U.S. Soccer Wire - January 17, 2006
U.S. Soccer’s complete allocation for tickets to the upcoming 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany was sold out in the organization’s initial private ussoccerfan.com presale.
Jan. 17, 2006
U.S. SOCCER PETITIONS FIFA FOR ADDITIONAL WORLD CUP TICKETS: U.S. Soccer’s complete allocation for tickets to the upcoming 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany was sold out in the organization’s initial private ussoccerfan.com presale. The overwhelming demand for tickets eliminated the need for a public ticket sale and guarantees the United States will have the team’s greatest fan support ever at a FIFA World Cup outside of the United States. The initial ussoccerfan.com presale ran from Dec. 12 through Jan. 4, but incredible early demand for tickets in the first-come, first-served sale meant that U.S. Soccer would be unable to provide all fans with tickets to the world’s most popular sporting event. In total, U.S. Soccer only receives eight percent of the seats in each of the team’s three World Cup venues, a total of fewer than 10,000 tickets for the Group E matches. In the presale, U.S. Soccer received requests for nearly 40,000 tickets for these matches. Ticket applications were received from all 50 states and from U.S. citizens in 16 countries. “We knew from the beginning that the demand would exceed the supply and that, unfortunately, some of our fans would be disappointed,” said U.S. Soccer Director of Communications Jim Moorhouse. “The overwhelming response was incredible and shows the true dedication of our fans.” U.S. Soccer has requested an additional allotment of tickets from FIFA and is awaiting word on any potential availability for those tickets. Fans that took part in the ussoccerfan.com presale but did not receive tickets are now on the organization’s priority waiting list should additional tickets become available.
U.S. WNT CAPTAIN KRISTINE LILLY CLOSING IN ON 300 CAPS: On the eve of their opening match of the Four Nations Tournament in Guangzhou, China, U.S. Women’s National Team captain Kristine Lilly stands poised to achieve an unprecedented mark in international soccer. With an appearance in Wednesday’s match vs. Norway, Lilly will record her 300th career cap for the full nation team, a feat no player in soccer history, men’s or women’s, can even approach. The midfielder is picking up right where she left off in 2005 when she earned U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year Award for the second time in her career. To celebrate her latest milestone, ussoccer.com offers exclusive coverage of her Countdown to 300, including features on the “Queen of Caps,” Top-10 retrospectives of her career and reactions from her teammates in China. FIFA will commemorate the historic achievement as Mr. Makudi Worawi of Thailand, the Chairman of the Committee for Women’s Football and FIFA Women’s Competitions, will make a special pre-game presentation to Lilly. The 34-year-old midfielder got three ovations Tuesday night at the Official Welcome Dinner that featured all four teams, their delegations and local officials, as several speakers acknowledged the amazing feat.
FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT OPENS WEDNESDAY VS. RIVAL NORWAY: The U.S. Women’s National Team opens its year of competition at the 2006 Four Nations Tournament on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 1:30 p.m. local (12:30 a.m. ET) with a challenging match against long-time rivals Norway. All the matches of the tournament will be played at the spectacular five-year-old, 80,000-seat Guangdong Olympic Stadium. The eyes of the women’s soccer world will be on Guangzhou for the three matchdays of the Four Nations Tournament as the competition features four of the world’s top 10 teams. The USA is ranked second in the most recent FIFA Women’s World Rankings, Norway is third, France is fifth and host China is ninth. The winner of the tournament will be the team that earns the most points from its three matches, three for a win, one for a tie and zero for a loss. In the event the teams are tied on points, goal difference is the first tie-breaker, goals scored is the second and the result of the match between the teams concerned (head-to-head) will be the third. If the teams are still knotted, lots will be drawn. Each coach will be allowed five substitutes per game from the nine registered reserves on the 20-player rosters. The organizers will also give out a Game MVP after each match, as well as the MVP, Best Coach, Best Goalkeeper and Best Scorer at the conclusion of the tournament as voted by the Match Commissioners and the media.
