U.S. MNT DEFEAT SWITZERLAND, 1-0, LOOK TO LAST MATCH OF THE YEAR
AGAINST SOUTH AFRICA ON NOV. 17;
U.S. WNT CLOSES OUT YEAR WITH A 1-1 DRAW VS. MEXICO
U.S. MNT WIN, 1-0, IN SWITZERLAND: The U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Switzerland, 1-0, behind a late goal from midfielder Michael Bradley on a rainy Wednesday evening in front of 16,500 fans at St. Jakob Park in Basel, Switzerland. The victory was the first for the U.S. in Europe in six games, improving the team’s record to 3-5-2 in their last 10 matches on European soil. The victory also improved the team’s record to 11-5-1 in 2007 and ended the team’s five-game losing streak. The U.S. will make their first-ever trip to South Africa when they take on the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts on Saturday, Nov. 17, in Johannesburg as part of the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup. Kickoff at Ellis Park Stadium, which will host one World Cup semifinal match in 2010, is set for 4 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup, an annual one-off event typically hosted in South Africa, began in 1994 and has seen South Africa face opponents like Brazil, Argentina, Holland and Nigeria, amongst others.
U.S. WNT ENDS YEAR WITH 1-1 TIE AGAINST MEXICO: The U.S. Women’s National Team ended its 2007 schedule with a 1-1 tie against Mexico on a blustery day at University Stadium in Albuquerque, N.M., to complete a series of three games in eight days between the two teams. Monica Ocampo scored for Mexico in the 56th minute, before forward Heather O’Reilly tied the match six minutes later. Both teams certainly looked fatigued, and the altitude of one-mile above sea level made for even more heavy legs, but the crowd of almost 9,000 fans spurred on both teams. Two days earlier, the U.S. Women’s National Team battled the weather, a rock hard field and a feisty Mexican team to score three second half goals on the way to a 4-0 victory at PGE Park in Portland, Ore. U.S. captain Kristine Lilly scored in stoppage time of the first half and Abby Wambach, Natasha Kai and Carli Lloyd added late goals. The U.S. team ends 2007 with a 19-1-4 record, with the only loss coming to Brazil in the semifinal of the 2007 Women’s World Cup. While the 2008 schedule and the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the 2008 Olympics has yet to be finalized, the U.S. team will now have several months off before regrouping in January.
U.S. WNT vs. Mexico Series
Date Venue Results
Oct. 13 Edward Jones Dome (St. Louis, Mo.) 5-1 W
Oct. 17 PGE Park (Portland, Ore.) 4-0 W
Oct. 20 University Stadium (Albuquerque, N.M.) 1-1 T
MNT TO FACE SWEDEN IN FIRST MATCH OF 2008: Six months prior to the start of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the United States Men’s National Team will play its first match of 2008 against Sweden on Saturday, Jan. 19, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., at 5:30 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel. Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets ranging in price levels from $18 to $55 and special edition U.S. Soccer on-field seats for $150 are now on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone (213-480-3232 in L.A.; 714-740-2000 in Orange County; 619-220-8497 in San Diego), at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Southern California (including Macy's, Wherehouse Music, FYE and Ritmo Latino), and at The Home Depot Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) Groups of 20 or more can obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (a special VIP package which includes a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. national team jersey with your name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits), are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.
– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –
SECOND DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY SHOWCASE TO TAKE PLACE IN FEBRUARY: The U.S. Soccer Development Academy will stage its Winter Showcase from Feb. 16-18, 2008, at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups will each boast 43 elite teams from across the country and a total of 86 games that will be played over the course of the weekend. Clubs from 19 different states will be represented in Frisco, with California and New York sending five each, while North Carolina, Illinois and Ohio will each send four. Every team will play two games against non-conference opponents to complement their intraconference schedule. The complete Winter Showcase schedule will be announced at a later date. The showcase will also feature the nation’s top referees as selected by U.S. Soccer’s Professional Referee Assignors. The referees at the weekend’s matches will be trained and evaluated by the top members of the U.S. Soccer referee department.
U.S. UNDER-18 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM HEADING TO FRANCE: The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team will travel to Limoges, France, from Oct. 27 to Nov. 4 to participate in the 2007 Limoges Tournament. U.S. Under-20 head coach Thomas Rongen, who will be leading the team as part of early preparations for the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, has named an 18-player roster made up of players born in 1990 and 1991. The squad includes 11 players who were a part of the recent FIFA Under-17 World Cup in South Korea, where the U.S. advanced to the Round of 16. Mykell Bates, the team’s leading scorer in South Korea, will headline the team along with goalkeeper Josh Lambo, who recorded a shutout against Belgium to help the team advance to the knockout stage. Also on the roster are four players who are part of U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy program, with two representatives each from Chivas USA (Omar Elmasri and Mario Ledezma) and D.C. United (Shane Cooke and Chris Hegngi). The team will train in Limoges, and play three games against international opponents. On Oct. 29, the U.S. will take on France, and two days later will face Turkey before rounding out the tournament on Nov. 3 against Scotland.
