U.S. FINISHES SIX-GAME ?QUEST FOR SUMMER GLORY? TOUR WITH 5-0-1 RECORD: The U.S. Women's National Team put together a sparkling performance in its final match before the 2004 Olympics, defeating China 3-1 yesterday through goals by Aly Wagner, Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach in front of 15,093 fans at Rentschler Field, marking the largest crowd the U.S. WNT has drawn in the state of Connecticut. "I am really pleased, it could not have gone better," said U.S. head coach April Heinrichs. "Everybody played well. I liked the way we attacked and went at China with courage and confidence. Obviously, we have great respect for them, so when you can play aggressively and with that kind of confidence against a team that is as strong as China, it's a really good sign moving forward." In one of the most physical "friendlies" of the year, the match produced nine yellow cards between the two rivals, five for China and four for the USA, an uncommonly high number for a U.S. Women's National Team match, despite the fact that just 15 fouls were called over the 90 minutes. Wagner started the scoring for the U.S., finishing a series of passes from Wambach, Julie Foudy and a clever flick by Hamm to make it 1-0 in the 14th minute. Hamm scored a goal of her own in the 33rd minute, converting on a 2-on-1 breakaway after Wambach drew the ?keeper out and laid the ball off. Wambach scored her team-leading 14th goal of the year, heading home a Hamm corner kick in the 69th minute. With the win, the U.S. finished the six-game "Quest for Summer Glory" Tour with a 5-0-1 record and improved to 15-1-2 in 2004. The team leaves for Greece today, where they will prepare to meet the host nation on Aug. 11 in Heraklio.
WNT ?Quest for Summer Glory? Tour Results
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers Venue; City Attendance
April 24 Brazil 5-1 W Foudy, Wambach (2), Welsh, Hamm Legion Field; Birmingham, Ala. 11,527
May 9 Mexico 3-0 W Parlow, Hamm, Chalupny University Stadium; Albuquerque, N.M. 17,805
June 6 Japan 1-1 T Wambach Cardinal Stadium; Louisville, Ky. 7,525
July 3 Canada 1-0 W Mitts The Coliseum; Nashville, Tenn. 9,110
July 21 Australia 3-1 W Boxx, Hamm, Wambach National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn. 10,276 (SO)
Aug. 1 China 3-1 W Wagner, Hamm, Wambach Rentschler Field; Hartford, Conn. 15,093
NBC UNVEILS TV SCHEDULE FOR U.S. WOMEN IN GREECE: The U.S. Women?s National Team?s path through Greece in search of an Athens 2004 Gold Medal in the Olympic Women?s Football Tournament will be televised live throughout the month of August on NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo. Each of the USA?s six possible games will be televised live, as will other select men?s and women?s matches in the Olympics. The U.S. will play Greece in one of the opening events of the Athens Olympics on Aug. 11, two days before the Games officially kick off. The match will be preceded by an opening ceremony for the women?s soccer tournament, and will be broadcast live on MSNBC at 11 a.m. ET and on a delay on Telemundo at approximately 6 p.m. ET. The second game for the U.S. women in the first round, a tough match-up against Brazil, will be televised live on Aug. 14 at 11 a.m. ET on CNBC as part of the network?s 14 hours of Olympic coverage that day. The USA will then wrap up their first round matches on Aug. 17 against Australia live at 11 a.m. ET from Thessaloniki on MSNBC. Should the U.S. advance out of their group to the quarterfinals, that match will be seen live on MSNBC and Telemundo on Aug. 20. Both semifinal match-ups will also be broadcast live on MSNBC and Telemundo, and the gold medal match will be featured live on NBC on Aug. 26. The NBC Network?s 24-hour coverage will include action from all 28 Summer Olympic sports for the first time, with JP Dellacamera serving as the network?s soccer voice. Over the 17 days of the Athens Games, the networks of NBC will average more than 70 hours of Olympic coverage per day, and over 1,210 hours overall.
