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U.S. Soccer Wire: Open Cup Final Set for Wednesday


GOL TV TO BROADCAST TITLE MATCH FROM ARROWHEAD LIVE AT 7 P.M. CT: The defending champion Chicago Fire will travel to face the Kansas City Wizards in the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final on Wednesday (Sept. 22) and GolTV, the USA’s only all-soccer network, will broadcast the match live at 7:30 p.m. CT from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. GolTV will televise the U.S. Open Cup Final live in both English and Spanish, including a 30-minute pre-game show which will air at 7 p.m. CT. U.S. Soccer and GolTV have also reached an agreement for the 2005 and 2006 U.S. Open Cup Finals to air on GolTV. GolTV will broadcast the matches nationwide via the Dish Network. The game will also be available via cable on Adelphia, Comcast, Cablevision and the National Cable Television Cooperative in select markets across the country. For full listings, please visit www.goltv.tv.  Tickets for the U.S. Open Cup Final are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or the Wizards Box Office at 816-920-9300. The Wizards advanced to the final by downing the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 on Aug. 24 by virtue of an Igor Simutenkov penalty just before the end of the first half. It’s the Wizards first U.S. Open Cup Final and just the second overall championship match (2000 MLS Cup) in franchise history.  Chicago defeated the Charleston Battery 1-0 on Aug. 25 in Naperville, Ill., on a 107th minute goal by Dipsy Selowane in their semifinal after a 1 hour, 43 minute halftime due to severe weather.  The 2003 Open Cup champion Fire look to become just the sixth team in the Open Cup’s 91-year history to win four titles of the kind, having also won the $100,000 prize money and engraved their name on the Dewar Cup trophy in 1998 and 2000.
2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final
#      Date          Match-up                                                                         Venue; City                                                Kickoff (CT) / TV
39    Sept. 22    Chicago Fire (MLS) @ Kansas City Wizards (MLS)        Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Mo.       7:30 p.m. / GolTV

U.S. WOMEN WILL MAKE FIRST STOP AT SOLD-OUT FRONTIER FIELD VS. ICELAND: The U.S. Women’s National Team’s highly anticipated “Fan Celebration Tour” will travel through 10 American cities this Fall, beginning with a Sept. 25 match at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y. The match in Rochester sold out on Saturday just a few hours after tickets went on sale to the general public. Following the Sept. 25 match in Rochester, the hometown of U.S. Olympic hero Abby Wambach, the tour will immediately embark for the U.S. Women’s first-ever match in Western Pennsylvania as the city of Pittsburgh and Heinz Field host the team on Sept. 29. The team will travel west for the third scheduled match on the tour, which is slated for PGE Park in Portland, Ore., on Oct. 3, site of FIFA Women’s World Cup games in both 1999 and 2003. The tour then proceeds rapidly through four cities in the Midwest: Cincinnati (Oct. 10 at Paul Brown Stadium), Kansas City (Oct. 16 at Arrowhead Stadium), Chicago (Oct. 20 at Soldier Field) and Houston (Oct. 24 at Reliant Stadium). The tour was scheduled in the wake of the USA’s emotional 2-1 Gold Medal overtime victory over Brazil at the 2004 Olympics on Aug. 26 in Athens, Greece, which was a sweet return to the top of the women’s soccer mountain for the U.S. WNT, who previously won the Olympic Gold in the USA in 1996 and FIFA Women’s World Cup crowns in 1991 and 1999. As it becomes available, schedule and ticket information for all 10 matches on the “Fan Celebration Tour” will be released to registered fans at ussoccer.com. The entire “Fan Celebration Tour” marks one final chance for the U.S. Women's National Team’s legion of diehard supporters to see this group of special players on the international soccer stage.
2004 U.S. WNT “Fan Celebration Tour”
   #    Date                       Opponent    Venue    City    Kickoff (local)
   1    Sat., Sept. 25          Iceland                Frontier Field; Rochester, N.Y.              7:30 p.m. ET
   2    Wed., Sept. 29       Iceland                Heinz Field; Pittsburgh, Pa.                     7:30 p.m. ET
   3    Sun., Oct. 3            New Zealand       PGE Park; Portland, Ore.                      5 p.m. PT
   4    Sun., Oct. 10          New Zealand       Paul Brown Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio    4 p.m. ET
   5    Sat., Oct. 16           Mexico               Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Mo.  5 p.m. CT
   6    Wed., Oct. 20        Ireland                 Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill.                      7:30 p.m. CT
   7    Sat., Oct. 23           Ireland                Reliant Stadium; Houston, Texas             5 p.m. CT
   8    Wed., Nov. 3         Denmark             Giants Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.     7:30 p.m. ET
   9    Sat., Nov. 6           Denmark              TBD; TBD                                            TBD
  10   TBD                       TBD                    TBD; TBD                                            TBD

