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U.S. Women's National Team to Name 2008 Algarve Cup Roster; Development Academy Winter Showcase Wraps Up in Texas


SUNDHAGE TO NAME ROSTER FOR 2008 ALGARVE CUP: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage will name the U.S. roster for the 2008 Algarve Cup on Wednesday, Feb. 20, exclusively on ussoccer.com. The U.S. team, which has been placed into Group B at the prestigious tournament, will open play on March 5 against China, face Norway on March 7 and finish the first-round against Italy on March 10. The USA will play its first two matches in Faro at the Stadium Algarve, a beautiful 30,000-seat venue built for the 2004 European Championships. The U.S. women will face Italy in Portimão. The USA will use this tournament as final preparation for 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which will be held April 2-13 in Juarez, Mexico. All three of Europe’s entrants in the 2008 Olympic Women’s Football Tournament will be competing at the 2008 Algarve Cup. In addition to Norway in the USA’s group, Olympic qualifiers Germany and Sweden are in Group A, along with Denmark and Finland. This year Group C features Portugal, Ireland, Iceland and first-time participant Poland.

DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY SHOWCASE WRAPS UP IN TEXAS: The U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase concluded Monday after 88 games were played over two days at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. More than 150 college coaches joined 16 U.S. Soccer Federation scouts, including U.S Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley, to observe the most elite youth soccer talent in the country. “We were extremely pleased with the competition during the Winter Showcase,” said U.S. Soccer Development Academy Director John Hackworth. “This was the first exposure to the Academy for many of the clubs, and in addition to great competition we were able to reinforce in person the principles on which the Development Academy was founded. This event was a tremendous step, and it’s only the beginning of the process. The Development Academy is only six months old and already we are starting to see results.” Along with the action on the fields, Studio 90 and the Youth National Team blog were on hand all weekend at the Showcase with interviews and access to 8,000 square foot players’ lounge. Additionally, video highlights of each game and photos, which are available for purchase, can be found at ussoccer.com.

BOB GANSLER HONORED WITH PRESTIGIOUS WERNER FRICKER BUILDER AWARD: Bob Gansler, the former head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team, was honored at U.S. Soccer’s Annual General Meeting in Waikoloa, Hawaii on Saturday as the recipient of the prestigious Werner Fricker Builder Award. The honor is bestowed annually to an individual who has worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer, without regard to personal recognition or advancement. The Werner Fricker Award is designed to honor those who have created or fostered programs that will outlast their own active involvement in the sport and that establish a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States. Gansler has been involved with soccer in the United States as a player and a coach at all levels. Starting in 1975, Gansler served in various coaching positions with the U.S. National Teams and was eventually named the head coach of the U.S. MNT in 1989, leading the U.S. to their first World Cup Finals appearance in 40 years in Italy 1990 during his two-year tenure.

WERNER FRICKER AWARD
Year   Recipient
2002   Werner Fricker, Sr.
2003   Sunil Gulati (more)
2005   Gerhard Mengel (more)
2006   Sal Rapaglia (more)
2007   Francisco Marcos

U.S. MNT TO FACE POLAND, SPAIN: The U.S. Men’s National Team will play a pair of friendlies in Europe this spring, traveling to face Poland and Spain in preparation for the start of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying. The United States will first meet Poland on March 26 in Krakow, the match falling on the final international fixture date before the start of qualifying. On June 4, the U.S. travels to face fourth-ranked Spain just six days before the Spaniards open group play in the 2008 European Championship against Russia. Full details regarding kickoff times and broadcast information will be available in the near future. The U.S. will begin the attempt to qualify for their sixth-consecutive World Cup finals when they take on the winner of the first round qualifying series between Barbados and Dominica, who drew 1-1 in the first leg of their series on Feb. 6 in Dominica.

