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U.S. Soccer Wire - April 16, 2007


U.S. WNT SEND-OFF SERIES TO INCLUDE MATCH AGAINST NORWAY ON JULY 14
AT RENTSCHLER FIELD IN EAST HARTFORD, CONN.;
WNT WINS DOMESTIC OPENER, 5-0, AGAINST MEXICO

U.S. WNT TO TAKE ON NORWAY ON JULY 14: The U.S. Women's National Team will face long-time rivals Norway in the third match of the team's Send-Off Series in preparation for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 14, at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. Tickets start at $19 and will go on sale on Thursday, April 19, at 10 a.m. ET online at ussoccer.com, at all Hartford area Ticketmaster outlets (including Macy’s and FYE), and by phone at 860-525-4500. Tickets will also be available at the Hartford Civic Center box office beginning Friday, April 20, at 12 p.m. ET. Groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets at reduced prices by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtaining a group order form at ussoccer.com. Additionally, as a special benefit to VISA cardholders, a VISA-only pre-sale will be held between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 18, at ussoccer.com. VISA, the preferred payment card of U.S. Soccer, is the only payment method accepted for this advance sale opportunity. The USA vs. Norway match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, and fans will be able to follow the action online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

2007 U.S. Women’s National Team Schedule / Results
Date       Opponent      Location                                                     Result/Kickoff  TV
Jan. 26    Germany +   Guangzhou, China                                        0-0 T
Jan. 28    England +     Guangzhou, China                                        1-1 T
Jan. 30    China +        Guangzhou, China                                        2-0 W
March 7    China @      Silves, Portugal                                           2-1 W
March 9    Finland @    Ferreiras, Portugal                                       1-0 W
March 12  Sweden @    VRS Antonio, Portugal                                  3-2 W
March 14  Denmark @  VRS Antonio, Portugal                                  2-0 W
April 14    Mexico         Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)              5-0 W
May 12    Canada        Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas)                       7:30 p.m. ET   Fox Soccer Channel (live) /
                                                                                                                        Fox Sports en Espanol (delay)
2007 Women’s National Team Send-Off Series
June 16    China          Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio)   7 p.m. ET        ussoccer.com's MatchACCESS
June 23    Brazil           Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)          5 p.m. ET         ESPN2
July 14     Norway       Rentschler Field (East Hartford, Conn.)          6 p.m. ET         ESPN2
July 28    TBA             TBA                                                            TBA
Aug. 12    TBA             TBA                                                            TBA
Aug. 25    TBA             TBA                                                            TBA
Sept. 10-30 FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007

+ Four Nations Tournament
@ Algarve Cup


KRISTINE LILLY LEADS U.S. CHARGE WITH TWO GOALS: U.S. Women’s National Team captain Kristine Lilly led the U.S. women, scoring two goals and setting up another in the 5-0 win against Mexico. The win upped the USA’s record in 2007 to 6-0-2 and stretched the team’s unbeaten streak to 40 games, 39 of those under current head coach Greg Ryan. The match was the first time a senior national team was broadcast live on ussoccer.com's MatchACCESS live web streaming, which has been providing live coverage of U.S. Soccer's national teams since September. The U.S. women, who are currently involved in a four-month Residency Training Camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., return to the field on May 12 in Frisco, Texas, with a match against Canada (tickets) that will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel at 7:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. CT. The USA will wear pink uniforms in that match to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness, the first time ever that the U.S. women wear a special limited edition jersey. The USA will then embark on a six-game 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Send-Off Series, starting against China (tickets) on June 16 in Cleveland and continuing against Brazil (tickets) on June 23 in East Rutherford, N.J. in a re-match of the 2004 Olympic gold medal game.

VISIT ussoccer.com's YOUTUBE CHANNEL: U.S. National Soccer Team fans can now follow their favorite U.S. National Team coaches and players on ussoccer.com's YouTube channel. It includes interviews, press conferences and other exclusive behind-the-scenes features as well as coverage of the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Women's World Cup, FIFA's Youth World Cups, Olympic Soccer, CONCACAF Gold Cup and other competitions, and all of the National Teams' qualifying competitions and friendlies. Subscribe to ussoccer.com's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/ussoccerdotcom.

