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U.S. Soccer Wire: March 16, 2009


U-20 MNT CLINCH BERTH AT 2009 FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP,
FINISH IN SECOND PLACE AT 2009 CONCACAF U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP;
WNT FALL TO SWEDEN IN PENALTY KICKS IN 2009 ALGARVE CUP TITLE MATCH;
WNT TO HOST JAPAN MAY 20 IN TEXAS AND MAY 23 IN UTAH

U.S. U-20 MNT EARNS FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP BERTH, SECOND PLACE IN CONCACAF: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team fell to Costa Rica 3-0 in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship final in front of a capacity crowd at Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad. After securing their place at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup by winning Group A at the tournament, the U.S. fell short of winning what would have been its first-ever regional title. It was the third time the Americans advanced to the tournament’s championship, also appearing in 1980 and 1982. The match marked the first CONCACAF Under-20 championship game since 1996. The United States, Costa Rica, Honduras and Trinidad & Tobago are the final four countries that will participate in the 24-team 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. Asia will send four representatives in Australia, Korea Republic, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan. Africa will have five teams in the tournament, including the hosts, as Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa have qualified. The 2008 U-19 European Championship served as the qualifying tournament that saw the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Spain advance. Oceania sends Tahiti to their first ever world championship, while Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela will represent South America.

U.S. U-20 MNT CONCACAF Championship Schedule

Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorer(s) Venue
March 6 Jamaica 3-0 W Marosevic, Duka, Schuler Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago
March 8 Honduras 0-0 T -- Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago
March 10 El Salvador 2-0 W Shea, Taylor Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago
March 13 Trinidad & Tobago 0-0 T (4-3 pk) -- Marvin Lee Stadium; Macoya, Trinidad
March 15 Costa Rica 0-3 L -- Marvin Lee Stadium; Macoya, Trinidad

USA FALLS TO SWEDEN IN PENALTY KICKS IN 2009 ALGARVE CUP FINAL: The U.S. Women’s National Team fell in a penalty kick shootout to Sweden in the championship game of the 2009 Algarve Cup after the match ended dramatically with a 1-1 score in regulation. After giving up a goal in the first half, the U.S. was able to send the match into overtime when Shannon Boxx got one past the Sweden goalkeeper in the 90th minute. Mitts earned her 100th cap for the USA in the match, becoming the 25th female player and eighth defender in U.S. history to reach that career milestone. The U.S. players returned to United States to join their WPS clubs in final preparations for the inaugural season that opens March 29 as the Washington Freedom visit the Los Angeles Sol. For complete Algarve Cup results and standings, as well as links to other U.S. content, visit the Algarve Cup competition page.

U.S. WNT Algarve Cup Schedule

Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorer(s) Venue
March 4 Denmark 2-0 W Woznuk, DiMartino Estádio Municipal; Lagos
March 6 Iceland 1-0 W Kai Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras
March 9 Norway 1-0 W Rapinoe Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras
March 11 Sweden 1-1 T (3-4 pk) Boxx Estádio Algarve; Faro

U.S. WOMEN TO HOST JAPAN IN MAY: The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Japan, the 2008 Olympic semifinalists on Wednesday, May 20, at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, and Saturday, May 23 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The game in Texas kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT and fans can follow the action live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The match in Utah will kick off at 4 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel, with fans also able to follow online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets for both matches will go on sale March 21 at 10 a.m. local time in each market. As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for both matches which starts Thursday, March 19, at 10 a.m. local time and runs until Saturday, March 21, at 8 a.m. local time at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply. Information about group tickets, On-Field Seats and Ultimate Fan Tickets is available in the Schedule & Tickets section of ussoccer.com.

TICKETS FOR MNT QUALIFIER AGAINST HONDURAS NOW ON SALE: Tickets for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Honduras on June 6 in Chicago are now available to the general public. Kickoff at Soldier Field is set for 7 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Galavision. Fans can also follow along live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets are available by visiting ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Chicagoland, including Carson Pirie Scott, Hot Tix, FYE and Ritmo Latino stores (Note: Tickets are not sold at Soldier Field except on the day of the event). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages which include a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. national team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits), are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

TICKET SALES SURPASS 12,000 MARK FOR QUALIFIER IN NASHVILLE: Ticket sales for the U.S. Men's National Team's FIFA World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago presented by Dodge on April 1 in Nashville have surpassed 12,000, with fans excited at the prospect of seeing Bob Bradley's team play in Music City for the first time since 2006. Similar to February's qualifier in Columbus, where fans from 43 states took in the USA's 2-0 victory over Mexico, a diverse crowd is set to descend on LP Field: already fans from 42 states and three different countries have purchased tickets for the game. Ticket sales for the match are ongoing, and surpassed the 11,000 mark in less than one week. More information can be found in the Schedule & Tickets section of ussoccer.com.

