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U.S. Soccer Wire - April 24, 2006


U.S. MNT Manager Bruce Arena to Announce
2006 FIFA World Cup Roster on May 2, Live on ESPN’S SportsCenter;
U-20 Women Win Ricardo Teixeira Cup in Brazil

ARENA TO ANNOUNCE WORLD CUP ROSTER MAY 2: U.S. Men’s National Team Manager Bruce Arena will announce his 23-man roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup on May 2 live on ESPN’s SportsCenter at 6 p.m. ET. Just more than one week later on May 10, Arena will begin welcoming his squad to their final training camp before the World Cup, when the group gathers in Cary, N.C. The U.S., ranked fourth in the world in the latest round of FIFA rankings, will then embark on the three-game Send-Off Series before a June 1 departure for Germany. The U.S. plays their opening match against the Czechs on June 12 in Gelsenkirchen before meeting Italy in Kaiserslautern on June 17 and then finishing off group play against Ghana on June 22 in Nuremberg. The U.S. has chosen the northern port city of Hamburg as their base of operations throughout the tournament. The U.S. will submit its 23-man roster to FIFA on May 15.

U.S. U-20 WOMEN WIN RICARDO TEIXEIRA CUP: Despite a 2-1 loss to the Brazilian U-20 Women's National Team in the final match, the U.S. U-20 WNT clinched the Ricardo Teixeira Cup, finishing with seven points from their first three matches. Canada finished second with five points and Brazil finished third with four points. The USA had defeated Brazil by a 2-0 score earlier in the tournament. All three teams in the tournment are preparing for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship to be held in Russia from Aug. 17 - Sept. 3. The U-20s will have a short break before returning to training camp on April 30 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. That camp will be followed by a trip to Germany from May 7-16, where the team will play several matches, including contests against the German U-21s and several women’s Bundesliga teams.

Ricardo Teixeira Cup Results
Date Match-Up / Result
April 15 USA U-20 2, Canada U-20 2
April 17 Canada U-20 1, Brazil U-20 0
April 19 USA U-20 2, Brazil U-20 0
April 22 Brazil U-20 1, Canada U-20 1
April 23 USA U-20 4, Canada U-20 0
April 24 Brazil U-20 2, USA U-20 1


U.S. MNT SET FOR “SEND-OFF SERIES”: Comedian and U.S. Soccer aficionado Drew Carey was out in Cleveland, Ohio, on Thursday (April 20) rallying the troops for the U.S. MNT’s three-game “Send-Off Series” (listen) in May prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany this summer. The U.S. Men’s National Team will begin final preparations for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany on May 10 in Cary, N.C., and will train for approximately two weeks at the facility before kicking off the Send-Off Series. The Send-Off Series starts against Morocco at The Coliseum in Nashville, Tenn., on May 23, in a game presented by Budweiser, before continuing vs. Venezuela at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 26 (presented by Sierra Mist), and concluding vs. Latvia at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on May 28 (presented by Hyundai). Tickets for all three matches of the Send-Off Series are now available at ussoccer.com.


– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-21 WOMEN HEAD TO HOLLAND AND GERMANY: The U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team travel to Europe Tuesday for two matches in the Netherlands and one in Germany as U.S. head coach Jill Ellis continues the process of selecting a team to participate in the annual Nordic Cup, this coming summer in Norway. The USA has won an unprecedented seven straight Nordic Cups against the top U-21 teams from Europe. Numerous players who are eligible for the next Nordic Cup are spending time with the full Women’s National Team and the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team, giving Ellis a chance to bring in some new players for evaluation. The USA will play its first match on Saturday, April 29 in Tiel, Holland, against the Seastum women’s club. The U-21s will then face the full Dutch National Team on May 2 in Tiel before leaving for Germany. The USA will play the Duisburg club, a team in the women’s Bundesliga, on May 4. Two players, forward Danesha Adams and midfielder Tobin Heath, will join the U-21s almost directly from Brazil where they played for the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team in the Ricardo Teixeira Cup. It will be the first U-21 call-up for the 17-year-old Heath, a high school senior who scored her first international goal at the U-20 level in Brazil against Canada where the USA played four matches and won the tournament. Several players could make their international debuts at the U-21 level on this tour; goalkeeper Cori Alexander, defender Lauren Switzer, midfielder Noelle Keselica, Rebecca Moros and Heath, and forwards Katie Griffin and Kelly Hammond.

