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U.S. Soccer Wire: September 25, 2006


CHICAGO, LOS ANGELES FACE OFF IN 2006 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP FINAL: The defending Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champion Los Angeles Galaxy will face the three-time champion Chicago Fire in the 2006 U.S. Open Cup final at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. (tickets). Fans can also follow online via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker. Los Angeles defeated the Houston Dynamo, 3-1, in the first semifinal while, in the other match, the Fire posted a 3-0 victory against D.C. United to earn a berth in the tournament final, which will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel. This will mark the first time Chicago and Los Angeles will meet in an Open Cup final, although the teams have previously faced each other three times in tournament history, all in the semifinals. Each time, the winner of that match went on to win the Open Cup title, with the Fire coming away with wins in 2000 and 2003, while the Galaxy was victorious in 2001. Chicago also had their named etched on the Dewar Challenge Trophy in 1998 and the Galaxy theirs in 2005. Audio and video of Monday's press conference to preview the Open Cup final is available at ussoccer.com's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup homepage.

RYAN NAMES TRAINING CAMP ROSTER AS U.S. WOMEN RETURN TO ACTION ON OCT.1: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Greg Ryan will bring 24 players to training camp prior to the USA’s match against Chinese Taipei (tickets) on Sunday, Oct. 1 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The match will kick off at 1 p.m. live on ESPN2 as the conclusion to the first-ever Women’s Nike Friendlies, taking place at the HDC from Sept. 28-Oct. 1. While 2006 Residency Training Camp came to an end in mid-September, the U.S. team will return for the pre-match training camp to the familiar surrounding of The HDC where the USA was encamped from April until a few weeks ago. Twenty of the 24 players named to the training camp roster were in Residency Training Camp at some point this year, but Ryan has given first call-ups to three players while veteran defender Kate Markgraf was named to her first roster since the birth of her son on July 18. Forward Danesha Adams will come into her first training camp with the Women’s National Team after an excellent performance at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia last month. Ryan also called in two players from the U.S. team that won the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Canada back in 2002: Keeley Dowling, an athletic central defender, and forward Megan Kakadelas, a former Santa Clara University star. Ryan will choose 18 players from this roster to face Chinese Taipei. The USA will finish its 2006 schedule of domestic friendly matches on Oct. 8 at the University of Richmond against Iceland (tickets). That game kicks off at 2 p.m. ET live on ESPN2.
U.S. WNT Training Camp Roster
Goalkeepers (3): Nicole Barnhart, Briana Scurry, Hope Solo;
Defenders (8): Lori Chalupny, Keeley Dowling, Tina Frimpong, Amy LePeilbet, Stephanie Lopez, Kate Markgraf, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone;
Midfielders (6): Angela Hucles, Carli Lloyd, Joanna Lohman, Marci Miller, Leslie Osborne, Aly Wagner;
Forwards (7): Danesha Adams, Natasha Kai, Megan Kakadelas, Kristine Lilly, Megan Rapinoe, Lindsay Tarpley, Abby Wambach.

INAUGURAL WOMEN’S NIKE FRIENDLIES SET TO KICK OFF ON SEPT. 28 AT HDC: The U.S. Soccer Federation and Nike will welcome 24 girls club teams, the Cal-South Under-16 Girls’ ODP team and three of the USA’s youth national teams to The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., for 42 matches at the first-ever Women’s Nike Friendlies, being held from Sept. 28-Oct. 1. The schedule is set for matches in the U-16, U-17 and U-18 age group. The Women’s Nike Friendlies will be the first event of its kind for youth women’s players, and is modeled after the annual tournament for youth men staged in Bradenton, Fla. The U.S. Under-15 Girl’s National Team will play in the U-16 age group while the Under-16 Girl’s National Team and Under-17 Women’s National Team will play in the U-18 age group. Each team will play three games in an environment which stresses quality soccer and player development over wins and losses. Tournament standings are not kept during the competition. The 24 club teams in the tournament represent 14 different clubs which are some of the most well-known and successful girls clubs in the United States, having combined for scores of state, regional and national championships. The weekend will be capped by the U.S. WNT vs. Chinese Taipei match.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

WOMEN’S YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS SET ROSTERS FOR WOMEN’S NIKE FRIENDLIES: The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team, and the Under-16 and Under-15 Girls’ National Team head coaches have set their rosters for the 2006 Women’s Nike Friendlies. Each team will play a total of three games, highlighted by the U-17s facing the U-16s on Friday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m. PT.

