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U.S. Soccer Wire: Fan Celebration Tour Down to Final Date


HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL “FAN CELEBRATION TOUR” TO FINISH AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER: The U.S. Women’s National Team’s impressive 21-game unbeaten run came to an end on Nov. 6 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa., as Denmark put together a solid 90-minute performance to record an impressive 3-1 victory over the 2004 Olympic champions. The lone U.S. goal came from Abby Wambach early in the second half, and briefly tied the game at 1-1, but it wasn’t enough to stop a strong Danish attack in the second half. For Wambach, the goal was her 29th of 2004, putting her one short of the 30-goal milestone, a mark previously reached only by Michelle Akers (who scored 39 goals in 1991). The loss was only the second of 2004 for the USA, who now have a 27-2-4 mark across 33 games during the year. With more than 14,812 fans filing into Lincoln Financial Field, the “Fan Celebration Tour” crowd total now stands at 140,595 through nine games, an average of 15,622 per game.  Earlier last week, the U.S. tied Denmark on a 92nd minute strike from Mia Hamm to thrill the crowd of 18,885 fans at Giants Stadium on Nov. 3.  On the USA’s 10-game post-Olympic “Fan Celebration Tour,” the U.S. is now 7-1-1, with the last game of the tour schedule for Dec. 8 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The match will not only end the 2004 schedule for the U.S. Women, it will also mark the end of the illustrious careers of Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett, three of the team’s long-time stalwarts. 
2004 U.S. WNT “Fan Celebration Tour”
Game     Date                    Match-up / Result             Venue                                City                               Kickoff / Attendance
   1         Sat., Sept. 25      USA 4, Iceland 3              Frontier Field                     Rochester, N.Y.            14,870 (SO)
   2         Wed., Sept. 29    USA 3, Iceland 0             Heinz Field                         Pittsburgh, Pa.               6,386
   3         Sun., Oct. 3         USA 5, New Zealand 0    PGE Park                          Portland, Ore.               16,554
   4         Sun., Oct. 10       USA 6, New Zealand 0    Paul Brown Stadium           Cincinnati, Ohio            18,806
   5         Sat., Oct. 16        USA 1, Mexico 0            Arrowhead Stadium            Kansas City, Mo.          20,435
   6         Wed., Oct. 20     USA 5, Ireland 1              Soldier Field                       Chicago, Ill.                  12,856
   7         Sat., Oct. 23        USA 5, Ireland 0             Reliant Stadium                   Houston, Texas             16,991
   8         Wed., Nov. 3      USA 1, Denmark 1          Giants Stadium                    East Rutherford, N.J.    18,885
   9         Sat., Nov. 6        Denmark 3, USA 1           Lincoln Financial Field         Philadelphia, Pa.           14,812
   10       Wed., Dec. 8      USA vs. Mexico               The Home Depot Center     Carson, Calif.                8 p.m. PT

U.S. MEN ARRIVE IN COLUMBUS, PREPARE FOR QUALIFER VS. JAMAICA ON NOV. 17: The U.S. Men’s National Team arrived in Columbus today (Nov. 8) to begin to gear up for their Nov. 17 clash against Jamaica at Crew Stadium in the final match of semifinal round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.   The USA has never lost to Jamaica in competitive play, and a victory would end the Reggae Boyz bid for a spot in the Hexagonal. While Jamaica holds six points from five matches, Panama are just one point behind and host El Salvador in their last group game. Jamaica advances with a win, or a tie coupled with a Panama tie or loss. Panama clinches with a win and a Jamaica loss or tie, or a tie and a Jamaica loss. Even El Salvador can sneak in with a win and a loss by Jamaica, meaning Match Day 6 will see the drama that is World Cup qualifying unfold.  Tickets for the Nov. 17 match, which are priced from $35 to $85, are still available at ussoccer.com and all Ticketmaster outlets (including Kroger’s stores).
Group 1 Standings
Teams            GP    W    L    T    GF  GA  GD  Pts.

