HAMM SCORES TWO, PARLOW ADDS 50TH CAREER GOAL: The U.S. Women's National Team patiently broke down a skillful Russian team to register a dominating 5-1 victory in the opening game of the 2002 Nike U.S. Women's Cup. The USA got stellar performances from Mia Hamm, who had two goals and an assist, and second half substitute Aly Wagner, who had two assists and a goal, to bury Russia with three goals in a five-minute span in the second half. Russia is one of four European teams that have already qualified for the 2003 Women's World Cup in China. Although the Americans had a sluggish first half, two dynamic plays by Hamm got the U.S. to the break with a 2-0 lead. The USA only took three shots in the first 24 minutes, but scored in the 25th, on a penalty kick by Brandi Chastain after Hamm was cut down in the penalty box. The USA had a couple of close calls in the next two minutes, as Julie Foudy had a shot cleared off the goal line and Abby Wambach sent a dangerous header bouncing to the goal that was saved by Tatiana Pitchougova, but it was Hamm who got the U.S. its second goal in the 31st minute. Kristine Lilly won a tackle on the left wing and drove to the end line before sending a floating cross to the far post. Hamm flew towards the end line to save the ball with a flicked header, athletically looping the ball over Pitchougova. It bounced almost on the goal line and Parlow darted in bravely to head the ball into the back of the net from close range. It was Parlow's 50th international goal, becoming the sixth U.S. player to score 50 or more goals in her career. Ironically, Parlow's first goal was also against Russia, back in 1996 in her first appearance with the national team.
NIKE WOMEN’S CUP CONTINUES WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY AT CARY’S SAS PARK: The U.S. Women’s National Team will play two games as part of doubleheaders at the recently opened SAS Park in Cary, N.C. The U.S. Women will take on Australia on Wednesday, Oct. 2 (presented by Avaya) at 7:30 p.m. ET live on ESPN2, and finish the tourney against Italy on Saturday, Oct. 6 (presented by Chevrolet) at 2 p.m. ET live on ESPN2. Tickets for the N.C. doubleheaders, which range in price from $18 to $55, are now available at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout the Carolinas (including Kroger, Hecht's and FYE), by calling 919-834-4000 or going online at www.ticketmaster.com. For groups of 20 or more, call 312-528-1249.
HEINRICHS NAMES ROSTER FOR 2002 NIKE U.S. WOMEN'S CUP: U.S. Women's National Team head coach April Heinrichs named the 18 players who will compete in the 2002 Nike U.S. Women's Cup. Heinrichs chose eight players who will be making a homecoming of sorts to North Carolina as Mia Hamm, Tiffany Roberts, Lorrie Fair, Kristine Lilly, Cindy Parlow and Siri Mullinix played their college ball at UNC, while defender Cat Reddick is currently a junior for the Tar Heels. Defender Danielle Slaton was a key cog on the Carolina Courage's 2002 WUSA championship. Hamm, the world's all-time leading scorer with 133 goals, returns to North Carolina where she has never lost a match as a collegian or a professional. Both Hamm and Kristine Lilly went undefeated in Chapel Hill during the their college careers, while Hamm has not lost while playing for the national team or the Washington Freedom inside the North Carolina state lines. The two goalkeepers selected were Mullinix and Briana Scurry, who has seemingly resurrected her national team career after a lack of fitness and injuries kept her off the field for the USA for almost two years. Following is the USA's 18-player roster for the 2002 Nike U.S. Women's Cup.
Goalkeepers (2): Briana Scurry (Atlanta), Siri Mullinix (Washington);
Defenders (5): Brandi Chastain (San Jose), Joy Fawcett (San Diego), Cat Reddick (UNC), Danielle Slaton (Carolina), Kate Sobrero (Boston);
Midfielders (6): Lorrie Fair (Philadelphia); Tiffany Roberts (Carolina), Angela Hucles (Boston), Julie Foudy (San Diego), Kristine Lilly (Boston), Aly Wagner (Santa Clara Univ.);
Forwards (5): Shannon MacMillan (San Diego), Heather O'Reilly (PDA Splash), Mia Hamm (Washington), Cindy Parlow (Atlanta), Abby Wambach (Washington).
U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE
NEW LOOK EURO UPDATE: Fans and media today begin receiving a new format to keep track of USMNT players in Europe. Published every Monday, the update will contain the most current statistics, schedules, and trends for the national team players plying their trade across the pond. The MNT European Update can also be accessed at ussoccer.com.
