U.S. MNT Qualifies for Fifth Straight World Cup With
2-0 Victory Against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio
GOING TO DEUTSCHLAND: The U.S. Men’s National Team earned a berth to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany with a 2-0 victory against Mexico on Saturday (Sept. 3) in front of a raucous sold-out crowd of 24,685 fans at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. After a scoreless first half, Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley scored in a six-minute span to qualify the U.S. for their fifth consecutive World Cup. This is the first time since 1934 that the U.S. was the first team from the CONCACAF region to qualify for the World Cup, as Mexico was unable to clinch with the defeat. The draw for the 2006 FIFA World Cup will be held on December 9 in Leipzig, Germany. With the victory, the U.S. sits atop the hexagonal at 18 points, two ahead of Mexico, with three matches still left to play in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying. U.S. Manager Bruce Arena announced an 18-man travel roster for the upcoming qualifier against Guatemala on MatchDay 8 of final round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The Reading duo of Bobby Convey and Marcus Hahnemann are all that remains of the European-based contingent, while Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson, Chad Marshall, Matt Reis and Greg Vanney have been recalled from their MLS clubs. Kansas City Wizards defender Nick Garcia is the only new addition to the original training camp roster in Columbus. Kickoff on Sept. 7 in Guatemala City is set for 8 p.m. local (10 p.m. ET), and the match will be televised live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
U.S. MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Marcus Hahnemann (Reading FC), Matt Reis (New England Revolution); DEFENDERS (6): Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Nick Garcia (Kansas City Wizards), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Greg Vanney (FC Dallas); MIDFIELDERS (6): Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Santino Quaranta (D.C. United), Steve Ralston (New England Revolution); FORWARDS (4): Jeff Cunningham (Colorado Rapids), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (FC Dallas), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution).
2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Standings – CONCACAF Final Round
* clinched spot in FIFA World Cup Germany 2006
2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule – CONCACAF Final Round
Date Match (home teams listed first) Location Kickoff
Sept. 7 Mexico vs. Panama Estadio Azteca; Mexico City 9 p.m. CT
Sept. 7 Guatemala vs. USA Estadio Mateo Flores; Guatemala City 9 p.m. CT
Sept. 7 Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago Estadio Ricardo Saprissa; Panama City 8 p.m. CT
Oct. 8 Costa Rica vs. USA San Jose, Costa Rica 7 p.m. CT
Oct. 8 Panama vs. Trinidad & Tobago Panama City, Panama 8 p.m. ET
Oct. 8 Mexico vs. Guatemala Mexico City, Mexico 8 p.m. CT
Oct. 12 USA vs. Panama Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass. 8 p.m. ET
Oct. 12 Guatemala vs. Costa Rica Guatemala City, Guatemala 6 p.m. CT
Oct. 12 Trinidad & Tobago vs. Mexico Port of Spain, Trinidad 8 p.m. ET
NINE TEAMS QUALIFIED FOR GERMANY: The USA is one of nine teams that has clinched a spot at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, and is the first team to qualify from the CONCACAF region. Other teams include two teams from Europe, four from Asia and two from South America. From Oceania, Australia has clinched a spot in the playoff against the fifth place team from South America.
Qualified Teams for 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany
Africa (5) – no teams qualified yet.
Asia (4.5) – Japan, Iran, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia.
Europe (14) – Germany, Ukraine.
North, Central America & the Caribbean (3.5) – United States of America.
Oceania (.5) –Australia clinched playoff spot.
South America (4.5) – Argentina, Brazil.
U.S. MNT TO CLOSE OUT QUALIFYING IN FOXBORO, MASS.: The U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team will host Panama on October 12 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., at 8 p.m. ET in the final game of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. vs. Panama match is being presented by Philips Electronics and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and delayed on Telemundo. Fans can also follow the U.S. match live on ussoccer.com via MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Tickets range from $20 to $36 and go on sale starting Wednesday, September 7, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 508-931-2000, at all Ticketmaster outlets in the region (including Filene's Stores) and at the Gillette Stadium Box Office (open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Discounted tickets (from $16-$28) are available for groups of 20 or more by calling the New England Revolution at 877-GET-REVS.
SUPPORT THE HURRICANE KATRINA RELIEF EFFORT: The American soccer community is joining together to raise funds to support the victims of one of the most devastating natural disasters in our nation’s history. Major League Soccer players, as well as members of the U.S. National Team and Mexican National Team, are contributing autographed game-worn jerseys that will be auctioned to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Players who competed in the U.S. vs. Mexico World Cup qualifier in Columbus, Ohio on September 3 and all MLS games on September 3 and 4 signed the jerseys and donated them for the relief efforts. These jerseys will be auctioned online via www.MLSnet.com with 100 percent of the proceeds going to programs that support the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The program has the full support of Major League Soccer, U.S. Soccer, Federacion Mexicana de Futbol, the MLS Players Union and the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association. In addition, the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Eurosport are supporting the program. In addition to the online jersey auction, some of Major League Soccer’s clubs conducted in-stadium programs such as collection drives and auctions of products and services at this weekend’s games.
-- WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --
HEADLINES: Below are a few headlines and comments from newspapers in Mexico following the USA's authoritative victory over Mexico on Saturday.
Diario Juarez - HUMILIATED AND UNSEATED
El Porvenir - THEY PASSED MEXICO BY
El Universal - DISAPPOINTING, THE U.S. AGAIN HUMILIATES THE TRICOLOR
Reforma - THIS ONE BURNS
La Opinion (Mexico) - PAINFUL DEFEAT
El Universal - WHAT PAIN!
Esto - "The United States is the giant."
Esto - TRI-STE REGRESO ("Sad Return")
-- U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --
MILBRETT BACK IN SWEDEN: U.S. forward Tiffeny Milbrett, the only regular U.S. WNT player currently playing in Europe, is back in Sweden with Sunanna SK where she will play until the end of September before returning to the USA. Sunanna has had a string of substandard results recently, but Milbrett scored the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Hammarby IF on August 31 and her club currently sits in fourth place in the highly competitive Swedish First Division. In its most recent result, Sunanna tied ninth place Mallbackens, 1-1, last Saturday. Milbrett, who returned to the U.S. National Team in June after more than a year away from the team, has scored 100 goals in her 202 matches with the USA.
2007 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP QUALIFYING KICKS OFF IN EUROPE: Although the 2007 Women’s World Cup in China is about two years away, qualifying in the world’s largest confederation – Europe – is underway. The next Women’s World Cup will feature 16 teams (for the second time) and is slated for the fall of 2007 as China will get the chance to hosts its second Women’s World Cup after having the tournament moved in 2003 due to the SARS epidemic. With 25 top-tier teams in Europe divided into five groups of five teams each – with only the group winner advancing to China – the road in the “old world” to women’s soccer’s grandest stage is long and arduous. While teams have only played a handful of games in each group, several interesting results have already materialized. In Group 4, Russia has won all three of its matches against Ireland (5-1), Scotland (6-0) and Switzerland (2-0), and now heads into its fourth game against reigning Women’s World Cup champion Germany with the maximum nine points from three games and a plus-12 goal difference while the Germans have yet to play a match. If the in-form Russians can somehow pull off a tie (or better?) in that match to be played in Germany on Sept. 25, 2005, it will force the powerful Germans to play catch-up in a group that could be decided on the last day of qualifying, Sept. 28, 2007, when Germany travels to Russia. Another interesting result came in the first match of Group 2, as Iceland tied a full strength Sweden, 2-2, in Karlskoga, perhaps making that group interesting for longer than the Swedes would like. There will be European qualifying matches played in September, October and November of this year and in March, April, May, June, August and September of 2006. While the five other Confederations have yet to begin qualifying, the dates for those competitions are beginning to take shape. Africa is the only Confederation besides Europe that plays home-and-home matches in the qualifying process. All others have a final tournament in one location. Following is the 2007 Women’s World Cup qualifying summary per confederation:
Asia (2.5 spots) – 2007 Asian Championship – Tentatively slated for March/April 2007.
Africa (2) – 2006 African Championship – Qualifying starts in the summer of 2006, with the final tournament o be held in October of 2006.
South America (2) – 2007 South American Women’s Championships – Slated for February/March of 2007.
CONCACAF (2.5) – 2006 Gold Cup – Qualifying starts in the Spring of 2006 with the final tournament slated for late 2006.
Oceania (1) – 2007 Oceania Championship – Slated for February/March of 2007.
Europe (5) – 2007 European Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament – Has begun, ends in Sept. of 2007.
Note: China has an automatic berth as host. The third place team in Asia and the third place team in CONCACAF will play a two-game series to decide the final berth.
-- U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --
U-17 ’89 MNT TAKE SECOND IN PEPSI INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. Under-17 ’89 Men’s National Team fell 2-1 to Portugal on Sunday (Sept. 4) in their third and final match, but still finished in second place in the Pepsi International Championship held in England. The U.S. went 1-1-1 in the four-team round-robin tournament, which also included England and Italy. The U.S. opened the tournament with a 3-3 draw with eventual champion Italy, before defeating the host 1-0. U.S. forward Sheanon Williams scored three of the team’s six goals during the tournament as he tallied in each match. This was the second straight strong showing for the younger U-17s in an international tournament, as they won the 6th Toyota International Football Championship in Japan last month.
