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U.S. Soccer Wire - August 7, 2006


U.S. MNT Defender Eddie Pope Retires From International Soccer;
U.S. WNT Goes Back to Residency Camp Before Aug. 27 Match vs. China

POPE RETIRES FROM U.S. MNT: U.S. National Team defender Eddie Pope has announced his retirement from international soccer, concluding an 11-year international career that included nine World Cup matches played since 1998 and 82 appearances overall (photos). A perennial anchor of the U.S. defense for nearly a decade, he is the first three-time World Cup veteran to play his entire professional career in Major League Soccer. Pope ends his international career tied with Kasey Keller and Claudio Reyna for the most ever World Cup qualifying appearances in U.S. history, playing in 31 matches during three qualifying campaigns. He turned in one of the standout performances for the U.S. defense at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, starting all five matches. Pope recorded eight goals for the United States, none bigger than his strike in the USA’s 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw with Mexico on April 20, 1997. Also scoring the game-winner against Mexico on April 28, 2004, in Dallas, he added two goals to his account in 2006, netting in back-to-back games against Norway and Japan. The 32-year old collected a Gold Cup championship medal in 2005. Pope has spent his entire 11-year professional career in Major League Soccer, beginning with D.C. United in 1996. A three-time MLS champion, his greatest professional moment came when he scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give D.C. United the inaugural MLS Cup title in 1996. Selected for the All-Star game in each of his 11 seasons, the Real Salt Lake defender was named to the league’s All-Time Best XI last year. Pope talks about his national team career and the rivalry he’ll miss most in an exclusive podcast (Listen | Subscribe).

MLS ALL-STARS DEFEAT CHELSEA FC AT TOYOTA PARK: The 2006 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game proved to be an exciting affair as the best in Major League Soccer defeated two-time defending English Premier League champions Chelsea FC, 1-0, on Saturday, Aug. 5 at the brand new Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. The lone goal of the match came in the 70th minute from Houston Dynamo’s Dwayne De Rosario, who settled a Ronnie O’Brien throw in at the top of the area and rifled a ball past Hilario, Chelsea’s substitute goalkeeper. A sold-out crowd of 21,210 saw De Rosario take home MVP honors.

AMERICANS OVERSEAS: Across the Atlantic Ocean, European domestic leagues are about to begin and U.S. Soccer offers a comprehensive preview of those American players participating in the action overseas. If you’ve wondered whether DaMarcus Beasley and his club, PSV, have what it takes for Champions League glory, or whether Bobby Convey and Marcus Hahnemann of newly promoted Reading can avoid relegation in the EPL, then this guide provides the needed information on those American internationals who ply their trade overseas. How will Eddie Lewis’ Leeds United bounce back from last year’s playoff defeat, and can Hannover 96 and Steve Cherundolo finally crack the top half of the table in the Bundesliga? Can Tim Howard fill Everton’s goalkeeping vacancy and can Standard de Liege, led by Oguchi Onyewu, improve on last year’s second-place finish and make waves in Europe? This guide has what you need to follow your favorite current, former, and future members of the U.S. national team in Europe.

SEVEN PLAYERS JOIN WNT RESIDENCY CAMP: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Greg Ryan has called in seven additional players for the next “block” of Residency Training Camp that will begin on Aug. 8 and run through Aug. 21 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The USA will then head to Chicago to face China on Aug. 27 (tickets) at the brand new home of the Chicago Fire in Bridgeview, Ill. Only one of the seven players is getting her first call-up: defender Kacey White, a former UNC star midfielder who has been playing this year in Sweden. The other six players have all seen time with the USA before, including four—defender Nancy Augustyniak, defender Kendall Fletcher, midfielder Angela Hucles and forward Tiffany Weimer—who have been in Residency Training Camp this year. Hucles, who has 52 caps, was a member of the 2004 Olympic gold medal team. Ryan has also called in Kristin Luckenbill, the back-up goalkeeper on the 2004 Olympic Team. With Nicole Barnhart recovering from hip surgery and Jenni Branam out with a back injury, Ryan had just two healthy goalkeepers in Hope Solo and Briana Scurry. Ryan has also called in midfielder Jill Oakes, a key player on the USA’s 2002 Under-19 team that won the world youth championship. The former UCLA star has one cap, earned at the 2005 Algarve Cup. Oakes is the only call-up for this training block that has a cap besides the 2004 Olympians. Weimer and Fletcher recently returned from the Nordic Cup where they helped the U.S. U-21 team to a second-place finish, falling to Germany in the title game. As these seven players arrive, several depart as well. All of the USA’s college eligible players are either with the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team that leaves for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship on Friday or are headed off to their college pre-season training camps. Forward Heather O’Reilly is the exception, as she will be at this training block of Residency Camp for a week before joining her college team at North Carolina in mid-August. She will be going back and forth between the Tar Heels and the National Team throughout the fall. Defender Stephanie Lopez, along with forwards Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Cheney will be going to Russia with the U-20s, while defender Rachel Buehler heads back to Stanford, India Trotter heads back to Florida State and Megan Rapinoe and Angie Woznuk head back to defending NCAA champion Portland. In addition, midfielder Joanna Lohman, who came in on trial in early June, will be kept on the Residency Camp roster until the camp ends in late September. Midfielder Lori Lindsey, who came into the camp at the same time as Lohman, was not retained. The additions and subtractions combine to form a Residency Camp roster of 30 players for this next training period.

