U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM HEAD COACH PIA SUNDHAGE RE-SIGNS AS TEAM
HEADS TO DETROIT FOR FINAL MATCH OF ACHIEVE YOUR GOLD TOUR;
FIRST “2008 BEST OF” U.S. SOCCER AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
SUNDHAGE RE-SIGNS AS HEAD COACH OF THE U.S. WNT: U.S. Soccer has re-signed Pia Sundhage as head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team for four more years. U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati announced the extension today. Sundhage, 48, has led the USA to a record setting 32 wins so far in 2008 (32-1-2), which includes the team’s memorable run to the Olympic title, culminating in the gold medal victory against Brazil in Beijing, China. Sundhage and the team are currently making their way to the Motor City after defeating China PR 1-0 at The Home Depot Center on Saturday. The match in Detroit, also against China, will be the USA’s first in Michigan in 15 years and will be a homecoming for Michigan natives Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo) and Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills). Tickets starting at $18 are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 248-645-6666 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the Detroit area (including Macy’s and FYE). Tickets can also be purchased at the Ford Field ticket office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Special edition U.S. Soccer on-field seats are available for $150.
Achieve Your Gold Tour Schedule / Results
|Date||Opponent||Venue; City||Result / Kickoff||U.S. Goal Scorer(s)|
|Sept. 13||Ireland||Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia, Pa.||2-0 W||Kai, O'Reilly|
|Sept. 17||Ireland||Giants Stadium; E. Rutherford, N.J.||1-0 W||Kai|
|Sept. 20||Ireland||Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill.||2-0 W||Chalupny, Markgraf|
|Nov. 1||Korea Republic||Univ. of Richmond Stadium; Richmond, Va.||3-1 W||Hucles, O'Reilly, Tarpley|
|Nov. 5||Korea Republic||Paul Brown Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio||0-0 T||--|
|Nov. 8||Korea Republic||Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.||1-0 W||O'Reilly|
|Dec. 13||China PR||The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.||1-0 W||Ellertson|
|Dec. 17||China PR||Ford Field; Detroit||7:30 p.m. ET|
FIRST FOUR WINNERS OF "2008 BEST OF" U.S. SOCCER AWARDS ANNOUNCED: U.S. Soccer has announced the first four winners of the 2008 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards following nearly three weeks of fan voting online at ussoccer.com. Fans can view a special episode of Studio 90 on ussoccer.com, where the winners for Best Soccer Specialty Store, Best Soccer Bar, Best Soccer Blog and Best Fan Photo are revealed. Studio 90 will be back throughout the week, as eight more winners are set to be unveiled.
2008 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards
Best Soccer Specialty Store - Angelo's Soccer Corner (Penn.)
Best Soccer Bar - The Globe Pub (Chicago)
Best Soccer Blog - Soccer By Ives
Best Fan Photo - Jeff York
MNT HAS FULL SLATE OF GAMES IN 2009: The U.S. Men's National Team will have a full slate of matches in 2009, as they start off the year against Sweden on Jan. 24 (tickets). The U.S. Men will also compete in the Final Round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup throughout the year, travel to South Africa in June for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and defend their CONCACAF Gold Cup title in July. The U.S. will kick off FIFA World Cup qualifying on Feb. 11 against Mexico, also facing El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica and Honduras twice throughout the year. At the Confederations Cup, the U.S. will meet defending world champions Italy on June 15, followed by Brazil on June 18 and Egypt on June 21 in Group B. The U.S. will learn its CONCACAF Gold Cup schedule at a later date.
U.S. Men’s National Team 2009 Schedule
|Jan. 24||Sweden||The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.||5:30 p.m. PT|
|Feb. 11||Mexico||Home (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|March 28||El Salvador||Away (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|April 1||Trinidad & Tobago||Home (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|June 3||Costa Rica||Away (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|June 6||Honduras||Home (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|June 15||Italy||Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria||8:30 p.m. local / 2:30 p.m. ET|
|June 18||Brazil||Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria||4 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET|
|June 21||Egypt||Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace; Rustenburg||8:30 p.m. local / 2:30 p.m. ET|
|July 3-26||CONCACAF Gold Cup||TBD||TBD|
|Aug. 12||Mexico||Away (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|Sep. 5||El Salvador||Home (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|Sep. 9||Trinidad & Tobago||Away (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|Oct. 10||Honduras||Away (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|Oct. 14||Costa Rica||Home (Venue TBD)||TBD|
– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –
RONGEN BRINGS 26 PLAYERS TO SUNRISE: U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has called 26 players to an eight-day training camp in Sunrise, Fla. that kicks off on Dec. 15 and lasts through Dec. 22. The training camp will include a pair of scrimmages against CONCACAF foes Haiti on Dec. 20 and Canada on Dec. 22. The roster includes a mix of professional, youth and college players. Four NCAA players will be coming in with little rest as Ike Opara and Daniel Wenzel were part of the Wake Forest team that advanced to the Final Four and North Carolina's Kirk Urso and Sheanon Williams advanced to the final that concluded on Sunday, Dec. 14. FC Dallas will be sending its duo of Josh Lambo and Anthony Wallace, while Toronto FC's Absudalam Ibrahim and Chivas USA's Jorge Flores round out the MLS contingent. Players who play professionally in Germany (Bryan Arguez and Gabriel Hoyos), Italy (Vincenzo Bernardo and Guiseppe Nazzani) and Austria (Matt Luzanaris) complete the group of pro players in Sunrise.
