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U.S. Soccer Wire - March 19, 2007


U.S. MEN GET TRAINING CAMP UNDERWAY IN BRADENTON, FLA. TO PREPARE FOR FRIENDLIES VS. ECUADOR IN TAMPA AND GUATEMALA IN FRISCO;
U.S. WNT WINS ALGARVE CUP, REGAINS TOP FIFA RANKING

U.S. MNT TRAINING CAMP GETS UNDERWAY IN BRADENTON, FLA.: The members of U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley's 24-player roster began arriving in Bradenton, Fla., on Sunday, March 18 to prepare for the team’s upcoming friendlies against 2006 World Cup finalists Ecuador and regional rivals Guatemala. With the matches falling on consecutive international fixture dates, Bradley was able to call upon a full complement of players based both domestically and abroad. The roster features 11 players from the 2006 FIFA World Cup squad, including five players – DaMarcus Beasley, Steve Cherundolo, Landon Donovan, Kasey Keller and Oguchi Onyewu – who appeared in all three matches. There are also plenty of fresh faces getting a look with three players – Jay DeMerit, Benny Feilhaber and Frank Simek – looking for their first-ever cap with the full team. On the domestic front, Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching makes his first appearance in camp with the national team since the World Cup. The U.S. will train for the Ecuador match at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., home of the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program. A total of seven players on the roster – Beasley, Michael Bradley, Donovan, Eddie Johnson, Onyewu, Heath Pearce and Jonathan Spector – are alumni of the U-17 program. The U.S. visits Raymond James Stadium for the first time when they face Ecuador on March 25 at 12 p.m. ET. The U.S. then returns to Pizza Hut Park for the second consecutive year to face Guatemala when they meet in Frisco, Texas, on March 28 at 8 p.m. CT. Both matches will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision, and will be available to fans online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets for both matches are available at ussoccer.com.

RICARDO CLARK, CHRIS ROLFE OUT; WADE BARRETT, BRIAN MULLAN IN FOR U.S. MNT CAMP: The U.S. Men's National Team training camp got underway on Monday when 16 players took the field at the IMG Academies, while players continue to descend upon Bradenton. Kasey Keller and Oguchi Onyewu make the jump across the Atlantic on Monday, while the K.C. Wizards duo of Jimmy Conrad and Eddie Johnson fly north from their pre-season trip to Argentina. Benny Feilhaber completes his travel after getting swallowed up in the East Coast travel nightmare this weekend, Landon Donovan heads east and Heath Pearce heads west to leave the camp nearly complete. Everton FC goalkeeper Tim Howard, fresh off a 1-0 shutout win against Arsenal, arrives Tuesday. Meantime, injuries over the last few days have forced two changes to the 24-man roster. Ricardo Clark suffered a sprain in the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) in his right knee during the Dynamo's 2-0 win against Pachuca in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, and will be sidelined up to four weeks. Fire striker Chris Rolfe has also incurred a sprained knee and has been ruled out for the upcoming matches. U.S. head coach Bob Bradley has added a pair of Houston players as reinforcements, summoning Wade Barrett and Brian Mullan. The team will train in Bradenton throughout the work week, heading to Tampa on Friday afternoon.
Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3) – Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton FC), Kasey Keller (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
DEFENDERS (9) – Wade Barrett (Houston Dynamo), Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Jay Demerit (Watford FC), Oguchi Onyewu (Newcastle United), Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjælland), Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS (7) – DaMarcus Beasley (Manchester City), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Brian Carroll (D.C. United), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Benny Feilhaber (Hamburger SV), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Brian Mullan (Houston Dynamo)
FORWARDS (5) – Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)