2005 Four Nations Tournament - Guangzhou Olympic Stadium, Guangzhou, China
Date Matchup Time
Jan. 18 USA vs. Norway 1:30 p.m. local / 12:30 a.m. ET
China vs. France 4 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET
Jan. 20 USA vs. France 1:30 p.m. local / 12:30 a.m. ET
China vs. Norway 4 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET
Jan. 22 France vs. Norway 1:30 p.m. local / 12:30 a.m. ET
USA vs. China 4 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET
U.S. MNT KICKS OFF 2006 SCHEDULE ON SUNDAY VS. CANADA: Now in their third full week of training in Carson, Calif., the U.S. Men’s National Team is just six days from their opening match of the year when they host Canada on Sunday, Jan. 22, in San Diego, Calif. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. PT from Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego. Fan can follow the match live, exclusively on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets starting at $25 are still available online at ussoccer.com, at the University of San Diego’s Jenny Craig Pavilion Box Office (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and by phone at 619-260-7550 (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets through the University of San Diego by calling 619-260-7550. Bruce Arena and 27 players have been in camp since Jan. 4 as the players work through an assortment of conditioning exercises, tactical drills and intra-squad scrimmages. The camp has been marred by some unfortunate injuries, as Pablo Mastroeni (quad) and Chris Albright (knee) have both been lost to injury.
U-20 WNT KICK OFF QUALIFYING: U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team head coach Tim Schulz and his 20-player roster traveled to Mexico to attempt to qualify the USA for the 2006 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Championship via the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Final Qualifying Tournament. The U-20 Women kick off the tournament on Thursday, Jan. 19, against Jamaica. The top three finishers in the tournament, which ends Jan. 27, will advance to the world championship being held in Russia from Aug. 16-Sept. 2, 2006. Schulz’ squad will enter the qualifying tournament with some experience on its side as seven of the 20 players were members of the U.S. team that finished third at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand. The roster features five players who are sophomores in college, 13 who are in their freshman years and two high school seniors.
U.S. U-20 WNT 2006 CONCACAF Qualifying Schedule
Date Round Matchup Time
Jan. 19 Group B USA vs. Jamaica 3:30 p.m. ET
Jan. 21 Group B Surinam vs. USA 3:30 p.m. ET
Jan. 23 Group B USA vs. El Salvador 3:30 p.m. ET
Jan. 25 Semifinals 1st in A vs. 2nd in B 1 p.m. ET
Semifinals 1st in B vs. 2nd in A 4 p.m. ET
Jan. 27 Third-Place TBD 1 p.m. ET
Final TBD 4 p.m. ET
– U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –
U.S. MNT TO FACE GUATEMALA AT PIZZA HUT PARK: For the first time since 1994, the U.S. Men’s National Team will play a World Cup preparation match in Texas when the U.S. hosts Guatemala on February 19 at 1 p.m. CT at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. This will be the first U.S. National Team appearance at FC Dallas’ new home, which opened five months ago on Aug. 6, 2005, and will be the fourth match of the year for the team. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Telemundo, and will be available to fans online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets are available online at ussoccer.com, at all Dallas-Ft. Worth area Ticketmaster outlets (including Foley’s, Fiesta Stores, and Tower Records) and by phone at 214-373-8000. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets through FC Dallas by calling 888-FCD-GOAL beginning Thursday, January 12, at 10 a.m. With the announcement of this match, the MNT has finalized its January and February schedules as the team continues to prepare for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The Feb. 19 match will be the 17th meeting all-time between the U.S. and Guatemala. The last time the U.S. played a World Cup preparation match in Texas was a 2-2 tie with Bolivia on March 26, 1994, at the Cotton Bowl. Overall, the U.S. has a 6-2-5 record in the state and a 5-1-4 mark in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area. The U.S. is unbeaten in Texas in their last 11 matches, with the last loss coming to Ecuador on June 10, 1988, in Houston.
U.S. TAKES ON NORWAY ON JAN. 29 IN CARSON: The U.S. will face Norway at The Home Depot Center on Jan. 29, 2006, at 2 p.m. PT live on ESPN2. Tickets begin at $20 and are available at ussoccer.com, all Southern California Ticketmaster ticket centers (including Robinson’s-May, Wherehouse Music and Tower Records), The Home Depot Center ticket office (stadium ticket office is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and by phone at 213-480-3232. Groups of 15 or more can purchase discounted tickets starting at $18 by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or downloading a group order form at ussoccer.com.
TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR MNT VS. JAPAN IN SAN FRANCISCO: Tickets are on sale for the U.S. vs. Japan preparation match for the 2006 FIFA World Cup at SBC Park in San Francisco on Feb. 10, 2006, at 8 p.m. PT. Tickets start at $22 and are available online at ussoccer.com, at all San Francisco area Tickets.com outlets (including Giants Dugout Stores, Raley’s, and Sportsmart) and by phone at 800-225-2277. Groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets through SBC Park by calling 415-972-2000 (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.). A limited number of Ultimate Fan Tickets, which include a VIP experience and a personalized U.S. MNT jersey, will be available for this match. For more information, visit ussoccer.com. The USA-Japan match marks the team’s first appearance in San Francisco in 26 years and will feature two teams that qualified for the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 from their respective regions.
USA TO FACE GERMANY IN DORTMUND: The U.S. Men’s National Team continues preparing for the 2006 FIFA World Cup when they meet Germany on March 22, 2006, in Dortmund, Germany, one of 12 cities hosting matches in the tournament next summer. Kickoff at the Westfalenstadion is set for 8 p.m. in Germany (2 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN. Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The U.S. has played Germany seven times dating back to 1993, with the Germans holding a 5-2-0 lifetime advantage. Most recently, Germany ended the USA’s historic run through the 2002 FIFA World Cup with a 1-0 quarterfinal victory on June 21, 2002, in Ulsan, Korea. The teams met once before on German soil, a 4-2 loss for the U.S. on March 27, 2002, in Rostock in the USA’s penultimate match prior to selecting their World Cup roster.
U.S. MNT 2006 Schedule
Date Match Venue Kickoff/TV Tickets
Jan. 22 USA vs. CAN Torero Stadium (San Diego, Calif.) 5 p.m. PT More Info
Jan. 29 USA vs. NOR Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) 2 p.m. PT / ESPN2 & Telemundo More Info
Feb. 10 USA vs. JPN SBC Park (San Francisco, Calif.) 8 p.m. PT / ESPN2 More Info
Feb. 19 USA vs. GUA Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas) 2 p.m. CT / ESPN2 & Telemundo More Info
March 1 USA vs. POL Fritz-Walter-Stadion (Kaiserslautern, Germany) 2 p.m. ET / ESPN2 & TBD / Telemundo --
March 22 GER vs. USA Westfalenstadion (Dortmund, Germany) 2 P.M. ET / ESPN2 & TBD / Telemundo --
June 12 USA vs. CZE * FIFA World Cup Stadium Gelsenkirchen (Gelsenkirchen, Germany) 12 p.m. ET / TBD --
June 17 ITA vs. USA * Fritz-Walter-Stadion (Kaiserslautern, Germany) 3 p.m. ET / TBD --
June 22 GHA vs. USA * Frankenstadion (Nuremberg, Germany) 10 a.m. ET / TBD --
– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –
U.S. U-17 MNT '89s AND '90s OBTAIN VICTORIES IN BRADENTON THIS WEEKEND: The U.S. Under-17 '89 and '90 Men's National Teams secured victories over the visiting Illinois Olympic Development Programs and the Georgia State Team this weekend at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. On Saturday (Jan. 14), the U.S. U-17 '89s defeated the Illinois ODP '88s, 4-1, getting four unanswered goals from Jeremy Hall, Anthony Wallace, Peri Marosevic and Brandon Tarr after falling behind 1-0 when Kyle Luetkehans scored in the 25th minute. On the same day, the U.S. U-17 '90s got a shutout from Josh Lambo and goals from Jared Jeffrey and Abdus Ibrahim for a 2-0 victory over the Illinois ODP '89s. On Saturday, the '90s drew 2-2 with the Georgia State Team, getting the opening goal from Jared Jeffrey and the tying strike from Brandon Tarr in the 79th minute. On Sunday, the '89s and '90s both had rematches against the Illinois teams with the U.S. U-17 '90s coming away with another two-goal victory as Axel Levry, Brandon Tarr and Sheanon Williams all tallied for the 3-1 win, and the U-17 '89s pulling away to another 4-1 victory with goals from Edgar Barajas, Anthony Wallace and two goals from Joey Sorrentino.
