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U.S. Soccer Wire: April 11


Greg Ryan Named U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach;
U.S. Men's National Team to Host World Cup Qualifier in East Hartford, Conn.

UNDER NEW LEADERSHIP: Greg Ryan has been named the new Head Coach and Technical Director of U.S. Soccer's Women's National Team. Ryan, 48, was previously named the interim head coach after the resignation of April Heinrichs on Feb. 15, and he led the USA to the championship at the 2005 Algarve Cup in early March. In Portugal, the team was undefeated and did not allow a goal over four matches, including a 1-0 victory over Germany in the title game. Ryan had served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women's National Team since January of 2004 and was part of the staff that helped win the Olympic gold medal while setting a record for wins in a calendar year (28) and posting a 28-2-4 record. Ryan also served as the U.S. Women's National Staff Coach for  Region IV from 2002 through the end of 2004. Ryan becomes the fifth head coach in the history of a program that has compiled a record of 262-50-35 since its inception in 1985. The U.S. Women's National Team has won four world championships: two Women's World Cups and two Olympics. The Women’s team is the only team in the world to medal in every tournament, finishing in the top three in all seven women's world championships staged by FIFA since the inaugural Women's World Cup in 1991. Ryan will be charged with overseeing the USA's five youth women's and girl's national teams as well as the transition from Under-19 to Under-20 for the next FIFA Women's Youth World Championship in 2006 in Russia.

HARTFORD-BOUND: The U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team will host Trinidad & Tobago on August 17 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., to begin the second half of the 10-game final round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. vs. Trinidad & Tobago match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET, with fans also able to follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Trinidad & Tobago will be the first opponent that the U.S. faces for the second time in the final round of qualifying, playing the return leg of a 2-1 victory on February 9 in Trinidad. Ticketing details for the match at Rentschler Field will be announced in the future. The Hartford match will mark the USA’s eighth overall appearance in Connecticut and their first visit to the state capital in 32 years, dating all the way back to a 1-0 win over Bermuda on Sept. 9, 1973. The team hasn’t played in the Nutmeg State since a 2-1 victory over Scotland on May 26, 1996 in New Britain, a victory that improved their overall record in Connecticut to 4-2-1. The World Cup qualifier comes one year after the Women’s National Team became the first U.S. team to play at the three-year-old Rentschler Field, topping China 3-0 in an Olympic send-off match in front of 15,093 fans on Aug. 1, 2004. In the 23-year history of the series vs. Trinidad & Tobago, the U.S. has an 11-1-3 record, including a flawless 7-0-1 mark at home. The U.S. and Trinidad & Tobago have played nine times in World Cup qualifying, with the U.S. compiling an undefeated record of seven wins and two ties. The U.S. has not surrendered a goal to Trinidad & Tobago in a home qualifier since a 1-1 tie in Torrance, Calif., on May 13, 1989, and has recorded a shutout in six of their nine overall qualifying matches.

U-17 MNT HEAD TO COSTA RICA FOR CONCACAF QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team began their trip to Costa Rica for the 2005 CONCACAF Under-17 Group A Qualifying Tournament on Saturday (April 9), waking up hours before the sun unleashed its warm rays over IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. The U.S. will have three days of training before kicking off the 2005 CONCACAF Under-17 Group A Qualifying Tournament against El Salvador on Tuesday, April 12, at 4:30 p.m. local time (6:30 p.m. ET). The U.S. will then face Cuba on Thursday, April 14, at 4:30 p.m. local time (6:30 p.m. ET), before facing host Cost Rica in the final match of the tournament on Saturday, April 16, at 7 p.m. local time (9 p.m. ET). All three matches will be played at Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero in Heredia, which is just outside of San Jose. Fans can follow every match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
2005 CONCACAF Under-17 Qualifying Tournament
Date       Matchup                                     Time (ET) 
April 12  USA vs. El Salvador                 6:30 p.m.
               Costa Rica vs. Cuba                 9 p.m.
April 14  USA vs. Cuba                            6:30 p.m.
                Costa Rica vs. El Salvador      9 p.m.
April 16  Cuba vs. El Salvador                6:30 p.m.
               Costa Rica vs. USA                  9 p.m.

