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U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. Faces Poland on Wednesday


FRIEDEL LEADS 18-PLAYER MNT ROSTER, WHILE GIBBS LEAVES CAMP: U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel will make his return to the U.S. Men’s National Team after a 21-month absence from the side as last week U.S. MNT Manager Bruce Arena named his 18-man roster to face Poland on Wednesday (March 31) in Plock, Poland. Kickoff for the match is set for 1:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The 32-year-old Friedel last appeared for the U.S. in the team's 1-0 quarterfinal loss to Germany in the 2002 World Cup. The goalkeeper made history in that tournament against Poland, with his penalty kick save in the USA’s final Group D match against the Poles making him only the second goalkeeper ever to stop two penalties in the first round of a World Cup. Friedel is one of 10 European-based players on the roster, with eight players from MLS filling out the squad. Ten players on the current roster were part of the USA’s historic run to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup, with six of them having played against Poland in the 3-1 loss in Korea. Forward Landon Donovan (flu) and Chris Armas (strained right hip flexor), who were on the original roster, were replaced by defender Tony Sanneh and midfielder Chris Klein late last week. Dallas Burn defender Cory Gibbs fell ill with an intestinal problem today and has been forced to withdraw from the U.S. camp.  No replacement will be added to the roster. The U.S. has played Poland more than any other European team in their history and currently hold a 4-7-1 record against the team, but the two sides have only met four times in the past 15 years, each coming away with two victories.
MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Friedel (Blackburn Rovers – England), Jonny Walker (MetroStars); DEFENDERS (6): Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus – Germany), Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC – England), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96 – Germany), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Tony Sanneh (FC Nurnberg – Germany), Greg Vanney (SC Bastia – France); MIDFIELDERS (7): DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Chris Klein (Kansas City Wizards), Kyle Martino (Columbus Crew), Clint Mathis (Hannover 96 – Germany), Claudio Reyna (Manchester City – England), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards); FORWARDS (3): Conor Casey (Karlsruher – Germany), Brian McBride (Fulham FC – England), Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards)

U.S. MEN TO MEET MEXICO ON APRIL 28 AT COTTON BOWL IN TEXAS SHOWDOWN: The U.S. Men’s National Team will resume one of the best rivalries in the world when they face arch rival and 2002 World Cup foe Mexico on Wednesday, April 28 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Kickoff for the game is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live coast-to-coast on Telemundo. Fans can also follow the game live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Ticket information for the game, which is being presented by Budweiser, will be announced this week. Check ussoccer.com for more information. The USA has dominated the series of late, winning five of the last seven meetings, with all of the victories coming by shutout. Mexico leads the lifetime series with a record of 28-10-10, dating all the way back to 1934. The competition between the two nations reached its pinnacle in the summer of 2002 when the teams met for the first time as World Cup opponents in the Round of 16 on June 17 in Jeonju, Korea. In their last meeting, the U.S. and Mexico played to a spirited 0-0 draw in 2003 in front of 69,582 fans at a sold-out Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. That match marked the sixth shutout for the U.S. in their past seven games against the Mexicans and third in a row.

MNT TO MAKE 11-YEAR RETURN TO CHICAGO ON JULY 11 TO FACE POLAND: After the U.S. Men’s National Team’s match-up with Poland in Plock on Wednesday, the U.S. will host its home leg of the two-game series on Sunday, July 11 at Soldier Field in Chicago at 6 p.m. CT live on ESPN2 in what marks the U.S. MNT’s first match in the Windy City in more than 11 years. Fans can also follow the game live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Ticket information for the match, which is part of a unique doubleheader that also features the Chicago Fire hosting the New England Revolution at 8:30 p.m. CT, will be announced at a later date. The USA took the spoils in the last meeting on U.S. soil, a 3-1 victory on May 9, 1990 in Hershey, Pa. The U.S. Men are making their first appearance in the city that is home to the U.S. Soccer Federation since June 13, 1993, a 4-3 loss to Germany. Overall, the U.S. holds a 1-2-1 record in Chicago, including a 1-0 loss to the Poles in 1973.

U.S. MEN’S HOME, AWAY MATCH DATES SET FOR WORLD CUP QUALIFYING SEMIFINALS: CONCACAF, the governing body of soccer for the North American, Central American and Caribbean region, announced the results of the draw to determine the schedule and order of matches of the semifinal round of 2006 World Cup Qualifying last week.  The United States, should it advance to the semi-final round, would open the four-team, six-match round robin competition on the road on Aug. 18 in Jamaica or Haiti. The first U.S. home game is scheduled for Sept. 4, likely against El Salvador or Bermuda. The U.S. would play three of their first four games on the road before closing with home matches on Oct. 13 and November 17.  Sites for all of the U.S. World Cup qualifying games have yet to be determined.

