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U.S. Soccer Wire: January 5, 2009


U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM KICKS OFF TRAINING CAMP AT
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER AHEAD OF JAN. 24 MATCH AGAINST SWEDEN

MNT KICKS OFF JANUARY TRAINING CAMP: U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named 23 players to the training camp roster that began workouts Sunday, Jan. 4, at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The group will prepare for the USA’s first match of 2009, a friendly against Sweden on Jan. 24 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. The original training camp roster included 25 players, but the MNT will be without the services of defenders Cory Gibbs and Clarence Goodson, who have withdrawn from camp. After the Sweden match, the U.S. will begin the final round of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup when they host regional rivals Mexico on Feb. 11 at Columbus Crew Stadium. In addition to the 10 matches in the final round hexagonal, the U.S. will compete in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in June, where they were drawn into Group B along with five-time World Cup winners Brazil, current World Champion Italy, and Egypt. Just days after the tournament, the U.S. will begin its defense of the CONCACAF Gold Cup title.

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 (6): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland), Sean Franklin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), 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 TBD
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

2008 BEST OF U.S. SOCCER AND ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARDS ANNOUNCED: U.S. Soccer unveiled the winners of the 2008 Athlete of the Year Awards, as well as the 2008 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards. Best Of Award winners were unveiled on ussoccer.com’s Studio 90 (watch now) and Athlete of the Year Awards were announced via ussoccer.com’s all_access video (watch now). Tim Howard earned Male Athlete of the Year honors, Carli Lloyd won Female Athlete of the Year, Sacha Kljestan took home Young Male Athlete of the Year and Kristie Mewis was named Young Female Athlete of the Year.

2008 Best of U.S. Soccer Results
Best Performance: Team - U.S. WNT vs. Brazil (Aug. 21)
Best Goal: Women - Carli Lloyd vs. Brazil (Aug. 21)
Best Goal: Men - Sacha Kljestan vs. Netherlands (Aug. 10)
Best Photo - Jump for Joy
Best Assist - Lindsay Tarpley vs. Ireland (Sept. 20)
Best all_access Video - Tobin Heath Walkabout
Best Performance: Player - Tim Howard vs. Argentina (June 8)
Best Goal: Academy - Andrew Bulls, BAL vs. LAFC (July 18)
Best Soccer Specialty Store - Angelo's Soccer Corner (Pa.)
Best Soccer Bar - The Globe Pub (Chicago)
Best Soccer Blog - Soccer By Ives
Best Fan Photo - Jeff York

U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM FINISHES 2008 AT NO. 1 IN WORLD RANKINGS: The U.S. Women’s National Team sits atop the final FIFA Women’s World Rankings for the year, holding the No. 1 spot over second place Germany and third place Brazil. This is the first time the U.S. has finished the year at No. 1, since FIFA started ranking women's teams in 2003. The U.S. team moved into first place after winning the 2008 Algarve Cup in Portugal last March, and stayed there after its triumph at the 2008 Olympics in August. It was a historic year for the U.S. Women’s National Team programs, which made the final match in all three FIFA women’s tournaments that were held, winning the Olympics and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, while finishing second in the first FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. The U.S. WNT wrapped up the year with the Achieve Your Gold Tour, in which they faced Ireland, Korea Republic and China PR.

Achieve Your Gold Tour Schedule / Results
Date Opponent Venue; City Result / Kickoff U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
Sept. 13 Ireland Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia 2-0 W Kai, O’Reilly
Sept. 17 Ireland Giants Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J. 1-0 W Kai
Sept. 20 Ireland Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill. 2-0 W Chalupny, Markgraf
Nov. 1 Korea Republic Univ. of Richmond Stadium; Richmond, Va. 3-1 W Hucles, O’Reilly, Tarpley
Nov. 5 Korea Republic Paul Brown Stadium; Cincinnati 0-0 T --
Nov. 8 Korea Republic Raymond James Stadium; Tampa 1-0 W O'Reilly
Dec. 13 China PR The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif. 1-0 W Ellerston
Dec. 17 China PR Ford Field; Detroit 1-0 W O'Reilly