MNT TO OPEN WCQ PLAY AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER ON JUNE 15: The U.S. Men’s National Team will begin the qualifying road to its sixth-consecutive FIFA World Cup when they host the first leg of the second round on June 15 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff for the USA’s first match of the 2010 qualifying campaign is set for 2 p.m. PT, with broadcast details still to be finalized. The U.S. will face the winner of the first round series between Barbados and Dominica, who tied, 1-1, on Feb. 6 in Dominica and meet again on March 26 in Barbados. The June 15 match represents the USA’s first World Cup qualifier played in Carson. The U.S. boasts an unbeaten 5-0-1 record at The HDC, including two victories during the group stage of its 2007 Gold Cup championship-winning run last year.

EDWARDS RE-ELECTED AS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, POWER SOCCER ADMITTED AS DISABLED ORGANIZATION AT AGM: During U.S. Soccer’s 2008 Annual General Meeting this past weekend in Waikoloa, Hawaii, Mike Edwards was unanimously re-elected as Executive Vice President of the U.S. Soccer’s National Board of Directors. Edwards has been Vice President since 2006. A long-time resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Edwards served as the director of the New Mexico State Soccer Association from 1986-1997 and was elected Vice President of the U.S. Amateur Soccer Association in 1997. Additionally, the United States Soccer Power Association was admitted as a disabled service organization. Power Soccer is a team sport that helps build important qualities in people, such as: teamwork, communication, hard work, perseverance, good sportsmanship, and the list goes on. The NPSA is also driven to help make Power Soccer an internationally recognized sport that will one day place it in the Paralympics. The US National Team of Power Soccer won the first-ever World Cup in 2007 in Tokyo, Japan. The U.S. beat France in sudden death penalty kicks to take home the title.

- OLYMPIC QUALIFYING UPDATE -

SCHEDULE SET FOR MEN’S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING: The U.S. will kick off Group A of the 2008 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualification against Cuba on Tuesday, March 11 at 8 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The U.S., which plays in the late game in each of the three doubleheaders, will then face Panama on Thursday, March 13 at 8 p.m. ET and finish the round-robin phase of the tournament against Guatemala on Saturday, March 15 at 7 p.m. ET. Group B, which will begin on March 12, features Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico, and will be played at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. After group play, the top two teams will advance to the semifinals which will be played on March 20 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. LP Field will also be the location for the third-place game and championship match on Sunday, March 23. The two semifinal winners qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

U.S. U-23 MNT CONCACAF Championship Schedule
Date            Opponent                Location                                                         Kickoff (local)
March 11    Cuba                        Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.   8 p.m. ET
March 13    Panama                   Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.   8 p.m. ET
March 15    Honduras                Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.   7 p.m. ET
March 20    Semifinals*             LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.                            5 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. CT
March 23     Third Place*           LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.                            1 p.m. CT
March 23    Championship*      LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.                           4 p.m. CT
* If necessary

MEN'S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING INDIVIDUAL TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Individual game tickets for the 2008 Men’s Olympic Qualifying tournament are now on sale. The eight-team event, will be played as eight doubleheaders from March 11-23, 2008, and will send two finalists to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Group A, which includes the United States, Honduras, Cuba and Panama, will play at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on March 11, 13 and 15. Group B features Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico facing off on March 12, 14 and 16 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. LP Field in Nashville will host the semifinals on Thursday, March 20, and the championship match and third-place game on Sunday, March 23. Tickets priced from $18 to $65 for each of the eight doubleheaders in the tournament are now on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 813-287-8844 (Tampa), 213-480-3232 (Los Angeles) or 615-255-9600 (Nashville) and at local Ticketmaster ticket centers in the venue cities. In Tampa and Los Angeles (where first round doubleheaders are scheduled), teams competing at those sites will have seats at every price level set aside for their fans, allowing supporters of the same country to sit together. Fans must order online to choose from this allotment. In Nashville, where the participating teams won’t be known until several days before the semifinal round, seating until the end of the first round will be allocated (based on the local population) for U.S.A., Mexico, and mixed/neutral fan sections at each price level.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. UNDER-23 WOMEN FINISH SECOND IN LA MANGA, SPAIN: The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team tied, 1-1, with Germany to finish in second place at the La Manga Tournament in La Manga, Spain. Elizabeth Eng scored her first goal of the tournament to even the score. The team started off the tournament with a slow start, falling 3-1 to England in the first match. Kiki Bosio scored the lone U.S. goal for the match. The U.S. U-23 Women rebounded with a 2-0 win against Norway in the second match on goals from Yael Averbuch and a Norway own goal.