U.S. U-17 '89 MNT
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
Jan. 14 Illinois ODP '88 4-1 W Hall, Wallace, Marosevic, Tarr
Jan. 16 Illinois ODP '88 4-1 W Sorrentino (2), Barajas, Wallace
U.S. U-17 '90 MNT
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
Jan. 14 Illinois ODP '89 2-0 W Jeffrey, Ibrahim
Jan. 15 Georgia State Team 2-2 T Jeffrey, Tarr
Jan. 16 Illinois ODP '89 3-1 W Levry, Tarr, Williams
U.S. U-21 WOMEN HOLD FIRST CAMP OF ’06 AT HDC: The U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team called 30 players to its first training camp of 2006 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., which started on Saturday (Jan. 14). U.S. U-21 head coach Jill Ellis began the process of selecting a team to participate in the annual Nordic Cup, being held this coming summer in Norway. The USA has won an unprecedented seven straight Nordic Cups against the top U-21 teams from Europe. Numerous players who are eligible for the next Nordic Cup spent time with the full Women’s National Team and the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team earlier this month, giving Ellis a chance to bring in some new players for evaluation in her January training camp. The camp marks the return of forward Natasha Kai to the roster. Kai, an athletic and speedy striker out of Hawai’i, was the leading scorer for the U-21s in 2004, but suffered through injuries last year and did not play a game with the team. Ellis also called in Arizona’s Mallory Miller for her first camp. Miller scored 19 goals last season for the Wildcats. Seven players on the roster were part of the USA’s Nordic Cup championship team last year: defenders Rachel Buehler, Mary Castelanelli, Kendall Fletcher and Hayley Hunt and midfielders Jen Buczkowski, Sarah Huffman and Manya Makoski. Fletcher and midfielder India Trotter were both a part of the training camp at the HDC for the full Women’s National Team that ended on Monday (Jan. 9).
U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team Training Camp Roster (Jan. 14-21, Carson, Calif.)
GOALKEEPERS (4): Shannon Aitken (Tampa), Anna Picarelli (Pepperdine), Nikki Resnick (Maryland), Kati Jo Spisak (Texas A & M); DEFENDERS (8): Kendal Billingsley (UCLA), Rachel Buehler (Stanford), Mary Castelanelli (UCLA), Kendall Fletcher (UNC), Holly Gault (Kansas), Hayley Hunt (Stanford), Lauren Switzer (Eclipse Black), Jen Woodie (VCU); MIDFIELDERS (9): Jen Buczkowski (Notre Dame), Sheree Gray (Penn State), Sarah Huffman (Virginia), Noelle Keselica (Virginia), Caitlin Kennedy (Texas), Manya Makoski (Arizona State), Jenny Maurer (Boston College), Jen Redmond (Virginia), India Trotter (Florida State); FORWARDS (9): Liz Bogus (Arizona State), Kelsey Carpenter (Texas), Lleane Grimditch (Denver), Kelly Hammond (Virginia), Natasha Kai (Hawai’i), Jessica McDonald (Sereno FC), Mallory Miller (Arizona), Tiffany Weimer (Penn State), Megan Woods (Pepperdine).
U.S. U-18 MNT KICKOFF 2006 WITH 58-PLAYER MEGA-CAMP: The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team 58-player mega-camp gets underway on Tuesday Jan. 17, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. All of the players on the roster were born in 1989. With a three-year gap between the U-17 and the U-20 Men’s National Team, the Under-18 MNT was created to aid in the transition for younger players born in the odd-numbered years. The players on the U-18s are predominantly those who fall in that age gap where they were too old for the U-17s, but yet still young to have an immediate impact with the U-20s. Players on this Under-18 roster (players born since January 1, 1989) will be the core age-group for the 2009 FIFA World Youth Championship, although it is possible they could be chosen for the 2007 FIFA World Youth Championship in Canada, which will consist mainly of players born in 1987 or 1988 (players born after Jan. 1, 1987, are eligible). Out of the 58 players in camp, 10 are currently part of U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program, including three members of the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship squad – forward Josmer Altidore, midfielder Daniel Kelly and goalkeeper Brian Perk. U.S. Under-18 MNT head coach Bob Jenkins and his seven assistants will instruct the 58 players during the week-long camp and evaluate them for the next cycle of Under-20s. During the week, the players will also play a number of intrasquad games or other club teams in the L.A. area.
