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Archive - September/October 2004

Center Circle
September/October 2004
Volume IV, Issue 9/10

Table of Contents

1.  Armchair Midfielder:
What's Next for Mia, Julie & Joy?
2.  In 3’s:
MNT forward Eddie Johnson
3.  Gear Galore:
Fan Celebration Tour
4.  She Said, She Said:
WNT forwards Tarpley & O'Reilly

Mark That Calendar:
MNT World Cup Qualifiers - Oct. 9 & 13

6.  Big Man on Campus:
U-20 MNT forward WIll John
7.  Can You Haiku?
MLS Playoff Race
8.  You Don’t Know Jack (Marshall):
Mia, Julie & Joy Match-up

1) ARMCHAIR MIDFIELDER [What’s Next for Mia, Julie & Joy?]
A monthly column about the State of U.S. Soccer that takes a hard look at everything from the performance of the U.S. National Teams to pro soccer in the good ‘ole U-S-of-A . If you’re looking for a viewpoint that you won’t see in a generic, nuts-and-bolts U.S. Soccer press release, you’ve come to the right place.

With the end of the 10-game “Fan Celebration Tour” comes the end of the playing careers of three of the greatest women’s soccer players to ever play the game. In this companion piece with the trivia that serves as the book end to this issue, we look back at things you maybe didn’t know about this terrific trio and give you insight on what might be next for them in their new life off the field.

What’s left to say about Mia, Julie and Joy that hasn’t already been written in cover stories in Soccer America, Sports Illustrated and USA Today, or spoken in sit-down interviews on national talk shows?

Well, not a lot. But we’ll give it a whirl.

[Read More]

2) IN 3’s (w/ MNT forward Eddie Johnson)
What’s it going to be? Door number one, door number two, or door number THREE?!? Okay, so this section has less to do with “Let’s Make A Deal” and more to do with the Multiple Choice section of an SAT test. “In 3’s” peeks inside the head of a select National Team player as they pick one of three choices for 20-something questions about personal tastes and pop culture.

After starring for both the U-17, U-20 and U-23 Youth National Teams, the speedy 6’1” midfielder/forward has finally gotten a call-up to compete in camp alongside fellow Under-17 MNT superstar alumni like Landon, Bobby and Beas.  After three years of limited action in MLS due to various U-17 demands and injuries, EJ is having a breakout 2004 season, scoring 11 goals and adding three assists to do his part in driving Dallas out of its cellar-dwelling doldrums.

Best big city in the U.S.: LA, NYC or Chicago?
“NYC.  There's always something to do in New York.  It's an easy place to fit into.  I love fashion, and there's a ton of it there.  And you never know who you're going to run into.”

Best city you've lived in: Daytona Beach, Fla., Bradenton, Fla., Dallas, Texas?
“Dallas is the best.  When I went to the Dallas Cup, I remember being there for a long time and not wanting to leave.  When I got drafted by Dallas, it was cool to get back to a place that I'd been to and never expected to come back to.”

Best reason for someone who's not from Daytona to go to Daytona: Spring Break parties, NASCAR or surfing?
“Spring Break.  One walk on the beach explains ...

[Read More]

3) GEAR GALORE (WNT “Fan Celebration Tour”)
In a new piece for 2004, we engage in some shameless self-promotion by spotlighting a different U.S. Soccer product each month, from the newest, state-of-the-art Nike apparel to all kinds of other exclusive U.S. Men’s & Women’s merch.

Need something to remember the greatest team in the history of women’s sports, and perhaps one of the greatest teams in all sports? The limited edition 2004 USA Victory Tour t-shirt is the one and only to have.  It’s the perfect item to wear to celebrate the U.S. Women’s National Team’s dramatic and deserved 2004 Olympic gold medal and honor the legacy of the legendary “Fab Five.”

[Read More]

4) “SHE SAID, SHE SAID” (w/ WNT Forwards Lindsay Tarpley & Heather O’Reilly)
Heather O’Reilly and Lindsay Tarpley will be forever linked in U.S. Soccer lore.  Not only were they two of the stars on the USA’s 2002 Under-19 World Championship Team, which Tarpley captained, but they were the youngest players on the 2004 Olympic Team and both scored huge goals in the tournament, O’Reilly in the semifinal and Tarpley in the gold medal game.