USA TAKES BACK TOP SPOT IN FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD RANKINGS: The U.S. Women’s National Team has moved into the top position in the latest FIFA Women's World Rankings that were released Friday (March 16), bringing an end to the three-and-a-half year reign of FIFA Women’s World Cup holders and current European champions Germany. The USA has gone unbeaten in regulation time in 39 consecutive matches dating back to the end of 2004. Last week the USA won the prestigious Algarve Cup, while Germany finished eighth in the tournament. The USA also won the Four Nations Tournament in China last January, defeating the hosts, 2-0, for the title. The Germans dropped to number two in the world, Norway, Sweden and North Korea held strong at positions three, four and five, while Denmark moved up two spots to sixth. France was seventh, Brazil dropped two spots to eighth, Japan moved up two places to ninth while the USA’s CONCACAF neighbor Canada held strong at No. 10. The rankings now include a record 142 teams, the most since its introduction in July 2003, when the USA debuted at number one. After losing to Germany in the semifinal of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Americans had lost that ranking, until regaining it on Friday. Since the end of the 2003 Women’s World Cup, the USA has gone 60-2-12.

U.S. WOMEN WIN FIFTH ALGARVE CUP TITLE: The U.S. Women’s National Team got an early goal from captain Kristine Lilly and a second-half blast from midfielder Carli Lloyd on the way to a dominating 2-0 victory vs. Denmark to win the 2007 Algarve Cup. The tournament marked a breakout performance for Lloyd, who came into the competition having scored just once in her previous 24 international appearances. Lloyd is the third U.S. player to score in all four Algarve Cup games, joining Shannon MacMillan (2002) and Christie Welsh (2005), and walked away with the tournament’s Top Scorer and MVP awards. Lloyd becomes the third U.S. player to win the MVP award at the Algarve Cup, joining Shannon Boxx (twice) and Tiffeny Milbrett. It was the USA’s fifth Algarve Cup title in 12 appearances at the tournament. The USA also won the Algarve Cup in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005, before falling in penalty kicks to Germany last year. The USA’s first goal came courtesy of a perfect through ball from Abby Wambach that Lilly deftly lifted over the Danish ‘keeper from 24 yards out for the 119th goal of her brilliant career and second of the Algarve Cup. The U.S. team now returns home and has two weeks off before re-grouping on April 2 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., to begin a four-month Residency Training Camp leading into the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The team will then play friendlies on April 14 vs. Mexico in Boston (tickets) and on May 12 vs. Canada (tickets) in Dallas before a six-game summer Send-Off series.
2007 Algarve Cup – U.S. WNT Results
Date           Opponent    Result      Scorers
March 7     China            2-1 W       Lilly, Lloyd
March 9     Finland         1-0 W       Lloyd
March 12   Sweden        3-2 W      Wambach (2), Lloyd
March 14   Denmark      2-0 W      Lilly, Lloyd

ANNUAL FAN SURVEY UNDERWAY AT USSOCCER.COM: In a continuing effort to improve ussoccer.com, U.S. Soccer is asking fans to take part in an online survey. The survey consists of questions to determine your satisfaction with ussoccer.com’s components and features, while also providing you with the opportunity to give direct feedback about the site. The information compiled from the survey will allow U.S. Soccer to make improvements to the site and deliver an enhanced experience for fans on ussoccer.com. Similar to past years, the survey can be accessed from ussoccer.com and will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Fans over the age of 18 who complete the survey will be eligible to enter into a random drawing to win a prize pack from U.S. Soccer, containing an assortment of national team gear. Participants under the age of 18 are still encouraged to complete the survey.

DOUBLETREE HOTELS BECOMES OFFICIAL USSF SPONSOR: Doubletree Hotels, a member of the Hilton Family of Hotels, proudly announced that they have become an official sponsor of the United States Soccer Federation. As part of this new relationship with U.S. Soccer, the national governing body of the sport of soccer in the United States, Doubletree will sponsor the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team and the U.S. Youth National Soccer Teams. The agreement extends through the 2007 Women’s World Cup and the 2007 Pan American Games with an option to extend the term for additional years – which could support U.S. Soccer’s participation in the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing, China. As part of its U.S. Soccer sponsorship, Doubletree Hotels will offer its “Team USA Advantage” program to U.S. Soccer members and its fans as well. This unique travel program provides discounted room rates and direct support to help teams offset their current and future travel expenses. Doubletree is exploring several opportunities to further promote its new soccer relationship and will introduce a variety of promotions and special offers in upcoming months.

