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U.S. Soccer Wire: June 22, 2009


U.S. MNT ADVANCE IN 2009 FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP IN SOUTH AFRICA;
WORLD CUP BID COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES VENUE UPDATE AND NEW MEMBER OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS

U.S. ADVANCES TO SEMIFINALS OF 2009 FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP: The U.S. Men’s National Team went into their third match of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup on June 21 in Rustenberg knowing they must defeat Egypt by at least three goals and get help from Brazil in their match against Italy. Despite the small mathematical odds for advancement, Bob Bradley’s men stepped onto the pitch playing with intent and desire. Charlie Davies provided the all-important first goal in the 21st minute after Jozy Altidore’s cross from the left side created a scramble in the box. The U.S. continued to apply pressure on the Egyptian backline and were unlucky to go into halftime without a second goal. As news filtered in that Brazil was running rampant over Italy at 3-0 in the first half, it became apparent that two more U.S. goals would seal their berth in the semifinal round if the result in the other match stood. The first of the two goals would arrive just after the hour mark when Landon Donovan combined well with Michael Bradley in the midfield to spring an attack down the middle of the field. Bradley would again trade passes with Donovan at the edge of the area to side foot home a classy goal from 12 yards out. Eight minutes later, Clint Dempsey would provide the goal to send the Americans through as he athletically dealt with his marker to head in a beautifully flighted Jonathon Spector cross. Both matches ended 3-0, which meant that the U.S. jumped over Egypt on goal differential and Italy on total goals scored to finish second in Group B. Earlier in their second match of the tournament, the U.S. MNT faced Brazil on June 18 in Tshwane/Pretoria. The match got off to an ominous start as Felipe Melo nodded home a Maicon freekick in just the fifth minute.  The Brazilians would go on to add two more goals before the final whistle to give themselves a 3-0 victory. A loss in this match seemingly would have ended American hopes for advancement; however, Egypt defeated Italy 1-0 later in the day to keep the American hopes alive. The U.S. will now face no. 1-ranked and current European champion, Spain, on Wednesday at Free State Stadium in Mangaung/Bloemfontein. The match will be televised live on ESPN and Telefutura at 2:25 p.m. ET.

Date Opponent Time / Result TV / U.S. Goal Scorer(s) Venue; City
Jan. 24 Sweden 3-2 W Kljestan (3) The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.
Feb. 11 Mexico* 2-0 W Bradley (2) Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio 
March 28 El Salvador* 2-2 T Altidore, Hejduk Estadio Cuscatlán; San Salvador, El Salvador 
April 1 Trinidad & Tobago* 3-0 W Altidore (3)  LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.
June 3 Costa Rica* 1-3 L Donovan Estadio Ricardo Saprissa; San Jose, Costa Rica
June 6 Honduras* 2-1 W Donovan, Bocanegra Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill.
June 15 Italy # 1-3 L Donovan Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria
June 18 Brazil # 0-3 L -- Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria
June 21 Egypt # 3-0 W Davies, Bradley, Dempsey Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace; Rustenburg
June 24 Spain # 2:25 p.m. ET ESPN/Univision Free State Stadium; Mangaung/Bloemfontein
June 28 Third Place/Final TBD TBD TBD
July 4 Grenada ^ 6 p.m. PT TBD Qwest Field; Seattle, Wash.
July 8 Honduras ^ 9 p.m. ET TBD RFK Stadium; Washingon, D.C.
July 11 Haiti ^ 7 p.m. ET TBD Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
Aug. 12 Mexico* TBD TBD Away (Venue TBD)
Sept. 5 El Salvador* 5:30 p.m. MT ESPN Classic/Galavision Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Sept. 9 Trinidad & Tobago* 7 p.m. ET ESPN Classic/Galavision Away (Venue TBD)
Oct. 10 Honduras* TBD TBD Away (Venue TBD)
Oct. 14 Costa Rica* TBD ESPN2/Galavision RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.