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.S. U-23 WNT KICKS OFF YEAR IN SAN DIEGO: The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team, under the guidance of head coach Bill Irwin, kicks off its 2009 campaign with a training camp from Jan. 5-12 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Irwin will bring 25 players to the OTC as he begins preparation for the 2009 Nordic Cup, the top competition for this age group, which will be held in July. The U.S. has won the last two Nordic Cups, including the 2008 tournament in Sweden when the team did not allow a goal. The U.S. has had great success at the Nordic Cup facing Europe’s top teams for this age group, winning 10 of the last 12 tournaments. The roster includes 11 members of the 2008 Nordic Cup champions, including forward Ella Masar, a draftee of the Chicago Red Stars of the WPS, who scored twice in the 3-0 championship game win over Germany last summer. Two other players in camp have already been taken by a WPS club in Danesha Adams (Chicago Red Stars) and Amanda Cinalli (St. Louis Athletica), but several more may go in the January draft. The roster includes three players from 2008 NCAA Champion North Carolina, including 2008 Olympic gold medalist Tobin Heath and midfielder Casey Nogueira, who scored both goals for the Tar Heels in the NCAA title game. Ten players on the roster have played for the USA in a FIFA Youth World Cup and four have caps with the full Women’s National Team in Heath (17), Yael Averbuch (2), Adams (1) and Nogueira (1). The youngest player is 18-year-old Katy Frierson, who completed her freshman season at Auburn last fall. Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1986, are eligible for this year’s U-23 WNT.

U.S. U-23 WNT Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Kelsey Davis (Portland), Val Henderson (UCLA), Mallori Lofton (South Florida)
DEFENDERS (6): Marissa Abegg (Stanford), Nikki Krzysik (Virginia), Stephanie Logterman (Texas), Kasey Moore (Texas), Brittany Taylor (Connecticut), Jessica Tsao (Portland)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Ameera Abdullah (Florida), Yael Averbuch (North Carolina), Parrissa Eyorokon (Purdue), Katy Frierson (Auburn), Tobin Heath (North Carolina), Brittany Klein (Santa Clara), Casey Noguiera (North Carolina), Lorraine Quinn (Duke), Kat Reynolds (Santa Clara)
FORWARDS (7): Danesha Adams (Chicago Red Stars), Brittany Bock (Notre Dame), Amanda Cinalli (St. Louis Athletica), Katie Larkin (BYU), Ella Masar (Chicago Red Stars), Kia McNeill (Boston College), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford)

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

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: U.S. MNT goalkeeper Tim Howard kept his fifth clean sheet in a row for Everton, as the Premier League side dismissed Macclesfield Town with a 1-0 victory in the FA Cup. Howard has not conceded a goal for the Toffees in nearly a month, and his team will be back in action next weekend taking on Hull City in the Premier League. The Everton defense could not pick a better time to be hitting their stride: after Hull City, they face Liverpool twice, Arsenal and Manchester United in a row.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: With the holiday season over, it's that time of year where the biggest battle in the soccer world is played out in the month long frenzy of the January transfer window. This time around, the marquee matchup is the classic rivalry of rumor versus fact. Depending on who you believe or what you read, Russian maestro Andrei Arshavin is going to three different countries. Real Madrid, as usual, are supposedly in the market for every player in Europe, but the big spenders this January will apparently be nouveau riche club Manchester City. Soccer Wire readers must beware, however, because when the rumor mill is churning, who knows what will (Michael Owen to Inter Milan?) and what won't (Kaká to Chelsea?) actually come to pass. As for MNT players, well, the last few winter seasons have seen a few moves across the pond...

SOCCER SHOCKER: Manchester City's shock loss in the FA Cup marks the unprecedented second appearance in Soccer Wire for Oasis' favorite team. The blue of half of Manchester was wholly outplayed by lower league side Nottingham Forest, and the Premier League side was deservedly dumped out of the world's oldest knockout competition by an unflattering 3-0 defeat at home.

QUOTABLE: “Training with them back in November was a dream come true. Training with such classy players makes you a better player yourself. I can learn lots from them. At the same time, I do believe I can bring qualities of my own to the team. I'm a different type of player compared to Luca, Miro and Lukas. I do a lot of work off the ball and at a high pace.”
-- U.S. MNT forward Landon Donovan on his loan to Bayern Munich and competing with Luca Toni, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski for a place in the team.

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