U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team – Netherlands Tour Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cori Alexander (Portland), Kati Jo Spisak (Texas A & M);
DEFENDERS (5): Rachel Buehler (Stanford), Kendall Fletcher (UNC), Holly Gault (Kansas), Hayley Hunt (Stanford), Lauren Switzer (St. Charles, Ill.);
MIDFIELDERS (7): Bristyn Davis (UCLA), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Sarah Huffman (Virginia), Noelle Keselica (Virginia), Manya Makoski (Arizona State), Rebecca Moros (Duke), Jennifer Redmond (Morristown, N.J.);
FORWARDS (6): Danesha Adams (Shaker Heights, Ohio), Liz Bogus (Arizona State), Katie Griffin (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Kelly Hammond (Bowie, Md.), Ashlee Pistorius (Texas A&M), Tiffany Weimer (Penn State).

U.S. U-21 WNT – Netherlands Tour Schedule
Date Opponent Venue
April 29 Seastum Tiel, Holland
May 2 Holland U-21s Tiel, Holland
May 4 Duisburg Duisburg, Germany


U.S. U-20 WNT LEARNS DRAW AT 2006 FIFA U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: The Final Draw for the 2006 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia was held at Moscow City Hall Saturday (April 22) as the United States Under-20 Women’s National Team was placed in Group D, where it will face an opponent from the yet-to-be completed African qualifying tournament, as well as Argentina and France, in first round play. The USA, Germany, China and host Russia were awarded tops seeds in the groups prior to the Final Draw. The USA opens the tournament, which will be held from Aug. 17-Sept. 3, on Friday, Aug. 18 against an African squad at Torpedo Stadium in Moscow. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) representatives will be determined later in June. The USA will play its second Group D match three days later on Monday, Aug. 21, against FIFA U-20 Women's Youth World Championship debutante Argentina at Torpedo Stadium, and will finish group play on Thursday, Aug. 24, against France in Shchelkovo (Moscow Region) at Podmoskovie Stadium. The first two of the USA’s first-round matches will kickoff at 4 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET) while the third group game kicks off at 7 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET). For the first time, the tournament will be staged with 16 teams, up from 12 in the previous two FIFA world youth championships for women. The top two finishers in each of the four groups will advance to the quarterfinals, when the tournament becomes a knockout competition.

2006 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Championship Groups
Group A Group B Group C Group D
1-RUS 1-CHN 1-SUI 1-CAF B
2-BRA 2-FIN 2-MEX 2-USA
3-NZL 3-CAF A 3-DPR 3-FRA
4-AUS 4-CAN 4-GER 4-ARG

Match Schedule
No. Date Teams Stadium (Venue) Kickoff Local / ET
7 Aug. 18 CAF 2 vs. USA Torpedo (Moscow) 4 p.m. / 8 a.m.
15 Aug. 21 USA vs. Argentina Torpedo (Moscow) 4 p.m. / 8 a.m.
24 Aug. 24 USA vs. France Podmoskovie (Shchelkovo)* 7 p.m. / 11 a.m.

*Moscow Region


U-20 MNT KICKS OFF ARGENTINA TOUR WITH 2-2 DRAW AGAINST ARSENAL: After three days of training, the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team drew, 2-2, against Arsenal de Sarandi U-20 in the first match of their 10-day training camp in Argentina (photos). The U.S. fell behind twice in the match, but was able to pull even with goals from Preston Zimmerman and Dax McCarty at the AFA training center in Ezeiza outside the city. The U.S. will next face River Plate on April 24 before playing their first international match of the year two day later against the reigning world champions Argentina U-20 Men’s National Team.

U-20 MNT Schedule/Results – Argentina Training Camp
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
April 22 Arsenal de Sarandi 2-2 T Zimmerman, McCarty
April 24 River Plate
April 26 Argentina U-20 MNT