2004 MNT Schedule

– U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

MORE THAN 10,000 TICKETS SOLD FOR U.S. WNT MATCH IN ALBUQUERQUE ON MAY 9: U.S. Soccer announced last week that over 10,000 tickets have already been sold for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s match versus Mexico on Sunday, May 9, at University Stadium on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. As of March 23, 10,190 total tickets had been sold since they went on sale Friday, March 12, marking the most tickets sold over the first 10 days for a U.S. WNT friendly since a trio of matches that made up the Nike Victory Tour in October 1999 following that summer’s Women’s World Cup title. The top two tiers of tickets, which include a limited number of special $125 “Best Seat in the House” on-field seats, are close to selling out. But tickets ranging in price levels from $18 to $32 are still available by calling 505-925-5858 or (toll free) 1-800-905-3315, or by visiting any Raley's or Western Warehouse stores in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Fans can also get tickets online at ussoccer.com.  Groups of 20 or more can order discounted tickets through U.S. Soccer by calling 312-528-1290. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. MT as fans can watch the U.S. women in their continuing preparation for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. The match will be the first ever for the U.S. Women’s National Team in New Mexico, which will become the 30th state, along with the District of Columbia, to host a U.S. women’s match.

U.S. WOMEN TO OPEN DOMESTIC SCHEDULE VS. BRAZIL IN BIRMINGHAM ON APRIL 24: The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team will play its first domestic match of 2004 against Brazil on Saturday, April 24, at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.  The game kicks off at 12 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 as U.S. fans will get their first look at the core of players who will participate in the 2004 Olympics. Advance tickets ranging in price levels from $18 to $50 are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout Alabama (including Publix, Coconuts and Wherehouse Music), by phone at 1-800-277-1700, and online at ussoccer.com.  Groups of 20 or more can order through the Alabama Sports Foundation at 205-967-4745. The match at the historic stadium will be the second trip in as many years to Birmingham, home of U.S. defender Cat Reddick.  The USA trounced England 6-0 in May 2003 as Reddick played 90 minutes in her first appearance for the national team in the city where she was a high-school All-American at Briarwood Christian School and two-time Alabama Girl’s Soccer Player of the Year.

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

KAI’S THREE GOALS HELP U-21s SWEEP CHINA TOUR, DEFEAT YOUTH & FULL TEAMS: The U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team completed an impressive tour of China by winning all three matches while not allowing a goal, including 2-0 victories over both the Chinese Youth National Team and the senior Chinese National Team.  The two shutout victories came after a 4-0 victory on March 21 over Shanghai SVA, one of China's top women's clubs. Against the Chinese Youth National Team on March 25, the USA got goals from Natasha Kai and Heather O'Reilly in a match that saw the USA outshoot the young Chinese, 18-1.  On March 28 against the full Chinese National Team, in one of the more impressive wins in U-21 history, the USA got goals from Carli Lloyd and Kai just two minutes part in the first half to defeat the world's fifth-ranked team in front of a crowd of almost 10,000 in Jiangsu. Jenni Branam picked up the shutout for the USA.  Nicole Barnhart logged the shutout versus the Chinese Youth National Team and the two shared the shutout vs. Shanghai.  The U-21s have won all four matches they have played this year as head coach Chris Petrucelli continues to mold his team in preparation for the 2004 Nordic Cup this summer in Iceland. The U-21s will get together next for a training camp in mid-April at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif.
U-21 WNT Results
Date            Opponent            Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
March 21    Shanghai SVA     4-0 W   Kai, Lohman, Huffman, Lloyd
March 25    China YNT         2-0 W    Kai, O’Reilly
March 28    China WNT        2-0 W    Lloyd, Kai