* FIFA World Cup Qualifier
# FIFA Confederations Cup
^ CONCACAF Gold Cup

ussoccer.com’s MNT Coverage – June 16-June 22

USA BID COMMITTEE ISSUES REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS TO 37 POTENTIAL FIFA WORLD CUP HOST CITIES FOR 2018 or 2022: The USA Bid Committee today announced it has issued Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to officials representing 37 U.S. cities that currently qualify as potential host cities to the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. The RFPs issued on Monday request information from city officials covering a vast array of subjects such as tourism, climate, security, transportation, promotion and more. The RFPs are an important step in the United States’ application that is due to FIFA in May 2010. FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two host nations for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.

ussoccer.com’s 2018/2022 Bid Coverage – June 16-June 22

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI PRESIDENT DONNA E. SHALALA JOINS TEAM TO BRING FIFA WORLD CUP TO UNITED STATES IN 2018 OR 2022: University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala, renowned as an agent of reform during her tenure as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 1993-2001,  accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors for the USA Bid Committee in its endeavor to bring the FIFA World Cup to the United States in 2018 or 2022. In her eighth year as President of the University of Miami, Shalala has more than 25 years of experience as an accomplished scholar, teacher and administrator. In June 2008, President George W. Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Later that year, on July 17, Shalala was named the third and final Independent Director on U.S. Soccer's Board of Directors.

FIELD OF 64 TEAMS SET FOR FIRST DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY PLAYOFFS IN GREENSBORO, N.C., FROM JUNE 26-29: The field for the 2008-09 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs has been set, as the top 32 teams in both the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups have earned their place in Greensboro, N.C., from June 26-29. The top three teams in each of the nine Academy divisions, based on divisional games only, received an automatic berth to the Academy Playoffs. Additionally, the top five fourth-place finishers in each division, based on overall record, earned wild card spots to compete at Bryan Park in Greensboro.
POSSIBLE QUARTERFINAL PAIRINGS FOR 2009 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP SET: U.S. Soccer has determined the possible pairings for the quarterfinals of the 2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The matches will be played on July 7 and feature the winners of the tournament’s third round matches, to be played on June 30 and July 1 across the United States. Eight MLS teams enter the tournament in the third round, including defending champions D.C. United and four-time Open Cup champion Chicago Fire. One PDL team remains standing after the Ocean City Barons upset Real Maryland F.C., while for the second year in a row two USL Second Division teams also advanced to the third round. With six of the eight MLS teams having to travel as the away team, the next round is filled with possible upsets in the making.

ussoccer.com's Development Academy Coverage – June 16-22

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U-20 MNT OFF TO EGYPT AS PART OF WORLD CUP PREPARATION: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen is en route to Cairo, Egypt, for an 18-player training camp from June 22-30 as part of continuing preparations for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. The U.S. will play two international friendlies against Egypt on June 27 and June 29. Rongen’s team will also get accustomed to the travel, hotel and food in the country that will host the event from Sept. 24-Oct. 16. Of the 18 players on the roster, 12 were part of the team that took second place at the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Trinidad & Tobago in March. Led by goalkeeper Brian Perk, the team held four-consecutive shutouts leading into the regional final. Perk will be joined in Egypt by UCLA teammate Michael Stephens, who scored in consecutive games against Costa Rica during the team’s most recent camp in Sarasota, Fla. Joining the U-20s for the first time are Gerardo Saavedra from Milwaukee and Gatorade National Boy’s Soccer Player of the Year Dillon Powers. Powers, along with defenders Zarek Valentin and Gale Agbossoumonde, recently returned from the Lisbon International Tournament in Portugal where they helped the U-18 MNT to a 1-1-1 record. The U.S. has been drawn into a difficult Group C of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and will match up against Germany on Sept. 26, Cameroon on Sept. 29 and Korea Republic on Oct. 2 in the first round. All three of the USA’s group matches will be played at the brand-new Mubarak Stadium in Suez.