– WOMEN’S SOCCER UPDATE –

U.S. WOMEN TO OPEN SIX-GAME SEND-OFF SERIES IN CLEVELAND AND NEW YORK: The U.S. Women’s National Team will face China in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 16 and Brazil in East Rutherford, N.J., on June 23 in the first matches of a six-game 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Send-Off Series this summer. Both opponents rank in the Top 10 of the FIFA World Rankings, and will provide U.S. head coach Greg Ryan with excellent tests to start the summer as the U.S. continues its preparation for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held September 10-30 in China. The China match will kick off at 7 p.m. ET on June 16 at Cleveland Browns Stadium and will be broadcast live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS streamed video. The Brazil match will kick off at 5 p.m. ET live on ESPN2. Additional dates for the Send-Off Series include July 14, July 28, Aug. 12 and Aug. 25, with the four venues and opponents scheduled to be announced at a later date. Fans can follow all the U.S. WNT matches online with ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets for the China game are on sale now at ussoccer.com, at all Cleveland area Ticketmaster outlets (including Kroger, Giant Eagle, and Macy’s), at the Cleveland Browns Stadium box office (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and by phone at 216-241-5555. VISA is the preferred payment card of U.S. Soccer. Tickets for USA vs. Brazil are on sale now at ussoccer.com, at all area Ticketmaster outlets (including Ritmo Latino, Coconuts Music & Movies, and fye), at the Continental Airlines Arena Box Office (Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and by phone at 201-507-8900 or 609-520-8383. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets to either game by calling (312) 528-1290 or visiting ussoccer.com.
2007 U.S. Women’s National Team Schedule
Date          Opponent    Location                                                                        Kickoff / TV
April 14     Mexico         Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)                     5 p.m. ET / ussoccer.com MatchACCESS
May 12      Canada       Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas)                                  7:30 p.m. ET / FSC (live) / Fox Sports en Espanol (delay)
June 16    China           Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio)     7 p.m. ET / ussoccer.com MatchACCESS
June 23    Brazil            Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)                 5 p.m. ET / ESPN2
July 14      TBA               TBA                                                                               TBA
July 28      TBA               TBA                                                                               TBA
Aug. 12     TBA               TBA                                                                               TBA
Aug. 25     TBA               TBA                                                                               TBA

KEY DATES FOR U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM: Following the USA’s Algarve Cup Championship, the U.S. returns to start a four-month long residency training camp at the National Training Center in Carson, Calif., on April 2. The U.S. will open its domestic schedule vs. Mexico (tickets) on April 14 in Foxborough, Mass., in a double header with the New England Revolution. The 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup draw is taking place on April 22 in Wuhan, China, at which time the USA will find out its first-round schedule and venues for the fifth FIFA Women’s World Cup. The schedule continues vs. Canada (tickets) on May 12 in Frisco, Texas, in a match that will feature the USA wearing pink uniforms to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness, before kicking off the six-game Send-Off Series on June 16 in Cleveland. The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2007 China will be played from Sept. 10 to 20 in five venues across China.
Key U.S. Women’s National Team Dates
Date - Event
April 14 - Friendly vs. Mexico in Foxborough, Mass.
April 22 - FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007 Draw in Wuhon, China
May 12 - Friendly vs. Canada in Frisco, Texas / Special pink Breast Cancer Awareness jersey
June 16 - Send-Off Series Match vs. China in Cleveland
June 23 - Send-Off Series Match vs. Brazil in New Jersey
July 14 - Send-Off Series Match
July 28 - Send-Off Series Match
Aug. 12 - Send-Off Series Match
Aug. 25 - Send-Off Series Match
Sept. 10-30 - FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007

