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U.S. Soccer Wire - November 27, 2006


U.S. WNT Defeats Mexico For Berth in 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup;
Beats Canada in Overtime for 2006 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup Title

WNT WINS CONCACAF WOMEN’S GOLD CUP, QUALIFIES FOR FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: The U.S. Women's National Team qualified for their fifth consecutive FIFA Women's World Cup on Wednesday (Nov. 22) with a 2006 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup semifinal win against Mexico. After defeating the Tricolor Femenil, 2-0, the U.S. faced northern border rivals Canada in the title game. The U.S. came away with a 2-1 overtime win to defeat the Canadians and retain the regional title. The USA victory came courtesy of a stoppage time penalty kick from team captain Kristine Lilly in the game’s 120th minute after midfielder Carli Lloyd was fouled in the area by Canadian defender Robyn Gayle. The USA is now a perfect three-for-three in CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup championships, beating Canada in overtime by an identical score in 2002 and winning the inaugural tournament in 2000. The WNT extended their consecutive-games unbeaten streak to a record 32 games and closes out the year with an 18-0-4 record. The USA now has the rest of the year off and will not come together again until mid-January to start its 2007 schedule leading up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup. In the third-place match on Sunday night, Mexico scored three goals in the first half and cruised to a 3-0 victory over Jamaica, earning a spot in a two-game playoff against Japan for the final Women’s World Cup berth. With Argentina and Brazil qualifying this week, there are only two berths still available for China, the winner of the Mexico-Japan playoff and the winner of the Oceania qualification tournament to be held in June. Those teams will join host China, Australia and North Korea from Asia; Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and England from Europe; Nigeria and Ghana from Africa; the USA and Canada from CONCACAF; and Brazil and Argentina from South America. The 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be staged from Sept. 10-30 in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu and Tianjin.

2006 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup Results
Date        Matchup                               Result
Nov. 19   Panama vs. Jamaica                0-2
Nov. 19   Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago     3-0
Nov. 22   Canada vs. Jamaica                 4-0
Nov. 22   USA vs. Mexico                       2-0
Nov. 26   Mexico vs. Jamaica                  3-0
Nov. 26   USA vs. Canada                      2-1 (OT)


U.S. MNT TO KICK OFF 2007 AGAINST DENMARK: The U.S. Men’s National Team will play its first match of 2007 against Denmark on Saturday, Jan. 20, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., at 2 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and tape delayed at 9 p.m. PT (12 a.m. ET) on Galavision. Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets starting at $18 are now on sale at ussoccer.com, all Southern California Ticketmaster outlets (including Macy’s, Wherehouse Music and Ritmo Latino), The Home Depot Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and by phone at 213-480-3232. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtaining a group order form at ussoccer.com. The U.S. and Denmark have met four times in their history, with the United States still in search of their first victory after posting a 0-1-3 record. The teams’ last meeting on Jan. 18, 2004, marked the first-ever visit by the U.S. MNT to The Home Depot Center. Despite out-shooting Denmark 16-4, the U.S. only collected a 1-1 draw after a pair of penalties on either side of halftime delivered each side their only goal of the match. The USA-Denmark clash will serve as the launching point for what promises to be a challenging schedule in 2007, as the USA seeks to defend its Gold Cup title when they join 11 other teams in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will take place from June 6-24 in several cities across the United States. The following week, the U.S. will compete in the 2007 Copa America, the regional championship of South America. The 12-team tournament will run from June 26-July 15 in nine cities in Venezuela.