U.S. U-20 MNT Foreign Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Sean Johnson (Central Florida; Lilburn, Ga.), Brian Perk (UCLA; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Gale Agbossoumonde (unattached; Syracuse, N.Y.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), Aaron Maund (Notre Dame; Dorchester, Mass.), Zarek Valentin (PA Classics; Lancaster, Pa.) Sheanon Williams (unattached; Boston, Mass.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo; Glendale, Ariz.), Dilly Duka (Rutgers; Montville, N.J.), Gerson Mayen (Chivas USA; Los Angeles, Calif.), Brian Ownby (Virginia; Glen Allen, Va.), Dillon Powers (Andromeda; Plano, Texas), Gerardo Saavedra (Mequon SC; Milwaukee, Wis.), Michael Stephens (UCLA; Naperville, Ill.), Andrew Wenger (PA Classics; Lititz, Pa.)
FORWARDS (3): Sam Garza (Denver; Highland Village, Texas), Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas; Rockford, Ill.) Tony Taylor (Jacksonville; Jacksonville, Fla.)

U-17 MNT CONTINUE PREPARATIONS IN GREENSBORO FOR U-17 FIFA WORLD CUP: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team continues preparations with a week-long training camp at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C., where Wilmer Cabrera and his staff will work with 30 players in conjunction with the Development Academy Playoffs. The team trained for a week at PDA in Zarephath, N.J. and changed venues on Sunday, as 30 players made the journey to the site of Academy Playoffs, which take place from June 26-29. Of the 30 players who will be training in Greensboro, four have not been a part of the team’s Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. The four players, Keith Cardona, Victor Chavez, Marquez Fernandez and Riley Wolfe, all participated in the Development Academy Select Teams that played against the U-17 MNT at the Spring Showcase over Memorial Day weekend. All 30 players in the camp were born in 1992 or 1993, with the exception of forward Alfred Koroma, who was born in 1994. Each player is eligible for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which is slated for Nigeria from Oct. 24-Nov. 15.

U-17 U.S. MNT Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Keith Cardona (NY Red Bulls Academy; Glen Rock, N.J.), Earl Edwards (La Jolla Nomads; San Diego, Calif.), Spencer Richey (Crossfire Premier; Seattle, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (10): Michael Ambrose (Texas Fire; El Paso, Texas), Marquez Fernandez (Baltimore Bays Chelsea; Baltimore, Md.), Zachary Herold (West Pines United FC, Port St. Lucie, Fla.), Perry Kitchen (Chicago Magic; Indianapolis, Ind.), Jordan McCrary (Concorde Fire; Marietta, Ga.), Boyd Okwuonu (Celtic Green; Edmond, Okla.), Emilio Orozco (Rampage FC; Oxnard, Calif.), Tyler Polak (Capital Soccer Academy; Lincoln, Neb.), Jared Watts (North Meck Storm; Statesville, N.C.), Eriq Zavaleta (FC Pride; Westfield, Ind.)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Sean Davis (Match Fit Chelsea; Holmdel, N.J.), Marlon Duran (Latino Americana; Ducanville, Texas), Luis Gil (Pateadores; Garden Grove, Calif.), Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United; South San Francisco, Calif.), George Malki (SC Delsol Extreme; Scottsdale, Ariz.), Carlos Martinez (Wilmington Jr.; San Pedro, Calif), Nick Palodichuk (Washington Premier FC; Battleground, Wash.), Alex Shinsky (Super Nova FC; York, Pa.), Erik Stephenson (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif), Riley Wolfe (LA Galaxy Academy; Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
FORWARDS (7): Juan Agudelo (NY Red Bulls Academy; Barnegat, N.J.), Victor Chavez (Real So Cal; Fontana, Calif), Andrew Craven (First Coast Kickers; St. Simons Island, Ga.), Stefan Jerome (West Pines United FC; Davie, Fla.), Alfred Koroma (Solar SC; Southland, Texas), Jack McInerney (Cobb SC; Alpharetta, Ga.), Dominick Sarle (BW Gotschee; Huntington, N.Y.)

U-14 BOYS’ NDP GATHERS IN ZAREPHATH, N.J. FOR WEEK-LONG TRAINING CAMP: The U.S. U-14 Boys’ National Development Program gathered for a domestic training camp that began June 21 and will run until June 28 in Zarephath, N.J., home of U.S. Soccer Development Academy club PDA. Head coach Manny Schellscheidt has named 36 players who arrived in New Jersey on Sunday and will continue training throughout the week. The team will train twice per day while playing friendlies against local Development Academy club and ODP teams in the afternoons. It will be the final U-14 event for players born in 1995, as July will begin a year-long cycle of players born in 1996. The ‘95s will move up to the U-15 level and head coach Jim Barlow. In August of 1997, U.S. Soccer started the U.S. Under-14 National Development Program, knowing that to continue to compete with the elite countries on the international level, the U.S. would have to build a base of soccer players from the youth level up. The Under-14 program introduces young players to a level of soccer they would not otherwise see at such a young age and allows the country’s top youths the chance to experience soccer at its highest level and in an international setting.

