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U.S. Soccer Wire - Feb. 4, 2008


BRADLEY SELECTS 22 TO FACE MEXICO ON FEB. 6 IN HOUSTON;
MNT TO OPEN 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER

REGIONAL RIVALS SET TO FACE OFF IN HOUSTON: U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named the 22 players that traveled to Houston to prepare for the upcoming showdown with Mexico at Reliant Stadium in Houston. The match will be part of a two-and-half-hour broadcast window on both ESPN2 and Univision beginning at 8 p.m. CT. Fans will also be able to listen to the match on 75 affiliates of the Fútbol de Primera Radio Network, and can follow live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. More than 56,000 tickets have been sold for the second-ever meeting between the teams at Reliant Stadium. On May 8, 2003, nearly 70,000 fans packed the house to witness a fiercely contested 0-0 draw. The U.S. is currently riding an 8-0-1 unbeaten run on home soil against Mexico. Seven players on the U.S. roster were on the field when the teams last met in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup final. In front of more than 60,000 fans in Chicago, goals by Landon Donovan and Benny Feilhaber lifted the U.S. to a 2-1 victory and their second consecutive Gold Cup title.

ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton FC)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Ramiro Corrales (SK Brann), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Eddie Robinson (Houston Dynamo)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Eddie Lewis (Derby County)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (New York Red Bulls), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Pat Noonan (Aalesund FK)

MNT TO PLAY AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER ON JUNE 15: The United States Men’s National Team will begin the qualifying road to its sixth-consecutive FIFA World Cup when they host the first leg of the second round on June 15 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff for the USA’s first match of the 2010 qualifying campaign is set for 2 p.m. PT, with broadcast details still to be finalized. The U.S. will face the winner of the first round series between Barbados and Dominica, who will meet on Feb. 6 in Dominica and March 26 in Barbados. The June 15 match represents the USA’s first World Cup qualifier played in Carson. The U.S. boasts an unbeaten 5-0-1 record at The HDC, including two victories during the group stage of its 2007 Gold Cup championship-winning run last year.

MEN'S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING INDIVIDUAL TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Individual game tickets for the 2008 Men’s Olympic Qualifying tournament are now on sale. The eight-team event, will be played as eight doubleheaders from March 11-23, 2008, and will send two finalists to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Group A, which includes the United States, Honduras, Cuba and Panama, will play at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on March 11, 13 and 15. Group B features Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico facing off on March 12, 14 and 16 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. LP Field in Nashville will host the semifinals on Thursday, March 20, and the championship match and third-place game on Sunday, March 23. Tickets priced from $18 to $65 for each of the eight doubleheaders in the tournament go on sale beginning Wednesday (January 30) at 12 p.m. local time in each venue through ussoccer.com, by phone at 813-287-8844 (Tampa), 213-480-3232 (Los Angeles) or 615-255-9600 o round doubleheaders are scheduled), teams competing at those sites will have seats at every price level set aside for their fans, allowing supporters of the same country to sit together. Fans must order online to choose from this allotment. In Nashville, where the participating teams won’t be known until several days before the semifinal round, seating until the end of the first round will be allocated (based on the local population) for U.S.A., Mexico, and mixed/neutral fan sections at each price level.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. UNDER-17 WNT TOPS GERMANY, WINS FUTURE STARS TOURNAMENT: Midfielder Kristin Mewis scored a dramatic 81st minute game-winner to give the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team a 3-2 victory over Germany and the championship of the Future Stars tournament in Auckland, New Zealand. The USA went into halftime down a goal, but quickly tied it up after the re-start, getting a goal from Tani Costa two minutes into the second half. Midfielder Olivia Klei sent a cross in from the left wing which Costa collected the ball with her back to the goal. She spun around a Germany defender and struck her shot into the near post from six yards out. The Germans tied the game in the 76th minute on a blast from outside by Valeria Kleiner and were fancying another. Five minutes later, though, Mewis bagged the winner on a direct free kick from just outside the penalty area right of the penalty arc, curving the ball around the wall and into the left corner for the victory. The USA won its first two games of the tournament by 6-0 and 5-0 scores over Australia and New Zealand, respectively.

