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U.S. Soccer Wire - March 12, 2007



U.S. WOMEN TO FACE DENMARK IN 2007 ALGARVE CUP FINAL ON WEDNESDAY;
BRADLEY TO ANNOUNCE ROSTER FOR MARCH FRIENDLIES ON THURSDAY;
MNT DRAW GUATEMALA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO AND EL SALVADOR IN GOLD CUP

U.S. ADVANCES TO 2007 ALGARVE CUP FINAL, FINISHES 3-0 IN GROUP PLAY: The U.S. Women’s National Team advanced to their fifth consecutive title game at the Algarve Cup after winning all three group games. The U.S. will face surprise finalist Denmark on Wed., March 14 at Estadio Municipal in VRS Antonio and will kick off at 4:30 p.m. local time/12:30 p.m. ET. Fans can follow along live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Denmark beat out traditional powers Germany, the defending Algarve Champion, and Norway en route to winning the top position in Group A. Midfielder Carli Lloyd emerged as the top goal scorer for the U.S. in group play, netting one goal in each match including key game-winners in the 2-1 victory over China and a 1-0 victory against Finland in the second game. The third Group B match on Monday (March 12), proved to be the USA’s toughest test, with a strong Sweden side coming on strong late to challenge the U.S. The U.S. Abby Wambach scored her first two goals of 2007 on either side of halftime and Lloyd’s third strike of the tournament came just before the conclusion of the first half to give the U.S. a 3-2 victory. The final will be a record fifth-consecutive for the U.S., which won three in a row from 2003 to 2005 before Germany earned the cup by downing the U.S. in penalty kicks.
2007 Algarve Cup Schedule – Group B
Date           Opponent    Result       Scorers
March 7     China            2-1 W        Lilly, Lloyd
March 9     Finland         1-0 W        Lloyd
March 12   Sweden        3-2 W       Wambach (2), Lloyd
March 14   Denmark      4:30 p.m. local / 12:30 p.m. ET

BRADLEY TO ANNOUNCE 24-PLAYER ROSTER FOR UPCOMING FRIENDLIES ON THURSDAY: U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley will announce this Thursday (March 15) the 24-player roster for the upcoming friendlies against Ecuador and Guatemala. The roster will be available at 12 p.m. ET exclusively at ussoccer.com. With a full week of training in advance of the two matches that fall on international fixture dates, Bradley will have the opportunity to call upon the full complement of players based both domestically and abroad. More than 17,000 tickets have been sold for USA vs. Ecuador, which start at $18 and are available at ussoccer.com, all Bay area Ticketmaster outlets (including the Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa Theater, the USF Sun Dome, and FYE stores) and by phone at 813-287-8844. Tickets for USA vs. Guatemala also start at $18 and are available online at ussoccer.com, at all Dallas-Ft. Worth area Ticketmaster outlets (including Macy’s, Fiesta Stores, and FYE) and by phone at 214-373-8000. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets to both matches by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtaining a group order form at ussoccer.com. VISA is the preferred payment card of U.S. Soccer.

MNT TO FACE GUATEMALA, T&T AND EL SALVADOR IN GROUP B OF GOLD CUP: The U.S. Men’s National Team was drawn into Group B for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup with Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago and El Salvador and will play first round matches in Los Angeles and Boston. The U.S. will begin the defense of its 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup title on June 7 vs. Guatemala at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, and will also play their second group match there on Saturday, June 9, vs. Trinidad & Tobago at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT. The group stage will end for the U.S. on June 12 vs. El Salvador at 7 p.m. ET after a cross country trip to Foxborough, Mass. All three U.S. group matches will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Telefutura. If the U.S. finishes first or second in Group B, it will play a quarterfinal match at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on June 16, but a third place finish would mean a trip to the other quarterfinal site, Reliant Stadium in Houston, on June 17. The semifinals are on June 21 at Chicago’s Soldier Field, and the final will be played at the same location on Sunday, June 24. All matches except the final will be played as doubleheaders. If both the U.S. and Mexico finish in the top two in their respective groups, the earliest the rivals could face-off is the final.

FAN TRAVEL PACKAGE OFFER FOR USA-GUATEMALA MATCH IN TEXAS: When the U.S. takes on Guatemala on March 28 in Frisco, Texas, fans that want to attend the game can take advantage of an all inclusive Fan Travel package which includes tickets, accommodations, transportation to the game and a souvenir. For more information, CLICK HERE.

– WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. WOMEN TO OPEN SIX-GAME SEND-OFF SERIES IN CLEVELAND, NEW YORK: The U.S. Women’s National Team will face China in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 16 and Brazil in East Rutherford, N.J., on June 23 in the first matches of a six-game 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Send-Off Series this summer. Both opponents rank in the Top 10 of the FIFA World Rankings, and will provide U.S. head coach Greg Ryan with excellent tests to start the summer as the U.S. continues its preparation for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held September 10-30 in China. The China match will kick off at 7 p.m. ET on June 16 at Cleveland Browns Stadium and will be broadcast live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS. The Brazil match will kick off at 5 p.m. ET live on ESPN2. Additional dates for the Send-Off Series include July 14, July 28, Aug. 12 and Aug. 25, with the four venues and opponents scheduled to be announced at a later date. Fans can follow all the U.S. WNT matches online with ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets for the China game will go on sale starting Sat., March 17 at 10 a.m. ET online at ussoccer.com, at all Cleveland area Ticketmaster outlets (including Kroger, Giant Eagle, and Macy’s), at the Cleveland Browns Stadium box office (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and by phone at 216-241-5555. As a special benefit to VISA cardholders, a VISA-only pre-sale will be held at ussoccer.com from Thursday, March 15 at 10 a.m. ET until Friday, March 16 at 11 p.m. ET. VISA is the preferred payment card of U.S. Soccer. Tickets will go on sale beginning Thursday, March 15 at 10 a.m. ET online at ussoccer.com, at all area Ticketmaster outlets (including Ritmo Latino, Coconuts Music & Movies, and fye), at the Continental Airlines Arena Box Office (Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and by phone at 201-507-8900 or 609-520-8383. A VISA-only pre-sale will be held on Wednesday, March 14 between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET at ussoccer.com. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets to either game by calling (312) 528-1290 or visiting ussoccer.com.
2007 U.S. Women’s National Team Schedule
Date            Opponent     Location                                                                   Kickoff / TV
March 14    Denmark      Estadio Municipal( VRS Antonio, Portugal)       4:30 p.m. ET
April 14       Mexico           Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)                5 p.m. ET / ussoccer.com MatchACCESS
May 12        Canada         Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas)                             7:30 p.m. ET / FSC (live) / Fox Sports en Espanol (delay)
June 16      China            Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio)  7 p.m. ET ussoccer.com MatchACCESS
June 23      Brazil             Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)               5 p.m. ET / ESPN2
July 14        TBA                TBA                                                                             TBA
July 28        TBA                TBA                                                                             TBA
Aug. 12       TBA                TBA                                                                             TBA
Aug. 25       TBA                TBA                                                                             TBA

KEY DATES FOR U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM: Following the USA’s Placement Match at the 2007 Algarve Cup on Wed., March 14, the U.S. returns to start a four-month long residency training camp at the National Training Center in Carson, Calif., on April 2. The U.S. will open its domestic schedule vs. Mexico (tickets) on April 14 in Foxborough, Mass., in a double header with the New England Revolution. The 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup draw is taking place on April 22 in Wuhan, China, at which time the USA will find out its first-round schedule and venues for the fifth FIFA Women’s World Cup. The schedule continues vs. Canada (tickets) on May 12 in Frisco, Texas, in a match that will feature the USA wearing pink uniforms to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness, before kicking off the six-game Send-Off Series on June 16 in Cleveland. The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2007 China will be played from Sept. 10 to 20 in five venues across China.
Key U.S. Women’s National Team Dates
Date              Event                            
March 14      Algarve Cup Final in Portugal
April 2           Residency Training Camp opens in Carson, Calif.
April 14         Friendly vs. Mexico in Foxborough, Mass.
April 22         FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007 Draw in Wuhon, China
May 12          Friendly vs. Canada in Frisco, Texas / Special pink Breast Cancer Awareness jersey
June 16        Send-Off Series Match vs. China in Cleveland
June 23        Send-Off Series Match vs. Brazil in New Jersey
July 14          Send-Off Series Match
July 28          Send-Off Series Match
Aug. 12         Send-Off Series Match
Aug. 25         Send-Off Series Match
Sept. 10-30  FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007