U.S. WNT TV Schedule (*if necessary)
Date Opponent* Venue Kickoff (ET) TV
Aug. 11 Greece Heraklio 11 a.m. MSNBC / Telemundo (delay)
Aug. 14 Brazil Thessaloniki 11 a.m. CNBC
Aug. 17 Australia Thessaloniki 11 a.m. MSNBC
Aug. 20 Quarterfinal * TBD 11 a.m. MSNBC / Telemundo
Aug. 23 Semifinal * Heraklio / Patra 11 a.m. / 2 p.m. MSNBC / Telemundo
Aug. 26 Bronze Medal Game * Athens 11 a.m. MSNBC / Telemundo
Aug. 26 Gold Medal Game * Athens 2 p.m. NBC / Telemundo
TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR U.S. MEN?S FIRST HOME QUALIFIER ON SEPT. 4 AT FOXBORO: Tickets for the U.S. Men's National Team's important FIFA World Cup qualifying match against El Salvador on Sept. 4 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout New England (including all Filene's stores), and by calling 617-931-2000 (Boston), 413-733-2500 (Western Mass.), 207-775-3331 (Maine), 603-868-7300 (New Hampshire) or 401-331-2211 (Rhode Island). Substantial group discounts are available by calling 877-GET-REVS (877-438-7387) for more information. Tickets for the match, which kicks off at 4 p.m. ET and will be followed by the New England Revolution taking on the San Jose Earthquakes in MLS action, range from $35 to $125. U.S. fans attending the doubleheader in Foxboro are being encouraged to "Wear Red" in support of the U.S. Men's National Team as they battle El Salvador, Jamaica and Panama in their four-team semifinal round group of World Cup qualifying. The U.S. opens the semifinal round with a match on Aug. 18 in Jamaica, and the Foxboro game is the second of six games that will decide the two teams that will advance into the final round of qualifying in 2005.
MNT FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule ? Semifinal Round
Date Opponent Venue; City Kickoff / TV
Aug. 18 Jamaica National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica 7 p.m. ET / ESPN2
Sept. 4 El Salvador Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass. 4 p.m. ET / Telemundo
Sept. 8 Panama Estadio Rommel Fernández 9 p.m. ET / TBD
Oct. 9 El Salvador TBD (away) TBD / TBD
Oct. 13 Panama RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C. TBD / TBD
Nov. 17 Jamaica Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio TBD / TBD
-- LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP UPDATE --
A-LEAGUE LOOKING FOR MORE UPSETS IN OPEN CUP QUARTERFINALS ON WEDNESDAY: After the majority of the first three rounds of the competition had gone according to plan, the A-League shook up the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup brackets with four upsets of MLS teams in fourth round action on July 20-21. Those four teams will be looking to advance a step closer to the $100,000 prize when the Open Cup resumes on Wednesday (Aug. 4) with the quarterfinal round. After knocking off the L.A. Galaxy 1-0 on July 20, the Minnesota Thunder will host the San Jose Earthquakes. Dallas will meet Kansas City in an all-MLS battle in suburban Kansas, while Charleston will travel to Rochester to battle for the only assured A-League spot in the tournament semi-finals. Three-time Open Cup winner (1998, 2000, 2003) and defending champion Chicago will look to break out of its record nine-game winless streak when it heads East to take on '95 winner Richmond at the University of Richmond Stadium.
# Date Match-up Venue; City Kickoff (local)
33 Aug. 4 San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) at Minnesota Thunder (A) James Griffin Stadium; St. Paul, Minn. 7 p.m. CT
34 Aug. 4 Dallas Burn (MLS) at Kansas City Wizards (MLS) Blue Valley Complex; Overland Park., Kan. 7:30 p.m. CT
35 Aug. 4 Chicago Fire (MLS) at Richmond Kickers (A) Univ. of Richmond Stadium; Richmond, Va. 7 p.m. ET
36 Aug. 4 Charleston Battery (A) at Rochester Raging Rhinos (A) Frontier Field; Rochester, N.Y. 7:30 p.m. ET
? U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE ?
U.S. DEFEATS SWEDEN 3-0 TO WIN SIXTH CONSECUTIVE NORDIC CUP TITLE: The U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team continued its six-year dominance of the world at their age level, shutting out their fourth straight opponent by a 3-0 score to defeat Sweden for the championship of the 14th annual Nordic Cup. Midfielder Lori Chalupny scored at the stroke of halftime and forwards Kelly Wilson and Carli Lloyd both added second-half goals as the Americans held Sweden without a shot in the game. The USA went 360 minutes during the tournament without allowing a goal, as goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart recorded shutouts in all four games. The four shutouts marked the first time the USA has won the Nordic Cup without allowing a goal. The USA has now won seven out of the last eight Nordic Cups dating back to 1997 under four different coaches. The title was the second Nordic Cup triumph for Petrucelli. The commanding win over Sweden gave the USA an unprecedented sixth consecutive championship in the world's top competition for U-21 women. The U.S. opened the tournament with a 3-0 win over Finland on July 23, followed by identical results against Norway on July 25 and Germany on July 27 to advance to the final. The U-21s were led by forwards Natasha Kai and Kelly Wilson, both of whom scored three goals in four matches. In fact, all six attacking players in Petrucelli?s 4-3-3 formation scored in the tournament, with midfielders Sarah Huffman and Carli Lloyd each scoring a pair and Lori Chalupny and Joanna Lohman getting one each.