U-18 MNT TO COMPETE IN U-19 SUPER GROUP OF 25TH DALLAS CUP NEXT WEEK: The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team will arrive in Dallas, Texas at the end of the week to compete in the 25th Dallas Cup from April 4-11. The U-18s have been placed in Group B of the U-19 Super Group and will play Brazilian side Clube Atletico Paranaense on Sunday (April 4), Deportivo Saprissa from Costa Rica on April 5 and CF Monterey of Mexico on April 7. In the other two groups, teams from England, Germany, Argentina, Costa Rica (including their U-20 National Team), Mexico, and the U.S. will fight for a spot in the semifinals on April 9, which will consist of each group winner and one wild card spot. The final will be played on April 11 at Lake Highlands Stadium. Head coach Bob Jenkins has named a 20-player roster, consisting mainly of U-17 ’87 players in U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program.
U-18 MNT Schedule
Date            Opponent
April 4         Clube Atletico Paranaense
April 5         Deportivo Saprissa
April 7         CF Monterey
April 9         Semifinal *
April 11       Final *
* if necessary
U-18 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Marcus Rein (Modesto, Calif.), Stephen Sandbo (Columbus, Ohio); DEFENDERS (7): Greg Folk (Woodland Hills, Calif.), Mike Orosco (Stanton, Calif.), Karl Schilling (Canton, Conn.), Adam Sloustcher (Pleasanton, Calif.), Nathan Sturgis (St. Augustine, Fla.), Julian Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Tim Ward (Waukesha, Wis.); MIDFIELDERS (7): Eric Avila (Encinitas, Calif.), Michael Bradley (Pennington, N.J.), Nico Colalluca (Coventry, R.I.), Christian Jimenez (San Dimas, Calif.), Dax McCarty (Maitland, Fla.), Daniel Szetela (Clifton, N.J.), Mike Videira (Milford, Mass.); FORWARDS (4): Mike Grella (Glen Cove, N.Y.), Rodrigo Hidalgo (Atlantis, Fla.), Robbie Rogers (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Jamie Watson (Coppell, Texas).

U-17 '88 MNT TRAVELS TO FRANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT: The U.S. Under-17 ’88 Men’s National Team will travel to France at the end of the week to take part in the 32nd Mondial Minimes Montaigu Vendee Tournament in Montaigu, France from April 7-12. The team will leave on Friday (April 2) and have a few days of training before their first match against Italy on April 7. The ‘88s will then face England a day later, before finishing group play against Ivory Coast on April 10. Depending on how they finish in their group, the U.S. will play in a classification match on April 12. The international matches will be the first of the year for the U-17 ‘88s. Head coach John Ellinger is bringing an 18-player roster to France. Before the Under-17s leave for France, they will play the University of South Florida on Wednesday, March 31 at IMG Academy.
U-17 ’88 MNT Schedule
Date            Opponent
March 31    University of South Florida  
April 7         Italy
April 8         England
April 10       Ivory Coast
April 12       Classification Match
U-17 ’88 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Evan Newton (Virginia Beach, Va.), Bryant Rueckner (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.); DEFENDERS (4): Richard Edgar (Mechanicsville, Md.), Eric Lichaj (Downer’s Grove, Ill.), Ofori Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Michael Balogun (Houston, Texas); MIDFIELDERS (7): Kevin Alston (Silver Spring, Md.), Tony Ampaipitakwong (Carrollton, Texas), Carlos Borja (Anaheim, Calif.), Michael Farfan (San Diego, Calif.), Jeremy Hall (Tampa, Fla.), Jonathan Villanueva (Dallas, Texas), Blake Wagner (Tampa, Fla.); FORWARDS (5): Gabriel Farfan (San Diego, Calif.), Quavas Kirk (Aurora, Ill.), Michael Stevens (Woodridge, Ill.), Ryan Soroka (Langhorne, Pa.), Preston Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.).

U-15 MNT TO COMPETE IN 32-TEAM U-16 GROUP OF DALLAS CUP NEXT WEEK: The U.S. Under-15 Boys’ National Team will be taking part in the 25th Dallas Cup in Dallas, Texas from April 4-11. The Under-15s will compete in Bracket E of the 32-team U-16 Group, going up against Dallas Inter Black on Sunday (April 4), Ruckus from Redwood City, Calif., on April 5 and CJSO of Jackson, Mississippi on April 7.  If the U.S. wins the group they will advance to the quarterfinals on April 9 and meet the winner of Group D, which includes Woodbridge Strikers (Canada), SASC Stampede (Arcadia, Calif.), Sockers FC (Chicago, Ill.) and Solar SC (Dallas, Texas). The semifinals will be played on April 10 and the final will take place at Lake Highlands Stadium on Sunday (April 11). Head coach Jim Barlow has compiled a 18-player roster for the tournament.
U-15 BNT Schedule
Date            Opponent
April 4         Dallas Inter Black
April 5         Ruckus
April 7         CJSO
April 9         Quarterfinals*
April 10       Semifinals *
April 11       Final *
* if necessary