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

U.S. SITS ATOP GROUP 1, PLAYS FINAL ROAD MATCH ON OCT. 9 IN EL SALVADOR: Halfway through 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 1-0-2 record.  Although they’ve done it in dramatic, come-from-behind fashion, the U.S. MNT had accomplished its goals in earning valuable points with two 1-1 road draws in Jamaica (Aug. 18) and Panama (Sept. 8).  In its lone home match, the U.S. dominated El Salvador 2-0 behind goals from forwards Brian Ching and Landon Donovan on Sept. 4 in Foxboro, Mass.  In its last match, the U.S. benefited from a case of déjà vu, overcoming a shaky second half to tie the game in the final minutes and earn an important point on the road, tying Panama 1-1 at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in its third match of the semifinal round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The important point for the U.S. came via second-half substitute Cobi Jones, a veteran of three World Cups for the United States, who tied the game in the 92nd minute by poking home a miskicked shot from Donovan from eight yards out. The draw was similar to the U.S. MNT’s first road qualifier, in which forward Brian Ching headed home the equalizer to draw with Jamaica 1-1 on Aug. 18. The draw extended the USA’s unbeaten streak to a team record 10 games, besting two nine-game streaks for the United States previously set in 1991 and 1998. The U.S. is 6-0-4 during the streak and 6-1-5 overall in 2004.
MNT FIFA World Cup Qualifying Results -- Semifinal Round
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
MNT FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule -- Semifinal Round
Date        Opponent       Venue; City                                                                    Kickoff (local)
Oct. 9      El Salvador    Cuscatlan Stadium; San Salvador, El Salvador                 7:30 p.m. MT
Oct. 13    Panama          RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.                                    7:30 p.m. ET
Nov. 17   Jamaica          Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio                                      8 p.m. ET
Group 1 Standings
Teams             GP  W   L    T   GF GA GD   Pts
USA                 3    1    0    2    4    2    +2     5
Jamaica             3    1    1    1    5    3    +2     4
Panama             3    1    1    1    4    4     0      4
El Salvador       3    1    2    0    2    6    -4      3

-- U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --

U-17 ’88 MEN DRAW 2-2 WITH HOSTS, BUT FAIL TO ADVANCE IN PARAGUAY TOURNEY: The The U.S. Under-17 ’88 Men’s National Team failed to advance to the second round of the Campeonato Sudamericano de Futbol Sub-16 Tournament last week after drawing 2-2 with Ecuador in their final Group B match at Estadio Villa Alegre in Encarnacion, Paraguay. With the draw, the U.S. finishes third in Group B with one point, ahead of Ecuador with a better goal differential (-2 to –4). The U.S. needed a victory to put themselves in position to advance to the quarterfinals as the second best third place team. The U.S. took the lead on a one-time goal by Preston Zimmerman in the 11th minute, but Ecuador came back to equalize on a penalty kick in the 57th minute.  Jeremy Hall gave the U.S. a short-lived 2-1 lead with a header, but Ecuador pounced on a loose ball off a free kick to tie it for good in the 87th mintue. The U-17s dropped their first two matches, falling 2-1 to Argentina in its opener on Sept. 12 and then suffering a narrow loss to Uruguay in its second match on Sept. 15. In the Uruguay match, the U.S. was inches from taking the lead in the 10th minute as midfielder Blake Wagner’s header beat Uruguay goalkeeper Yonatan Irrazabal. but it hit the right post and bounced along the goal line before it was cleared off the line. Twelve minutes later it was Uruguay that ended up scoring the eventual game-winner with their first shot on goal.
U-17 ’88 MNT Results
Date          Opponent            Result       U.S. Goal Scorers
Sept. 12    Argentina             1-2 L        Kirk
Sept. 15    Uruguay               0-1 L        ---
Sept. 18    Ecuador               2-2 T        Zimmerman, Hall