JAPAN CLAIMS 15th BERTH TO 2007 FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD CUP: Japan will be going to the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup after winning its two-game playoff series against Mexico by a 3-2 aggregate score. Japan won the first leg in Tokyo on March 10 by 2-0 margin, and even though the Nadeshiko lost, 2-1, in Toluca on March 17, the Japanese will be going to their fifth consecutive Women's World Cup. Playing with the two-goal cushion earned at home, Japan got its work done early in Mexico, scoring in just the 11th minute through Eriko Arakawa. Mexico pulled a goal back six minutes later on a penalty kick from Fatima Leyva, and star forward Maribel Dominguez scored in the 28th, but Mexico could not find another goal. Mexico also lost to Japan in a playoff series for a spot in the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup. Only the representative from Oceania Football Confederation is still to be decided.
2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Berths By Confederation
Host:
China
Asia: Australia, North Korea, Japan
Africa: Nigeria, Ghana
CONCACAF: USA, Canada
Europe: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, England
Oceania: 1 Berth (The OFC Oceania Women's Championship will run from April 9-13, 2007 in Papua New Guinea)
South America: Argentina, Brazil

– MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS TO PROVIDE COVERAGE OF U-17 MNT MATCH, MNT FRIENDLY VS. ECUADOR: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will take on El Salvador’s U-17s in the opening match of a doubleheader with the U.S. Men’s National Team on March 25 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The Under-17 match will kick off at 9:15 a.m. ET (gates open at 9 a.m. ET), followed by the U.S. MNT against Ecuador at 12 p.m. ET. Tickets are available online at ussoccer.com and provide entry for both matches, but re-entry into the stadium is not permitted. VISA is the preferred payment card of U.S. Soccer. Following the successful debut of MatchACCESS coverage on ussoccer.com in February at the U.S.-Mexico match, the popular website will broadcast the entire U-17 match live from Raymond James Stadium. Fans can log on to ussoccer.com at 9 a.m. ET to watch live streaming coverage of the match. MatchACCESS will also include post-match coverage of U.S.-Ecuador, which fans can follow live on ESPN2, Galavision and ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Coverage on ussoccer.com will include exclusive interviews after the match and the post-game press conference with head coach Bob Bradley, beginning at approximately 2 p.m. ET.

MNT TO FACE GUATEMALA, T&T AND EL SALVADOR IN GROUP B OF GOLD CUP: The U.S. Men’s National Team was drawn into Group B for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup with Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago and El Salvador and will play first round matches in Los Angeles and Boston. The U.S. will begin the defense of its 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup title on June 7 vs. Guatemala at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, and will also play their second group match there on Saturday, June 9, vs. Trinidad & Tobago at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT. The group stage will end for the U.S. on June 12 vs. El Salvador at 7 p.m. ET after a cross country trip to Foxborough, Mass. All three U.S. group matches will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Telefutura. If the U.S. finishes first or second in Group B, it will play a quarterfinal match at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on June 16, but a third place finish would mean a trip to the other quarterfinal site, Reliant Stadium in Houston, on June 17. The semifinals are on June 21 at Chicago’s Soldier Field, and the final will be played at the same location on Sunday, June 24. All matches except the final will be played as doubleheaders. If both the U.S. and Mexico finish in the top two in their respective groups, the earliest the rivals could face-off is the final.

