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U.S. Soccer Wire - February 21, 2006


U.S. MNT Prepares For March 1 Match Against Poland in
Kaiserslautern, Germany, After 4-0 Win Against Guatemala

U.S. FACES POLAND AFTER 4-0 WIN AGAINST GUATEMALA: The U.S. Men's National Team will head to Germany next week after playing their first match at Pizza Hut Park on Sunday (Feb. 19), dominating Guatemala in a 4-0 win. With temperatures hovering around freezing during the match, the U.S. got two goals on either side of halftime. Midfielder Chris Klein set up Ben Olsen and Brian Ching late in the first half, and also scored one of his own for the team’s final tally in the 71st minute. Eddie Johnson notched the third U.S. strike just over a minute into the second half. The U.S. is now 3-0-1 in 2006 and, with four tallies against Guatemala, has scored 12 goals in the last three games. After a scoreless draw with Canada, the U.S. buried five goals against Norway in a 5-0 win before netting three against Japan in a 3-2 victory. The U.S. ventures to Germany for their next two matches. The U.S. will face Poland on Wednesday, March 1, at Fritz-Walter-Stadion in Kaiserslautern (tickets), site of the USA’s highly anticipated FIFA World Cup match against Italy on June 17. Kickoff for the match is set for 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and delayed on Telemundo. The U.S. will return three weeks later to face Germany on Wednesday, March 22, at Westfalenstadion in Dortmund. Kickoff for the match is set for 2:25 p.m. ET and will be televised live on ESPN2 and delayed on Telemundo. Fans can also follow both matches in Germany live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

NOTEWORTHY SCORING RUN: Two interesting statistics standout from the USA's current goal barrage of 2006. The U.S. Men's National Team has now scored at least three goals in three consecutive games. The U.S. went 74 years from 1930 through 2003 without such a streak. ... Additionally, the USA's seven goals from seven different goal scorers across the past two games marks the first time in team history that feat has ever been accomplished. Previously, the U.S. has had six different goal scorers across two games 11 different times, including the most recent occurrence in 2003.

U.S. MNT TO PLAY JAMAICA ON APRIL 11: The U.S. Men’s National Team will continue its 2006 World Cup preparations with a match against Jamaica on Tuesday, April 11, at SAS Park in Cary, N.C. Kickoff for the game is at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the match at ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The match will occur just under a month before the team begins to use the Cary facility as their base training camp prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The team will begin final preparations for Germany on May 9 in Cary, and will train for approximately two weeks at the facility. Tickets for the game go on sale starting Friday, March 3, at 10 a.m. ET online at ussoccer.com, at all Cary and Raleigh Ticketmaster outlets (including Hechts, FYE, and Publix Stores) and by phone at 919-834-4000. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by calling 312-528-1290.

U.S. MNT UNVEILS NEW JERSEY FOR 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP: Nike and U.S. Soccer have unveiled the 2006 U.S. Men’s National Team jersey (photos), which will be worn this summer by the U.S. at the FIFA World Cup in Germany. The jersey debuted on the field this Sunday (Feb. 19), as the U.S. defeated Guatemala at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The jerseys will hit the shelves in early April, but fans can pre-order jerseys at ussoccerstore.com now. Inspired by the jersey of the 1950 World Cup tournament where the U.S. defeated England, the white of the home jersey backs a double obsidian blue and brick house red stripe that runs down the left side, disappearing into the blue short and re-appearing for the length of the white sock. The U.S. Soccer logo sits over the stripe on the left chest and on the right leg of the short. The away kit is a modern-day retro jersey, harkening back to the original Nike uniform designed for the U.S. Men's National Team back in 1995 and worn for two years. The uniform features a deep obsidian blue jersey, with a rich brick house red horizontal stripe across the chest bordered on either side by clean white stripes. The number breaks up the stripe in the center of the chest, and a prominent U.S. Soccer logo is on the left chest. While based on tradition, the cut of the jerseys have been streamlined for a sleeker look and more comfortable fit. The major advancement in comfort comes from the use of Nike Sphere Dry material in the garment construction. This technology wicks sweat away from the body through the shirt while featuring raised nodes on the underside that lift the shirt away from the players' bodies to keep their skin drier and reduce shirt cling.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-21 WNT SPLITS MATCHES IN THE U.K: The U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team defeated the Scotland Women’s National Team, 3-1, but fell to the England U-21 Women’s National Team, 2-1, on a quick, and cold, tour of the United Kingdom. Temperatures during the trip rarely rose out of the 30s as the USA played one match in Scotland on Feb. 15 and one match in London on Feb. 17. Against Scotland, the USA dominated, out-shooting the Scots 23-4 while getting two goals from forward Tiffany Weimer and one from midfielder Ashley Pistorius. Weimer opened the scoring in the 22nd minute off an assist from midfielder Sarah Huffman, but Scotland equalized 10 minutes later through Jo Love, leveling the match at 1-1 going into halftime. The USA would put the game away with goals in the 58th and 68th minutes as Pistorius scored off an assist from Bristyn Davis and Weimer got her second of the game off an assist from defender Mary Castelanelli. Against the England U-21s, the USA took an early lead through forward Liz Bogus in the eighth minute, but the English tied the game in the 58th minute, then got the winner on a free kick from Michelle Evens in the 77th. Kati Jo Spisak started both games in goal for the United States. With numerous U-21 aged players currently with the U.S. U-20s and the full Women’s National Team, several players had the opportunity to make their U-21 international debuts on the trip. Those players included Pistorius, Davis, Weimer and Bogus, along with forwards Kerri Hanks and Natalie Budge, midfielder Allie Long (a member of the U.S. U-20 team), defenders Holly Gault and Deney Riley, and goalkeeper Ashley Philips.

