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2008 Women's Nike Friendlies to Feature Elite Youth Teams at The Home Depot Center From Aug. 21-24


CHICAGO (July 31, 2007) – The third annual 2008 Women’s Nike Friendlies will take place Aug. 21-24 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. More than 25 teams will participate in the prestigious youth competition, including three team’s representing the U.S. Under-14 and Under-15 Girls’ National Teams.

The 2008 edition of the Women’s Nike Friendlies will feature more than 25 teams from clubs around the country, along with two U.S. U-14 Girls’ National Teams and the U.S. U-15 Girls’ National Teams. Teams will participate in the U-15, U-16 and U-17 age levels. The two U.S. U-14 Girls’ National Teams will participate in the U-16 age group, and the U.S. U-15 Girls’ National Team will participate at the U-17 level.

U.S. Soccer’s Women’s Nike Friendlies is an annual competition in which the best youth soccer clubs around the United States in the U-15, U-16 and U-17 age divisions are invited to The Home Depot Center in Carson for a high-level four-day event which stresses quality soccer and player development over wins and losses. Standings are not kept during the competition, in which each teams play three 80-minute games over the four days.

The Nike Women’s Friendlies emerged in 2006 as an extension of the Nike Friendlies, held at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. The event has become highly anticipated by college coaches because of the emphasis on quality soccer and the top-level competition.

“This event is the kind of competition these young players need,” said U.S. National Staff Coach Mike Dickey, who oversees the Under-14 Girls’ Development Program. “The Women’s Nike Friendlies provide players an opportunity to play the sport in the right environment and for the right reasons, which ultimately helps players develop and reach their full potential.”

Every participating team will play on the first day of the Women’s Nike Friendlies, beginning on Thursday, Aug. 21. Teams will play their second match of the event either on Friday, Aug. 22, or Saturday, Aug. 23, and will wrap up the weekend with a third and final match on Sunday, Aug. 24.

In the largest age group of the event, the U.S. U-15 GNT will be joined by Birmingham United (Ala.), Colorado Rush (Colo.), FC DELCO (Pa.), Irvine Strikers (Calif.), Real Colorado (Colo.), Real So Cal (Calif.), Seacoast United (N.H.), Sereno (Ariz.) and Surf (Calif.).

The U-16 age group will feature Irvine Strikers (Calif.), Mustangs (Calif.), PDA (N.J.), Real Colorado (Colo.), Real So Cal (Calif.), Sereno (Ariz.), Slammers (Calif.), and Surf (Calif.), along with two U.S. U-14 GNTs. In the U-15 group, Crossfire (Wash,), Irvine Strikers (Calif.), PDA (N.J.), Slammers (Calif.) and Surf (Calif.) will compete amongst the final list of teams still being finalized.

“From a national team perspective,” added Dickey, “this year’s event will also give us a glimpse at the players that will be a part of our future national teams, and most specifically the core group of 1993s and ‘94s who will compete in the 2010 U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

During the tournament, parents, fans and participants can follow the action at the Nike Friendlies at ussoccer.com. U.S. Soccer will also be conducting a Referee Academy in conjunction with the Women’s Nike Friendlies.

U-15 Group
Crossfire (Wash.)
Irvine Strikers (Calif.)
PDA (N.J.)
Slammers (Calif.)
Surf (Calif.)
TBD

U-16 Group
Irvine Strikers (Calif.)
Mustangs (Calif.)
PDA (N.J.)
Real Colorado (Colo.)
Real So Cal (Calif.)
Sereno (Ariz.)
Slammers (Calif.)
Surf (Calif.)
U-14 GNT (competing as two teams)

U-17 Group
Birmingham United (Ala.)
Colorado Rush (Colo.)
FC DELCO (Pa.)
Irvine Strikers (Calif.)
Real Colorado (Colo.)
Real So Cal (Calif.)
Seacoast United (N.H.)
Sereno (Ariz.)
Surf (Calif.)
U-15 GNT

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