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U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. Men Top Ecuador 1-0 in Birmingham, Off to Best Start Ever With 6-1-1 Record


U.S. MEN CONTINUE TORRID START TO 2002, TOP ECUADOR 1-0 IN BIRMINGHAM: The U.S. Men's National Team continued its string of strong performances in 2002 on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Ecuador in front of a raucous, pro-American crowd of 24,133 fans at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.  The lone U.S. goal came from midfielder Eddie Lewis, the third of his international career, as he earned Chevrolet Man of the Match honors for his play.  The victory was the sixth of the year for the U.S., who have outscored their opponents 14-2 in 2002 while compiling a 6-1-1 record through eight games.  "What I enjoyed the most out of this game today was that it was not a friendly type of game," said U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena. "Ecuador came out and played a hard 90 minutes. It had the look and smell of a World Cup qualifier out there. You have to play in games like this. When things don't go right, you have to find a way to win, and I think our guys did that. In our first eight games in 2002, I think we've shown marked improvement."  Lewis' goal came in the 21st minute, as he slotted a bending, left-footed shot past Ecuadorian goalkeeper Jose Francisco Cevallos from 12 yards. For Lewis, who has appeared in six of eight games for the U.S. in 2002 and now has 36 career caps, the goal was his first for the team since Jan. 29, 2000, a 2-1 win in Chile.  The U.S. played the final 31 minutes with 10 men after Clint Mathis was whistled for his second yellow card of the game after a late tackle on Edwin Tenorio. 

MNT NOTES FROM BIRMINGHAM: The victory marked the first time the U.S. has ever won six of their first eight games in a calendar year ... The victory marked the first time in nine games that the U.S. has beaten Ecuador, and, in fact, Lewis' goal was the first against the team after six straight shutouts dating back to 1984 ...  San Jose Earthquakes teammates Jeff Agoos and Landon Donovan have the two longest consecutive games played streaks intact for the U.S.  Agoos has appeared in the last 16 matches for the United States, last missing a game back on June 7, 2001 (coincidentally, against Ecuador) ... Agoos hit the 125-cap mark on Sunday, and is only three caps shy of catching former U.S. defender Marcelo Balboa for second all-time in U.S. Soccer history ...  Meanwhile, 20-year-old Landon Donovan has not missed a match for the U.S. since his World Cup qualifying debut against Honduras in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 1, 2001 ... His streak now standing at 13 games, Donovan has begun 2002 in exceptional form, scoring three goals and thrice earning Chevrolet Man of the Match honors.

U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM FINISHES FIFTH AT ALGARVE CUP: U.S. forward Shannon MacMillan continued her torrid scoring pace in 2002, notching her second career hat trick to lead the U.S. Women's National Team to a 3-2 victory over Denmark in the fifth-place match of the 9th Algarve Cup.  MacMillan scored seven of the USA's eight goals in the tournament, upping her 2002 total to 11 and her career international goals to 46.  She has now scored in five consecutive matches for the USA, dating back to the game vs. China on Jan. 27.  Her two goals in a five-minute span in the first half and her one score in the second kept the Americans just ahead of a skillful and tough Danish team who pulled to within a goal twice. With the hat trick, MacMillan finished as the tournament's top scorer and moved past Tisha Venturini into a tie for seventh place on the all-time U.S. goal scoring list. The U.S. Women advanced to the fifth-place game after going 1-1-1 in group play.  The U.S. opened the tournament with a 1-1 draw with Sweden and then a 2-0 win over England to set up another classic confrontation with nemesis Norway.  A win over Norway would have put the U.S. in the final, but the U.S. came out on the wrong side of a 3-2 result.
2002 Algarve Cup Results
Date        Opponent   Result    U.S. Goalscorers

March 1   Sweden       1-1 T       MacMillan
March 3   England       2-0 W      MacMillan, Wilson
March 5   Norway        2-3 L        MacMillan (2)
March 7   Denmark     3-2 W      MacMillan (3)

