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U.S. Soccer Wire - January 2, 2007


First MNT Training Camp Set to Start Thursday Under Bob Bradley;
Rongen Names Final U-20 MNT Training Camp Roster Before
2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament in Panama

TRAINING CAMP BEGINS THURSDAY FOR U.S. MNT: The first U.S. MNT training camp since the 2006 FIFA World Cup kicks off on Thursday, Jan. 4, under head coach Bob Bradley at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The group will prepare for the USA’s first match of 2007, a friendly against Denmark on Jan. 20 at The Home Depot Center (tickets). The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 beginning at 1:50 p.m. PT (and will be tape-delayed on Univision). Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. After the Denmark match, the U.S. will host regional rivals Mexico on Feb. 7 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (tickets). Along with a series of friendlies, the United States will compete in two major championships next summer. The three-time champions will first 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.

U.S. MNT ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (4) – Joe Cannon (Los Angeles Galaxy), Troy Perkins (D.C. United), Matt Pickens (Chicago Fire), Matt Reis (New England Revolution)
DEFENDERS (11) – Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Bobby Boswell (D.C. United), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Danny Califf (Aalborg BK), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Todd Dunivant (New York Red Bulls), Bryan Namoff (D.C. United), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjælland), Dasan Robinson (Chicago Fire), Eddie Robinson (Houston Dynamo)
MIDFIELDERS (10) – Kyle Beckerman (Colorado Rapids), Brian Carroll (D.C. United), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), Joshua Gros (D.C. United), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Brian Mullan (Houston Dynamo), Pat Noonan (New England Revolution)
FORWARDS (6) – Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Alecko Eskandarian (Toronto FC), Nate Jaqua (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire)


U.S. U-20 MNT HEADS TO FINAL CAMP BEFORE QUALIFYING: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has invited 21 players to participate in the team’s final training camp before the 2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament. The players and staff arrived in Bradenton, Fla., on Saturday (Dec. 30) and will train through Jan. 6 at IMG Academy. Following the eight-day camp, Rongen will name his final 20-player roster for CONCACAF qualifying, which will take place from Jan. 17-21 in Panama City, Panama. The team will regroup on Jan. 10 in Fort Lauderdale before heading to Panama on Jan. 14. Rongen had initially planned to name his qualifying roster after last week’s U-20 camp that included 26 players, but the announcement has been delayed. Of the 26 players that participated in the U-20’s last camp in the middle of December, 19 were invited back for this final camp. Of the 21 players named to camp, 10 are in college, nine are professional players and two just exited U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 Residency Program. During the previous camp, ussoccer.com’s Studio 90 followed the real-time story of Andre Akpan, Tony Beltran and Julian Valentin in “Roster Spot” as they tried to make an impression and earn a spot on the USA roster for the qualifying tournament. In the conclusion (now available on ussoccer.com), viewers see how the players performed in the all-important games and are actually in the room when Rongen addresses each player individually, informing them whether they had made the initial cut. A detailed roster is available at ussoccer.com.

RYAN NAMES WNT TRAINING CAMP ROSTER BEFORE FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Greg Ryan will bring 28 players to The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., for a five-day training camp from Jan. 11-15, preceding the team’s trip to China for the 2007 Four Nations Tournament. Following the camp, Ryan will name a 20-player roster for the prestigious tournament that features four of the top-12 teams in the world, including top-ranked Germany, as well as England (12), China (9) and the USA (2). All four teams will return to China from Sept. 10-30, for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup. The USA will open the tournament on Jan. 26 against long-time rival Germany as the world’s top two women’s soccer teams clash. The USA will then play England on Jan. 28 and finish the tournament against host China on Jan. 30. The USA will play all three matches in Guangzhou, a bustling metropolis in Southeast China. Stadiums and kickoff times have yet to be finalized. With several U.S. veterans not participating in the January training camp or the Four Nations Tournament, the trip to China will be an excellent opportunity for several young forwards to show their talents. The U.S. WNT will play their first domestic match of 2007 on April 14 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The opponent, kickoff time and TV network for the U.S. women’s game are all TBA.

U.S. WNT 2007 Four Nations Tournament Schedule
Date       Opponent
Jan. 26   Germany
Jan. 28   England
Jan. 30   China

U.S. WNT Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Val Henderson (Orinda, Calif.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tina Frimpong (Vancouver, Wash.), Sheree Gray (Toms River, N.J.), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (8): Yael Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Brittany Bock (Naperville, Ill.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Joanna Lohman (Silver Spring, Md.), Marci Miller (St. Charles, Ill.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.) ;
FORWARDS (8): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Megan Kakadelas (Carlsbad, Calif.), Casey Nogueira (Cedarburg, Wis.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Tiffany Weimer (North Haven, Conn.)


