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U.S. Soccer Wire - September 18, 2006

U.S. WNT Win Against Mexico on Wednesday, Sept. 13, Prepare for
Chinese Taipei on Sunday, Oct. 1 at The Home Depot Center;
Chicago Fire, Los Angeles Galaxy Prepare For U.S. Open Cup Final

U.S. WNT RECORDS WIN AGAINST MEXICO: The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Mexico, 3-1, on Sept. 13 at the sparkling new PAETEC Park in Rochester, N.Y., as hometown hero Abby Wambach scored twice, on either side of a Lindsay Tarpley goal. The win improved the USA’s 2006 record to 11-0-3. The USA returns to the field on Oct. 1 against Chinese Taipei at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., (tickets) site of the USA’s recently completed 2006 Residency Training Camp. That match kicks off at 1 p.m. PT live on ESPN2 and ends a week of the Nike Women’s Friendlies, which will see 30 youth girls’ clubs and three of the USA’s youth Women’s National Teams play matches at The HDC from Sept. 28-Oct. 1. The USA will finish its 2006 schedule of domestic friendly matches on Oct. 8 at the University of Richmond against Iceland (tickets). That game kicks off at 2 p.m. ET live on ESPN2.

CHICAGO, LOS ANGELES FACE OFF IN 2006 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP FINAL: The defending Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champion Los Angeles Galaxy will face the three-time champion Chicago Fire in the 2006 U.S. Open Cup final at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Los Angeles defeated the Houston Dynamo, 3-1, in the first semifinal while, in the other match, the Fire posted a 3-0 victory against D.C. United to earn a berth in the tournament final, which will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel. This will mark the first time Chicago and Los Angeles will meet in an Open Cup final, although the teams have previously faced each other three times in tournament history, all in the semifinals. Each time, the winner of that match went on to win the Open Cup title, with the Fire coming away with wins in 2000 and 2003, while the Galaxy was victorious in 2001. Chicago also had their named etched on the Dewar Cup in 1998 and the Galaxy theirs in 2005. A complete schedule, including semifinals results, is available at's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup homepage.

INTERNATIONAL SPORTS INITIATIVE KICKS OFF IN SOUTH AFRICA: U.S. Soccer has joined forces with the U.S. State Department to take part in an International Sports Initiative that will see players and coaches from U.S. Soccer’s National Teams travel abroad to conduct clinics and bring a direct educational message to as many as 4,000 citizens of Bahrain, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. The International Sports initiative will serve as the first program in U.S. Soccer’s own International Relations Program established earlier this summer to help strengthen the organization’s ties within the worldwide soccer community. The four-part program runs from Sept. 13 to Oct. 14. Each International Sports Initiative program includes one male and one female coach and/or player. The players and coaches will conduct clinics that will go beyond simple soccer drills and will also showcase team-building activities. Each International Sports Initiative will be on the ground for four days in their respective countries, performing three clinics per country that target approximately 450 boys and girls aged 7 to 17. A schedule for U.S. Soccer’s representatives in the program can be found at


SHANNON MACMILLAN RETIRES FROM INTERNATIONAL SOCCER: Shannon MacMillan, one of the greatest goal scorers in U.S. Women's National Team history, has retired from international soccer. MacMillan, 31, scored 60 goals in her National Team career that spanned 12 years from 1993-2005. At the University of Portland, MacMillan won the MAC and Hermann awards in 1995. She was a member of two Women's World Cup Teams and two Olympics Teams, including the USA's historic 1996 gold medal winners. She became the only player in U.S. history to score in the semifinal and final of a FIFA world championship. Affectionately known as "Mac" to her teammates and fans, she was also a member of the famous 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup winners. MacMillan scored 17 goals and was voted the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year in 2002. MacMillan played her final match for the USA on Oct. 23, 2005, coming off the bench against Mexico in Charleston, S.C. MacMillan hangs up her boots as the sixth-leading goal scorer in U.S. history.

