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U.S. Soccer Wire - May 21, 2007


BOB BRADLEY NAMED HEAD COACH OF THE U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM,
CONCACAF GOLD CUP ROSTER TO BE NAMED THURSDAY ON ussoccer.com;
U-20 MNT FALLS, 1-0, TO ARGENTINA U-20 MNT;
U-17 MNT LEARNS GROUP E OPPONENTS AT 2007 FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP

BOB BRADLEY NAMED U.S. MNT HEAD COACH: U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati named Bob Bradley as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team at a press conference on Wednesday (May 16) afternoon. Bradley, who becomes the 33rd coach in MNT history, is currently preparing the United States for two major tournaments in June and July, the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the Copa America in Venezuela. Initially named interim head coach of the U.S. National Team on December 8, 2006, the team has posted a 3-0-1 record during his stewardship while scoring eight goals and conceding only two. Bradley is the first U.S. coach to win his first three games in charge, results that included a 2-0 shutout victory against fellow World Cup finalists Mexico in front of a sold-out crowd of 62,462 in Glendale, Ariz., as well as wins against Ecuador and Denmark. With 124 career victories, the 49-year-old Bradley is the winningest coach in the history of MLS, collecting one MLS Cup and two U.S. Open Cup titles with the Chicago Fire, including The Double in 1998 during the club’s inaugural season. During his 12-year MLS career as a head or an assistant coach, Bradley’s team’s qualified for the playoffs every year.

GOLD CUP ROSTER COMING THURSDAY ON ussoccer.com: U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley will announce on Thursday the 23-man roster that will seek to defend the USA's regional title at the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup (tickets and schedule). The Gold Cup roster will be revealed exclusively on ussoccer.com at 12 p.m. ET. The USA is seeking its fourth Gold Cup crown and looks to become the first team in history to earn back-to-back trophies. All three of the USA's group matches will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Telefutura. Players will begin reporting to camp on May 27 in Los Angeles, with their first group match against Guatemala slated for June 7 at The Home Depot Center.

U-17 MNT LEARNS FIRST ROUND OPPONENTS: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Tajikistan for the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea, which will take place from Aug. 18-Sept. 9. The U.S., who was one of the seeded teams in the draw, opens against Tajikistan on Aug. 20, then faces Tunisia on Aug. 23 and concludes group play on Aug. 26 against Belgium. The U.S. will play Tajikistan and Tunisia in Changwon before heading to Cheonan to face Belgium. Every U.S. match at the U-17 World Cup can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The U.S. qualified for South Korea ’07 with a first-place finish in Group A of the CONCACAF U-17 Final Round Qualifying Tournament in Kingston, Jamaica, earlier this month. The U.S. scored nine goals in four games during qualifying, including three during their shutout victory in their opening game against Trinidad & Tobago. The U-17s then topped Canada, 2-1, before falling to host Jamaica, 3-2, but bounced back to defeat Costa Rica, 2-1, to ensure themselves the top spot in the group. Visit the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup competitions page at ussoccer.com for a complete schedule and standings, plus features, podcasts, and exclusive all_access video coverage of the U-17 MNT in South Korea.

U-20 MNT FALLS TO ARGENTINA IN WORLD CUP PREPARATION MATCH: In a game that served as a warm-up for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, defending world champion Argentina held off a fierce United States’ attack on Tuesday night at PAETEC Park in Rochester, N.Y., and made a 56th minute goal stand for a 1-0 victory. Both teams will be taking part in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will take place in Canada from June 30-July 22. The U.S. was drawn into Group D with South Korea, Poland and Brazil. This is the sixth straight appearance for the U.S. in the world championship and their 11th overall. The U.S. opens against South Korea 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 South Korea and Poland at The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, before heading to Ottawa to face Brazil at Frank Clair Stadium. This will be the second team Thomas Rongen will take to a FIFA U-20 World Cup, having coached the U.S. Under-20s at the 2003 event in the United Arab Emirates (then named FIFA World Youth Championship), leading the team to an impressive fifth place finish.

