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U.S. Soccer Wire: Wambach, Hamm Lead U.S. Past Mexico

WAMBACH-HAMM COMBO TEAMS FOR PAIR OF CORNER KICK GOALS IN FRONT OF 23,176: The U.S. Women's National Team finished 2003 with a dominating performance in a 3-1 win over Mexico in front of a record Texas women's soccer crowd of 23,176 today at the Cotton Bowl.  A trio of U.S. forwards provided the scoring on the day, with Cindy Parlow scoring first in the 18th minute and Mia Hamm providing a pair of picture-perfect corner kicks assists for headers by Abby Wambach in the 58th and 90th minutes.  Hamm was named the Chevrolet Woman of the Match as the USA out-shot Mexico, 30-4. With the win, the U.S. concludes the year with a 17-2-4 record and will now have two months off before beginning preparations in January for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. The USA opened the scoring in the 18th minute after Aly Wagner played Parlow near the top of the penalty area.  The 5-foot-11 forward slipped by one Mexican defender, dribbled around another and slotted her shot into the left corner from 14 yards out. Mexico tied the game in the 41st minute on a Monica Gonzalez penalty kick that was earned when U.S. defender Kylie Bivens cut down Patricia Perez at the top of the penalty area after a long ball skidded over the U.S. defense. The winning goal came in the 58th minute off a corner kick by Hamm.  Her curving cross found Wambach in the middle and she jumped over a defender to power in a header from seven yards out. The USA went to a 3-4-3 formation after Julie Foudy and Shannon MacMillan came on in the 72nd  minute and added one more goal in the final minute as Wambach battled through traffic to head home another Hamm corner kick at the far post.  The goal upped Wambach's international total to 14 in 22 matches

U-23s TO PLAY HOME LEG OF OLYMPIC QUALIFYING AT MARYLAND SOCCERPLEX: The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will host St. Kitts & Nevis in the second leg of second round CONCACAF Olympic qualifying on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at the 3,200-seat Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md. Kickoff for the match is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. The first leg of the home-and-home series will be played on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. local time (6 p.m. ET) in St. Kitts. The winner of the series will be determined by aggregate goals for both matches. Fans can follow the action of both games live on’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Tickets will go on sale to the public on Wednesday (Nov. 5) at 10 a.m. ET at any Washington-Baltimore-area Ticketmaster outlet (including Hecht's stores), charge by phone [D.C. 202-432-SEAT (7328); Baltimore 410-481-7328; Northern Virginia 703-573-7328; or out-of-state 1-800-551-7328], or at Tickets are $15 for General Admission and $25 for Midfield General Admission. In all, 25 teams will participating in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, with the USA, El Salvador, Honduras and Saint Lucia receiving byes into the second round. The seven teams who advance out of the second round will join host nation Mexico from February 2-12, 2004, to compete in two groups of four, with the top two teams in each group earning a spot in the single elimination semifinals. The two finalists will receive CONCACAF’s two automatic berths for Athens 2004.

U.S. U-17 MNT RETURNS FROM FIRST INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION IN FRANCE: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team fell to France 2-0 last Saturday (Nov. 1) in their final match of the Val de Marne Tournament in France, to finish the four-team tournament with a 1-2-0 record. The tournament was the team’s first international competition since coming together for the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program in September. The U.S. dropped their first match 2-0 as Japan found the back of the net twice in a three-minute span in the second half. The U.S. bounced back two days later in their second match against Poland as Freddy Adu lead the way with a hat trick for a 3-2 win. Adu started the U.S. off quickly, snagging his first goal in the 8th minute off a pass from fellow starting forward Quavas Kirk. Poland found the equalizer in the 28th minute, but Adu struck right back two minutes later placing one into the back of the net off a service from midfielder Dax McCarty. In the second half, Adu completed his hat trick, scoring in the 57th minute. The goal turned out to be the game winner as Poland pulled to within one in the 61st minute.
U-17 MNT Results -- Val de Marne Tournament
Date            Opponent    Result   U.S. Goal Scorers
Oct. 28        Japan          0-2 L    ---
Oct. 30        Poland        3-2 W  Adu (3)
Nov. 1         France        0-2 L    ---