Under-17 Women’s Future Stars Tournament Standings
Team       W       L       T       Pts      GF     GA       GD
USA          3        0       0         9         14      2        +12
GER          2        1       0         6        12       4        +8
AUS          1        2       0         3          2       11       -9
NZL          0        3       0         0          0       11       -11

U.S. UNDER-23 WOMEN HEAD TO SPAIN FOR THREE MATCHES: The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team will get three excellent matches on a trip to La Manga, Spain, from February 8-16, as head coach Bill Irwin’s squad squares off against U-23 sides from England (Feb. 11), Norway (Feb. 13) and Germany (Feb. 16). Spain and Portugal are regular training sites for northern European teams looking to escape the cold in the early part of the year, and this four-team competition will give the USA three games against several of the top women’s youth teams in the world at the U-23 level. Irwin, who is coaching the team in its first year as a U-23 program after moving from U-21s, will bring 18 players to Spain, including eight who have represented the United States at FIFA youth world championship. With numerous young players getting looks with head coach Pia Sundhage’s full Women’s National Team, Irwin will get the opportunity to see several more of the top college-aged players in the country against top competition from Europe. These will be the first international matches of the year for the U.S. U-23s. In a rare occurrence in international women’s soccer, both the U.S. U-20s and U-23s will be facing England on Feb. 11 and Norway on Feb. 13, the U-20s in La Serena, Chile, and the U-23s in La Manga, Spain.

U.S. U-23 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kelsey Davis (Portland), Val Henderson (UCLA);
DEFENDERS (6): Ameera Abdullah (Florida), Marissa Abegg (Stanford), Rachel Buehler (Stanford), Carrie Dew (Notre Dame), Nikki Krzysik (Virginia), Kasey Moore (Texas);
MIDFIELDERS (6): Yael Averbush (North Carolina), Elizabeth Eng (Connecticut), Brittany Klein (Santa Clara), Ashley Nick (USC), Lindsey Ozimek (UNC-Charlotte), Meghan Schnur (Connecticut);
FORWARDS (4): Kiki Bosio (Santa Clara), Kerri Hanks (Notre Dame), Ashlee Pistorius (Texas A&M), Michele Weissenhofer (Notre Dame).

U.S. U-23 WNT Schedule
Date         Match-Up                                         Venue
Feb. 11   USA U-23 vs. England U-23         La Manga, Spain
Feb. 13   USA U-23 vs. Norway U-23          La Manga, Spain
Feb. 16   USA U-23 vs. Germany U-23       La Manga, Spain

U-20 MNT FINISHES COPA CHIVAS WITH A WIN: The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team finished their campaign in group play at the Copa Chivas in Guadalajara, Mexico with a 2-0 win over Santos. After a scoreless first half, two late goals from Ahkeel Rodney and Felix Garcia lifted the U.S. to their first win of the tournament, while Zac MacMath picked up the shutout in goal. The U.S. finished with a 1-1-3 record at Copa Chivas, earning draws against America, Tecos and Estudiantes de la Plata, and falling to Locomotiv Moscow.

U.S. Under-20 MNT Copa Chivas Results
Date            Opponent                         Result      U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
Jan. 26       America                              2-2 T       Felix Garcia, Alex Nimo
Jan. 27      Tecos                                    1-1 T      Felix Garcia
Jan. 28      Locomotiv Moscow            0-1 L        --
Jan. 29      Estudiantes de la Plata    1-1 T        Alex Nimo
Jan. 30      Santos                                 2-0 W      Ahkeel Rodney, Felix Garcia

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (FC Dallas), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (7): Gale Agbossoumonde (Syracuse, N.Y.), Franklin Blaise (Miami, Fla.), Paolo DelPiccolo (Lakewood, Colo.), Nicholas Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Matthew Uy (Fairfield University), Zarek Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Sheanon Williams (University of North Carolina)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Jose Altamirano (San Diego, Calif.), Steven Birnbaum (Irvine, Calif.), Andrew Lubahn (Erie, Pa.), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Pablo Punyed (Miami, Fla.),
FORWARDS (6): Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Felix Garcia (Laredo, Texas), Christian Gonzales (Miami, Fla.), Alex Nimo (Real Salt Lake), Ahkeel Rodney (Elmont, N.Y.), Hasani Sinclair (Coral Springs, Fla.)


U.S. UNDER-20 WOMEN WILL TRAVEL TO CHILE FOR THREE MATCHES: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team, led by new head coach Tony DiCicco, will travel to La Serena, Chile, from Feb. 7-17, as part of continuing preparations for CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, to be held in Chile from Nov. 20-Dec. 7. The USA will play three matches against other U-20 teams, taking on England on Feb. 11, Norway on Feb. 13 and host Chile on Feb. 15. The tour will provide some valuable acclimatization for the U-20s and give DiCicco his first look at the player pool under international game conditions. All three opponents have already qualified for the U-20 Women’s World Cup, meaning the Americans will get three excellent matches as a preview to possible matches in the WWC. Dates and venues for CONCACAF qualifying have yet to be set, but the eight-team tournament, which will send three teams to Chile, will feature Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua and the USA. DiCicco will bring 18 players to Chile, including two who represented the USA at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia, in forwards Kelley O’Hara and Casey Nogueira. Of the 18 players, 16 are in college with the two high school-age players being 2007 Gatorade National Player of the Year Melissa Henderson and 2007 Parade Girl’s Soccer Player of the Year Teresa Noyola, both seniors. The 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will feature 16 teams. Eight countries have already qualified:

FIFA 2008 Under-20 Women's World Cup Qualifiers
Asia: China, Japan, North Korea
Africa: Two berths TBD
Europe: England, France, Germany, Norway
CONCACAF: Three berths TBD
Oceania: One berth TBD
South America: Two berths TBD
Host: Chile

U.S. U-20 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Alyssa Naeher (Penn State), Kristin Olsen (USC);
DEFENDERS (4): Lauren Barnes (UCLA), Lauren Fowlkes (Notre Dame), Nikki Marshall (Colorado), Ella Stephan (Florida State);
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kasey Johnson (USC), Teresa Noyola (MVLA Mercury), Elli Reed (Portland), Rachel Shipley (Texas A&M), Nikki Washington (UNC), Ingrid Wells (Georgetown), Keelin Winters (Portland);
FORWARDS (5): Ashlee Elliott (Florida), Michelle Enyeart (Portland), Melissa Henderson (Dallas Texans), Casey Nogueira (UNC), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford).

U.S. U-20 WNT Schedule
Date       Match-Up                                           Venue                 
Feb. 11  USA U-20 vs. England U-20          La Serena, Chile
Feb. 13  USA U-20 vs. Norway U-20           La Serena, Chile
Feb. 15  USA U-20 vs. Chile U-20               La Serena, Chile

SCHEDULE SET FOR MEN’S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING: The U.S. has will kick off Group A of the 2008 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualification against Cuba on Tuesday, March 11 at 8 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The U.S., which plays in the late game in each of the three doubleheaders, will then face Panama on Thursday, March 13 at 8 p.m. ET and finish the round-robin phase of the tournament against Guatemala on Saturday, March 15 at 7 p.m. ET. Group B, which will begin on March 12, features Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico, and will be played at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. After group play, the top two teams will advance to the semifinals which will be played on March 20 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. LP Field will also be the location for the third-place game and championship match on Sunday, March 23. The two semifinal winners qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

U.S. U-23 MNT CONCACAF Championship Schedule
Date            Opponent           Location                                                                Kickoff (local)
March 11   Cuba                   Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.          8 p.m. ET
March 13   Panama              Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.         8 p.m. ET
March 15   Honduras           Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.          7 p.m. ET
March 20   Semifinals*        LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.                                  5 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. CT
March 23   Third Place*        LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.                                  1 p.m. CT
March 23   Championship* LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.                                  4 p.m. CT
* If necessary

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: Applications for the 2008-09 season of U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy are being accepted from now until March 1, 2008. Clubs will be admitted on a rolling basis until April 1, at which point all clubs will be notified of their status. Academy clubs follow the model used at the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program, with a focus on training and player development. Teams are required to train three times per week and rest one day per week during the eight-month season, during which they will play 30 regular-season Academy games. Applications are available at ussoccer.com.

U.S. SOCCER SPRING COACHING SCHOOL SET: U.S. Soccer's National Coaching School Spring dates have been set for March 29-April 6. The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. will host an “A” Audit and “B” License course. Be sure register soon as space is limited. More information is available in the Coaches Section of ussoccer.com.

TWO COACHING SYMPOSIUMS SET FOR FEBRUARY: Two coaching symposiums are set for the Midwest this month. The KNVB are hosting a symposium in Faribault, MN and a Region II Coaching Symposium is scheduled for Bowling Green, OH. More information is available at http://www.ussoccer.com/coaches/continuing/sympSchedule/index.jsp.html.



*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. Under-17 WNT midfielder Kristen Mewis scored in the 81st minute against Germany to give the U.S. a 3-2 victory and the championship of the Future Stars Tournament in New Zealand. The free-kick goal from just outside the penalty area was Mewis’ fifth goal of the three-game tournament.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: Continuing the region’s most heated rivalry, the U.S. Men’s National Team will take on Mexico on Wednesday night, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. CT (9 p.m. ET). The match will be part of a two-and-half-hour broadcast window on both ESPN2 and Univision. Fans will also be able to listen to the match on 75 affiliates of the Fútbol de Primera Radio Network, and can follow live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The U.S. has dominated the series of late, collecting an 8-0-1 home record against Mexico since 2000. During that span, the USA has netted 15 goals, while the Mexicans scored only a single goal on American soil in this decade.

QUOTABLE: “We are very much looking forward to beginning the process of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. We have been preparing for more than a year, and selecting a venue for the match really gives us a target for everyone to focus on for the next few months.”
--Bob Bradley, on The Home Depot Center being selected to host the first leg of a home and away World Cup Qualifying series against either Barbados or Dominica

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