U.S. WOMEN RECONVENE FOR RESIDENCY CAMP AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Greg Ryan will bring 30 players back to Residency Training Camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., for the next training block running from May 21-31. The USA is coming off a rousing 6-2 win over Canada on May 12 and will now be preparing for the first match of the six-game 2007 Women’s National Team Send-Off Series, taking place in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 16, against 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup hosts China (7 p.m. ET on ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS). At the end of this training block, Ryan will start to shave the Residency Camp numbers down in preparation for the Send-Off Series and eventually the naming of the 21-player Women’s World Cup Team. After this block, the team will go on a week-long break and then return to training at The HDC from June 6-11 before leaving for Cleveland on June 12. Of the 30 players in camp, three are injured and will not be training: goalkeeper Jenni Branam, defender Amy LePeilbet and defender Heather Mitts, who tore the ACL in her left knee against Canada and will miss the Women’s World Cup. New players in camp being given trials include goalkeeper Kim Bingham, a former Arizona State star, forward Christie Welsh, who was one of the USA’s leading scorers in 2005, and forward Megan Rapinoe, a youth national team standout who is at the tail end of her recovery from ACL surgery. Goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill also comes in for her second stint in Residency Camp. Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart is not in training for this block but is still in the running for a place on the Women’s World Cup Team. Ryan released forwards Danesha Adams and Kacey White, as well as defender Keeley Dowling. Forward Kelley O’Hara has left camp to join the U.S. U-20s while defender Rachel Buehler has left camp to play with the U.S. U-21s.

U.S. Women’s National Team Residency Camp Roster – July 21-31
GOALKEEPERS (5): Kim Bingham (Pleasanton, Calif.), Jenni Branam (Placentia, Calif.), Kristin Luckenbill (Paoli, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (9): Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Tina Ellertson (Vancouver, Wash.), Amy LePeilbet (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (8): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Marci Jobson (St. Charles, Ill.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Joanna Lohman (Silver Spring, Md.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.);
FORWARDS (8): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Megan Rapinoe (Redding, Calif.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.), Christie Welsh (Massapequa Park, N.Y.).


WNT “SEND-OFF SERIES” KICKS OFF JUNE 16 IN CLEVELAND: The U.S. will continue preparing for the 2007 Women’s World Cup in China, kicking off their Send-Off Series against China (tickets) in Cleveland on June 16, Brazil (tickets) in East Rutherford, N.J., on June 23, and Norway (tickets) in East Hartford, Conn., on July 14. The U.S. will also face Japan (tickets) in San Jose, Calif., on July 28 at 10 p.m. ET at Spartan Stadium in a match presented by Visa, before taking on New Zealand (tickets) in Chicago on Aug. 12 at 1 p.m. ET at Soldier Field, and finally Finland (tickets) in Los Angeles on Aug. 25 at The Home Depot Center in the final Send-Off Series match. Ticket information for all six games is available at ussoccer.com or by calling local Ticketmaster outlets or the respective stadium’s box offices. Group tickets for 15 or more people for any of the Send-Off Series matches are available by calling 312-528-1290 or downloading a group order form at ussoccer.com. ESPN2 will broadcast the New York, Hartford, Chicago and Los Angeles matches live, while ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS will provide live streaming video of the matches in Cleveland and San Jose. Fans can also follow stats and commentary online with ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. For information about the WNT’s draw at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, visit the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup competitions page for a complete schedule and standings, plus features, podcasts, and exclusive all_access video coverage of the WNT in China.


2007 Women’s National Team Send-Off Series
Date Opponent Location Kickoff TV
June 16 China Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio) 7 p.m. ET ussoccer.com's MatchACCESS
June 23 Brazil Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.) 5 p.m. ET ESPN2 / Galavision
July 14 Norway Rentschler Field (East Hartford, Conn.) 6 p.m. ET ESPN2
July 28 Japan Spartan Stadium (San Jose, Calif.) 7 p.m. PT ussoccer.com's MatchACCESS
Aug. 12 New Zealand Soldier Field (Chicago) 12 p.m. CT ESPN2
Aug. 25 Finland The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) 6:30 p.m. PT ESPN2

U.S. 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Schedule
Date Opponent Venue Kickoff
Sept. 11 North Korea Chengdu (Chengdu Sports Center Stadium) 5 p.m. local / 5 a.m. ET
Sept. 14 Sweden Chengdu (Chengdu Sports Center Stadium) 5 p.m. local / 5 a.m. ET
Sept. 18 Nigeria Shanghai (Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium) 8 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET
Sept. 22 Quarterfinals* Wuhan or Tianjin 5 p.m. local or 8 p.m. local
Sept. 26/27 Semifinals* Tianjin or Hangzhou 8 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET
Sept. 30 Final* Shanghai (Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium) 8 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET
* If Necessary


COPA AMERICA MATCHES TO BE SHOWN LIVE ON GOLTV: All 26 matches of the 2007 Copa America will be broadcast live in English on GolTV, the network announced on Wednesday (May 16). Matches include all three of the U.S. Men's National Team's first round matches. The U.S. opens the tournament against Argentina on June 28 at 8:45 ET, followed by a match against Paraguay at 6:30 p.m. ET on July 2. On July 5, the U.S. closes the first round by facing Colombia at 6:30 p.m. ET. Univision will air all matches in Spanish.