y-USA            5       3     0    2    12    2    +10  11
Jamaica           5       1     1    3     6     4    +2     6
Panama           5       1     2    2     5    11    -6    5
El Salvador      5      1     2     1    2     8     -6     4
MNT FIFA World Cup Qualifying Results
Date             Opponent      Venue; City                                                                  Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
Aug. 18        Jamaica         National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica                             1-1 T    Ching
Sept. 4         El Salvador    Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass                                   2-0 W   Ching, Donovan
Sept. 8         Panama         Estadio Rommel Fernandez; Panama City, Panama        1-1 T    Jones
Oct. 9          El Salvador    Cuscatlan Stadium; San Salvador, El Salvador              2-0 W    McBride, Johnson
Oct. 13        Panama         RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.                                  6-0 W    Donovan (2), Johnson (3), (Own Goal)
MNT FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule
Date            Opponent      Venue; City                                                                  Kickoff (local)    TV
Nov. 17       Jamaica         Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio                                   7:30 p.m. ET      ESPN2 (live); Telemundo (tape delay at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT)

-- CONCACAF WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

BATTLES FOR SECOND SPOT IN GROUPS 2 & 3 COME DOWN TO THE WIRE:  After both Guatemala (Group 2) and Mexico (Group 3) came away with victories in their respective qualifying group on Oct. 13 to clinch spots in the final round, the fight for the second spot in each group is set for Nov. 17. With one game left to play for every team (except Mexico and St. Kitts, who also meet on Nov. 13), seven teams will be vying for the final three spots in next year’s hexagonal. In Group 2, Honduras needs a win at home versus Costa Rica to go through, while the Ticos need a win or tie to make it to the next round. In Group 3, St. Vincent & the Grenadines are holding on, but will need a three-goal victory on the road at Trinidad & Tobago to fill the second spot in a group dominated by Mexico.
Group 2 Standings                   
Team                         GP  W   L    D  GF  GA  GD  Pts.
x-Guatemala                5    3    1    1    7      8    -1    10
Costa Rica                  5    3    2    0    12    8    +4     9
Honduras                    5    1    1    3    9      7    +2     6
z-Canada                    5    0    3    2    3      8    -5      2
Group 3 Standings
Team                        GP W   L    D   GF  GA   GD  Pts.
y-Mexico                   4    4    0    0    14    1    +13  12
Trinidad & Tobago    5    3    2    0    10     8    +2     9
St. Vincent & Gren.   5    2    3    0     4    10    -6     6
z-St. Kitts & Nevis    4    0    4    0     2    11    -9     0

x – clinched final round berth
y-clinched top group spot
z- eliminated

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

U-19s OPEN FIFA U-19 WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP THURSDAY:  The U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team arrived in Phuket, Thailand, on Nov. 4 as they prepare for the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship, which begins on Wednesday (Nov. 10). The U.S. U-19s play their first match on Thursday (Nov. 11), when they’ll meet South Korea at 5 p.m. (local; 5 a.m. ET).  They’ll continue Group C play on Sunday (Nov. 14) versus Russia before finishing the first round with a Nov. 17 match against Spain. The tournament is just one of three FIFA-sanctioned world championship tournaments for women after the Women’s World Cup and the Olympics, and the only FIFA-sanctioned world championship for youth women. The 21-player U.S. team is led by goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, defender Rachel Buehler, midfielder Angie Woznuk and forward Kerri Hanks, who will playing in their second youth world championship tournament after being part of the team that won the inaugural competition in 2002.  Harris and Buehler were starters on the ‘02 team while Hanks and Woznuk, the two leading scorers for the USA this year with 12 and eight goals respectively, were reserves who will likely get their chance to make their mark on the world’s stage.
U-19 WNT Schedule – Group C
Date                Opponent                  Venue    Kickoff (local / ET)
Nov. 11           South Korea             Phuket    5 p.m. / 5 a.m.
Nov. 14           Russia                       Phuket    5 p.m. / 5 a.m.
Nov. 17           Spain                        Phuket    5 p.m. / 5 a.m.
U-19 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Laura Comeau (Univ. of Virginia), Kelsey Davis (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Ashlyn Harris (Univ. of North Carolina); DEFENDERS (5): Rachel Buehler (Stanford Univ.), Meagan Holmes (Timinium, Md.), Nikki Krzyski (Clifton, N.J.), Stephanie Lopez (Univ. of Portland), Becky Sauerbrunn (Univ. of Virginia); MIDFIELDERS (8): Yael Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Sheree Gray (Penn State Univ.), Stephanie Kron (UCLA), Stacy Lindstrom (UCLA), Stephanie Logterman (Univ. of Texas), Alexa Orand (Orange, Calif.), Jen Redmond (Univ. of Virginia), Angie Woznuk (Univ. of Portland); FORWARDS (5): Kerri Hanks (Notre Dame Univ.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Megan Rapinoe (Univ. of Portland), Jessica Rostedt (Kent, Ohio), Meghan Schnur (Univ. of Connecticut).

