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U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. U-19s Adavance to Semifinals, Face Germany Thursday in Edmonton


U.S. FORWARD WILSON LEADS TEAM WITH SEVEN GOALS: The U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team once again got scintillating performances from its forwards and rode a Kelly Wilson hat trick to a hard-fought 6-0 victory over Denmark in the quarterfinals of the 2002 FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship. The USA now travels to Edmonton, Alberta, to face Germany in a semifinal on Thursday (Aug. 29) at the 60,000-seat Commonwealth Stadium.  The U.S. will play the first semifinal, kicking off at 5:15 p.m. MT (7:15 p.m. ET). Fans can follow the action live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Tournament host Canada, who earned its semifinal berth by crushing England 6-2, will meet Brazil in the second semifinal after the South American nation edged Australia 4-3 in sudden death overtime yesterday. The U.S. opened the tournament by winning Group C and outscoring its opening round opponents 15-1, in Victoria, B.C., including a 5-1 win over England, a 4-0 shutout of Australia and a 6-0 rout of Chinese Taipei. Forward Kelly Wilson leads the team with seven goals, while running mates Heather O’Reilly and Lindsay Tarpley each have four goals.

COURAGE MIDFIELDER PRINZ SCORES GAME WINNER, NAMED MVP: Birgit Prinz's unassisted goal in the 58th minute proved to be the game winner as the Carolina Courage captured Founders Cup II, 3-2 over the Washington Freedom at Herndon Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., last Saturday.  Prinz added an assist on Carolina's go-ahead goal five minutes earlier, and was named Most Valuable Player of the match.  Freedom super-sub Mia Hamm scored the game's final, and most spectacular, goal, but her effectiveness was limited when the Courage struck twice in a five-minute span in the second half to open up a 3-1 lead.

WIZARDS GRAB FINAL SPOT IN 2002 U.S. OPEN CUP SEMI’s WITH 2-0 WIN OVER RAMPAGE: The Kansas City Wizards scored two goals in the first 21 minutes and then went on to shutout the Milwaukee Rampage 2-0 in the last U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal match this weekend. Eric Quill opened the scoring just 46 seconds into the match and Preki added the second goal of the night in the 21st minute. Goalkeeper Taly Goode, making his first appearance in a Wizards uniform, needed just one save to earn the shutout and lead the Wizards into the Semifinals of the 2002 U.S. Open Cup. The Wizards will now face the Columbus Crew in Columbus on Sept. 10. The match will kickoff at 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports World and Fox Sports World Espanol. In the other semifinal, the Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) will host the Dallas Burn (MLS) at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif., on Sept. 3, at 8 p.m. PT.

– U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

U.S. WNT TO FACE AUSTRALIA, ITALY & RUSSIA IN 2002 NIKE U.S. WOMEN’S CUP: U.S. Soccer has finalized the opponents, dates and venues for the 2002 edition of the Nike U.S. Women’s Cup, the most prestigious women’s event conducted by U.S. Soccer, and one of the most respected women’s tournaments in the world. The tournament, a four-team, six-game competition, will feature the U.S. Women’s National Team, as well as Australia, Italy and Russia. In the tournament’s opening match, the U.S. will take on Russia at the Mitchel Athletic Complex, the home of the WUSA’s New York Power, on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 4 p.m. ET (TV broadcast to be determined). Tickets for the tournament opener, which is presented by Philips Electronics, range in price levels from $22 to $55 and are available now at 12 noon ET at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout the area (including The Wiz, Compact Disc World, Tower Records, HMV Record Stores and Filene’s) or by calling 631-888-9000 (Long Island) or 212-307-7171 (New York City). Groups of 20 or more can call the New York Power at 1-866-769-7849. From there, the tournament heads south to North Carolina, where the U.S. Women’s National Team will play two games as part of doubleheaders at the recently opened SAS Park, the home of the WUSA’s Carolina Courage, in Cary, N.C.  The U.S. Women will take on Australia on Wednesday, Oct. 2 (presented by Chevy) at 7:30 p.m. ET live on ESPN2, and finish the tourney against Italy on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. ET live on ESPN2. Tickets for the N.C. doubleheaders, which range in price from $18 to $55, are now available at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout the Carolinas (including Kroger, Hecht's and FYE), by calling 919-834-4000 or going on-line at www.ticketmaster.com.  For groups of 20 or more, call 312-528-1249.