U.S. U-21 WNT Schedule in the UK
Date         Opponent        Result      U.S. Goalscorers
Feb. 15     Scotland          3-1 W      Weimer (2), Pistorius
Feb. 17     England U-21   1-2 L        Bogus

U-17 MNT TO FACE TRINIDAD & TOBAGO U-21 MNT AND SOUTH FLORIDA THIS WEEK: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will play two games this week in Florida. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the U-17s will take on the Trinidad & Tobago Under-21 Men’s National Team at IMG Academy in Bradenton. On Saturday, Feb. 25, the U-17s will then head to Tampa to take on the University of South Florida.

U-17 MNT Schedule
Date         Team                    Opponent
Feb. 22     U.S. U-17 '90s       Trinidad & Tobago U-21 MNT
Feb. 25     U.S. U-17 '89s       USF

GERMANS COME TO CALIFORNIA AS U.S. U-16 GNT HOLDS SECOND CAMP OF ’06: The U.S. Under-16 Girl’s National Team will conduct its second training camp of the year from March 4-11 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The camp, which will be held concurrently with the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team camp, will feature two matches each for the U.S. U-16s and U-17s against the German U-17s, and one scrimmage between the U.S. U-16s and U-17s. There will be matches on five straight days from March 5-9. Last year, the U-16s lost the first game to the German U-17s, 1-0, but rebounded with a 3-1 win in the second game. The U.S. U-17s defeated Germany twice, both by 2-0 scores. The U.S. U-17 roster is not yet finalized. U.S. U-16 GNT head coach Kazbek Tambi has called in 24 players, most born in 1990, but the group also includes five players born in 1991 that have been called up from the U.S. U-15 GNT pool that held its first of the year camp in late January. Sixteen of the players in this camp attended the first U-16 GNT training camp of the year that also took place in late January.

U.S. U-16 GNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bianca Henniger (Saratoga, Calif.), Kim Kern (Raleigh, N.C.), Catherine Parkhill (Apple Valley, Minn.); DEFENDERS (7): Jazmyne Avant (Coppell, Texas), Amber Brooks (New Hope, Pa.), Zakiya Bywaters (Las Vegas, Nevada), Jennifer Laponte (Castro Valley, Calif.), Camille Levin (Newport Beach, Calif.), Michelle Olivier (Rosewell, Georgia), Alyssa Pember (Northport, N.Y.); MIDFIELDERS (6): Shira Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Julia Bouchelle (Cockeysville, Md.), Kristen Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Mariah Noguiera (Westminster, Calif.), Casey Short (Naperville, Ill.), Beth West (Centennial, Colo.); FORWARDS (7): Lauren Alwine (Elizabethtown, Pa.), Miriam Azimi (Sacramento, Calif.), Brittani Bartok (Union, N.J.), Brianna Garcia (Babylon, N.Y.), Maggie Kistner (St. Louis, Mo.), Sidney Leroux (Lakewood, Wash.), Tiffany McCarty (Laurel, Md.), Alyssa Rich (Cincinnati, Ohio)

U.S. U-16 GNT and U-17 WNT Schedule
Date         Matchup                                                   Time
March 5    U.S. U-17 WNT vs. Germany U-17 WNT      11 a.m.
March 6    U.S. U-16 GNT vs. Germany U-17 WNT       10 a.m.
March 7    U.S. U-17 WNT vs. U.S. U-16 GNT              11 a.m.
March 8    U.S. U-17 WNT vs. Germany U-17 WNT       4 p.m.
March 9    U.S. U-16 GNT vs. Germany U-17 WNT       10 a.m.