U.S. U-18 MNT Schedule
Oct. 29 France
Oct. 31 Turkey
Nov. 3 Scotland
U.S. U-18 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wisc.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.);
DEFENDERS (5): Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Omar Elmasri (Arcida, Calif.), Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.);
MIDFIELDERS (6): Vincenzo Bernardo (Madison, N.J.), Shane Cooke (Warrenton, Va.), Greg Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), Brek Shea (College Station, Texas), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.);
FORWARDS (5): Chris Agorsor (Severn, Md.), Chris Hegngi (Silver Spring, Md.), Mario Ledezma (Sylmar, Calif.), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.), Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.)
– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –
U.S. SOCCER WINTER COACHING SCHOOLS SET: U.S. Soccer's National Coaching Schools have been set for the first week of January, giving every coach a chance to obtain a FIFA recognized “A”, “B” or “C” level license and increase their knowledge of the game. All January "A," "B" and "C" coaching schools will take place from Jan. 2-10, 2007, in three warm-weather locations. The National “A” License course will take place at the University of Tampa in Tampa, Fla. and the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The National “B” and “C” License courses will be offered at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and a soon to be announced west coast site. Also in January is the third edition of U.S. Soccer's National Goalkeeping License course, which will be held Jan. 4-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. More information is available in the Coaching Education Section of ussoccer.com.
U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM NOMINATED FOR “PREMIO DE LA GENTE” AWARD: The U.S. Men’s National Team has been nominated for one of the 2007 El Premio de la Gente Awards, up against Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay for “Most Popular International Soccer Team of the Year.” Vote for the U.S. Men at http://www.votaelpremio.com/index.php. It is the first year that sports are included in the award, which has previously been the “Premio de la Gente” Music Awards.
CHARLESTON TO HOST 2007 USL MEN'S PLAYER SHOWCASE: United Soccer Leagues announced on Tuesday (Oct. 16) that the Charleston Battery will host the 2007 USL Men's Player Showcase on Dec. 16-18 at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina. The showcase will be made up of as many as 90 players with Premier Development League history, as well as a number of top amateur players based on individual achievements. Interested players must submit an application. More information about the showcase is available at USLsoccer.com.
NOMINATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR 2008 WERNER FRICKER BUILDER AWARD: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2008 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 was created in 2002 and is the greatest recognition bestowed by U.S. Soccer on its membership. The award 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 email@example.com. This form is also available at ussoccer.com, and applications must be postmarked or sent by January 1, 2008 (download application).
*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***
PEAK PERFORMER: Michael Bradley scored the winner in the United States’ 1-0 victory over Switzerland this past Wednesday, latching on to a Clint Dempsey pass and pushing the ball home to secure the win. Though this was the 20-year-old midfielder’s first appearance on the scoresheet for the U.S. MNT, he’s been scoring goals with regularity for his club team SC Heerenveen, having scored four times already this season. Be sure to follow Bradley’s progress, as well as the fortunes of all of our overseas players, on the MNT Global blog.
SOCCER SHOCKER: With an impressive six points from their first two games, Rangers have been one of the surprises so far in this season’s Champions League competition. Their two wins have come against the highest quality opposition: Lyon, the perennial title winners of Ligue 1 in France, and Stuttgart, the reigning champions of the Bundesliga. After dismissing local rivals Celtic, 3-0, this past weekend, DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers also sit firmly atop the Scottish Premier League standings. On Tuesday the Glasgow team will face their sternest test of the season, when they host Barcelona, also winners of their first two Champions League games, in one of the most glamorous matches of recent memory at Ibrox.
MARQUEE MATCHUP: The Major League Soccer playoffs kick off on Thursday, with the Chicago Fire hosting D.C. United at 8:30 p.m. ET at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Fans can watch the action live on ESPN2. The playoffs continue on Saturday, with the New York Red Bulls hosting the New England Revolution, Houston Dynamo traveling to play FC Dallas and Chivas USA visiting the Kansas City Wizards.
QUOTABLE: "I love American sports. For me, a dream would to be able to go to training and then to be able to see game of football, basketball, whatever game. For me, it’s like a dream in New York. For me, it’s the best city in the world. I’ve been to New York 10 times. It’s a great town. For me it’s kind of nice being in New York. I do get some recognition, but not like in Europe. When I’m in America I can be myself, I have no eyes on me. If I want to stop and buy a slice of pizza, pay the man and just sit on a bench, I can do that. It’s difficult to do that in Europe. The cinema, I can go anytime in New York and watch a movie and nobody knows who I am. You don’t know how great it is."
-- France and Barcelona forward Thierry Henry speaking to the New York Times about the possibility of playing in the United States.