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U.S. MNT Assistant Coach Glenn Myernick Kicks Off South African Sports Envoy Program

CHICAGO (September 15, 2006) – As part of the U.S. State Department’s International Sports Initiative, U.S. Men’s National Team assistant coach Glenn Myernick conducted drills and games with 140 primary school children Friday in the first program for the two American soccer envoys in South Africa.

The children, ages 7-12, attend the Molalatladi Primary School in Soweto, South Africa’s largest township, located near Johannesburg. The children delighted in the various competitions and drills that Myernick organized with them. He and Dineo Mmutla, a recent participant in the World Cup Soccer Youth Delegation Program, also demonstrated ball handling and heading techniques for the youngsters. Each child received a t-shirt and a certificate of participation following the three-hour program.

The rest of Myernick’s Friday program included a discussion and demonstration with coaches for the Orlando Pirates team and a soccer clinic with approximately 50 of the Under-15 boys for the Pirates.

On Friday evening, the Deputy Chief of Mission is hosting a reception for the two envoys, which includes Olympic gold medalist and member of the championship-winning 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup team Shannon MacMillian, who arrived on Friday. The CEO of the South African Football Association plans to be among the 40 guests attending the reception.

The International Sports initiative will serve as the first program in U.S. Soccer’s own International Relations Program established earlier this summer to help strengthen the organization’s ties within the worldwide soccer community. The four-part program runs from Sept. 13 to Oct. 14.

Each International Sports Initiative program includes one male and one female coach and/or player. The International Sports Initiative programs will be on the ground for four days in each respective country, performing three clinics per country that target approximately 450 boys and girls aged 7 to 17.