U-19 WOMEN HEAD TO BRADENTON TO PREPARE FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: With a little less than two months until the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team opens play at the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship, last week head coach Mark Krikorian brought 24 players to a two-week training camp in Bradenton, Fla., as the squad that will compete for the second youth world title for women begins to take shape. The tournament is just one of three FIFA-sanctioned world championship tournaments for women after the Women’s World Cup and the Olympics and the only FIFA-sanctioned world championship for youth women. This fall 15 players have either withdrawn from their college term and are red-shirting this season or have delayed enrollment as freshman in order to train in a modified residency program that has the team training for two-week blocks before departing for Thailand in early November.  The 2nd FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship will be held November 10-27, 2004, and features players born on or after January 1, 1985. The roster for the Bradenton camp features four high school juniors, five high school seniors, eight would-be college freshman, six would-be college sophomores and one junior in Lindstrom, who was born in 1985, but started college a year early. Following the training camp in Florida, the U-19s will hold one more two-week session in Carson, Calif., at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in mid-October.  The team will then hold a brief three-day camp at the end of October before leaving for Thailand in early Nov. Krikorian will finalize the 21-player roster in mid-October.
U-19 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Laura Comeau (Lee, N.H.), Kelsey Davis (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Ashlyn Harris (Satellite Beach, Fla.); DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (Stanford), Meagan Holmes (Timonium, Md.), Nikki Krzysik (Clifton, N.J.), Stephanie Logterman (Austin, Texas), Stephanie Lopez (Portland), Kasey Moore (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Becky Sauerbrunn (Virginia); MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Kiara Bosio (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Stephanie Kron (UCLA), Stacey Lindstrom (UCLA), Courtney Lewis (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Alexa Orand (Orange, Calif.), Jennifer Redmond (Morristown, N.J.); FORWARDS (7): Sheree Gray (Toms River, N.J.), Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas), Megan Rapinoe (Redding, Calif.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Jessica Rostedt (Kent, Ohio), Megan Schnur (Butler, Pa.), Angie Woznuk (Portland).

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

MONTREAL WINS SECOND A-LEAGUE TITLE WITH 2-0 WIN OVER SEATTLE: The Montreal Impact was crowned 2004 A-League champion on Sept. 18 with a 2-0 win over the Seattle Sounders in front of a record crowd of 13,648 spectators at Claude Robillard Sports Complex in Montreal, Quebec. Goals by Mauricio Vincello in the 33rd minute and Fred Commodore in the 78th minute were enough for the victory. Vincello was proclaimed the Man of the Match, an honor all the more deserved considering he was knocked out by the flu the day before the final and spent the night of Sept. 17 on intravenous fluids. Goalkeeper Greg Sutton picked up his fourth shutout of the playoffs, in five starts.  It marks the second A-League title in Montreal club history and the first since 1994. Seattle lost in its third ever final, after having won the championship in 1995 and 1996.
2004 A-League Final
Date          Result                                                     Venue; City
Sept. 19    Montreal Impact 2, Seattle Sounders 0    Claude Robillard Stadium; Montreal, Quebec

