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U.S. Soccer Wire (July 14, 2008)


U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY FINALS WEEK UNDERWAY;  U.S. WOMEN DEFEAT BRAZIL, PREPARE FOR REMATCH ON WEDNESDAY


FINALS WEEK IN FULL SWING AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER:
U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy Finals Week kicked off this weekend at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with all 16 conference champions from the regular season playing their opening matches in group play. Finals Week is the culmination of the inaugural season of the nine-month Development Academy and will crown the overall champions in the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups. Before the opening eight games were played during the first two days of the Finals, the 320 players took part in an orientation on Friday night that included an appearance by U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Landon Donovan. The all-time leading scorer for the U.S. Men talked to the Development Academy players for an hour about a wide range of topics, including the process of becoming a professional player, how to consider options about your career, and some of the successes and failures in his personal journey. The conference winners from each age group have been divided into two groups of four and participate in a round-robin format during the first six days of Finals Week. The teams will then crossover and play placement matches on Friday, July 18, and Saturday, July 19. All eight placement matches will be broadcast live during the two days on the ESPN family of networks, highlighted by the U-17/18 championship match that will be live on ESPN 2 on Friday, July 18, at 8 p.m. PT. The seven other matches, including the U-15/16 championship match, will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

Development Academy Finals Week Draw
Group A (U-17/18)
A1: Chicago Fire (Mid-America Champion)
A2: Baltimore Bays (Mid-Atlantic Champion)
A3: Colorado Rush (West Champion)
A4: Westchester FC (Northeast Champion)

Group B (U-17/18)
B1: CASL (Atlantic Champion)
B2: Columbus Crew (Great Lakes Champion)
B3: Concorde Fire (Southeast Champion)
B4: LAFC (So Cal Champion)

Group C (U-15/16)
C1: Albertson (Northeast Champion)
C2: LAFC (So Cal Champion)
C3: Carmel United (Great Lakes Champion)
C4: Schulz Academy (Southeast Champion)

Group D (U-15/16)
D1: Chicago Magic (Mid-America Champion)
D2: CASL (Atlantic Champion)
D3: Real Colorado (West Champion)
D4: PDA (Mid-Atlantic Champion)


U.S. WNT TOPS BRAZIL IN FIRST OF TWO PRE-OLYMPIC MEETINGS: The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team defeated Brazil, 1-0, on a 71st minute goal from 21-year-old forward Amy Rodriguez in front of an appreciative crowd of 15,071 on a sweltering day at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. With on-field temperatures hitting 100 degrees, the U.S. team put together an excellent overall performance against a talented Brazilian side, out-shooting the South Americans 19-10 while putting 11 shots on goal to Brazil’s four. Abby Wambach, who created the goal but did not come up with one of her own, heads to San Diego with 99 career goals in 126 appearances. She could hit the magical 100-goal mark and join just eight other women in international soccer history to score 100 or more goals in front of what will be a sell-out crowd in San Diego. Only a few seats remain for the match at Torero Stadium, and once they are sold out, U.S. Soccer will begin selling some standing room only tickets. For tickets, log onto ussoccer.com. The U.S. Women just returned from a two-game tour in Europe, where they defeated Norway, 4-0, in Fredriskstad, Norway, before heading to head coach Pia Sundhage’s native Sweden, where they claimed a 1-0 victory in Skelleftea.

U.S. WNT Upcoming Schedule / Recent Results
Date      Opponent  Venue; City / Result                               Time / U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
July 2     Norway    4-0 W                                                          Tarpley, Lloyd, Hucles, Wambach
July 5     Sweden   1-0 W                                                          Lloyd
July 13   Brazil       1-0 W                                                           Rodriguez
July 16   Brazil       Torero Stadium; San Diego, Calif.         7 p.m. PT


U.S. U-20 MNT DOWN MEXICO, 3-0, IN BORDER BATTLE: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defeated rival Mexico, 3-0, in front of a raucous pro-Mexico crowd in the Laredo, Texas. Defender Sheanon Williams scored the game-winning goal in the 25th minute and forward Peri Marosevic added a brace in the first half in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,000. Two corner kicks from Brandon Manzonelli, who was playing in his first-ever match with the U-20s, led to two of the USA goals. Goalkeeper Brian Perk led a defense that allowed very few dangerous chances, and picked up a shutout.