U-21 WNT 2004 Nordic Cup Results
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
July 23 Finland 3-0 W Lohman, Kai, Lloyd
July 25 Norway 3-0 W Huffman, Wilson (2)
July 27 Germany 3-0 W Kai (2), Huffman
July 29 Sweden 3-0 W Chalupny, Wilson, Lloyd
U-16 MNT TRAVELS TO PERU FOR THREE GAMES AGAINST CONMEBOL TEAMS: The U.S. Under-16 Men?s National Team will travel to Peru on Saturday (Aug. 7) to participate in the Peru International Friendly Tournament from Aug. 10-14. Head coach John Ellinger will bring a 20-man roster to compete against Peru, Colombia and Ecuador during the five-day tournament. The U.S. players will arrive in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Thursday (Aug. 5) and the team will hold three days of training before catching a late afternoon flight to Piura, Peru, the sight of their first match. The U.S. will open against the host on Aug. 10 at 7 p.m., before facing Colombia in Chiclayo two days later and then finishing with Ecuador in Trujillo on Aug. 14. The players and coaching staff will get their first look at Peru, the destination they will be working towards over the next eight months as they attempt to qualify for the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship, which will be held in the South American country. All of the players Ellinger is bringing to the tournament are in U.S. Soccer?s Residency Program or will be joining this fall. Each of the three tournament venues were used for this year?s Copa America.
U-16 MNT Schedule
Aug. 10 Peru
Aug. 12 Colombia
Aug. 14 Ecuador
U-16 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Evan Newton (Virginia Beach, Va.), Bryant Rueckner (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.); DEFENDERS (6): Michael Balogun (Houston, Texas), Carlos Borja (Anaheim, Calif.), Richard Edgar (Mechanicsville, Md.), Jeremy Hall (Tampa, Fla.), Eric Lichaj (Downers Grove, Ill.), Ofori Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio); MIDFIELDERS (8): Kevin Alston (Silver Spring, Md.), Nicolas Besagno (Maple Valley, Wash.), Michael Dal Pra (Bronxville, N.Y), Ryan Soroka (Langhorne, Pa.), Blake Wagner (Tampa, Fla.), Kyle Nakazawa (Palos Verdes Est., Calif.), Michael Farfan (San Diego, Calif.), Gabriel Farfan (San Diego, Calif.); FORWARDS (4): Eddie Ababio (Tampa, Fla.), Quavas Kirk (Aurora, Ill.), Michael Stephens (Woodridge, Ill.), Preston Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.).
U-15 BOYS FINISH 2-1-1 DURING WEEK-LONG CAMP IN NEW JERSEY: The U.S. Under-15 Boys? National Team went 2-1-1 against older local club teams during their week-long training camp in Somerset, New Jersey. After opening the tournament with a 2-0 loss against the U-16 PDA, the U.S. won their next two matches by the combined score of 7-2, defeating Princeton U-17 2-1 behind two goals from Perica Marosevic and dominating PDA U-17 5-1 behind goals from Cameron Brown (two), Joseph Sorrentino, Andrew Giallombardo and Michael Stephens. In their final match of the week, Jose Gonzalez scored a hat-trick in the first half, but it was only good enough to give the U.S. a 3-3 draw as Match Fit U-17 came back with three strikes in the second half.
U-15 BNT Results
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
July 26 PDA U-16 0-2 L ---
July 27 Princeton U-17 2-1 W Marosevic
July 29 PDA U-17 5-1 W Brown (2), Sorrentino, Giallombardo, Stephens
July 30 Match Fit U-17 3-3 T Gonzalez (3)
? AROUND THE SOCCER NATION ?