– MEN’S NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS TO PROVIDE COVERAGE OF U-17 MNT MATCH, MNT FRIENDLY VS. ECUADOR: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will take on El Salvador’s U-17s in the opening match of a doubleheader with the U.S. Men’s National Team on March 25 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The Under-17 match will kick off at 9:15 a.m. ET (gates open at 9 a.m. ET), followed by the U.S. MNT against Ecuador at 12 p.m. ET. Tickets are available online at ussoccer.com and provide entry for both matches, but re-entry into the stadium is not permitted. VISA is the preferred payment card of U.S. Soccer. Following the successful debut of MatchACCESS coverage on ussoccer.com in February at the U.S.-Mexico match, the popular website will broadcast the entire U-17 match live from Raymond James Stadium. Fans can log on to ussoccer.com at 9 a.m. ET to watch live streaming coverage of the match. MatchACCESS will also include post-match coverage of U.S.-Ecuador, which fans can follow live on ESPN2, Galavision and ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Coverage on ussoccer.com will include exclusive interviews after the match and the post-game press conference with head coach Bob Bradley, beginning at approximately 2 p.m. ET.

U.S. MEN TO FACE CHINA ON JUNE 2 AT SPARTAN STADIUM IN SAN JOSE, CALIF.: The U.S. Men’s National Team will return to the Bay Area on June 2, 2007, to take on China at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif., at 5 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision, and will be available to fans online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. One year after topping Japan, 3-2, in San Francisco, the U.S. will play in Spartan Stadium for the first time in four years in the team’s final friendly before the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2007 Copa America. Tickets starting at $22 are now on sale at ussoccer.com, all San Jose area Ticketmaster outlets (including Ritmo Latino and FYE) and by phone at 408-998-8497. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtaining a group order form at ussoccer.com. VISA is the preferred payment card of U.S. Soccer. The June 2 match will be the eighth meeting between the U.S. and China, and the hosts hold a 4-1-2 record vs. their guests. Three of the last seven meetings between the U.S. and China have been in the Bay Area, with the last meeting coming six years ago on Jan. 27, 2001, in Oakland as the U.S. won, 2-1, on a Brian McBride goal and a China own goal.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. UNDER-21 WOMEN HEAD TO MANCHESTER, ENGLAND FOR THREE MATCHES: The U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team will travel to England from March 9 to 18 for its first matches abroad since the 2006 Nordic Cup in Norway. U.S. head coach Bill Irwin will bring 18 players across the pond for three matches against top English clubs as the USA will square off against Blackburn on March 13, Everton on March 14 and Leeds on March 15. Leeds features at least seven England internationals including several first-choice players. The U.S. team will also get the rare treat of taking in a Manchester United match at Old Trafford as the Red Devils take on Bolton Wanders on March 17. Nine players on the roster were members of the U.S. team that played at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship, where the team finished in fourth place. Irwin played 17 years of professional soccer, including eight seasons in England with Cardiff City, winning several Welsh Cups, and played in the European Cup Winner’s Cup competition before moving to the United States in 1978 where he played seven seasons in the NASL.
U-21 WNT Schedule
Date           Opponent
March 13    Blackburn
March 14    Everton
March 15    Leeds
U-21 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kelsey Davis (Portland), Val Henderson (UCLA)
DEFENDERS (6): Jordan Angeli (Santa Clara), Marian Dalmy (Santa Clara), Nikki Krzysik (Virginia), Stephanie Logterman (Texas), Meghan Schnur (UConn), Brittany Taylor (UConn)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Brittany Bock (Notre Dame), Tina DiMartino (UCLA), Ali Krieger (Penn State), Amanda Poach (Santa Clara), Kylee Rossi (Tennesee)
FORWARDS (5): Amanda Cinalli (Notre Dame), Kerri Hanks (Notre Dame), Ella Masar (Illinois), Amy Rodriguez (USC), Michele Weissenhofer (Notre Dame)