U.S. Women’s National Team Results/Schedule
Date       Opponent  Venue                                                                Time/Result (TV)
Jan. 18   Norway     Guangdong Olympic Stadium; Guangzhou, China      3-1 W
Jan. 20   France     Guangdong Olympic Stadium; Guangzhou, China       0-0 T
Feb. 22   China       Guangdong Olympic Stadium; Guangzhou, China      2-0 W
March 9   China       Sao Luis Stadium; Faro, Portugal                            0-0 T
March 11 Denmark   Municipal Stadium; Quarteira, Portugal                     5-0 W
March 13 France      Stadium Algarve; Faro, Portugal                             4-1 W
March 15 Germany   Stadium Algarve; Faro, Portugal                             0-0 T (3-4 pk)
May 7     Japan        KK Wing Stadium; Kumamoto, Japan                      3-1 W
May 9     Japan        Nagai Stadium; Osaka, Japan                                1-0 W
July 15   Sweden      National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.                      3-2 W
July 23   Ireland       Torero Stadium; San Diego, Calif.                           5-0 W
July 30   Canada      SAS Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.                                2-0 W
Aug. 27   China         Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill.                                 12 p.m. CT (ESPN2)
Sep. 13   Mexico       PAETEC Park; Rochester, N.Y.                             8 p.m. ET (ESPN2, Telemundo delay)


U.S. PARALYMPIAN JOSH BLUE ON LAST COMIC STANDING: Josh Blue, a longtime forward on the U.S. Paralympic soccer team, has made his mark as a stand-up comedian on "Last Comic Standing" on NBC. Blue's routine moved him into the final three on the popular show, and on Tuesday night the challenge continues with fans once again getting a chance to vote for their favorites. Log on to http://www.nbc.com/Last_Comic_Standing/ for more information or to vote. Watch Blue's routine on NBC on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-20 WNT PREPARES FOR RUSSIA: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team held its final training camp from July 30-Aug. 4 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., before leaving for Russia and the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Moscow. The 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship will be held from Aug. 17-Sept. 4. Fans can follow all of the U.S. matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The U.S. team departs for Russia on Aug. 12 and will open the tournament on Aug. 18 against the Democratic Republic of Congo. After opening Group D against the Africans, the USA faces Argentina on Aug. 21, and finishes first round play against France on Aug. 24. All the first-round matches will be played in Moscow. The 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship will take place at four stadiums in Moscow (Dynamo, Podmoskovie, Lokomotiv and Torpedo) and at one in St. Petersburg (Petrovsky). Fans can follow all the action from Russia on ussoccer.com’s special U-20 Women’s World Championship competition page, with game stories, features, interviews, podcasts and all_access video.

U.S. U-20 WNT – 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Kelsey Davis (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Joanna Haig (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.), Val Henderson (Orinda, Calif.);
DEFENDERS (6): Carrie Dew (Encinitas, Calif.), Erin Hardy (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Nikki Kryzsik (Clifton, N.J.), Stephanie Logterman (Austin, Texas), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Sara Wagenfuhr (Colorado Springs, Colo.);
MIDFIELDERS (8): Danesha Adams (Shaker Heights, Ohio), Jordan Angeli (Lakewood, Colo.), Brittany Bock (Naperville, Ill.), Tina DiMartino (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Allie Long (East Northport, N.Y.), Casey Nogueira (Cedarburg, Wis.), Amanda Poach (Bowie, Md.);
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Kelley O’Hara (Fayetteville, Ga.), Jessica Rostedt (Kent, Ohio).