TICKET SALES FOR U.S.-ENGLAND FRIENDLY PASS 25,000 MARK: Tickets sales for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s May 28 friendly against England have surpassed the 25,000 mark after going on sale to the general public on March 31. Tickets ranging in price from $28 to $95 are available to the general public through ussoccer.com, by phone at 312-559-1212 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Chicagoland (including Carson Pirie Scott, Coconuts, Hot Tix, FYE, Tower Records, and Ritmo Latino stores). Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com. The Memorial Day Weekend match-up at Chicago’s Soldier Field kicks off at 2 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN. The meeting between the two quarterfinalists at the 2002 FIFA World Cup comes amidst the qualifying schedules for both nations as they aim for a spot in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. England will be the second European power to visit the U.S. in Chicago in the last year. The U.S. men played their first game in Chicago since 1993, hosting Poland on July 11, 2004, in the return leg of a two-game series. A boisterous crowd of 39,592 saw a late header from former Chicago Fire defender Carlos Bocanegra earn a 1-1 tie. This will be the fifth match the U.S. has played in Chicago since 1992, and the fifth different European power to come to the Windy City as an opponent. The U.S. has a 1-1-2 record in Chicago since 1992 versus the likes of Portugal, Italy and Germany in addition to the aforementioned Poland match-up in 2004. The Soldier Field match will mark England’s sixth visit to face the United States.

-- FIFA 2006 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

U.S. TAKES ON TICOS IN SALT LAKE CITY: The U.S. MNT will host Costa Rica on Saturday, June 4 in Salt Lake City, Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium at 5:30 p.m. MT in their fourth of 10 final round qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The match against Costa Rica will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and will be followed by MLS expansion franchise Real Salt Lake hosting FC Dallas as the second game of the doubleheader at 8 p.m. MT. Fans can also follow the U.S. match live at ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The match in Salt Lake City is the second of five qualifiers in this round to be played in the United States. Tickets will range from $25 to $68 and on-sale details will be announced on Tuesday (April 12). Real Salt Lake season tickets will be honored for the doubleheader.

AGAINST THE AZTECAS IN OHIO: The U.S. Men’s National Team will host Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 3 in Columbus Crew Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET in their seventh of 10 final round qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. vs. Mexico match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Telemundo, with fans also able to follow the U.S. match live at ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. It will be the fourth out of five World Cup qualifiers played in the United States and the fifth World Cup qualifying match hosted by the six-year-old venue. Ticketing details will be announced in the future.

HOME SWEET HOME: The U.S., along with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago have kicked off the 10-game round-robin that will last until Oct. 12, 2005. After two tough road games, the U.S. men headed back to the States to play their first home game at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., on March 30, where they defeated Guatemala, 2-0. Another home game is on the list for the U.S., as they face Costa Rica at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on June 4 at 5:30 p.m. MT. The top three teams in the hexagonal automatically advance to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany while the fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 12/13 and Nov. 16 against the fifth-place finisher in Asian qualifying.
2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule – CONCACAF Final Round
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Feb. 9        Panama 0, Guatemala 0
Feb. 9        Costa Rica 1, Mexico 2
Feb. 9        Trinidad & Tobago 1,  USA 2 
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 26   Costa Rica 2, Panama 1
March 26   Guatemala 5, Trinidad & Tobago 1
March 27   Mexico 2, USA 1
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 30   Panama 1, Mexico 1
March 30   USA 2, Guatemala 0
March 30   Trinidad & Tobago 0, Costa Rica 0
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
June 4        Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama   
June 4        Guatemala vs. Mexico   
June 4        USA vs. Costa Rica   
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
June 8        Panama vs. USA   
June 8        Costa Rica vs. Guatemala   
June 8        Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Aug. 17      Guatemala vs. Panama   
Aug. 17      Mexico vs. Costa Rica   
Aug. 17      USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Sept. 3       Panama vs. Costa Rica  
Sept. 3       Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala
Sept. 3       USA vs. Mexico  
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Sept. 7       Mexico vs. Panama 
Sept. 7       Guatemala vs. USA  
Sept. 7       Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Oct. 8         Panama vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Oct. 8         Mexico vs. Guatemala 
Oct. 8/9      Costa Rica vs. USA 
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Oct. 12       USA vs. Panama   
Oct. 12       Guatemala vs. Costa Rica
Oct. 12       Trinidad & Tobago vs. Mexico
 
Playoff (*home team will be determined by lottery at the conclusion of the final round)
Date                Match-up
*Nov. 12/13    AFC #5 vs. CONCACAF #4 
*Nov. 16         AFC #5 vs. CONCACAF #4

