US SoccerUS Soccer

U.S. Soccerwire: U.S. MNT and WNT Gear Up for Games on March 9


U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM GEARS UP TO FACE COLOMBIA; WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM PREPARES TO OPEN ALGARVE CUP PLAY AGAINST FRANCE

U.S. MNT PREPARES FOR FIRST HOME GAME OF 2005: Colombia will be the U.S. Men’s National Team’s first rival on U.S. soil in 2005 when the two teams square off on Wednesday (March 9) at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT. This is the first appearance for the U.S. Men’s National Team in Fullerton since late 1994. All seven of the U.S. appearances in Fullerton were during a two-year span from 1993-1994, with the U.S. compiling a 3-0-4 record with six of those matches serving as preparation for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Head Coach Bruce Arena will be using an MLS-based contingent to prepare for the USA’s next World Cup qualifying match against Mexico in Mexico City on March 27. The U.S. is 2-8-2 all-time vs. Colombia in a series that dates back to a 2-0 loss for the U.S. in Bogata, Colombia, in 1961. The biggest game of the series was a 2-1 win for the U.S. in the Rose Bowl during the 1994 FIFA World Cup. An Earnie Stewart goal gave the U.S. its first win in a World Cup match since the famed 1950 U.S. team defeated England 1-0. Since 1994, the U.S. has faced Colombia four times with a 0-2-2 record, including falling in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the 2000 Gold Cup. Fans can follow Wednesday’s match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
U.S. Men's National Team Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jon Busch (Columbus Crew), Joe Cannon (Colorado Rapids), Kevin Hartman (Los Angeles Galaxy); DEFENDERS (6): Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Nat Borchers (Colorado Rapids), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Ritchie Kotschau (Colorado Rapids), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Eddie Pope (Real Salt Lake); MIDFIELDERS (9): Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), Eddie Gaven (MetroStars), Kyle Martino (Columbus Crew), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Clint Mathis (Real Salt Lake), Brian Mullan (San Jose Earthquakes), Ben Olsen (D.C. United), Steve Ralston (New England Revolution), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards); FORWARDS (4): Brian Ching (San Jose Earthquakes), Ed Johnson (F.C. Dallas), Pat Noonan (New England Revolution), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution).

U.S. WNT PREPARES TO OPEN 2005 WITH ALGARVE CUP MATCH ON WEDNESDAY: The U.S. Women’s National Team will see its first action of 2005 in southern Portugal at the 12th annual Algarve Cup, to be played from March 9-15, 2005.  The USA opens the tournament against France on Wednesday (March 9), in a match that can be followed live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The U.S. women next face Finland on March 11 and finish the first round against Denmark on March 13. This is the 10th trip to the Algarve Cup for the U.S. women, who broke a streak of four Algarve tournaments without a title in 2000 when they defeated China, 2-0, in the championship game. Including that first title, the USA has won three of the last five tournaments, also bringing home first-place trophies the past two years.  The USA defeated Norway, 1-0, in the 2003 championship game and put together a resounding 4-1 victory over Norway last year as Abby Wambach pounded in three goals. Fans can follow the USA’s grueling schedule of four games in seven days online at ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. U.S. interim head coach Greg Ryan will lead the team in Portugal. Ryan has called in an exciting combination of players that includes 10 members of the gold medal winning team at the 2004 Olympics. The average age of the other 10 players on the 20-woman roster is just 21. Four of those players are uncapped, but all of them have extensive experience with the U.S. youth national teams.
WNT Algarve Cup Schedule
Date          Opponent                                    Time
March 9    France                                          4:15pm local / 11:15 a.m. ET
March 11  Finland                                         1:45 local / 8:45 a.m. ET
March 13  Denmark                                      1:45 local / 8:45 a.m. ET
March 15  Match for place 11th and 12th   10 a.m. local / 5 a.m. ET
                  Match for place 9th and 10th      10 a.m. local / 5 a.m. ET
                  Match for place 7th and 8th         10 a.m. local / 5 a.m. ET
                  Match for place 5th and 6th         3 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET
                  Match for place 3rd and 4th         3 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET
                  Championship                              6 p.m. local / 1 p.m.

TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE FOR U.S. MNT MATCH ON MARCH 19 IN ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.: The U.S. Men’s National Team will face Honduras on Saturday, March 19 in Albuquerque, N.M., at 2 p.m. MT at University Stadium on the campus of the University of New Mexico in an important tune up for the most difficult match of its World Cup Qualifying schedule. Tickets range in price levels from $18 to $60 and can be purchased online at ussoccer.com, by calling 505-925-5858 or 800-905-3315, by visiting any Tickets.com retail outlet (including Raley's or Oshman’s stores in Albuquerque and Santa Fe), and at the UNM Ticket Offices at The Pit and the UNM Bookstore. A limited number of special "On Field" seats are also available at $125. This is the second trip for the U.S. Men’s National Team to New Mexico. Previously at University Stadium, the U.S. dropped a 2-0 decision to Chile in front of 15,610 fans on April 30, 1994, just two months prior to the 1994 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. Women’s National Team played at University Stadium last year for the first time, topping Mexico 3-0 on May 9 with a crowd of 17,805.

-- FIFA 2006 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

SALT LAKE CITY TO HOST WORLD CUP QUALIFIER AGAINST COSTA RICA: The U.S. MNT will host Costa Rica on Saturday, June 4 in Salt Lake City, Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium at 5:30 p.m. MT in their fourth of 10 final round qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The match against Costa Rica will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and will be followed by MLS expansion franchise Real Salt Lake hosting FC Dallas as the second game of the doubleheader at 8 p.m. Fans can also follow the U.S. match live at ussoccer.com via MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The match in Salt Lake City is the second of five qualifiers in this round to be played in the United States. Tickets will range from $25 to $68 and on-sale details will be announced later in March. Fans can register for advance ticket information and an advance private sale at ussoccerfan.com. Real Salt Lake season tickets will be honored for the doubleheader.

U.S. MNT QUALIFYING HOME OPENER IN ALABAMA DRAWS CLOSER, TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE: There is still time to purchase tickets for the United States Men’s National Team’s first home game of the final round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday, March 30, at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Tickets range in price from $18 to $55 and can be purchased online at ussoccer.com, all Ticketmaster outlets throughout Alabama (including Publix and Coconuts), and by phone at 1-800-277-1700. Groups of 15 or more can order through the Alabama Sports Foundation at 205-967-4745, ext. 119. Kickoff against Guatemala is set for 7 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and tape delayed on Telemundo at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The U.S. will be returning to Birmingham’s Legion Field Stadium for the first time since March 10, 2002, when the U.S. defeated Ecuador 1-0 in a World Cup preparation match before 24,133 fans. The last time the teams met was during semifinal round qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The teams split points in a 1-1 draw in Mazatenango, Guatemala on July 16, 2000, then Brian McBride tallied the lone goal in the USA’s hard fought 1-0 win on Sept. 3, 2000 at RFK Stadium.

