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U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. Defeats El Salvador, Hosts Panama


MCBRIDE, JOHNSON EARN U.S. THREE POINTS IN EL SALVADOR ON SATURDAY: The U.S. Men’s National Team recorded a convincing 2-0 victory over El Salvador in Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador on Saturday evening, increasing their Group 1 lead in the semifinal round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup to three points. The U.S. is now 2-0-2 in the semifinal round with eight points, ahead of both Panama and Jamaica who are tied with five points. The USA victory came courtesy of goals from Brian McBride and Ed Johnson, the 26th of McBride’s illustrious career and the first for Johnson in his first-ever appearance for the United States. McBride’s game-opening goal came in the 29th minute, after DaMarcus Beasley threw the ball in on the left wing, where Kerry Zavagnin collected it on a run into the box before playing a short pass to McBride. McBride then calmly set himself up for a right-footed shot by sliding across the top of the penalty area with four straight touches as no El Salvador defenders closed on him, burying his shot from 16 yards into the upper right corner. The goal for McBride was his seventh all-time against El Salvador. Johnson’s first career goal came just four minutes after he came into the match as a second-half sub, earning his first-ever cap for the full U.S. Men’s National Team. The goal couldn’t have been much easier for the longtime U.S. Youth National Team standout, as he slotted a square ball from Landon Donovan into an empty net after the 22-year-old World Cup veteran was sprung into the area on an excellent pass from Beasley.

U.S. MNT QUALIFYING SCENARIOS: The U.S. Men's National Team can clinch a spot in the final round of FIFA 2006 World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region on Wednesday night through the following two scenarios: 1) a victory, or 2) a tie, combined with an El Salvador victory over Jamaica. With a solid three-point lead over Jamaica and Panama, a tie at home against Panama on Wednesday evening would guarantee that the U.S. could only be eliminated on the goal-differential tiebreaker should it come down to that. The U.S. currently has a +4 differential, while Jamaica is +2 and Panama is even. Consecutive ties in the USA's final two games would also be enough to solidify a spot in the final six-team, 10-game qualifying group in 2005. The tiebreaking scenarios for two or more teams tied on points in FIFA World Cup qualifying are as follows:
 (1) greater number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
 (2) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;
 (3) greater number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned;
 (4) goal difference in all the group matches;
 (5) greater number of goals scored in all the group matches;
 (6) a playoff on neutral ground.

U.S. WNT DEFEAT NEW ZEALAND, 6-0, IN FRONT OF LARGEST CROWD OF 2004: The U.S. Women's National Team dominated New Zealand for the second straight match to record a 6-0 win, as five different players figured in the scoring in front of 18,806 appreciative fans on a gorgeous day at Paul Brown Stadium, home of the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals. It was the largest crowd to watch the U.S. women in 2004, besting the previous high of 17,805 that saw a 3-0 win over Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M. It also became the highest-attended match on the "Fan Celebration Tour" after four games. The win moved the USA to 4-0-0 during the 10-game tour and 24-1-3 on the year.  The USA is now within three wins of breaking the record for most victories in a calendar year for the U.S. women (26, set in 2000), with six matches remaining on the "Fan Celebration Tour." The first goal was a rather simple play from Hamm as she took a pass from Cat Reddick on the left flank, dribbled into the penalty area and blasted a right-footed shot into the net at the near post from 15 yards out. Less than a minute later, Lilly scored her 101st career goal after Hamm once again dribbled into the box in the left side of the penalty area, but instead of shooting, cut a pass back to Lilly, who hit a hard right-footed shot that skipped off the right hand of Yates and into the net. The USA scored four goals in the second half, the first coming from Aly Wagner just six minutes after the break when she spun her free kick over the wall and into the left corner for her 16th career goal. Four minutes later, U.S. captain Julie Foudy added the fourth with a 27-yard left-footed blast, before Parlow added the final two goals for the USA, hitting a low shot that deflected off the toe of Kiwi captain Rebecca Smith and into the net from eight yards out, and then pounding in a header off a Lilly free-kick from the left flank in the 77th minute. Up next on the tour, the USA faces 2004 Olympic participant Mexico on Saturday, Oct. 16 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., (5 p.m. CT), before facing Ireland in a pair of matches, on Wednesday, October 20 at Soldier Field in Chicago (7:30 p.m. CT) and on Saturday, October 23 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas (7 p.m. CT).
2004 U.S. WNT “Fan Celebration Tour”
 Game    Date    Match-up / Result    Venue    City    Kickoff / Attendance
    1    Sat., Sept. 25    USA 4, Iceland 3    Frontier Field    Rochester, N.Y.    14,870 (SO)
    2    Wed., Sept. 29    USA 3, Iceland 0    Heinz Field    Pittsburgh, Pa.    6,386
    3    Sun., Oct. 3    USA 5, New Zealand 0    PGE Park    Portland, Ore.    16,554
    4    Sun., Oct. 10    USA 6, New Zealand 0    Paul Brown Stadium    Cincinnati, Ohio    18,806
    5    Sat., Oct. 16    USA vs. Mexico    Arrowhead Stadium    Kansas City, Mo.    5 p.m. CT
    6    Wed., Oct. 20    USA vs. Ireland    Soldier Field    Chicago, Ill.    7:30 p.m. CT
    7    Sat., Oct. 23    USA vs. Ireland    Reliant Stadium    Houston, Texas    5 p.m. CT
    8    Wed., Nov. 3    USA vs. Denmark    Giants Stadium    East Rutherford, N.J.    7:30 p.m. ET
    9    Sat., Nov. 6    USA vs. Denmark    Lincoln Financial Field    Philadelphia, Pa.    4 p.m. ET
    10    TBD    TBD    TBD    TBD    TBD

