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U.S. Soccer Wire: May 9


HARTFORD TICKETS ON SALE WEDNESDAY: Tickets go on sale Wednesday, May 11 at 10 a.m. ET for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifying match vs. Trinidad & Tobago on August 17 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. The U.S. vs. Trinidad & Tobago match will kick off at 8 p.m. ET and be broadcast live on ESPN2, with fans also able to follow along live on ussoccer.com via MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Tickets start at $25 can be purchased through ussoccer.com, by phone at 860-525-4500, at all Ticketmaster outlets in the region (including Filene's Stores) and at the Hartford Civic Center (open Monday – Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.).  Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com. The U.S. and Trinidad & Tobago have played nine times in World Cup qualifying, with the U.S. compiling an undefeated record of seven wins and two ties. The U.S. has not surrendered a goal to Trinidad & Tobago in a home qualifier since a 1-1 tie in Torrance, Calif., on May 13, 1989, and has recorded a shutout in six of their nine overall qualifying matches. Trinidad & Tobago will be the first opponent that the U.S. faces for the second time in the 10-game final round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, playing the return leg of a 2-1 victory on February 9 in Trinidad.

TIM SCHULZ TO LEAD U.S. UNDER-20 WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach and technical director Greg Ryan named Tim Schulz as the new U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team head coach. Schulz will be charged with taking over a team that moves from the U-19 to U-20 level as FIFA shifts its only world championship for youth women up a year after previously holding U-19 world championships in 2002 and 2004. Schulz, 43, takes over a program that placed in the top-three of the first two FIFA Youth World Championships, winning the inaugural title in 2002 in Canada under Tracey Leone and finishing third in 2004 in Thailand under Mark Krikorian.  FIFA’s shift to a U-20 women’s tournament means that nine of the 20 players who were on the squad in Thailand (including five starters) are still age-eligible to compete on the team that will attempt to qualify for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship to be held in Russia.  Players born on or after January 1, 1986, are age-eligible for the next U-20 team. The U-20 program carries great importance in the development of future U.S. Women’s National Team players as numerous upcoming stars emerged from the 2002 team, including 2004 Olympians Lindsay Tarpley and Heather O’Reilly, and 2004 Olympic Residency Camp participants Leslie Osborne and Lori Chalupny.  Several players from the 2004 team, including Rodriguez and Lopez, are already making inroads at the higher levels of the U.S. Women’s National Teams.

UPCOMING HOME GAME TICKETS MOVING QUICKLY: More than 30,000 tickets have been sold for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s May 28 friendly against England, and more than 20,000 tickets have been purchased for the USA’s June 4 home World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica. The U.S. men face England at Soldier Field at 2 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 28, with tickets starting at $28. Tickets can be purchased through ussoccer.com, by phone at 312-559-1212 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Chicagoland (including Carson Pirie Scott, Coconuts, Hot Tix, FYE, Tower Records, and Ritmo Latino stores). Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com. The match against England, which will be broadcast live on ESPN, comes just seven days before the U.S. men take on Costa Rica in the USA’s second straight home qualifier. Kickoff for the match against Costa Rica, which is being presented by Philips Electronics, is slated for 5:30 p.m. MT at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City and the match will be shown live on ESPN2. More than 20,000 tickets have been sold since April 18, when tickets were made available to the general public. Tickets for the World Cup qualifier start at $25 and can be purchased through ussoccer.com, by phone at 801-581-8849 and at the Rice-Eccles Stadium ticket office. Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com. Real Salt Lake season tickets will be honored for the match, which features a doubleheader with Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas. Fans can also follow both matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

-- FIFA 2006 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

AGAINST MEXICO IN COLUMBUS: The U.S. Men’s National Team will host Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 3 in Columbus Crew Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET in their seventh of 10 final round qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. vs. Mexico match, which is being presented by Budweiser, will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Telemundo, with fans also able to follow the U.S. match live at ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. It will be the fourth out of five World Cup qualifiers played in the United States and the fifth World Cup qualifying match hosted by the six-year-old venue. Ticketing details will be announced in the future.