U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE
U.S. WNT AWAITS 2002 CONCACAF WOMEN’S GOLD CUP TO QUALIFY FOR CHINA 2003: The U.S. Women’s National Team’s road to the 2003 Women’s World Cup in China took its final shape last month with Trinidad & Tobago becoming the final team to qualify for the USA’s four-team group at the upcoming 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup. The tournament, which is serving as both the women’s championship of this region and as the qualifying tournament for the 2003 Women’s World Cup, is being played from Oct. 27 to Nov. 9 in the Los Angeles area, Seattle and Victoria, B.C. The two finalists at the 2002 Women’s Gold Cup will automatically qualify for the 2003 Women’s World Cup, while the winner of the tournament’s third-place game will qualify for a Women’s World Cup qualifying playoff against the third place team from Asia. The eight-team tournament, which features two groups of four teams each, will see the U.S. face Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico and Panama. The U.S. will open the tournament on Sunday, Oct. 27 against Mexico at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, before taking on Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif. The USA’s third group match will be played on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Safeco Field in Seattle against Panama. Should the U.S. qualify for the semifinals, the team will stay in Seattle, as both semifinals will be played as a doubleheader at Safeco Field on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Those semifinal matches will decide the two automatic CONCACAF berths at the 2003 Women’s World Cup, which is being played in China from Sept. 24 to Oct. 11, 2003. The tournament’s championship and third-place games will be played on Saturday, Nov. 9 in Pasadena, Calif., at the Rose Bowl. All of the tournament matches are being played as doubleheaders and will be televised live on Fox Sports World and Fox Sports World Espanol. In the other four-team qualifying group, Canada will play host to Costa Rica, Jamaica and Haiti in Victoria.
2002 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP UPDATE
CREW TO HOST GALAXY IN 2002 U.S. OPEN CUP FINAL ON OCT. 24 LIVE ON FSW: The MLS’ Columbus Crew will host the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy for the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final at Crew Stadium on October 24 at 7 p.m. ET in a match broadcast live on Fox Sports World and FSW Espanol. The Galaxy will be putting an eight-game Open Cup unbeaten streak on the line (matching the Chicago Fire from 2000-2001) and have never lost a tournament match on the road (4-0-1), while the Crew haven't dropped an Open Cup game on their home-soil (6-0-1). The U.S. Open Cup Final returns to Columbus, Ohio and Crew Stadium for the first time since September 14, 1999, when the Rochester Raging Rhinos (A-League) blanked the Colorado Rapids 2-0 for the title. This is also the fourth time that the 89-year-old tournament has held a final in the state of Ohio. [NOTE TO MEDIA: MLS credentials will not be honored at the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final on Oct. 24. Members of the media wishing to attend the event must contact the U.S. Soccer Communications Department at 312-808-1300 or firstname.lastname@example.org for accreditation.]
YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE
U-20 CONCACAF QUALIFYING TOURNEY TO BE PLAYED IN CHARLESTON FROM NOV. 13-17: With the CONCACAF Under-20 Qualifying Tournament less than two months away, CONCACAF has released the schedule for the four-team round-robin tournament that will be staged in Charleston, S.C., at Blackbaud Stadium from Nov. 13-17, 2002. Tickets for the event are on sale now through Ticketmaster, ussoccer.com or the Charleston Battery (843-971-4625) and U.S. Soccer (312-528-1249). This tournament marks the first time since 1980 that U.S. Soccer has hosted an Under-20 qualifying tournament. The qualifying tournament will consist of three doubleheaders, with each team playing on Nov. 13, Nov. 15 and Nov. 17. The U.S. Under-20s, who are attempting to qualify for a fourth consecutive FIFA World Youth Championship for the first time in U.S. Soccer history, play the second match on each day and open on Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET against the winner of the two-legged Caribbean playoff between Haiti and Jamaica before facing El Salvador on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET and then wrapping up the tournament against Canada on Nov. 17 at 2:30 p.m. ET. The top two finishers in Charleston will advance to the FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates from March 25 - April 16, 2003.
AROUND THE SOCCER WORLD
CREW OUSTS DEFENDING CHAMPS; OTHER SERIES HEADED TO WEDNESDAY GAME 3s: A two-goal outing by Chicago forward Ante Razov evened the Fire-Revolution series yesterday, forcing a decisive Game Three on Wednesday (Oct. 2) at Gillette Stadium. On Saturday, the Columbus Crew stunned the San Jose Earthquakes, ousting the defending champs with a 2-1 win. Kansas City forced a Game Three with the Galaxy in a 4-1 rout at Arrowhead Stadium after giving up two leads and falling 3-2 in overtime in the series opener. Colorado also pushed its series to a Game Three in Dallas after a 1-0 win evened things at three points each.
