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U.S. MEN TO FACE MEXICO AT 7 P.M. ET ON ESPN2, UNIVISION ON FEB. 11;
SUNDHAGE CALLS 25 INTO U.S. WNT JANUARY CAMP;
TICKETS FOR FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP 2009 NOW AVAILABLE

MNT MATCH AGAINST MEXICO SET FOR 7 P.M. ET: For the third consecutive time in final round qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, the United States will host Mexico at Columbus Crew Stadium. The USA’s most anticipated match of the final round will be played Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision. Ticket information will be announced shortly. Fans will be able to follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. U.S. MNT head coach Bob Bradley and 24 players are in training camp at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Bradley’s roster has seen some modifications since the beginning of camp, first with Clarence Goodsen and Cory Gibbs not making the trip to California and Jason Hernandez and Ugo Ihemelu joining the squad. Most recently, defender Chad Marshall was forced to withdraw from camp to continue treatment on an injured right knee. The group will prepare for the USA’s first match of 2009, a friendly against Sweden on Jan. 24 (tickets) at The Home Depot Center. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision beginning at 5:30 p.m. PT. Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

U.S. MNT Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF), Matt Pickens (out of contract)
DEFENDERS (7): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland), Sean Franklin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Jason Hernandez (San Jose Earthquakes), Ugo Ihemelu (Colorado Rapids), Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Brian Carroll (Columbus Crew), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Jack Jewsbury (Kansas City Wizards), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), John Thorrington (Chicago Fire)
FORWARDS (4): Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire)

U.S. Men’s National Team 2009 Schedule 

Date Opponent Venue Time
Jan. 24 Sweden The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif. 5:30 p.m. PT
Feb. 11 Mexico* Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio 7 p.m. ET
March 28 El Salvador* Away (Venue TBD) TBD
April 1 Trinidad & Tobago* Home (Venue TBD) TBD
June 3 Costa Rica* Away (Venue TBD) TBD
June 6 Honduras* Home (Venue TBD) TBD
June 15 Italy # Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria 8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. ET
June 18 Brazil # Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria 4 p.m. / 10 a.m. ET
June 21 Egypt # Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace; Rustenburg 8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. ET
July 3-26 CONCACAF Gold Cup TBD TBD
Aug. 12 Mexico* Away (Venue TBD) TBD
Sept. 5 El Salvador* Home (Venue TBD) TBD
Sept. 9 Trinidad & Tobago* Away (Venue TBD) TBD
Oct. 10 Honduras* Away (Venue TBD) TBD
Oct. 14 Costa Rica* Home (Venue TBD) TBD

* FIFA World Cup Qualifier
# FIFA Confederations Cup

U.S. WNT TO KICK OFF 2009 WITH CAMP AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has called in 25 players for a 17-day training camp that will kick off the team’s 2009 activity. The U.S. team will convene at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from Jan. 20-Feb. 4 in preparation for the annual Algarve Cup that will be held from March 4-11 in southern Portugal. After the completion of the camp, Sundhage will choose 18 players to make the annual pilgrimage to Portugal for the always competitive Algarve Cup, where the USA will face Denmark, Norway and Iceland in first round play. Germany, Sweden, Finland and China PR fill out the other group. It will be the 14th trip to the prestigious tournament for the U.S. WNT. U.S. defender Kate Markgraf, a veteran of six world championships for the USA, will not be joining the U.S. team in the near future as she is pregnant for the second time.

U.S. WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Stephanie Cox (Los Angeles Sol), Marian Dalmy (Chicago Red Stars), Kendall Fletcher (Los Angeles Sol), Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers), Jill Oakes (FC Gold Pride), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tina DiMartino (UCLA), Tobin Heath (North Carolina), Carli Lloyd (Chicago Red Stars), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Lindsay Tarpley (Chicago Red Stars), Kacey White (Sky Blue FC), Angie Woznuk (St. Louis Athletica)
FORWARDS (7): Lauren Cheney (UCLA), Tina Ellertson (St. Louis Athletica), Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Natasha Kai (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Portland), Amy Rodriguez (USC), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

TICKETS ON SALE FOR FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP 2009: Tickets are on sale for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 that will be held June 14-28 in South Africa. Fans are able to apply for tickets by registering through fifa.com in order to have access to purchase tickets for all of the USA’s matches in the tournament. For a list of frequently asked questions, click here. The eight-team competition showcases confederation champions from across the world, and also provides a glimpse of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ hosts South Africa. The United States has been drawn into a powerful Group B along with reigning world champions Italy, five-time World Cup winners Brazil, and reigning African Cup of Nations winners Egypt for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 that will be played from June 14-28, 2009, in South Africa. The U.S. kicks off action against Italy on June 15 at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane/Pretoria, and then faces Brazil on June 18 in the same venue. The United States finishes group play on June 21 against Egypt at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.