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (FC Dallas), Brian Perk (UCLA)
DEFENDERS (4): Richard Balchan (Indiana), Ike Opara (Wake Forest), Zarek Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Sheanon Williams (North Carolina)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Jose Altamirano (San Diego, Calif.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Frank Lara (Laredo, Texas), Brandon Manzonelli (New England Revolution), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (3): Eder Arreola (UCLA), Felix Garcia (Laredo, Texas), Peri Marosevic (Michigan)

U.S. U-17 WNT SET TO KICK OFF WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team is settled in Trinidad & Tobago on Monday as the team prepares to kick off the 2008 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship. The U.S. was drawn into Group A, along with Costa Rica, El Salvador and hosts, Trinidad & Tobago and will play their group matches at Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad. First up for the U.S. U-17 Women is Costa Rica, who has been training together since July 7. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. ET on Friday, July 18. Two days later, the U.S. will take on El Salvador at 4 p.m. ET, rounding out group play against Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday, July 22, at 7 p.m. ET. The semifinals will take place Thursday, July 24, and the third-place match and final will take place Sunday, July 27. The top three teams will qualify for the 2008 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.

U.S. 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship Schedule
Date          Opponent                   Venue City                                                    Time (ET)
July 18     Costa Rica                  Marvin Lee Stadium Macoya, Trinidad     5 p.m.
July 20     El Salvador                  Marvin Lee Stadium Macoya, Trinidad     4 p.m.
July 22     T & T                              Marvin Lee Stadium Macoya, Trinidad    7 p.m.
July 24     Semifinals*                 Marvin Lee Stadium Macoya, Trinidad     5 p.m. / 7:30 p.m.
July 27     Third Place/ Final*     Marvin Lee Stadium Macoya, Trinidad     4 p.m. / 6 p.m.
* If necessary

-- YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE --

U-17 MNT CLOSE OUT SOUTH AMERICA TOUR WITH THREE WINS: The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team rounded out the Copa Ciudad de Rosario with a 3-1 win over Chile, finishing the tournament with two wins and one loss, and also picking up a win in a pre-tournament friendly against Uruguay in Montevideo. Two first-half goals from Stefan Jerome and one in the second half from Carlos Martinez led the way on offense, while Earl Edwards earned the win in goal with six saves. Jerome and Martinez both finished the trip with a pair of goals. On the defensive end, Edwards picked up two wins, including a shutout over Uruguay.

U-17 MNT South American Tour Schedule/Results
Date     Opponent     Result      U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
July 4    Uruguay       2-0 W       McInerney, Martinez
July 8    A.R.F.            3-0 W      Derschang, Pineda, Gutierrez
July 9    Argentina      0-3 L        --
July 11 Chile              3-1 W       Jerome (2), Martinez

U-17 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Samir Badr (Fairfax, Va.), Earl Edwards (San Diego, Calif.), Spencer Richey (Seattle, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (9): Michael Ambrose (El Paso, Texas), Julio Arjona (Germantown, Md.), Zachary Herold (Port St. Lucie, Fla.), Perry Kitchen (Indianapolis, Ind.), Chase Miller (Duncannon, Pa.), Shaquille Phillips (Greenbelt, Md.), Tyler Polak (Lincoln, Neb.), Alex Shinsky (York, Pa.), Eriq Zavaleta (Westfield, Ind.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Sean Davis (Holmdel, N.J.), Rob Derschang (Englewood, Colo.), Bryan Duran (Duncanville, Texas), Luis Gil (Garden Grove, Calif.), George Malki (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Carlos Martinez (Las Vegas, Nev.), Victor Pineda (Boilingbrook, Ill.)
FORWARDS (5): Jaime Gutierrez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Joseph Gyau (Silver Spring, Md.), Stefan Jerome (Davie, Fla.), Jack McInerney (Alpharetta, Ga.), Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich.)