FUTSAL TEAM TAKES GOLD IN COSTA RICA, QUALIFIES FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. National Futsal Team won the CONCACAF Futsal Championship last weekend with their continued defensive domination of the region in a 2-0 win over Cuba on July 31 at the Palacio de los Deportes in Heredia, Costa Rica. Forwards Greg Howes and Don D'Ambra scored the goals from the U.S. off two set pieces, and goalkeeper Scott Hileman had the shutout in goal with 10 saves, including seven in the second half. Cuba had 23 shots on goal, but at least a dozen more shot attempts were blocked by U.S. defenders. The U.S. and Cuba had already earned berths to the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship by virtue of their semifinal victories on July 30 when the USA topped Costa Rica 4-0 and Cuba beat Mexico 5-4. The U.S. becomes the first team to ever post back-to-back shutouts in the semifinal and championship matches, and the first to post three shutouts in the entire tournament. With shutouts against Costa Rica and Guyana, U.S. goalkeeper Brett Phillips was named the tournament's most outstanding goalkeeper despite not playing in the final. Howes led the U.S. in scoring for the tournament with four goals, while Andy Guastaferro finished with three goals (all on penalty kicks). The U.S. finished the tournament with an undefeated 3-0-2 record. The 16-team 2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship will be held from November 21 to December 5 in Chinese Taipei. In addition to the U.S. and Cuba from CONCACAF, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Portugal, Japan, Italy and Ukraine are among the teams that have qualified.
Futsal NT Results
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
July 24 Panama 2-2 T Howes, Shanker
July 26 Guyana 6-0 W Shanker, Dusosky (2), White (2), Guastaferro
July 28 Cuba 1-1 T Guasteferro
July 30 Costa Rica 4-0 W Guasteferro, Howes (2), Shanker
July 31 Cuba 2-0 W Howes, D?Ambra
BOULDER TO FACE CENTRAL FLORIDA IN PDL FINAL ON SATURDAY: The Boulder Rapids Reserve downed the visiting Fresno Fuego 3-0 to return to the Premier Development League championship game for the second time in three years. Boulder's Javier Vegas broke the scoreless stalemate two minutes into the second, converting a penalty kick for the opening marker. Alex Salazar pushed the lead to 2-0 in the 60th minute on an assist from Lance Snodgrass and Peter Lowry capped the game in the 84th with an assist from Vegas. Boulder, who fell 2-1 in overtime on the road against the Cape Cod Crusaders in 2002, will face the Central Florida Kraze, who advanced to the final via penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes of action with the Carolina Dynamo. Both goalkeepers posted 11 saves during the match and three in the penalty kick tiebreaker, with two Kraze players converting their spot kicks for a 2-1 victory in the tiebreaker. The final will take place on Saturday (August 7) at the University of Central Florida Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. ET live on Fox Sports World.
VAUGHN, STOTT AMONG FIVE U.S. SOCCER REFS ASSIGNED TO QUALIFYING MATCHES: Five U.S. Soccer referees have been appointed by FIFA to work two upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches in the semifinal round of CONCACAF qualifying play. Terry Vaughn will be the center referee when St. Vincent/Grenadines hosts Trinidad and Tobago on August 18 in Group C. He will be aided by assistant referees Greg Barkey and Kevin Stott. On Sept. 5, Stott will be the center official in a match between host Guatemala and Costa Rica, along with assistants Chris Strickland and Steven Davidson. For Vaughn, the World Cup qualifying assignment is his first since becoming a certified FIFA referee in 2004. Kevin Stott has been a FIFA official since 1995 and recently worked the CONCACAF Gold Cup and FIFA World Youth Championship in 2003.
*** ?CENTER CIRCLE? SPOTLIGHT ***
PEAK PERFORMER: Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach continue to be the most dangerous women?s soccer duo on the planet, combining for two goals and playing a role in the third during yesterday?s 3-1 win over China in Hartford, Conn. Heading into the Olympics, they are far and away the team?s two leading scorers on the team. Wambach has a team-leading 14 goals to go along with seven assists, while Hamm has contributed seven goals and a team-leading 12 assists.
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: U.S. Men?s National Team midfielder Bobby Convey could make his overseas debut on Saturday (Aug. 7) as Reading takes on Brighton in each team?s first match of the 2004-05 English First Division campaign. Convey has been highly touted by the club, with his signing being part of their effort to earn promotion to the English Premier League in 2005-06.
SOCCER SHOCKER: When was the last time there were nine cautions in a Women?s National Team game? Who knows, even with all those rough-and-tumble border battles with the physical Canadian team over the years. With her short fuse, it?s no surprise that Mia picked up a yellow in the match, but when someone as calm and collected like Kristine Lilly is seen shoving an opponent after suffering a vicious foul tackle, you know things are heated. The fact that the on-field temperature was in the 100s couldn?t have helped either.
QUOTABLE: "It was an exhilarating, humbling, exciting and, at times, even depressing 50 minutes."
--Former U.S. MNT and MLS All-Star defender Alexi Lalas, after playing in a special tribute game before the 2004 MLS All-Star Game on July 31 at RFK Stadium