U-15 BNT Roster

GOALKEEPERS (2): Brian Perk (R.S. Margarita, Calif.), Matthew Walker (Grand Blanc, Mich.); DEFENDERS (4): Douglas Ferner (Bloomfield, Mich.), Cameron Lamming (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), Steven Morales (Farmingdale, N.Y.), Darryl Tom (Los Altos, Calif.); MIDFIELDERS (5): Bryan Arguez (Miami, Fla.), Cameron Brown (Garland, Texas), Guiseppe Carotenuto (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Victor Cortez (El Sobrante, Calif.), Peri Mesosevic (Guilford, Ill.), Anthony Wallace (St. Petersburg, Fla.); FORWARDS (6): Andrew Giallombardo (Manalapan, N.J.), Brett King (Wilmington, N.C.), Cesar Nunez (Gurnee, Ill.), Joseph Sorrentino (Trenton, N.J.), John Tardy (Staten Island, N.Y.), Justin True (Lee’s Summit, Mo.).

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

FIRE ADVANCE TO CONCACAF CHAMPIONS CUP SEMIFINALS: The Chicago Fire began its 2004 schedule at Soldier Field the same way it ended its 2003 home campaign, as captain Chris Armas struck the series-winning goal in the 90th minute to give the Fire a 4-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago Champions CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh in the second leg of the 2004 CONCACAF Champions Cup Quarterfinals on March 24 at Soldier Field.  A pair of goals from halftime substitute Dipsy Selolwane and Armas' late tally tilted the quarterfinal series in favor of the Fire, who emerged victorious from the quarterfinals with a 6-5 advantage on aggregate goals.  Chicago will now move on to face Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica in a series that will begin on the road on April 14 and conclude with a home date on April 21 at Soldier Field. After dropping the first leg of their own quarter-final series 3-0 to LD Alajuelense in Costa Rica on March 17, the San Jose Earthquakes fell short in their semi-final bid with a 1-0 win on a late Brian Mullan goal on March 24.
2004 CONCACAF Champions Cup Results (MLS Teams)
Date            Result
March 17    CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh 5, Chicago 2
March 17    LD Alajuelense 3, San Jose 0
March 24    Chicago 4, CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh 0
March 24    San Jose 1, CD Alajuelense 0

ADU FEATURED ON “60 MINUTES”, TO MAKE PRO DEBUT IN MLS OPENER ON SATURDAY: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National team forward Freddy Adu was featured on CBS' "60 Minutes" last night in what was the first-ever soccer-focused story that the leading news magazine show has produced. “60 Minutes” co-editor Leslie Stahl reported on the piece, which focused on the fact that at 14 year of age, Adu will become the youngest professional player in modern American team sports history when he makes his rookie debut for D.C. United in Major League Soccer. Among those included in the segment were legendary soccer icon Pelé, U.S Men's National Team Manager Bruce Arena and D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen, remarking on Adu's adjustment to life as a professional athlete and the challenges that lie ahead for the soccer phenom. Adu will make his long-awaited professional debut on Saturday (April 3) with the kickoff of MLS' ninth season against the 2003 champion San Jose Earthquakes at RFK Stadium at 4 p.m. ET live on ABC Sports.

*** U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: University of Hawaii midfielder Natasha Kai made an impressive debut in a U.S. uniform last week, leading the U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team with a goal in each of a trio of victories in China. The U-21s defeated top Chinese club Shanghai on March 21 before going on to beat both the Chinese Youth (March 25) and Full Women’s National Team (March 28) by 2-0 margins.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP 1: Bruce and the U.S. MNT gang will be looking to take care of a few pressing issues this Wednesday (March 31) when they meet Poland in Plock live on ESPN2 and ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker at 1:30 p.m. ET. First of all, the Men are looking for their first win of 2004 after posting a 0-1-2 match in a trio of friendlies. Secondly, Arena is still looking for his first win in Europe, and there could be a little tinge of revenge on the minds of the U.S. players after getting dumped 3-1 back in Korea in 2002.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP 2: In what is being billed as a match-up between two of U.S. Soccer’s biggest ever youth stars, Landon Donovan and the defending champion San Jose Earthquakes head to RFK Stadium to face 14-year-old rookie Freddy Adu and D.C. United in arguably the most anticipated single match in Major League Soccer’s nine-year history on Saturday (April 3). Catch the momentous occasion live on ABC at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Entering the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions Cup quarter-final series down three goals with CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh, the Chicago Fire were facing elimination with anything less than a 3-0 win, which would’ve meant they were tied with the T&T club with a 5-5 aggregate score. The Fire did one better, with unlikely hero Chris Armas striking in the 90th minute to win 4-0 and avoid a tie-breaking overtime period.

QUOTABLE: “A lot.”
           --D.C. United head coach Peter Nowak, on how many minutes Adu might play in his rookie season

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