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U.S. Soccer Wire - July 17, 2006


U.S. WNT Kicks Off Domestic Schedule With Win vs. Sweden;
U.S. MNT Manager Bruce Arena's Eight-Year Tenure Ends

AFTER SWEDEN WIN, WNT PREPS FOR IRELAND ON SUNDAY IN SAN DIEGO: The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team opened its 2006 domestic schedule with a wild 3-2 win against Sweden at the National Sports Center on Saturday, July 15, as U.S. captain Kristine Lilly scored the dramatic winning goal in the second minute of stoppage time (photos). The USA opened the scoring in the 38th minute off an excellent finish by Abby Wambach, and looked to be cruising to a one goal win. Sweden had taken just one shot through the first 71 minutes of the game before the visitors struck for an equalizer in the 72nd minute. In 89th minute, Leslie Osborne was fouled 10 yards behind the midfield stripe, earning the USA a free kick. Defender Cat Whitehill blasted a 70-yard service that improbably flew over Swedish goalkeeper Sofia Lundgren, who was being challenged by Wambach. The ball bounced once inside the penalty box and then sailed over the goal line and into the roof of the net. Sweden then scored an unlikely blast of their own in the first minute of stoppage time as substitute Elin Ekblom lifted a cross deep from the right corner. In the swirling winds, the ball flew over U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo and settled into the left side netting at the far post. The USA earned the winning goal just seconds before the final whistle off a throw-in from the right side. Whitehill’s long throw was met by Wambach at the near post and she flicked the ball perfectly into the middle. Carli Lloyd battled with a couple of Swedish defenders to keep the ball alive and the ball bounced perfectly to the lethal left foot of Lilly, who drove her first-time shot just under the crossbar from 12 yards out. The USA will play its second domestic match of 2006 next Sunday, July 23, at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego (tickets). Kickoff is 1 p.m. PT. The USA finishes its July schedule against Canada at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on July 30. Kickoff for that match is 1 p.m. ET (tickets). The USA will also play on Sept. 13 at the new PAETEC Park in Rochester, N.Y., against Mexico (tickets). That match will be kickoff at 8 p.m. ET. All three games will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the matches on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

U.S. Women’s National Team Results/Schedule
Date       Opponent  Venue                                                                   Time/Result (TV)
Jan. 18   Norway     Guangdong Olympic Stadium; Guangzhou, China        3-1 W
Jan. 20   France      Guangdong Olympic Stadium; Guangzhou, China        0-0 T
Feb. 22   China        Guangdong Olympic Stadium; Guangzhou, China       2-0 W
March 9   China        Sao Luis Stadium; Faro, Portugal                             0-0 T
March 11 Denmark    Municipal Stadium; Quarteira, Portugal                      5-0 W
March 13 France       Stadium Algarve; Faro, Portugal                              4-1 W
March 15 Germany   Stadium Algarve; Faro, Portugal                               0-0 T (3-4 pk)
May 7     Japan        KK Wing Stadium; Kumamoto, Japan                        3-1 W
May 9     Japan        Nagai Stadium; Osaka, Japan                                  1-0 W
July 15   Sweden      National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.                        3-2 W
July 23   Ireland       Torero Stadium; San Diego, Calif.                            1 p.m. PT (ESPN2)
July 30   Canada     SAS Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.                                  1 p.m. ET (ESPN2, Telemundo)
Sep. 13   Mexico      PAETEC Park; Rochester, N.Y.                               8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)


ARENA’S TENURE ENDS: U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati announced Friday (July 14) that the contract of U.S. Manager Bruce Arena will not be renewed when it expires at the end of 2006, ending his eight-year tenure as the team’s head coach (listen). Originally hired on October 26, 1998, Arena guided U.S. Soccer through two successful FIFA World Cup qualifying campaigns, highlighted by the team’s quarterfinal run at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and a first-place finish in CONCACAF qualifying in 2005. Arena also guided the team to two CONCACAF Gold Cup championships (in 2002 and 2005), and to a strong third-place finish at the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup. With a record 130 games at the helm of the U.S. MNT, Arena’s teams set numerous records as he compiled a 71-30-29 record in his eight years in charge. Those marks include records for consecutive games unbeaten (16 in 2003-04) and most wins in a calendar year (13 in 2005), as well as for best winning percentage in a calendar year (.750 in 2005) and best goals per game average in a calendar year (2.00 in 2000). Overall, Arena used 117 players throughout his time in charge of the USA and gave 80 players their first-ever international experience.