U-15 BNT HOLD FIRST CAMP OF 2006 AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER: The U.S. Under-15 Boys’ National Team will hold their first camp of 2006 from February 25-March 4 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Head coach Jim Barlow invited in 48 players into the weeklong camp, all of which were born in 1991.

U-15 BNT Schedule
Date       Opponent
Feb. 28   Cal South ODP
Feb. 28   So Cal United
March 1   Valley United
March 1   AUSC Flyers
March 2   Santa Anita SC
March 2   So Cal United
March 3   Rampage
March 3   AUSC Flyers

U-15 BNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (5): Connor Askins (Boston, Mass.), Rafael Diaz (Rockaway, N.J.), Keegan Gunderson (Circle Pines, Minn.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Brandon Paul (Flemington, N.J.); DEFENDERS (13): James Balba (Torrance, Calif.), Gregory Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Bonny Londono (Nutley, N.J.), Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Aubrey Perry (Oconee, Fla.), Regionald Phelps (Boynton Beach, Fla.), Jossimar Sanchez (Patterson, N.J.), Chris Smith (Chula Vista, Calif.), Jeffrey Strickland (Davis, Calif.), Zarek Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Juan Valladolid (Oxnard, Calif.), Parker Walsh (Roanoke, Va.), David Yang (Ann Arbor, Mich.); MIDFIELDERS (21): Jason Alvarez (Palm Coast, Fla.), Eder Arreola (Chino Hills, Calif.), Chad Barson (Lewis Center, Ohio), Tristen Bowen (Los Angeles, Calif.), Scott Caldwell (Braintree, Mass.), Francisco Cobo (Cali, Colombia), Ian Christianson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Kadeem Dacres (Rosedale, N.Y.), Tommaso D’Agostino (Longmeadow, Mass.), Kevin Durr (Garmisch, Germany), Uwen Etuk (Herndon, Va.), Paul Islas (Fresno, Calif.), Jesus Landores (Oxnard, Calif.), Dyland Mencia (Honesdale, Pa.), James Mulligan (Medford, N.Y.), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Mario Perez (Brownsville, Texas), Alexei Reyes (Dallas, Texas), Michael Roman (Oxnard, Calif.), Kofi Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Cameron Wilder (Kennesaw, Ga.); FORWARDS (9): Dersu Abolfathi (Irvine, Calif.), Ade Akinsanya (Sacramento, Calif.), Jose Altamirano (San Diego, Calif.), Will Bates (Chester, Va.), Abdus Ibrahim (Richfield, Minn.), Russell Jackson (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Andrew Lubahn (Eerie, Pa.), Jesus Mireles (Pharr, Texas), Jesse Ortiz (Aurora, Ill.).

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

ESPN2 AND ABC ANNOUNCE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER SCHEDULE: ESPN2 will kick off its 11th season of Major League Soccer coverage Saturday, April 1, at 11 p.m. ET with a rematch of the 2005 MLS Cup contest featuring the New England Revolution at the Los Angeles Galaxy.  ESPN2’s MLS schedule will feature 23 regular-season matches and three MLS Cup Playoff matches – mostly late afternoons on Saturday. ABC Sports will present the league’s season-opening match – Chicago Fire at FC Dallas – Saturday, April 1 at 4 p.m. from The Home Depot Center, the MLS All-Star Game, Saturday, July 29 at 3:30 p.m., and MLS Cup from the Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 12, at 3:30 p.m. A full television schedule is available at MLSnet.com.

GALAXY AND REVOLUTION READY FOR 2006 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS' CUP: Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español announced the return of the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. The tournament will be aired in English on Fox Soccer Channel and in Spanish on Fox Sports en Español. The eight-team field for the 2006 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup includes Mexico’s Club América and CD Toluca, defending champion Deportivo Saprissa and LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica, Honduras’s CD Olímpia, Portmore United of Jamaica, and Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution and Los Angeles Galaxy. The 2005 MLS champions Los Angeles Galaxy faces Deportivo Saprissa in their quarterfinal series. The New England Revolution, the 2005 MLS Eastern Conference Champions, will make their second-ever appearance in the Champions’ Cup this year. Aside from the Galaxy, 1998 Champions’ Cup winner D.C. United is the only other MLS team to have ever achieved the continental honor. 

2006 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup Quarterfinals Schedule*
Date                 Teams                                                           Time (ET)
Wed, Feb. 22    New England Revolution vs. LD Alajuelense        6 p.m.
Wed, Feb. 22    CD Olímpia vs. CF Toluca                                7:30 p.m.
Wed, Feb. 22    Portmore United vs. Club América                     9:30 p.m.
Thurs, Feb. 23   LA Galaxy vs. Deportivo Saprissa                     11 p.m.
Wed, March 8    CF Toluca vs. CD Olimpia                                4 p.m.
Wed, March 8    Club América vs. Portmore United                     8 p.m.
Wed, March 8    LD Alajuelense vs. New England Revolution        9 p.m.
Wed, March 8    Deportivo Saprissa vs. LA Galaxy                     9 p.m.

