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U.S. Soccer Wire: October 29, 2007



WORLD CUP VETERAN WILMER CABRERA NAMED HEAD COACH
OF THE U.S. UNDER-17 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM;
JOHN HACKWORTH NAMED U.S. MNT ASSISTANT COACH;
GREG RYAN’S CONTRACT TO EXPIRE AS HEAD COACH OF U.S. WNT

CABRERA NAMED HEAD COACH OF U.S. U-17 MNT: U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati has named Wilmer Cabrera, a two-time World Cup veteran from Colombia, as head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team. Cabrera, 40, will oversee U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program from Bradenton, Fla. Cabrera, who earned his USSF A Coaching License in 2005, has been a member of the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team staff since January of 2007, serving as an assistant coach under Bob Jenkins. He has been a part of a number of camps, including trips to Mexico, Portugal and Japan earlier this year. The former Colombian international is a veteran of two FIFA World Cups. He was named to the roster in 1990 and played in three matches in France in 1998. The defender earned a total of 48 caps during nine years with the national team, missing out on the 1994 World Cup in the USA because of an injury. He also represented Colombia at two FIFA U-20 World Cups (1985 in the Soviet Union and 1987 in Chile), starting all three games for the team in the 1987 tournament after being selected to the 1985 roster at age 17.

JOHN HACKWORTH NAMED U.S. MNT ASSISTANT COACH: Longtime U.S. Soccer Youth National Team coach John Hackworth has been named as an assistant coach to Bob Bradley and the U.S. Men’s National Team. The move comes one month before the USA’s final game of 2007 on Nov. 17 against South Africa in Johannesburg (live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision at 9 a.m. ET), and seven months before the team’s road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup officially begins next June. In addition to joining Bob Bradley’s national team staff, Hackworth will also serve as the Development Academy Director in U.S. Soccer’s new player development initiative that launched earlier this year. In his additional role with the Development Academy, Hackworth will be the primary liaison to Academy clubs on all technical issues. That duty will include a focus on ensuring technical compliance within each of the 64 clubs in the system, as well as communicating policy decisions, training guidelines and, ultimately, connecting the clubs to the National Team program.

RYAN WILL NOT CONTINUE AS U.S. WNT HEAD COACH: U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati announced Monday (Oct. 22) that the contract of U.S. Women's National Team head coach Greg Ryan will not be renewed when it expires at the end of 2007, ending his nearly three-year tenure as the team’s head coach. The decision was made after a review of the team's third-place finish at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China. Ryan finishes his career with an official record of 45-1-9, after originally joining the team as head coach in January, 2005. Ryan also served as an assistant coach for the team in 2004. The search for the next coach will be led by a three-person committee made up of Gulati, U.S. Soccer Secretary General Dan Flynn and Hall of Fame Women’s National Team forward Mia Hamm. An announcement on the new coach is expected in the next 30 to 45 days. The U.S. team will return to training in January and will play a full schedule of domestic and international games in preparation for qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament in Beijing, China.

U.S. BEACH SOCCER TEAMS HEADS TO RIO FOR WORLD CUP: U.S. Beach Soccer head coach Roberto Ceciliano named the 12-player roster that will compete in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2007 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup from Nov. 2-11 at the famed Copacabana beach. The experienced roster is led by captain Francis Farberoff, who holds the captaincy for his second consecutive World Cup. Ten players return from the 2006 FIFA World Cup roster, including defender Zak Ibsen, who earned 15 caps for the full U.S. Men's National Team from 1992-98.

Date         Opponent
Nov. 2       Spain
Nov. 4       Iran
Nov. 6       Portugal
Nov. 8       Quarterfinals*
Nov. 10     Semifinals*
Nov. 11     Final / Third Place*
*If Necessary

U.S. Beach Soccer World Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Luis Montanez (Hayward, Calif.), 12-Bayard Elfvin (Portland, Ore.);
DEFENDERS (4): 3-Brendon Taguinod (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 5-Benyam Astorga (Miami, Fla.), 9-Zak Ibsen (San Francisco, Calif.), 10-Francis Farberoff (Miami Beach, Fla.);
FORWARDS (6): 2-Jevin Albuquerque (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 4-Yuri Morales (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 6-Ronnie Silva (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 7-Josh Nolz (Virginia Beach, Va.), 8-Anthony Chimienti (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), 11-Raphael Xexeo (Lawndale, Calif.)

