory Tour to celebrate the USA’s third World Cup title. 

Tickets for the September games are available at ussoccer.com. For the Detroit contest, tickets are also available by phone at 1-877-212-8898 and at the Ford Field ticket office (Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). For the event in Birmingham, tickets are also available by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers (including Publix and Walmart locations). [Note: Tickets are not sold at Legion Field except on the day of the event.] 

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com. 

The USA’s tour begins on Aug. 16 against Costa Rica at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. More than 38,500 tickets have been sold for that match. [TICKETS] The USA will then play Costa Rica at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Aug. 19. That match is sold out with over 20,000 fans expected to attend. 

The dates, venues and opponents for the USA’s final six matches of the Victory Tour will be announced when they are confirmed. 

2015 U.S. WNT VICTORY TOUR SCHEDULE (six more matches to be confirmed):

Date

Opponent

TV

Venue

Aug. 16

Costa Rica

FOX Sports 1

Heinz Field; Pittsburgh

Aug. 19

Costa Rica

ESPN2

Finley Stadium; Chattanooga, Tenn.

Sept. 17

Australia

FOX Sports 1

Ford Field; Detroit

Sept. 20

Australia

ESPN 2

Legion Field, Birmingham, Ala.

D.C. United U-13 Ready to Represent U.S. Soccer at CONCACAF Champions League

In 1998, D.C. United made history as they became the first American club to be crowned champions of CONCACAF after beating Mexican side Toluca in that year’s Champions Cup Final.

Nearly 20 years later, a younger crop of players will represent the Black and Red as the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s representatives to the inaugural U-13 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League beginning Tuesday, Aug. 4 at the Mexico City-based Academy facilities of Liga MX club Cruz Azul.

“It’s a great honor for our club to be selected and represent U.S. Soccer in this tournament,” said D.C. United U-13 Academy head coach John Bello. “Our players were all very excited when they got the news that they were going to go down. They’re really proud of it and want to put their best foot forward in this tournament.”

When CONCACAF approached U.S. Soccer about who should represent the Development Academy at the tournament, they went in search of a club whose first team had some history in the regional championship. Along with winning the 1998 title, United’s 10 appearances in either the CONCACAF Champions Cup or Champions League, is an MLS record.

Beyond first team history, CONCACAF also looked for a club that had developed a good track record of developing players and the D.C. United Academy was a perfect fit according to U.S. Soccer’s Director of Scouting Tony Lepore.

“United has a strong history of player production,” he told ussoccer.com. “The D.C. area is a hotbed for developing talent for youth and senior national teams.”

The numbers back it up. Since 2007, the club has placed 38 players on U.S. Soccer Youth National Teams from the U-14 to U-23 age groups and has helped develop many notable professional players, including Bill Hamid, Andy Najar, Romain Gall, Jalen Robinson, Michael Seaton and Conor Shanosky. Still just 24 years old, Hamid has also played twice for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Clint Peay, the Development Academy’s Technical Advisor for the Mid Atlantic region and a former D.C. United player, was familiar with the club’s player pool and with a tight timetable, pushed quickly to get the side involved in the tournament.

“Clint had worked together with the D.C. United Academy on a number of initiatives and felt good about what they had,” continued Lepore. “We immediately contacted Academy Director Nolan Sheldon and with the support of the club, Nolan immediately jumped at it because they value international competition and knew what an experience like this could mean for their young players as they continue with an eye towards developing more professionals.”

The tournament schedule is tight, with clubs playing three group matches in three days from Tuesday to Thursday. D.C. United will face fellow MLS Academy, the Montreal Impact, Jamaican club Harbor View FC and a club TBA from Liga MX. Should they finish in the top two in their group, they’ll play a semifinal on Friday with the final and third place matches coming on Saturday.

Bello admits that the trip to Mexico City will be the first time many of his U-13 side will play outside of the country. Now in his third year with the United Academy, he hopes the experience will keep his players focused on continuing to improve as they prepare for the fall Development Academy season.

“For them it’ll be a real eye-opener,” Bello said. “I remember back to when I was growing up playing and went on an international trip, it was really eye-opening to see where the level was in other countries. Sometimes because these guys play for an MLS Academy, they’ll think they’ve already achieved everything, when the reality is they need to keep working really hard on their development in order to compete at an international standard, which is what their overall objective is.”

“Seeing where they stack up internationally should give them a good gauge of where they stand and what they need to build on.”

 

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