FIELD SET FOR 2006 CONCACAF WOMEN'S GOLD CUP: Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica have qualified out of the Caribbean region for the 2006 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup, completing the six-team field that will determine this region's two direct berths to the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China. The third-place finisher in the Women's Gold Cup will take on Japan in a home-and-home series to determine a final Women's World Cup berth. While the dates, venues and match-ups for the tournament have not yet been announced by CONCACAF, the tournament will be held in the United States in late November. The USA and Canada were granted byes into the semifinals of the Women's Gold Cup, while Mexico, Panama, T&T and Jamaica (with match-ups to be determined) will square off in first-round games to see who earns the right to face the USA and Canada in the semifinals with Women’s World Cup berths on the line. The USA has participated in the previous four Women’s World Cup tournaments, winning twice, but had to go through qualification just three times – participating in CONCACAF qualifying events in Haiti in 1991, in Canada in 1994 and in the USA in 2002. Even though the 2003 Women’s World Cup was moved to the USA due to the SARS outbreak in China, the USA had already qualified.

WNT TO COMPETE IN 2006 PEACE CUP IN SOUTH KOREA: The U.S. Women’s National Team will travel to South Korea in October where they will take part in the Peace Cup, staged from Oct. 28 to Nov. 4, in six Korean cities. These will be the final matches for the USA before the 2006 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, where the U.S. women will attempt to earn one of the region’s direct berths to the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The Peace Cup, which previously featured men’s club teams in the first two editions, will feature eight women’s national teams. The tournament is staged in a similar format to the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal, with the teams playing a round-robin format in group play and the group winners meeting for the title. The USA opens Group B play against Denmark on Oct. 29 in Kimhae in the southeastern part of South Korea. The USA will then face recent 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers Australia on Oct. 31 in Cheonan, outside of Seoul, before finishing group play against North Korea on Nov. 2 in Suwon, also outside of Seoul. The championship match is on Nov. 4 in Seoul. Group A features South Korea, Brazil, Italy and Nigeria. The stadiums in Seoul and Suwon were used for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.


U-17 MNT DEFEATS GUATEMALA IN TWO-GAME SERIES THIS PAST WEEKEND: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team defeated Guatemala twice in their two-game series this past weekend at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. On Friday (Sept. 15), the U.S. got two goals from Israel Sesay in the second half after Ellis McLoughlin tallied the opening goal in the 17th minute. The two goals were the first international points for Sesay, who just recently obtained his U.S. citizenship after moving here from Sierra Leone years ago. Two days later on Sunday, Sept. 17, Ryan Finley’s hat trick in the first half pushed the U.S. to a 6-2 victory. Guatemala responded with goals on either side of halftime to cut the USA’s lead to one, but goals from TJ Nelson, Evan Raynr and Kirk Urso put the game away. Over the two matches, U.S. Under-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth used all eligible and healthy Residency players. The U.S. is now 9-4-7 in international play and is on a four-game winning streak which started during their victories over Mexico (2-0) and Portugal (4-2) at the Nike National Team Friendlies in early September. This week the U-17s welcome the Canada U-17 Men's National Team to Bradenton for two games on Thursday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 23 at IMG Academy.

U-17 MNT Schedule/Results
Date      Opponent    Result   U.S. Goal Scorers
Sept. 15 Guatemala   3-0 W    McLoughlin, Sesay (2)
Sept. 17 Guatemala   6-2 W    Finley (3), Nelson, Raynr, Urso
Sept. 21 Canada
Sept. 23 Canada


U.S. BEACH SOCCER QUALIFIES FOR 2006 FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP: The U.S. Beach Soccer team finished in first place at the 2006 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tournament, securing them a place at the 2006 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Despite a 3-2 loss to Costa Rica in the team's final match on Sunday, the U.S. advanced first out of the region over second-place Canada, who will also attend the World Cup. The U.S. went into the match having already clinched first place after a 7-4 win against Mexico on Saturday (Sept. 16). In the previous matches, the U.S. defeated Jamaica, 5-2, and Canada, 3-0. U.S. captain Francis Farberoff was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament. The U.S. will now prepare for the 2006 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which will take place in November in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazil, Japan and Poland will be the USA's opponents in the group stage of the 16-team tournament.