-- U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --

U.S. U-20 MNT TOURS HOLLAND, PREPARES FOR WORLD YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Sigi Schmid named a 19-man roster for a three-match tour of the Netherlands that will kickoff tomorrow when the team travels from Delden, Holland, to Rotterdam. This will be the third camp for the U.S. Under-20s as they continue to prepare for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship from June 10-July 2 in Holland. The U.S. has already held a domestic camp in February and participated in an international tournament in South Korea in March after qualifying for the World Championship this past January by winning Group A of the CONCACAF Under-20 Qualifying Tournament at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The U.S. will have two days of practice in Delden before traveling to Rotterdam to take on Feyenoord’s reserve team on April 12. Two days later, the U.S. will get their first look at the city of Enschede, their location for all three of their games in Group D of the World Championship, as they travel there to face FC Twente’s reserves on a training field (not at the stadium). The U.S. will move camp to Mierlo on April 15 and conduct a few more days of training before playing their final match of the tour against Borussia Monchengladbach’s reserve team on April 19 in Maasbree.
U.S. Under-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Quentin Westberg (Paris, France), Justin Hughes (Wake Forest, N.C.), Andrew Kartunen (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.); DEFENDERS (5): Sean Franklin (Palmdale, Calif.), Patrick Phelan (Enfield, Conn.), Nathan Sturgis (St. Augustine, Fla.), Tim Ward (Waukesha, Wis.), Marvell Wynne (Poway, Calif.); MIDFIELDERS (6): Arturo Alvarez (Houston, Texas), Benny Feilhaber (Irvine, Calif.), Jeff Harwell (Dallas, Texas), Patrick Ianni (Lodi, Calif.), Sacha Kljestan (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Lee Nguyen (Richardson, Texas); FORWARDS (5): Charlie Davies (Manchester, N.H.), Brad Evans (Phoenix, Ariz.), Michael Harrington (Greenville, N.C.), Jacob Peterson (Portage, Mich.), Robbie Rogers (Palos Verdes, Calif.)

YOUNGER U.S. U-17 MNT CONTINUE TRAINING AT HOME: The younger U-17 MNT players still in Bradenton fell to St. Leo College 3-2 on Saturday (April 9). Joseph Sorrentino opened the scoring in the eighth minute off a pass from Cesar Nunez, but St. Leo scored two goals before Perica Marosevic buried another Nunez service in the 31st minute to pull even at 2-2. The match looked as if it would end in a draw until St. Leo scored in the final minute for the victory.

U.S. U-15 AND U-16 WNTs HEAD INTO CAMP: The U.S. Under-16 Girl's National Team and U.S. U-15 Girl's National Developmental Team will hold concurrent camps starting in the middle of April at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.  The U.S. U-16s, led by head coach Sue Patberg, will be in camp from April 15-20 while the U-15s, under head coach Stephanie Gabbert, who is also the U.S. Women's National Team Staff Coach for Region II, will run the first camp of the year for this age group from April 16-23.  It will be the third training camp of the year for the U-16s.  The two teams serve a vital link in the U.S. Women's National Team programs as they give talented teenagers valuable training and matches as they are introduced to the international game.  The players in the U-15 training camp (all born in 1990) and the in the U-16s camp (most born in 1989 and a few in 1990) will get the preparation that will allow them to compete spot on future teams in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship.  Following are the rosters for the U.S. U-16s and U-15s.
U.S. U-16 Girl's National Team
GOALKEEPERS (2): Rachel Bachtel (Columbus, Ohio), Hannah Messick (Greenwood, Ind.). DEFENDERS (8): Lauren Brown (Los Altos, Calif.), Nicole Forrest (Upland, Calif.), Melissa Gonzales (Mohegan Lakes, N.Y.), Katie Lutz (Broken Arrow, Ok.), Michelle Olivier (Roswell, Ga.), Ashley Rape (Dallas, Texas), Mary Rachel Reynolds (Alpharetta, Ga.), Kacey Richards (Williamtown, N.J.); MIDFIELDERS (6): Margueritte Aozasa (Los Altos, Calif.), Erica Campanelli (Plano, Texas), Kristie Kuhns (Pleasanton, Calif.), Megan O'Hai (Salt Lake City, Utah), Nicole Romanowski (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), Kylie Wright (Rancho Santa Margartia, Calif.); FORWARDS (6): Jessie Baddley (Ogden, Utah), Chelsea Bednarz (Chandler, Ariz.), Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas), Laura Heyboer (Hudsonville, Mich.), Ashley Miller (Longwood, Fla.), Danielle Toney (Northville, Mich.).

U.S. U-15 Girl's National Developmental Team
GOALKEEPERS (4): Bianca Henninger (San Jose, Calif.), Shaine Millheiser (San Juan Capistrano), Catherine Parkhill (Apple Valley, Minn.), Chante Sandiford (Owing Mills, Md.); DEFENDERS (6): Jennifer Lapont (Castro Valley, Calif.), Camille Levin (Newport Beach, Calif.), Nicole Lipp (Lake Forrest, Ill.), Chaney Lopez (Kapolei, Hawaii), Katy Nagy (Bellmore, N.Y.), Alyssa Pember (Northport, N.Y.); MIDFIELDERS (8): Jazmyne Avant (Coppell, Texas), Amanda Fancher (The Colony, Texas), Alexandria Hampton (Piedmont, Ok.), Krista Lopez (Garland, Texas), Christine Nairn (Bowie, Md.), Casey Short (Naperville, Ill.), Alexa Thompson (Scotdale, Pa.), Beth West (Centennial, Colo.); FORWARDS (6): Mariam Azmi (Fair Oakes, Calif.), Brittany Bartok (Union, N.J.), Alaina Byer (Staten Island, N.Y.), Caroline Dagley (San Rafael, Calif.), Emilie Huser (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Merritt Mathias (Birmingham, Ala.).