PEARCE, MULLINIX RETURN TO WNT FOLD FOR FIRST MATCH VS. SCOTLAND ON SEPT. 8: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach April Heinrichs named the 24 players who will come to Columbus, Ohio, for four days of training before the USA faces Scotland on Sept. 8, 2002, at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.  The match, which is presented by Kit Kat, will kickoff at 1 p.m. ET and be broadcast live on ESPN. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations in Ohio and the surrounding states and by phone at 614-431-3600.  Tickets are also available at the Crew Stadium ticket office (open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Tickets prices are $18 (endline), $25 (sideline), $35 (midfield) and $45 (club seats).   For information on group rates, please call 312-528-1249. Complete ticket information is available online at www.ussoccer.com.  It will be the first-ever meeting in women’s soccer between the two countries and an important preparation match for the Americans as they move towards the 2002 Nike U.S Women’s Cup and the 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, which will serve as 2003 Women’s World Cup Qualifying, later in the fall.
Goalkeepers (4): LaKeysia Beene, Siri Mullinix, Briana Scurry, Hope Solo;
Defenders (9): Jenny Benson, Thori Bryan, Brandi Chastain, Jena Kluegel, Heather Mitts, Christie Pearce, Nandi Pryce, Danielle Slaton, Kate Sobrero;
Midfielders (6): Lorrie Fair, Julie Foudy, Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly, Tiffany Roberts, Stacey Tullock;
Forwards (5): Danielle Fotopoulos, Mia Hamm, Shannon MacMillan, Cindy Parlow, Abby Wambach.

T&T JOINS MEXICO AND PANAMA AS U.S. WOMEN’S WORLD CUP QUALIFYING OPPONENTS:  The U.S. Women’s National Team’s road to the 2003 Women’s World Cup in China took shape recently when Trinidad & Tobago became the final team to qualify for the USA’s four-team group at the upcoming 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup. Trinidad & Tobago became the first Caribbean nation to qualify for the 2002 Women's Gold Cup by virtue of a 2-1 win against Suriname on the road in Paramaribo on Thursday (Aug. 15), after posting a 3-1 win in their first leg victory at home. The tournament, which is serving as both the women’s championship of this region and as the qualifying tournament for the 2003 Women’s World Cup, is being played from Oct. 27 to Nov. 9 in the Los Angeles area, Seattle and Victoria, B.C. The two finalists at the 2002 Women’s Gold Cup will automatically qualify for the 2003 Women’s World Cup, while the winner of the tournament’s third-place game will qualify for a Women’s World Cup qualifying playoff against the third place team from Asia. The eight-team tournament, which features two groups of four teams each, will see the U.S. face Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico and Panama.  The U.S. will open the tournament on Sunday, Oct. 27 against Mexico at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, before taking on Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif.  The USA’s third group match will be played on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Safeco Field in Seattle against Panama. Should the U.S. qualify for the semifinals, the team will stay in Seattle, as both semifinals will be played as a doubleheader at Safeco Field on Wednesday, Nov. 6.  Those semifinal matches will decide the two automatic CONCACAF berths at the 2003 Women’s World Cup, which is being played in China from Sept. 24 to Oct. 11, 2003.  The tournament’s championship and third-place games will be played on Saturday, Nov. 9 in Pasadena, Calif., at the world famous Rose Bowl, which has previously hosted the 1984 Olympic Soccer Final, the 1994 World Cup Final and the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final.  All of the tournament matches are being played as doubleheaders and will be televised live on Fox Sports World and Fox Sports World Espanol.

