U.S. TO FACE RICHMOND BEFORE HEADING UP EAST COAST FOR PRE-WORLD CUP SERIES: Before leaving camp and heading to D.C. on Friday (May 10), the U.S. World Cup Team will meet the A-League’s Richmond Kickers at SAS
Soccer Park on Wednesday, May 8 at 5 p.m. ET. After concluding the 10-day training camp in Cary, N.C., the U.S. World Cup Team will head to Washington, D.C., to prepare for Sunday’s match versus Uruguay at RFK Stadium live on ABC at 2 p.m. ET. The U.S. holds a 1-2-2 all-time record against the South Americans, with the last meeting coming in 1995, a 2-2 tie at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The first ever meeting between the two nations came as far back as the second round of the 1924 Olympics, when the U.S. lost 3-0 in Paris, France. Uruguay surprised some by finishing tied for fifth in CONMEBOL Qualifying (just three points behind Brazil and ahead of past participants Colombia and Chile) and then besting Australia in a two-game series to sneak into the 2002 World Cup. Uruguay, placed in Group A with France, Denmark and Senegal in Korea, will be the eighth World Cup team that the U.S. has met in 2002 in preparing for Korea/Japan.
MAY 16 FRIENDLY NOW DOUBLEHEADER WITH METROSTARS-A.C. MILAN EXHIBITION: It was announced this weekend that the U.S. World Cup Team’s May 16 friendly versus Jamaica at Giants Stadium will now be a doubleheader featuring the MetroStars and legendary Italian club A.C. Milan. The U.S. match, which will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised live on ESPN2, will be followed by the MetroStars-Milan match at 9:30 p.m. Tickets for the doubleheader are available at all local Ticketmaster outlets, at the Continental Airlines Arena box office, at metrostars.com and by calling 1-888-4-METROTIX.
UNDEFEATED U-19 WOMEN TO BE FEATURED LIVE ON ussoccer.com's MATCHTRACKER: When the U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team begins qualifying for the first ever FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, it will mark the first time that fans will be able to follow a U.S. Under-19 Women's game live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The other two U.S. matches in Group B of the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament will also be featured live on MatchTracker on Thursday (May 9) vs. Haiti at 5:30 p.m. ET and on Saturday (May 11) vs. Costa Rica at 7:30 p.m. ET. The U-19 WNT has never lost an international match in their two-year history, compiling an 8-0-1 mark.
U.S. SOCCER ANNOUNCES DATES FOR 2002 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP: U.S. Soccer announced the tentative fixtures for the 2002 version of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the nation’s oldest soccer tournament that dates back to 1914. The Los Angeles Galaxy, the 2001 U.S. Open Cup champs, will officially begin their title defense when MLS teams join the tournament in the third round on July 17.
Qualifying (amateur): Ends May 27 - Finalists from PDL & USASA determined
Qualifying (pro): Ends June 2 - Finalists from MLS, A-League & D3 Pro League determined
First Round: Ends June 7-12 - D3 Pro League teams, five PDL teams & four USASA teams meet
Second Round: June 26 - A-League teams vs. eight first round winners
Third Round: July 17 - MLS teams vs. eight second round winners
Quarterfinals: Aug. 7 - Third round winners
Semifinals: Sept. 3-4 or 10-11 - Four quarterfinal winners
Final: Oct. 26-27 - Two semi-final winners
REGIS ARRIVES IN CARY, N.C.: U.S. defender David Regis arrived in camp over the weekend after closing out the season with F.C. Metz in the French First Division with a 1-1 draw against Lorient on Saturday. Despite the draw, and despite Metz earning eight points in their final five matches, Metz was relegated to the second division after finishing the season in second-to-last place with 33 points. A victory for Metz would have seen them survive relegation. Regis finished the season with 23 league appearances (22 starts), as well as two starts in domestic Cup games.
VANNEY RETURNS TO FRANCE FOR FRENCH CUP CHAMPIONSHIP: U.S. defender Greg Vanney, an alternate on the 2002 U.S. World Cup Team, trained with the U.S. in North Carolina last week but returned to France over the weekend to prepare for the French Cup final between Bastica F.C. and Lorient. Vanney helped Bastia F.C. into the championship game after joining the team in January of this year. The 27-year-old defender finished the regular season in France with 11 league appearances, playing all 90 minutes in each of those matches. He also appeared in three French Cup and one League Cup game.
OTHER AMERICANS IN EUROPE: In Holland, John O’Brien helped Ajax keep up their winning ways and claim the Dutch Honor Division title after ending the season with a 2-0 win over NEC. O’Brien and his teammates will now meet F.C. Utrecht, coincidentally the team that the U.S. midfielder was loaned to start his professional career in Holland, in the championship of the Amstel Cup on Sunday (May 12). In Germany, U.S. defender Cory Gibbs and F.C. St. Pauli fell 3-2 to a Tony Sanneh-less F.C. Nurnberg to close out the Bundesliga season. U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo and Conor Casey both saw action in the final game of their season, as Hannover 96 defeated Greuther Furth 5-1.