U-17 MNT TAKE ON U-19 IMG TEAMS THIS WEEK IN BRADENTON: The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team will face off against both of the IMG Under-19 squads this week in Bradenton, Fla. The U.S. will play the IMG U-19 Team A on Wednesday (Nov. 10) before facing IMG U-19 Team B on Thursday (Nov. 11). Both afternoon games will take place at the IMG training fields.

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

U.S. FUTSAL NATIONAL TEAM DEPARTS FOR CHINESE TAIPEI ON SUNDAY: The U.S. Futsal National Team will depart for Chinese Taipei on Sunday (Nov. 14) in advance of the FIFA Futsal World Championship, which will be played from Nov. 21-Dec. 5.  The U.S., which qualified by winning the 2004 CONCACAF Futsal Championship in July in Costa Rica, was drawn into Group C with Italy, Japan and Paraguay. The U.S. opens play in Tao Yuan County on Nov. 21 versus Italy, and will play their second match against Paraguay on Nov. 23. The U.S. will close group play versus Japan on Nov. 25 in Taipei City, the nation’s capital. The top two teams from each of four groups advance to the knockout stage of the tournament, which will begin on Nov. 27. With their appearance in Nov., the U.S. will have taken part in four of the five FIFA Futsal World Championships after missing out in 2000. At the first two World Championship events in 1989 and 1992, the U.S. finished third and second, respectively. The 1989 team was the first at any level for men or women to place in the top three at a FIFA event since the 1930 Men’s World Cup team. Beaten in the final by Brazil in 1992 by a 4-1 margin, the U.S. Futsal team posted the best finish of any U.S. Soccer men’s team at a FIFA event. Head coach Keith Tozer selected an experienced squad of players from the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), but only captain Sean Bowers has previous championship experience, having traveled to Spain for the 1996 tournament.
U.S. Futsal Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Scott Hileman (Phoenix, Ariz.), Brett Phillips (St. Louis Steamers); DEFENDERS (3): Sean Bowers (San Diego Sockers), Lee Tschantret (Baltimore Blast), Pat White (Milwaukee Wave); MIDFIELDERS (7): John Ball (Cleveland Force), Jamar Beasley (Kansas City Comets), Steve Butcher (San Diego Sockers), Andy Guastaferro (Chicago Storm), Pat Morris (Philadelphia Kixx), Joel Shanker (Philadelphia Kixx), Johnny Torres (Milwaukee Wave); FORWARDS (2): Todd Dusosky (Milwaukee Wave), Greg Howes (Milwaukee Wave).
U.S. Futsal Schedule
Date         Opponent        Venue                      Kickoff (local / ET)
Nov. 21    Italy                Tao Yuan County     6 p.m. / 5 a.m.
Nov. 23    Paraguay        Tao Yuan County     8 p.m. / 7 a.m.
Nov. 25    Japan             Taipei City                8 p.m. / 7 a.m.