U.S. PREPARES TO MEET MEXICO AT THE ESTADIO AZTECA: The U.S., along with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago have kicked off the 10-game round-robin that will last until Oct. 12, 2005. The top three teams automatically advance to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany while the fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 12/13 and Nov. 16 against the fifth-place finisher in Asian qualifying.  Drawn as Team 6 in the final round format, the U.S. faces a tricky road to Germany as their first two games take place on the road. The U.S. gets consecutive home dates for Matches 3 & 4 and 6 & 7 and will then face two away matches before concluding final round play in the United States.  The first U.S. home game will be played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. on March 30, with kick off scheduled for 7 p.m. CT. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. The second home game, against Costa Rica, will be played at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, with kickoff scheduled for 5:30 p.m. MT on Saturday, June 4. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow both matches live on ussoccer.com’s Matchtracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Venues for the other three home games will be announced shortly.
2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule – CONCACAF Final Round
 Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Feb. 9  Panama 0, Guatemala 0
Feb. 9  Costa Rica 1, Mexico 2
Feb. 9 Trinidad & Tobago 1,  USA 2 
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 26 Costa Rica vs. Panama
March 26 Guatemala vs. Trinidad & Tobago
March 27 Mexico vs. USA 
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 30  Panama vs. Mexico   
March 30  USA vs. Guatemala   
March 30  Trinidad & Tobago vs. Costa Rica
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
June 4 Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama   
June 4 Guatemala vs. Mexico   
June 4 USA vs. Costa Rica   
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
June 8 Panama vs. USA   
June 8 Costa Rica vs. Guatemala   
June 8 Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Aug. 17 Guatemala vs. Panama   
Aug. 17 Mexico vs. Costa Rica   
Aug. 17 USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Sept. 3 Panama vs. Costa Rica  
Sept. 3 Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala
Sept. 3 USA vs. Mexico  
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Sept. 7 Mexico vs. Panama 
Sept. 7 Guatemala vs. USA  
Sept. 7 Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Oct. 8 Panama vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Oct. 8 Mexico vs. Guatemala 
Oct. 8/9 Costa Rica vs. USA 
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Oct. 12 USA vs. Panama   
Oct. 12 Guatemala vs. Costa Rica
Oct. 12 Trinidad & Tobago vs. Mexico
 
Playoff (*home team will be determined by lottery at the conclusion of the final round)
Date Match-up
*Nov. 12/13 AFC #5 vs. CONCACAF #4 
*Nov. 16 AFC #5 vs. CONCACAF #4

-- U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --

U-20 MNT GETS “GROUP OF DEATH” FOR 2005 WORLD YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team was drawn into Group D on Sunday (March 6) with Argentina, Germany and Egypt for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland, which will take place from June 10-July 2. The U.S. opens against Argentina on June 11 at 5:30 p.m. local time/ 11:30 a.m. ET, then faces Germany on June 14 (8:30 p.m. local time/ 2:30 p.m. ET) and concludes group play on June 18 (1:30 p.m. local time/ 7:30 a.m. ET) against Egypt. The U.S. will play all three of their first round games at Enschede Stadium in Enschede, Holland. Every U.S. match at the World Youth Championship can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Phillips Electronics. In Holland, the U.S. will face three teams with plenty of experience and success at the Under-20 level as Argentina, Germany and Egypt all qualified for the past two FIFA World Youth Championships (2001, 2003). The 24-team field is divided into six groups of four, with the top two teams from each group and the top four (of six) third-place teams advancing to the Round of 16. The 52-match tournament will take place at six venues in Holland with games in Doetinchem, Emmen, Enschede, Kerkrade, Tilburg and Utrecht. This is the fifth straight appearance for the U.S. in the world championship and their tenth overall. The best finish ever for the U.S. came in Saudi Arabia ’89 when the U-20s, led by goalkeeper Kasey Keller, advanced to the semifinals before falling to Brazil in the Third Place match to finish in fourth place. In the last tournament in the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. had a remarkable run to the quarterfinals and eventually finished in fifth place.