RAMPAGE CLAIM SECOND A-LEAGUE TITLE WITH 2-1 OVERTIME WIN OVER KICKERS: Overtime substitute Sinisia Angelovski scored just his second goal of the year 16 minutes into overtime for a 2-1 win in front of 6,189 fans to give the Milwaukee Rampage its second A-League title five years and a day since its 1997 championship. The Rampage and visiting Richmond Kickers battled throughout the first 45 minutes without a score when Milwaukee’s John Wolyniec tallied the opening goal to send his team into the locker room with the 1-0 halftime lead. The equalizer came in the 59th minute when the Kickers’ Marco Ferruzzi converted a penalty kick. Ferruzzi sent the shot left as Popik dove to the right. The two sides battled back and forth through the remainder of regulation and the first 15-minute golden goal overtime period with several excellent chances each. The battle created a man-advantage for Milwaukee when former Rampage player Khary Stockton was given a red card for a late tackle on Jason Russell three minutes into overtime. Within the first minute of the second overtime period Angelovski provided the heroics with his 19-yard blast.
SOUNDERS’ O’BRIEN EARNS 2002 A-LEAGUE MVP: United Soccer Leagues announced last week that Seattle Sounders midfielder Leighton O’Brien received its 2002 A-League Most Valuable Player award. O’Brien became the first player since the Colorado Fox’s Taifour Diane in 1992 to win the award without also finishing as the Scoring Champion or Goalkeeper of the Year. He’s also the third Sounder to win the award. O’Brien was one of the catalysts behind the club’s phenomenal season this year, leading the Sounders to the second best record in league history. The Sounders finished one win shy of Rochester’s 24-4 mark with a final record of 23-4-1. O’Brien finished third with 37 points, and with 13 goals and 11 assists he was one of two players to post double digits in goals and assists on the year.
SIDEKICKS, WAVE OPEN 2002-03 MISL CAMPAIGN WITH VICTORIES: The 2002-03 Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) campaign kicked off on Saturday night as the Milwaukee Wave visited the San Diego Sockers, and the Dallas Sidekicks hosted the defending MISL champion Philadelphia Kixx. The Sidekicks, which captured the World Indoor Soccer League title last year, won the battle of the defending champions as player/coach Tatu notched his 76th career game-winning goal with eight-tenths of a second remaining for a 14-13 victory over Kixx in front of 6,887 spectators at Dallas' Reunion Arena. In the other MISL match-up, the Wave handed the 10-time indoor soccer champion Sockers a rude welcome with a 13-4 defeat. A crowd 6,301 at the San Diego Sports Arena saw the return of veteran U.S. Futsal National Team goalkeeper Victor Nogueira, as he made 18 saves for the Wave in his first appearance in San Diego since playing on four championship teams with the Sockers from 1988-92. The eight-team league continues its 36-game MISL schedule this weekend.
U.S. PARALYMPIC TEAM LOSES TO ARGENTINA 3-1 IN CP-ISRA PAN AMERICAN TOURNEY: The U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team was defeated by a stronger Argentinean team 3-1 at the CP-ISRA Pan American Soccer Championships in Santiago, Chile, last week. Argentina started the scoring off with their first goal just 13 minutes into the game, but the U.S. answered back in the 37th minute on a restart pass from midfielder Geoff Glass that was overlapped by defender/midfielder Mike Peters. Peters carried the ball to the end line, where he crossed to midfielder Josh McKinney, who finished nicely into the upper left corner of the goal. Argentina would add two more goals for the 3-1 victory.
U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT
PEAK PERFORMER: The spectacular play of Mia Hamm for the WNT continued in the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 5-1 win over Russia yesterday. Hamm earned the penalty kick that led to the USA’s first goal, then assisted on the second goal before scoring the third and fourth goals of the 5-1 win. After scoring in the 59th and 62nd minutes to give the U.S. total command of the game, the world’s career scoring leader was substituted in the 64th minute. Mia now has five goals and four assists in her last two WNT matches.
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: With the 2001 MLS Cup champs already fallen by the wayside, the Kansas City Wizards have a chance to knock off the 2002 regular season champs on Wednesday (Oct. 2). After leading most of the way in the series opener, K.C. lost its focus in extra time and allowed L.A. to steal a win at the Rose Bowl. But Game Two was a different story, as the Wizards dominated the Galaxy 4-1, with the only goal coming on a fluke Chris Albright chip shot as goalkeeper Tony Meola watched his own team’s goal on the JumboTron. Although the post-season’s eighth seed, Kansas City has outplayed their favored counterparts and could wrap up the series upset with a win on Wednesday.
SOCCER SHOCKER: Well, the defending champs are out. Just like that. With the league’s second-best record entering the MLS post-season, the San Jose Earthquakes looked to sneak by the Columbus Crew without too much problem. But after a surprising 2-1 loss at home in the series opener, the Quakes succumbed with Brian McBride’s 84th minute goal at Crew Stadium and faced a long flight back home to the Bay.
"Tonight the real team showed up. We didn't show up in Boston and they punished us."
- Chicago Fire forward Ante Razov, after he scored two goals to give the Fire a 2-1 win and even the first-to-five series.