MNT EURO UPDATE:  Conor Casey got his first two starts with Hannover this week, going all 90 minutes in a pair of 3-1 wins against LR Ahlen (March 4) and SV Babelsberg (March 9).  Casey scored in the first minute against Babelsberg, his third goal since January 27.  Steve Cherundolo played all 90 minutes in Hannover’s 3-1 win at SV Babelsberg on Saturday.  Brad Friedel shutout Aston Villa in a midweek match, earning a 3-0 win.  Blackburn sit just inside the relegation zone, but have a game in hand.  They next face Leeds (March 16) and Newcastle (March 23).  Joe-Max Moore started and played the first half in Everton’s 3-0 loss to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarterfinals this weekend.  The match was Moore’s 20th overall appearance for Everton in 2001-02.  Jovan Kirovski played eight minutes in Crystal Palace’s 2-0 loss to Watford on Saturday.  Palace has only won one of their last seven matches and have slipped out of the promotion play-off.  John Thorrington started his third straight match for Huddersfield Town since returning from injury, and Huddersfield topped Swindon Town 2-0.  David Regis was ejected in the 84th minute of Metz’s 0-1 loss to Lille.  Greg Vanney played 90 minutes in Bastia’s 1-0 loss to Paris St. Germain midweek, and then came on as a substitute and played 66 minutes in Bastia’s 1-0 extra-time win over Libourne in the French Cup quarterfinals. Earnie Stewart scored his ninth goal of the year on Sunday, and it turned out to be the gamewinner for NAC Breda as they won at FC Den Bosch 2-1.  Stewart and Breda are comfortably in sixth place in the Dutch Honor Division, seven points clear of seventh place.  John O’Brien went all 90 minutes as Ajax topped De Graafschap, 4-0.  Tony Sanneh played all 90 minutes as Nurnberg fell 0-4 to Werder Bremen. Nurnberg currently sit one point out of the relegation zone.  Cory Gibbs went all 90 minutes as St. Pauli topped SC Freiburg 1-0 in a battle between two teams in the relegation zone.

“CENTER CIRCLE” NOW AVAILABLE AT www.ussoccerfan.com: U.S. Soccer’s cutting edge e-zine, “Center Circle” is now available online at www.ussoccerfan.com.  The monthly e-zine allows fans an inner glimpse into the off-the-field lives of some of the USA’s top soccer players.  In this month’s issue, learn what Landon Donovan thinks about all the hype, why Jordan Stone has a huge head of hair, and read Aly Wagner’s picks for the Oscars and Joy Fawcett’s life as the ultimate “soccer mom.”

— U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE —

U.S. UNDER-18s WRAP UP SECOND TRAINING CAMP OF 2002:  The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team posted a draw against the San Diego Sockers in their final match of a training camp that saw them play three quality older sides.  The U.S. Under-18s were topped 4-0 by UCLA and 5-0 by the L.A. Galaxy, before drawing with the Sockers on Saturday.  Adam Cristman scored from an Arturo Alvarez pass in the 41st minute, only to see San Diego equalize in the 75th minute.  The Under-18s will regroup at the end of April for another training camp.
U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team – March 3-10
Date         Opponent       Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
March 5    UCLA               0-4 L        ---
March 7    LA Galaxy        0-5 L        ---
March 9    SD Sockers    1-1 T       Cristman