U.S. U-20 WOMEN HEAD TO TRAINING CAMP AT THE HDC: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team, fresh off its tournament title at the Ricardo Teixeira Cup in Teresopolis, Brazil, will head to training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from April 30 through May 7, before heading to Germany for a series of matches. U.S. U-20 head coach Tim Schulz will bring 17 players to camp, but will be missing seven of his regulars due to school commitments and call-ups by the U.S. U-21s. Those players, defenders Carrie Dew, Ariel Harris, Stephanie Logterman and Stephanie Lopez, midfielders Brittany Bock and Danesha Adams and forward Amy Rodriguez, will join the USA for the matches in Germany. The U-20s found out last weekend their first-round opponents in the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship to be held in Russia from Aug. 17-Sept. 3 as the Final Draw was staged in Moscow. The USA will open the tournament against a team from Africa on Aug. 18, face Argentina on Aug. 21 and finish group play against France on Aug. 24. All the first-round matches will be played in Moscow. At the HDC, Schulz will get his first looks at several players, including defender Jill Gilbeau from the University of Texas, defender Erin Hardy from UCLA, and midfielder Lorraine Quinn of Duke. Schulz will also call in several players from local colleges for brief trials. Eleven of the players on the roster helped the USA win the tournament in Brazil. U.S. forward Lauren Cheney is questionable for the camp as she may undergo surgery to have her tonsils removed. The U-20s will face the full U.S. Women’s National Team in a scrimmage on April 30 at the HDC with a kickoff of 4 p.m. before the senior team, currently in Residency Training Camp, departs for Japan from May 1-10 to play two games against the Japanese Women’s National Team. The U-20s will also play a scrimmage against USC during the camp.

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Kelsey Davis (Thousand Oakes, Calif.), Joanna Haig (Inver Grove Hts., Minn.), Val Henderson (Orinda, Calif.);
DEFENDERS (5): Jordan Angeli (Lakewood, Colo.), Jill Gilbeau (San Diego, Calif.), Erin Hardy (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Nikki Kryzsik (Clifton, N.J.), Sara Wagenfuhr (Colorado Springs, Colo.);
MIDFIELDERS (6): Natalie Capuano (Aston, Pa.), Tina DiMartino (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), Katie Larkin (Draper, Utah), Allie Long (East Northport, N.Y.), Amanda Poach (Bowie, Md.), Lorraine Quinn (Farmingdale, New York);
FORWARDS (3): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Kelley O’Hara (Fayetteville, Ga.), Jessica Rostedt (Kent, Ohio).


U-18 MNT KICKS OFF SLOVAKIA CUP WITH DRAW: The U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team kicked off the Slovakia Cup 2006 in Piest'any, Slovakia, this Monday, April 24, with a 2-2 draw with Hungary in Group A play. The U.S. will then face Malta on Tuesday, April 25, before finishing group play against the host on April 27. If the U.S. finishes in one of the top two spots in the group, they will play on April 28 in either the third place or championship match against a team from Group B, which consists of the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Belgium.

U-18 MNT Schedule – Slovakia Cup 2006
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
April 24 Hungary 2-2 T Marosevic, Stephens
April 25 Malta
April 27 Slovakia
April 28 Third place/Championship match *
*if necessary

U-18 MNT Roster - Slovakia Cup 2006
GOALKEEPERS (2): Joe Bendik (Marietta, Ga.), Brian Perk (Santa Margarita, Calif.);
DEFENDERS (7): Kyle Davies (Pleasanton, Calif.), Kemo Djedovic (Cupertino, Calif.), Greg Eckhardt (Orange Park, Fla.), Doug Ferner (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Blair Gavin (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Colin Givens (Troy, Mich.), Cameron Lamming (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.);
MIDFIELDERS (4): Koaru Forbess (Benton, Ark.), Jose Gonzales (Soquel, Calif.), Daniel Kelly (Hendersonville, Calif.), Jonathon Villanueva (Grand Prairie, Texas);
FORWARDS (5): Edgar Barajas (San Fernando, Calif.), Perica Marosevic (Rockford, Ill.), Eber Martinez (Arlington, Va.), Michael Stephens (Naperville, Ill.), Casey Townsend (Treverse City, Mich.).


U-17 ’90 MNT STARTS BALLYMENA TOURNAMENT WITH WIN AFTER ENGLAND TRIP: The U.S. Under-17 '90 Men's National Team went unbeaten during their 10-day England training camp, going 3-0-1 in their four matches, and began the 2006 Ballymena International Tournament this week with a 2-1 win against Switzerland in Northern Ireland. On Saturday (April 22), the U.S. defeated the Tranmere Rovers, 2-1, in their final match in England, getting goals from Kirk Urso and Temi Molinar. Earlier in the week, Ellis McLoughlin scored both U.S. goals in a 2-2 draw against Wales in their lone international. McLoughlin also scored two goals against Liverpool to spur the ‘90s to a 4-2 victory three days after their 5-2 win over a Northern England regional team. The U.S. traveled across the Irish Sea into Northern Ireland on Sunday (April 23) and will kick off Group A of the Ballymena International Tournament on April 24 against Switzerland before facing Finland on April 25 and Northern Ireland on April 26. The U-17s will then play a placement match on April 28 against one of the four teams from Group B – Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic and Scotland.

