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U.S. Soccer Wire - August 27, 2007


U.S. WNT HEAD TO CHINA FOR WORLD CUP AFTER 4-0 WIN VS. FINLAND;
U.S. MNT FALL TO SWEDEN, 0-1, IN GOTEBORG,
U.S. U-17 MNT TO FACE GERMANY IN SECOND ROUND OF FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP;
HAMM, FOUDY INDUCTED INTO NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME

U.S. WNT HEAD TO CHINA FOR WORLD CUP AFTER 4-0 WIN AGAINST FINLAND: The U.S. Women’s National Team put an emphatic finishing touch on its preparation schedule for the 2007 Women’s World Cup, powering past Finland, 4-0, in the team’s final match before leaving for China. The U.S. earned first half goals from Shannon Boxx and Kristine Lilly, and second half strikes from Lindsay Tarpley and Heather O’Reilly, on a beautiful, clear evening at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The U.S. team departed for Shanghai on Monday to begin the final run to its 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup opener against North Korea on Sept. 11 in Chengdu, which will be broadcast live on ESPN2. With the win, the USA improved its record to 13-0-2 in 2007, which includes an impressive 10-0-2 mark against teams that will be playing in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. U.S. forward Abby Wambach was forced to leave the game in the 27th minute after jamming a toe earlier in the match during a tackle with a Finnish player, but she did not sustain any serious damage and will be available for the team’s opening match. Fans can follow the 2007 Women’s World Cup on the ESPN family of networks, which will broadcast all 32 games live, as well as on ussoccer.com's 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup page, which will provide daily information via podcasts, videos, features, the WNT Blog and much, much more.

2007 Women’s National Team Send-Off Series
Date       Opponent         Location                                                                      Result
June 16 China                Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio)   2-0 W
June 23 Brazil                 Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)                2-0 W
July 14   Norway              Rentschler Field (East Hartford, Conn.)              1-0 W
July 28  Japan                 Spartan Stadium (San Jose, Calif.)                       4-1 W
Aug. 12  New Zealand   Soldier Field (Chicago)                                            6-1 W
Aug. 25  Finland              The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)            4-0 W

U.S. 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Schedule
Date            Opponent        Venue                                                                                  Kickoff TV
Sept. 11      North Korea    Chengdu (Chengdu Sports Center Stadium)          5 p.m. local / 5 a.m. ET ESPN2
Sept. 14      Sweden           Chengdu (Chengdu Sports Center Stadium)          5 p.m. local / 5 a.m. ET ESPN
Sept. 18      Nigeria             Shanghai (Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium) 8 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET ESPN
Sept. 22      Quarterfinals*  Wuhan or Tianjin                                                   5 p.m. local or 8 p.m. local ESPN2
Sept. 26/27 Semifinals*     Tianjin or Hangzhou                                                      8 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET ESPN2
Sept. 30       Final*                Shanghai (Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium) 8 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET ESPN2
* If Necessary

U.S. MNT LOOKS TO BRAZIL CLASH AFTER LOSS TO SWEDEN: The U.S. Men’s National Team fell to Sweden, 1-0, Wednesday (Aug. 22) evening in a tightly contested match at Ullevi Stadium in Goteborg, Sweden. In an even affair, the U.S. had their chances, including a 90th minute header from Michael Bradley, but Sweden goalkeeper Rami Shaaban was able to secure the shutout in front of the 20,648 faithful in attendance. The U.S. Men’s National Team will play host to No. 1 ranked Brazil when they visit Chicago for the “Clash of Champions” on Sunday, Sept. 9, marking the five-time World Champion’s first-ever visit to the Windy City. Kickoff at Soldier Field is set for 3 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision. Fans can also follow the match live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets sales for “Clash of Champions” have surpassed the 20,000 mark after going on sale to the general public. The match pits the North American champions vs. the South American champions, and tickets are expected to continue to be in high demand for the historic game. The $250 On-Field Seats for the event have sold out, and only single tickets remain at the $130 Midfield Club and Lower Midfield price level. Tickets start at $40 and are on sale at ussoccer.com, by phone at 312-559-1212 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Chicagoland (including Carson Pirie Scott, f.y.e., Hot Tix, and Ritmo Latino). Groups of 30 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. After the Brazil clash on Sept. 9, the U.S. then takes advantage of a double FIFA date in October, first facing Catalonia on Oct. 14 at the famed Nou Camp in Barcelona, Spain. Three days later, the U.S. will take on 2008 European Championship co-hosts Switzerland in Basel for the first game between the two sides in nearly 13 years, and the first since the 1-1 draw in the 1994 FIFA World Cup hosted in the United States. Both October matches will also be televised on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision.