U.S. U-18 MNT Roster - January Mega-Camp
GOALKEEPERS (6): Joe Bendik (Marieta, Ga.), Matt Brutto (Warrington, Pa.), Brandyn Bumpas (Denver, Colo.), Warren Gross (Greenfield Center, N.Y.), Joe Parsons (Springfield, Mass.), Brian Perk (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.); DEFENDERS (20): Bryan Arguez (Bradenton, Fla.), Sam Arthur (Roswell, Ga.), William Caston (Fort Worth, Texas), Andreas Chronis (Bayside, N.Y.), Johnathan Collier (Fayetteville, Ga.), Kyle Davies (Danville, Calif.), Greg Eckhardt (Orange Park, Fla.), Doug Ferner (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Blair Gavin (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Colin Givens (Troy, Mich.), Erik Johnsen (Seattle, Wash.), Cam Lamming (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), Jeff Leach (Canaan, Conn.), Raphael Martinez (Portage, Ind.), Evan McNiel (Castic, Calif.), Andre Mittoo (Hollywood, Fla.), Ethan Morrow (Surrey, England), Daniel Rodriguez (Oxnard, Calif.), Anthony Wallace (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Marcus Watson (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.); MIDFIELDERS (23): Wilber Bonilla (Brentwood, N.Y.), Cameron Brown (Garland, Texas), Pepe Carotenuto (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Karol Chorak (Boca Raton, Fla.), Andrew Duran (Mokena, Ill.), Carlos Fernandez (San Diego, Calif.), Kaoru Forbess (Benton, Ark.), Andrew Giallombardo (Manalapan, N.J.), Keoki Haole (Kapoli, Hawaii), Daniel Kelly (Hendersonville, Tenn.), John Kluz (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Eber Martinez (Arlington, Va.), Gerson Mayen (Los Angeles, Calif.), Luke Norman (Rochester, Mich.), Vincent O’Campo (San Diego, Calif.), Julian Serrato (Boca Raton, Fla.), Josue Soto (Monterrey, Mexico), Michael Stephens (Naperville, Ill.), Lucas Swertloff (Brooklyn, N.Y.), John Tardy (Staten Island, N.Y.), Ryan Thomas (Claremont, Calif.); FORWARDS (9): Josmer Altidore (Boca Raton, Fla.), Edgar Barajas (Pacoima, Calif.), Mike Lindsay (Starksville, Miss.), Perica Marosevic (Rockford, Ill.), Dimitri Omphroy (Alameda, Calif.), Sam Petrone (Glenrock, N.J.), Jesse Rodriguez (Washington, D.C.), Cesar Romero (San Diego, Calif.), Joseph Sorrentino (Trenton, N.J.).
U.S. U-14 BNT ARRIVE IN MEXICO FOR TRAINING CAMP: The U.S. Under-14 Boys' National Team arrived in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Sunday (Jan. 15) for their annual week-long training camp. Head coach Manfred Schellscheidt selected 36 players for the camp and will split the roster up into two teams for matches during the week. The U-14 squads will each play three games during the week, taking on Chivas on Jan. 17, Jalisco on Jan. 19 and a team to be announced on Jan. 21. All but one of the players selected by Schellscheidt were born in 1992.