LAST MONTH FOR 2009 WERNER FRICKER BUILDER AWARD NOMINATIONS: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2009 U.S. Soccer Werner Fricker Builder Award, which 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, which was created in 2002 and is the greatest recognition bestowed by U.S. Soccer on its membership, 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 the form at ussoccer.com 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 wernerfrickeraward@ussoccer.org. Applications must be postmarked by February 1, 2009 (download application).

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U-20 AND U-17 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAMS TO LEARN SCHEDULE AND OPPONENTS FOR CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIPS: The U.S. Under-20 and Under-17 Men’s National Teams will learn their schedule and opponents for their respective CONCACAF Championships during a draw that will be held on Thursday, Jan. 15 in New York. Both tournaments will feature two groups of four teams. The top two teams in each group will cross over for the semifinals and a regional champion will be crowned for the first time since 1996. The U-20 event will be held in Trinidad & Tobago from March 6-15. Six of the eight teams have been decided, with the final round of Caribbean qualifying still taking place in St. Vincent & Grenadines. The Caribbean champion will receive an automatic berth to T&T, while the runner up will play Honduras for the final slot. The U.S., along with Canada, Mexico and the hosts, earned an automatic place in the championship while Costa Rica and El Salvador earned their place through Central American qualifying. The U-17 Championship will take place in Mexico, with final dates and venues yet to be determined. Similar to the U-20 event, the U.S. and Canada were given automatic entry into the final eight along with host Mexico. Rounding out the eight-team field are Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago and Cuba.

RONGEN NAMES 19 PLAYERS TO TRAVEL TO TRINIDAD & TOBAGO AS PREPARATION FOR CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIP: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has named 19 players who will travel to Trinidad & Tobago from Jan. 18-24 as part of preparation for the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in March. The CONCACAF U-20 Championship will be held in Macoya, Trinidad and Bacolet, Tobago from March 4-16. Rongen’s squad will learn their schedule and opponents for the eight-team event in a draw held on Thursday, Jan. 15 at CONCACAF headquarters in New York City. The U.S. will acclimate to both islands while staying and training in facilities in and around both host cities during their upcoming trip. A combination of professional, collegiate and youth players will travel to Trinidad on Jan. 18 and scrimmage the T&T Under-17 MNT before moving on to the island of Tobago. The team will continue training in Tobago through Jan. 24.

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Sean Johnson (Lilburn, Ga.; Central Florida), Brian Perk (Rancho Santa Margarita; UCLA)
DEFENDERS (6): Kyle Davis (Danville, Calif.; Southampton FC), Connor Lade (Convent Station, N.J.; St. John’s), Kofi Opare (Niagra Falls, Ontario; St. Catharine’s Concord), Chris Taylor (Edmond, Okla.; Tulsa), Anthony Wallace (St. Petersburg, Fla.; FC Dallas), Marcus Watson (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Los Angeles Galaxy Academy)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Richard Balchan (Carmel, Ind.; Indiana), Tony Cascio (Gilbert, Ariz.; Connecticut), Danny Cruz (Glendale, Ariz.; UNLV), Dilly Duka (Montville, N.J.; Rutgers), Jared Jeffrey (Richardson, Texas; Club Brugge), Aaron Maund (Dorchester, Mass.; Notre Dame), Brek Shea (College Station, Texas; FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (4): Will Bruin (Carmel, Ind.; Indiana), Felix Garcia (Laredo, Texas; Laredo Heat), Tony Taylor (Jacksonville, Fla.; Jacksonville), Casey Townsend (Traverse City, Mich.; Maryland)

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

2009 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES ANNOUNCED LIVE ON FSC ON THURSDAY, JAN. 15: The U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame 2009 Induction Class will be unveiled live on Fox Soccer Channel’s Center Circle Live show at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 15, at the NSCAA Convention. Also announced live will be the Boston Breakers’ No. 1 overall draft pick for the Women’s Professional Soccer inaugural draft. The two-hour live show will also include interviews with soccer personalities across the U.S., including scheduled appearances by U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci.

HONDURAS TO HOST 2009 UNCAF CUP OF NATIONS: Honduras will face Belize, El Salvador and Nicaragua in Group A as host of the 2009 UNCAF Cup of Nations. The tournament takes place Jan. 22-Feb. 1 at Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and will determine the five participants from Central America in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Group B of the tournament is composed of Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama. Complete schedule information is available at www.concacaf.com.

US YOUTH SOCCER ANNOUNCES WILLIAM J. GOAZIOU SCHOLARSHIP: US Youth Soccer has announced that it will award two, one-time $1,000 scholarships in 2009 in honor of late U.S. Soccer treasurer William J. Goaziou. The scholarships will be awarded based on community service and giving back to the game of soccer. Deadline for submitting applications is March 15, 2009. More information, including eligibility requirements and scholarship application are available at www.usyouthsoccer.org.