They were also teammates on the UNC Women’s Soccer Team that went undefeated at 27-0-0 and won the national championship in 2003, making them the only two players in the history of women’s soccer to win a FIFA U-19 World Championship, an NCAA title and an Olympic gold medal in the span of just two years.

While their ascension to soccer stardom has been remarkably similar, there are some striking differences in both personality and playing style.  The soft-spoken Midwestern girl Tarpley hails from Kalamazoo, Mich., and brings a sublime playing style and tremendous feel for the game while the -- yes, we’ll say it -- loud O’Reilly hails from East Brunswick, N.J., and brings some East Coast brashness to a game built around blazing speed and boundless energy.

Amazingly, Center Circle was able to get the two busy college students on their cell phones at the same time while they were leaving their apartments for a pre-game meal on Thursday, Oct. 7, before the Tar Heels faced Miami in Chapel Hill to conduct the interview for the first edition of a new twist on Center Circle's normal "Queries & Anecdotes" that we're calling "She Said, She Said."  Even though Tarpley has been hobbled by a broken fibula suffered several weeks ago against Virginia Tech, she was still in good spirits to chat with O’Reilly and Center Circle.

[Read More]

MNT World Cup Qualifying – Oct. 9 & 13
[LIVE on’s MatchTracker]
A stern reminder about an upcoming U.S. Soccer-related event, whether you plan to check it out live and in person, on the “telly” or that wacky world wide web.
WARNING: The title says “Mark That Calendar,” but this issue’s game/s to watch is presented in the form of a fictional debate between a hypothetical incumbent and challenger:

[Read More]

6) “BIG MAN ON CAMPUS” (w/ U-20 MNT forward Will John)
Going by size (5’9” and 145 pounds), it’s hard to picture U.S. Under-20 MNT forward Will John as a Big Man on Campus. But it’s all about the surroundings. When you go to a school like Saint Louis University that doesn’t have a football team and the soccer team draws thousands of fans for each home game, not to mention the fact that you’re the starting forward as a sophomore and lead the team in scoring, well, the BMOC tag knows no size requirements.

Through nine games this year, John has notched a team-high seven goals (including two game winners) and will be looking to bring his scoring touch to The Home Depot Center in January 2005 when the U-20s attempt to qualify for the FIFA World Youth Championship for a record fifth straight time.

[Read More]

7) CAN YOU HAIKU? (MLS Playoffs)
Our brand new "Can You Haiku?" piece was so popular in the past two issues that we're thinking about making it a permanent piece. Here’s yet another forum for you to express your views and zen-like thoughts about a given topic through some simple and beautiful haiku poetry. For this issue, we gave you a chance to make your case for your team’s chances in the MLS Playoffs later this month:

Hardest working team
Went worst to first in one year
The Crew is a scream!!
--Toni Gillenwater / 56 / Columbus, Ohio

[More Haikus]

8) “YOU DON’T KNOW JACK (MARSHALL)” (Mia, Julie & Joy Match-up)
Think you know your soccer trivia? We’ll be the judge of that. Pop quiz: who the heck is Jack Marshall? Even the trivia buffs in the U.S. Soccer Communications Department would be hard-pressed to tell you that one Jack Marshall received his one and only cap way back in 1926. Okay, that was pretty much impossible. They get easier.

Usually we throw four questions at you, but that wouldn’t really do our three retiring superstars justice. So this month, we've got ten multiple choice items for you to match with Mia, Julie and Joy.  Before you choke up like you did before your SAT's, keep in mind that as always, our test comes with an answer key. Write down your answers and then scroll down to see how you did.

1. High school daze:
a. Was honored as the Player of the Year for Southern California for three consecutive years.
b. Played at Notre Dame High School in Wichita Falls, Texas.
c. Led her high school team to four straight league championships.

2. Collegiate scoring marks:
a. Led her team in scoring with 23 goals in 1987.
b. Was named the team’s MVP for three consecutive years from 1989-91.
c. Won four NCAA championships.

3. Career collegiate goals:
a. 103
b. 56
c. 52

[more questions & answers]