U.S. UNDER-17s TOP URUGUAY 3-0 TO FINISH IN FIFTH PLACE IN BRAZIL:  The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team topped Uruguay 3-0 to claim 5th place at the Mundialito Joao Havelange in Campos, Brazil.  Corey Ashe, John DiRaimondo and Guillermo Gonzalez scored for the U.S. in the win - the USA's second straight win at the tournament.  DiRaimondo and Gonzalez each scored in their second straight match and finished the tournament with three goals. Gonzalez was named to the all-tournament team. The U.S. advanced to the fifth-place game with a 5-1 pasting of Panama in the final match of group play on Wednesday.  U.S. midfielders Gonzalez and DiRaimondo each scored two goals and defender Brandon Owens added one in the win.  The U.S. drew the unenviable task of opening the tournament against an older Brazil team.  The U.S. played well, but were overmatched and fell 0-4.  The U.S. then faced Angola, and lost 1-2, with Drew Harrison netting the lone U.S. goal.  The USA outshot Angola 8-3, but the Angola 'keeper produced six saves.  The U.S., Uruguay and Mexico sent teams to the tournament that were a full year younger than the competition.  The Under-17s now return to the U.S. and will face Finnish club side MYPA on Thursday, March 14, at 4 p.m. at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Mundalito Joao Havelange
Date         Opponent     Result        U.S. Goal Scorers
March 2    Brazil             0-4 L           ---
March 4    Angola          1-2 L           Harrison
March 6    Panama        5-1 W         Gonzalez (2), DiRaimondo (2), Harrison
March 9    Uruguay        3-0 W          Gonzalez, DiRaimondo, Ashe

U-21 AND U-19 WOMEN HEAD TO SAN DIEGO FOR WUSA PRESEASON TOURNEY: The U.S. Under-21 and Under-19 Women's National Teams will come together on Friday, March 15, in San Diego, Calif. in preparation for the WUSA - West Coast Preseason Tournament, taking place at the ARCO Olympic Training Center from March 17-23.  The U-21s, led by head coach Jerry Smith, and the U-19s, led by head coach Tracey Leone, will play matches against the San Diego Spirit and the San Jose CyberRays, as well as the U.S. Amateur Team, and each other.  Following are the U-21 and U-19 rosters for the event and the overall tournament schedule.
U.S. Under-21 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS: Erin Miller (Nebraska), Erin Regan (Wake Forest); DEFENDERS: Nicole Breger (Texas), Jenna Cooper (Nebraska), Amy LePeilbet (Arizona State), Ally Marquand (Stanford), Vanessa Pruzinsky (Notre Dame),  Nandi Pryce (UCLA), Natalie Spilger (Stanford); MIDFIELDERS: Betsy Barr (Portland), Kelsey Carlson  (Stanford), Caitlin Fisher (Harvard), Whitney Jones (UCLA), Carli Lloyd (Rutgers), Joanna Lohman (Penn State), Mary McDowell (UNC), Kim Yokers (California); FORWARDS: Lindsay Browne (Clemson), Abby Crumpton (Michigan), Heidi Drummond (Penn State), Alyssa Ramsey (North Carolina), Laura Schott (California), Marcia Wallis (Stanford), Christie Welsh (Penn State).

U.S. Under-19 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS: Megan Rivera (Auburn), Julie Ryder (Eclipse Select), Kate Taylor (Milwaukee Kickers); DEFENDERS: Jessica Ballweg (Santa Clara), Rachel Buehler (Surf), Kendall Fletcher (Greensboro Twisters), Kelly Hammond (Bethesda Fury), Sara Randolph (UNC), Christie Shaner (F.C. Bayern); MIDFIELDERS: Lori Chalupny (JB Marine), Kellie Cox (CS Fullerton), Alison Graham (AFC Lightning), Sarah Huffman (D'Feeters), Kayla Lockaby (Tennessee), Manya Makoski (Yankee United), Jill Oakes (Valley United Stars), Leslie Osborne (Santa Clara), Stephanie Peel (Arizona), Annie Schefter (Strikers); FORWARDS: Kerry Hanks (Dallas Texans), Megan Kakadelas (USC), Lindsay Tarpley (Gazelle TKO), Paige Ledford (Clemson), Kelly Wilson (Dallas Sting).