Under-17 Women’s National Team Roster
Goalkeepers (2):
Wendy Balogun (Bowie, Md.), Bianca Henninger (Saratoga, Calif.);
Defenders (6): Lauren Barnes (Upland, Calif.), Julia Bouchelle (Cockeysville, Md.), Hannah Cerrone (Wappingers Fall, N.Y.), Kelli Corless (Atlanta, Ga.), Julie Lancos (Belford, N.J.), Ashley Rape (Dallas, Texas);
Midfielders (9): Courtney Barg (Plano, Texas), Carly Butcher (Anchorage, Alaska), Amanda DaCosta (Somers, N.Y.), Sinead Farrelly (Havertown, Pa.), Marissa Kazbour (Valrico, Fla.), Christine Nairn (Bowie, Md.), Teresa Noyola (Palo Alto, Calif.), Ella Stephan (Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.), Kylie Wright (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.);
Forwards (7): Bianca D’Agostino (Longmeadow, Mass.), Danielle Foxhoven (Littleton, Colo.), Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas), Merritt Mathias (Birmingham, Ala.), Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar, Calif.), Elli Reed (Park City, Utah), Lindsay Taylor (Los Altos, Calif.).
Head Coach: Erica Walsh

Under-16 Girls’ National Team Roster
Goalkeepers (3):
Elizabeth Hanna (Weddington, N.C.), Jillian Mastroianni (Durham, Conn.), Catherine Parkhill (Apple Valley, Minn.),
Defenders (8): Amber Brooks (New Hope, Pa.), Kylie Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.), Amanda Fancher (The Colony, Texas), Camille Levin (Newport Coast, Calif.), Lindsi Lisonbee (Park City, Utah), Kristen Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Michelle Olivier (Roswell, Ga.), Alyssa Pember (Northport, N.Y.),
Midfielders (8): Shira Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Katy Frierson (Birmingham, Ala.), Brianna Garcia (Babylon, N.Y.), Emily Huser (Ft. Wayne, Ind.), Jennifer Laponte (Castro Valley, Calif.), Whitney Sharpe (West Des Moines, Iowa), Chelsea Stewart (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Beth West (Centennial, Colo.),
Forwards (5): Lauren Alwine (Elizabethtown, Pa.), Maggie Kistner (St. Louis, Mo.), Tiffany McCarty (Laurel, Md.), Casey Short (Naperville, Ill.), Allie Vernon (Homer Glen, Ill.).
Head Coach: Kazbek Tambi

Under-15 Girls’ National Team Roster
Goalkeepers (2):
Lindsay Dickerson (Los Gatos, Calif.), Anna Sieloff (Troy, Mich.);
Defenders (9): Mia Bruno (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.), Zakiya Bywaters (Las Vegas, Nev.), Alina Garciamendez (Fairview, Texas), Alexandria Hall (Hawthorn Woods, Ill.), Kelsey Kassab (Pichney, Mich.), Heather Marik (Naperville, Ill.), Annick McBryar (Indialantic, Fla.), Rachel Quon (Lake Forest, Ill.), Megan Siebert (Troy, Mich.);
Midfielders (8): Alexandria Crown (Lake Mary, Florida), Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick (Pleasanton, Calif.), Olivia Klei (Pleasanton, Calif.), Lauren Matheson (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Mariah Noguiera (Westminster, Calif.), Alyssa Rich (Cincinnati, Ohio), Brianne Rodriguez (Aurora, Ill.), Jenna Richmond (Centerville, Va.);
Forwards (4): Kim Castleberry (McKinney, Texas), Victoria DiMartino (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), Samantha Johnson (Palmdale, Calif.), Rachel Nuzzolese (Upper Brookville, N.Y.),
Head Coach: Tad Bobak

U.S. UNDER-17 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM DOWNS CANADA IN TWO-GAME SERIES: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team defeated Canada in both of their matches this past weekend at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., downing their northern neighbors 2-1 and 1-0. In their first match on Friday (Sept. 21), the U.S. fell behind when Canada forward Mohamed Sylla scored from inside the penalty box, but they were able to bounce back with two goals from Adbusalam Ibrahim and Evan Raynr in back-to-back minutes before halftime. In the second match two days later, the U.S. got a header from Brandon Zimmerman in the 76th minute to pull out the win.
U-17 MNT Results
Date         Opponent Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
Sept. 21   Canada      2-1 W     Ibrahim, Raynr
Sept. 23   Canada      1-0 W     Zimmerman