K.C., D.C. ADVANCE TO MLS CUP ON SUNDAY, QUALIFY FOR 2005 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS CUP:  The Kansas City Wizards posted a solid 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Western Conference, while D.C. United edged Eastern Conference opponent New England Revolution 4-3 in a penalty kick shootout after a 3-3 draw in regulation to advance to the 2004 MLS Cup, which will be played on Sunday (Nov. 14) at 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT live on ABC.  The Wizards got both goals from forward Davy Arnaud, who snapped a scoring drought that had lasted over two months, while goalkeeper Bo Oshoniyi earned the shutout on Nov. 5.  It’s the second trip to MLS Cup for K.C., who defeated Chicago 1-0 in 2000. The Wizards will also be trying to complete a rare “double,” adding the MLS Cup victory to their 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup victory back on Sept. 22.  The following night, United survived a dramatic penalty kick shootout and three Revolution comebacks in regulation to advance to a record fourth MLS Cup.  United got great goals from Alecko Eskandarian, Jamie Moreno and Christian Gomez, but the Revs struck back every time with a volley from Taylor Twellman, a penalty kick from Steve Ralston just before halftime, and an 85th minute header from Pat Noonan.  D.C. goalkeeper Nick Rimando came up big in the shootout, saving two of New England’s last three attempts to help United return to past glory.  As an added bonus, as finalists for MLS Cup 2004, both teams automatically qualified for the 2005 CONCACAF Champions Cup.
Western Conference Final
Date           Result
Nov. 5        K.C. Wizards 2, L.A. Galaxy 0
Eastern Conference Final
Date           Result
Nov. 6        D.C. United 3, N.E. Revolution 3 (D.C. advances 4-3 in PKs)
MLS Cup Final
Date           Match-up                                  Venue; City                                               Kickoff (ET) / TV
Nov. 14     K.C. Wizards vs. D.C. United    The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.    3:30 p.m. / ABC

MLS ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR 2004 YEAR-END AWARDS:  Major League Soccer announced the finalists for each of its annual awards last week.  The winners of all ten awards will be announced at the MLS Awards Gala on Friday (Nov. 12) in Los Angeles in advance of Sunday’s MLS Cup at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The full slate of awards ad finalists are below:
2004 MLS Award Finalists
Most Valuable Player: Joe Cannon (Colorado), Amado Guevara (MetroStars), Jaime Moreno (D.C. United)
Coach of the Year: Greg Andrulis (Columbus), Bob Gansler (Kansas City), Peter Nowak (D.C.)
Goal of the Year: Edson Buddle (Columbus; vs. Chicago on 10/6), Dwayne DeRosario (San Jose; vs. D.C. on 8/7), Jovan Kirovski (Los Angeles; vs. Chicago on 6/27), Ross Paule (Columbus; vs. D.C. on 8/21), Steve Ralston (New England; vs. Chicago on 10/16)
Defender of the Year: Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City), Robin Fraser (Columbus), Eddie Pope (MetroStars)
Comeback Player of the Year: Ronnie O'Brien (Dallas), Brian Ching (San Jose), Jaime Moreno (D.C.)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Jon Busch (Columbus Crew), Joe Cannon (Colorado), Kevin Hartman (Los Angeles)
Rookie of the Year: Freddy Adu (D.C.), Clint Dempsey (New England), Chad Marshall (Columbus)
Fair Play Award: Richie Kotschau (Colorado), Justin Mapp (Chicago), Eddie Pope (MetroStars)
Humanitarian Award of the Year: Chris Henderson (Colorado), Jesse Marsch (Chicago), Steve Jolley (MetroStars)
Referee of the Year: Abiodun Okulaja, Kevin Stott, Kevin Terry