U-14 Boys’ NDP Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls Academy; Union City, N.J.), Jonathan Davis (North Meck SC; Gastonia, N.C.), Arthur Eggers (CESA; Moore, S.C.), Ethan Horvath (Real Colorado; Highland Ranch, Colo.),
DEFENDERS (12): Kellyn Acosta (ASG Gold; Allen, Texas), Russell Canouse (New York Red Bulls Academy; Lancaster, Pa.), Feliciano Charles (Chivas USA Academy; Grand Prairie, Texas), Dylan Greenberg (Dix Hills; Dix Hills, N.Y.), Trevor Haberkorn (Solar SC; Roanoke, Texas), Matthew Habrowski (Force FC; Berkeley, Mich.), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls Academy; Clifton, N.J.), Vincent Reyes (LAFC Chelsea; West Covina, Calif.), Christian Sady (New England Aztecs; North Adover, Mass.)
MIDFIELDERS (12): Michael Chang (Sockers FC; Highland Park, Ill.), Nicholas Gaitan (Albertson SC; Oceanside, N.Y.), Spencer Hambleton (PDA; Scotch Plain, N.J.), Emerson Hyndman (Dallas Texans; Plano, Texas), AJ Jeffries (Chicago Fire Juniors; Downers Grove, Ill.), Shane Kronock (New York Red Bulls Academy; Westfield, N.J.), Emilio Lopez (Madison FC; Madison, Wis.), Antonio Murillo (Brazil FC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Adam Najem (New York Red Bulls Academy; Clifton, N.J.), Zachary Pfeffer (FC DELCO; Dresher, Pa.), Miguel Polley (Derby County Wolves; West Bloomfield, Mich.), Christian Rodriguez (LMVS Hawks; Alexandria, Va.), John Toher (New York Red Bulls Academy; Blauvelt, N.Y.), Travis Wannamuehler (Evansville, Ind.; FC Evansville)
FORWARDS (8): Martin Arrieta (LAFC Chelsea; Pasadena, Calif.), Paul Arriola (Chula Vista Rangers; Chula Vista, Calif.), Nicko Corriveau (Bethesda SC; Potomac, Md.), Michael Gray (Las Vegas SC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Kevin Labastida (Fullerton Rangers; Fullerton, Calif.), Kennedy O’Shea (D.C. United; South Riding, Va.), Devonte Small (Dallas Texans; San Antonio, Texas), Antonio Velazquez (Neusport Green; Las Vegas, Nev.), Henry Wingo (NW Nationals; Lake Forest Park, Wash.)

U.S. U-23 WNT DOWNS FC INDIANA DURING CAMP IN OHIO: The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team finished up a training camp in Cleveland, Ohio, last Friday in which they played one match against a women’s team, defeating FC Indiana 2-1. The camp was held at Premier Soccer Academies, a facility developed and opened by legendary U.S. goalkeeper and current Aston Villa starter Brad Friedel. Against FC Indiana on June 16, the USA got both goals from forward Katie Schoepfer of Penn State, who has eight scores for the U-23s this year, by far the most of the team. Schoepfer tallied in the 22nd minute and then again in the 41st off an assist from 2008 U.S. Olympic gold medalist Tobin Heath. FC Indiana, one of the USL W-League’s top sides, pulled a goal back in the 68th minute. U.S. starting goalkeeper Kelsey Davis was injured in the 56th minute of the game, breaking her jaw in a nasty collision and will be out at least six weeks. Kristin Arnold replaced her and gave up one goal, but the USA kept FC Indiana scoreless for the rest of the match. U.S. head coach Bill Irwin is in the process of selecting 18 players to travel to England from July 1-10 for two matches against the England U-23s.