U-17 ’90 MNT Schedule/Results – England Training Camp
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
April 15 Northern England Select Team 5-2 W Williams (3), Shea, Nelson
April 18 Liverpool 4-2 W McLoughlin (2), Paredes, Dixon
April 20 Wales 2-2 T McLoughlin (2)
April 22 Tranmere Rovers 2-1 W Urso, Molinar

U-17 ’90 MNT Schedule – Ballymena International Tournament
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
April 24 Switzerland 2-1 W Williams, McLoughlin
April 25 Finland
April 26 Northern Ireland
April 28 Placement Match

U.S. U-17 MNT Ballymena Tournament Roster
GOALKEEPERS (): 1-Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.), 18-Chris Miller (Garland, Texas);
DEFENDERS (): 2-Brandon Lee (Tenafly, N.J.), 3-Thomas Meyer (St. Louis, Miss.), 4-TJ Nelson (Garland, Texas), 5-Ian Kalis (Plano, Texas), 7-Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS (): 14-Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), 11-Jesse Paredes (Los Angeles, Calif.), 6-Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), 17-Brandon Tarr (Knoxville, Tenn.), 8-Kirk Urso (Lombard, Ill.), 13-Matthew Uy (New Hyde Park, N.Y.), 16-Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.)
FORWARDS (): 12-Alex Dixon (Humble, Texas), 15-Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), 10-Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), 9-Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.)

U.S. U-20 WNT VISITS ORPHANAGE IN BRAZIL: On the eve of the Final Draw for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia, the U.S. U-20s took a short afternoon trip to visit an orphanage named O Lar Tia Anastacia in the favela Rosario, a slum set in the foothills of Teresopolis, Brazil (photos). The U.S. team brought enough new and used soccer gear to fill three large duffel bags on the trip to Brazil. The players divided the gear, which featured piles of t-shirts, shorts, shin-guards, flip-flops, soccer balls and soccer cleats, between gifts for the kids and donations to the girl’s soccer club Cotia in Sao Paulo. The U.S. team spent 30 minutes with the kids, handed out the gear, played some soccer and got a short tour of the clean, colorful orphanage that can house up to 35 children. Founded in 1987, it is open 24 hours a day and houses babies up to 18-year-olds. All a child has to do is knock on the door and they will be let in. The orphanage helps up to 150 children a year and the staff there provides medical care and transportation to school. O Lar Tia Anastcia gets no government assistance and relies on donations to stay open.

U-14 BNT GET TOGETHER IN CARSON FOR SECOND CAMP OF 2006: The U.S. Under-14 Boys’ National Team will come together in Carson, Calif., for their second camp of the year from April 29-May 6 at The Home Depot Center. Head coach Manny Schellscheidt has invited in 37 players for the weeklong camp. After three days of training the U.S. will begin to play matches against local ODP and club teams from Southern California. On Tuesday, May 2, the U-14s will divide into two squads and play against two separate squads from ODP Cal South. The following two days, the U-14s will also split up to face the Valley United Blast and Surf SC on May 3 and So Cal United and ODP Cal South. The Under-14 program introduces young players to a level of soccer they would not otherwise see at such a young age and allows the country’s top youths the chance to experience soccer at its highest level. To find out more about the U-14 program, click here to hear Schllscheidt talk about the program.

U.S. U-14 BNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Earl Edwards (San Diego, Calif.), Drew Hutchins (Morrisville, Pa.), Travis Ives (Bridgewater, N.J.), Eric Reyes (Pembroke Pines, Fla.)

DEFENDERS (12): Estanilao Arevalo (Oxnard, Calif.), Robert Derschang (Englewood, Colo.), James Doherty (Mansfield, Mass.), Travis Golden (Austin, Texas), Chad Hedlund (Argyle, Texas), Emmet Kumeh (Dallas, Texas), Joe Loya (Buda, Texas), Chase Miller (Duncannon, Pa.), Andrew O'Malley (West Chester, Pa.), Tyler Polak (Lincoln, Neb.), Alberto Rosas (N. Hollywood, Calif.), Joshua Sylva (Las Vegas, Nev.).