WERNER FRICKER NOMINATION PERIOD ENDS FRIDAY, JAN. 5: Nominations are now being accepted for U.S. Soccer's most prestigious recognition - the Werner Fricker Builder Award. The U.S. Soccer Werner Fricker Builder Award 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 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 and completing the nomination form 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 available at ussoccer.com, and applications must be postmarked or sent by January 5, 2007.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-17 WNT OPENS YEAR IN ORLANDO, FLA.: The U.S. U-17 women kick off the year for U.S. Soccer’s Women’s National Team programs with a training camp from Jan. 3-10 in Orlando, Fla., at University of Central Florida. U.S. head coach Erica Walsh will bring in 30 players, many of whom saw considerable time last year with the U.S. U-16s under head coach Kazbek Tambi. All 30 players were born in 1990. The team will play several intra-squad scrimmages during the week-long training camp.

U.S. U-17 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Elizabeth Hanna (Weddington, N.C.), Jill Mastroianni (Durham, Conn.), Cat Parkhill (Apple Valley, Minn.);
DEFENDERS (5): Jennifer LaPonte (Castro Valley, Calif.), Camille Levin (Newport Beach, Calif.), Lindsi Lisonbee (Park City, Utah), Michelle Oliver (Rosewell, Ga.), Alyssa Pember (Northport, N.Y.);
MIDFIELDERS (11): Shira Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Julia Bouchelle (Cockeysville, Md.), Charney Burk (Santa Ana, Calif.), Sarah Chapman (Silver Spring, Md.), Kylie Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.), Niki Fernandes (South Weber, Utah), Katy Frierson (Homewood, Ala.), Emilie Huser (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Cody Newman (Bellerose, N.Y.), Bailey Powell (Fayetteville, Ga.), Beth West (Centennial, Colo.);
FORWARDS (11): Lauren Alwine (Elizabethtown, Pa.), Sade Ayinde (North Bellmore, N.Y.), Brianna Garcia (Babylon, N.Y.), Maggie Kistner (St. Louis, Mo.), Sidney Leroux (Lakewood, Wash.), Paige Maxwell (Medina, Ohio), Tiffany McCarty (Laurel, Md.), Marissa Mykines (Colbert, Wash.), Toni Pressley (Melbourne, Fla.), Melanie Johnston (Phoenix, Ariz.), Rachel Wood (Laguna Niguel, Calif.).


U-17 ’91 MNT GO 2-1-2 DURING DISNEY SHOWCASE IN ORLANDO: The U.S. Under-17 '91 Men’s National Team went 2-1-2 during the 2006 Disney Soccer Showcase in Orlando, Fla. The younger age group in U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program opened the first of their five matches on Dec. 26 with a 1-0 victory over Tigres UANL, getting the game-winning goal from Jose Altimorano in the 83rd minute. The following day, the U.S. fell, 3-2, to Region IV, getting goals from Eder Arreolo and Gale Agbossoumounde. On Dec. 28, the U.S. bounced back as Aubrey Perry’s goal in the seventh minute was enough for a 1-1 draw against Region II. The best result for the U.S. came a day later when Abdus Ibrahim tallied two goals after Nick Millington scored the opening goal to defeat Real Madrid, 3-0. In their final match on Dec. 30, the U.S. drew, 0-0, with Region III.

U.S. U-17 '91 MNT Results
Date        Opponent    Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
Dec. 26    Tigres         1-0 W     Altimorano
Dec. 27    Region IV    2-3 L      Arreolo, Agbossoumounde
Dec. 28    Region II     1-1 T      Perry
Dec. 29    Real Madrid  3-0 W    Millington, Ibrahim (2)
Dec. 30    Region III     0-0 T     --


– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

ONYEWU, LILLY NAMED 2006 MALE, FEMALE ATHLETES OF THE YEAR: For their excellence at the highest levels of the sport, U.S. Soccer named U.S. Men’s National Team defender Oguchi Onyewu as the 2006 Male Athlete of the Year and U.S. Women’s National Team forward Kristine Lilly as the 2006 Female Athlete of the Year. Under-20 MNT forward Josmer Altidore and WNT forward Danesha Adams won the Young Male and Young Female Awards, respectively. Onyewu is the first defender to win the award since Alexi Lalas was honored in 1995, while Lilly becomes just the third player on the women’s side to win the award for the third time. Altidore has earned a starting position with the Under-20s, but made his mark during the end of his rookie season with the New York Red Bulls, scoring three goals in the last seven regular season games. Against D.C. United in the home-and-away Eastern Conference Semifinal Series, Altidore notched the lone goal for the Red Bulls with a world-class header in the second match. Adams was a standout for both the U-20 and U-21 Women’s National Teams in 2006, and also earned her first cap for the senior Women’s National Team against Chinese Taipei. She was the leading scorer for the U-21s in 2006, won the Bronze Ball at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship as the tournament’s third most valuable player and was named to the FIFA All-Star Team.