U-17 ’90 MNT GETS SET FOR REMATCH WITH HONDURAS ON MONDAY: The U.S. Under-17 ’90 Men’s National Team fell to Honduras, 1-0, in their first match of their 10-day camp in Honduras and Guatemala. The U.S. will face Honduras again on Monday, March 12, before traveling to Guatemala City, Guatemala, to play two matches against local club teams. The U-17s will face the Municipal Reserves on Wednesday, March 14 and Comunicaciones Reserves on Friday, March 16. Head coach John Hackworth took a 24-player roster for the trip. Before leaving for the trip, the U-17s defeated the U-18 MNT, 1-0, behind a goal from Alex Dixon.
U-17 MNT Results/Schedule
Date          Opponent                Result       U.S. Goal Scorers
March 8     U-18 MNT                 1-0 W       Dixon
March 10  Honduras U-17         0-1 L       --
March 12  Honduras U-17
March 14  Municipal Reserves
March 16 Comunicaciones Reserves
U-17 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (6): Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Chris Klute (Grand Prairie, Texas), Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Aubrey Perry (Ocoee, Fla.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Greg Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), Axel Levry (Fort Washington, Md.), Jesse Paredes (Los Angeles, Calif.), Kirk Urso (Lombard, Ill.), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.)
FORWARDS (5): Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Abdus Ibrahim (Richfield, Minn.), Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.), Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.)

U.S. U-17 WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM TAKES TWO GAMES FROM GERMANY: After defeating the German U-17 Women's National Team 2-0 on March 4, the U.S. Under-17 Women's National Team swept the two-game series with a 3-0 win on March 6. Both games were played at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The USA got one goal Casey Short and two from Tiffany McCarty to send the Germans home without a win or a goal. The first goal came in the 29th minute as a ball was served across the penalty to the left side and midfielder Teresa Noyola had a crack at it. The shot was blocked, but Short was able to pounce on the rebound first and finished during the scramble. The USA didn't double its lead until the 71st minute when Sydney Leroux laid a ball across the six-yard box from the right side for McCarty to finish at the back post. McCarty completed her brace in the 83rd minute as a cross came in from the right flank. The ball was flicked on by Shawna Gordon to Chelsea Cline, who rolled it across the six yard box to the back post where McCarty was on the spot for the tap in. The U.S. U-17s are schedule to come together again in April for a possible international tour.
U.S. U-17 WNT Results
Date          Opponent               Result
March 2     U.S. U-16 GNT     1-0 W
March 4     Germany U-17      2-0 W
March 6     Germany U-17      3-0 W

U-20 MNT DRAWS KOREA REPUBLIC, POLAND AND BRAZIL FOR FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group D with Korea Republic, Poland and Brazil for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, which will take place from June 30-July 22. The U.S. opens against Korea Republic on June 30, then faces Poland on July 3 and concludes group play on July 6 against four-time U-20 world champions Brazil. The U.S. will play Korea Republic and Poland at The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, before heading to Ottawa to face Brazil at Frank Clair Stadium (full schedule). Every U.S. match at the U-20 World Cup can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The 24-team field is divided into six groups of four, with the top two teams from each group and the top four (of six) third-place teams advancing to the Round of 16. The 52-match tournament will take place at six venues in Canada with games in Burnaby, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria. The U.S. will play all their group matches in Montreal and Ottawa on artificial turf.
U-20 MNT Schedule – 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup
Date          Opponent              Location
June 30    Korea Republic    Montreal, Canada
July 3         Poland                   Montreal, Canada
July 6         Brazil                      Ottawa, Canada

– AROUND THE SOCCER REGION –

HOUSTON, D.C. UNITED PREPARE FOR SEMIFINALS OF CONCACAF CHAMPIONS' CUP: D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo kick off semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup this week after sealing their with victories in the second leg of the quarterfinals against CD Olympia and Puntarenas, respectively. This is the first time since 2000 that two USA club teams have made it to the semifinals of the Champions’ Cup. D.C. United looks to their match against CD Guadalajara, at RFK Stadium on March 15 at 8 p.m. ET. D.C. United won the Champions’ Cup in 1998 and hosts the first leg of the home-and-home series. The Dynamo will be hosting the first leg of their series against Club Pachuca on March 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET at Robertson Stadium in Houston. Fox Soccer Channel will broadcast all of the semifinal matches live. The away leg of this series will be played on Thursday, April 5, at Hidalgo Stadium in Pachuca, Mexico. The semifinal winners will play for the title on April 17-19 and 24-26, with the winner also qualifying to the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007. The CONCACAF Champions’ Cup is the longest running international club competition in the region and has crowned the champion club of the Confederation since its inception in 1962. The Dynamo qualified as MLS Cup Champions, and D.C. United qualified as Supporters’ Shield (regular season) winners.
CONCACAF Champions' Cup Schedule - U.S. Teams
Date            Matchup                                                    Kickoff (ET)       Location                       TV
March 14    Houston Dynamo vs. Club Pachuca   8:30 p.m.          Robertson Stadium    FSC
March 15    D.C. United vs. CD Guadalajara           8 p.m.               RFK Stadium               FSC
Full schedule at CONCACAF.com