U.S. U-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (Lilburn, Ga.; Central Florida), Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.; FC Dallas), Brian Perk (Rancho Santa Margarita; UCLA)
DEFENDERS (8): Guiseppe Nazzani (Reggio Emilia, Italy; Bologna FC), Ike Opara (Durham, N.C.; Wake Forest), Pat Sigler (Windsor, Calif.; Cal Poly), Chris Taylor (Edmond, Okla.; Tulsa), Anthony Wallace (St. Petersburg, Fla.; FC Dallas), Marcus Watson (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; L.A. Galaxy Academy), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.; Wake Forest), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.; North Carolina)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Bryan Arguez (Miami, Fla.; Hertha Berlin), Daniel Cruz (Glendale, Ariz.; UNLV), Jorge Flores (Anahaim, Calif.; Chivas USA), Blair Gavin (Franklin, Tenn.; Akron), Gabriel Hoyos (Weston, Fla.; SC Freiburg), Abdusalam Ibrahim (Richfield, Minn.; Toronto FC), Aaron Maund (Dorchester, Mass.; Notre Dame), Brian Ownby (Glen Allen, Va.; Virginia), Michael Stephens (Naperville, Ill.; UCLA), Kirk Urso (Lombard, Ill.; North Carolina)
FORWARDS (5): Vincenzo Bernardo (Madison, N.J.; SSC Napoli), Sam Garza (Highland Village, Texas; Denver), Matt Luzanaris (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; FC Magna Wr. Neustadt), Peri Marosevic (Rockford, Ill.; Michigan), Colin Rolfe (Canton, Mich.; Louisville)
U.S. U-15 BNT ROUND OUT TRAINING CAMP AT THE HOME DEPOT: The U.S. Under-15 Boy’s National Team has rounded out a week-long training camp at The Home Depot Center, as Jim Barlow’s split squad picked up a win and a loss against Cal South ODP on the morning of Dec. 14. Erick Sanchez led the attack in the second game of the double header, scoring twice in the USA’s 2-1 victory. He was tied for the team lead the team in scoring on the week as Melvin Snoh also tallied twice in one game, earning a brace against Real So Cal on Dec. 12.
U.S. U-15 BNT Results
|Date||Opponent||Venue; City||Result||U.S. Goal Scorer(s)|
|Dec. 10||Arsenal SC U-16||The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.||1-1 T||Masch|
|Chivas USA U-16||The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.||0-1 L||--|
|Dec. 12||LA Rampage U-16||The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.||2-1 W||Celis, Salmeron|
|Real So Cal U-16||The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.||3-2 W||Snoh (2), Dunn|
|Dec. 14||Cal South ODP||The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.||1-2 L||Jordi|
|Cal South ODP||The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.||2-1 W||Sanchez (2)|
U.S. U-15 BNT Domestic Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Max Brown (Premier Soccer Academy; New York, N.Y.), Kendall McIntosh (Mustang SC; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Josh McNeely (Real So Cal; Hidden Hills, Calif.), Fernando Pina (Texas Premier; Houston, Texas)
DEFENDERS (9): Andrew Chang (Sockers FC; Highland Park, Ill.), Jerome Cristobal (Vardar; Sterling Heights, Mich.), Alfred Edmonds (De Anza Force; San Jose, Calif.), Malcolm Harris (Baltimore Bays; Damascus, Md.), Marc Pelosi (De Anza Force; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Mykal Riley (Arsenal S.C.; Lake Elsinore, Calif.), Jalen Robinson (Bethesda SC; Catonsville, Md.), Andrew Souders (Premier Soccer Academy; Amherst, Ohio), Todd Wharton (Richmond Strikers; Glen Allen, Va.)
