U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. Prepares for Mexico on Wednesday
U.S. MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS: (2): Kevin Hartman (Los Angeles Galaxy), Jonny Walker (MetroStars); DEFENDERS: (5): Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Richie Kotschau (Colorado Rapids), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Pope (MetroStars); MIDFIELDERS (6): Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Richard Mulrooney (San Jose Earthquakes), Pat Noonan (New England Revolution), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards); FORWARDS (5): Conor Casey (Karslruhe - Germany), Landon Donovan (San Jose Earthquakes), Jovan Kirovski (Los Angeles Galaxy), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution), Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards).
ARENA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE AT USSOCCER.COM: U.S. Men’s National Team manager Bruce Arena was featured on a nationwide media teleconference ahead of Wednesday’s match vs. Mexico at the Cotton Bowl. He answered questions about the Mexico rivalry, Tim Howard being named the top goalkeeper in the EPL and many other topics. A full transcript is available online at ussoccer.com.
Conference Call Transcript Link: /articles/viewArticle.jsp_58935.html
AGOOS TO PROVIDE GUEST COMMENTARY FOR USSOCCER.COM’S MATCHTRACKER: ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics, will introduce a new feature for Wednesday night's log that will enlist the analysis and insight of experts in the game. Slated to add his commentary and opinion for the debut is San Jose Earthquakes captain and U.S. international defender Jeff Agoos. Goose, second on the all-time U.S. capwinners list with 134 appearances, is no stranger to the U.S. - Mexico rivalry, having played 11 times against the Tricolores since 1993. He played in four World Cup qualifiers against Mexico, and captained the side in their 2-0 win on Oct. 25, 2000 in Los Angeles.
HOWARD FOLLOWS FRIEDEL AS EPL GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR: U.S. international goalkeeper Tim Howard capped a remarkable year in the English Premier League when he was named to the English Premier League Team of the Year. The awards banquet, held in London tonight, honors the top 11 players as voted on by the Professional Footballer's Association. Howard is only the second American ever to receive this honor, and becomes the second American goalkeeper in a row to receive the award. Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Brad Friedel became the first American ever to be named to the Team of the Year in 2003. Howard, 24, joined world-renowned Manchester United in July of 2003 in the biggest transfer in American soccer history after five seasons with the MetroStars. He immediately gained international recognition when he became United's starting goalkeeper, displacing French World Cup champion goalkeeper Fabian Barthez. Howard has posted 11 shutouts in 29 games his inaugural season while posting a 1.00 goals against average. He has nine international appearances for the U.S. national team, collecting three shutouts.
HAMM’S GOAL, THREE ASSISTS LEAD U.S. PAST BRAZIL 5-1 IN BIRMINGHAM: The U.S. Women's National Team put together a world class performance in a decisive 5-1 win over Brazil in its first domestic game of 2004 on the road to the Athens Olympics. Forward Mia Hamm registered assists on the first three goals and added a final goal in the 87th minute as the U.S. rolled over South America's Olympic representative. Abby Wambach scored a pair of goals, the latest in her torrid scoring pace at the international level, upping her career total to 25 goals in 35 career games and 11 goals in her last 10 games. Julie Foudy notched her 44th career international goal to open the scoring. U.S. goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill earned her first career cap at the full WNT level when she replaced Scurry in the 66th minute. With five minutes to play, 23-year-old forward Christie Welsh helped the Americans tack on more for the final margin. Welsh, who last appeared for the U.S. on April 27, 2002, ran onto a ball that forward Cindy Parlow brought down out of the air and finished past substitute goalkeeper Maravilha in the 86th minute. It was Welsh's 13th goal in 22 career matches.
U.S. SOCCER MOURNS THE LOSS OF U-21 WNT DEFENDER JENNA COOPER: Jenna Cooper, a defender in the U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team Player Pool, died of injuries sustained in a shooting that occurred in her residence in Lincoln, Neb. early Sunday morning. Cooper, a junior mechanical engineering major at Nebraska, was a standout three-year starter and co-captain for the Nebraska women’s soccer team. Cooper was last in camp with the U.S. U-21s in Carson, Calif., from Jan. 23-Feb. 1. She was also called into camps in 2003 and in March of 2002 she joined the U-21 team for a WUSA preseason tournament in Chula Vista where she made three appearances. Cooper never earned an international cap for the U.S. at any level. She is survived by her parents, William and Ellen Cooper, and her older brother Billy. She was born on Sept. 28, 1982 in Louisville, Ky., where she attended high school at the Sacred Heart Academy. U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia said: “The entire U.S. Soccer family is very saddened by this tragic loss. Our sympathy goes out to family and friends of Jenna Cooper, and our thoughts and prayers are with each of them at this difficult time. To know that a life of future promise will not be fulfilled is a devastating reality and it is at times like these when soccer concerns become trivial and the importance of our relationships as family and friends take precedence.”