MIDFIELDERS (13): Jacob Bushue (Champaign, Ill.), Alex Bramall (Newburgh, N.Y.), Zachary Herold (Port Saint Lucie, Fla.), Stefan Jerome (Davie, Fla.), Perry Kitchen (Indianapolis, Ind.), Edson Lemus (Wilmington, Calif.), George Pantelic (Northridge, Calif.), Sasha Pelipovic-Wengler (The Woodlands, Texas), Michael Raley (St. Inigoes, Md.), Joseph Schmid (Kingston, Pa.), AJ Stueck (Brookfield, Conn.), Ross Tomaselli (Wilmington, N.C.), Jared Watts (Statesville, N.C.)

FORWARDS (8): Robert Barerra (Union, N.J.), Andrew Craven (St. Simons Island, Ga.), Jospeh-Claude Gyau (Silver Spring, Md.), Patrick Donyen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Charles Renken (Edwardsville, Ill.), Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich.), Francisco Valdez (Tracy, Calif.), Brian Vasquez (Houston, Texas)


– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

MLS ALL-STARS TO FACE CHELSEA FC IN CHICAGO: Major League Soccer and Chelsea FC announced Thursday (April 20) that English Premier League champions Chelsea FC will face the MLS All-Stars in the 2006 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game to be played at the new home of the Chicago Fire in Bridgeview, Ill., on Saturday, August 5 (live on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. ET). The announcement was made during a press conference at Bridgeview Stadium featuring MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Chelsea Business Affairs Director Paul Smith, Chicago Fire President/CEO John Guppy and Pepsi-Cola North America Marketing Manager Andrew Jaffe. The venue for the event is a new, world-class, 20,000-seat stadium that the Chicago Fire will inaugurate on June 25, 2006. The stadium is located approximately 15 minutes southwest of downtown Chicago. More information is available at MLSNet.com.

U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES SURF GRANTS: The U.S. Soccer Foundation, the Major Charitable Arm of Soccer in the United States, recently provided more than $100,000 of support to eight Gulf Coast soccer organizations through the Soccer United Recovery Fund (SURF). These community-based organizations are located in areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas that were severely impacted by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. The Foundation has awarded more than $180,000 in Recovery Fund grants to over two dozen soccer organizations in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Included in the awards made is the fourth major distribution of soccer goals and equipment to organizations in the Gulf states. This latest set of Recovery Fund grants also includes $50,000 in financial support to the Mississippi Youth Soccer Association that was awarded through the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s annual granting process – further supporting the Foundation’s commitment to the overall soccer recovery effort.

COLIN JOSE MEDIA AWARD NOMINATIONS SOLICITED: The U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame is now accepting nominations for the 2006 Colin Jose Media Award, which honors media members with exceptional career contributions to the field in regards to soccer. Potential candidates include reporters, columnists, authors, broadcasters and others who specialize in soccer. Nominees should have served at least 10 years in their field and demonstrated continuous excellence in the body of their work. The National Soccer Hall of Fame will honor the Colin Jose Media Award recipient during the 2006 Induction Ceremony. The Colin Jose Media Award Committee, whose members include U.S. Soccer Director of Communications Jim Moorhouse, MLS Director of Communications Will Kuhns, Jim Trecker and previous award winners Jerry Trecker and Seamus Malin, determines the award recipient. To nominate a candidate, contact Jack Huckel at the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame by May 5, 2006.

DETROIT LANDS MISL TEAM FOR 2006-2007 SEASON: The Major Indoor Soccer League, Hantz Group, Inc., and Hantz Group Sports & Entertainment announced Wednesday (April 19) the launch of a Detroit-based MISL team. The Detroit Ignition will join the league for the 2006-2007 season, which begins in November, and will play their home games at the 3,500-seat Compuware Sports Arena in Plymouth, Mich. The Ignition introduced Mark Pulisic as the franchise's first head coach, as well as five college draft picks.