U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION AUCTION TO BENEFIT "MOOCH MYERNICK MEMORIAL FUND": The annual U.S. Soccer Foundation Holiday Auction is underway this year and available now at ussoccerfoundation.org/auction. This year's items include an autographed 2006 Sierra Mist All-Star Jersey, an autographed Dwayne DeRosario jersey, an autographed Manchester United Team jersey and an autographed Kaka jersey from the Brazilian National Team. Along with dozens of other items, the auction runs from now through Friday, Dec. 15. A hundred percent of every dollar contributed to the 2006 Holiday Auction will go to the "Mooch Myernick Memorial Fund" and will be distributed through grants by the Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation, to soccer clubs and organizations in urban areas to help increase the number of children playing the sport in metropolitan communities nationwide. The auction will also include authentic gear signed by members of the U.S. Men's and Women’s National Teams.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-20 MNT DRAWS GUATEMALA, HAITI & PANAMA FOR CONCACAF QUALIFYING: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group A with Guatemala, Haiti and Panama for the 2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament from Jan. 17-21 in Panama City, Panama. The draw was determined Friday (Nov. 24) during the CONCACAF Executive Committee Meeting in Los Angeles. The top two teams in the group will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, which will take place from June 30-July 22 across six cities – Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Burnaby and Victoria. The U.S. will be attempting to qualify for their sixth straight FIFA World Cup (formerly FIFA World Youth Championship). The other two of the four CONCACAF berths (not including Canada which gets an automatic berth as host) will come from Group B, which will occur a month later from Feb. 21-25 in Culiacan, Sinaloa, located on the west coast of Mexico. Competing with the hosts will be Costa Rica, St. Kitts & Nevis and the winner between a two-game series between Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. In preparation for qualifying, the U.S. will be back in camp starting Dec. 12 in Bradenton, Fla. The team will finish camp on Dec. 23, but return on Dec. 30 and train until Jan. 6. The players and staff will have one week off before getting together once again for a few days in Florida and then heading to Panama.

CONCACAF U-20 Final Round Qualifying
Group A - Panama City, Panama
Guatemala
Haiti
Panama
USA

Group B - Culiacan, Sinaloa; Mexico
Costa Rica
Mexico
St. Kitts & Nevis
Jamaica/Trinidad & Tobago


U-17 MNT DRAWS CANADA, COSTA RICA, JAMAICA & TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group B with Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago for the 2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament from April 21-29 in Kingston, Jamaica. The draw was determined on Friday (Nov. 24) during the CONCACAF Executive Committee Meeting in Los Angeles. The top three teams in the group will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea, which will take place from August 18-September 9 across six cities – Busan, Cheonan, Jeju, Suwon, Ulsan and Gwangyang (to be confirmed). The U.S. is the only country to qualify for all 11 FIFA U-17 World Cups (formerly FIFA World Youth Championships). The other two of the four CONCACAF berths will come from Group A, which will occur two weeks earlier from April 4-8 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Competing with the hosts will be El Salvador, Haiti and Mexico.

CONCACAF U-17 Final Round Qualifying
Group A - Tegucigalpa, Honduras
El Salvador
Haiti
Honduras
Mexico

Group B - Kingston, Jamaica
Canada
Costa Rica
Jamaica
Trinidad & Tobago
USA


U.S. U-15 GIRL’S NATIONAL TEAM GOES 3-0-0 AT ODP INTERREGIONALS: The U.S. Under-15 Girl’s National Teams completed its competition at the USYSA ODP Interregional event in Coral Springs, Florida, last Friday with a 3-0-0 record against Regional Teams one year older as forward Victoria DiMartino scored in all three games as head coach Tad Bobak’s U-15 squad came from behind to win all three matches. The U.S. U-15s defeated the Region II 1990s on Nov. 20 by a 3-2 score as DiMartino scored twice, including the winning goal late in the second half, while midfielder Olivia Klei had the other score. On Nov. 22, the U-15s defeated the Region III 1990s by an identical 3-2 score. After the USA gave up a goal in the 10th minute, midfielder Brianne Rodriguez scored in the 25th minute to tie the match at 1-1, but the South went ahead on a breakaway in the 55th minute. DiMartino tallied her third goal of the tournament in the 65th minute and Devin Marshall got the game-winner in the 80th minute, chipping the ‘keeper on a break-away after a through-ball from midfielder Lauren Matheson. In the last match on Nov. 24 against the Region I 1990s, the U-15s pulled out a 2-1 victory after giving up a goal against the run of play on a corner kick in the 20th minute. Right after halftime, Matheson tied the game on a header and DiMartino scored the game winner in the 65th minute.