RONGEN TO CONTINUE AS U.S. U-20 MNT HEAD COACH: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen’s contract has been extended through the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup cycle. Rongen led the Under-20 team in their exciting quarterfinal run in 2007 World Cup in Canada. He was also at the helm in the 2003 tournament where the U.S. finished in fifth place. Rongen will begin the two-year cycle by leading an Under-18 team in the Limoges Tournament in France this week. The 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will be held in Egypt.

MNT TO FACE SWEDEN IN FIRST MATCH OF 2008: Six months prior to the start of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the United States Men’s National Team will play its first match of 2008 against Sweden on Saturday, Jan. 19, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., at 5:30 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel. Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets ranging in price levels from $18 to $55 and special edition U.S. Soccer on-field seats for $150 are now on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone (213-480-3232 in L.A.; 714-740-2000 in Orange County; 619-220-8497 in San Diego), at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Southern California (including Macy's, Wherehouse Music, FYE and Ritmo Latino), and at The Home Depot Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) Groups of 20 or more can obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (a special VIP package which includes a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. national team jersey with your name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits), are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com. 

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. UNDER-18 MNT SCHEDULE CHANGED FOR LIMOGES TOURNAMENT: The U.S. U-18 Men are now in Limoges, France, for the Limoges Tournament, which lasts through Nov. 4. The team was scheduled to leave on Saturday, but alternate flights were made for Sunday due to a strike by cabin crew members of Air France. Under the circumstances, the USA’s game against France, scheduled for Monday night, has been pushed back to Tuesday, Oct. 30 in Limoges. The game against France will be the opening match of the Limoges Tournament, where the U.S. will also take on Turkey on Oct. 31 and Scotland on Nov. 3. U.S. Under-20 head coach Thomas Rongen, who will be leading the team as part of early preparations for the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, has named an 18-player roster made up of players born in 1990 and 1991.

U.S. U-18 MNT Schedule
Date       Opponent
Oct. 30   France
Oct. 31   Turkey
Nov. 3    Scotland

U.S. U-18 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wisc.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.);
DEFENDERS (5): Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Omar Elmasri (Arcida, Calif.), Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.);
MIDFIELDERS (6): Shane Cooke (Warrenton, Va.), Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Greg Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), Brek Shea (College Station, Texas), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.);
FORWARDS (5): Chris Agorsor (Severn, Md.), Chris Hegngi (Silver Spring, Md.), Mario Ledezma (Sylmar, Calif.), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.), Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.)

SECOND DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY SHOWCASE TO TAKE PLACE IN FEBRUARY: The U.S. Soccer Development Academy will stage its Winter Showcase from Feb. 16-18, 2008, at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups will each boast 43 elite teams from across the country and a total of 86 games that will be played over the course of the weekend. Clubs from 19 different states will be represented in Frisco, with California and New York sending five each, while North Carolina, Illinois and Ohio will each send four. Every team will play two games against non-conference opponents to complement their intraconference schedule. The complete Winter Showcase schedule will be announced at a later date. The showcase will also feature the nation’s top referees as selected by U.S. Soccer’s Professional Referee Assignors. The referees at the weekend’s matches will be trained and evaluated by the top members of the U.S. Soccer referee department.

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

PARALYMPIC TEAM TO COMPETE IN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: The U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team will head to Rio de Janeiro for the CPRISA World Championships from Oct. 31-Nov. 18. The team will kick off their run at the World Championships on Nov. 5 against the Netherlands. Two days later, they will match up against Iran, followed by their final group match against Spain on Nov. 9. Head coach Jay Hoffman selected 12 players for the tournament.

U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team Roster
GOALKEEPERS (1): Keith Johnson
DEFENDERS (4): Chris Ahrens (Rochester, N.Y.), Derek Arneaud (E. Stroudsburg, Pa.), Louis Garrett (Columbus, Ohio), John Theobald (Syracuse, N.Y.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Tommy Latsch (Cleveland, Ohio), Jon McCullough (Washington, D.C.), Josh McKinney (Cary, N.C.), Shaun Schetka (New Brighton, Pa.), Jason Slemons (Eagle River, Ark.)
FORWARDS (2): Josh Blue (Denver, Colo.), Marthell Vazquez (Long Beach, Calif.)

FIFA ENDS POLICY OF ROTATING WORLD CUPS: The FIFA Executive Committee voted on Monday (Oct. 29) to end the policy of rotating the FIFA World Cup through the six confederations (AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, OFC, UEFA). Countries may not apply for a tournament if their confederation hosted one of the two preceding tournaments. The decision will take effect beginning with the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as the 2010 edition will be played in South Africa and the 2014 FIFA World Cup is expected to go to Brazil after Colombia withdrew from the race.

