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U.S. Soccer Wire: July 7, 2008


U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY FINALS WEEK KICKS OFF JULY 12;
U.S. U-20 MNT HEAD COACH THOMAS RONGEN NAMES 17 TO FACE MEXICO JULY 11;
U.S. WNT SET FOR TWO GAMES VS. BRAZIL AFTER WINS IN NORWAY, SWEDEN

FINALS WEEK BEGINS JULY 12, PLACEMENT MATCHES BROADCAST ON ESPN NETWORKS: The 16 teams that will be competing at the 2008 Development Academy Finals week have been determined, and the event will kick off Saturday, July 12, at The Home Depot Center in Carson,Calif. All eight placement matches will be broadcast on ESPN Networks in an unprecedented 20 hours of coverage over two days. The conference winners from each age group have been divided into two groups of four and participate in a round-robin format during the first six days of Finals Week. The teams will then crossover and play placement matches on Friday, July 18, and Saturday, July 19. All eight placement matches will be broadcast live during the two days, highlighted by the U-17/18 championship match that will be live on ESPN 2 on Friday, July 18, at 8 p.m. PT. The seven other matches, including the U-15/16 championship match, will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

Development Academy Finals Week Draw
Group A (U-17/18)
A1: Chicago Fire (Mid-America Champion)
A2: Baltimore Bays (Mid-Atlantic Champion)
A3: Colorado Rush (West Champion)
A4: Westchester FC (Northeast Champion)

Group B (U-17/18)
B1: CASL (Atlantic Champion)
B2: Columbus Crew (Great Lakes Champion)
B3: Concorde Fire (Southeast Champion)
B4: LAFC (So Cal Champion)

Group C (U-15/16)
C1: Albertson (Northeast Champion)
C2: LAFC (So Cal Champion)
C3: Carmel United (Great Lakes Champion)
C4: Schulz Academy (Southeast Champion)

Group D (U-15/16)
D1: Chicago Magic (Mid-America Champion)
D2: CASL (Atlantic Champion)
D3: Real Colorado (West Champion)
D4: PDA (Mid-Atlantic Champion)

RONGEN NAMES 16-PLAYER ROSTER TO FACE MEXICO JULY 11: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has named a 16-player roster that will compete against the Mexico U-20 MNT on Friday, July 11, at 8 p.m. CT in Laredo, Texas. Advance tickets for the game at the Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex are on sale now, ranging from $25-40 dollars and can be purchased locally at Palenque Bar and Grill, Talk Time or Gametronics, or via phone at 956-723-4700. Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the game at the gate for $35-50. The meeting between the two CONCACAF rivals is the first in the two-year cycle leading up to the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. Both teams advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 edition of the event, held last summer in Canada. The roster includes five Major League Soccer players, and six players from the college ranks.

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (FC Dallas), Brian Perk (UCLA)
DEFENDERS (4): Richard Balchan (Indiana), Ike Opara (Wake Forest), Zarek Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Sheanon Williams (North Carolina)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Jose Altamirano (San Diego, Calif.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Frank Lara (Laredo, Texas), Brandon Manzonelli (New England Revolution), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (3): Eder Arreola (UCLA), Felix Garcia (Laredo, Texas), Peri Marosevic (Michigan)

U.S. WNT READY FOR BRAZIL AFTER TWO WINS IN EUROPE: The U.S. Women’s National Team is back in the U.S. and ready to face Brazil in two matches prior to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The first match against Brazil (tickets) is slated for 2 p.m. MT on Sunday, July 13, presented by Dodge, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. Fans can follow the match live on ESPN. The second match will kickoff at 7 p.m. PT on Wednesday, July 16 at Torero Stadium in San Diego, Calif., (tickets) and will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel. Fans can also follow both matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The U.S. last faced Brazil in the second group match of the 2008 Peace Queen Cup, with the WNT earning a 1-0 win. The U.S. Women just returned from a two-game tour in Europe, where they defeated Norway, 4-0, in Fredriskstad, Norway, before heading to head coach Pia Sundhage’s native Sweden, where they claimed a 1-0 victory in Skelleftea.

U.S. WNT Upcoming Schedule / Recent Results
Date     Opponent   Venue; City / Result                                                            Time / U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
July 2    Norway       4-0 W                                                                                     Tarpley, Lloyd, Hucles, Wambach
July 5    Sweden     1-0 W                                                                                      Lloyd
July 13  Brazil           Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.   2 p.m. MT
July 16  Brazil           Torero Stadium; San Diego, Calif.                                   7 p.m. PT

-- YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE --

U.S. U-18 WOMEN SWEEP THREE GAMES ON EUROPEAN TOUR: The U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team won all three matches on its tour of Denmark and quick trip to France. The U.S. defeated the Danish U-19s, 5-0, on June 30 and 3-0 on July 2, with both games taking place in Svendborg, Denmark. The U.S. then traveled to Tours, France, where it defeated the England U-19s on July 4, by a 2-1 score. Against the Danes on July 2, Lauren Alwine scored the first goal in the 24th minute as she ran onto a through ball and shot low into the corner. The USA, which out-shot the Danes 18-7, finished the match off well, scoring in the 73rd and 86th minutes with both goals coming from forward Lydia Hastings on sharp finishes inside the penalty area. Against England, Laurie Nosbusch score the first goal and Hastings got the second, both assisted by Alwine in the first half. The English pulled a goal back in the second half, but the Americans protected the lead to go 3-0-0 on the tour. Hastings scored in all three matches and Alwine had at least a goal or an assist in all three games. Nosbusch has scored a goal in every U-18 WNT event she has attended this year. “This is probably the most versatile team he has had into camp and four players have earned their first caps for U.S. Soccer over the past two games,” said U.S. head coach Dean Duerst. “Over the course of time with this group they have developed to be more soccer savvy. Katy Frierson and Teresa Noyola demonstrated that they are special players with unique qualities in taking players on.”

U.S. U-18 WNT Schedule / Results
Date         Opponent                        Result     U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
June 30    Denmark U-19 WNT    5-0 W       Alwine, Nosbusch, Hastings, Vernon, Noyola
July 2        Denmark U-19 WNT    3-0 W       Alwine, Hastings
July 3        England U-19 WNT      2-1 W       Nosbusch, Hastings

U-17 MNT PICK UP WIN IN FIRST FRIENDLY OF SOUTH AMERICAN TOUR: The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team defeated Uruguay, 2-0, in a friendly match played during the team's two-week trip to South America. Carlos Martinez led the way with a goal and an assist as the U.S. scored a goal in each half. Jack McInerney scored the first goal in the 26th minute on a header, finishing a cross from Martinez, who ran down his left flank onto a through ball and played it in front of goal from the endline. A great individual effort from Tyler Polak set up Martinez's goal in the 60th minute, as the defender intercepted a pass in his own end, dribbled half the length of the field and slipped the ball through for Martinez who finished clinically. On the defensive end, goalkeeper Earl Edwards made three saves to preserve the USA's shutout. The U.S. traveled to Rosario, Argentina, after the match to participate in the Copa Ciudad de Rosario. The team will take on the regional side Aosciación Rosarina del Futbol (A.R.F.) on Wednesday, July 9, Argentina on July 10 and Chile on July 11 in the tournament, with last minute scheduling changes due to television coverage. Of the 24 players on the roster, 18 have been a part of the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., for at least one semester, while six are among the candidates to join the program for the upcoming Fall 2008 semester.

U-17 MNT South American Tour Schedule/Results
Date     Opponent                                           Venue / Result              U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
July 4    Uruguay                                             2-0 W                              McInerney, Martinez
July 8    Asociacion Rosarina del Futbol   Rosario, Argentina
July 9    Argentina                                           Rosario, Argentina
July 11 Chile                                                   Rosario, Argentina

U-17 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Samir Badr (Fairfax, Va.), Earl Edwards (San Diego, Calif.), Spencer Richey (Seattle, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (9): Michael Ambrose (El Paso, Texas), Julio Arjona (Germantown, Md.), Zachary Herold (Port St. Lucie, Fla.), Perry Kitchen (Indianapolis, Ind.), Chase Miller (Duncannon, Pa.), Shaquille Phillips (Greenbelt, Md.), Tyler Polak (Lincoln, Neb.), Alex Shinsky (York, Pa.), Eriq Zavaleta (Westfield, Ind.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Sean Davis (Holmdel, N.J.), Rob Derschang (Englewood, Colo.), Bryan Duran (Duncanville, Texas), Luis Gil (Garden Grove, Calif.), George Malki (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Carlos Martinez (Las Vegas, Nev.), Victor Pineda (Boilingbrook, Ill.)
FORWARDS (5): Jaime Gutierrez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Joseph Gyau (Silver Spring, Md.), Stefan Jerome (Davie, Fla.), Jack McInerney (Alpharetta, Ga.), Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich.)

-- AROUND THE SOCCER NATION --

U.S. PARALYMPIC SOCCER PLAYER VAZQUEZ NOMINATED FOR ESPY: U.S. Paralympic Soccer player, Marthell Vazquez, is one of four players nominated for an ESPY Award in the Best Male Athlete with a Disability category. The winner will be named on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 20. Fans can vote for Vazquez at the ESPY hompage: http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/specialsection/espys2008/. Most recently, the midfielder was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2007 Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in November. Vazquez was the leading scorer for the U.S. team, notching four goals in the tournament and having multiple assists. He was also the team's leading scorer at the 2007 ParaPan American Games with three goals. The U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team is compiled of soccer players with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries and stroke survivors. Paralympic soccer is played seven-a-side on a smaller field and with smaller goals than non-disabled soccer. Each team plays with seven men using the International Federation of Associated Football (FIFA) rules which have been slightly modified to accommodate the disabilities of the athletes.