U.S. U-23 WNT Training Camp Results
Date                Opponent                     Result               U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
June 16          FC Indiana                   2-1 W               Schoepfer (2)

U.S. U-20 WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROLLS PAST ENGLAND IN GERMANY, 4-1: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team defeated the England U-20s by a 4-1 score in a match played in Flensburg, Germany, as forward Maya Hayes came off the bench to score twice while Sydney Leroux and Tiffany McCarty added a goal each. The match is the first of a two-game set in Germany as the Americans will also play the German U-20 Women’s National Team on Friday, June 26, at Wolfgang Meyer Stadion in Hamburg. Germany will host the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in the summer of next year. The USA will attempt to qualify for the tournament next January during a CONCACAF qualifying competition in Guatemala.

U.S. U-17 WNT HEAD TO TRAINING CAMP IN PEARL RIVER, N.Y.: The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team returns to action for a training camp from June 25-July 1 in Pearl River, N.Y., just north of the New Jersey state line. The U.S. U-17s, under the direction of U.S. head coach Kazbek Tambi, are still in early preparation for CONCACAF qualifying for the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to be held in Trinidad & Tobago. The qualifying tournament will be staged in Costa Rica next March. Tambi will bring 20 players to the camp including the lone holdover from the USA’s 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup runner-up side, midfielder Morgan Brian.

U.S. U-17 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bryane Heaberlin (Clearwater Chargers; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Abby Smith (Dallas Texans; Dallas, Texas)
DEFENDERS (6): Olivia Brannon (Michigan Jags; Troy, Mich.), Abby Dahlkemper (MVLA Avalanche; Menlo Park, Calif.), Laura Liedle (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Rachel Price (Space Coast United; Melbourne Beach, Fla.), Cari Roccaro (Albertson SC; East Islip, N.Y.),  Taylor Schneider (Dallas Texans; Southlake, Texas)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Ponte Verda Storm; St. Simons Island, Ga.), Kaysie Clark (KC Select Scream; Liberty, Mo.), Miranda Freeman (Team Boca; Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), Ashley Spivey (Baltimore Bays; Baltimore, Md.), Kate Speidel (Real So Cal; Oak Park, Calif.), Kaili Torres (PVSA; Orange Park, Fla.), Quynh Truong (Solar SC; Fort Worth, Texas), Clarissa Wedemeyer (Dallas Texans; Colleyville, Texas)
FORWARDS (4): Jennifer Gonzalez (Arsenal FC; Alta Loma, Calif.), Kylie McCarthy (San Diego Surf; Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), Cate Parchinski (Pride Predators; Colorado Springs, Co.), Sydney Payne (IMG Soccer Academy; Lutz, Fla.)

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

2009 CONCACAF BEACH SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP CONCLUDED: The U.S. finished fourth in the qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF region for the 2009 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. The U.S. was drawn into Group B of the tournament, along with Costa Rica and Bahamas. After winning its opening round games, the Americans advanced to the semifinal against one of last year’s Beach Soccer World Cup qualifiers, El Salvador. Unfortunately, the U.S. team fell short in their bid to advance to the finals and will not be going to the United Arab Emirates, venue of the 2009 Beach Soccer World Cup. Under torrential rain, the U.S. rounded out the tournament against Mexico, falling 5-4 in the third place math as both teams dealt with the difficult conditions.

CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship Schedule

Date Opponent Result U.S. Goals

Location

June 17 Bahamas 6-2 W Chimienti (3), Morales (2), Taguinod 

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

June 19 Costa Rica 6-1 W Morales (3), Xexeo (2), Farberoff 

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

June 20 El Salvador 3-5 L Xexeo (2), Morales

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

June 21 Mexico 4-5 L Futagaki, Taguinod, Farberoff  

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


BRAIN MCBRIDE HONOURED BY FULHAM FOOTBALL CLUB: The former club captain and U.S. MNT standout has been given a tribute by the west London club. Fulham announced on its website that its SW6 Sports Bar will be renamed McBride’s in commemoration of the American striker and his years of dedicated service to the club.