U.S. MEN HEADED TO FOXBOROUGH AND COLUMUBS FOR UPCOMING MATCHES: The U.S. Men's National Team will play two matches each this year in Columbus, Ohio, and Foxborough, Mass. In the first match, the U.S. heads to Gillette Stadium to meet CONCACAF foe Honduras in an international match on Wednesday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET (Telemundo/tape delayed) in their final tune up before World Cup Qualifying. The U.S. road to the 2006 FIFA World Cup will begin on Sunday, June 13, at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, where the USA will take on Grenada in the first of a two-game World Cup qualifying series that will conclude in St. George's, Grenada on June 20. The June 13 match in Columbus kicks off at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Telemundo. Should the U.S. advance past Grenada, the semifinal round home opener is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4 and would also be hosted by the three-year-old Gillette Stadium, while the semifinal round finale on Nov. 17 would be hosted at Crew Stadium. Ticketing information for each of the matches list is available online at ussoccer.com.
2004 U.S. MNT Schedule
Date Match-Up Venue Kickoff/TV
04/28/04 vs. Mexico Cotton Bowl; Dallas, Texas 7:30 p.m. CT / Telemundo/FSW/HDNet
06/02/04 vs. Honduras Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass. 7:30 p.m. ET / Telemundo (delayed; 11:30 p.m. ET/PT)
06/13/04 vs. Grenada Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio 1 p.m. ET / ESPN2 & Telemundo
06/20/04 vs. Grenada St. George's, Grenada 4 p.m. ET / ESPN2 & Telemundo
07/11/04 vs. Poland Soldier Field; Chicago 6 p.m. CT / ESPN2
08/18/04 * vs. Jamaica or Haiti TBD (away) TBD
09/04/04 * vs. El Salvador or Bermuda Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass TBD
09/08/04 * vs. Panama or St. Lucia TBD (away) TBD
10/10/04 * vs. El Salvador or Bermuda TBD (away) TBD
10/13/04 * vs. Panama or St. Lucia TBD (United States) TBD
11/17/04 * vs. Jamaica or Haiti Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio TBD
LUCKENBILL AND WELSH ADDED TO U.S. WNT RESIDENCY CAMP ROSTER: Goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill and forward Christie Welsh have been added to the full-time Olympic Residency Training Camp roster, bringing the number of players training full-time to 28. The roster for the 2004 Athens Olympic will consist of 18 players and four alternates. Luckenbill, the 2002 WUSA Goalkeeper of the Year for the Carolina Courage, earned her first cap for the Women's National Team last Saturday against Brazil in Birmingham, Ala., entering the match in the 66th minute for Briana Scurry and putting in a solid performance. The 5-foot-9 Luckenbill, a Dartmouth grad, became the 18th player to earn a cap in goal for the USA and first debutante between the posts since 2001. Welsh, the 2001 MAC and Hermann Trophy winner for Penn State, also came off the bench against Brazil in the 66th minute, and scored her 13th career goal to put the USA up 4-1, then assisted on Mia Hamm's score three minutes from time. Prior to the Brazil match, the 5-foot-10 Welsh had not played for the full National Team since April 27, 2002, but that was just a 15-minute cameo. Welsh did go with the U.S. team to the Algarve Cup in 2001, but that was with a roster of all non-WUSA players as the new league was just starting up. The last time Welsh had seen significant action with the full National Team was in 2000, when she played in 15 matches, starting five, and scored 11 goals. In addition, midfielder Stacey Tullock has withdrawn from the Residency Training Camp for personal reasons and returned home to Arizona.