WUSA - West Coast Preseason Tournament Schedule
March 17-23, 2002
Sunday, March 17

10 a.m. U-19 WNT vs. U-21 WNT at ARCO OTC
10 a.m. U-18 Cal-South ODP vs. U.S. Amateur Team at ARCO OTC
5 p.m.  San Diego Spirit vs. San Jose CyberRays at Cal-State Fullerton
Tuesday, March 19
10 a.m. U-19 WNT vs. San Jose CyberRays at ARCO OTC
10 a.m. U-21 WNT vs. San Diego Spirit at ARCO OTC
1 p.m.  U-21 WNT vs. San Jose CyberRays at ARCO OTC
3 p.m.  U.S. Amateur Team vs. San Diego Spirit at ARCO OTC
Thursday, March 21
10 a.m. U-19 WNT vs. San Diego Spirit at ARCO OTC
10 a.m. U-21 WNT vs. U.S. Amateur Team at ARCO OTC
Saturday, March 23
TBD     U-21 WNT vs. U-19 WNT at ARCO OTC
7:00      San Diego Spirit vs. San Jose CyberRays in Las Vegas, Nev.

U.S. UNDER-16 GIRLS PREPARE FOR THREE INTERNATIONALS IN BRADENTON, FLA.:  The U.S. Under-16 Girl’s National Team will play their first three internationals of 2002, when the U.S., Germany and Canada all convene at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for a series of international friendlies.  Canada and Germany faced off on March 9, with the U.S. team meeting Germany on March 11 and March 13, and then facing Canada on March 15.  The U.S. Under-16s will be participating in their second training camp of the year and will send a veteran team to Florida.  Many of the standouts who led the Under-16s in 2001 return, including star striker Angela Woznuk and the midfield duo of Jen Buczowski and Amy Burlingham.  U.S. Under-16 head coach Steve Swanson has called in 22 players for the trio of matches.  Following is the schedule of matches for this week in Bradenton:
Under-16 Internationals in Bradenton, Fla. – March 9-15
Date         Match                    Kickoff

March 11  USA vs. Germany    3 p.m.
March 13  USA vs. Germany    3 p.m.
March 15  USA vs. Canada      3 p.m.

— AROUND THE SOCCER NATION —

FUTSAL COACH CALLS IN 20 PLAYERS FOR D.C. TRAINING CAMP:  U.S. Futsal National Team head coach Keith Tozer has called in 20 players for a training camp in Washington, D.C. from March 17-22, the team's first action in almost two years.  The camp will feature the U.S. hosting their first-ever international futsal games on American soil when the team faces Canada on Wednesday, March 20, at UMBC, and Mexico on March 21 at American University at 7 p.m. ET. The training camp will mark the team's first preparation for the 2004 Futsal World Championship, and is their first action since finishing third at the 2000 CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Costa Rica that prevented them from advancing to their fourth consecutive FIFA World Championship. The young U.S. squad features just nine players with previous international experience.  Leading the way for the Americans are forward Ted Eck (14 caps, 10 goals) and Cleveland Crunch goalkeeper Otto Orf (8 caps and a perfect 7-0 mark in international play).  Forwards Todd Dusosky (Milwaukee Wave-MISL) and Bernie Lilavois (Far Rockaway, N.Y.), and defender Josh Timbers (Milwaukee Wave-MISL) all have five caps each, while forward Jeff Betts (Dallas Sidekicks-MISL) has four international appearances for the U.S.
U.S. Futsal National Team Training Camp Roster – March 17-22, Washington, D.C.
GOALKEEPERS: Dan Green (Milwaukee Wave-MISL), Otto Orf (Cleveland Crunch-MISL), Alex Rosenberg (San Francisco, Calif.); DEFENDERS: John Ball (Cleveland Crunch-MISL), Steve Bernal (Milwaukee Rampage-A-League), Troy Dusosky (Milwaukee Wave-MISL), Chris Morman (Harrisburg Heat-MISL), Matt Tanzini (Harrisburg Heat-MISL), Josh Timbers (Milwaukee Wave-MISL); MIDFIELDERS: Lee Edgerton (Cleveland Crunch-MISL), Leighton O’Brien (Seattle Sounders-A-League), Pat White (Milwaukee Wave-MISL);  FORWARDS: Jeff Betts (Dallas Sidekicks-MISL), Steve Butcher (Cleveland Crunch-MISL), Todd Dusosky (Milwaukee Wave-MISL), Ted Eck (Dallas, Texas), Dewayne Gilpatrick (Milwaukee Wave-MISL), Greg Howes (Milwaukee Wave-MISL), Bernie Lilavois (Far Rockaway, N.Y.), Johnny Torres (Milwaukee Wave-MISL).