U.S. MNT 2007 Schedule / Results
Date         Opponent   Venue                                                                  Result/Kickoff/TV
Jan. 20    Denmark     Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)           3-1 W
Feb. 7      Mexico         Univ. of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.)  2-0 W
March 25 Ecuador      Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Fla.)    3-1 W
March 28 Guatemala Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas)                        0-0 T
June 2     China           Spartan Stadium (San Jose, Calif.)              4-1 W
June 7     Guatemala^ Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)           1-0 W
June 9     T&T^               Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)         2-0 W
June 12    El Salvador^ Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)       4-0 W
June 16    Panama^    Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)         2-1 W
June 21    Canada^     Soldier Field (Chicago)                                   2-1 W
June 24    Mexico^        Soldier Field (Chicago)                                  2-1 W
June 28    Argentina # Estadio Jose Romero (Maracaibo)              1-4 L
July 2        Paraguay #  Estadio Agustin Tovar (Barinas)                  1-3 L
July 5        Colombia # Estadio Metropolitano FdL (Barquisimeto) 0-1 L
Aug. 22    Sweden        Ullevi Stadium (Goteborg, Sweden)             0-1 L
Sept. 9     Brazil             Soldier Field (Chicago.)                                  3 p.m. CT / ESPN2 / Univision
Oct. 14     Catalonia     Camp Nou (Barcelona, Spain)                       TBD / FSC & Galavision
Oct. 17     Switzerland  St. Jakob Park (Basel, Switzerland)              2:30 p.m. ET / FSC & Galavision

^ CONCACAF Gold Cup
# Copa America

UNDER-17 MNT TO FACE GERMANY ON THURSDAY IN ROUND OF 16: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team advanced to the Round of 16 of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup with a 2-0 win against Belgium in their third and final Group E match at the Cheonan Sports Complex in Cheonan, South Korea. Second-half substitute Kirk Urso opened the scoring in the 63rd minute and Mykell Bates added an insurance goal seven minutes later. Combined with Tunisia’s victory against Tajikistan, the U.S. leapfrogged from fourth to second place in the group and will play Germany, who finished first in Group F with their 5-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago in Ulsan. The U.S. will remain in Cheonan to face Germany on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET) and fans can follow the match live on ESPNU and ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.

U.S. U-17 MNT 2007 FIFA World Cup Results
Date      Opponent                Result / Kickoff   U.S. Goal Scorers
Aug. 20 Tajikistan                3-4 L                     Mykell Bates, Greg Garza, Billy Schuler
Aug. 23 Tunisia                    1-3 L                     Jared Jeffrey
Aug. 26 Belgium                   2-0 W                   Kirk Urso, Mykell Bates
Aug. 30 Germany                 7 a.m. ET
Sept. 2 Quarterfinals*          6 a.m. ET
Sept. 6 Semifinals*              6 a.m. ET
Sept. 9 Third Placy/ Final*  3 a.m. / 6 a.m. ET
*If necessary

ESPN TO COVER 2007 FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD CUP: ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to broadcast all 32 matches of the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup from Sept. 10-30 in China. ESPN360.com will air all 32 games, ESPN will broadcast 12 games and ESPN2 will broadcast 20 games. Matches will be preceded by a 30-minute pre-game show and there will be a one-hour show between matches on certain days. The games will be shown between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. ET from China.

U.S. WNT TO PLAY THREE-GAME SERIES VS. MEXICO AFTER WORLD CUP: Following a previously announced match against Mexico in St. Louis on Oct. 13 (tickets), the U.S. women will play on Oct. 17 in Portland, Ore., with a 7 p.m. PT kickoff at PGE Park before wrapping up the three-game series vs. Mexico in Albuquerque on Oct. 20 at 4:30 p.m. MT. The games will feature the U.S. Women’s World Cup team that kicks off the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Sept. 11 vs. North Korea in Chengdu, China. For the game in Portland, tickets starting at $20 are now on sale at ussoccer.com, by phone at 503-224-4400, and at all Portland-area Ticketmaster ticket centers (including Fred Meyer and Joe’s Sports, Outdoor & More). For the match in Albuquerque, tickets starting at $18 are now on sale at ussoccer.com, by calling 505-925-5858 or 1-877-664-8661 (toll free), by visiting any University of New Mexico ticket outlet (including select Albertson’s), and at the UNM Ticket Offices at The Pit and the UNM Bookstore. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form for either game at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. 