U.S. U-21 WNT KICKS OFF NORDIC CUP WITH WIN: The U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team opened the 2006 Nordic Cup in Stavanger, Norway, with a convincing 3-0 win vs. Denmark as India Trotter, Danesha Adams and Katie Griffin tallied for the United States. All three are playing in their first Nordic Cup tournament. The young Americans will face Iceland next on July 18 in their second match of Group B at the world’s premier competition for U-21 women. The USA is going for its unprecedented eighth straight title at the 16th nnual Nordic Cup, which takes place every summer in northern Europe. Iceland upset host Norway, 3-2, in the other Group B match, setting up a huge contest on Tuesday that could decide the group title and a berth in the championship game. The winners of the two groups advance to the title game on July 22.

U.S. U-21 WNT Nordic Cup Schedule/Results
Date     Opponent                 Result     U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
July 16 Denmark                  3-0 W      India Trotter, Danesha Adams, Katie Griffin
July 18 Iceland
July 20 Norway
July 22 Placement Matches


PARALYMPIAN JOSH BLUE A SEMIFINALIST ON "LAST COMIC STANDING": Josh Blue, a longtime forward on the U.S. Paralympic soccer team, has made his mark as a stand-up comedian on "Last Comic Standing" on NBC. Blue's routine has moved him into the final five on the popular show, and on Tuesday night the semifinals kick-off with fans getting a chance to vote for their favorites. Log on to www.nbc.com/Last_Comic_Standing/ for more information or to vote. Watch Blue's routine on NBC on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U-20 MNT TRAVEL TO NOTHERN IRELAND FOR 2006 MILK CUP TOURNAMENT: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will travel to Northern Ireland on July 27 to compete in the 2006 Milk Cup. The U.S. will have a few days of training before opening up the Elite Section of the tournament on Monday, July 31 against Wales. The U-20s will also face Denmark on Wednesday, Aug. 2 in group play, before playing a placement match on Friday, Aug. 4. The other group consists of Northern Ireland, Paraguay and Turkey. A roster for the tournament will be announced in the near future. The tournament will mark the fourth time the U-20s have come together this year as they prepare for next year’s CONCACAF U-20 Qualifying Tournament, which will take place in January or February. Mexico and Panama will each host a four-team group, with the top two teams from each qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada. Last week, the U.S. won and tied the Canadian U-20 Men’s National Team in a two-game series in Canada. The U-20s won the first match in Toronto, 2-1, before drawing, 1-1, two days later in Kingston, Ontario.

U-20 MNT Results/Schedule
Date     Opponent    Result   U.S. Goal Scorers
July 7   Canada       2-1 W    Rogers, Altidore
July 9   Canada       1-1 T      Igwe
July 31  Wales*
Aug. 2   Denmark*
Aug. 4   Placement Match*
* Northern Ireland Milk Cup


U.S. U-20 WOMEN FINISH NEW JERSEY CAMP WITH WIN, HEAD TO FINLAND: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team won all five of its games during a training camp in New Jersey, topping it off with a 3-1 win against the New Jersey Wildcats of the USL W-League. It was the first time U.S. U-20 head coach Tim Schulz had his entire world championship roster at his disposal since choosing his final 21 players in early June. Amy Rodriguez, Jordan Angeli and Lauren Cheney scored for the USA against the Wildcats, who won the W-League last season. In the first four matches, the USA defeated a team of East Coast college all-stars twice and then beat the Chinese U-20 Women’s National Team in two matches. Angeli and Rodriguez each had four goals during the five matches. The U.S. team then headed to Finland from July 14-22 for its second trip to Europe this year to prepare for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship, to be held Aug. 17-Sept. 4 in Russia. In Finland, the USA will play two Finnish women’s clubs and face the Finland U-20 Women’s National Team twice. Finland also qualified for Russia, where it will play in Group B with China, Nigeria and Canada. The USA opens play in Group D at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship on Aug. 18 against DR Congo in Moscow, faces Argentina on Aug. 21, and finishes group play against France on Aug. 24. All the first-round matches will be played in Moscow. Three players on the U.S. roster for the World Championship will not be in Finland. Goalkeeper Val Henderson and forward Danesha Adams are in Norway with the U.S. U-21s for the Nordic Cup and midfielder Allie Long will stay at home to rest a foot injury.