U.S. WNT TO FACE JAPAN AT PAPA JOHN’S CARDINAL STADIUM IN LOUISVILLE, KY.: The U.S. Women’s National Team will play Japan on June 6 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky., in a match broadcast live on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. ET. The match, hosted locally by Game Seven Sports Marketing and the University of Louisville, will be one of six domestic exhibitions that the U.S. women will play before departing for Greece and the 2004 Athens Olympics in early August. Advance tickets for USA-Japan range in price levels from $18 to $45 and went on sale starting Wednesday, April 21 at all area Ticketmaster outlets (including Kroger’s stores), as well as the University of Louisville athletic ticket office in the Student Activities Center, which is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets can also be ordered by phone at 502-361-3100 (Louisville) or 859-281-6644 (Lexington) and online at ussoccer.com. Groups of 20 or more can order by calling 502-852-5863.
2004 U.S. WNT Schedule
Date Match-Up Venue Kickoff/TV
05/09/04 vs. Mexico University Stadium; Albuquerque, N.M. 1 p.m. MT / ESPN2
06/06/04 vs. Japan Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium; Louisville, Ky. 4 p.m. ET / ESPN2
07/21/04 vs. Australia National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn. 6 p.m. CT / ESPN2
U.S. UNDER-20s DEFEAT HAITI SELECT 1-0, FINISH THIRD CAMP OF 2004: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defeated Haiti Select 1-0 behind a Craig Capano strike in the 72nd minute on April 21 in front of 9,105 fans at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The match was one of four games that Thomas Rongen’s squad played during the seven-day training camp, as the Under-20s also competed against Jamaica twice and South Florida Select during the week in Sunrise, Fla. The U.S. defeated Jamaica in both matches, getting 1-0 win against the Reggae Boyz on April 20 as defender Brandon Owens headed home a corner kick from Christian Jimenez in the second half, and then drubbing Jamaica 4-0 two days later behind goals from Will John (two), Kamani Hill and Jimenez. On the final day of the camp, Jamie Watson scored in the third minute off a pass from Arturo Alvarez before Alvarez scored a goal of his own on a 25-yard free kick in the 38th minute for the game-winner to down South Florida Select 2-1 on April 24. The Under-20s next camp will be in late June, with the location and dates yet to be determined.
U.S. Under-20 MNT Results
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
April 20 Jamaica 1-0 W Brandon Owens
April 21 Haiti Select 1-0 W Craig Capano
April 22 Jamaica 4-0 W Will John (2), Kamani Hill, Christian Jimenez
April 24 South Florida Select 2-1 W Jamie Watson, Arturo Alvarez
U-17 ’87 MNT LEAVE GREENSBORO, N.C. WITH TWO WINS: The U.S. Under-17 ’87 Men’s National Team recorded two victories in three matches during their trip to Greensboro, N.C., this past weekend. After falling to the University of North Carolina-Greensboro on April 22, the U.S. bounced back to defeat Wake Forest 2-1 on April 23 and the Greensboro Soccer Club 3-0 on April 24. Rodrigo Hidalgo led the way against Wake Forest as he scored both goals, the first off an assist from Dax McCarty and the second off a free kick that deflected off a defender and got past the ‘keeper. A day later against the Greensboro Soccer Club, Eric Avila had a goal and an assist to give the U.S. their second win of the weekend. Gabriel Farfan and Cesar Nunez also notched goals, while Neven Subotic and McCarty registered the assists.
U.S. Under-17 ’87 MNT Results
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
April 22 UNC-Greensboro 0-2 L
April 23 Wake Forest 2-1 W Rodrigo Hidalgo (2)
April 24 Greensboro SC 3-0 W Gabriel Farfan, Cesare Nunez, Eric Avila
U-17 '88 MNT TO COMPETE IN BALLYMENA TOURNAMENT IN NORTHERN IRELAND: The Under-17 ’88 Men’s National Team left for Ballymena, Northern Ireland, on Saturday to participate in the Ballymena International Tournament from April 29-May 3. The team will train for a couple of days before their first match of the tournament on Thursday. The U.S. will face Belgium on April 29, Scotland on April 30 and Austria on May 1. Depending on their place in their group, the U.S. will play in the Placement Match on May 3. Head coach John Ellinger is bringing an 18-man roster for the tournament.
U.S. Under-17 '88 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bryant Rueckner (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Evan Newton (Virginia Beach, Va.); DEFENDERS (7): Richard Edgar (Mechanicsville, Md.), Eric Lichaj (Downers Grove, Ill.), Ofori Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Jeremy Hall (Tampa, Fla.), Alandus Brooks (Jackson, Miss.), Michael Balogun (Houston, Texas), Carlos Borja (Anaheim, Calif.); MIDFIELDERS (4): Kevin Alston (Silver Spring, Md.), Nicolas Boesagno (n/a), Michael Dal Pra (Bronxville, N.Y.), Kyle Nakazawa (Palos Verdes East, Calif.), Ryan Soroka (Langhorne, Pa.); FORWARDS (4): Quavas Kirk (Aurora, Ill.), Michael Stephens (Woodridge, Ill.), Preston Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.), Amechi Igwe (Belmont, Calif.).