U.S. SOCCER, WPS TO RECOGNIZE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF 1999 FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD CUP: Ten years after a team of inspired women and a tournament of historic proportions captured the hearts and minds of an entire nation, U.S. Soccer and Women’s Professional Soccer will honor the legacy of that tournament and the legends from the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s National Team at WPS games throughout late June and early July. Working with U.S. Soccer, all seven WPS franchises will feature a 10th Anniversary Tribute Day at one of their WPS home games coinciding with the anniversary of the tournament dates of the 1999 Women’s World Cup. Former U.S. Women’s National Team players will make appearances, sign autographs and be recognized for their accomplishments ten years ago. The 1999 World Cup trophy will also travel to WPS venues during this time for photo opportunities with fans and a special collector’s edition 1999 World Cup autograph card will be printed for fans. Retired players from the 1999 World Cup team making appearances will include: Mia Hamm, Joy Fawcett, Lorrie Fair, Tiffany Roberts, Tisha Venturini and Danielle Fotopolous among others. WPS currently has five ‘99ers playing in the league: Brandi Chastain (FC Gold Pride), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Tiffeny Milbrett (FC Gold Pride), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC) and Briana Scurry (Washington Freedom).

Upcoming Remembering ’99 Tribute Schedule

Date Match TV

Venue

July 4 Sky Blue vs. Boston Breakers --

Yurcak Field; Piscataway, NJ

July 5 FC Gold Pride vs. St. Louis Athletica --

Buck Shaw Stadium; Santa Clara, CA

July 5 Washington Freedom vs. Los Angeles Sol FSC

Maryland Soccer Plex; Germantown, MD

July 12 Boston Breakers vs. Sky Blue FC FSC

Harvard Stadium; Boston, MA

July 12 Chicago Red Stars vs. FC Gold Pride --

Toyota Park; Bridgeview, IL


FOLLOW THE ACTION AT U.S. CLUB SOCCER'S NATIONAL CUP VIII: The 2009 edition of the National Cup, U.S. Club Soccer's signature national championship competition, continues June 20-23 with Regionals in San Bernardino, Calif., Modesto, Calif., and Pittsgrove, N.J. Regional events will be held through July 7, with the tournament's Finals taking place July 25-28 for boys and July 31-Aug. 3 for girls. Follow the action at each National Cup VIII Regional event via the National Cup Online Headquarters at http://www.usclubsoccer.org/, your source for event information, scores, features, photos and more.

 ESPN PICKS UP RIGHTS TO BROADCAST LA LIGA AND PREMIER LEAGUE: GolTV and ESPN have reached an agreement for the rights to broadcast Spain’s La Liga in the United States through 2012. The two broadcasters will share coverage of matches – a deal that will allow an additional 95 games to be seen by fans in the U.S. In addition, the Premier League awarded ESPN two exclusive live media packages for the 2009/2010 season, and one package from August 2010 for the following three seasons. The agreement means ESPN will deliver fans in the UK 46 Barclays Premier League matches this coming season and 23 matches each season after that until May 2013.

*** CENTER CIRCLE SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Voted Man of the Match in the United States’ two opening matches of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and a clear candidate for the distinction in the Egypt match, Landon Donovan also took the captain’s armband in Carlos Bocanegra’s absence from all three group matches. During the match against the Egyptians, he was a constant threat going forward and tallied the assist on Michael Bradley’s goal. His work rate and effort exemplified the mentality required to reach the semifinals of the Confederations Cup.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The U.S. MNT will face the no.1 team in FIFA’s current world ranking and current European champion, Spain, on Wednesday at Free State Stadium in Mangaung/Bloemfontein. The match will be televised on ESPN and Univision beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. The match is one of two semifinals with Brazil and host nation, South Africa, disputing the other contest on Thursday.

SOCCER SHOCKER: The U.S. is the first team ever in a FIFA World Cup or FIFA Confederations Cup to advance to the next round with a 1-2-0 record in group play. In fact, the only other time a team with a 1-2-0 record finished in second place in a group was at the 1950 FIFA World Cup, when England finished ahead of the USA (which famously beat England in that event) and Chile -- but only the group winners advanced to the next stage in that tournament.

QUOTABLE: “It’s like that quote from Dumb and Dumber: ‘So you’re telling me there’s a chance.’ That’s what we kept saying.  We went in with that mentality.  We made it, and that’s all that matters.”
-- Jonathon Bornstein on the team’s mindset before the match against Egypt

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