2006 U.S. Soccer Athletes of the Year
Male – Oguchi Onyewu
Female – Kristine Lilly
Young Male – Josmer Altidore
Young Female – Danesha Adams


WINNERS OF “BEST OF U.S. SOCCER” AWARDS ANNOUNCED: U.S. Soccer has unveiled the 2006 winners of the increasingly popular “Best of U.S. Soccer” Awards after nearly three weeks of online fan voting at ussoccer.com. Fans had a chance to vote from Nov. 30 to Dec. 20 for all 11 categories once a day. The fifth annual installment of the awards were presented this year by Soccer America, the No. 1 soccer magazine in the United States. The U.S. men’s 1-1 draw with Italy on June 17 in the 2006 FIFA World Cup at Fritz-Walter-Stadion in Kaiserslautern, Germany, was a part of five awards, including Best Performance (Team), Best Performance (Player), Best U.S. Atmosphere, Best Action Photo and Best U.S. Fan Photo from the World Cup. The World Cup was the also the stage for this year’s Best Goal, with Clint Dempsey easily walking away with the award for his scintillating one-timer against Ghana on June 22 in the USA’s final group game. The “Hospital Visit in Kaiserslautern,” which provided an inside look as players and staff visited Landstuhl Regional Medical Hospital in Germany, the major definitive care facility for the U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, was voted Best all_access video. Nike’s red “Don’t Tread on Me” jerseys, which the U.S. Men’s National Team wore in their final Send-Off Match against Latvia before heading to Germany for the World Cup, outlasted the MNT players’ World Cup suits and sunglasses to win Best Look/Style. Ginger’s Ale House had some tight competition from the Brewhouse Café in Atlanta, but in the end the Chicago pub pulled away for their fourth straight Best Soccer Bar award. The Best Soccer Store went to Angelo’s Soccer Corner in Pennsylvania.

2006 Best of U.S. Soccer Winners
Best Soccer Bar - Ginger’s Ale House (Chicago, Ill.)
Best Soccer Store - Angelo’s Soccer Corner (Pennsylvania)
Best Goal - Clint Dempsey vs. Ghana (June 22)
Best Kristine Lilly Goal - Nov. 4 vs. Canada – Seoul, South Korea
Best Performance (Player) - Kasey Keller vs. Italy (June 22)
Best Performance (Team) - U.S. MNT 1, Italy 1 (June 17)
Best all_access video - Hospital Visit in Kaiserslautern
Best Action Photo - McBride Crunch
Best U.S. Fan Photo from the World Cup - Flag Over Kaiserslautern
Best U.S. Atmosphere - U.S. MNT 1, Italy 1 @ Kaiserslautern, Germany
Best Look/Style - Don’t Tread on Me Jerseys


Best Videos of 2006 | Best Photos of 2006


*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Former U.S. Men’s National Team forward Brian McBride was on a roll this week for Fulham FC as part of two goals in two games. On Wednesday (Dec. 27), McBride scored his last goal of the calendar year for Fulham, notching the opening goal in a 2-2 tie with Charlton. He followed up that performance by playing a part in a goal on Saturday, Dec. 30, in a 2-2 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. On the play, McBride actually took a shot that was saved by Hilario. The rebound landed within pouncing distance of U.S. MNT and Fulham defender Carlos Bocanegra, who wasted no time in hammering home the game-tying strike.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Former FIFA World Player of the Year, Luis Figo, has signed a new deal for next season. It’s not an extension of his current deal with Inter Milan, nor is it a return to Real Madrid or Barcelona. Figo, as the former Portuguese international is best known, will lace up his boots in Saudi Arabia beginning Friday, Jan. 5, for Saudi club Al Ittihad.

QUOTABLE: “Now that it's settled it a little bit, I still feel disappointed but I just have to try and look at it in a positive way. This is only the team for qualifying. The World Cup is the really big event. Hopefully Thomas (Rongen) calls me in to a couple camps and I just have to work hard and do a couple of the things that he said while I'm not in for qualifying and just try to get better in certain areas. Then, hopefully, when I come back into camp, I can, excel and show him that I belong on this team.”
-- Tony Beltran, on ussoccer.com's Roster Spot, after learning he would not be a part of the U.S. U-20 MNT qualifying roster in Panama in January.


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