U-15 BNT GO 2-3-1 DURING FIVE-DAY CAMP IN BRADENTON: The U.S. Under-15 Boy’s National Team went 2-3-1 during their five-day camp in Bradenton, Fla., that concluded this Sunday. Head coach Jim Barlow had invited in 31 players into camp and broke the players into two teams (White and Blue) as the U-15s played six games, with each squad going up against the Super Y-League ’90 ODP Select Team, Super Y-League ’89 ODP Select Team and the U.S. U-17 ’89 MNT. In their opening games on March 4, the U-15s got goals from Walter Hines and Abraham Villon to down the Super Y ‘90s 2-1, while in their other match they were on the other side of the coin, falling to the U-17 ‘89s 2-1, despite Brandon Tarr’s equalizer in the first half. On March 5, the U-15s drew with the Super Y ‘90s 1-1 behind a Yannick Salmon goal and then got their best win of the camp as Tarr and Jared Jeffrey scored in the first half and Fredua Adu buried a penalty kick in the second to pull out a 3-1 victory over the Super Y ‘89s. On the final day of camp, the U-15s suffered two losses as goals by Mykell Bates and Chris Agorsor weren’t enough to hold off the Super Y ‘89s who found the back of the net three times, and the U-17 ‘89s got four goals in the first 32 minutes to cruise to a 4-0 win.
Under-15 BNT Results/Schedule
Date       Opponent           Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
March 4  Super Y ‘90s     2-1 W     Hines, Villon
March 4  U-17 ’89 MNT   1-2 L       Tarr
March 5  Super Y ‘89s     3-1 W     Tarr, Jeffrey, Adu
March 5  Super Y ‘90s     1-1 T       Salmon
March 6  Super Y ‘89s     2-3 L       Bates, Agorsor
March 6  U-17 ’89 MNT   0-4 L

U-17s TOPPLE U-15 AND U-18 YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS IN BRADENTON: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Teams defeated the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team and U.S. Under-15 Boy’s National Team this past week as both of the youth national team squads were holding camps at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. On March 2, the Under-17 ’88 MNT (Team A) pulled off a bit of an upset by downing the U-18s, 2-1. The U-17s took a two-goal lead behind goals from Amaechi Igwe and Quavas Kirk before the U-18s cut the lead in half by a strike from Robbie Rogers late in the second half. But Bob Jenkins’ squad couldn’t find the equalizer in the final ten minutes as U-17 goalkeeper Bryant Rueckner was able to close down any opportunities on frame. The U-17 ‘89s (Team B) pulled off two victories (2-1 and 4-0) against their younger counterparts, the U-15 BNT over the weekend. In the first match on March 4, Cesar Nunez gave the U-17s an early lead in the ninth minute, but four minutes later Brandon Tarr finished a pass from Isreal Sesay for the equalizer. In the 33rd minute, Josmer Altidore provided the U-17s with the game winner, burying a ball from Joseph Sorrentino. In the rematch on March 6, the U-17s got four goals, all in the first 32 minutes, as Sorrentino opened and closed the scoring with Altidore and Perica Marosevic notching goals in between. This week, the U.S. Under-17 ’88 MNT will take on the University of Virginia today (March 7) and the University of South Florida on Friday (March 11), while the U-17 ’89 MNT will face Notre Dame on Tuesday (March 8).
Under-17 ’88 MNT (Team A) Results/Schedule
Date          Opponent     Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
March 6     U-18 MNT    2-1 W     Igwe, Kirk
March 7     UVA
March 11   USF

Under-17 ’89 MNT (Team B) Results/Schedule
Date       Opponent      Result      U.S. Goal Scorers
March 4  U-15 BNT      2-1 W     Nunez, Altidore
March 6  U-15 BNT      4-0 W     Sorrentino (2), Altidore, Marosevic
March 8  Notre Dame

U-18 MNT FINISH CAMP AT IMG ACADEMY IN BRADENTON, FLA.: The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team finished their weeklong camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., this past weekend. During the camp, the U-18s went 1-1-1 in three games. In their opening match against the U.S. Under-17 ’88 MNT, Robbie Rogers buried a pass from David Rodriguez in the 79th minute, but it wasn’t enough as two earlier strikes from Amaechi Igwe and Quavas Kirk were too much to overcome. A day later, the U-18s battled IMG U-19 to a 1-1 draw, getting a goal from Sonny Guadarrama. In their final match on March 5, the U-18s defeated the University of Virginia, 2-1, with two first-half goals from Sal Zizzo.
Under-18 MNT Results/Schedule
Date       Opponent           Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
March 2  U-17 ’88 MNT    1-2 L     Rogers
March 3  IMG U-19            1-1 T     Guadarrama
March 5  UVA                     2-1 W   Zizzo (2)