U.S. FUTSAL FALLS TO BRAZIL ON FOREIGN TRIP: The U.S. Futsal National team wrapped up a week-long tour of Brazil over the weekend with a pair of losses to the Brazil Futsal National Team at the Ginásio Poliesportivo Avelino dos Reis in Campo Grande on Sept. 17 and 18. On Sept. 17, the U.S. became the first CONCACAF team to score three or more goals versus the Brazilians since a 5-3 win for the U.S. in 1989, but that was not enough as they fell 7-3 in the first game of the series.  Matt Tanzini and Falcao traded goals in the first minute of play, but despite an 18th minute strike by Johnny Torres, the U.S. found themselves down by a 4-2 margin at intermission. Torres would strike again in the second half, but the U.S. fell by the eventual score line of 7-3. On Sept. 18, the U.S. fell to Brazil by a 9-2 margin. Todd Dusosky and John Ball found the back of the net on either side of halftime, but it was not enough to keep pace with the powerful Brazil attack. The U.S. also dropped three games to Brazil professional club teams during the week. Both the U.S. and Brazil are in preparations for the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship, which will be played from November 21 to December 5, 2004 in Chinese Taipei. The U.S. qualified by winning the 2004 CONCACAF Futsal Championship in July in Costa Rica and was drawn into Group C with Italy, Japan and Paraguay. Brazil, regarded as one of the top futsal nations in the world, will face Australia, Czech Republic and Thailand in Group B.
U.S. Fustal Team Results
Date          Opponent                         Result        U.S. Goal Scorers
Sept. 13    S.C. Corinthians                3-5 L         Morman, Torres, Todd Dusosky
Sept. 14    E.C. Banespa                    0-5 L         ---
Sept. 15    De Mato Grosso Do Sul    2-5 L         Troy Dusosky, Tschantret
Sept. 17    Brazil                                 3-7 L        Tanzini, Torres (2)
Sept. 18    Brazil                                 2-9 L        Todd Dusosky, Ball

U.S. PARALYMPIC SOCCER TEAM FALLS TO BRAZIL, FACES RUSSIA TUESDAY IN ATHENS: The U.S. Men’s Paralympic Soccer Team opened play with a 4-0 loss to Brazil in Athens, Greece, on Sept. 19. Team USA kept the game scoreless in the first half, but couldn’t contain the Brazilians, giving up the first goal three minutes into the second half.  Brazil scored again four minutes later, followed by goals in the 45th and 52nd minutes. The U.S. next faces Russia on Tuesday (Sept. 21) and Holland on Thursday (Sept. 23) to finish the group stage of the tournament. Paralympic soccer is played seven-a-side by athletes with cerebral palsy, who have survived a stroke or sustained traumatic brain injury. Games consist of two 30-minute halves and each roster is made up of 12 players. The eight-team tournament is the premiere event for Paralympic soccer athletes.
Paralympic Team Schedule
Date              Opponent         Result      U.S. Goal Scorers
Sept. 19        Brazil                0-4 L       ---
Sept. 21        Russia
Sept. 23        Netherlands

U.S. SOCCER NOW ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR 2005 WERNER FRICKER AWARD: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2005 U.S. Soccer Werner Fricker Builder Award, honoring the late U.S. Soccer President Werner J. Fricker. The annual award is presented to an individual or individuals who have worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer, without regard to personal recognition or advancement. The honoree(s) will have created or fostered programs that will outlast his or her own active involvement in the sport and that establish a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States. Fricker himself was honored posthumously with the inaugural award in 2002, as his son Werner Jr. accepted on his behalf. Sunil Gulati, vice president of U.S. Soccer, received the award in 2003. With U.S. Soccer’s Annual General Meeting moving from the summer months to March, no award was bestowed in 2004. Interested persons can nominate individuals for the annual Werner Fricker Builder Award by completing the attached form and mailing it to U.S. Soccer, C/O the Werner Fricker Builder Award Committee, 1801 S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616.  The form is also available for download at ussoccer.com, and applications must be postmarked by January 1, 2005.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER:  Former U.S. U-23 MNT forward and Crew star Edson Buddle exploded against the MetroStars this weekend, becoming just the sixth player in league history to score as many as four goals in a single match. Buddle helped the Crew level the score twice in the match, in the 9th and 52nd minutes, before supplying the game winner in the 65th and adding an insurance goal in the 74th to complete the day.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: The Kings of the Open Cup since MLS teams joined the competition in 1996, the Chicago Fire enter the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final on Wednesday (Sept. 22) as favorites due to their superior experience and previous success, not to mention a 3-1 win over the Wizards in their last meeting, but it’s Kansas City who is playing host at Arrowhead Stadium and playing better of late, earning a full three points in four of its last six games.

QUOTABLE:  ".. and if you're looking for a handicap, call Vegas."
          --K.C. Wizards head coach Bob Gansler, ending an answer denouncing any perceived home field advantage that the Wizards might have at Arrowhead, from a media conference call earlier today.

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