NikeGO DONATING $1 FOR EVERY FAN CELEBRATION TOUR TICKET SOLD: For every ticket purchased during the 10-game U.S. Women's National Team "Fan Celebration Tour," NikeGO is donating $1 of Nike soccer product to local organizations in each city. NikeGO is a grassroots community outreach program designed to achieve Nike's overarching corporate goal of promoting youth health and fitness through sport. The donation of Nike soccer product is designed to support the increase in soccer participation among young girls in each city. Nike has also purchased 50 tickets for each game for youth involved with the recipient organization. Through the first four games of the tour, Nike has committed more than $56,000 in sports equipment toward this initiative.

-- U.S. MNT WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

U.S. MNT WINS QUALIFIER IN CENTRAL AMERICA FOR FIRST TIME OUTSIDE HONDURAS: The U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-0 victory over El Salvador on Saturday (Oct. 9) not only extended the team’s record unbeaten streak to 11 games (7-0-4), but also ended a dubious streak for the U.S. as the team won a World Cup qualifying game in Central America for the first-time ever outside of Honduras. Going into Saturday’s game, the U.S. had been 0-for-11 (0-5-6) in trying to earn a full three points in Central American qualifying games outside of Honduras, which included a single draw in their only previous qualifying game in El Salvador (a 1-1 tie in 1997).

HISTORIC JOHNSON STRIKE: Ed Johnson became just the seventh player since 1986 to score a goal in his first-ever appearance for the U.S. Men's National Team, notching the second goal in the USA's 2-0 victory over El Salvador on Oct. 9. In the 89-year history of the U.S. MNT, Johnson is one of 38 overall players to accomplish the feat. Additionally, Johnson is the first MNT player in 29 years to accomplish the feat in a World Cup qualifying game. (The last player to make his U.S. MNT debut in a World Cup qualifying game and score a goal was Boris Bandov in 1976.) The 20-year-old Johnson has had one of the more prolific scoring careers in U.S. Soccer Youth National Team history, starring for the U-17s, U-20s and U-23s since 2000 and scoring 33 career goals in 48 international youth games.
First Game, First Goal History (since 1986)
Date            Name        Opponent        Score
Feb. 7, 1986    Bruce Murray    v. Uruguay             1-1 T
June 8, 1987    Ted Hantak    n. Egypt (at Korea)    1-3 L
June 14, 1988    Rob Ryerson    v. Costa Rica    1-0 W
March 12, 1991    Dante Washington    v. Mexico          2-2 T
Sept. 8, 1999    Chris Albright    at Jamaica              2-2 T
Oct. 25, 2000    Landon Donovan    v. Mexico        2-0 W
Oct. 9, 2004    Ed Johnson        at El Salvador    2-0 W
Note: 38 players in the 89-year history of the U.S. Men's National Team have scored goals in their U.S. debut.