U.S. U-20 WNT – Finland Tour – Schedule
Date         Opponent
July 17      HJK
July 18      SCR
July 20      Finland U-20 WNT
July 22      Finland U-20 WNT


U.S. U-17 WNT GOES 2-1-0 AGAINST USL SQUADS IN NORTHWEST CAMP: The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team won two and lost one match against USL W-League Western Conference teams during its training camp in the Northwest that ran from July 7-17. The U-17s opened the tour with a loss, falling 1-0 to the Seattle Sounders Saints in Seattle on July 12 despite controlling the run of play, but then traveled to Canada and rebounded with wins against the Vancouver Whitecaps Women on July 14 and 16. On July 14, the USA won 6-0, pounding a Whitecaps team depleted by Canadian National Team call-ups. Julie Lancos (Belford, N.J.) opened the scoring in the 30th minute with her first goal for the U-17s. Teresa Noyola (Palo Alto, Calif.) tallied one minute later and the rout was on. Courtney Barg (Plano, Texas) added a goal in the 73rd minute and then Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas) opened her personal account two minutes later. She also scored in the 86th and 90th minutes to complete her true hat trick and finish the scoring. On July 16, the rematch featured a flurry of goals in the first half, but the U-17s hung on for a 3-2 win. Four of the five goals were scored in a nine-minute span in the middle of the first half. Hannah Cerrone (Wappingers Fall, N.Y.) started the scoring in the 21st minute before the Whitecaps equalized. Vancouver then went ahead with goals in the 24th and 28th minutes, but Lindsay Taylor (Los Altos, Calif.) pulled the USA even just one minute later. The USA actually got the winning score on an own goal in the 42nd minute and then kept the Canadian side scoreless in the second half to get the win. Three goalkeepers shared time over the three games. Bianca Henninger (Saratoga, Calif.) started the first two matches, but gave way to Hailee DeYoung (Draper, Utah) against Seattle and Wendy Balogun (Bowie, Md.) in the first match against the Whitecaps. DeYoung started the final match, giving up both goals, but Balogun came in at halftime and kept a clean sheet the rest of the way. The U-17s will come together next at the end of September for an event at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

U.S. U-17 WNT Results
Date     Opponent                      Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
July 12 Seattle Sounders Saints   0-1 L       --
July 14 Vancouver Whitecaps     6-0 W      Lancos, Noyola, Barg, Henderson (3)
July 16 Vancouver Whitecaps      3-2 W     Cerrone, Taylor, Own Goal


U-17 MNT TO HOLDING TRAINING CAMP AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: The U.S. Under-17 ’90 Men’s National Team arrived in Athens, Ga., on Thursday, July 13, for a seven-day training camp at the University of Georgia. U.S. Under-17 head coach John Hackworth brought a 30-player roster for the camp, 18 of whom are part of U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program. The other 13 are non-Residency players that he is looking at to possibly invite into U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program full-time starting in the fall. All of the players in the camp were born in 1990 or 1991 and are eligible for the FIFA U-17 World Cup next year in South Korea. During the camp, the U.S. is scheduled to play the Augusta Fireball club team on Tuesday, July 18.

U-17 MNT Roster - Atlanta Training Camp
GOALKEEPERS (3): Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.), David Meves (Arlington Heights, Ill.);
DEFENDERS (8): Brice Carr (Mequon, Wis.) Alonzo Carter (Fairfax, Va.), Gregory Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Christian Ibeagha (Edmond, Okla.), Brandon Lee (Tenafly, N.J.), TJ Nelson (Garland, Texas), Evan Raynr (Calabasas, Calif.), Howard Turk (Fairfax, Va.);
MIDFIELDERS (11): Tevin Jackson (Baltimore, Md.), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), Brendan King (Naperville, Ill.), Axel Levry (Fort Washington, Md.), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Jesse Paredes (Los Angeles, Calif.), Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), Kirk Urso (Lombard, Ill.), Matthew Uy (New Hyde Park, N.Y.), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.);
FORWARDS (8): Danny Barerra (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Abdusalam Ibrahim (Richfield, Minn.), Paul Islas (Fresno, Calif.), Archie Karpeh (Circle Pines, Minn.), Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), Israel Sesay (Gaithersburg, Md.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.).