CONCACAF WOMEN'S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT BEGINS IN CARIBBEAN: The 2004 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualification Final Round will be relocated to Costa Rica and will be played from February 25 through March 7, 2004. The final round of the tournament was originally slated to be played in Mexico. The USA has received a bye through the CONCACAF Olympic preliminaries and will play in Group B, and will be joined by the winners of preliminary qualifying Group 1 (Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname), Group 3 (Haiti and Dominican Republic) and Group 4 (Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua). The top two teams from round robin play in Groups A and B will face off in the semifinals of the Final Round tournament, with the finalists receiving CONCACAF's two berths to the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. The change in venue for the final round now gives Costa Rica a bye through the preliminaries and a spot in Group A alongside Canada. Mexico will now host a preliminary three-team competition with Honduras and Nicaragua from Dec. 10-14 (Costa Rica was originally scheduled to host that round-robin competition). The qualifying preliminaries include two other three-team competitions: Guatemala hosts Panama and Belize from Nov. 19-23, and the Cayman Islands host Jamaica and U.S. Virgin Islands from Dec. 3-7. Rounding out preliminary action, Haiti faces the Dominican Republic in a two-game series October 26 and November 9, while Suriname takes on Trinidad & Tobago in a two-games series on Nov. 9 and 12.


The U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team finished its seven-day training camp in Carson, Calif., last weekend at The Home Depot Center. U-19 WNT head coach Tracy Leone conducted a number of training sessions with the 24-player squad, which included two 9-v-9 matches against the U-15 Boys South Bay Soccer Club and an intra-squad scrimmage. The team participated in a little Halloween revelry in its final practice last Friday and went through the entire training session dressed in costume. Some of the costumes included a nun, an evil cheerleader, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Tinker Bell and SpongeBob SquarePants.


U.S. SOCCER TO HOST FREE COACHING SYMPOSIUM FROM DEC. 5-7 IN BRADENTON, FLA.: U.S. Soccer will be conducting a free Coaching Symposium from Dec. 5-7 in conjunction with the Nike Friendlies in Bradenton, Fla. The symposium will be built around the U.S. Soccer’s Youth National Teams and is highlighted by the opportunity to interact with U.S. Under-17 MNT Head Coach and U.S. Soccer’s Director of Youth Development John Ellinger. Each day of the symposium will feature classroom sessions, including information on player development, strength and conditioning, and mental preparation. Registration is open to all coaches, and “A” licensed coaches will receive up to three Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) for attendance at the three-day symposium. Among the scheduled speakers at the symposium is U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Ellinger, who led his team to a quarterfinal appearance in this year’s FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland. In addition, U.S. Soccer’s Director of Advanced & International Referee Development Esse Baharmast, members of Ellinger’s staff and U.S. Men’s National Staff Coaches are among the presenters. Registration is free and will be open to all coaches. Coaches with an “A” License who attend the symposium will earn one CEU for each session attended. Pre-registration is requested, and the registration form can be downloaded at:" onClick="javascript:urchinTracker('downloads/SymposiumRelease');" target="_blank">


PEAK PERFORMER: Although they didn’t hook up for a score in the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003, the duo of Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach showed the Cotton Bowl crowd what Washington Freedom fans got to see all year: Hamm serving perfect corner kicks and Wambach outmuscling defenders to knock it home from close range. With the game knotted at 1-1, Hamm and Wambach went to work and scored on a pair of set pieces in the 58th and 90th minutes for the final 3-1 result.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: While things went as planned in the Eastern Conference with the Revolution’s 2-0 win over the MetroStars and the Fire dropping D.C. by the same score, the West was shaken up with the L.A.’s 2-0 upset of San Jose. The Colorado Rapids will be looking to do the same when they host Kansas City tomorrow night (Nov. 4) as the fourth and final first-round MLS playoff series gets under way.

SOCCER SHOCKER: The defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy’s disappointing 2003 season was quickly turned around with a confident 2-0 win over perhaps the best team in MLS in the San Jose Earthquakes. Now the up-and-down Galaxy head up the coast in the driver’s seat, with the ‘Quakes needing a resounding win by three goals or more.

QUOTABLE: "They pull, they grab and then they look to the ref. And they … complain to each other. We don't worry about that -- we just do our thing. They think that's the only way they can stick with us."
--Chicago forward Ante Razov, after a rough-and-tumble 2-0 playoff win over D.C. United and former Fire players Hristo Stoitchkov and Dema Kovalenko