U.S. SOCCER WINTER COACHING SCHOOLS SET: U.S. Soccer's National Coaching Schools have been set for the first week of January, giving every coach a chance to obtain a FIFA recognized “A”, “B” or “C” level license and increase their knowledge of the game. All January "A," "B" and "C" coaching schools will take place from Jan. 2-10, 2007, in three warm-weather locations. The National “A” License course will take place at the University of Tampa in Tampa, Fla., and The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The National “B” and “C” License courses will be offered at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and a soon to be announced West Coast site. Also in January is the third edition of U.S. Soccer's National Goalkeeping License course, which will be held Jan. 4-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. More information is available in the Coaches Section of ussoccer.com.

U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM NOMINATED FOR “PREMIO DE LA GENTE” AWARD: The U.S. Men’s National Team has been nominated for one of the 2007 El Premio de la Gente Awards, up against Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay for “Most Popular International Soccer Team of the Year.” Vote for the U.S. Men at http://www.votaelpremio.com/index.php. It is the first year that sports are included in the award, which has previously been the “Premio de la Gente” Music Awards.

NOMINATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR 2008 WERNER FRICKER BUILDER AWARD: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2008 U.S. Soccer Werner Fricker Builder Award, which is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer, without regard to personal recognition or advancement. The award was created in 2002 and is the greatest recognition bestowed by U.S. Soccer on its membership. The award is designed to honor those who have created or fostered programs that will outlast their own active involvement in the sport and that establish a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States. Interested persons can nominate individuals for the annual Werner Fricker Builder Award by downloading the form at ussoccer.com and mailing it to U.S. Soccer, c/o the Werner Fricker Builder Award Committee, 1801 S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616 or emailing it to wernerfrickeraward@ussoccer.org. This form is also available at ussoccer.com, and applications must be postmarked or sent by January 1, 2008 (download application).

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Freddy Adu completed an excellent week (or so) for Benfica, as he scored the winner in his club’s 2-1 victory over Maritimo on Sunday. In the 87th minute, Adu beat his marker for pace, and turned in a low cross from just inside the six yard box to ensure that 10-men Benfica stayed second in the Portuguese League table. On Wednesday, Adu was a substitute in Benfica’s 1-0 win over Celtic, and he played a part in the build up to Oscar Cardozo’s winning goal. Last Saturday, he was also on the score sheet, netting in injury time against Setubal to force a replay in the Portuguese League Cup.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Is it a shock that FC Dallas defeated the Houston Dynamo, 1-0, in the first leg of their playoff series this weekend? No. Is it a shocker that it was Clarence Goodson who delivered the victory? Yes. Even more amazing is that it was Goodson's second straight playoff game with a goal (he also scored in their 3-2 loss in the second leg of the 2006 Western Semifinals), considering the defender has just one regular season goal in the past two seasons. Goodson and FC Dallas are looking to be part of even a bigger soccer shocker that's in the making as all four lower ranked teams either won or tied the opening matches of the MLS playoffs this weekend (Chicago and KC also won 1-0 and Red Bull New York drew 0-0).

MARQUEE MATCHUP: With the first leg of the Major League Soccer playoffs behind us, the action continues this week as the teams meet up again for the second leg. Chicago travels to D.C. with a 1-0 lead, and will take on D.C. United at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Nov. 1, live on ESPN2. On Friday, FC Dallas visits Houston Dynamo at 8:30 p.m. ET (DK, MLSlive.tv), also ahead 1-0, while New York and New England, who tied their first match, face off at the Meadowlands at 7:30 p.m. ET, live on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español. The conference semifinals conclude on Saturday, Nov. 3, with Chivas USA hosting Kansas City at 10:30 p.m. ET (DK, HDNet, MLSLIVE.tv).

QUOTABLE: “Since I moved to this country, I’ve had a goal. First, learn English. Then try to share my experience as a World Cup player through my career with the kids over here. That was my goal, my first objective that moved me to this country. From the first day, I started to work to try to reach that goal. I started to study English, I started taking my (coaching) licenses, B and A, and I tried to convert to the U.S. system of youth academies and the O.D.P. program as well as Region I. I’ve been doing all of that. I know the system; I’ve been learning it since I moved over here, so I’ve been working for this. Obviously I had to wait for the opportunity. Now I have the opportunity and it’s my responsibility to show that I am prepared for it.”
-- Former Colombian international and U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Wilmer Cabrera about his appointment as head coach of the U.S. U-17 MNT.

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