USL ANNOUNCES FOX SOCCER CHANNEL SCHEDULE: United Soccer Leagues announced its television broadcast schedule on Fox Soccer Channel for the 2006 season. USL coverage begins on Sunday, June 18, with the defending champion Seattle Sounders visiting expansion side Miami FC. Highlighting the schedule will be the first-ever broadcast of the W-League semifinals in August and a new USL show with features and highlights. Each USL First Division club will be featured over the course of the broadcast schedule. Postseason action begins with a doubleheader of W-League semifinals on August 4 in Vancouver, B.C., followed on August 6 by the W-League Championship. The PDL Championship will be featured the following weekend on Saturday, August 12. The USL Second Division Championship will be decided live on Fox Soccer Channel two weeks later on Saturday, August 26. The schedule wraps up with the USL First Division Championship Saturday, September 30 and a USL SoccerFest wrap-up show on Saturday, December 2 featuring the Super Y-League Finals and the USL Annual General Meeting. A full schedule is available at USLSoccer.com.

2006 MISL CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL TO BE BROADCAST LIVE ON ESPN2: The Baltimore Blast and St. Louis Steamers will meet in the 2006 MISL Championship Series Final this weekend. The second match of the series will be broadcast live on ESPN2 for the second consecutive season on Sunday, April 30, at 1 p.m. ET. The 2006 MISL Championship Series Finals is a two-game, “home-and-home” series featuring the winners of the Championship Series Semifinals. In the event of a draw, the 2006 MISL Champion will be determined by a “Golden Goal” session immediately following the conclusion of Game Two.

2006 MISL Championship Series Semifinals
Date Match-up Time Location
April 15 Chicago Storm 1, St. Louis Steamers 7 -- Chicago, Ill.
April 22 St. Louis Steamers 9, Chicago Storm 2 -- St. Louis, Ms.
Baltimore Blast 10, Milwaukee Wave 4 -- Baltimore, Md.
April 23 Milwauke Wave 10, Baltimore Blast 8 * -- Milwaukee
*Golden goal

2006 MISL Championship Series Finals
Date Match-up Time Location; TV
April 28 Baltimore vs. St. Louis 7:35 p.m. ET Baltimore, Md. / --
April 30 St. Louis vs. Baltimore 1 p.m. ET St. Louis, Ms. / ESPN2


USL KICKS OFF SEASON: The United Soccer League’s 2006 season kicked off on Friday (April 21) with the USL Second Division defending champions Charlotte Eagles winning, 1-0, against Cincinnati Kings. In the First Division, the Puerto Rico Islanders defeated the Atlanta Silverbacks, 3-1, after the game was delayed due to lightning. On Saturday in the First Division, the Virginia Beach Mariners defeated the Toronto Lynx, 2-0, and the Vancouver Whitecaps won, 1-0, against the Portland Timbers. Sunday's Second Division matchup saw the Cincinnati Kings bounce back from a loss two days prior to win, 1-0, against the Richmond Kickers. In the First Division, the Montreal Impact and Miami FC played to a scoreless draw while the Minnesota Thunder defeated the Seattle Sounders, 4-0, and the Atlanta Silverbacks and Puerto Rico Islanders played to a 1-1 tie.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Sigi Schmid made a triumphant return to Los Angeles over the weekend with his new team the Columbus Crew. Schmid, who coached the Galaxy to an MLS title in 2002, saw his side sneak out a 1-0 win with a 96th minute goal from Kyle Martino at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: Arsenal and Villarreal will be back at it on Tuesday, April 25, as the second leg of the Champions League semifinals heads to El Madrigal in Spain after a 1-0 Arsenal win at Highbury. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m. ET and will determine who faces the winner of the Barcelona-AC Milan series in the final in Paris.

SOCCER SHOCKER: The Dallas Texans Red shocked renowned clubs around the world last Sunday (April 16) by winning the Dallas Cup International Super Group championship at the 2006 Dallas Cup. The Texans are the first-ever U.S. team to win the Super Group since it was established in 1990, beating Santos Laguna (Mexico) in the final. Other Super Group teams included English clubs Blackburn Rovers FC and Manchester United FC, Consadole Sapporo of Japan, Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica, Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany, FC Groningen of the Netherlands and Real Madrid, as well as other clubs from the U.S. and Mexico.

QUOTABLE: “We got some good high-fives and fist-pounds from the kids. It was awesome to be able to interact with them, and be able make a small difference in their day. It’s so cool that through sport, we can transcend the language barriers and bring smiles to their faces even though we can’t totally communicate with them. It was fun to play Santa Claus. It was truly like Christmas in April.”
-- U.S. U-20 WNT Defender Stephanie Logterman on the team's trip to an orphanage during their stay in Teresopolis, Brazil, for the Ricardo Teixeira Cup.

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