U.S. SOCCER PLAYER OUTREACH & ID PROGRAM STAGED IN SOUTH FLORIDA: A total of 76 players from South Florida took part in a U.S. Soccer Player Outreach & Identification Program on March 10 and 11 at Florida International University as part of U.S. Soccer's continuing focus on player development throughout the United States. The purpose of these outreach events is to provide players who have played outside of the traditional youth soccer system an opportunity to showcase their skills for collegiate, professional and U.S. Soccer coaches. This particular outreach identification program is being staged for players from South Florida between the ages of 16-18 that have not previously been involved in the traditional youth soccer system. The local coaching staff scouted more than 375 area players throughout the past few months at six separate tryouts before deciding on the 76 players to be invited to the final event. The 2007 event was being coordinated by U.S. Soccer National Staff Coach Juan Carlos Michia, with assistance from a number of South Florida area coaches, including Eric Eichmann (Boca Raton), a forward for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The selection of coaches also features Miami’s Luis Calix, a former member of the Honduras National Team, and Luis Perea, who represented Colombia at the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cups. The other coaches include Herb Dunning (Miami), Alvin James (Weston), Victor Pastora (Kendall), Julio Perdomo (Miami), Johnny Ramos (Plantation) and David Villano (Coconut Grove).

JAPAN WNT DEFEATS MEXICO WNT 2-0 IN FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP PLAYOFF: The Japan Women’s National Team defeated the Mexico Women’s National Team on Saturday, March 10 at Tokyo’s National Stadium in the first leg of the two-game playoff series to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Homare Sawa scored in the 37th minute and Aya Miyama scored in the 69th minute for the Japanese team in the 2-0 win over the Tricolors. The second game will be played in Nemesio Diez Stadium in Toluca, Estado de Mexico on March 17. This is Mexico’s second time challenging Japan for World Cup qualifications, after losing to the East Asians in the 2003 qualifiers. Mexico will be fighting for a spot in the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007 having failed to qualify since the 1999 Women’s World Cup in the USA.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Spain's version of the superclasico certainly lived up to its billing this weekend as powerhouses Barcelona and Real Madrid dueled to a 3-3 draw at the Camp Nou. While Ruud van Nistlerooy started Madrid off with two first half goals, it was Barcelona's Argentine prodigy Lionel Messi who stole the show, three times leading Barca back to level terms, including the equalizer in the 91st minute to give the hosts a share of the spoils. Barcelona played the entire second half a man down, and it was only Messi's late-game heroics that allowed his side to climb back into first place in La Liga, ahead of Sevilla based on goal differential. With the hat trick, Messi doubled his scoring output for the season.

SOCCER SHOCKER: While it doesn’t come as a surprise to those around the U.S. WNT, Carli Lloyd’s two consecutive game-winning goals in the first two Algarve Cup matches and key goal in the third game are a pleasant change of pace for the talented midfielder who, despite having one of the strongest shots on the team, had scored just one goal in her first 24 appearances with the U.S.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The U.S. Women’s National Team’s unbeaten streak stands at 38 games and faces the last team to hand the U.S. a defeat in regulation – Denmark – in the final of the 2007 Algarve Cup. The game kicks off at 12:30 p.m. ET on Wed., April 14, and ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker will provide live coverage with highlights from all_access video posted after the game.

QUOTABLE: "I've seen a lot of sporting events all around the world, but nothing comes close to that."
-- American Tom Hicks, who along with fellow George Gillett, gained control of Liverpool, on the fans at the UEFA Champions League match between Liverpool and Barcelona last week that saw Liverpool lose, 1-0, in the second leg but advance on the away goal rule. .


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