U.S. MEN TO FACE CHINA ON JUNE 2 AT SPARTAN STADIUM IN SAN JOSE, CALIF.: The U.S. Men’s National Team will return to the Bay Area on June 2, 2007, to take on China at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif., at 5 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision, and will be available to fans online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. One year after topping Japan, 3-2, in San Francisco, the U.S. will play in Spartan Stadium for the first time in four years in the team’s final friendly before the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2007 Copa America. Tickets starting at $22 are now on sale at ussoccer.com, all San Jose area Ticketmaster outlets (including Ritmo Latino and FYE) and by phone at 408-998-8497. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtaining a group order form at ussoccer.com. VISA is the preferred payment card of U.S. Soccer.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. UNDER-21 WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM SWEEPS ENGLAND TOUR: The U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team won its third game on its week-long trip to Manchester, England, defeating the Leeds Ladies, 5-0, on March 15. Leeds played with several England National Team players after the USA's first two opponents were missing their internationals due to duty with England. The USA was coming off victories over Blackburn (2-0) and Everton (6-2) and Leeds proved no more difficult as the USA scored three times in the first half and twice in the second. USC's Amy Rodriguez opened the scoring just three minutes into the game (after notching a hat trick vs. Everton) and Notre Dame's Amanda Cinalli scored twice more before halftime. Two more Notre Dame forwards tallied in the second half as Michele Weissenhofer scored in the 68th minute and Kerri Hanks added a goal in the 80th. U.S. head coach Bill Irwin played 16 of his 18-player roster in the match. Portland's Kelsey Davis and UCLA's Val Henderson, both members of the U.S. team at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship, split time in goal.
U-21 WNT Results
Date           Opponent   Result    Scorers
March 13   Blackburn   2-0 W     Tina DiMartino, Kylee Rossi
March 14   Everton        6-2 W     Amy Rodriguez (3), Ella Masar, Amanda Cinalli, Rossi
March 15   Leeds         5-0 W      Rodriguez, Amanda Cinalli (2), Michele Weissenhofer, Kerri Hanks

U-20 MNT’S FIRST CAMP FOLLOWING WORLD CUP QUALIFYING TO TAKE PLACE IN DALLAS: The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team will conduct its first camp since winning Group A of the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament in Panama this past January when it trains in Frisco, Texas, from March 22-29. U-20 head coach Thomas Rongen has invited 16 players in for the camp. Nine players play in Major League Soccer, two play professionally in Europe and four play collegiately. The U.S. will play a couple of matches that are still to be determined.
Under-20 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Diego Restrepo (University of South Florida), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (5): Kyle Davies (Southampton FC), Amaechi Igwe (New England Revolution), Quavas Kirk (L.A. Galaxy), Ofori Sarkodie (Indiana University), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Freddy Adu (Real Salt Lake), Jalil Anibaba (Davis, Calif.), Tony Beltran (UCLA), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (4): Josmer Altidore (N.Y. Red Bulls), Gabriel Ferrari (Sampdoria), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Sal Zizzo (UCLA)

U-17 MNT RETURN FROM CENTRAL AMERICA WITH 1-1-2 RECORD: The U-17 '90 Men's National Team returned from a four-game, 10-day trip to Honduras and Guatemala. During the trip, the U.S. recorded a 1-1-2 record, which included a loss and draw against the Honduras U-17s in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In the first match against Honduras on March 10, the U.S. fell, 1-0, as Gustavo Carias's goal in the first half provided the hosts with the victory. In the rematch two days later, the two teams battled to a scoreless draw. After traveling to Guatemala City, Guatemala, the U.S. drew the Municipal Reserves, 2-2, getting goals from Mykell Bates and Billy Schuler on March 14, and then earned their first victory of the trip against the Comunicaciones Reserves, 3-0, with goals from Schuler, Eder Arreola and Chris Klute.
U-17 MNT Results
Date            Opponent                Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
March 10    Honduras                 0-1 L       --
March 12    Honduras                 0-0 T       --
March 14    Municipal                  2-2 T      Bates, Schuler
March 16    Comunicaciones    3-0 W     Schuler, Arreola, Klute

U-20 MNT DRAWS KOREA REPUBLIC, POLAND AND BRAZIL FOR FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group D with Korea Republic, Poland and Brazil for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, which will take place from June 30-July 22. The U.S. opens against Korea Republic on June 30, then faces Poland on July 3 and concludes group play on July 6 against four-time U-20 world champions Brazil. The U.S. will play Korea Republic and Poland at The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, before heading to Ottawa to face Brazil at Frank Clair Stadium (full schedule). Every U.S. match at the U-20 World Cup can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. 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 Canada with games in Burnaby, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria. The U.S. will play all their group matches in Montreal and Ottawa on artificial turf.
U-20 MNT Schedule – 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup
Date           Opponent              Location
June 30     Korea Republic    Montreal, Canada
July 3         Poland                    Montreal, Canada
July 6         Brazil                       Ottawa, Canada

