HAWKINSâ€™ FIRST WNT GOAL DELIVERS 1-0 WIN, TOURNEY TITLE IN WORLD CUP WARM-UP: The final day of the 2003 Four Nations Tournament produced two positive results for the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team as the Americans notched a solid 1-0 victory over Germany, while China and Norway tied 1-1, giving the USA the championship of this important pre-Women's World Cup tournament featuring the world's top four women's soccer teams. The win gave the USA six points, China finished second with five, followed by Germany and Norway with two teach. The USA finished third in this tournament last year, which was won by Norway, with Germany second and China last. The winning goal came from midfielder Devvyn Hawkins, who played a solid game at the defensive midfield slot and was named the Chevrolet Woman of the Match. The goal was the first of her international career in her first start of the tournament and in just her ninth international match. The U.S. Women's National Team opened the 2003 Four Nations Women's Tournament on Jan. 23 with a rousing 3-1 victory over Norway on goals from defender Thori Bryan, forward Tiffeny Milbrett and 18-year-old striker Heather O'Reilly and three assists by midfielder Aly Wagner but dropped a 2-0 decision to the host nation in their second match.
ARENA, MASTROENI TO BE FEATURED ON CONFERENCE CALL WED. AT 1 P.M. ET: U.S. Menâ€™s National Team head coach Bruce Arena and Argentine-born U.S. World Cup midfielder Pablo Mastroeni will be featured in a special conference call on Wednesday (Feb. 5) at 1 p.m. ET to discuss upcoming games against Argentina and Jamaica. The U.S. will host two-time World Cup champion Argentina on Feb. 8 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla., at 11:55 a.m. ET live on ESPN2, Telemundo and Radio Unica, before traveling south to face Jamaica just four days later at the National Stadium in Kingston at 7:30 p.m. ET. The USA-Jamaica match will be broadcast on tape delay on Telemundo at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT, and both games can be followed live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The MLS-based squad continues to train in Bradenton, Fla., before moving to Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday (Feb. 6) and departing for Jamaica on Feb. 10. Advance tickets for the Argentina match are priced from $15 to $35 and are on sale now at all South Florida Ticketmaster outlets (including FYE, Specâ€™s Music and Rickyâ€™s Records), by phone (Ft. Lauderdale 954-523-3309; Miami 305-358-5885; West Palm Beach 561-966-3309) and online at ussoccer.com [Click here for complete ticket information].
ARGENTINA DROPS HONDURAS 3-1, MEETS MEXICO TOMORROW BEFORE U.S. CLASH: Playing just their second match since their early exit at the 2002 World Cup, Argentina came back from an early one-goal deficit to defeat Honduras 3-1 on Friday in San Pedro Sula behind an equalizer from forward Diego Milito and second-half goals from midfielders Luiz and Mariano Gonzalez. Argentina will face Mexico tomorrow night (Feb. 4) at the L.A. Coliseum live on Telemundo at 10:30 p.m. ET in the second game of a three-game tour of the Americas. Led by River Plate midfielder Andres D'Alessandro, the Argentine roster boasts five players who were members of the 2001 FIFA World Youth (U-20) Championship team.
Goalkeepers (2): Sebastian Saja (CA San Lorenzo), Wilfredo Caballero (CA Boca Juniors);
Defenders (5): Nicolas Burdisso (CA Boca Juniors), Clemente Rodriguez (CA Boca Juniors), Gonzalo Rodriguez (CA San Lorenzo), Ariel Garce (CA River Plate), Gabriel Milito (CA Independiente);
Midfielders (10): Sebastian Battaglia (CA Boca Juniors), Leandro Romagnoli (CA San Lorenzo), Andres D'Alessandro (CA River Plate), Luis Gonzalez (CA River Plate), Leandro Ponzio (CA Newell's Old Boys), Mariano GonzÃ¡lez (Racing Club), Lucas Pusineri (CD Independiente), Pablo GuiÃ±azu (CA Independiente), Federico Insua (CA Independiente), Javier Mascherano (River Plate);
Forwards (3): Cesar Carignano (Club Colon), Diego Milito (Racing Club), Emanuel Rivas (CA Independiente).