* Home team is listed first and all times are Eastern.   Telecast schedules will vary and not all games will air live.

GET DETAILED INFORMATION ON GERMANY FOR YOUR WORLD CUP TRIP: U.S. Soccer is working with the German National Tourist Office to help give American fans traveling to Germany to watch the World Cup a source and tool for making their trip this summer an unforgettable one. Germany is rolling out the red carpet for visitors with diverse soccer-related fan festivals, cultural events and special exhibitions in all 12 host cities, as well as smaller towns. Along with public viewing locations for all 64 games, there will be theater events, concerts and parties before, during and after the World Cup. Media and fans can find out about all these spectacular events and get detailed information on every host city by logging onto the German National Tourist Office website at cometogermany.com.

USL FORMS SUPER-20 LEAGUE: United Soccer Leagues announced last week the creation of the USL Super-20 League, a new league designed as a graduating youth league for elite players from ages 17-20 as they advance beyond the traditional youth bracket to the senior professional and amateur development leagues. The league will debut this summer with teams representing all levels of U.S. and Canadian soccer. The Super-20 League, for men and women, will replace the Under-19 age bracket of the Super Y-League, which will now range from U-13 to U-17 for boys and girls. The date for the birth year has been changed to the international standard of Jan. 1 from the previous date of Aug. 1, which now provides an additional six months of eligible players on teams’ roster, extending the bracket into the range of 20-year-olds. PDL and W-League teams will now be able to add USL Super-20 teams to expand their development goals as well as their player pool for the senior team.

MLS ANNOUNCES COMPETITION CHANGES FOR 2006: Major League Soccer Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis announced competition changes for the 2006 MLS regular season, as approved by the MLS Competition Committee. Among the changes is the formation of a newly created Technical Committee, whose role is to examine issues in-depth from a technical perspective and to provide input to the Competition Committee. The Technical Committee consists of MLS coaches, MLS General Managers, former MLS players and League Office technical staff and recently conducted its first meeting. The Competition Committee made the following changes for the 2006 MLS season:

2007 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup Participants - The team that has the most overall points at the end of the regular season will automatically qualify as one of two United States entries for the 2007 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. The second entry will be the winner of MLS Cup 2006, which will be played at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, on November 12, 2006 (live on ABC Sports). In the event that the overall points’ leader also wins MLS Cup 2006, the second U.S. entry will be awarded to the team with the second most points at the end of the regular season.

Balanced Gameday Rosters - Both the home team and the visiting team can have up to seven players available for selection as substitutes on game days, bringing the game day roster to 18 players for each team. Previously, home teams were permitted to dress 20 total players (nine available substitutes) while the visiting team could dress 16 total players (five available substitutes).

Caution Points Eliminated - Players will be suspended for one game following the accumulation of five yellow cards, regardless of the nature of the infraction. A player will subsequently be suspended for one additional game after accumulating a total of eight cautions and a third suspension will be applied after three additional yellow cards (11 total cautions). Previously, caution points were attributed to various types of yellow card infractions.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. MNT midfielder Chris Klein made his push for the USA’s 2006 FIFA World Cup roster against Guatemala on Sunday. Klein was involved in three of the U.S. men’s four goals, dishing out two assists before scoring a goal of his own in the 71st minute.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: After winning the 2005 MLS Cup and finishing as runner up, the Los Angeles Galaxy and the New England Revolution will face Costa Rican clubs Deportivo Saprissa and LC Alajuelense, respectively, in the 2006 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. The Revolution opens the tournament against Alajuelense at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, in Hamilton, Bermuda, while Los Angeles hosts defending champion Saprissa at 11 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, live on Fox Soccer Channel.

SOCCER SHOCKER: All of Italy gasped on Sunday when Roma captain Francesco Totti went down against Empoli, suffering a broken bone in his left foot. Totti, who is also an Italian National Team stalwart, will be out for up to three months, according to EFE news agency reports. The U.S. was drawn into the same group as Italy, Group E, for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, along with Ghana and the Czech Republic.

QUOTABLE: “You could be running all day in that weather. The thing is, you don't want to be running against us all day because we'll run you down."
 -- U.S. MNT defender Frankie Hejduk on the cold weather in Frisco, Texas, after the USA's 4-0 win against Guatemala on Sunday (Feb. 19).

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