– AROUND THE SOCCER WORLD –

U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION OPENS 2007 GRANTS PROGRAM APPLICATION PROCESS: The grant application process for the U.S. Soccer Foundation's 2007 Annual Grants Program is open from now until Nov. 22 at ussoccerfoundation.org. With the exception of its All Conditions Fields Grants, the Foundation’s 2007 Grants will be focused exclusively on projects and programs that develop players, referees, and coaches in economically disadvantaged urban areas. The Foundation’s All Conditions Fields Grants will continue to be available to projects serving all types of communities, with priority given to those All Conditions Fields projects serving players in economically disadvantaged urban areas. More information about the grants is available at ussoccerfoundation.org/grants.
U.S. Soccer Foundation Important Dates
Sept. 8      2007 Annual Grants Program Online Registration Commences
Nov. 22     Deadline to Submit Completed Application by 5 p.m. ET

SWEDEN QUALIFIES FOR 2007 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Sweden has joined Norway, host China, North Korea and Australia as the fifth team to earn a berth to the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Sweden needed just a tie against the Czech Republic in Gothenburg to win Group 2 last weekend, but notched a 2-0 victory with both goals coming in the first half from star forward Hanna Ljungberg. It will be Sweden’s fifth consecutive appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Europe will send three more teams to China, with Germany needing a win, tie or loss by less than four goals in its midweek (Sept. 27) meeting away at Russia to make it through from Group 4. Group 3 will also be decided on Wednesday as well as Finland travels to Denmark. The winner goes to China with Finland needing only a draw to advance to its first Women’s World Cup. France’s vital three points from its 2-1 victory over Australia last Saturday set up a titanic match with England on Sept. 30 in France. A victory for Les Bleus sends France to China, a win or a tie for England sends the Three Lions to the WWC ’07.

NEW ZEALAND TO HOST FIRST FIFA U-17 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP, CHILE TO HOST NEXT U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: The FIFA executive committee decided last week to award the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup to New Zealand in 2008. That tournament will be for players born Jan. 1, 1991, or after. Three berths each were allocated to Asia, Africa, CONCACAF, South America and Europe, while one will go to Oceania. In addition, FIFA decided that the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup will be held in Chile. That tournament will be for players born Jan. 1, 1988, or after.

ROCHESTER TO HOST VANCOUVER IN USL-1 FINAL: The Vancouver Whitecaps will travel to PAETEC Park to face the Rochester Raging Rhinos in the USL First Division Championship game on Saturday, Sept. 30 live on Fox Soccer Channel at 7 p.m. ET. Greg Howes scored against 10-man Charleston during the first-leg of the semifinal series on Friday (Sept. 22) night, and that is all the Rhinos would need as they played the Battery to a 0-0 draw on the return leg on Sunday. In the other series, Vancouver and Montreal played to a 0-0 draw on Friday night in the first leg in Vancouver before the series shifted to Montreal where the visiting Whitecaps took the game to overtime before winning 2-0. Eduardo Sebrango scored the winner in the 115th minute in front of a crowd of 11,782. Rochester looks to win its fourth USL-1 championship, while the Whitecaps are appearing in the final for the first time.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: D.C. United's Christian Gomez continues to state his case for league MVP honors, his goal and two assists helping put an end to United's four-match winless run while clinching home field advantage throughout the MLS Eastern Conference playoffs. Gomez tallied the Black-and-Red's second goal in the 4-3 shootout against New York on Saturday night, moving him into a tie for third place in the Golden Boot race with 11 goals to his credit. Gomez tops the league assist board with an equal number of assists, giving the stat geeks all the ammunition they need to anoint the Argentinean the best of MLS in 2006.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: A chance to win hardware. That’s what’s at stake for the Chicago Fire and L.A. Galaxy when the two meet in the 2006 Open Cup Final this Wednesday, Sept. 27 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Both repeat winners of the Dewar Cup, Chicago (three championships) and L.A. (two) will clash just four days after meeting in league play, the Fire coming away with the 2-1 victory at home.

SOCCER SHOCKER: With three weeks left in the season, who would have thought that Chivas USA would be sitting all alone in second place in the Western Conference? Well, that’s exactly where the worst team in 2005 is this week after a remarkable resurgence organized by head coach Bob Bradley and executed by Ante Razov and Juan Pablo Garcia.

QUOTABLE: “At the beginning of every year, we talk about the opportunity to put trophies in the trophy case. People have asked us that question [if we take it seriously] and of course we do because it's an opportunity to win a championship in this country, it's the oldest tournament in this country and it's a beautiful trophy."
-- Chicago Fire Head Coach Dave Sarachan on the importance of Wednesday's Open Cup Final  (Press Conference audio podcast.)

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