â€“ U.S. MENâ€™S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE â€“
SPECIAL ON-FIELD SEATS AVAILABLE FOR USA-JAPAN MATCH IN SEATTLE ON MARCH 29: When the U.S. Men's National Team returns to Seattle to face Japan on March 29 (live on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. PT) at Seattle Seahawks Stadium, a limited number of lucky fans will have an opportunity to purchase special on-field seats that will be placed just five yards from the game action. The 100 true field-level seats are available now for $150 and in addition to including a unique chance to be just feet from the world-class soccer action, fans get to keep the commemorative chair, which will be autographed by U.S. Menâ€™s National Team head coach Bruce Arena. The USA and Japan have met only one time at the senior international level, with Japan capturing a 3-1 victory on March 14, 1993 in Tokyo. The clash with Japan will be the first international soccer match hosted by the newly minted Seattle Seahawks Stadium. Tickets ranging in price levels from $20 to $70 are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, at the Seahawks Stadium ticket office, by phone (Seattle 206-628-0888; Tacoma 253-627-8497), and online at www.ussoccer.com. Groups of 20 or more can order through U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290.
â€“ YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE â€“
U-20s DRAWN INTO GROUP F WITH PARAGUAY, GERMANY & KOREA FOR UAE 2003: The United States Under-20 Menâ€™s National Team has been drawn into Group F with Paraguay, Germany and Korea for the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in United Arab Emirates. The U.S. opens against Paraguay on March 27 at 5:45 p.m. local time, then faces Germany on March 30 (5:45 p.m. local time) and concludes Group play on April 2 (8:30 p.m. local time) against Korea. The U.S. will play all three of their first round games at Abu Dhabiâ€™s Al-Nahyam Stadium. Every U.S. match at the World Youth Championship can be followed live via ussoccer.comâ€™s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The top two teams from each group and the top four (of six) third-place teams advance to the Round of 16. The U.S. is one of only five teams to qualify for the last four World Youth Championships, and one of only two teams (Brazil is the other) to finish in the top 15 in each of the last four tournaments.
UNDER-17s LEARN DRAW FOR CONCACAF QUALIFYING IN MARCH: CONCACAF announced the final round pairings for the Group A Under-17 Qualifying Tournament at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City, Guatemala from March 5 -9. The U.S. will open the tournament against Jamaica on March 5 and then face El Salvador on March 7, before ending the tournament against the host nation. The U.S. met Jamaica and El Salvador in the 2001 Group A Under-17 tournament in St. Louis, Mo., grabbing a 2-1 win over Jamaica and thumping El Salvador 4-0 in the deciding game behind an Ed Johnson hat trick. The Group B Under-17 Qualifying Tournament will be take place in Centennial Stadium in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada from March 16-20, with Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica and the hosts Canada competing for a world championship spot. The first place team in Group A and B will automatically advance to the 2003 Under-17 World Championship in Finland in August, and the runner-ups from each group will play a home-and-home play-off for CONCACAF's final spot in Finland '03.
U.S. UNDER-17s POST DRAW, LOSS IN COSTA RICA: The U.S. Under-17 MNT wrapped up their two-game trek to Costa Rica with a scoreless draw against Costa Rica on Friday, two days after falling 2-1 to their hosts. In Friday's finale, the U.S. outplayed their hosts, putting all seven of their shots on goal and forcing Costa Rican goalkeeper Solano into seven saves. Phil Marfuggi played the entire match in goal for the U.S., recording his fifth international shutout. The U.S. also played well in their opening match on Wednesday, going ahead in the 33rd minute, when Brandon Owens set up Eddie Gaven (MetroStars) for his team-leading fourth goal of the year. But the U.S. side gave up two goals in the final four minutes of the first half, including the game winner in added time. Quentin Westberg started for the U.S. in nets, but was replaced by Marfuggi at halftime. The team returned to the U.S. this weekend and will resume training at the IMG Academy this week.
â€“ AROUND THE SOCCER WORLD â€“
HUNT NAMED BEST OFFICIAL OF FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT: U.S. Soccer referee Sandra Hunt was selected as the "Best Official" of the 2003 Four Nations Women's Tournament held from January 23-29 in China. The important competition served as a precursor for the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup being staged in September and October of this year. Working the non-USA matches in the tournament, Hunt has previously officiated in China at the Asian Women's Championships in December 2001. A FIFA International Referee since 1999, Hunt hails from Bellingham, Wash., and has also worked the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup in the USA and the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia.
CONCACAF ANNOUNCES 2003 CHAMPIONS CUP PAIRINGS: Results of the draw for the final stage of the 2003 CONCACAF Champions Cup were announced today. The sixteen teams will play a two-leg, home-and-home series on March 12 and 26, with the draw structured so that teams from the same country avoid playing each other for as long as possible. As in 2002, the draw consisted of three pots, one containing the four qualifiers from Major League Soccer of the USA, one containing the four teams from the FMF Primera Division in Mexico, and one containing the eight teams which survived zonal qualifying in Central America (UNCAF) and the Caribbean (CFU). The U.S. teams were drawn against a team from the pot containing the CFU and UNCAF qualifiers, while the teams from the Mexican pot were drawn against a team from the pot containing the zonal qualifiers.