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

CONCACAF PRELIMINARY QUALIFYING FOR 2008 OLYMPICS BEGINS IN THE CARIBBEAN: CONCACAF qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympics kicks off Aug. 31-Sept. 13 as 22 Caribbean nations compete for a place in the second round of qualifying. The six Caribbean group winners will advance to the second round, which will be played in October and will be made up of two three-team groups. Central America will also hold a preliminary tournament, with Panama hosting a three-team group on Nov. 7-11 and Guatemala doing the same on Nov. 14-18. The winners from the Caribbean and Central America will join the United States, Canada and Mexico at the 2008 CONCACAF U-23 Final Round Tournament with dates and venues still to be announced. Two CONCACAF teams will qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

HARRISBURG CITY ISLANDERS WIN USL SECOND DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP: The Harrisburg City Islanders claimed the 2007 USL Second Division title on Saturday against the Richmond Kickers, winning 8-7 in a nine-round penalty kick shootout after playing to a 1-1 tie in regulation and overtime. Brian Ombiji scored for the Islanders and Ricky Schramm leveled the score in the 75th minute. It was the fourth USL-2 title game to go past regulation in the last five years.

U.S. BEACH SOCCER TEAM IN GROUP B FOR WORLD CUP: The U.S. Beach Soccer National Team will face Spain, Portugal and Iran at the 2007 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in November. The tournament will kick off on Nov. 2 with Russia facing Mexico. The U.S. qualified for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup by winning the qualifying tournament in Acapulco, Mexico, earlier this year, posting a perfect 3-0 record.

2007 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Groups
Group A - Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Solomon Islands
Group B - Iran, Portugal, Spain, United States
Group C - Italy, Japan, Senegal, Uruguay
Group D - Argentina, France, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates

LOS ANGELES GALAXY, PACHUCA TO MEET IN SUPERLIGA FINAL ON AUG. 29: Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham earned his first start and scored his first goal for the Galaxy in a 2-0 win against D.C. United in the SuperLiga semifinals on Aug. 15. With the win, the Galaxy advanced to face Pachuca in the 2007 SuperLiga final on Aug. 29. Pachuca advanced to the first-ever SuperLiga final match after battling to a 2-2 draw with the MLS champion Houston Dynamo on Aug. 14. The match was decided in penalty kicks, which finished 4-3 in favor of the Mexican side. More information is available at SuperLiga2007.com.

SuperLiga Semifinals Results
Date       Matchup                                          Result
Aug. 14  Houston Dynamo vs. Pachuca   2-2 (3-4 pk)
Aug. 15  LA Galaxy vs. D.C. United            2-0

U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION GRANTS PROGRAM OPEN FOR 2008: The 2008 Annual Grants Program for the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the major charitable arm of soccer in the United States, is now available online at ussoccerfoundation.org. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. ET on Monday, October 15. Applications can be submitted for: a Program Grant to support the development of players, coaches or referees; a Field Enhancement Grant to improve a field with new goals, irrigation or lighting; or an All Conditions Fields Grant to help build a synthetic grass field. More information about the grant making program, as well as Frequently Asked Questions are available at ussoccerfoundation.org.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. MNT and Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey earned his first English Premier League start on Saturday (Aug. 25), finding the back of the net for the first time this season for Fulham FC in their 2-1 loss to Aston Villa. Dempsey played as a forward for Fulham, scoring for the second time since their 1-0 win against Liverpool on May 5, 2007, which secured their continued place in the Premier League.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Talk about a quick turnaround. U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller had his shingle hanging in the window for most of the summer and was packing up the castle in Germany when Fulham came calling last week. In the span of 72 hours he had flown to London, taken a medical, signed a contract, and started his first match for Fulham after only one training session and 48 hours on the job. Despite playing his first game since July 2 and only four real training sessions in seven weeks, Keller seemed in solid form and was held blameless on the goals that led to the 2-1 loss at Aston Villa. On the bright side, he was a part of the trio of Americans - that also included Carlos Bocanegra - that became the first three U.S. nationals to start an English Premier League match for the same team. Listen to this exclusive podcast as Keller talked to ussoccer.com on the day he signed the deal.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: Despite a tough start, the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team defeated Belgium, 2-0, to advance to the Round of 16 at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The U.S. U-17 Men next face Germany at 7 a.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 30, live on ESPNU and ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

QUOTABLE: “It’s nice. It helped us score a goal, that is always good. It’s always good when you can help your team win and hit some milestones along the way.”
-- U.S. WNT captain Kristine Lilly on providing her 100th assist in the USA’s 4-0 win against Finland on Saturday, Aug. 25, making her the second person, after Mia Hamm, to get at least 100 goals and 100 assists.


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