U-17 ’89 MNT Results – Pepsi International Championship
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
Aug. 31 Italy 3-3 T Barajas, Marosevic, Williams
Sept. 2 England 1-0 W Williams
Sept. 4 Portugal 1-2 L Williams
U-17 ’88 MNT DEFEAT CHINA IN FIRST OF TWO MATCHES IN PREPARATION FOR FIFA WC: The U.S. Under-17 ’88 Men’s National Team defeated China 2-0 on Monday evening (Sept. 5) in the first to two meetings between the two countries as they conduct their final preparations for the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Peru, which kicks off on Sept. 16. Quavas Kirk scored both goals on the turf at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, slotting home a penalty kick in the 60th minute and then scoring off the run of play by finishing off a pass from Preston Zimmerman in the 68th minute. The U.S. dominated the match, outshooting China 13-5 and forcing the Chinese ‘keeper into a number of impressive saves. The two teams will play once again at Eckerd College on Thursday, Sept. 8, which will be the final match for the U.S. before leaving for Peru on Sept. 11. U.S. head coach John Hackworth will release the 20-man roster for the FIFA U-17 World Championship later this week.
U-17 ’89 MNT Schedule/Results
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
Sept. 5 China 2-0 W Kirk (2)
Sept. 8 China
– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –
U.S. OPEN CUP SEMIFINALISTS SET: The defending champion Kansas City Wizards will not defend their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title as the Minnesota Thunder of USL1 hit the road for a 3-1 victory. With three consecutive victories over MLS teams by a combined 14-6 score, the Thunder are the hottest USL team in the U.S. Open Cup since Rochester topped MLS teams in four consecutive games en route to the 1999 championship. If the Thunder want to repeat that feat, they will have to get through two more MLS teams as the other three semifinalists all hail from the top division. Minnesota will travel west to the Home Depot Center to face the Galaxy, who were 2-1 winners over San Jose in Wednesday’s night cap. The other semifinal will feature teams who advanced in penalty kick shootouts after a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes of soccer. FC Dallas topped D.C. United 4-1 in penalties, and the three-time U.S. Open Cup champion Chicago Fire just edged by the Rochester Raging Rhinos with a 5-4 advantage from the spot. FC Dallas will host the Fire on Sept. 14 and open the U.S. Open Cup account for the brand new Pizza Hut Park. More tournament information is available at ussoccer.com’s U.S. Open Cup competitions page.
2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals Schedule
2006 FIFA WORLD CUP TO BE SHOWN LIVE IN HIGH DEFINITION ON ESPN AND ABC: ESPN HD, ABC HD and ESPN2 HD will combine to present live coverage of all 64 matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup (Germany 2006) in high definition beginning Friday, June 9, through Sunday, July 9, 2006, from 12 cities in Germany. In addition, the high-definition services will feature the 2006 World Cup studio programs including the pre-, halftime and post-match segments. The high definition telecasts will be offered as a simulcast of ESPN, ABC Sports and ESPN2 World Cup coverage and will be the first time all 64 FIFA World Cup matches will be available in high definition television in the United States. The 2006 World Cup will mark the ninth FIFA World Cup competition on ESPN. Much like prior FIFA events on the ESPN, Inc. family of networks, the 2006 World Cup will be presented in high definition without commercial interruptions during play. Working with its broadcast partners at FIFA and Soccer United Marketing, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports' high-definition coverage will deliver to U.S. viewers a high-quality image resolution from each World Cup match.
*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***
PEAK PERFORMER: Oguchi Onyewu. Mexico and U.S. fans alike kept touting the scoring prowess of one Jared Borgetti and but the motivated play of Onyewu left Borgetti dazed and confused, and far from the goal, in the USA’s 2-0 win against Mexico on Saturday (Sept. 3) at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Without a doubt, the entire U.S. team played well, but Onyewu’s performance, in particular was nothing short of spectacular.
MARQUEE MATCHUP: After the most exciting game in the final round of 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying, the U.S. faces an encore as they go up against Guatemala in Guatemala City at 10 p.m. ET. Now that the U.S. men have clinched a berth at the World Cup, time has come for young faces to show U.S. MNT Manager Bruce Arena that they belong on the World Cup roster. Follow the match live on ESPN2 and ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
SOCCER SHOCKER: Despite defeating Bahrain 1-0 at home in a World Cup qualifying match, Uzbekistan will have to replay the entire match due to a referee error in the 39th minute. The referee of the match awarded Uzbekistan a penalty kick, which was successful. However, an Uzbek player stepped into the box before the kick was taken. Instead of ordering the kick to be retaken, the referee awarded Bahrain a free kick, which is an incorrect application of The Laws of the Game. Uzbekistan protested and requested that the match be ruled a 3-0 forfeit. Upon review, FIFA decided to invalidate the result of the match and ordered that it be replayed, with the first leg taking place on Oct. 8 and the second leg being played on Oct. 12.
QUOTABLE: "This is a fantastic opportunity for this group to demonstrate they can perform in this type of environment. Can they win a game where the home team is desperate, the crowd is against them, and the conditions are difficult? Players that can do that are the kind of players that can possibly help your team in a World Cup. It's a great chance for them to prove that."
-- U.S. Men’s National Team Manager Bruce Arena on the roster selected for the matchup against Guatemala on Wednesday, Sept. 7, in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
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