– U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

FRIEDEL, KELLER BOTH POST SHUTOUTS, REMAIN UNDEFEATED IN PREMIER LEAGUE: U.S. goalkeepers Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller both posted shutouts and remained undefeated in the English Premier League this weekend. Friedel and Blackburn earned a 1-0 win over Birmingham City, while Keller and Tottenham edged Aston Villa 1-0. Midfielder Claudio Reyna again played all 90 minutes, but Sunderland fell 1-0 to Everton. In England’s Second Division, midfielder John Thorrington appeared in his fourth consecutive game this season, helping Huddersfield Town draw F.C. Crewe 1-1. In Germany, defenders Tony Sanneh and Steve Cherundolo faced off, with Sanneh’s F.C. Nurnberg side winning 3-1 over Cherundolo’s Hannover 96. Coming into the match, both teams had lost their first two matches and were trying to earn their first points of the season. In the Dutch Erevisie, John O’Brien and defending champions Ajax posted a 2-1 win over Vitesse Arnhem. Midfielder Earnie Stewart made his first appearance of the 2002-03 season, coming off the bench at halftime to help NAC Breda draw 1-1 with Willem II.

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

U.S. SOCCER TO HOST UNDER-20 QUALIFYING IN CHARLESTON, S.C., FROM NOV. 13-17: Qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Youth Championship being hosted by U.S. Soccer will be staged in Charleston, S.C., at Blackbaud Stadium from November 13-17, 2002.  This marks the first time in 22 years that U.S. Soccer has hosted an Under-20 qualifying tournament. The four-team, Group B qualifying tournament will feature the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team, as well as Canada, the second-place team from Central America and the winner from the Caribbean playoff between the Group B and Group C champions, in a six-game, round-robin tournament.  The top two finishers in Group B group will advance to the FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates from March 25 – April 16, 2003.  This region’s other final round qualifying tournament will be held in Panama from October 16-20, 2002. This tournament marks the first time since 1980 that U.S. Soccer has hosted an Under-20 qualifying tournament.

U.S. UNDER-20s TOP ITALY 2-1 IN TOURNAMENT IN SPAIN: Just two days after fighting valiantly but falling 2-1 to Brazil, the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team battled back to defeat Italy 2-1 in the C.O.T.I.F XIX Torneig Internacional  in L’Alcunia, Spain.  After being down 1-0, U.S. forward Eddie Johnson (Dallas Burn) converted a penalty kick in the 36th minute, and forward Devin Barclay (San Jose Earthuakes) scored the game winner in the 48th minute of the 80-minute match. The U.S. will meet Ukraine tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET in its third opening round match, with a strong chance to advance to the tournament semi-finals with a win or draw. In the team’s first match, a ten-man U.S. side led midway through the second half, but surrendered two late goals to lose 2-1 to an older Brazil team in the opening match of the David Johnson gave the U.S. the lead in the 52nd minute, but Brazil scored twice in a three-minute span to pull out the come-from-behind victory. The top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals on August 28.  Each team will play their final game on August 29, with the semifinal winners meeting for the championship, the semifinal losers playing for third place, the two third-place finishers from each group playing for fifth place and the two fourth-place finishers from each group playing for seventh place. The C.O.T.I.F. tournament will be the Under-20s final international games before World Youth Championship qualifying kicks off at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., from November 13-17. The top two teams from the four-team qualifying tournament in Charleston will qualify for the 2003 World Youth Championship in United Arab Emirates from March 25-April 16, 2003.

U.S. UNDER-17s FINISH FINLAND TRIP WITH TWO DRAWS IN HELSINKI: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team concluded its three-game series with Finland with a pair of draws after opening the trip with a 2-0 loss. In today’s match, the team came back from an early two-goal deficit and drew even at 2-2 with goals in the 54th and 74th minutes by John DiRaimondo (St. Louis, Mo.) and Robbie Rogers (Palos Verdes, Calif.), respectively. The U.S. U-17’s had a chance to win the contest later in the match, but Guillermo Gonzalez (Pamaount, Calif.) failed to score on his penalty kick. In Saturday’s match, the U.S. tied Finland 1-1 on a goal from Eddie Gaven (Hamilton, N.J.) U.S. head coach John Ellinger is using the trip to help his team get acclimated to Finland, where the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championship will be held from August 13-30, 2003. The U.S. Under-17s are now 7-7-3 in international matches this year.