U.S. MNT 2007 Copa America First Round Schedule
Group C
Date Opponent Time (ET)
June 28 Argentina 8:45 p.m.
July 2 Paraguay 6:30 p.m.
July 5 Colombia 6:30 p.m.
July 7/8 Quarterfinals* TBD
July 10/11 Semifinals* TBD
July 14 Final* 5:05 p.m. ET
* If Necessary


U.S. MNT TO FACE SWEDEN IN AUGUST: The United States Men’s National Team will play its first match on European soil in 2007 when they travel to face 11-time World Cup finalists Sweden on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Ullevi Stadium in Goteborg, Sweden. Kickoff for the match is set for 8:30 p.m. local time (2:30 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel, with Galavision airing the match live at 2:30 p.m. ET and delayed at 2:30 p.m. PT. Fans can also follow the match live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The U.S. is gearing up for a busy summer, beginning with a tune-up match against China on June 2 at Spartan Stadium in San Jose (tickets). Five days later, the three-time champions will try to defend their title against 11 other teams at the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, scheduled from June 6-24 in several cities across the United States. Just a few days later, the U.S. will participate in the 2007 Copa America, the regional championship of South America. The 12-team tournament will run from June 26 to July 15 in nine cities across Venezuela. For the United States, the appearance will mark their third entrance into CONMEBOL’s signature event, and the first since a third place finish in 1995.

U.S. MNT 2007 Schedule
Date Match Venue Result/Kickoff/TV
Jan. 20 USA vs. Denmark Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) 3-1 W
Feb. 7 USA vs. Mexico Univ. of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.) 2-0 W
March 25 USA vs. Ecuador Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Fla.) 3-1 W
March 28 USA vs. Guatemala Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas) 0-0 T
June 2 USA vs. China Spartan Stadium (San Jose, Calif.) 8 p.m. ET / ESPN2 & Galavision
June 7 USA vs. Guatemala^ Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) 6 p.m. PT / FSC and Telefutura
June 9 USA vs. T&T^ Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) 2 p.m. PT / FSC and Telefutura
June 12 USA vs. El Salvador^ Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.) 7 p.m. ET / FSC and Telefutura
June 16/17 Quarterfinal^* Foxborough or Houston TBD
June 21 Semifinal^* Soldier Field (Chicago) TBD
June 24 Final^* Soldier Field (Chicago) 3 p.m. ET
June 28 USA vs. Argentina # Estadio Jose Romero (Maracaibo) TBD --
July 2 USA vs. Paraguay # Estadio Agustin Tovar (Barinas) TBD --
July 5 USA vs. Colombia # Estadio Metropolitano FdL (Barquisimeto) TBD –
July 7/8 Quarterfinals#* San Cristóbal, Barinas, Maturín, BarquisimetoTBD
July 10/11 Semifinals#* Caracas, Puerto Ordaz TBD
July 14 Final#* Caracas Olympic Stadium (Caracas) 5:05 p.m. ET
Aug. 22 Sweden Ullevi Stadium (Goteborg, Sweden) 2:30 p.m. ET / FSC / Galavision (2:30 ET/PT)

^ CONCACAF Gold Cup
# Copa America
* If necessary


U.S. PARALYMPIC TEAM COMPETES IN THE NETHERLANDS: The U.S. Paralympic team dropped their first three games at the 2007 CP International Tournament at the KNVB National Training Center in Zeist, Netherlands. Despite playing quality soccer, the U.S. was unable to overcome Russia's two-goal lead in the the first match. The second match saw U.S. goalkeeper Keith Johnson leave the match with a shoulder sprain, with the U.S. falling, 4-0, to Iran. Against England, the U.S. scored two goals but fell, 3-2, in their second to last match. The round robin tournament will serve as a warm-up for both the ParaPanAmerican Games, which will take place in August in Rio de Janeiro, and the World Championship in November. Both events present opportunities to qualify for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. 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.