MIDFIELDERS (17): Atsou Ayah (Black Watch SC; Tampa, Fla.), Cesar Ceja (FC Westchester; Port Chester, N.Y.), Bryan Celis (Texas Premier FC; Houston, Texas), Matthew Dunn (Premier Soccer Acad.; Dallas, Texas), Eric Gonzalez (L.A. Galaxy; Corona, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Aztecs Premier; Chula Vista, Calif.), Brandon Jordi (North Meck SC; Charlotte, N.C.), Collin Martin (Premier Soccer Acad.; Chevy Chase, Md.) Ryan Masch (De Anza Force; San Jose, Calif.), Oscar Ortega (Albion SC; San Ysidro, Calif.), Gabe Palermo (Tigre; Jupiter, Fla.), Travis Pillon (Mustang SC; Oakland, Calif.), Joel Salmeron (Chicago Fire; Cicero, Ill.), Melvin Snoh (Spirit United; Coetsville, Pa.); Ross Tetro (NJSA04 – Gunners; Marlboro, N.J.), Sebastian Velasquez (Los Alamitos; Los Angeles, Calif.), Victor Zamora (Rockford Raptors; Rockford, Ill.)
FORWARDS (2): Desmond Gonzales (Premier Soccer Acad.; Miami, Fla.), Erick Sanchez (Houston Dynamo; Edinburg, Texas)
– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –
2009 PDL AND W-LEAGUE SEASON DETAILS SET: United Soccer Leagues announced details for the 2009 PDL and W-League season. The 68 PDL teams will play a 16-game season beginning May 1 and concluding July 19. Playoffs will begin July 24-26 and the championship will be held Saturday, Aug. 8, on Fox Soccer Channel. The W-League will kick off the season with 37 teams beginning May 8. The season concludes July 19, with playoffs beginning July 24-26. The W-League champion will be determined Aug. 7-8 on Fox Soccer Channel.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO TO MISS 2009 CONCACAF GOLD CUP: Trinidad & Tobago, the only Caribbean nation still alive in World Cup 2010 qualifying, will miss the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup after being knocked out of the Digicel Caribbean Championship, which serves as Caribbean qualifying for CONCACAF tournament. Host and eventual winner Jamaica (loaded with MLS players), Grenada (which lost to Jamaica 2-0 in the final but qualified for the Gold Cup for the first time), Cuba and Guadeloupe clinched berths in next summer's Gold Cup.
COACHESNET OFFERS TRIP TO ARGENTINA: As part of the U.S. Soccer’s Coaching Department’s dedication to providing unique coaching opportunities to its members, CoachesNet is offering an educational trip from March 10-16, 2009, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Registration also includes round-trip airfare from Miami International Airport, meals and four-star accommodations. Registration is open to all coaches and current U.S. Soccer “A” licensed coaches will earn eight (8) Continuing Education Units for their participation. CoachesNet caught up with U.S. Soccer U-17 scout and National Staff Coach Juan Carlos Michia to discuss the trip to Buenos Aires. Michia, a native of Argentina, discusses plans for the trip, how soccer is a way of life in Argentina and what a coach can expect during the week.
*** CENTER CIRCLE SPOTLIGHT ***
PEAK PERFORMER: Give it up for the Soccer Moms. Tina Ellertson, who has seen significant time as a defender for the U.S. Women’s National Team, played at forward for the WNT for the first time and scored her first international goal. Ellertson joined up with the WNT for the Achieve Your Gold Tour after the birth of her second child. On Saturday, in the team’s 1-0 win against China, Ellertson was joined by the WNT’s Iron Woman Kristine Lilly, who returned to the WNT for the first time since the birth of her first child. Christie Rampone played the full 90 for the U.S., while Kate Markgraf came in for the second half of the match.
MARQUEE MATCHUP: The Achieve Your Gold Tour comes to a close on Wednesday, Dec. 17, as the U.S. faces off against China PR at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., at 7:30 p.m. ET. Fans can follow along live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
SOCCER SHOCKER: Those waiting for the meteoric rise of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim to diminish will have to wait until after the New Year at the earliest. After having been promoted for two straight years and spending only one season in the Second Bundesliga, the club has earned 35 points from 17 matches and now holds the top spot in the Bundesliga, ahead of mighty Bayern Munich on goal differential. They have added to their already remarkable achievements by becoming the only team in Bundesliga history to lead the league at the winter break in their first season in the top division.
QUOTABLE: “It is very special to feel that you have support from the U.S. Soccer Federation. If you look at the days we’ve been together this year and the resources we have had to travel and play games, we have been able to implement change. I feel the support in many ways and of course, that makes a big difference.”
-- U.S. WNT head coach Pia Sundhage, who re-signed with the U.S. Women’s National Team through the 2012 Olympics.