U.S. U-17 WNT AND U-16 GNT GET WINS AGAINST GERMANY U-17s: The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team and Under-16 Girls National Team both snagged victories over the German Under-17 Women’s National Team during camps last week at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. After the U-17 WNT opened the four-game series with Germany on Feb. 27 with a 2-0 victory behind goals from Kelly O’Hara and Alexondrea Trusty, the Germans bounced back to down the U-16 GNT, 1-0, a day later. On March 2, the U-17s got the same result in their second meeting with Germany as Jessica McDonald and O’Hara gave them the identical 2-0 victory. A day later, the U-16 GNT rebounded from their earlier loss to post their first victory on the year, defeating Germany 3-1 with goals from Brooke Knowlton, Casey Nogueira and Jessie Baddley.
U-16 GNT Results
Date        Matchup            Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
Feb. 28  Germany U-17   0-1 L
March 3  Germany U-17   3-1 W     Knowlton, Nogueira, Baddley
U-17 WNT Results
Date        Matchup            Result      U.S. Goal Scorers
Feb. 27   Germany U-17  2-0           O’Hara, Trusty
March 2  Germany U-17  2-0            McDonald, O’Hara

U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM FORWARD LEE NGUYEN NAMED GATORADE H.S. POY: U.S. Youth National Team forward Lee Nguyen was named the 2004 Gatorade National High School Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Gatorade Thirst Quencher, in partnership with Scholastic Coach & Athletic Director magazine, announced last week. Nguyen, who attends Plano East Senior High School in Plano, Texas, has already spent time with the U.S. Under-18 and Under-20 Men’s National Teams this year. In January, Nguyen traveled with the U-18 MNT to Guadalajara, Mexico, to compete in the Copa Chivas Tournament, and the speedy forward scored four goals in four games, including notching his first international goal against Holland. Two weeks ago, the Dallas Texans standout got his first call-up to the U-20 MNT and scored the equalizing goal during an exhibition match against the San Jose Earthquakes in Bradenton, Fla. The award, which recognizes athletic achievement as well as the academic performance and overall character of its recipient, distinguishes Nguyen as the nation’s best high school boys soccer player. The Gatorade National Advisory Board, a group of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country, selected Nguyen from the nearly 350,000 male high school soccer players nationwide. Nguyen is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Award, to be presented at an awards ceremony the afternoon prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

USA DRAWS COSTA RICA, CANADA AND CUBA IN 2005 GOLD CUP: The United States Men’s National Team has been drawn against Costa Rica, Canada and Cuba in the first round of the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, CONCACAF announced on Wednesday (March 2). The U.S. will open Group B play against Cuba on Thursday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m. PT at Qwest Field in Seattle, before meeting Canada two days later on Saturday, July 9, at the same venue, the match slated for a 1:30 p.m. PT kickoff. The U.S. will travel across the country for their final group match against Costa Rica on Tuesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. In Group A, Colombia was announced as the second guest team and will join Honduras, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago in Miami as the four teams will play all of their group matches at the Orange Bowl. In Group C, four-time champion Mexico will join Guatemala, Jamaica and guest South Africa for two games in the Los Angeles area, opening at The Home Depot Center before moving to the L.A. Memorial Coliseum for their second match. The teams will travel to Houston for their final group matches, closing out the first round on July 13 at Reliant Stadium. The top two teams from each group and the two best third-place teams will advance to the quarterfinals in Foxboro and Houston on July 16 and 17, respectively. Giants Stadium will host the semifinal matches on July 21 and the Gold Cup Final on July 24. The eighth edition of the Gold Cup will be held across seven U.S. venues from July 6-24.
2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup Groups
Group A                        Group B          Group C
Honduras                      USA                South Africa
Panama                        Costa Rica     Guatemala
Trinidad & Tobago      Canada           Mexico
Colombia                      Cuba               Jamaica