U.S. SITS ATOP GROUP 1, PLAYS FINAL TWO SEMIFINAL ROUND GAMES AT HOME:  Four games into the six-game semifinal round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. Men’s National Team is sitting in first place in Group 1 with an undefeated 2-0-2 record and has the chance to clinch a spot in the final round of qualifying next year with a victory over Panama on Wednesday (Oct. 13) at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The U.S. will kickoff against Panama at 7:30 p.m. ET live on ESPN2 (delayed on Telemundo at 11 p.m. ET/PT). Although they did it mostly in dramatic, come-from-behind fashion, the U.S. MNT has accomplished its goals in earning five valuable points, out of a possible nine, away from home with two 1-1 road draws in Jamaica (Aug. 18) and Panama (Sept. 8), and a 2-0 victory over El Salvador last Saturday (Oct.9). In the match on Saturday, the U.S. victory came courtesy of goals from Brian McBride and Ed Johnson, the 26th of McBride’s illustrious career and the first for Johnson in his first-ever appearance for the United States. In its lone home match, the U.S. had a similar result against El Salvadaor, getting goals from forwards Brian Ching and Landon Donovan for a 2-0 victory on Sept. 4 in Foxboro, Mass. The victory extended the USA’s unbeaten streak to a team-record 11 games. The U.S. is 7-0-4 during the streak and 7-1-5 overall in 2004.
MNT FIFA World Cup Qualifying Results
Date    Opponent    Venue; City    Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
Aug. 18    Jamaica    National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica    1-1 T    Ching
Sept. 4    El Salvador    Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.    2-0 W    Ching, Donovan
Sept. 8    Panama    Estadio Rommel Fernandez; Panama City, Panama    1-1 T    Jones
Oct. 9    El Salvador    Cuscatlan Stadium; San Salvador, El Salvador    2-0 W    McBride, Johnson
MNT FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule
Date    Opponent    Venue; City    Kickoff (local)    TV
Oct. 13    Panama    RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.    7:30 p.m. ET    ESPN2 (live), Telemundo (SSD, 11:30 p.m. ET/PT)
Nov. 17    Jamaica    Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio    7:30 p.m. ET    TBD
Group 1 Standings
Teams            GP   W     L         T     Pts    GF GA    GD
USA                 4    2    0    2    8    6    2    +4
Jamaica     4    1    1    2    5    6    4    +2
Panama     4    1    1    2    5    5    5     0
El Salvador     4    1    3    0    3    2    8    -6

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

KRIKORIAN TO ANNOUNCE U-19 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER ON TUESDAY: U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team head coach Mark Krikorian will announce his roster for the 2004 FIFA Under-19 Women’s World Championship on Tuesday, October 12, 2004, on ussoccer.com at 2 p.m. ET. The Under-19 team is currently training at The Home Depot Center, where the team will continue to train through Oct. 20. This will be the last major camp before the team reconvenes at the end of October before leaving for Thailand. Krikorian will bring 18 players to Thailand, and among them will likely be several emerging young stars.  Forward Kerri Hanks had a breakout performance in qualifying with nine goals and is likely to join midfielder Angie Woznuk  on the roster as the only carryovers from the 2002 U-19 World Championship Team. The U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team was drawn into Group C with South Korea, Spain and Russia. The U.S. opens on November 11 vs. South Korea, and then plays Russia on November 14 before concluding the group stage on November 17 vs. European Champion Spain.

U-17 RESIDENCY PROGRAM TO PLAY AJAX ORLANDO CLUB TEAMS THIS SATURDAY: Both teams in the U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 Residency Program – the U-17 ’88s and U-17 ‘89s – will take on an Ajax Orlando club team this Saturday (Oct. 16) in Bradenton, Fla. The U-17 ‘89s will face the Ajax Orlando U-17s at 2 p.m. ET, with the U-17 ‘88s taking on the Ajax Orlando U-18s directly following at 4 p.m. ET.
U-17 ’88 MNT Schedule
Date    Opponent
Oct. 16        Ajax Orlando U-18
U-17 ’89 MNT Schedule
Date    Opponent
Oct. 16        Ajax Orlando U-17

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

U.S. U-17 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM COACH JOINS ReAL SALT LAKE AS HEAD COACH: John Ellinger, who has been the head of the U.S. Under-17 Residency program in Bradenton, Fla. for seven years, has accepted the position as head coach for Real Salt Lake, an expansion franchise that will begin play in Major League Soccer in 2005. Ellinger, a member of U.S. Soccer’s National Coaching Staff since 1992, led the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team to a fifth place finish at the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championship most recently, and his best result was a fourth place finish for the team at the 1999 event. Under his tutelage, players such as Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey, Oguchi Onyewu, Ed Johnson, Eddie Gaven, Freddy Adu and Jonathan Spector moved from the U.S. residency program directly into the professional ranks both in the U.S. and abroad.

FIVE U.S. WOMEN NOMINATED FOR 2004 FIFA WOMEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Five U.S. Olympic gold-medalists -- Shannon Boxx, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Briana Scurry and Abby Wambach -- were among the 21 players nominated for the 2004 FIFA Women's Player of the Year. The award will be presented at the 14th FIFA World Player Gala Dec. 20 at the Zurich Opera House. Twenty-one female players were nominated by the Committee for Women’s Football and FIFA Women’s Competitions as well as by specialist members of other FIFA committees, while a list of thirty-five male players has been drawn up by the Football Committee and the Technical and Development Committee. The voting procedure for both the men and women has been revised this year as the panel of voters has been increased. Starting this year, the male and female captains of every national team in the world will have a vote in addition to the national team coaches. In the case of male nominations, FIFPro (the worldwide representative organization for professional footballers) will also be involved in the voting process with a 20 percent stake. The voting will take place in October and the top three candidates in the men’s and women’s categories will be announced in November. The award is based on a player’s performance over twelve months.