SIX WUSA TEAMS TRAINING IN RICHMOND FROM MARCH 19-25: Six WUSA teams – the Atlanta Beat, Boston Breakers, Carolina Courage, New York Power, Philadelphia Charge and Washington Freedom – will convene in Richmond, Va., from March 19-25 for seven days of training and competition.  WUSA Spring Training in Richmond will be highlighted by a tripleheader of WUSA action on March 23 at the University of Richmond Stadium. The East Coast Spring Training in Richmond will coincide with the Jefferson Cup tournament, one of the largest youth soccer events in the country as 500 teams will be competing in the greater  Richmond area.  Each of the six clubs will train on a daily basis at Striker Park in Richmond.  In addition to the March 23 official exhibition games, WUSA teams will scrimmage each other on March 20 at Striker Park. 

MLS ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF SOCCER UNITED MARKETING (SUM):  MLS announced last week that the company recently formed to manage sales, service and broadcast production for MLS and English-language World Cup properties in the United States is known as Soccer United Marketing©, or SUM©.  Earlier this year, MLS announced the details of Soccer United Marketing's innovative five-year broadcast arrangement that includes the television rights of Major League Soccer and the FIFA World Cup  Tournaments for the next five years.  Also announced was an agreement with the ABC and ESPN Networks to be the broadcast home for these premier soccer properties through 2006.  Included in the package are the FIFA Men's World Cup for 2002 and 2006, the 2002-2006 MLS Seasons and the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup.  All 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan matches (64 total) will be televised live with 17 games on ESPN and 46 on ESPN2, culminating with the title match live on ABC Sports from Yokohama, Japan, on Sunday, June 30 at 6:30 a.m. ET.  In addition to game broadcasts of the biggest event in the world, the Disney Networks' 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan coverage will be bolstered by 41 editions of World Cup Tonight. Twenty-six of the World Cup Tonight shows will air for 30 minutes between 11:00 p.m. and midnight ET, while an additional 15 abbreviated shows will appear between live match broadcasts.

D.C. UNITED FALLS AT CSD COMUNICACIONES, 4-0, TO OPEN CHAMPIONS CUP: Playing their first match of the 2002 calendar year, D.C. United opened the first leg of the F.C. Champions Cup with a 4-0 loss to CSD Comunicaciones at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Following the ejection of Richie Williams and Ryan Nelsen, a short-sided, but brave United could not hold off the  "Cremas."  Three goals by Honduran striker Milton Nunez and a single tally by Uruguayan striker Oscar Torlacoff provided the scoring for the home side. The teams travel to Washington, DC to play the return match on Wednesday, March 13th at 7:30 p.m. The Black-and-Red will need to win by five goals to advance out-right to the second round of the tournament.

DONOVAN SIGNS ON AS SPOKESMAN FOR EA SPORTS 2002 FIFA WORLD CUP VIDEO GAME:  U.S. Men's National Team forward Landon Donovan has signed an endorsement deal to be EA  SPORTS United States spokesperson for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the official game of this summer's tournament.  As spokesperson for EA SPORTS 2002 FIFA World Cup, Donovan, who recently turned 20 years old, will be involved in publicity and marketing efforts for the game through appearances and game demonstrations. In addition, the U.S. forward already has participated in “motion capture”, the electronic scanning of an athlete's actual motions and signature moves with infrared cameras.