U.S. Men’s National Team 2009 Schedule 

Date Opponent Time / Result TV / U.S. Goal Scorer(s) Venue; City
Jan. 24 Sweden 3-2 W Kljestan (3) The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.
Feb. 11 Mexico* 2-0 W Bradley (2) Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio 
March 28 El Salvador* 9 p.m. ET ESPN2/Telefutura Estadio Cuscatlán; San Salvador, El Salvador 
April 1 Trinidad & Tobago* 6:30 p.m. CT ESPN2/Galavision LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.
June 3 Costa Rica* TBD TBD Away (Venue TBD) 
June 6 Honduras* 7 p.m. CT ESPN Classic/Galavision Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill.
June 15 Italy # 8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. ET TBD Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria
June 18 Brazil # 4 p.m. / 10 a.m. ET TBD Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria
June 21 Egypt # 8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. ET TBD Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace; Rustenburg 
July 3-26 CONCACAF Gold Cup TBD TBD 13 cities across the U.S. 
Aug. 12 Mexico* TBD TBD Away (Venue TBD)
Sept. 5 El Salvador* 5:30 p.m. MT ESPN Classic/Galavision Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Sept. 9 Trinidad & Tobago* 7 p.m. ET ESPN Classic/Galavision Away (Venue TBD)
Oct. 10 Honduras* TBD TBD Away (Venue TBD)
Oct. 14 Costa Rica* TBD ESPN2/Galavision RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.

* FIFA World Cup Qualifier
# FIFA Confederations Cup

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-20 WOMEN FINISH PLAY AT 10 NATIONS TOURNAMENT: The U.S. U-20 Women's National Team opened the 10 Nations Tournament with a 3-2 victory over Norway on Monday, with goals from Kristie Mewis, Maya Hayes and Sydney Leroux helping the Jillian Ellis' team to victory. Two days later, the team tied 1-1 with France on a goal from Casey Short, before dropping the final match 2-0 to Germany. Ellis is preparing the USA to qualify for the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup that will be held in Germany.

U.S. U-20 WNT Schedule

Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorer(s) Venue
March 9 Norway 3-2 W Mewis, Hayes, Leroux La Manga Club; La Manga, Spain
March 11 France 1-1 T Short La Manga Club; La Manga, Spain
March 13 Germany 0-2 L -- La Manga Club; La Manga, Spain

U.S. U-18 WNT WILL HOLD APRIL CAMP AT THE HDC: The U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team will hold its first training camp of the year from April 4-11 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The U-18-aged players were also part of a super camp with the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team earlier in the year in San Diego. The U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team will also be at The HDC during that week in April with the roster to be announced in the near future. The two squads will scrimmage each other once during the week. The U-18s, under the guidance of head coach Dave Chesler, will also scrimmage local college sides. The 24-player roster features 16 players born in 1992 and eight players born in 1991. All the players in camp are eligible for the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany, where the age cutoff is Jan. 1, 1990, and all are working towards call-ups to the U.S. U-20s. Three players in camp played significant roles for the USA at the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in midfielders Elizabeth Eddy and Julia Roberts and forward Samantha Johnson.