Home team (first leg) listed first
Series 1: CD Toluca FC (MEX) vs. W Connection FC (TRI)
Series 2: CSD Municipal (GUA) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (USA)
Series 3: Club AmÃ©rica (MEX) vs. CD F.A.S. (SLV)
Series 4: LD Alajuelense (CRC) vs. New England Revolution (USA)
Series 5: CSD Comunicaciones (GUA) vs. CA Monarcas Morelia (MEX)
Series 6: Deportivo Ãrabe Unido (PAN) vs. Columbus Crew (USA)
Series 7: Arnett Gardens FC (JAM) vs. CID Necaxa (MEX)
Series 8: CD Motagua (HON) vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
USL ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE FOR 2003 PDL SEASON: United Soccer Leagues released the 2003 season schedule for the Premier Development League, which kicks off Sunday, April 20 when the Fresno Fuego play host to fellow newcomer Nevada at Fresno Pacific University. The defending champion Cape Cod Crusaders open the season at home Saturday, May 10 against the Jersey Falcons in the first of their four league matches that also double as Lamar Hunt US Open Cup qualifiers. The Des Moines Menace, who went the entire 2002 season unbeaten, will look to continue their streak at home May 10 against the Chicago Fire Reserves, one of the three teams to earn a draw against Des Moines. U.S. Open Cup qualifying will conclude Monday, May 26. The 475-game schedule wraps up Sunday, July 20 with 10 matches. The PDL playoffs will open the following weekend with the conference tournaments. The four winners will then square off in the league semifinals for the right to play in the league championship Saturday, August 9 live on Fox Sports World.
OFFENSE RULES WUSA DRAFT, WNT MIDFIELDER WAGNER MADE FIRST PICK BY SPIRIT: Offense was the theme of the 2003 WUSA Draft at the league's headquarters at Cox Central Park in Atlanta. Led by top pick Aly Wagner of Santa Clara University and the U.S. Womenâ€™s National Team, 22 of the 32 total selections were either forwards or midfielders in yesterday's draft. As expected, Wagner was named the first pick in the 2003 WUSA Draft by the San Diego Spirit. Wagner, who won the 2002 MAC Hermann Award winner as the nation's top college player, serves as the starting playmaker for the U.S. and has tallied eight goals with 16 assists in just 36 career caps. Three of Wagnerâ€™s former Under-21 teammates filled out the next three picks, as forward Christie Welsh, midfielder Devvyn Hawkins and goalkeeper Hope Solo went to New York, Boston and Philadelphia, respectively. Below is the complete list of first round picks:
1. San Diego -- Aly Wagner / M / Santa Clara Univ.
2. New York -- Christie Welsh / F / Penn State Univ.
3. Boston -- Devvyn Hawkins / M / Santa Clara Univ.
4. Philadelphia -- Hope Solo / GK / Univ. of Washington
5. Atlanta -- Callie Withers / M / Stanford Univ.
6. Philadelphia -- Deliah Arrington / F / Clemson Univ.
7. Philadelphia -- Mary McVeigh / M / Dartmouth College
8. Carolina -- Breanna Boyd / D / Univ. of Nebraska
U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT
PEAK PERFORMER: The San Diego Spirit made the right move in working a trade last September in order to get the #1 pick in the 2003 WUSA Draft and grab U.S. WNT midfielder Aly Wagner, who was easily the best pick coming out of college. One of the top playmakers in the world, Wagner should combine extremely well with regular U.S. teammates Julie Foudy and Shannon MacMillan and take the Spirit to their first post-season in team history.
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: Itâ€™s all about the future on Saturday when both the U.S. and Argentina send out up-and-coming young players to do battle at the Orange Bowl live on ESPN2, Telemundo and Radio Unica. With both rosters loaded with players with less than 10 caps, it will be a measure of who has the best raw talent as each team heads down the long road to Germany 2006.
SOCCER SHOCKER: The remarkable and incredibly improbable 19-game undefeated streak of La Liga leader Real Sociedad finally came to an end this weekend, as they suffered a 3-0 loss at Atletico Bilbao. Sociedad currently sits four points ahead of the superstar-heavy Real Madrid with a 12-1-7 record and 43 points. Far from a traditional Spanish league powerhouse, Sociedad has not finished better than 13th in the previous three seasons.
"I haven't really spoken to my dad about it. Hopefully, he'll be pulling for us. I've made sure he's got more USA gear than Argentina."
- U.S. MNT midfielder and Argentine-born Pablo Mastroeni, on where his father's loyalties will lie when the USA plays his native country on Saturday.