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U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. Returns to Gold Medal Match


O’REILLY OVERTIME GOAL LIFTS U.S.; LILLY SCORES THIRD GOAL IN LAST THREE GAMES: The U.S. Women’s National Team put in a gutsy and at times dominating performance today while exacting revenge on 2003 Women’s World Cup champion Germany, winning 2-1 behind an overtime goal from 19-year-old forward Heather O’Reilly in the 99th minute and advancing to the Gold Medal match in Athens on Thursday, Aug. 26 vs. Brazil. The game will be broadcast live at 2 p.m. ET on NBC except the West Coast, which can view the game at 2 p.m. PT on tape delay. The game will also be broadcast on Telemundo live nationwide at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. After being outplayed in the first half, the U.S. picked it up in the second half and defeated the South American squad 2-0 on Aug. 14. Kristine Lilly, turning in perhaps her best performance of any of her seven world championships, scored her third goal in the last three games, volleying home a clever flick from Abby Wambach in the 33rd minute.  With goals in the 1-1 tie with Australia on Aug. 17 and the 2-1 win over Brazil on Aug. 20, Lilly now sits at 98 all-time international goals. The U.S. was in control of the rest of the match, maintaining solid possession and creating numerous scoring opportunities, but in stoppage time conceded an unfortunate and unlucky equalizer from Isabelle Bachor in the 92nd minute. The match went on to the first of two 15-minute overtime periods, where O’Reilly somehow got on the end of a Mia Hamm cross and squirted a shot through traffic for the game winner. Last week, the U.S. tied Australia 1-1 on Aug. 17 in their third Group G match, winning the group with a 2-0-1 record and seven points.  The U.S. met Japan in the quarterfinals on Aug. 20, winning 2-1 on an opportunistic strike from Lilly and a great individual dribbling effort from Abby Wambach.
WNT Results  – 2004 Olympics
Date             Opponent          Result           U.S. Goal Scorers
Aug. 11        Greece              3-0 W          Boxx, Hamm, Wambach
Aug. 14        Brazil                 2-0 W          Hamm, Wambach
Aug. 17        Australia            1-1 T            Lilly
Aug. 20        Japan (QF)        2-1 W          Lilly, Wambach
Aug. 23        Germany (SF)    2-1 W (ot)   Lilly, O’Reilly
WNT Schedule – 2004 Olympics
Date             Opponent          Venue          Kickoff                TV
Aug. 26        Brazil                 Athens         2 p.m. ET              NBC (live)
                                                                 2 p.m. PT               NBC (tape delay on West Coast)
                                                                    2 p.m. (ET)        Telemundo (live nationwide)

U.S. MEN PICK UP IMPORTANT ROAD POINT ON CHING GOAL IN 89TH MINUTE: The U.S. Men's National Team earned a gritty 1-1 draw at Jamaica to open the semifinal round of FIFA World Cup qualifying on Aug. 18 in front of a packed house at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. The tie for the U.S. came courtesy of an 89th minute strike from second-half sub Brian Ching, his first for the USA, and the game was typical of the highs-and-lows of the World Cup qualifying campaign that awaits the U.S. on their road to Germany 2006.  On Ching’s goal, which came in just his third cap for the U.S., the Hawaiian forward ripped a shot from close range into the upper right corner of the goal after Landon Donovan had perfectly controlled a deflected cross into the area from Cobi Jones and calmly laid the ball off to his right for his San Jose Earthquakes strike partner. Despite falling behind 1-0 in the game’s 49th minute, the U.S. was able to keep their all-time unbeaten record against Jamaica intact with the tie. That mark now stands at 8-0-6, which includes a 2-0-5 mark in World Cup qualifying play. Dating back to 1988, the U.S. and Jamaica have now battled to four consecutive World Cup qualifying draws at “The Office.” The late goal for the U.S. also marked the fourth time in 2004 that the United States has scored after the 75th minute to earn a come-from-behind tie. In all, nine of the 16 U.S. goals this year have come after the 75th minute of play, with four of those goals tying matches and the two others being game-winners.
MNT FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule – Semifinal Round
Date        Opponent      Venue; City                                                      Kickoff (local)   TV
Sept. 4    El Salvador    Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.                      4 p.m. ET          FSW, Telemundo (live)
Sept. 8    Panama          Estadio Rommel Fernández; Panama City         8 p.m. CT         FSW (live)
                                                                                                                                      Telemundo (11:30pm ET/PT)
Oct. 9     El Salvador    Estadio Cuscatlan; San Salvador, El Salvador    7:30 p.m. MT    TBD
Oct. 13   Panama          RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.                      7:30 p.m. ET     ESPN2 (10 p.m. ET)
                                                                                                                                      Telemundo (11:30pm ET/PT)
Nov. 17  Jamaica          Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio                        8 p.m. ET         ESPN (9:30 p.m. ET)
                                                                                                                                      Telemundo (11:30pm ET/PT)

TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR HOME MATCHES ON SEPT. 4 IN BOSTON, OCT. 13 IN D.C.: Tickets for the U.S. Men's National Team's first home qualifier against El Salvador on Sept. 4 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., are still on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout New England (including all Filene's stores), and by calling 617-931-2000 (Boston), 413-733-2500 (Western Mass.), 207-775-3331 (Maine), 603-868-7300 (New Hampshire) or 401-331-2211 (Rhode Island). Substantial group discounts are available by calling 877-GET-REVS (877-438-7387) for more information. Tickets for the match, which kicks off at 4 p.m. ET and will be followed by the New England Revolution taking on the San Jose Earthquakes in MLS action, range from $35 to $125. Tickets are also on sale for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s second home qualifier versus Panama on October 13 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Advance tickets from $30 to $75 are available at ussoccer.com, through all Washington-Baltimore Ticketmaster outlets (including Hecht’s stores), and by phone (Washington 202-397-7328; Baltimore 410-547-7328; Northern Virginia 703-573-7328; out of state 1-800-551-7328).  Group discounts are available through D.C. United at 202-587-5000.

-- GROUP 1 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

Group 1 Standings
Teams            GP   W     L         T     Pts    GF GA    GD
El Salvador     1    1    0    0    3    2    1    +1
USA                 1    0    0    1    1    1    1    0
Jamaica     1    0    0    1    1    1    1        0
Panama     1    0    1    0    0    1    2    -1
Group 1 Results
Date         Result                                 Venue
Aug. 18    USA 1, Jamaica 1              National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica
Aug. 18    El Salvador 2, Panama 1    Cuscatlan Stadium; San Salvador, El Salvador

Group 1 Schedule
Date         Match-Up                          Venue                                                                    Kickoff (local)
Sept. 4     USA vs. El Salvador           Foxboro Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.                         4 p.m. ET
Sept. 4     Jamaica vs. Panama            National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica                      8 p.m. ET

Sept. 8     Panama vs. USA                Fernandez Stadium; Panama City, Panama             9 p.m. ET
Sept. 8     El Salvador vs. Jamaica      Cuscatlan Stadium; San Salvador, El Salvador        9:30 p.m. ET

Oct. 9      El Salvador vs. USA          Cuscatlan Stadium; San Salvador, El Salvador        7:30 p.m. MT
Oct. 9/10 Panama vs. Jamaica           Fernandez Stadium; Panama City, Panama              TBD

Oct. 13    USA vs. Panama               RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.                            7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 13    Jamaica vs. El Salvador     National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica                       TBD

Nov. 17   USA vs. Jamaica               Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio                             8 p.m. ET
Nov. 17   Panama vs. El Salvador     Fernandez Stadium; Panama City, Panama              TBD

– 2004 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP UPDATE –

OPEN CUP HEADS TO MID-WEEK SEMIFINALS IN K.C., CHICAGO:  The defending champion Chicago Fire are two wins away from the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final for the fifth time in the team’s seven-year history as they get ready to host the Charleston Battery (A-League) on Wednesday (Aug. 25) at Benedetti-Wehrle (formerly Cardinal) Stadium in Naperville, Ill. The Battery got to the semi’s by upsetting the Rochester Raging Rhinos (A-League) 1-0 at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y. on a seventh minute goal by Gabe Valencia. The Battery are the first A-League team in the semifinals since 1999, when Charleston and the Rhinos both qualified for the semifinals. In the other semifinal, the Kansas City Wizards will host the San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday (Aug. 24) at the Blue Valley Sports Complex in Overland Park, Kan.
Semifinal Schedule
#       Date          Match-up                                                                                  Venue; City                                                     Kickoff (local)
37     Aug. 24     San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) at Kansas City Wizards (MLS)    Blue Valley Complex; Overland Park., Kan.     7:30 p.m. CT
38     Aug. 25     Charleston Battery (A) at Chicago Fire (MLS)                           Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium; Naperville, Ill.         7:30 p.m. CT