U.S. SOCCER NATIONAL COACHING SCHOOLS SUMMER DATES SET: This summer, candidates will have a chance to learn from some of the nation’s top-level instructors, including current and former National Team, MLS and WUSA coaches at U.S. Soccer’s National Coaching Schools. Officially licensed by FIFA, the schools provide premier coaching education to coaches at all levels of the game. Limited space is available. Make your summer plans now to attend a U.S. Soccer “A”, “B” or “C” License course this June and July. For more information, visit ussoccer.com or call 312-808-1300. [CoachesNet]

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-17 WNT HEADS TO FLORIDA FOR TRAINING CAMP: The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team, under new head coach Dean Duerst, opened training camp last weekend in Sunrise, Fla., with 24 players. The camp will run until April 21, during which time the team will scrimmage the University of Miami as well as several boys club teams. The match against Miami will take place on Tuesday, April 17, in Coral Gables, with a kickoff of 5:30 p.m. ET. This will be Duerst’s first camp officially at the helm, after running the previous training camp as the interim head coach.

U.S. U-17 Women's National Team Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jill Mastroianni (Durham, Conn.), Cat Parkhill (Apple Valley, Minn.), Chante Sandiford (Owings Mills, Md.);
DEFENDERS (4): Camille Levin (Newport Coast, Calif.), Michelle Olivier (Rosewell, Ga.), Alyssa Pember (Northport, N.Y.), Ashley Rape (Dallas, Texas);
MIDFIELDERS (9): Shira Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Julia Bouchelle (Cockeysville, Md.), Katy Frierson (Homewood, Ala.), Shawna Gordon (Rialto, Calif.), Alexandria Hampton (Piedmont, Okla.), Christine Nairn (Bowie, Md.), Whitney Sharpe (Des Moines, Iowa), Alie Vernon (Homer Glen, Ill.), Beth West (Centennial, Colo.);
FORWARDS (8): Lauren Alwine (Elizabethtown, Pa.), Sade Ayinde (North Bellmore, N.Y.), Brittani Bartok (Union, N.J.), Merritt Mathias (Birmingham, Ala.), Tiffany McCarty (Laurel, Md.), Caitlin Mooney (Edmond, Ok.), Toni Pressley (Melbourne, Fla.), Casey Short (Naperville, Ill.)


U-17 ’91 MNT TRAVELS TO NORTHERN IRELAND FOR BALLYMENA TOURNAMENT: The U.S. Under-17 ’91 Men’s National Team will travel to Northern Ireland this week to compete in the Ballymena International Tournament from April 22-27. The U.S. team will be led by head coach Brian Maisonnueve, who will name an 18-player roster later this week before the team leaves on Thursday, April 19. The U.S. is in Group B of the eight-team tournament along with the Czech Republic, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland. The U.S. will play three games in three days, opening the tournament against Scotland on Monday, April 23, then the Czech Republic and finally the Republic of Ireland, who recently defeated the U-17s, 2-1, in France. Depending on how the team finishes in group play, the U.S. will play a placement match on Friday, April 27 against a team from Group A, which consists of Canada, Finland, Northern Ireland and Switzerland.

U-17 ’91 MNT Schedule
Date Opponent
April 23 Scotland
April 24 Czech Republic
April 25 Republic of Ireland

U-17 ’91 Roster
TBD


U-17 '90 MNT CLOSES IN ON CONCACAF QUALIFYING IN JAMAICA AT END OF APRIL: The U-17 '90 Men's National Team is closing in on Group B of the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament, which will be played from April 28 to May 7 in Kingston, Jamaica. Every match of the five-team, round-robin tournament will be played at the National Stadium. The U.S. has a bye during the opening day of the tournament on April 28 and will open up against Trinidad & Tobago on April 30. The U.S. will then face Canada on May 2, Jamaica on May 4 and finish against Costa Rica on May 6.The top three teams will advance to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will take place in South Korea from Aug. 18 to Sept. 9. The U.S. is the only country to qualify for all 11 previous FIFA U-17 World Cups. Group A was played from April 4-8 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and saw former world champion Mexico not qualify as Haiti and Honduras earned the two berths by finishing first and second, respectively.

U-17 '90 MNT Schedule - Group B CONCACAF Qualifying
Date      Opponent
April 30   Trinidad & Tobago
May 2     Canada
May 4     Jamaica
May 6     Costa Rica


– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

NEW ZEALAND COMPLETES FIELD FOR 2007 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: The Kiwis of New Zealand have qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, becoming the 16th and final team that will compete at the greatest spectacle for women’s team sports in China from Sept. 10-30. New Zealand had little trouble rolling through the island nations of Tonga (6-1), Solomon Islands (8-0) and host Papua New Guinea (7-0) to earn its second-ever trip to the Women’s World Cup, but first since the inaugural tournament in 1991. With Australia moving to the Asian Football Confederation, New Zealand encountered little resistance in its quest for a berth to China. The 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final Draw will be held on April 22 in Wuhan, at which time all 16 teams will learn their groups and opponents for the first round and their path to the ultimate prize in women's soccer, the Women's World Cup trophy.