U.S. U-15 GNT Thanksgiving Interregional Results
Date       Opponent          Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
Nov. 20   Region II 90s     3-2 W    DiMartino (2), Klei
Nov. 22   Region III 90s    3-2 W    Rodriguez, DiMartino, Marshall
Nov. 24   Region I 90s      2-1 W    Matheson, DiMartino


U.S. U-16 GIRL’S NATIONAL TEAM GOES 1-1-1 AT ODP INTERREGIONALS: The U.S. Under-16 Girl’s National Teams completed its competition at the USYSA ODP Interregional event in Coral Springs, Florida, last Friday with a 1-1-1 record against Regional Teams one year older. Head coach Kazbek Tambi’s squad started the event with a 3-2 loss to the Region I 1989s as Christine Nairn scored at the stroke of halftime while Casey Short tallied in the 79th minute. The U-16s rebounded with a 2-1 win over the Region IV 1989s as Julie Bouchelle scored in the 10th minute and Short added her second of the tournament in the 18th minute to give the USA the victory. The U-16s drew their final match, 1-1, with the Region II 1989s as forward Brittani Bartok scored the lone U.S. goal. The U-16s finish the year with a 12-2-2 overall record, but went undefeated within its age group.

U.S. U-16 GNT Thanksgiving Interregional Results
Date        Opponent          Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
Nov. 20   Region I 89s       2-3 L     Nairn, Short
Nov. 22   Region IV 89s     2-1 W    Bouchelle, Short
Nov. 24   Region II 89s      1-1 T      Bartok


U-14 BNT ALLOWS SINGLE GOAL AT US YOUTH SOCCER ODP INTERREGIONAL: The U.S. Under-14 Boys’ National Team allowed just one goal during four games at the US Youth Soccer ODP Thanksgiving Interregional this past weekend at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. U.S. head coach Manny Schellscheidt and his five assistant coaches split the 36 players on the roster into two teams – USA Grey and USA Blue – and the squads competed against the four regional teams at the event. On Nov. 25, USA Blue defeated Region I, 1-0, behind a goal from Scott Cohen in the 10th minute, while USA Grey fought Region IV to a scoreless draw. A day later, USA Blue won in commanding fashion over Region II as Joaquin Del Rosario led the way with a first-half hat trick, and Jonathan Ray and William Packwood added goals in the second half for a 5-0 victory. USA Grey also pulled out a victory, downing Region III, 3-1, behind two goals from Melvin Snoh and another from William Trappin.

U-14 BNT Results – USYS Thanksgiving Interregional Results
Date        Matchup                         Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
Nov. 25   USA Blue vs. Region I      1-0 W    Cohen
Nov. 25   USA Grey vs. Region IV    0-0 T
Nov. 26   USA Blue vs. Region II      5-0 W   Del Rosario (3), Ray, Packwood
Nov. 26   USA Grey vs. Region III    3-1 W   Snoh, Trappin


– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

ARGENTINA AND BRAZIL THROUGH TO 2007 WWC IN CHINA: Argentina and Brazil have qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China, finishing first and second, respectively, in the fifth South American Women’s Championships completed yesterday in Mar del Plata, Argentina. The hosts received goals from Eva González and María Belen Potassa in registering a big 2-0 win over Brazil in the last game of the quadrangular round-robin finals that always featured Paraguay and Uruguay. Those four teams had advanced by finishing first or second in their first-round groups. The loss was the first-ever for Brazil in a South American Women’s championships, spanning the last 15 years, and broke Brazil’s streak of four consecutive South American women’s titles. Brazil will play in its fifth consecutive Women’s World Cup while Argentina advances to its second Women’s World Cup after also participating in 2003. With Argentina and Brazil qualifying, there are only two berths still available for the 16-team tournament; the winner of the Mexico-Japan playoff and the winner of the Oceania qualification tournament to be held in June. Those teams will join host China, Australia and North Korea from Asia; Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and England from Europe; Nigeria and Ghana from Africa; the USA and Canada from CONCACAF; and Brazil and Argentina from South America. The 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be staged from Sept. 10-30 in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu and Tianjin.