HUNT, WHEELER WORK ALGARVE CUP FINAL:  Organizers of the Algarve Cup in Portugal named U.S. Soccer officials Sandra Hunt and Sharon Wheeler as part of the team of referees who officiated the 2002 Algarve Cup championship game between Norway and China on Friday (March 8), which China won 1-0.  Hunt called the game from the center circle, while Wheeler worked as an assistant referee running the lines.  Working as a FIFA official since 1999, Hunt (from Bellingham, Washington) has previously worked the 1999 Women's World Cup and the 2000 Olympic Games, and most recently officiated at the 2001 Asian Women's Championship in China in December.  For Wheeler, who has run the lines in a number of MLS match, the current Algarve Cup is her first major overseas assignment.  Wheeler has been a FIFA official since 2000 and resides in Winterpark, Fla.

— A LOOK AHEAD —

A quick glance at U.S. National Team games taking place in the next two weeks …
Date             Match-up                                                            Location
March 11     U.S. Under-20 MNT vs Gallos De Jalisco       Guadalajara, Mexico
March 11     U.S. Under-16 Girls vs Germany U-16            Bradenton, Fla.
March 13     U.S. Under-16 Girls vs Germany U-16            Bradenton, Fla.
March 14     U.S. Under-17 MNT vs MYPA                          Bradenton, Fla.
March 13     U.S. Under-20 MNT vs Mexico Select            Guadalajara, Mexico
March 15     U.S. Under-20 MNT vs Mexico Select            Guadalajara, Mexico
March 15     U.S. Under-16 Girls vs Canada U-16              Bradenton, Fla.
March 16     U.S. Under-17 MNT v  Lakeland FC U19       Bradenton, Fla.
March 17     U.S. Under-21 WNT v U.S. Under-19 WNT    Chula Vista, Calif.
March 19     U.S. Under-19 WNT v San Jose CyberRays  Chula Vista, Calif.
March 19     U.S. Under-21 WNT v San Diego Spirit          Chula Vista, Calif.
March 19     U.S. Under-21 WNT v San Jose CyberRays  Chula Vista, Calif.
March 20     U.S. Under-17 MNT v Univ of South Florida    Bradenton, Fla.
March 20     U.S. Futsal Team v Canada                              Baltimore, Md.
March 21     U.S. Under-19 WNT v San Diego Spirit          Chula Vista, Calif.
March 21     U.S. Under-21 WNT v National Amateurs       Chula Vista, Calif.
March 21     U.S. Futsal Team v Mexico                               Washington, D.C.
March 23     U.S. Under-21 WNT v U.S. Under-19 WNT    Chula Vista, Calif.
 


                                 U.S. SOCCER . . . . . . . . . .  SPOTLIGHT  . . . . . . . . . . U.S. SOCCER

PEAK PERFORMER: Eddie Lewis scored the game’s only goal to lead the U.S. to a 1-0 win over Ecuador on Sunday.  The goal was just Lewis’ third of his international career and ended a streak of six straight shutouts against Ecuador that dated back to 1984.  He was named Chevrolet Man of the Match for his heroics.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: UEFA Champions League action resumes this week with a full slate of games on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Some of the marquee match-ups include Barcelona – Liverpool, Manchester United – Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen – Juventus and Arsenal – Deportivo la Coruna.

SOCCER SHOCKER: River Plate trounced arch-rivals and champions Boca Juniors 3-0 on Sunday, giving River their first win at Boca's La Bombonera stadium in eight years. River extended their lead in the Clausura championship to five points after only six games after also ending Boca's unbeaten run in the tournament.

QUOTABLE: “We got more out of this game today than we did last week.  It's all part of it.  You need to see different styles of opponents.  You need to be in different types of games to really challenge your players.  I think today was just a great challenge for us.”
-- U.S. head coach Bruce Arena, after the U.S. topped Ecuador 1-0 on Sunday

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