U.S. SOCCER LEGENDS ENSHRINED IN HALL OF FAME: Former U.S. Women’s National Team captain Michelle Akers, along with U.S. Men’s National Team standouts Paul Caligiuri, Eric Wynalda and Mike Windischmann, were enshrined in the National Soccer Hall of Fame this morning a the Hall of Fame in Oneota, N.Y. As part of the ceremonies, the MetroStars and Chicago Fire played in the first-ever Hall of Fame game at At-a-Glance Field. Akers, who begin her illustrious career with the U.S. Women’s National Team by scoring in the team's first game in 1985, was one of the most dominating players ever in the women’s game. Through the course of her career, in which she scored 105 goals, the U.S. won the first FIFA World Cup in 1991, the third FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1999, and the first Olympic Gold Medal in Women’s Soccer at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Caligiuri rose from his defender position to icon in 1989 when his looping volley from 35 yards found the back of the net against Trinidad & Tobago on November 19, 1989 in the deciding game for 1990 World Cup qualification. Though this one event overshadows much of Paul’s career, he had a remarkable international career for the U.S., beginning when he was a UCLA undergraduate and included play in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. Wynalda began his national team career in 1990 and he concluded it in 1998 as the all-time leading scorer with 34 goals. Among those goals was the first scored by an American in the World Cup on U.S. soil, an outrageous free kick from 30 yards in the first round of 1994 against Switzerland. Windischmann, the captain of the 1990 U.S. World Cup team, was a veteran's selection to the Hall this year. Windischman made 51 appearances with the U.S. Men from 1984 to 1990 in addition too six appearances and one goal with the U.S. Olympic Soccer team in 1987-88. Jerry Trecker, who was given the first ever Colin Jose Media Award for his nearly 50 years of covering soccer for the Hartford Courant and numerous other publications, was also honored.

FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP WILL BE STAGED IN EVEN YEARS AFTER 2007: Last week, the FIFA Stategic Studies Committee voted to move the staging of the Women’s World Cup to even years every four years, beginning in 2010. The change was implemented to allow a space of two years between Olympic women's soccer tournament and the Women's World Cup. The move means the Men’s and Women’s World Cup will be played in the same calendar year.

FIFA U-19 WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TO BECOME U-20 IN 2006: The FIFA Stategic Studies Committee also voted in last week’s meeting to stage the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship as an Under-20 World Championship, similar to the men, starting in 2006. The U.S. won the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in 2002 held in Canada and will attempt to defend its title when it travels to Thailand for the 2004 tournament from Nov. 10-27.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMERS: U.S. Under-17 MNT head coach John Ellinger ends a run of seven years at the helm of the U-17 Men’s National Team to take a top job in Salt Lake City, following the footsteps of U-20s head coach Thomas Rongen, who made the return to MLS with Chivas USA. The track record of these coaches speaks for themselves as U.S. Youth Internationals such as Landon Donovan, Bobby Convey, Ed Johnson, Freddy Adu and Jonathan Spector have made a name for themselves at the club and international level.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP:  The U.S. Men’s National Team has the chance to move one step closer to the 2006 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday (Oct. 13) when they face Panama at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., at 7:30 p.m. ET (live on ESPN2 and tape delay on Telemundo at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT). A victory would give the U.S. 11 points, guaranteeing they will finish in the top two in Group 1 and clinch a spot in the final round of qualifying in 2005.

SOCCER SHOCKER:  From the Columbus Crew going on a remarkable 17-game unbeaten streak to win the Eastern Conference after finishing in last place last year, to the two 2003 MLS Cup finalists – Chicago Fire and San Jose Earthquakes – fighting for their playoff lives, the 2004 MLS season is nearly a flip-flop from 12 months ago. The only thing that might not be a shock is the Dallas Burn remaining the basement dwellers in the Western Conference with just one game left.
 
QUOTABLE:  “The second highest honor is playing for your country and the highest honor is wearing the (captain’s) armband for your country. It was good because I knew I was going to be ready. It shows that the players have confidence in me and that feels good.”
          -- U.S. midfielder Landon Donovan, who was chosen as the team captain for the Men’s qualifying match against El Salvador on Oct. 9. He is the 16th player and youngest player in Bruce Arena’s 95 games since 1999 to be selected as captain for a match.

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