U-17 MNT Schedule - Atlanta Training Camp
Date      Opponent
July 18  Augusta Fireball


U.S. U-16 GIRL’S NATIONAL TEAM GOES 3-0-1 AT N.J. CAMP: The U.S. Under-16 Girl’s National Team played four matches during its training camp at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., from July 10-16, and came away with three wins and one tie. U.S. head coach Kazbek Tambi called in 24 players to the camp and split his squad for two matches on both July 12 and 15, taking on the U-18 and U-23 Arsenal World Class club teams on both days. On July 12, the U-16s pulled out a 2-1 win against the Arsenal U-18s, getting goals from Chelsea Stewart (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Ayinde, and a 1-0 win against the U-23s as New Jersey native Brittani Bartok (Union, N.J.) scored the winning goal. On July 15, the USA tied the Arsenal U-18s as Sade Ayinde (North Bellmore, N.Y.) scored the lone goal. In the next match, the U-16s ended the camp on a high note, picking up a big 4-0 win against the Arsenal U-23s as Maggie Kistner (St. Louis, Mo.) scored twice and Marissa Mykines (Colbert, Wash.) and Kristen Mewis (Hanson, Mass.) added single scores. The U-16s will come together next at an event at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., in late September.

U.S. U-16 GNT Results – Wayne, N.J. -- July 10-16
Date       Opponent                             Score     U.S. Goal Scorers
July 12    Arsenal World Class U-18s    2-1 W     Stewart, Ayinde
July 12    Arsenal World Class U-23s    1-0 W     Bartok
July 15    Arsenal World Class U-18s    1-1 T       Ayinde
July 15    Arsenal World Class U-23s    4-0 W     Kistner (2), Mykines, Mewis


– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

U.S. PARALYMPIC TEAM STARTS TRAINING CAMP: The U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team started a week long training camp on Sunday at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. The 13-player roster includes a number of veterans and one 39-year-old rookie. The veteran players include Josh Blue, a longtime member of the team who is currently one of the five finalists in the NBC reality show, Last Comic Standing. The team has no competitions scheduled for 2006, but are using the camp as part of the development process in 2005 to identify and develop newer players. The team has identified a pool up players too young fur the current roster, but head coach Jay Hoffman and his staff are excited about the future of the team. In 2007 the team will compete in the Para-Panams in Brazil and the World Championships (site TBD). For more information on the team, and the disability eligibility requirements for paralympic soccer (CP, TBI and stroke), long on to www.usparalympics.com.

USL FIRST DIVISION ALL-STAR MATCH SET FOR WEDNESDAY: The United Soccer Leagues First Division All-Star game against English Coca Cola Championship League club Sheffield Wednesday will be broadcast live on Wednesday, July 19, at 8 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel. The match will take place in Cary, N.C. The USL All-Star side will be coached by Nick DeSantis (Montreal Impact) and Laurie Calloway (Rocheter Raging Rhinos). The 18-player roster for the match was selected by United Soccer Leagues, DeSantis and Calloway. Players from Seattle and Vancouver were unavailable for selection to due scheduled friendlies with their club.

USL FIRST DIVISION ALL-STAR GAME ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (2): Matt Nelson (Virginia Beach Mariners), Scott Vallow (Rochester Raging Rhinos);
DEFENDERS (6): Dustin Branan (Minnesota Thunder), Gabriel Gervais (Montreal Impact), Frank Sanfilippo (Rochester Raging Rhinos), Scot Thompson (Portland Timbers), Mauricio Vincello (Montreal Impact), Mauricio Segovia (Puerto Rico Islanders);
MIDFIELDERS (5): John Ball (Rochester Raging Rhinos), Omar Daley (Charleston Battery), Jamie Dodds (Toronto Lynx), Steve Shak (Virginia Beach Mariners), Zinho (Miami FC);
FORWARDS (5): Jeff Clarke (Vancouver Whitecaps), Jason McLaughlin (Atlanta Silverbacks), Mario Rodriguez (Miami FC), Romario (Miami FC), Greg Simmonds (Virginia Beach Mariners)


U.S. OPEN CUP QUARTERFINAL PAIRINGS SET: U.S. Soccer announced the quarterfinal pairings for the 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup today. The third round of the tournament kicked off July 11, as Real Salt Lake defeated the Virginia Beach Mariners, 2-1, in overtime. Action continued on July 12 as the rest of the third round provided some quality upsets by USASA, PDL and USL Second Division teams, including Roma FC’s (USASA) win against Major League Soccer club Chivas USA. The fourth round will take place on August 2, with eight new teams—all from Major League Soccer—entering the tournament. Complete third round results and quarterfinal pairings are available at ussoccer.com's 2006 U.S. Open Cup homepage.