U.S. U-23 WNT Schedule
Date         Opponent            Result         U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
Feb. 11    England U-23     1-3 L           Kiki Bosio
Feb. 13    Norway U-23       2-0 W          Yael Averbuch, Own goal
Feb. 16    Germany U-23    1-1 T           Elizabeth Eng

UNDER-20 MNT TO BEGIN DOMESTIC TRAINING CAMP IN NEW ORLEANS: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen will bring 22 players to a domestic training camp in New Orleans from Feb 19-24. The team, made up entirely of collegiate players, will gather in New Orleans on Feb. 19 and play two games in a four-team event. On Saturday, Feb. 23 the U.S. will face the Honduras U-20 MNT, and on Sunday will face either the New Orleans Shell Shockers or a youth team from CD Victoria in Honduras. The two Saturday winners will match up on Sunday, while the losing teams will meet in a consolation match.

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Warren Gross (Penn State), Austin Guerrero (University of Portland);
DEFENDERS (6): Stuart Amick (University of Massachusetts), Greg Eckhardt (Clemson University), Andre Mittoo (South Florida), Ike Opara (Wake Forest), James Shupp (Virginia Tech), Chris Taylor (University of Tulsa);
MIDFIELDERS (8): Richard Balchan (Indiana University), Shawn Chin (Boston College), Daniel Cruz (UNLV), Blair Gavin (Akron), Wilfrido Lara (DePaul University), John Okafor (Brown University), Michael Stephens (UCLA), Spencer Thompson (Michigan State);
FORWARDS (7): Blake Brettschneider (University of South Carolina), Cameron Brown (University of North Carolina), Steven Cabas (Florida International), Daniel Kelly (Indiana University), Ryan Thomas (Stanford University), Andrew Weideman (University of California)

U.S. UNDER-20 WNT DOMINATES CHILE, 5-1, TO WIN FOUR NATIONS: In a match watched by 8,000 fans, the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team blew past host Chile by a 5-1 score to win its third straight match, and the championship, of the Four Nations Tournament in La Serena. It was the first tournament victory under new U.S. head coach Tony DiCicco. The USA also won the Fair Play Award. The USA won its first two matches of the tournament, defeating England, 1-0, and Norway, 2-1.

U.S. U-20 WNT Schedule
Date         Opponent            Result    U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
Feb. 11    England U-20    1-0 W      Teresa Noyola
Feb. 13    Norway U-20      2-1 W      Keelin Winters, Teresa Noyla
Feb. 15    Chile U-20          5-1 W      Kelly O’Hara (2), Nikki Marshall, Michelle Enyeart, Keelin Winters

U.S. U-18 WNT TO HOLD FIRST CAMP OF YEAR, AND FIRST SINCE 2001: The newly re-instated U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team will hold its first training camp of the year from Feb. 17-24 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., as head coach Dean Duerst has called in 24 players. The U.S. U-18s existed from 1998-2001, but have been brought back in 2008 to give international competition to players who have just finished a cycle with the U.S. U-17s, but are a year away from the next U-20 cycle. The U-18 WNT provides a transition for a number of those players that could possibly make up the core of the team that would attempt to qualify for the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups are held every two years. Almost all of the players on the roster competed extensively with the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team last year when it was coached by Duerst, including the U-17s leading scorer in 2007, forward Tiffany McCarty. Top players from the U-18s could also possibly get a look with head coach Tony DiCicco’s U-20 side that is preparing for qualifying for the 2008 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile.