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING SCHEDULE: The U.S., along with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago have kicked off the 10-game round-robin that will last until Oct. 12, 2005. After two tough road games, the U.S. men headed back to the States to play their first home game at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., on March 30, where they defeated Guatemala, 2-0. The next home game on the list for the U.S. is against Costa Rica at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on June 4 at 5:30 p.m. MT. The top three teams in the hexagonal automatically advance to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany while the fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 12/13 and Nov. 16 against the fifth-place finisher in Asian qualifying.
2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule – CONCACAF Final Round
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Feb. 9        Panama 0, Guatemala 0
Feb. 9        Costa Rica 1, Mexico 2
Feb. 9        Trinidad & Tobago 1,  USA 2 
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 26   Costa Rica 2, Panama 1
March 26   Guatemala 5, Trinidad & Tobago 1
March 27   Mexico 2, USA 1
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 30   Panama 1, Mexico 1
March 30   USA 2, Guatemala 0
March 30   Trinidad & Tobago 0, Costa Rica 0
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
June 4        Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama   
June 4        Guatemala vs. Mexico   
June 4        USA vs. Costa Rica   
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
June 8        Panama vs. USA   
June 8        Costa Rica vs. Guatemala   
June 8        Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Aug. 17      Guatemala vs. Panama   
Aug. 17      Mexico vs. Costa Rica   
Aug. 17      USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Sept. 3       Panama vs. Costa Rica  
Sept. 3       Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala
Sept. 3       USA vs. Mexico  
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Sept. 7       Mexico vs. Panama 
Sept. 7       Guatemala vs. USA  
Sept. 7       Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Oct. 8         Panama vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Oct. 8         Mexico vs. Guatemala 
Oct. 8/9     Costa Rica vs. USA 
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Oct. 12       USA vs. Panama   
Oct. 12       Guatemala vs. Costa Rica
Oct. 12       Trinidad & Tobago vs. Mexico
 
Playoff (*home team will be determined by lottery at the conclusion of the final round)
Date                Match-up
*Nov. 12/13    AFC #5 vs. CONCACAF #4 
*Nov. 16          AFC #5 vs. CONCACAF #4

-- U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --

MARKGRAF SCORES! REPEAT, MARKGRAF SCORES!: It has been almost eight years, 141 Women’s National Team games, two World Cup tournaments, two Olympics Games, and three complete WUSA seasons since U.S. defender Kate Markgraf last scored a goal in a competitive match. The streak is over. Markgraf, who scored seven goals in her college career at Notre Dame, and 16 as a high school junior in Michigan, tallied her first goal of the season (of course) as her club KIF Orebro defeated Sunnana SK, 4-3, on Sunday in a Swedish First Division match. Markgraf, a world-class defender who has started in the last four world championships for the USA, holds the record for most U.S. Women’s National Team games without a goal (141 and counting). While Markgraf’s score was a remarkable feat, former U.S. teammate Tiffeny Milbrett also had a spectacular game, scoring all of Sunnana’s goals, including goals in the 60th and 79th minutes to tie the match. Milbrett has four goals this season. Lisa Dahlvkist scored the winner for Orebro in 89th minute to negate Milbrett’s hat trick. Kristine Lilly scored Orebro’s third goal in the 54th minute, her second of the young season. After just three matches, Orebro is tied for second with three other teams while Sunnana is tied for fifth with three other teams.

OLYMPIQUE LYONNAISE ADVANCES TO FRENCH CUP FINAL: Led by U.S. National Team players Hope Solo, Danielle Slaton, Lorrie Fair and Christie Welsh, Olympic Lyonnaise has advanced to the championship game of the French Cup by virtue of a 4-2 win over Soyaux in the semifinal last Friday. OL actually fell behind 2-0 after just 35 minutes, but roared back behind a hat trick from Severine Creuzet-Laplante. OL will meet Juvisy for the title on May 14. Juvisy has rolled over the competition in the French Cup while racking up 23 goals and allowing none. OL’s path to the title game came by virtue of a 2-0 win over Marseille, a 6-0 win over Sarreguemines, a 1-0 victory over league-leaders Montpellier and the 4-2 win over Soyaux. Welsh leads OL in goals during the French Cup, called the “Challenge de France,” with four scores, while French international Marinette Pichon has led Juvisy with seven scores during the competition. OL currently sits third in the league standings behind Montpellier and Juvisy. The U.S. players will return to the United States after the completion of the French Cup.