2007 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP BERTHS BY CONFEDERATION
Host: China
Asia: Australia, North Korea, Japan
Africa: Nigeria, Ghana
South America: Argentina, Brazil
CONCACAF: USA, Canada
Oceania: New Zealand
Europe: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, England


THE US YOUTH SOCCER SHOW ON FSC KICKS OFF 2007 THIS SATURDAY: Fox Soccer Channel kicks off the second season of the US Youth Soccer Show on Saturday, April 21, at 5:30 p.m. ET. The US Youth Soccer Show is a monthly program that brings viewers closer to US Youth Soccer events, players and coaches. Each program will feature a Skills School (tips for players), a Coaches Connection (tips and activities for coaches), a team or player feature, interviews with US Youth Soccer alumni on the U.S. National Teams or in the professional ranks, and features on US Youth Soccer’s various programs and events. Visit USYouthSoccer.org for more on the first show of Season Two.

2007 CONCACAF GOLD CUP TICKETS NOW ON SALE: Tickets for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup are now on sale for all dates and venues. Tickets start at $20 for first round games and can be purchased by calling 1-888-878-2007. Ticket packages are available for all games and match days at a single venue. Discounts are also available for groups. More information is available at ussoccer.com.

USL FIRST DIVISION KICKS OFF SEASON: United Soccer Leagues’ First Division kicked off the season on Saturday, April 15, with the Puerto Rican Islanders earning a 2-1 victory against the Rochester Raging Rhinos in Puerto Rico. Opening weekend continued with Rochester traveling to Miami and posting a 1-0 win against Miami FC. The season continues on Friday, April 20, with the Minnesota Thunder visiting the Charleston Battery and four other games on Saturday, April 21. Fans will be able to follow the USL First Division on Fox Soccer Channel, which will broadcast 24 First Division matches this season. More information and broadcast schedules are available at USLsoccer.com.

USL SECOND DIVISION TO START SEASON: The 2007 USL Second Division season opens at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, April 20, when the Charlotte Eagles host Crystal Palace Baltimore. The weekend continues on Saturday, April 21, with the Cincinnati Kings traveling to take on the Richmond Kickers and the Harrisburg City Islanders hosting the Wilmington Hammerheads. A full 2007 USL Second Division season schedule is available at USLsoccer.com.

MISL PLAYOFFS: The Detroit Ignition will host the Philadelphia Kixx in the 2007 Major Indoor League Soccer Championship at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 21, at Compuware Sports Arena. Detroit rallied to defeat the Milwaukee Wave in their two-game semifinal series, dropping the first game before winning the second, as well as the extra-time period. Philadelphia also had to rely on the extra-time period after dropping their first match against the Chicago Storm and winning the second game of the series.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. WNT captain Kristine Lilly is at it again. The legendary WNT veteran led the squad against Mexico on Saturday (April 14) with two goals and an assist in her 324th international appearance. With more caps than anyone else in the world, Lilly is on track for her fifth FIFA Women’s World Cup.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Going into the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal match against Roma, Manchester United knew they had to fight hard to make it to the semifinals, especially against an Italian team known for tenacious defending. But something happened to the tenacious defenders last Tuesday (April 10) and the 4-0 halftime score in favor of Manchester United had some people wondering if professional soccer has a mercy rule. Manchester United ended up scoring seven goals, while Roma was only able to put one in the back of the net. United moves on to the semifinals with an aggregate score of 8-3.
MARQUEE MATCHUP: U.S. MNT defender Steve Cherundolo and MNT goalkeeper Kasey Keller will find themselves on opposite ends of the field on Sunday, April 22, as Hannover 96 hosts Borussia Moenchengladbach. Hannover is coming off a 2-1 loss to Stuttgart while Borussia Moenchengladbach desperately needs a win as they sit in last place in the Bundesliga table.

QUOTABLE: “Kristine is quiet, but deadly. She’s a leader by example. The thing about Kristine that amazes me is that she’s 72 years old and still scoring more goals than me (laughs). She makes my job easy and fun. When, at 35 years old, she can take a shot from 35 yards out and rip it over the ‘keeper’s head, it just makes me happy.”
-- U.S. WNT forward Abby Wambach on playing alongside U.S. captain Kristine Lilly, who is the world’s most-capped player with 324 international appearances.

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