DONOVAN WINS ESPY FOR BEST MLS PLAYER: U.S. MNT forward Landon Donovan won the 2006 ESPY award for Best MLS Player, as voted on by fans at espn.com. Donovan was presented with the award on Wednesday, July 12, at a ceremony hosted by retired cyclist Lance Armstrong. Also winning an ESPY was Brazil's Ronaldinho for "Best Footballer" while Shamila Kohestani and Roia Noor Ahman—two girls who represented a group of young female soccer players who play in post-Taliban Afghanistan—were presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

2006 NATIONAL CUP V FINALS OPEN JULY 22-25 WITH GIRLS ACTION: The 2006 National Cup V Finals begin July 22-25 with Girls Under-12 through Under-17 competition in Greensboro, N.C. After clinching National Cup V Regional titles earlier this summer, 60 girls’ teams will contend for national championships in eight age group divisions: Super Group Under-15 through Under-17 and Premier Under-12 through Under-14 and Under-16 through Under-17. The Boys’ Under-12 through Under-17 2006 National Cup V Finals will also be staged in Greensboro, N.C., the following weekend, July 28-31. Visit www.usclubsoccer.org for schedules, results and updates from the National Cup V Finals.

HALL OF FAME GAME TICKETS NOW ON SALE: Tickets for the 2006 Hall of Fame Game between the Columbus Crew and the New York Red Bulls at 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 28, are now on sale through Ticketmaster, including online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at (607) 722-7272 and at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout upstate New York, including Kaufmann’s Department Stores. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the event. The Hall of Fame Game is the final event of the 2006 Induction Weekend on Aug. 26-28. Former MNT defender Alexi Lalas and former WNT captain Carla Overbeck will be inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame, along with veteran Al Trost and builder Philip Anschutz, at 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 28. The Induction Ceremony takes place in the HOF museum and is open to the public free of charge. The Hall of Fame Game follows the Induction Ceremony on At-A-Glance Field on the Hall of Fame campus.

NOWAK NAMES 18-PLAYER MLS ALL-STAR ROSTER: D.C. United and MLS All-Star team Head Coach Peter Nowak announced on Monday, July 17, the 18-player roster for the 2006 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game. In addition to the eight players available to play from the All-Star First XI that was announced last week, Nowak selected eight All-Stars and MLS Commissioner Don Garber made two selections. The 2006 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game will feature the MLS All-Stars versus English Premier League champions Chelsea FC on Saturday, Aug. 5, at TOYOTA PARK in Bridgeview, Ill. The game will be televised live on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. ET. Tickets for the midsummer showcase range from $55-$125 and can be purchased in person at the TOYOTA PARK Box Office, located at 7000 S. Harlem Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, by calling Ticketmaster at 312-559-1212 or visiting TicketMaster.com.

2006 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game
GOALKEEPER (2): Troy Perkins (D.C. United), Joe Cannon (Colorado Rapids)
DEFENDERS (5): Eddie Pope (Real Salt Lake), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Bobby Boswell (D.C. United), Josh Gros (D.C. United)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Christian Gomez (D.C. United), Dwayne De Rosario (Houston Dynamo), Freddy Adu (D.C. United), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Ronnie O’Brien (FC Dallas), Richard Mulrooney (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (4): Jaime Moreno (D.C. United), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Nate Jaqua (Chicago Fire), Alecko Eskandarian (D.C. United)


*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. WNT captain Kristine Lilly showed the grit and stamina that has kept her going strong in the WNT fold in the USA’s 3-2 win against Sweden on Saturday, July 15. Sweden scored an equalizer in stoppage time to tie the game at two before Lilly scored the game-winner just seconds before the final whistle. It was Lilly’s 110th goal, scored in her 309th cap, putting her second all-time behind only Mia Hamm (158).

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The U.S. WNT kicked off their home schedule with a win against Sweden and now prepare to take on Ireland on Sunday, July 23, at 1 p.m. PT at Torero Stadium in San Diego, Calif. Fans can catch all the action life on ESPN2 and ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Just four days after Italy won the country’s fourth World Cup title, four legendary Serie A teams - Juventus, AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina - got the book thrown at them in a judgment involving a match-fixing scandal. Juventus, Fiorentina and Lazio were demoted to the Serie B and will start the season with 30, 12 and seven point deficits, respectively. Juventus was also stripped of its previous two Serie A league titles. AC Milan will stay in the Serie A but will start the season minus 15 points.

QUOTABLE: “That's all heart. Tactics and everything aside, that's Kristine Lilly, having played on this team for almost 20 years, having won multiple world championships. Who else do you want to have the ball at their feet in the 90th minute to win the game?"
-- U.S. WNT forward Abby Wambach on U.S. WNT captain Kristine Lilly’s game-winning goal in the 3-2 win against Sweden on Saturday, July 15, at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn.

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