DEADLINE FOR 2004 “BEST OF U.S. SOCCER” AWARDS IS FRIDAY, NOV. 12:  For the second consecutive year, U.S. Soccer fans have been invited to take part in the nomination process for the 2004 "Best of U.S. Soccer" awards.  The final round of voting for all of this year’s awards will begin on Nov. 18, meaning the deadline for fans to nominate candidates that they think should be eligible as a finalists for "Best Soccer Bar", "Best Soccer Store" and "Best U.S. Soccer Story" is this Friday (Nov. 12). Fans that register as members of ussoccerfan.com will receive an e-mail in which they can fill in their choices for the three awards and simply reply back to submit. Make sure to check back to ussoccer.com when the finalists for each of the three awards here, as well as all the other categories (including "Best Goal", "Best Crowd" and a new award - "Best Fashion Statement" - to name a few), will be announced in mid-November.

USL ANNOUNCES 2004 AWARDS AT ANNUAL MEETING IN CLEARWATER: United Soccer Leagues honored its leading franchises and team executives at its Annual Operations Meeting on Nov. 4 in Clearwater, Fla., presenting league awards for outstanding performance off the field in 2004 in addition to its Third Annual USL Hall of Fame Induction. Clubs and individuals were honored at the USL Awards Reception in each league for Executive of the Year, Organization of the Year, Referee of the Year, Fair Play and Marketing Excellence. The Montreal Impact, Charlotte Eagles, Central Florida Kraze and Vancouver Whitecaps Women were honored as the Organizations of the Year with Jim Taylor (Portland Timbers), Tom Engstrom (Charlotte Eagles), Jim Duggan (Michigan Bucks) and Laura Fedrigo (Detroit Jaguars) being recognized as the Executives of the Year. The Vancouver Whitecaps, Harrisburg City Islanders, Fresno Fuego and Vancouver Whitecaps Women were given the Marketing Excellence Award, while the Richmond Kickers, Charlotte Eagles, Michigan Bucks and West Michigan Edge Women received Fair Play Awards.  David Simon, Guy Goodrich, Afshin Shokoohi and Jason White were named the Referees of the Year.  Des Moines Menace Director of Operations Nate Van Steenvoort was honored with the Key Grip Award, recognizing his tireless efforts behind the scenes. The New Jersey Wildcats were presented the Progress Award.  The Puerto Rico Islanders were the first club to be honored with the Franchise Rookie of the Year Award. Denver Lady Cougars owner Theresa Echtermeyer was the recipient of the Archie Moylan Award, which was established in memory of Paul ‘Archie’ Moylan to recognize a member of the USL family who has shown great courage or outstanding humanitarianism.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER:  Third-year Wizards forward Davy Arnaud added to his breakout 2004 season of nine goals and eight assists with two great finishes to beat L.A. and put K.C. in its first MLS final in four years.  On his first goal, Arnaud initiated a pretty give and go with Josh Wolff that ended with him proving a left-footed poke through the legs of Kevin Hartman of the 24th minute.  For the second goal, Arnaud ran on to another good ball, quickly cut around Hartman and knocked it in from a tight angle along the end line to make it 2-0 in the 69th minute.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP:  K.C./D.C.!!! It’s not an Australian rock band, it’s the match-up to decide the top team in MLS.  It will be a battle of the Wizards’ rock-solid defense and counter-attack offense against D.C.’s fierce, free-flowing attack.  Regardless of the outcome, it’s sure to be a black-and-blue affair.  Watch the match live on ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT.

SOCCER SHOCKER:  After cruising through the first seven games of the “Fan Celebration Tour” with hardly a challenge, the U.S. Women’s National Team was left stunned after failing to win either of a pair of games against Denmark last week in East Rutherford and Philly.  The U.S. gave up early goals in each game, and found it difficult to come back and equalize without exposing itself further.  But in their defense, the ninth-ranked Danes have been training regularly and are preparing for an important competition in Europe.

QUOTABLE:  “It was great, because all the goal scorers always get to celebrate. To get to run and jump, that was the first time I've gotten to do that. That was fun!"
        --D.C. goalkeeper Nick Rimando, on the rare opportunity to celebrate as the winning shootout goalkeeper

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