— AROUND THE SOCCER WORLD —

U.S. FUTSAL DOWNS MEXICO 7-4 TO FINISH THREE-TEAM INVITATIONAL IN MILWAUKEE: After dropping a 9-1 decision to the three-time FIFA World Futsal Champions Brazil on Saturday, the U.S. Futsal National Team rebounded Sunday evening with a hard-fought 7-4 victory over Mexico in the final match of the Three-Nation U.S. Futsal Invitational Tournament at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis. The U.S. was led by two goals each from Pat Morris, Omid Namazi and Brian Loftin, who scored the game-winner in the 25th minute and added an insurance goal just three minutes later. The game marked the fourth time that the USA and Mexico have met in an international futsal match, and once again saw another physical encounter between the CONCACAF rivals with a total of 18 team fouls (MEX-12, USA-6).  With the win, the U.S. improved their lifetime series against Mexico to 3-0-1 in futsal competition. In an earlier match, four goals by forward Adalberto Nunes Da Silva and three each from midfielder Manuel Tobias and forward Vinicius Teixeira helped Brazil clinch first-place in the U.S. Futsal Invitational with a convincing 15-2 win over Mexico yesterday afternoon.

PINCHON NAMED MVP AS WUSA ANNOUNCES 2002 AWARDS: The WUSA named Philadelphia Charge forward Marinette Pichon the league's Most Valuable Player for the 2002 season.  The 5’3” striker from Saint Memmie, France, who finished fourth in the WUSA in scoring with 29 points, was the only Philadelphia player to finish among the league's top 20 scorers. The driving force behind Philadelphia's surge toward the playoffs, Pichon also won Offensive Player of the Year honors. The 2002 WUSA Champion Carolina Courage took both defensive honors, with Kristin Luckenbill earning Goalkeeper of the Year and rookie defender Danielle Slaton taking home Defensive Player of the Year honors. U.S. Women’s National Team and Freedom forward Abby Wambach was a natural pick for Rookie of the Year after scoring a whopping 10 goals along with nine assists to help lead Washington to the 2002 final.

Most Valuable Player: Marinete Pinchon (Philadelphia Charge)
Coach of the Year: Mark Krikorian (Philadelphia Charge)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Kristin Luckenbill (Carolina Courage)
Rookie of the Year: Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)
Offensive Player of the Year: Marinette Pichon (Philadelphia Charge)
Defensive Player of the Year: Danielle Slaton (Carolina Courage)

U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT

PEAK PERFORMER: Although a lot of the talk about Carolina’s success this year was about Norwegian playmaker Hege Riise, it was Courage forward Birgit Prinz who stepped up in the final match and delivered the championship. After assisting on the go-ahead goal to make it 2-1 in the 53rd minute, her unassisted strike in the 58th minute made it 3-1 and essentially put the game out of reach. Prinz had an immediate impact on the league since joining the Courage following the German season and proved to be one of the biggest differences in the team’s championship run in 2002. Although appearing in just 15 of the season’s 21 games, she tied teammate Danielle Fotopoulos for second in the league in scoring with 32 points and established herself as one of the league’s top strikers.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: Entering the first ever U-19 Women’s World Championship as one of the tournament favorites and with expectations running high, the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team has handled the pressure with maturity beyond their years and run through every team they faced on the way to building a 21-1 goal advantage. But now comes the hard part, as the field is down to four and top teams like Germany, Brazil and the tournament host Canada lie in the way of the glory of the first world championship at that age level. The semifinals come on Thursday (Aug. 29), with the historic final awaiting on Sunday (Sept. 1).

SOCCER SHOCKER: While the U.S. Under-19 WNT has scored the most goals in the tournament (21 in four games) spread across the “Triple Edged Sword” and numerous other players, Canada forward and one-woman wrecking crew Christie Sinclair is responsible for two-thirds of the team’s 15 total goals. The University of Portland striker leads the tournament with an impressive 10 goals in four games, including one in the team’s 3-2 opening win over Denmark, two in a 4-0 win over Japan, both goals in a 2-0 win over Nigeria and a whopping five in the Maple Leafs’ 6-2 quarterfinal win over England.

QUOTABLE:
“I know that when Birgit (Prinz) shoots, things are going to happen. If it’s not in the back of the net, it's going to be in front of the net. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and put it past Siri (Mullinix)."
- Carolina forward Danielle Fotopoulos, on her goal in the 53rd minute to give the Courage a 2-1 lead.

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