Best Male Athlete With A Disability Nominees
Matt Scott, Basketball
Phil Scholz, Swimming
Marthell Vazquez, Soccer
Ryan Kocer, Wrestling

OPEN CUP QUARTERFINAL ROUND TAKES PLACE TUESDAY, JULY 8: The quarterfinal round of the 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will take place Tuesday, July 8, as eight more teams were eliminated in the Third Round of play. The third round proved to be an underdog story, with three MLS teams eliminated from the competition and two USL-1 teams (Seattle Sounders and Charleston Battery) and one USL-2 (Crystal Palace Baltimore) advancing to the quarterfinals. The biggest upset of the night came at the hands of USL Second Division club Crystal Palace Baltimore, who defeated the New York Red Bulls, 2-0, with goals in the 17th and 75th minutes despite playing a man down when Ibrahim Kante was sent off in the 34th minute. Crystal Palace became the lone USL Second Division team to advance on to the next round of the 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal Round Schedule
Matchup Venue; City/State Time (local)
Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) at New England Revolution (MLS) Veterans Stadium, Willow Brook Park; New Britain, Conn. 7 p.m.
Kansas City Wizards (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (USL1) Qwest Field; Seattle, Wash. 7 p.m.
Chicago Fire (MLS) at D.C. United (MLS) Maryland SoccerPlex; Germantown, Md. 7:30 p.m.
Charleston Battery (USL1) at FC Dallas (MLS) Pizza Hut Park; Frisco, Tex. 7:30 p.m.

USL W-LEAGUE COMBINE TO TAKE PLACE SEPT. 4-7: The inaugural United Soccer Leagues W-League Combine will take place from Sept. 4-7 in Tampa, Fla. Elite W-League players will be invited to the combine, as well as players selected from an aopen application process. The deadline for submitting an application is Aug. 6. The combine will take place at the Ed Radice Sports Complex in light of the upcoming launch of Women's Professional Soccer.

CHAMPIONS CROWNED AT 2008 US YOUTH SOCCER REGION I CHAMPIONSHIPS: US Youth Soccer Region I Champions, along with 12 additional teams in the U-14 through U-19 boys and girls divisions have earned spots in the US Youth Soccer National Championships. The National Championships are the final leg of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series that saw more than 10,000 teams compete this year. The yearlong competition begins with over 185,000 players in the US Youth Soccer State Championships. These champions and selected wildcard teams through US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues advance to compete in one of four US Youth Soccer Regional Championships. The national championships will be held July 22-27 at Burns Park Soccer Complex in North Little Rock, Ark. For the list of all champions and more visit http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org/regionI.

2008 US YOUTH SOCCER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED: The complete schedule for the US Youth Soccer National Championships is now available on http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org. In all, 56 teams have earned their way to compete for the open championship. Each regional champion has advanced in the Under-14 through Under-19 age groups to compete for the national crown. 2008 marks the first year for US Youth Soccer National League representatives in the Under-15 and Under-16 divisions where the top two teams from the league will meet the four regional champions. The player luncheon kicks off the week on July 22 with competition begins July 23 and completing July 27 in North Little Rock, Ark. at Burns Park Soccer Complex. The national championships feature top boys and girls US Youth Soccer players. Stories, blogs, video, photos and more will be available at http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org throughout the championships.

COACHESNET LAUNCHES 'PREMIER INTERNATIONAL TOURS COACHES CORNER': U.S. Soccer's CoachesNet is providing coaches with another unique educational opportunity through a partnership with Premier International Tours and The Royal Netherlands Soccer Federation (KNVB). "Premier International Tours Coaches Corner" is an on-going series of training sessions, exercises and articles designed to inform and educate coaches on international coaching styles and methods. Each month is highlighted by different topics from youth development, training sessions and coaching styles used by the KNVB to train youth players. (KNVB Coaching Corner | CoachesNet)

*** CENTER CIRCLE SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. Paralympic Soccer stalwart Marthell Vazquez was recognized in November 2007 at the 2007 CISPRA World Championship as the tournament MVP despite the U.S. not qualifying for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. Now, Vazquez is in the running to win an ESPY Award, in the Best Male Athlete with a Disability category. Vazquez is one of the final four athletes nominated, and you can vote for him by visiting the ESPY website: http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/specialsection/espys2008/

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The U.S. WNT have their sights set on the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and have just two more matches before heading to China, against none other than Brazil. The first match, presented by Dodge, kicks off at 2 p.m. MT on Sunday, July 13. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. Three days later, the WNT will face Brazil again, this time at 7 p.m. PT on Wednesday, July 16, at Torero Stadium in San Diego, Calif., live on Fox Soccer Channel.

QUOTABLE: "It's always a challenge to play a team like Mexico at this point in our two-year cycle. Playing our rival in a border town will be a great experience for our players and will also help us evaluate where some of our players stand as we start to filter our pool moving forward toward Egypt in 2009."
-- U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen, on the upcoming match against the Mexico U-20 MNT on Friday, July 11, in Laredo, Texas.

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