-- U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --

U-17 MNTs COME AWAY WITH VICTORIES, LOOK FORWARD TO MATCHES THIS WEEK: The U.S. Under-17 ’88 and ’89 Men’s National Teams came away with victories over the weekend. The U-17 ‘88s dominated the University of Massachusetts on Saturday (May 7), cruising to a 6-0 victory. Jeremy Hall, Preston Zimmerman and Kyle Nakazawa all scored in the first half, while second half substitute Anthony Ampaipitakwong buried a feed from Gabriel Farfan and Eric Avila notched two goals by finishing passes from Michael Balogun and Nikolas Besagno. The U-17 ‘89s weren’t as dominant in their game against the Temple Terrace U-18s, but were able to pull out a 3-2 victory in the final minute of play as Cesar Nunez buried a service from Hector Jimenez. In the first half, the older Temple Terrace took the lead twice in the first half, but Josmer Altidore pulled the U.S. even both times before the 30-minute mark. The ‘88s will travel to Laredo, Texas, this week for a match on May 11 against the Laredo Heat of the Premier Development League, while the ‘89s will take on the U-15 MNT on May 14 in Bradenton, Fla., as the younger national team is conducting a training camp at IMG Academies.
U-17 ’88 MNT Schedule/Result
Date      Opponent        Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
May 7    UMass               6-0       Avila (2), Hall, Zimmerman, Nakazawa, Ampaipitakwong
May 11  Laredo Heat

U-17 ’89 MNT Schedule/Result
Date         Opponent              Result  U.S. Goal Scorers
May 7       Temple Terrace     3-2      Altidore (2), Nunez
May 14     U-15 MNT

U-15 MNT TO HOLD SIX-DAY TRAINING CAMP IN BRADENTON, FLA.: The U.S. Under-15 Men’s National Team will kick off a six-day training camp this Tuesday, May 10 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Head coach Jim Barlow has invited in 27 players to Bradenton, which will be the second camp of the year for the U-15s. The U-15s will play four games during the week, taking on the Clearwater Chargers, IMG U-16, the U-17 ’89 MNT and a team to be determined.
U-15 MNT Schedule
Date         Opponent
May 11     Clearwater Chargers
May 12     IMG U-16
May 14     U.S. U-17 ’89 MNT
May 15     TBD

U-15 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jon Harris (Arlington Heights, Ill.), Josh Lambo (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Chris Miller (Garland, Texas); DEFENDERS (9): Mykell Bates (Rosevill, Calif.), Brice Carr (Mequon, Wis.), Mizuki Hamada (Cupertino, Calif.), Christian Ibeagha (Edmond, Okla.), Ian Kalis (Plano, Texas), Brandon Lee (Tenafly, N.J.), John Raley (St. Inigoes, Md.), Matthey Uy (New Hyde Park, N.Y.), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.); MIDFIELDERS (8): Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), David MacVane (Middle Grove, N.Y.), Norberto Ochoa (Riverside, Calif.), Yannick Salmon (Westbury, N.Y.), Brandon Tarr (Knoxville, Tenn.), Kirk Urso (Lombard, Ill.), Abraham Villon (Garden Grove, Calif.), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.); FORWARDS (7): Gary Andrade (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Danny Barerra (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Walter Hines (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Vincenzo Bernardo (Madison, N.J.), C.J. Crooks (West Orange, N.J.), Ellis McLaughlin (Seattle, Wash.), Sam Redmond (Arden, N.C.).

U-20 MNT BEGIN WYC PREPARATION CAMP, GET SET FOR CANADA MATCH IN BLAINE: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team began a three-week training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on Saturday (May 7), which will serve as preparation for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship. All 16 of the players invited in by head coach Sigi Schmid are non-professionals. Out of the 16 players invited into camp, 14 are currently in college and two are seniors in high school. The numerous professional players in the U.S. Under-20 pool are not included in the camp as they will stay with their clubs in Major League Soccer or overseas. The players will train at the HDC for a week before leaving on Sunday, May 15 for Blaine, Minn. The U-20s will train for two days in Blaine and then face the Canada Under-20 Men’s National Team at the National Sports Center on Wednesday, May 18 at 7:35 p.m. CT. After the match, the team will travel back to Carson and be stationed at the HDC until the camp ends on Saturday, May 28. At that time, Schmid will name his 20-man roster for the FIFA World Youth Championship, which will be a mix of college and professional players. The camp will lead the U.S. Under-20s right up to their departure for the FIFA World Youth Championship, which will take place from June 10-July 2. The team will leave in early June to train in Holland for about a week before their first match. The U.S. opens the World Youth Championship against Argentina on June 11 at 5:30 p.m. local time/ 11:30 a.m. ET, then faces Germany on June 14 (8:30 p.m. local time/ 2:30 p.m. ET) and concludes group play on June 18 (1:30 p.m. local time/ 7:30 a.m. ET) against Egypt. The U.S. will play all three of their first round games at Enschede Stadium in Enschede, Holland. Every U.S. match at the World Youth Championship can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

