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U.S. Soccer Wire: Open Cup Quarterfinals Kick Off Wednesday


SEATTLE, WILMINGTON LOOK TO EXTEND UPSET RUNS VERSUS MLS: After a three-week break, the 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup gets back underway with four quarterfinal matches on Wednesday (Aug. 27). A pair of matches on the East Coast will get underway at 7:30 p.m. ET, as the recently-crowned USL Pro Select League Champion Wilmington Hammerheads play host to D.C. United (MLS) at Legion Stadium in Wilmington, N.C., while the MetroStars take on the New England Revolution in an all-MLS battle at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J. The third match will also be an all-MLS affair, with the Colorado Rapids traveling to Naperville, Ill., to face the Chicago Fire in Cardinal Stadium at 7:30 p.m. CT. The last quarterfinal will kick off at 7 p.m. PT as the L.A. Galaxy (MLS) travel to Seattle Seahawks Stadium to take on the A-League’s Seattle Sounders.
Quarterfinals Schedule – 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
No. Date    Match-Up            Venue; City        Kickoff
27    Aug. 27    Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (A-League)    Seahawks Stadium; Seattle, Wash.        7 p.m. PT
28    Aug. 27    D.C. United at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL-PSL)    Legion Stadium; Wilmington, N.C.        7:30 p.m. ET
29    Aug. 27    Colorado Rapids (MLS) at Chicago Fire (MLS)        Cardinal Stadium; Naperville, Ill.        7:30 p.m. CT
30    Aug. 27     New England Revolution (MLS) at MetroStars (MLS)    Yurcak Field; Piscataway, N.J.         7:30 p.m. ET

OPEN CUP SEMI’S PAIRINGS, FOX SPORTS WORLD TV SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED: The 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup bracket has taken its final shape as the semifinal pairings have been announced prior to the quarterfinal round taking place this week. The winner of the L.A. Galaxy-Seattle Sounders match will face the winner of the Colorado Rapids-Chicago Fire. The other semifinal will pit the winner of the D.C. United-Wilmington Hammerheads match against the winner of the New England Revolution-MetroStars. The semifinals will be played on Sept. 23 and 24 at 8 p.m. ET or PT and will be broadcast live by Fox Sports World and Fox Sports en Español. The 2003 U.S. Open Cup final will be broadcast live on Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

DESPITE LOSS, U-17s FINISH IN FINAL EIGHT AT FINLAND 2003: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team was knocked out of the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship yesterday after falling to Brazil 3-0 in the quarterfinals at Turku Stadium in Turku, Finland. Despite the loss, the U.S. finishes in the top eight for the fourth time in 10 world championship appearances. The USA conceded an opening goal by Leonardo in the 18th minute, and came back rejuvenated in the second half, but Brazil added strikes in the 61st and 64th minutes to put the game out of reach. After defeating South Korea and Sierra Leone in their first two matches, the U-17s fell 2-0 to Spain on Aug. 20 in their final group match to finish second in Group D and meet Group C winner Brazil.
U.S. U-17 MNT Results – Finland 2003
Date          Opponent         Result        U.S. Goal Scorers
Aug. 14     South Korea     6-1 W       Adu (3), Owens, Curfman, Watson
Aug. 17     Sierra Leone     2-1 W       Gonzalez, Adu
Aug. 20     Spain                0-2 L        ---
Aug. 24     Brazil                0-3 L        ---

U.S. WNT GATHERS IN L.A. FOR SEND-OFF MATCH VS. COSTA RICA ON SEPT. 1: After spending four days training in San Diego last week, the U.S. Women’s National Team will regroup on Friday (Aug. 29) in advance of the first of two pre-Women’s World Cup send-off matches. In a unique Labor Day friendly, the U.S. will host Costa Rica on Sept. 1 (live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. PT) at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Individual tickets from $25 to $65 are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and online at ticketmaster.com. After the match, the U.S. Women will remain in the L.A. area for three days before travelling to San Jose on Sept. 4 in advance of a final match against Mexico on Sept. 7 (live on ESPN at 10 a.m. PT) at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. Individual tickets from $20 to $50 are also available through Ticketmaster.
U.S. WNT Schedule – WWC Send-off Matches
Date        Opponent        Kickoff (PT) / TV
Sept. 1    Costa Rica       8 p.m. / ESPN2
Sept. 7    Mexico            10 a.m. / ESPN

– FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP USA 2003 UPDATE –

INDIVIDUAL MATCH DATE TICKETS STILL ON SALE AT FIFAworldcup.com: A limited number of individual match date tickets for all six venues of the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 are still on sale at FIFAworldcup.com.  Each match date consists of an afternoon or evening doubleheader, except the Third Place Match on Oct. 11 and the Final on Oct. 12, which will both be played as stand-alone games at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Individual match date tickets range in price from $20 to $175 (and up to $400 for the final), depending on the USA’s involvement and the stage of the three-week competition. Fans can also purchase these tickets over the phone by calling 1-800-WWC-TIKS (992-8457) or by visiting the stadium ticket office of five of the six venues during normal business hours. For the match dates at RFK Stadium, fans must call 202-432-SEAT (7328) or 1-800-551-SEAT (7328), as the stadium ticket office will not be open. Tickets for groups of 50 or more are available by calling 312-528-1290. Tickets for the USA’s Group A showdown with North Korea on Sept. 28 in Columbus are limited to eight per customer. Tickets for the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 Final on Oct. 12 in Carson, Calif., are limited to six per customer.

USA TO FACE SWEDEN, NIGERIA AND NORTH KOREA IN GROUP A PLAY ON EAST COAST: The U.S. Women’s National Team will begin its road toward the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup title in a difficult Group A against Sweden, Nigeria and Korea DPR (North Korea). The top-ranked U.S. WNT will open Group A play against the No. 5 team in the world, Sweden, on Sept. 21 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The U.S. will then meet Nigeria on Sept. 25 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and North Korea on Sept. 28 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Should the U.S. advance to the quarterfinals, the team will play one of the top two teams from Group B at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Both semifinals will be played at PGE Park in Portland, Ore., on Sunday, Oct. 5, while the third place match and final will be played as single games on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, respectively, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. In the rest of the draw, the other teams ranked in the top four in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking –Norway, Germany and China – were given top seeds in the other three groups. Joining Norway in Group B are Brazil, France and South Korea. Joining Germany in Group C are Canada, Japan and Argentina. And finally, in Group D with China are Ghana, Russia and Australia. The top two teams in Group C and D will face each other in the quarterfinals at PGE Park.
FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 – Groups
Group A: USA, Sweden, Nigeria, North Korea
Group B: Norway, Brazil, France, South Korea
Group C: Germany, Canada, Japan, Argentina
Group D: China, Ghana, Russia, Australia
FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 – U.S. WNT Schedule (* if necessary)
Date             Opponent         Venue; City                                                 Kickoff
Sept. 21       Sweden            RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.                 12:30 p.m. (ET)
Sept. 25       Nigeria             Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia, Pa.       3:45 p.m. (ET)
Sept. 28       Korea DPR      Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio   7:30 p.m. (ET)
Oct. 1          Quarterfinals*   Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.                 4:30 / 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Oct. 5          Semifinals*       PGE Park; Portland, Ore.                            4:30 / 7:30 p.m. (PT)
Oct. 11        Third Place*     The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.      12:30 p.m. (PT)
Oct. 12        Final*               The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.      10 a.m. (PT)

 – U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

GALAVISION TO CONTINUE U-17 BROADCASTS FROM FINLAND WITH SEMIs, FINAL: Spanish-language station Galavision will continue to broadcast select matches from the FIFA Under-17 World Championship from Finland this week, with the Brazil-Colombia semifinal live on Wednesday (Aug. 27) at 9:55 a.m. ET (live) / 9:55 a.m. PT (tape delay) and the final live on Sunday (Aug. 30) at 8:55 a.m. ET / 5:55 a.m. PT.
Date          Match-up                  Broadcast Time
Aug. 27     Brazil vs. Colombia    9:55 p.m. ET (live) / 9:55 p.m. PT (delay)
Aug. 30     Final                          8:55 a.m. ET / 5:55 a.m. PT (live)