2007 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP BERTHS BY CONFEDERATION
Host: China
Asia: Australia, North Korea, (Japan)*
Africa: Nigeria, Ghana
South America: Argentina, Brazil
CONCACAF: USA, Canada, (Mexico)*
Oceania: 1 Berth
Europe: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, England

*Japan will face Mexico in a two-game home-and-away series for final berth to WWC ’07


USL SUPER Y-LEAGUE CHAMPIONS CROWNED: Five champions were crowned in the boys' and girls' divisions of the United Soccer Leagues Super Y-League from the Under-13 through Under-17 age groups. The Chicago Magic came away with the most championships, with the U-14 Boys, U-15 Boys and U-16 Girls all winning titles. Also winning titles were the Cal Odyssey U-13 boys, the Schulz Academy U-16 boys, the HC United U-17 boys, the Arsenal FC U-13 girls, the Washington Crossfire U-14 girls, the Real So Cal U-15 girls and the West Coast SC U-17 girls. In addition to the championships, USL named Niko Bratsis, Jeff Mellen, Colin Arblaster and Kristine Lamm Referees of the Year.

Super Y-League Champions - Boys
U-13 Cal Odyssey 4, HC United 0
U-14 Chicago Magic 2, New York Red Bulls 1
U-15 Chicago Magic 2, Los Angeles FC 0
U-16 Schulz Academy 1, Los Angeles FC 0
U-17 HC United 0, Seacoast United 0 (5-4 pk)

Super Y-League Champions - Girls
U-13 DVSC 1, Arsenal FC 2
U-14 Washington Crossfire 1, CASL 0 (OT)
U-15 Reading Rage 1, Real Southern California 2
U-16 Chicago Magic 2, Wolfpack Blue 1
U-17 Parsippany SC 0, West Coast SC 3


*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: The U.S. WNT keep adding their names to the record books, earning their fifth consecutive berth to the FIFA Women’s World Cup with a 2-0 win against Mexico on Wednesday (Nov. 22) and then winning their third consecutive CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup title on Sunday (Nov. 26). The U.S. women have qualified for all five Women’s World Cups to date, winning the tournament in 1991 and 1999. The USA has also won all three editions of the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, claiming the regional title in 2000, 2002 and 2006.

MARQUEE MATCHUP(S): U.S. MNT goalkeeper Tim Howard will have a homecoming of sorts on Wednesday, Nov. 29, when Everton travels to Old Trafford to face his old club, Manchester United. The matchup will be broadcast live at 3 p.m. ET on Setanta Sports.

SOCCER SHOCKER: The shakeup continues at the New York Red Bulls after new ownership, a name change, and coaching changes rocked the former MetroStars at the beginning of the 2006 season. The shakeup continues with former U.S. MNT Manager Bruce Arena now at the helm of the Red Bulls. Already this offseason, eight players from the 2006 roster are no longer with the club, with a mixture of waivers, trades, the expansion draft and retirement playing into the equation. With many months still ahead before the 2007 season, it will be interesting to see whether this year’s shakeup matches last year’s, when only eight players from the previous season made it on to the 2006 roster.

QUOTABLE: “Yes we can definetly win the world cup...In the modern game, there are eight probable teams that could potentially win the world cup. I think right now, based on playing all the other teams, we are the best team in the world and I think other teams are going to have to find a way to knock us off.”
-- U.S. WNT head coach Greg Ryan after winning the 2006 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup and qualifying for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.


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