– AROUND THE SOCCER REGION –

HOUSTON WINS, UNITED TIES IN FIRST LEG OF CHAMPIONS’ CUP SEMIFINALS: The Houston Dynamo topped Pachuca, 2-0, and D.C. United drew, 1-1, with Chivas de Guadalajara in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions' Cup semifinals last Thursday (March 15). Second-half goals from Brian Ching and Chris Wondolowski gave the Dynamo the win at Robertson Stadium. The match was originally scheduled for Wednesday but had to be moved following a power outage at the University of Houston, where the stadium is located. Ching put the Dynamo on top in the 57th minute when he headed home a cross from Craig Waibel, while substitute Wondolowski added what could prove to be a crucial second goal just moments after coming into the game as a substitute. The Dynamo will visit Pachuca on April 5 for the return match, which will be carried live on Fox Soccer Channel (9:30 p.m. ET). D.C. will play the return leg of its series on April 3 at Estadio Jalisco live on Fox Soccer Channel (9:30 p.m. ET). The winners of the two-game aggregate goals series will face off for the Champions' Cup title. The tournament's champion will then take part in December's FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.
CONCACAF Champions' Cup Schedule - U.S. Teams
Date     Matchup                                                      Kickoff (ET)     Location                  TV
April 3   D.C. United at CD Guadalajara             9:30 p.m.        Jalisco Stadium    FSC
April 5   Houston Dynamo at Club Pachuca      9:30 p.m.        Hidalgo Stadium   FSC

WARNER TO CONTINUE SERVING AS CONCACAF PRESIDENT: CONCACAF announced last week that Jack Warner of Trinidad & Tobago will continue as CONCACAF President for another four-year term, which will run from 2007-2011. Warner stood as the only nominated candidate for President ahead of the elections at the XXV CONCACAF Ordinary Congress to be held in Toronto on May 12, 2007. This will be Warner's fifth term, and he received multiple nominations from every sector of CONCACAF’s diverse membership of 40 nations. Warner was first elected as CONCACAF President in 1990 and he has been re-elected on every occasion since then (1994, 1998, 2002 and now, 2007). Warner is also the longest continuously serving member of the FIFA Executive Committee having first taken his seat on that body in 1983. In other election news, Lisle Austin will continue as CONCACAF Vice President (Caribbean Zone) running unopposed. Others who will take new positions running unopposed are CONCACAF Vice President (North American Zone) Guillermo Cañedo of Mexico, CONCACAF Executive Committee Member (Central America Zone) Ariel Alvarado of Panama and FIFA Executive Committee Member Rafael Salguero of Guatemala.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Carli Lloyd became the third U.S. WNT player to score a goal in every Algarve Cup match, and also the third to win the tournament’s MVP award as she fueled the U.S. to the 2007 Algarve Cup title with her fourth goal of the tournament vs. Denmark in the title game. Her four goals also earned her the event’s Top Scorer award – all in eight days of work.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: With the match occurring on a double FIFA fixture date, both the U.S. and Ecuador have called in the big guns for this Sunday’s friendly at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., with each roster littered with players from the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Ticket sales have passed 20,000 for the event, which will be televised live on ESPN2 and Galavision at 12 p.m. ET.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Saturday’s Watford vs. Tottenham match in the EPL was supposed to highlight England’s top two goalkeepers, incumbent Paul Robinson of Spurs and Watfords’ Ben Foster, who is on loan from Manchester United and fighting for the top spot on England’s depth chart. Instead, Foster left with egg on his face as a long free-kick from Robinson bounced over his head for the game-winning goal in the 63rd minute. Both goalkeepers have been called in to England’s team for upcoming Euro qualifiers, and Robinson said publicly that he feels bad for Foster and will try not to bring it up as the duo trains together.

QUOTABLE: "We need guys who are good pros, with strong mentalities, guys that are winners. Guys we can put into difficult games, into bad environments, who can still give you all they have."
- U.S. MNT head coach Bob Bradley on what he is looking for in his players.

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