U.S. Beach Soccer CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament Results
Date       Opponent     Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
Sept. 13  Canada        3-0 W     Taguinod, Morales, Ibsen
Sept. 14  Jamaica       5-2 W     Morales (2), Astorga, Chimienti, Silva
Sept. 16  Mexico         7-4 W     Astorga, Morales (2), Chimienti, Farberoff, Ibsen, Xexeo
Sept. 17  Costa Rica   2-3 L      Chimienti, Silva

U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION OPENS 2007 GRANTS PROGRAM APPLICATION PROCESS: The grant application process for the U.S. Soccer Foundation's 2007 Annual Grants Program is open from now until Nov. 22 at With the exception of its All Conditions Fields Grants, the Foundation’s 2007 Grants will be focused exclusively on projects and programs that develop players, referees, and coaches in economically disadvantaged urban areas. The Foundation’s All Conditions Fields Grants will continue to be available to projects serving all types of communities, with priority given to those All Conditions Fields projects serving players in economically disadvantaged urban areas. More information about the grants is available at

U.S. Soccer Foundation Important Dates
Sept. 8      2007 Annual Grants Program Online Registration Commences
Nov. 22     Deadline to Submit Completed Application by 5 p.m. ET

CENTER CIRCLE KICKS OFF '12 YARDS OUT' SERIES PUTTING FRIEDEL ON THE SPOT: The latest edition to the Center Circle repertoire debuts this week as former U.S. international goalkeeper Brad Friedel is the first subject in the online magazine’s new series, “12 Yards Out.” Designed to be provocative, focused and unpredictable - much like a penalty kick – “12 Yards Out” will challenge players, coaches and officials spanning the sport to answer straight from the heart. In the first installment, Friedel offers his analysis of the USA's performance in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, discusses who he thinks should be considered as the next coach of the U.S. Men's National Team, answers what he would do as the commissioner of Major League Soccer, and hits on a host of other topics. To read this and all the other features from Center Circle, log on to

USL FIRST DIVISION SEMIFINALISTS SET: The USL First Division playoffs continue on Friday and Sunday with the Rochester Raging Rhinos taking on the Charleston Battery and the Montreal Impact measuring up against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Rochester and Charleston will meet for the fourth time in the playoffs when they face off in Rochester at 7:35 p.m. ET on Friday, then again in Charleston at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday. Montreal, the regular season champion, and Vancouver will meet at 10 p.m. ET on Friday in Vancouver, then again at 7 p.m. ET in Montreal on Sunday. Arguably the best never to have captured a USL First Division championship, Vancouver has advanced to the playoffs 11 times in their 13-year history while Montreal has earned five regular season titles and been crowned champion two times.

USA CELEBRATES YOUTH SOCCER MONTH: More than 100 events have been scheduled nationwide to celebrate the fourth annual Youth Soccer Month. Joining US Youth Soccer in raising awareness of youth soccer and the benefits of playing the game are NCAA institutions, MLS clubs, US Youth Soccer State Associations and USYS clubs. More information about Youth Soccer Month is available at Visitors to the website can register in two contests offering free soccer gear and a trip to the MLS Cup.


PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. Under-20 MNT and New York Red Bulls forward Josmer Altidore came off the bench and lit up the scoreboard, slamming home a goal from 30 yards out and, in the process, sealing a 1-0 victory for New York against the Columbus Crew. It was the 16-year-old’s first professional goal in just his second MLS appearance for the Red Bulls.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The upcoming 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final will see the two-time and defending Open Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy and three-time champion Chicago Fire face off live on Fox Soccer Channel at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, September 27. Fans can see the historic Dewar Cup in person at the Fire’s league match against the Galaxy at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, September 23. Stay tuned to’s U.S. Open Cup homepage for complete coverage leading up to the match.

SOCCER SHOCKER: A quick glance towards the top of the Premier League table, and one can see some familiar names: there’s Manchester United, Chelsea and...Portsmouth? Yes, that’s right. After five games in the league, Portsmouth sits atop the league with an impressive 13 points. The south coast club, which sports one of the most rabid and devoted fan bases in England, has started the season with a five match unbeaten run, and amazingly has not allowed a single goal en route to what is undoubtedly its best ever start in England’s top division. Last year, the club narrowly avoided relegation, and a similar struggle looked to be on the horizon for the 2006/07 season. However, back-room changes saw the club’s ownership change hands, and new chairman Alexandre Gaydamak has proved he’s more than willing to spend the cash necessary to bring in new and better players. Manager Harry Redknapp has made good of his boss’ deep pockets, and this time around it looks as if Portsmouth could be competing for a place in Europe, rather then fighting for their Premiership lives.

QUOTABLE: “It is important that we try to present an image of sport in the world that changes the idea that football is only about money, but that it has a heart and a soul."
-- FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta on the defending Spanish League and Champions League champions paying UNICEF nearly $2 million a year to wear the UNICEF logo on their jersey in all competitions.