NIKE TO HOLD FIRST PREMIER CLUB SUMMIT: More than 30 soccer clubs are scheduled to participate in Nike’s first Premier Club Summit from March 10-13 in New Castle, N.H. Attendees will learn about such things as developing an outdoor/indoor facility, sponsorship, paying for full time staff and creating a community recreation program. They will also attend discussions and sessions on formulating a soccer calendar, coaching education and youth development. The Nike Premier Club Summit will be hosted by Seacoast United.

CONCACAF 2005 CHAMPIONS’ CUP QUARTERFINAL MATCHES SET: D.C. United will face Harbour View of Jamaica on Wednesday (March 9) at Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md., at 7:30 p.m. ET in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the 2005 CONCACAF Champion’s Cup. That same day, Kansas City squares off against Deportivo Saprissa at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., at 7 p.m. CT. The second leg of the quarterfinals will be played on March 16 and 17. Selected matches will be broadcast on Fox Sports International. The winner of the Champions’ Cup will represent CONCACAF at the FIFA Club World Championships to be held in Japan from Dec. 11-18, 2005. The second-place team will represent CONCACAF as one of the final 16 teams of the CONMEBOL Copa Sudamericana, played from October through December 2005.
Champions’ Cup Quarterfinals Schedule – First Leg
Date Matchup Time (local); Venue
March 9 DC United vs. Harbour View 7:30 p.m.; Maryland SoccerPlex, Cermantown, Md.
 Kansas City Wizards vs. Deportivo Saprissa 7 p.m.; Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
 Rayados de Monterrey vs. CSD Municipal 9 p.m.; Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico
 CD Olimpia vs. Club Universidad Nacional, AC 6:30 p.m.; Estadio Tiburcio Carias, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Champions’ Cup Quarterfinals Schedule – Second Leg
Date Matchup Time (local); Venue
March 16 Harbour View vs. DC United 7:30 p.m.; Harbour View Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica
 CSD Municipal vs. Rayados de Monterrey 8 p.m.; Estadio Mateo Flores, Guatemala City, Guatemala
 Club Universidad Nacional vs. CD Olimpia 8:30 p.m.; Estadio Olimpico Universitario, Mexico City, Mexico
March 17 Deportivo Saprissa vs. Kansas City Wizards     8 p.m.; Estadio Saprissa, San Jose, Costa Rica

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: American Kenny Cooper, on loan to Oldham Athletic from Manchester United of the English Premier League, scored two goals in two minutes as Oldham blanked Port Vale, 3-0, on Saturday (March 5) at Boundary Park. Cooper’s two goals led Oldham to the club’s first win in their last eight games.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: In a U.S. Soccer double-header, both the Men’s and Women’s National Teams face action on Wednesday, March 9. First, the U.S. Women open tournament play in the 2005 Algarve Cup against France at 11:15 a.m. ET. Just a few short hours later, the U.S. men match up against Colombia at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif., at 7:30 p.m. PT. Fans can follow both matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

SOCCER SHOCKER: On Sunday (March 6), the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team was drawn into the “Group of Death” for the 2005 U-20 World Youth Championship to be played in Holland from June 10 to July 2. Under the command of head coach Sigi Schmid, the U-20’s will face Argentina, Germany and Egypt in Group D, and will play all of their games at Enschede Stadium in Enschede, Holland.

QUOTABLE: "We certainly have a big opener and my feeling is that the U.S. has always found a way to play well against good opponents. If we have a weakness it’s because maybe we relax a little bit when we play opponents that are not considered of the top echelon, but there is no one we can relax against in our group."
     --U.S. U-20 MNT Head Coach Sigi Schmid on the USA’s draw for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships in Holland.


×