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

U-19s HEAD TO CARSON TO CONTINUE PREPARING FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team will hold a two-week training camp at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., beginning this Thursday (Aug. 26). The camp is another opportunity for the team to prepare for the 2004 FIFA U-19 World Championship, which will be held in Thailand in from Nov. 10-27. The USA was drawn into Group C for the U-19 World Championship and will face South Korea, Russia and Spain.  Head coach Mark Krikorian has invited 22 players in for the camp, 15 of whom helped the USA earn a berth to Thailand during qualifying in Canada last June, as he continues to evaluate the pool of players available to him as he gets closer to naming his final squad for the world championship. During the 14 days, the U.S. will train daily and play matches against local colleges and clubs (teams, dates and times are still to be determined).
U-19 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Kelsey Davis (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Ashlyn Harris (Satellite Beach, Fla.), Laura Comeau (Lee, N.H.); DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (Stanford), Alicia Hall, Meagan Holmes (Timonium, Md.), Nikki Krzysik (Clifton, N.J.), Stephanie Logterman (Austin, Texas), Stephanie Lopez (Portland), Becky Sauerbrunn (Virginia); MIDFIELDERS (6): Yael Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Kiara Bosio (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Stephanie Kron (UCLA), Stacey Lindstrom (UCLA), Jennifer Redmond (Morristown, N.J.), Angie Woznuk (Portland); FORWARDS (6): Sheree Gray (Toms River, N.J.), Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas), Alexa Orand (Orange, Calif.), Megan Rapinoe (Redding, Calif.), Jessica Rostedt (Kent, Ohio), Megan Schnur (Butler, Pa.).

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

HAMM FEATURED ON “SPORTSCENTURY” ON ESPN CLASSIC TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. ET: U.S. Women’s National Team and women’s sports legend Mia Hamm will be showcased in a special “SportsCentury” feature tonight on ESPN Classic at 8 p.m. ET (and re-air at 11 p.m. ET).  The one-hour special, which is part of ESPN’s 25th Anniversary programming, documents both her career on the field, from her days playing football with boys teams to her current Olympic dreams, and her life off the field, including her recent marriage to Chicago Cubs shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and a segment about how her competitive spirit boils over into virtually everything she does. Hamm, the all-time leading scorer in international soccer with 152 goals, is playing in her final world championship event at the 2004 Olympics in Greece.

PRO SOCCER LEAGUE DOWN TO SEMIFINALS: The Utah Blitzz became the second team (along with the Northern Division Champion New Hampshire Phantoms) to make the semifinals when they defeated the San Diego Gauchos 2-1 on Aug. 20. The Charlotte Eagles advanced to the semifinals on Aug. 21 when Chris Lemons scored his first goal of the year in stoppage time of the second half, edging Wilmington 3-2 in the game and 5-4 on aggregate in the series. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh finished off Harrisburg 3-1 for a 7-1 aggregate win.
PSL Semifinal Schedule
Date         Match-up                                                            Venue; City                                                        Kickoff (ET)
Aug. 28    Pittsburgh Riverhounds @ Utah Blitzz                  Rice-Eccles Stadium; Salt Lake City, Utah          5 p.m.
Aug. 28    New Hampshire Phantoms @ Charlotte Eagles    Waddell High School; Charlotte, N.C.                7:30 p.m.

SEITZ BLOGS FROM GREECE AVAILABLE AT ussoccer.com: Kari Seitz, one of two American soccer officials at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, is providing updates on her Olympic experience with blogs on ussoccer.com. Seitz has been part of the FIFA International Panel of Referees since 1999, and previously officiated in the 1999 and 2003 Women’s World Cups and the 2004 CONCACAF Women’s U-19 World Championship.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: WNT midfielder Kristine Lilly has been the difference for the USA in Greece, working tirelessly in the midfield and scoring key goals in each of the team’s last three matches. Lilly crushed a perfect cross from Julie Foudy for the team's only goal in a 1-1 tie with Australia on Aug. 17, then scored an all-important first goal by creating and finishing a loose ball in the box to propel the U.S. to a 2-1 win over Japan in the quarterfinals on Aug. 20. In the semi’s, Lilly scored her biggest goal yet, running on to an Abby Wambach flick and blasting her shot over the German goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead in a match that ended 2-1 in overtime.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP:  The U.S. Women’s National Team is one win away from sending the 91ers out with gold. But before they can climb on the podium, they must be at their best against Brazil on Thursday (Aug. 26) at 2 p.m. ET live on NBC and Telemundo. With Brazil a perennial semifinalist but without a top finish, they’ll will be hungry to finally claim a world title that has eluded them for years. They also be looking to get reverse for the 2-0 loss that the Americans handed them in opening round play.

SOCCER SHOCKER:  The Iraq Soccer Team continues to be the big story not only on the men’s side of the tournament, but within the entire Olympic Games.  They continue to roll through their opponents, proving that their first round success was no fluke, much like Greece did at Euro 2004 in Portugal a month ago.  Iraq avoided a semifinal showdown with tournament favorites Argentina and Italy and will meet South American upstarts Paraguay tomorrow (Aug. 24) live on MSNBC at 2 p.m. ET.

QUOTABLE:  "It's not easy when you have an opportunity to win the game for your team and you work so hard and you get in and hit the post. But she came right back and that's not an easy ball to finish. There were a lot of people in the middle of that six-yard box and she put it in a great spot."
          --U.S. WNT forward Mia Hamm, on the game-winning goal.


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