U.S. U-18 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bianca Henninger (Los Gatos, Calif.), Haley Kopmeyer (Troy, Mich.), Cat Parkhill (Apple Valley, Minn.)
DEFENDERS (6): Sade Ayinde (Bellmore, N.Y.), Danielle Brunache (Belmont, Calif.), Camille Levin (Newport Coast, Calif.), Ameila Mathis (Ventura, Calif.), Michelle Olivier (Roswell, Ga.), Whitney Sharpe (West Des Moines, Iowa.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Charney Burk (North Tustin, Calif.), Sarah Chapman (Silver Spring, Md.), Kiley Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.), Katy Frierson (Homewood, Ala.), Lydia Hastings (Dewey Beach, Del.), Brittany Kerridge (Trenton, N.J.), Christine Nairn (Bowie, Md.), Beth West (Centennial, Colo.)
FORWARDS (7): Lauren Alwine (Elizabethtown, Pa.), Brianna Garcia (Babylon, N.Y.), Tiffany McCarty (Laurel, Md.), Caitlin Mooney (Edmond, Okla.), Laurie Noshbush (Mequon, Wis.), Toni Pressley (Melbourne, Fla.), Casey Short (Naperville, Ill.)

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO ROUND OUT EIGHT TEAM CONCACAF WOMEN’S UNDER-17 CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD:
Trinidad & Tobago became the eighth and final team to qualify for the 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship, winning all three of its first round games over Grenada, Surinam and St. Kitts and Nevis. T&T joins Jamaica and Puerto Rico, who won Group A and Group C in the first round, respectively, as Caribbean qualifiers. The three Caribbean nations will join the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Costa Riva and El Salvador in the eight-team tournament, which will qualify three teams to the inaugural FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand in December. Dates and venues for the tournament will be announced at a later date.

U.S. SOCCER SPRING COACHING SCHOOL SET: U.S. Soccer's National Coaching School Spring dates have been set for March 29-April 6. The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. will host both an “A” Audit and a “B” License course. The “B” License course is currently sold out. Space is available for the “A” Audit course, but is limited. More information is available in the Coaches Section of ussoccer.com.

TWO COACHING SYMPOSIUMS SET FOR FEBRUARY: Two coaching symposiums are set for the Midwest this month. The KNVB are hosting a symposium in Faribault, Minn., and a Region II Coaching Symposium is scheduled for Bowling Green, Ohio. More information is available at http://www.ussoccer.com/coaches/continuing/sympSchedule/index.jsp.html.

DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: Applications for the 2008-09 season of U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy are being accepted from now until March 1, 2008. Clubs will be admitted on a rolling basis until April 1, at which point all clubs will be notified of their status. Academy clubs follow the model used at the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program, with a focus on training and player development. Teams are required to train three times per week and rest one day per week during the eight-month season, during which they will play 30 regular-season Academy games. Applications are available at ussoccer.com.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Chris Agorsor, part of the Under-18 Men’s National Team player pool, shined on Monday at the Development Academy Winter Showcase, scoring three goals and leading his team to victory over FC Milwaukee. Agorsor scored his natural hat trick in just a 13-minute span in the second half to lead his team to a 4-0 win.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The UEFA Champions League is back in action beginning on Tuesday as Schalke host Porto, Real Madrid travel to face Roma, Olympiacos hosts Chelsea and Inter Milan travel to Liverpool. Action continues on Wednesday when Celtic hosts Barcelona, Lyon hosts Manchester United, Sevilla travels to take on Fenerbahce and A.C. Milan goes to England to face Arsenal. The second leg of each series will take place on March 4-5, with the exception being the match between Inter Milan and Liverpool, which will take place on March 11.

SOCCER SHOCKER: In the fifth round of the EnglandFA Cup, Barnsley, who currently hold a 10-12-10 record in the second-tier League Championship, defeated seven-time FA Cup Champion Liverpool on Saturday. Brian Howard scored an injury-time goal to lift the visitors to victory. Barnsley has been rewarded by hosting its quarterfinal match against defending FA Cup Champions Chelsea on Saturday, Feb. 23.

QUOTABLE: “This was the first exposure to the Academy for many of the clubs, and in addition to great competition we were able to reinforce in person the principles on which the Development Academy was founded. This event was a tremendous step, and it’s only the beginning of the process. The Development Academy is only six months old and already we are starting to see results.”
--U.S. Soccer Development Academy Technical Director John Hackworth

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