U-14 BNT Roster - Guadalajara Training Camp
GOALKEEPERS (4): Austin Holbrook (Claymont, Del.), Drew Hutchins (Morrisville, Pa.), Travis Ives (Bridgewater, N.J.), Eric Reyes (Pembroke Pines, Fla.); DEFENDERS (12): Estanilao Arevalo (Oxnard, Calif.), Robert Derschang (Englewood, Colo.), James Doherty (Mansfield, Mass.), Travis Golden (Austin, Texas), Ethan Harlow (Essex Junction, Vt.), Chad Hedlund (Argyle, Texas), Emmet Kumeh (Dallas, Texas), Chase Miller (Duncannon, Pa.), Andrew O'Malley (West Chester, Pa.), Tyler Polak (Lincoln, Neb.), Alberto Rosas (N. Hollywood, Calif.), Joshua Sylva (Las Vegas, Nev.); MIDFIELDERS (11): Jacob Bushue (Champaign, Ill.), Joshua Fusan (Windermere, Fla.), Zachary Herold (Port Saint Lucie, Fla.), Stefan Jerome (Davie, Fla.), Perry Kitchen (Indianapolis, Ind.), Edson Lemus (Wilmington, Calif.), George Pantelic (Northridge, Calif.), Sasha Pilipovic-Wengler (The Woodlands, Texas), Joseph Schmid (Kingston, Pa.), AJ Stueck (Brookfield, Conn.), Ross Tomaselli (Wilmington, N.C.), Jared Watts (Statesville, N.C.); FORWARDS (8): Robert Barrera (Union, N.J.), Dalton Carroll (Wallingford, Pa.), Andrew Craven (St. Simons Island, Ga.), Joseph-Claude Gyau (Silver Spring, Md.), Charles Renken (Edwardsville, Ill.), Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich.), Francisco Valdez (Tracy, Calif.), Brian Vasquez (Houston, Texas).
– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –
FORMER U.S. MNT STAR JOE-MAX MOORE INDUCTED INTO OKLAHOMA HALL OF FAME: Former U.S. Men's National Team forward Joe-Max Moore will be inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame by the Oklahoma Soccer Association on Jan. 27, 2006. A member of three U.S. World Cup teams (2002, 1998, 1994), Moore finished his decade-long Men's National Team career with 100 international appearances. He sits in fourth place on the USA’s All-Time leading scorer list with 24 goals. The Tulsa, Oklahoma, native secured the USA's berth to the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea-Japan with a penalty kick against Jamaica on Oct. 17 at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. After a collegiate career at UCLA, Moore spent time in Europe with second division German side FC Saarbrueken and Everton of the English Premier League, as well as two separate stints with the New England Revolution (1996-99, 2003-04).
LANDON DONOVAN’S HOME TO APPEAR ON MTV’S ‘CRIBS’: Celebrities from Shaq to LeeAnn Rimes have given fans the inside scoop on how the other half lives by giving tours of their home on MTV’s “Cribs.” Next in line is MNT midfielder and stalwart Landon Donovan, who opens up his Manhattan Beach pad for the world to see. Fans can watch Donovan give a tour of his crib at 10 p.m. ET/PT on February 1 on MTV.
*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***
PEAK PERFORMER: Marcus Hahnemann and Reading’s unconscious run through the English Championship continued on Saturday with a 2-0 victory vs. Coventry. In earning the clean sheet, his 15th of the season, Hahnemann made a pair of sprawling saves in succession with the Royals clinging to a one-goal lead. Now riding a 28 match unbeaten streak, Reading sits nine points clear of second-place Sheffield United.
MARQUEE MATCHUP: More than two months have transpired since the U.S. Men’s National Team took the field in an international match, but diehard U.S. MNT fans don’t have to wait much longer. The U.S. kicks off 2006 at 5 p.m. PT on Sunday, Jan. 22, against Canada. Fans can follow along live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
SOCCER SHOCKER: The injury bug continues to bite the U.S. Men’s National Team, and not even players outside of camp are immune. First, captain Claudio Reyna suffered a broken ankle while playing in England, while this week, both Pablo Mastroeni and Chris Albright were lost to quad and knee injuries, respectively.
QUOTABLE: "I admire her passion for the game so much. To play at the highest level for as long as she has is not only admirable, it’s amazing. She has played more international matches than any man or woman in history and still plays because of her love for the game. I also admire the way she handles herself off the field. She’s a true professional."
--U.S. WNT midfielder Shannon Boxx on captain Kristine Lilly.