U.S. U-18 WNT Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Vittoria Arnold (Dallas Texans; Stafford, Va.), Anna Sieloff (Vardar; Troy, Mich.), Sarah Voigt (Ponte Vedra SC; Middleburg, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (8): Torri Allen (Mclean; Stafford, Va.), Elizabeth Eddy (So Cal Blues; Costa Mesa, Calif., Megan Oyster (Windy City Pride; Naperville, Ill.), Mollie Pathman (Triangle FC; Durham, N.C.), Rachel Quon (Eclipse Select; Lake Forrest, Ill.), Kendall Romine (So Cal Blues; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Courtney Smith (Dallas Texans; Houston, Texas), Carrie Whigham (Sereno SC; Phoenix, Ariz.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kate Bennett (Crossfire; Clyde Hill, Wash.), Alex Crown (Space Coast United; Orlando, Fla.), Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick (San Ramon; Pleasanton, Calif.), Julia Roberts (Mclean; Frederick, Md.), Julia Sandridge (TCSYA Lady Twins; Winston-Salem, N.C.), Annie Steilage (Michigan Hawks; Grand Haven, Mich.), Rebecca Twining (Challenge SC; Houston, Texas)
FORWARDS (6): Hayley Brock (FC Stars of Mass; Acton, Mass.), Michelle Cruz (Slammers; Thousand Oaks, Calif.); Kylie Facinelli (So Cal Blues; Del Mar, Calif.), Samantha Johnson (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Natalia Ledezma (Slammers; La Mirada, Calif.), Rachel Nuzzolesse (Rockville Centre; Melville, N.Y.)

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION AWARDS $1.2 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR 2009: The U.S. Soccer Foundation, the Major Charitable Arm of Soccer in the United States, has awarded $1.2 million in funds to 27 groups in 16 states and the District of Columbia. The awards are part of the Foundation's annual grants program, which focuses on improving the health and well being of children in urban economically disadvantaged areas using soccer as a vehicle for social change. The grants will help pay for field development, uniforms, player equipment, travel costs, facility rental, registration costs, and training for players, coaches and referees. In 2009, the Foundation awarded five grants for the construction of full-size FieldTurf soccer feields, 17 grants for soccer development programs and five grants for field enhancements and upgrades. For more information, visit ussoccerfoundation.org.

JOSH BLUE TO APPEAR ON COMEDY CENTRAL MARCH 27: U.S. Paralympian Josh Blue, who three years ago was the winner of Season Four of Comedy Central’s Last Comic Standing, will once again bring his standup to the network as Comedy Central presents Josh Blue, at 10 p.m. ET on Friday, March 27. In 2006, Blue was selected over hundreds of comics to make the show and joined 11 other comedians to live on the cruise ship Queen Mary, where they competed in various contests to determine the top six. Once he made his way to the final six, the public voted to see who would stay and who would go home and Blue won over his audience to win the fourth season of the NBC comedy competition. Fans can check out more about Blue at www.joshblue.com. Blue took time to sit down with ussoccer.com prior to his Comedy Central appearance (listen now).

CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMIFINALS KICK OFF TUESDAY, MARCH 17: The first leg of the inaugural CONCACAF Champions League semifinals will kick off on Tuesday, March 17, at 8 p.m. ET as the Puerto Rico Islanders host Cruz Azul, with the return leg on Tuesday, April 7. In the other semifinals, Santos Laguna hosts Atlante at 8 p.m. MT, with the second leg taking place Wednesday, April 8. Complete results and schedule are available at www.concacaf.com.

*** CENTER CIRCLE SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. Under-20 goalkeeper Brian Perk led the U.S. through Group A at the 2009 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship posting shutouts in all three Group A matches, as well as another in the semifinals against Trinidad & Tobago where he saved two penalty attempts.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The 2009 Major League Soccer season officially gets underway on Thursday, March 19, with the Seattle Sounders hosting their first-ever MLS match at 6 p.m. PT. The Sounders will face the New York Red Bulls live on ESPN2 and ESPNDeportes under the helm of former Columbus Crew and U.S. U-20 MNT head coach Sigi Schmid.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Manchester United has been comfortable at the top of the English Premier League table at least since January, but Chelsea and Liverpool are fast on their heels. Both the Blues and the Reds are just four points behind the leaders, courtesy in part to a 4-1 Liverpool win against Manchester United on Saturday. United scored first when Cristiano Ronaldo convered a penalty kick in the 23rd minute, but Liverpool came from behind with Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Fabio Aurelio and Andrea Dossena all contributing to the score line.

QUOTABLE: "We made a lot of changes tonight to try to put ourselves in a situation to be successful, but also to look at some players under pressure. I’m disappointed in the loss but overall satisfied with the way we’ve played throughout the finals. Getting to Egypt was our primary goal here, we reached that and to reach a final is a very good accomplishment for a team that came together in a very short amount of time. We did some very good things, and I think this team will represent us well in Egypt."
- U.S. U-20 MNT head coach Thomas Rongen, after the team’s 3-0 loss to Costa Rica in the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship title match.

 

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