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

D.C. UNITED TIES UNAM PUMAS IN D.C., HEADS TO MEXICO CITY: Defending MLS Cup Champion D.C. United tied 1-1 with Mexican League champion UNAM Pumas in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinal on Wednesday (April 6) at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The second leg of the two-game series will take place on April 13 at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario in Mexico City at 8:30 p.m. CT. In the other semifinal, Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica also tied Mexican side CF Monterrey, 2-2, at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Jose, Costa Rica. Those two teams will face each other again at the Estadio Tecnologico in Monterrey, Mexico in the next leg. The winner of the 2005 Champions’ Cup will qualify for the FIFA Club World Championship to be held in Japan on Dec. 11-18.
2005 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup Semifinal Round
Date         Matchup                                                     Result/Time; Venue
April 6      D.C. United vs. UNAM Pumas                1-1
April 7      Deportivo Saprissa vs. CF Monterrey    2-2
April 13    UNAM Pumas vs. D.C. United                8:30 p.m. CT; Estadio Olimpico Universitario
April 13    CF Monterrey vs. Deportivo Saprissa    9 p.m. CT; Estadio Tecnologico

USL FIRST DIVISION KICKS OFF 2005 SEASON: The Atlanta Silverbacks and Richmond Kickers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division kick off the 2005 season on Saturday (April 16) at 7:30 p.m. ET at the University of Richmond Stadium. Saturday’s match will be the first time the First Division sees regular-season action after the restructuring of the two USL professional leagues, the A-League and the Pro Soccer League, into the new two-tiered professional division, officially referred to as the USL First Division and the USL Second Division. Among the significant changes in place this season is the adoption of a single table by the USL First Division. The professional division of United Soccer Leagues will consist of 21 teams in 2005, with 12 in the USL First Division and nine in the USL Second Division. The Richmond Kickers finished the 2004 season in second place in the Eastern Conference and made it all the way to the quarterfinals of the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup before falling 1-0 to the Chicago Fire. Atlanta ended their 2004 season with a 2-1 loss to the Kickers in August, finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference.

TICKETS ON SALE FOR 2005 CONCACAF GOLD CUP: Tickets are available at each of the seven stadiums in the six USA cities that will host the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Ticket prices for single dates start as low as $20 in some venues for first-round doubleheaders. Discounts are available for group tickets and for packages of tickets to all the match days in the same city. The 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup takes place from July 6-24 and will consist of three groups of four teams for the first round with the top two from each group, along with the best two third-placed teams progressing to the quarterfinals for a total of 10 doubleheaders from July 6-17 throughout six stadiums in the USA. The United States Men’s National Team has been drawn against Costa Rica, Canada and Cuba in the first round of the Gold Cup and will open Group B play against Cuba on Thursday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m. PT at Qwest Field in Seattle, before meeting Canada two days later on Saturday, July 9, at the same venue, the match slated for a 1:30 p.m. PT kickoff. The U.S. will travel across the country for their final group match against Costa Rica on Tuesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Landon Donovan showed just why it’s so good to be home on Saturday, when the L.A. Galaxy hosted Real Salt Lake at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. In his first game back since returning to MLS from German club Bayer Leverkusen, Donovan scored two of the Galaxy’s goals and assisted on the third as they handed RSL a convincing 3-1 loss.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team heads to Costa Rica for the 2005 CONCACAF Under-17 Group A Qualifying Tournament. The U-17s are looking to qualify for the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Peru, taking place in September and early October. The U-17s kick off qualifying tomorrow (April 12) against El Salvador at 6:30 p.m. ET and continues on Thursday (April 14) at 6:30 p.m. ET against Cuba and finish on Saturday (April 16) against Costa Rica at 9 p.m. ET. All matches can be followed live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

SOCCER SHOCKER: English Premier League giant Manchester United suffered a blow in its attempt to catch up to league leader Chelsea and second-place Arsenal on Saturday, dropping a 2-0 game to last-place Norwich City at Carrow Road. Dean Ashton and Leon McKenzie scored in the second half for Norwich, who is currently at the bottom of the Premiership table with 23 points. Manchester United has 67 points, 13 behind Chelsea.

QUOTABLE: "You only take this job if you intend to win. You don't take it for any other reason."
     -- U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Greg Ryan, after being named Head Coach and Technical Director of the U.S. WNT on Friday (April 8).

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