U.S. U-20s LOOK TO ADVANCE TO SEMI’s OF L’ALCUDIA TOURNEY VS. SLOVENIA TONIGHT: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will look to advanced to the semi-finals of the L’Alcudia International Tournament in Spain when they meet Slovenia tonight in their third and final Group A match. The U-20s opened the eight-team tournament with a 3-0 win over Egypt on goals from David Johnson, Danny Karbassiyoon and Miguel Saavedra. The U-20s followed that with a 1-1 tie with Russia, with Johnson scoring from the penalty spot in the 16th minute. The U.S. needs to win tonight to win the group and tie to assure advancement to the knockout round, where they would face Ukraine or Uruguay from Group B on Wednesday (Aug. 27). The U-20s began the trip with a 1-0 exhibition loss to the reserve team from Spanish club Villareal. The U-20s remain in preparation for the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates from Nov. 27 to Dec. 19.
U.S. Under-20 MNT Results / Schedule – L’Alcudia International Tournament (* if necessary)
Date          Opponent                 Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
Aug. 21     Egypt                        3-0 W   D. Johnson, Karbassiyoon, Saavedra
Aug. 23     Russia                       1-1 T    D. Johnson
Aug. 25     Slovenia
Aug. 27     Semifinals*
Aug. 28     Placement Match*

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

WAMBACH’S EARLY, LATE GOALS LIFT FREEDOM TO FOUNDERS CUP III CROWN: U.S. Women’s National Team forward Abby Wambach scored early and late to earn MVP honors and help the Washington Freedom pull out a 2-1 overtime win over the Atlanta Beat in the Founders Cup III final yesterday at Torero Stadium in San Diego, Calif. Wambach, who was tied with teammate Mia Hamm for the regular season scoring lead with 33 points, struck first in the 7th minute, heading home a cross from Sandra Minnert. The Beat came back to equalize in stoppage time of the first half when forward Charmaine Hooper converted the penalty kick, but neither team could get the game winner in the second half. Known for her prowess in the air, Wambach used her left foot to knock home a cross from Jenny Meier from point-blank range past Atlanta and U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry in the 96th minute.
2003 WUSA Playoff Results
Date         Result
Aug. 24    Washington 2, Atlanta 1 (OT)   

WILMINGTON SHAKES RUNNER-UP TAG, CLAIMS USL PRO SELECT LEAGUE TITLE: In their second straight championship appearance, the Wilmington Hammerheads finally raised the cup with a come-from-behind 2-1 overtime victory at Legion Stadium, where 3,982 fans braved a one-hour weather delay before kick-off due to a thunderstorm. Less than a minute into the second 15-minute overtime period, Junior Zarate set up the winning goal when he dropped the ball back to second-half substitute Joey Johnson, who drilled a 19-yard shot to far post from the right side of the box. It was just his second goal of the season in 10 games (294 minutes played) for Johnson, who was honored as the USL Pro Select League Championship MVP. The Hammerheads closed the USL PSL season with a remarkable 13-game unbeaten run that began back on June 14 and extended through the championship match.

 *** U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER:  Like she’s been doing all year, U.S. WNT forward Abby Wambach again provided the heroics for the Washington Freedom, giving the 2002 runners up an early 1-0 lead and knocking home the “golden goal” to deliver the Founders Cup III championship. With the pair of goals, Wambach finished the 2003 WUSA season with an impressive 15 goals and seven assists for 37 points to lead the league.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: Of the four U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal matches to be played on Wednesday (Aug. 27), the D.C. United (MLS) at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL Pro Select League) game presents the most intriguing pairing. D.C. is mired in another lackluster season and is coming off two straight losses in MLS play, while Wilmington just won the league championship on Aug. 23 and is undefeated in its last 14 games (10-0-4 record during the current stretch), including a convincing 4-1 win over the Dallas Burn (MLS) on Aug. 6 in the Round of 16.

SOCCER SHOCKER: In a move reminiscent of Real Madrid adding David Beckham to a midfield that already included Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Flavio Conceicao, deep-pocketed Chelsea made two more major signings last week with the addition of Argentine international Hernan Crespo and Russian international Alexei Smertin. Crespo joins fellow Argentine Juan Sebastian Veron, as well as newbies Damien Duff and Njitap Geremi, as the club tries to buy their way to the English Premiership title.

QUOTABLE: "From the first whistle, you saw that Abby was emotionally and physically invested. I think that set the tone for everyone. You just saw that she wasn’t going to let this team lose today.”
--U.S. WNT forward Mia Hamm, on U.S. and Freedom running mate Wambach

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