— U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE —
U.S. UNDER-18s FINISHES CAMP WITH 1-1-1 RECORD AGAINST OLDER SIDES: The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team wrapped up an eight-day training camp at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., last Friday with a 2-1 win over the University of Cal-Berkeley on goals by midfielder Kamani Hill and Ian Etherington. Earlier in the week, the Under-18s posted a 1-1 draw with the San Diego Sockers, with Adam Christman tallying for the 18s via a Nathan Norman assist. To open the training camp, the 18s lost to the U.S. Under-20s 4-1 on April 28. Chad Barrett (Beaverton, Ore.) scored the lone goal for the Under-18s.
U-17s FINISH SECOND IN BALLYMENA TOURNAMENT IN NORTHERN IRELAND: Competing in the eight-team Ballymena International Tournament in Northern Ireland, the U.S. Under-17s Men's National Team finished second after falling 2-1 to Israel in the tournament final today. After tying Scotland 1-1 in their first game, the U-17s posted a 2-1 win over Wales and a 1-0 decision against Austria in successive days to advance to the final. Israel finished first in a group that also included Belgium, England, and Northern Ireland.
— AROUND THE SOCCER NATION —
PHILADELPHIA CLAIMS MISL CHAMPIONSHIP: The Philadelphia Kixx claimed the 2001-02 Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) Championship this weekend with a thrilling 8-6 victory over the host and two-time defending champion Milwaukee Wave in the third and deciding game of the "best-of-three" final series. Philadephia's victory snapped Milwaukee's impressive 31-game home winning streak, which dated back to the 1999-2000 campaign. The record crowd of 16,802 spectators at the Bradley Center saw Kixx forward Chris Handor score three times, including the game-winner with 37 seconds remaining in the contest, giving Philadelphia its first league championship in franchise history. Prior to the last match, the Wave opened the championship series with an 11-4 win over the Kixx in Milwaukee on April 26, then Philadelphia leveled the series the following day (April 27) with an 11-4 home-victory.
FUTSAL TEAM ARRIVES IN BELIGUM FOR 2002 GENK CUP: The U.S. Futsal National Team departed last night for Belgium for the 2002 Genk Cup, which will run from May 8-11. The squad arrived in Brussels this morning and traveled via bus for an hour trip to the city of Genk. This is the first U.S. trip to Belgium in nearly 10 years after dropping a 4-2 decision to the host in an international friendly on September 26, 1992 in Antwerp. The Americans have been placed in Group G, in the 24-team competition, alongside host club Zvk Ford Genk and Oquido Affligem Futsal Club, both of Belgium. Prior to the start of the tournament, the USA will take on Belgian Futsal Club F.P. Houthalen in an exhibition match tomorrow night (May 7). The U.S. will open the competition on Wednesday (May 8) against Oquido Affligem and then conclude Group G play on Thursday afternoon (May 9) against Zvk Ford Genk. The quarterfinals begin on Friday (May 10), while the semifinals and finals will take place on Saturday (May 11). The U.S. roster, under head coach Keith Tozer, has nine players with international experience under their belts. Leading the way for the Americans is defender Sean Bowers (Baltimore Blast-MISL), who is ranked third all-time in appearances for the USA with 21. Blast teammate Lee Tschantret leads the attack with six goals in 10 international appearances, while forward Bernie Lilavois (Buena Park, Calif.) has four tallies in seven matches for the Americans.
— U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT —
PEAK PERFORMER: Canadian forward Chris Handor pulled off a hat trick when it counted to charge Philadelphia’s upset of two-time defending MISL champion Milwaukee, including the game-winner with under a minute to go in the deciding third game.
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: Test 1 of 3 for the U.S. World Cup Team will be presented this Sunday (May 12) when the Yanks face Uruguay live on ABC at 2 p.m. ET to kick off the “Nike Road to Korea”. Although Reyna and O’Brien will be missing in the midfield, this lineup will give Bruce and fans alike a chance to see what kind of magic that McBride and Mathis can work up top in just their third game starting together for the U.S., who will be looking to even its all-time record against the South American nation.
SOCCER SHOCKER: The Philadelphia Kixx snapped the Milwaukee Wave's 31-game home winning streak with an 8-6 victory in the final game of the MISL "Best-of-Three" Championship Series last Friday. After capturing the 2001-02 regular season title with a league-best 34-10 overall ledger, the reigning indoor champion Wave ran into a Hoover Dam in the MISL Championship Series, missing the opportunity for a three-peat and their fourth overall crown by dropping a heartbreaking home decision to the Kixx in front of a huge Bradley Center crowd.
“All I need is a cigarette and a blindfold. These promising players, these sweet little footballers, aren't going to get it done."
- D.C. head coach Ray Hudson, after his young United team fell to the Chicago Fire at RFK Stadium this weekend by the score of 3-0 to fall to 2-5-0 on the season.