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U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. Women Crush Italy, 4-0, to Win Eighth Nike U.S. Women's Cup Title


U.S. WOMEN CRUSH ITALY 4-0 TO WIN EIGHTH STRAIGHT NIKE U.S. WOMEN’S CUP; KELLER, SPURS TOP FRIEDEL, ROVERS 2-1

U.S. WNT TOP ITALY 4-0, WIN 8th STRAIGHT NIKE U.S. WOMEN’S CUP:  The U.S. Women's National Team exploded for four goals in 15 minutes in the second half to record a 4-0 win and claim the 2002 Nike U.S. Women's Cup title on Sunday at SAS Park in Cary, N.C.  With the win, the USA finished the tournament with a perfect 3-0-0 record, boosting their all-time Nike U.S. Women's Cup record to a remarkable 24-0-0 and earning their eighth Nike U.S. Women's Cup championship in as many tries. Seventeen-year-old forward Heather O'Reilly earned Chevrolet Woman of the Match honors after coming off the bench in the 66th minute.  O'Reilly scored her first full international goal three minutes later, and added an assist on a Joy Fawcett goal in the 73rd minute that put the match out of reach at 3-0.  Kristine Lilly and Brandi Chastain also scored for the U.S., while Julie Foudy added two assists.  On Wednesday, the U.S. topped Australia 4-0 at SAS Stadium, with Parlow tallying twice and MacMillan and Chastain adding a goal apiece.

NIKE WOMEN’S CUP FINISHES WEDNESDAY WITH AUSTRALIA-ITALY AT SAS PARK: The Nike U.S. Women’s Cup will conclude on Wednesday as Australia and Italy battle at SAS Park at 7:30 p.m. ET.  Australia topped Italy 2-0 on Saturday, and can finish the tournament in second place with a win or a draw on Wednesday.  Italy lost to Russia 2-1 on October 2, before falling to the USA on Sunday.  Tickets for the match are now available at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout the Carolinas (including Kroger, Hecht's and FYE), by calling 919-834-4000 or going online at www.ticketmaster.com.

– U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

KELLER, FRIEDEL BATTLE IN ENGLAND, SPURS TOP ROVERS 2-1: Kasey Keller and Tottenham came out ahead of Brad Friedel and Blackburn in the much-hyped battle between American's top two goalkeepers this weekend. A late goal gave Tottenham a 2-1 win at Blackburn's Ewood Park.  Friedel produced two stellar saves, stoning Jamie Redknapp on a breakaway in the  54th minute, then denying a Robbie Keane effort ten minutes later. But it was Redknapp and Spurs who would have the last laugh, the crafty forward netting an 89th minute fluke goal to give Tottenham the win.  The match was the first meeting between the clubs since Rovers snatched the Worthington Cup championship last year, topping Spurs 2-1 in the final.

- U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

U.S. WNT AWAITS 2002 CONCACAF WOMEN’S GOLD CUP TO QUALIFY FOR CHINA 2003: The U.S. Women’s National Team’s road to the 2003 Women’s World Cup in China took its final shape last month with Trinidad & Tobago becoming the final team to qualify for the USA’s four-team group at the upcoming 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup. The tournament is both the women’s championship of this region and the qualifying tournament for the 2003 Women’s World Cup.  The two finalists at the 2002 Women’s Gold Cup will automatically qualify for the 2003 Women’s World Cup, while the winner of the tournament’s third-place game will qualify for a Women’s World Cup qualifying playoff against the third place team from Asia. All of the tournament matches are being played as doubleheaders and will be televised live on Fox Sports World and FSW Espanol.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

CAPANO, QUARANTA AMONG YOUNGEST ON WORLD SOCCER’S ‘100 RISING STARS’ LIST:  Craig Capano and Santino Quaranta, both members of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team pool, were named to the recently released World Soccer’s "100 Rising Stars".  The 18-year-old Capano was the second youngest player on the list, and Quaranta, who will turn 19 years old next week, was the sixth youngest player.  The list includes players who are 22 or younger and who have not yet played in a World Cup.  Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Bobby Convey were included in the 2001 edition of the "Rising Stars" list.

U-20 CONCACAF QUALIFYING TOURNEY TO BE PLAYED IN CHARLESTON FROM NOV. 13-17: The United States Under-20 Men’s National Team will face Haiti, El Salvador and Canada in the CONCACAF Under-20 Group B Qualifying Tournament at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., from November 13-17, 2002. Haiti was the final team to qualify for the six-game round-robin tournament when they topped Jamaica in a two-legged playoff that finished on Sept. 29. The U.S. Under-20s, who are attempting to qualify for a fourth consecutive FIFA World Youth Championship for the first time in U.S. Soccer history, play the second match on each day and open on November 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET against Haiti before facing El Salvador on November 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET and then wrapping up the tournament against Canada on November 17 at 2:30 p.m. ET.   The top two finishers in Charleston will advance to the FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates from March 25 – April 16, 2003. Tickets for the event are on sale now through Ticketmaster, ussoccer.com or the Charleston Battery (843-971-4625) and U.S. Soccer (312-528-1249).