-- AROUND THE SOCCER NATION --

U.S. PARALYMPIC SOCCER PLAYER VAZQUEZ NOMINATED FOR ESPY: U.S. Paralympic Soccer player, Marthell Vazquez, is one of four athletes nominated for an ESPY Award in the Best Male Athlete with a Disability category. The winner will be named on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 20. Fans can vote for Vazquez at the ESPY homepage. Most recently, the midfielder was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2007 Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in November. Vazquez was the leading scorer for the U.S. team, notching four goals in the tournament and having multiple assists. He was also the team's leading scorer at the 2007 ParaPan American Games with three goals. The U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team is compiled of soccer players with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries and stroke survivors. Paralympic soccer is played seven-a-side on a smaller field and with smaller goals than non-disabled soccer. Each team plays with seven men using the International Federation of Associated Football (FIFA) rules which have been slightly modified to accommodate the disabilities of the athletes.

Best Male Athlete With A Disability Nominees
Matt Scott, Basketball
Phil Scholz, Swimming
Marthell Vazquez, Soccer
Ryan Kocer, Wrestling

OPEN CUP SEMIFINALS SET WITH TWO TEAMS EACH FROM MLS AND USL-1: The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will be evenly represented in the semifinals – and final – as two teams from the USL First Division and Major League Soccer were victorious in their quarterfinal matches last Tuesday evening. The Charleston Battery and Seattle Sounders both pulled off upsets in their matches to advance to the semifinals, with the Battery soundly defeating FC Dallas, 3-1, and the Sounders pulling out a dramatic penalty kick shootout to down the visiting Kansas City Wizards.

Semifinal Schedule
Matchup Venue City/State Date Time
New England Revolution (MLS) at D.C. United (MLS) RFK Stadium Washington, D.C. Aug. 12 7:30 p.m. (local)
Seattle Sounders (USL1)at Charleston Battery (USL1) Blackbaud Stadium Charleston, S.C. Aug. 12 7:30 p.m. (local)

USL W-LEAGUE COMBINE TO TAKE PLACE SEPT. 4-7: The inaugural United Soccer Leagues W-League Combine will take place from Sept. 4-7 in Tampa, Fla. Elite W-League players will be invited to the combine, as well as players selected from an aopen application process. The deadline for submitting an application is Aug. 6. The combine will take place at the Ed Radice Sports Complex in light of the upcoming launch of Women's Professional Soccer.

COACHESNET LAUNCHES 'PREMIER INTERNATIONAL TOURS COACHES CORNER': U.S. Soccer's CoachesNet is providing coaches with another unique educational opportunity through a partnership with Premier International Tours and The Royal Netherlands Soccer Federation (KNVB). "Premier International Tours Coaches Corner" is an on-going series of training sessions, exercises and articles designed to inform and educate coaches on international coaching styles and methods. Each month is highlighted by different topics from youth development, training sessions and coaching styles used by the KNVB to train youth players. (KNVB Coaching Corner | CoachesNet)


*** CENTER CIRCLE SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. WNT forward Amy Rodriguez has done it again, scoring her second game winning goal against Brazil in the past month. The U.S. squad has faced Brazil twice since the disappointing 4-0 defeat in the Women's World Cup semifinal match in 2007, and since, has prevailed in each game with a 1-0 victory with the help of twenty-one year old Rodriguez. Her goal in the 41st minute of the Peace Queen Cup match allowed the U.S. to advance out of group play and eventually take home the title. In Sunday's match, she put a goal away in the 71st minute sealing the U.S. win. We'll see if Rodriguez has another game winner up her sleeve at Wednesday's match against Brazil in San Diego, Calif.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The U.S. WNT have just one match to go before leaving for China and the 2008 Olympic Games. On Wednesday, July 16, the U.S. will have a rematch with Brazil just three days after a 1-0 victory over the South Americans. That match, at Torero Stadium in San Diego, will be shown live on Fox Soccer Channel at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET). Fans can also follow the game on ussoccer.com’s Match Tracker.

QUOTABLE: “It’s a very high motivated group, a very talented group and their dream is the same as mine, which is try to get to a world cup, first and foremost, and then to try to win it.”
-U.S. Under-17 WNT head coach Kazbek Tambi ahead of his teams appearance at the 2008 CONCACAF Championship in Trinidad

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