U.S. Paralympic Team Schedule/Results
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
May 17 Russia 1-2 L Marthell Vazquez
May 19 Iran 4-0 L --
May 21 England 2-3 L Chris Ahrens, Marthell Vazquez
May 22 Netherlands -- --

Paralympic Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (1): Keith Johnson
DEFENDERS (4): Derek Arneaud, Louis Garrett Jon McCullough, Dave Woosnam
MIDFIELDERS (5): Tom Latsch, Josh McKinney, Eric Poulin, Shaun Schetka, Jason Slemons
FORWARDS (2): Chris Ahrens, Marthell Vazquez


CREDENTIAL DEADLINES APPROACHING FOR SUMMER INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS: Media members may register online for the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007 and the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 at the media services section of FIFA.com. Deadline for applications to the Women’s World Cup is May 31, and the deadline for the U-20 World Cup is May 30. Successful applications will be notified and given further information as the tournament approaches. Applications are subject to confirmation and international applicants are responsible for their own visas. More information about the tournaments is available at FIFA.com. Applications for credentials for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup are now available online at concacaf.com and GoldCup.org. Application deadline is June 1 and a color passport photo must be submitted with the application form. No credential applications will be accepted after the deadline. Copa America credentials are available at CopaAmerica.com and the deadline is May 26.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-21 WOMEN HEAD TO GERMANY FOR THREE MATCHES: U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team head coach Bill Irwin and his squad are in Dortmund, Germany for three matches against top women’s club teams on a trip that began on May 18 and will last through May 27. The U-21s are coming off a second place finish at the 2007 Futbol Internacional Tournament in Alabama, where they finished in second place in the six-team competition, falling in penalty kicks to Canada in the championship game. The U-21s will face Gutersloh on May 22, followed by a match against SG Essen-Schönebeck on May 24 and finish with a game against 07 Bad Neuenahr on May 26. The German women’s Bundesliga is widely hailed as one of the top two women’s leagues in the world, along with Sweden’s top division. Irwin will bring a strong squad to Germany as 11 of the 18 players named have played in one or more youth world championships for the USA. Midfielder Angie Woznuk has one cap for the full National Team, the only player on the roster with senior team caps. Defender Rachel Buehler is currently in Residency Training Camp with the Women’s National Team, but will leave camp to play with the U-21s. The U-21s will return home and the squad will have just a week before re-grouping in Portland, Oregon, from June 6-13 for a training camp that will be the last preparation for the 2007 Nordic Cup to be held in Finland from July 18-24.

U.S. U-21 WNT Schedule
Date Opponent
May 22 Gutersloh
May 24 Essen-Schonebeck
May 26 07 Bad Neuenahr

U.S. U-21 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cori Alexander (Portland), Kelsey Davis (Portland);
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Stanford), Kendall Fletcher (UNC), Nikki Krzysik (Virginia), Stephanie Logterman (Texas), Manya Makoski (Arizona State), Becky Sauerbrunn (Virginia);
MIDFIELDERS (6): Natalie Capuano (Penn), Tina DiMartino (UCLA), Kara Karellis (Wisconsin), Ali Krieger (Penn State), Lisa Sari (Portland), Angie Woznuk (Portland);
FORWARDS (4): Natalie Budge (Portland), Kerri Hanks (Notre Dame), Ella Masar (Illinois), Jessica Rostedt (Virginia).


U.S. U-15 GIRLS’ NATIONAL TEAM COMES TO THE HDC FOR TRAINING CAMP: The U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team came together on May 19 for a training camp from at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. U.S. head coach Tad Bobak has called in 24 players to the camp, all born in 1992, as the youngest of the USA’s five youth national teams holds its second training camp of 2007. The camp will last through May 25. The U-15s will get a chance to watch the full Women’s National Team train as head coach Greg Ryan’s squad are in Residency Training Camp from May 21-31 before going on a break.

U.S. U-15 GNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Vittoria Arnold (Mesquite, Texas), Erin Dees (Downers Grove, Ill.), Makenna Henry (Fountain Valley, Calif.);
DEFENDERS (8): Mackenzie Akerfelds (Littleton, Colo.), Mia Bruno (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.), Briana Hovington (Lothian, Md.), Emi Lawson (Shoreline, Wash.), Megan Oyster (Naperville, Ill.), Mollie Pathman (Durham, N.C.), Cathrine Sessions (Woodbury, Minn.), Carrie Whigman (Phoenix, Ariz.);
MIDFIELDERS (8): Michelle Cruz (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Nicole Duarte (League City, Texas), Kylie Facinelli (Del Mar, Calif.), Kaitltyn Fitzpatrick (Pleasanton, Calif.), Natalia Ledezma (La Mirada, Calif.), Samantha Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Kealia Ohai (Draper, Utah), Courtney Strombeck (Orangevale, Calif.);
FORWARDS (5): Kaley Blades (Largo, Fla.), Kori Chapic (Russel, Ohio), Nicole Locandro (Kennesaw, Ga.), Devin Marshall (Bonita, Calif.), Tawni Martino (Irvine, Calif.)


– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

ROBERTS, HAMILTON HEAD TO PHILIPPINES AS STATE DEPARTMENT SPORTS ENVOYS: U.S. Soccer is continuing to work with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs on a sports initiative that sends players and coaches from U.S. Soccer’s National Teams out as State Department Sports Envoys traveling abroad to conduct clinics and spark a dialogue with children from around the world. The latest U.S. Soccer Sports Envoy team features two FIFA Women’s World Cup champions from the U.S. Women’s National Team. Tiffany Roberts earned 110 caps for the WNT, earning a Women’s World Cup crown in 1999, while Linda Hamilton was a WNT pioneer, earning 71 caps from 1987 to 1995 and winning the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991.The two athletes will visit the Philippines from May 19-25 conducting eight different clinics for boys and girls in Manila and Iloilo. The Department of State, in partnership with U.S. Soccer’s International Relations Program, launched the World Cup Sports Initiative which brought 30 young soccer players from 13 countries to participate in a soccer program in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Germany, June 10-24, 2006. Last year, players and coaches from U.S. Soccer’s National Team program traveled to the countries of Bahrain, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.

US CLUB SOCCER 2007 NATIONAL CUP VI OPENS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND: The sixth edition of US Club Soccer’s signature event, The National Cup, kicks off Memorial Day weekend with regional play in Jacksonville, Fla., on May 25-28 and LaGrangeville, N.Y., on May 26-28. More than 1,200 Boys' and Girls' Under-12 through Under-17 teams have registered to compete in the 2007 National Cup VI, which consists of eight Regionals held through the Fourth of July with the winners advancing to the Finals in late July. Visit usclubsoccer.org for more National Cup VI information including schedules, results, photos and the “Road to the Cup Blog.”

2007 CONCACAF GOLD CUP TICKETS NOW ON SALE: Tickets for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup are now on sale for all dates and venues. Tickets start at $20 for first round games and can be purchased by calling 1-888-878-2007. Ticket packages are available for all games and match days at a single venue. Discounts are also available for groups. More information is available at ussoccer.com.

VISIT ussoccer.com's YOUTUBE CHANNEL: U.S. Soccer fans can now follow their favorite U.S. National Team coaches and players on ussoccer.com's YouTube channel. It includes interviews, press conferences and other exclusive behind-the-scenes features as well as coverage of the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Women's World Cup, FIFA's Youth World Cups, Olympic Soccer, CONCACAF Gold Cup and other competitions, and all of the National Teams' qualifying competitions and friendlies. Subscribe to ussoccer.com's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/ussoccerdotcom.

U.S. SOCCER NATIONAL COACHING SCHOOLS SUMMER DATES SET: This summer, candidates will have a chance to learn from some of the nation’s top-level instructors, including current and former National Team, MLS and WUSA coaches at U.S. Soccer’s National Coaching Schools. Officially licensed by FIFA, the schools provide premier coaching education to coaches at all levels of the game. Limited space is available. Make your summer plans now to attend a U.S. Soccer “A”, “B” or “C” License course this June and July. For more information, visit ussoccer.com or call 312-808-1300. [CoachesNet]

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: D.C. United’s Jaime Moreno scored the game-winning goal in the team’s 2-1 win against Toronto FC on Saturday, May 19, in Toronto. The goal, aside from helping United earn three points, was the 108th goal of Moreno’s career, tying him with Jason Kreis for the most goals scored in MLS history. One more goal would place Moreno at the top of the list after Kreis retired as a player earlier this year to take the helm of Real Salt Lake.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Mexican club Cruz Azul was kicked out of the Mexican League semifinals last week after using banned midfielder Salvador Carmona in the first leg of their semifinal series against Pachuca on Wednesday (May 16). Carmona was banned for one year after the 2005 Confederations Cup when he tested positive for a banned substance. He tested positive a second time in January 2006 and, on appeal, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s request for a longtime ban. Carmona is now banned from playing soccer for life and Pachuca will go on to face Club America in the tournament final.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The biggest club match of the year takes place on Wednesday, May 23, as Liverpool and AC Milan meet at the Athens Olympic Stadium in the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final. It is a rematch of the 2005 final, in which AC Milan surrendered a 3-0 halftime lead to the Reds before falling in penalties. The broadcast begins at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2, with the match kicking off at 2:25 p.m. ET.

QUOTABLE: “On paper, it’s may seem like a favorable draw for us, however, in my experience at the Under-17 World Cup you never know really what’s going to happen because at this age level things are definitely a little unpredictable. We know very little about Tajikistan and Tunisia, so that is going to be a huge challenge for us. We do know a little about Belgium, but we have some work to do to get prepared for all of our teams in Group E. It will be very interesting come this August when we kick off the World Cup.”
-- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth told ussoccer.com after learning the USA’s three first round opponents at the 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup (listen).

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