ACCREDITATION FOR CONFEDERATIONS CUP TO START ON FEB. 2: The dates for the accreditation process for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 have been changed and will now start on Feb. 2, 2009 (instead of Jan. 5) via the FIFA Media Channel. The new deadline for accreditation applications is Feb. 22. The FIFA Confederations Cup, also known as the “Festival of Champions,” will be the first major test on the way to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and will be staged at venues in four cities: Johannesburg, Tshwane/Pretoria, Rustenburg and Mangaung/Bloemfontein. The U.S. has been drawn into Group B of the tournament, which will be held from June 14-28. Bob Bradley’s team will take on Italy, Brazil and Egypt. The other group includes Spain, New Zealand, Iraq and host South Africa. Successful applicants will be notified and provided with further information in due course. All applications are subject to confirmation. International applicants are responsible for their own visas. Media representatives who have not already registered for the FIFA Media Channel are requested to do so at http://media.fifa.com as early as possible. The FIFA Media Channel is a registration-only area on www.FIFA.com providing media professionals with tailored content. Only registered individuals may apply for accreditation to FIFA events.

COACHESNET OFFERS TRIP TO ARGENTINA: As part of the U.S. Soccer’s Coaching Department’s dedication to providing unique coaching opportunities to its members, CoachesNet is offering an educational trip from March 10-16, 2009, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Registration also includes round-trip airfare from Miami International Airport, meals and four-star accommodations. Registration is open to all coaches and current U.S. Soccer “A” licensed coaches will earn eight (8) Continuing Education Units for their participation. CoachesNet caught up with U.S. Soccer U-17 scout and National Staff Coach Juan Carlos Michia to discuss the trip to Buenos Aires. Michia, a native of Argentina, discusses plans for the trip, how soccer is a way of life in Argentina and what a coach can expect during the week.

HAMM AND GARCIAPARRA TO HOST SECOND ANNUAL CELEBRITY SOCCER CHALLENGE: U.S. Soccer star Mia Hamm and her husband, Los Angeles Dodger Nomar Garciaparra have reached out to their friends in Hollywood and across professional sports to participate in the Second Annual Mia Hamm & Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge, a charity soccer match benefiting Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the Mia Hamm Foundation, held on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. An array of celebrities and athletes will again lend their time and athletic prowess to play in the game, including skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and young gun Ryan Sheckler, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh, NFL great Marcus Allen, Zachary Levi of “Chuck,” Jimmy Jean Louis of “Heroes,” Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, and others. The celebrities and athletes will be joined by current and former members of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Soccer teams in this spirited and competitive match to benefit this worthwhile cause. At halftime, patients who were suffering from leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases will be introduced in person for the very first time to their bone marrow donors. The donor and recipient meetings will recognize all those who have given hope to patients in need of a life-saving transplant by joining the National Marrow Donor Program Registry. Fans in attendance will be given the opportunity to register and become donors themselves. General admission tickets for the Celebrity Soccer Challenge are $20 and are on sale now through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com or 213-480-3232), or directly through The Home Depot Center Box Office. Group Ticket sales in excess of 20 are discounted at $15 a ticket. For more information, visit www.miafoundation.org/soccerchallenge.

*** CENTER CIRCLE SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Rennes and Carlos Bocanegra enjoyed a 1-0 victory against Grenoble this weekend, earning three points that came with the added boost of a Lyon draw. The French champions couldn't get by Lorient, drawing 1-1, and Lyon is now just two points behind the leaders. Up next for Rennes is match with Lille a week from today and look to extend their 19-game unbeaten streak in league play that dates back to a 1-0 loss to Grenoble on Aug. 17, 2008.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: U.S. MNT players have a full slate of games in Europe as Clint Dempsey and Fulham travel to take on Jonathan Spector and West Ham United, on Sunday, Jan. 18. Meanwhile,U.S. Soccer 2009 Male Athlete of the Year Tim Howard is looking for his seventh straight shutout in all competitions on Monday, Jan. 19, as Everton takes on Liverpool at Anfield. In France, Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes continue to challenge for the French Ligue 1 titles as they face Lille on Sunday, Jan. 18. Fans should check their local listings for match times, as all three matches will be televised on Setanta Sports.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Despite being up a man and ahead 3-0, Pachuca had to rely on the services of veteran goalkeeper Miguel Calero to advance to the Copa Libertadores in the Mexico 3 spot. Pachuca saw their secure lead swindle in the second half and found themselves tied with Atlas, 3-3, at the end of regulation. What followed was a marathon of sorts, as penalty kicks extended into sudden death, with each side shooting 13 times. Pachuca eventually prevailed 10-9, with Calero stopping no less than four Atlas penalty attempts for his side to advance.

QUOTABLE: "The first year the topic was new to everyone. Even now they still ask the same questions about whether or not I feel connected to Mexico. After two years of playing for the U.S. National Team, I think the question has been answered."
- Johnathan Bornstein, in an interview with the MNT Blog, talks about the media asking whether he is torn between the U.S. and Mexico.


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