U.S. Under-17 '88 MNT Schedule
April 29 Belgium
April 30 Scotland
May 1 Austria
CHINA AND JAPAN CLAIM FINAL TWO BERTHS IN OLYMPICS: Japan and China have claimed Asia's two berths at the 2004 Athens Olympics at the expense of the Koreas, with Japan soundly defeating reigning Asian champions North Korea, 3-0, while China edged South Korea, 1-0, in the semifinals of the AFC Women's Olympic Football Qualifying Tournament last Saturday. China reached its third consecutive Olympics while Japan will play in its second Olympic tournament after also participating in 1996. As winners of the last two AFC Women's Championships, North Korea had been a favorite to advance to Athens, but it was the skillful Japanese who took the initiative in front of the home crowd at Tokyo National Stadium as striker Eriko Arakawa scored after a defensive error by Yun In-sil in the 11th minute. The North Koreans suffered another blow in injury time at the end of the first half as Jang Ok-gyong inadvertently turned Arakawa's cross into her own goal. Mio Otani sealed Japan's advancement by striking her country's third goal in the 64th minute. Japan will face China Monday in the final of the tournament at the Hiroshima Big Arch Stadium. In Group B play, China had outscored four opponents 24-0, routing Myanmar and Guam, while beating South Korea, 3-0. Japan handily beat Thailand and Vietnam in Group C. North Korea had routed Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore to win Group A. The Olympic Final Draw will be held on June 9 while the tournament itself will be played Aug. 11-26 in five Greek cities.
2004 Olympic Women's Soccer Tournament Participants:
Africa: Nigeria; Asia: China, Japan; CONCACAF: United States, Mexico; Europe: Germany, Sweden, Greece, Oceania: Australia; South America: Brazil
U.S. FUTSAL TO FACE HONDURAS ON MAY 18 & 20 IN MILWAUKEE, WIS.: The U.S. Futsal National Team will face Honduras on May 18 and 20 at U.S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, Wis., in a two-game Preliminary Round series. Both games kick off at 7 p.m. CT. The winner of the total goal series will advance to the eight-team CONCACAF Final Qualifying Tournament to be played in Costa Rica during the last two weeks of July which will determine the region's two participants in the FIFA Futsal World Championship being played in Chinese Taipei from Nov. 22 to Dec. 12. In the other two match-ups between Northern Zone and UNCAF representatives in the Preliminary Round, Panama will face Canada, and Mexico will square off against El Salvador. In Costa Rica at the CONCACAF Final Qualifying Tournament, the three winners will join host Costa Rica, Cuba and three more qualifiers yet to be determined from the Caribbean Zone. The eight final teams will battle for the top two spots to qualify for the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship.
BLAST TAKE AN EARLY 2-0 LEAD IN MISL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: The defending MISL champion Baltimore Blast took a 2-0 series lead in the MISL Championship Series over the Milwaukee Wave last weekend with 12-3 and 8-4 wins on April 23 and 24, respectively, on the road at U.S. Celluar Arena. The Blast can clinch the title in the five-game series this weekend at home on either May 1 or May 2 at Baltimore's 1st Mariner Arena. This was the first time in history that the Wave fell in back-to-back playoff games, and the 12-3 scoreline on Friday marked the worst ever playoff defeat for the Wave. In Game One, Blast forward Chile Farias scored three goals, including the game-winner during a nine-goal outburst in the second half to snap the Wave's eight-game home winning streak. Farias also tallied the winner in Game Two as one of seven different Blast players to find the back of the net in the contest.Game Three of the series will be played Saturday, May 1, 7:35 p.m. ET, and Game Four, if necessary, would be played Sunday, May 2, 6:05 p.m. ET. Should the Wave come back to draw the series even, Game Five would be played back in Milwaukee on May 8.
NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME TO INTRODUCE CLASS OF 2004 ON MAY 5: The National Soccer Hall of Fame will host a historic press conference to announce the 2004 Hall of Fame inductees at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. on Wednesday, May 5 at 12:30 p.m. PT. Will Lunn, President/CEO of the Hall of Fame, will be among the soccer dignitaries present for the announcement. The 2004 inductees will be present at the announcement as well. The Hall of Fame will present the 2004 inductees with Hall of Fame jerseys custom designed for the event. The 2004 elections are historic because, it is anticipated that it will represent the first election to the Hall of Fame of an MLS player. Among the 38 eligible candidates for election are Michelle Akers, who was a member of the 1991, 1995 and 1999 Women’s World Cup teams for the U.S. and is second all-time only to Mia Hamm with 105 international goals. On the men’s side, the candidates are headlined by Eric Wynalda, who tallied a record 34 international goals for the U.S. and scored the first goal in MLS history.
USL’S PSL OPEN CUP QUALIFYING UNDERWAY; A-LEAGUE, PDL BEGIN THIS WEEK: Six qualifying games for the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup have already been played by Pro Soccer League teams, and the A-League and Premier Development League will begin their qualifying schedules later this week. The Cape Cod Crusaders (PDL), the Wilmington Hammerheads (PSL) and Charleston Battery (A-League) have all qualified automatically by virtue of winning their respective league in 2003. Qualifying for the U.S. Open Cup will run through May 23, after which the first round pairings will be announced by U.S. Soccer. A complete breakdown is available at ussoccer.com the U.S. Open Cup competitions section.
U.S. Open Cup Qualifiers Results– 4/16/04 to 4/25/04
Date Level Teams
Apr. 16 PSL Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0, Charlotte Eagles 3
Apr. 16 PSL Utah Blitzz 0, California Gold 0
Apr. 17 PSL Harrisburg City Islanders 5, N. Va. Royals 2
Apr. 24 PSL Westchester Flames 1, LI Rough Riders 1
Apr. 24 PSL N. Va. Royals 0, Pittsburgh Riverhounds 5
Apr. 24 PSL Charlotte Eagles 2, Wilmington Hammerheads 3
Apr. 24 PSL California Gold 0, San Diego Gauchos 2
U.S. Open Cup Qualifiers Schedule – 4/26/04 to 5/2/04
Date Level Teams
Apr. 30 PSL Utah Blitzz @ San Diego Gauchos
Apr. 30 PSL Harrisburg City Islanders @ Charlotte Eagles
Apr. 30 PDL Central Florida Kraze @ Cocoa Expos
Apr. 30 PDL Southern California Seahorses @ Nevada Wonders
Apr. 30 A-League Virginia Beach Mariners @ Richmond Kickers
May 1 PSL Western Mass Pioneers @ Long Island Rough Riders
May 1 PSL New Hampshire Phantoms @ Westchester Flames
May 1 PDL Sioux Falls Spitfire @ Kansas City Brass
May 1 PDL Reading Rage @ Brooklyn Knights
May 1 A-League Richmond Kickers @ Virginia Beach Mariners
May 1 A-League Portland Timbers @ Seattle Sounders
May 2 PDL Sioux Falls Spitfire @ St. Louis Strikers
PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. Women’s National Team forward Abby Wambach keeps rolling right along with a torrid scoring pace at the international level, upping her career total to 25 goals in 35 career games and 11 goals in her last 10 games as she scored twice vs. Brazil on Saturday. With Mia Hamm providing the service both times, Wambach headed home the gamewinner for the U.S. from a tight angle before scoring the third U.S. goal with a classy finish around a drawn out keeper.
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: The U.S. Men will be facing rival Mexico in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas (7:30 p.m. CT on Telemundo, FoxSports World, HDNet, MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics). The USA has dominated the series of late, winning five of the last seven meetings, with all of the victories coming by shutout. Either Jonny Walker or Kevin Hartman will be looking to shut out Mexico in his first appearance vs. Mexico. Arnold Mausser, Kasey Keller and Tim Howard have each shut out Mexico in their first appearance vs. the southern neighbors.
SOCCER SHOCKER: Last year it took the Dallas Burn until May 31 and the Los Angeles Galaxy until June 7 to get their first wins, respectively. Fast forward to 2004, and with May right around the corner, the two sides are undefeated, with Los Angeles atop the league table and Dallas tied with the MetroStars for second.
QUOTABLE: "You know, I was so not nervous that I started getting nervous about why I wasn't more nervous."
- U.S. goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill, a Dartmouth graduate, when asked if she was nervous before entering the Brazil game for her first cap last Saturday.