- 2002 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP UPDATE –

CREW TO HOST GALAXY IN 2002 U.S. OPEN CUP FINAL ON OCT. 24 LIVE ON FSW: The MLS’ Columbus Crew will host the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy for the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final at Crew Stadium on October 24 at 7 p.m. ET in a match broadcast live on Fox Sports World and FSW Espanol. The Galaxy will be putting an eight-game Open Cup unbeaten streak on the line (matching the Chicago Fire from 2000-2001) and have never lost a tournament match on the road (4-0-1), while the Crew haven't dropped an Open Cup game on their home-soil (6-0-1). The U.S. Open Cup Final returns to Columbus, Ohio and Crew Stadium for the first time since September 14, 1999, when the Rochester Raging Rhinos (A-League) blanked the Colorado Rapids 2-0 for the title.  [NOTE TO MEDIA: MLS credentials will not be honored at the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final on Oct. 24.  Members of the media wishing to attend the event must contact the U.S. Soccer Communications Department at communications@ussoccer.org for accreditation.]

– AROUND THE SOCCER WORLD –

GALAXY OPEN WITH 4-0 WIN, CREW-REVS KICK OFF SERIES WITH 0-0 DRAW:  The Los Angeles Galaxy opened the MLS semifinals with a 4-0 pasting of the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, behind two goals from striker Carlos Ruiz.  On Sunday, the Columbus Crew and the New England Revolution played to a scoreless draw in Foxboro, Mass.  Both series continue on Wednesday, October 9, and the Revs-Crew draw guarantees a Game Three in Gillette Stadium on Saturday, October 12.  Revolution goalkeeper Adin Brown produced seven saves – including four of the amazing variety –  to shutout the high-powered Crew attack.  Jay Heaps had the best chances of the game for the Revs, hitting the post in the 70th minute and then having his rebound cleared off the goalline by a diving Brian Dunseth.  Galaxy defenders Dan Califf and Ezra Hendrickson joined Ruiz in the scoring column for L.A., and captain Cobi Jones, who was carried off the field in a stretcher in the first half, returned to dish out two assists in the win.  The Galaxy will advance to MLS Cup 2002 with a win in Colorado on Wednesday.

ARENA SPEAKS AT CONCACAF WORLD CUP SYMPOSIUM:  U.S. MNT Head Coach Bruce Arena was one of the featured speakers at the inaugural CONCACAF World Cup Symposium held at the Dr. João Havelange Centre of Excellence in Tunapuna, Trinidad this past weekend.  Sixty-six coaches from around the region gathered to hear experts discuss the technical and tactical aspects of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.  The panel was headed by the Head of the FIFA Technical Study Group, Jean Paul Brigger.

U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT

PEAK PERFORMER: The Los Angeles Galaxy scored nine goals in two home playoff wins last week, while conceding only two.  In Game Three of the Galaxy’s quarterfinal series with the Kansas City Wizards, L.A. exploded for five goals – including two from Cobi Jones – in a 5-2 win to advance to the semifinals.  On Saturday, the Galaxy opened their semifinal series against the Colorado Rapids with a 4-0 win.  Jones recorded two assists and Carlos Ruiz scored two goals in the win.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: Los Angeles is one step away from reaching their fourth MLS Cup, and can secure a spot in the final at Gillette Stadium with a win on Wednesday in Colorado (9 p.m. ET).  On the other side of the playoff bracket, either Columbus or New England will advance to their first MLS Cup when their semifinal series concludes on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET in Foxboro, Mass. - the site of the 2002 MLS Cup.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Bayern Munich continues to struggle in this year’s Champions League, losing their second straight home match, falling 2-1 to AC Milan on Tuesday.  With only three matches remaining in group play Munich have one point and are tied at the bottom of Group G with Lyon, trailing Deportivo La Coruna (six points) and AC Milan (nine points).

QUOTABLE:
“I don't think happy is the word, but going down to 10 men for such a long time and getting a draw, we are pleased not to lose the game. We wanted to keep a clean sheet and guarantee we would be playing at home next Saturday. The score was nil-nil but it could have been 2-2. It's the semifinals and you can't expect to see all-out attacking football. It's just not going to happen.”
- New England Revolution coach Steve Nicol after his team’s 0-0 draw with the Crew on Sunday


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