W-LEAGUE KICKS OFF SEASON: The Carolina Dynamo opened the United Soccer Leagues 2005 W-League season with a 2-0 road win over the Bradenton Athletics Friday before falling 4-0 to the expansion Central Florida Krush, sister team to the defending PDL champion Kraze, Saturday. Former US international Danielle Fotopolous tallied a goal and assist for Central Florida in the win. Also Saturday, the expansion Atlanta Silverbacks opened their season with a thrilling 4-3 win over the visiting 2003 W-League champion Hampton Roads Piranhas. Former WUSA players Kelly Golebiowski and Mercy Akide scored for the Piranhas and Kerry Gragg and Marci Miller for the Silverbacks in a match that saw all the scoring of the back-and-forth contest in the first half.

FORCE, WAVE TO FACE OFF IN MISL FINALS SERIES LIVE ON ESPN2: The Cleveland Force and the Milwaukee wave will square off against each other on Saturday (May 14) at 9 p.m. ET live on ESPN2 in the 2005 MISL Finals Series at U.S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, Wis. Game two will take place on May 21 at 7 p.m. ET at Savvis Center in St. Louis, Mo. The Wave secured a spot in the finals with two victories against the St. Louis Steamers in the semifinals series, winning 4-3 on Friday (April 29) and 6-5 on Sunday (May 1). Cleveland also won both games in their semifinal series against the Philadelphia Kixx, winning 6-3 and 10-6, respectively.
2005 MISL Championship Series
Semifinal #1
#2 Cleveland Force vs. #3 Philadelphia KiXX
Game 1    Friday, April 29   Philadelphia 3, Cleveland 6
Game 2   Sunday, May 1     Cleveland 10, Philadelphia 6
Semifinal #2
#1 Milwaukee Wave vs. #4 St. Louis Steamers
Game 1   Friday, April 29    St. Louis 3, Milwaukee 4
Game 2   Sunday, May 1     Milwaukee 6, St. Louis 5
Finals
Milwaukee Wave vs. Cleveland Force
Game 1    Saturday, May 14   U.S. Cellular Arena  (Milwaukee, Wis.)   9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Game 2    Saturday, May 21   Savvis Center (St. Louis, Mo.)                 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)


*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Brian McBride showed that he is still hot as he notched his fourth goal in seven games against Blackburn Rovers in a 3-1 win on Saturday (May 7) at Ewood Park. Fulham and Blackburn are tied in the league tables with 41 points with one game left to play.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: There’s one game left for the four teams at the bottom of the English Premier League and, in an unprecedented twist of fate, all four teams still have a chance at staving off relegation. Norwich, Southampton, Crystal Palace and West Bromwich are all within two points of each other as Norwich leads the quartet with 33 points and West Brom at the bottom with 31 points. Southampton and Crystal Palace are tied at 32, but Southampton is ahead on goal differential. On Sunday (May 15), one team will remain standing as none of the four teams face each other in the final game. Norwich will visit Fulham, Southampton hosts third-place Manchester United, Crystal Palace travels to face Charlton and West Brom faces off against Portsmouth. All four games kick off at 10 a.m. ET (3 p.m. local).

SOCCER SHOCKER: It has been almost eight years, 141 Women's National Team games, two World Cup tournaments, two Olympics Games, and three WUSA seasons since U.S. defender Kate Markgraf last scored a goal in a competitive match. The streak ended with Markgraf’s tally as her club, KIF Orebro, defeated Sunnana SK, 4-3, on Sunday. U.S. WNT and Orebro teammate Kristine Lilly also scored in the match, notching the team’s third goal in the 54th minute.

QUOTABLE: "Let's just say I was cherry-picking on the goal line after fronting the keeper on the corner kick.  The ball just came my way and I scored. No biggy, I am just glad we won."
     -- U.S. Women's National Team defender Kate Markgraf after scoring her first competitive goal since college.

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