U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team – First Round Schedule
2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship
Match No. Date Teams Stadium (Venue) Kickoff Local / ET
7 Aug. 18 USA vs. DR Congo Torpedo (Moscow) 4 p.m. / 8 a.m.
15 Aug. 21 USA vs. Argentina Torpedo (Moscow) 4 p.m. / 8 a.m.
24 Aug. 24 USA vs. France Dynamo (Moscow) 7 p.m. / 11 a.m.


U-20 MNT FALLS TO PARAGUAY IN NORTHERN IRELAND MILK CUP FINAL: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team was unable to retain their crown Friday (Aug. 4) evening when they fell, 2-0, to Paraguay in the final of the 2006 Milk Cup at Coleraine Showgrounds in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. The U.S. was attempting to win back-to-back Milk Cup championships, but instead Paraguay will take home their third title in five years. Paraguay is the only team to win back-to-back titles, doing so in 2002 and 2003. The U.S. U-20 men reached the final after drawing their second match, 2-2, with Denmark off goals from Preston Zimmerman and Robbie Rogers. The U.S. opened the tournament with a 3-0 win against Wales, as Jonathan Villanueva and Dax McCarty registered the first and third goals, respectively. In between, a strike by Tony Beltran was ruled an own goal after deflecting off a Wales defender.

U.S. U-20 MNT Milk Cup Schedule
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers
July 31 Wales 3-0 W Villanueva, Own goal, McCarty
Aug. 2 Denmark 2-2 T Zimmerman, Rogers
Aug. 4 Paraguay* 0-2 L --
*Championship Match


U-17 ’90 MNT ROSTER SET FOR TOYOTA INT’L YOUTH FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. U-17 ’90 Men’s National Team set off for Japan on Saturday (Aug. 5) in preparation for the Toyota Youth International Tournament. The tournament takes place Aug. 10-13 in Toyota, Japan. The U-17s will have three days of practice before kicking off the tournament on Thursday, Aug. 10 against the Czech Republic, who they fell to earlier this year, 1-0, in the final of the 2006 Ballymena International Tournament. Two days later, the U.S. will take on host Japan. Depending on their results from the two-game group play, the U.S. will either be placed in the championship, third place or fifth place match. The other group consists of Croatia, South Korea and a youth team from Nagoya Grampus of the J-League. In 2005, the U.S. won the Toyota Youth International Tournament with a 2-1 victory against Japan in the final. Hackworth is bringing five players that are not currently in U.S. Soccer's U-17 Residency Program, but may get invited for this fall semester - Lonnie Carter, Howard Turk, Evan Raynr, Greg Garza and Zac MacMath. The U-17 staff, which includes Keith Fulk, Raul Diaz Arce, Tim Mulqueen and Brian Maisonneuve, has brought in 76 players since August of 2005 into a national team camp, providing them with an in-depth and close-up look at the available player pool.

U.S. U-17 ’90 MNT Schedule
Date Opponent
Aug. 10 Czech Republic
Aug. 12 Japan
Aug. 13 Placement Match


U.S. U-14 GIRLS' NATIONAL TEAM ID CAMP FINISHES UP AT CAL POLY POMONA: The U.S. Under-14 Girls' National Team Identification Camp finished up last Saturday at Cal Poly Pomona in Pomona, Calif. The camp kicked off July 30 and ran through Aug. 5, with 100 girls -- 25 from each of the four regions -- taking part in training and games as the camp moved back to California after taking place in Massachusetts for the past few years. Region II U.S. Women's National Team staff coach Mike Dickey oversaw the camp, along with the three other U.S. WNT staff coaches, Stephanie Gabbert from Region IV, Jeff Pill from Region I and Dave Rubinson from Region II. The U-14 Girls' ID camp is one several identification processes to evaluate players for the U.S. U-15 Girls' National Development Team as the players get their first experience in a national team camp environment.

U.S. U-14 GNT Camp Roster
Region I (25): Torri Allen (Stafford, Va.), Kailey Blain (Merrimack, N.H.), Hayley Brock (Acton, Mass.), Crystal Dunn (Rockville Center, N.Y.), Carly Gallagher (East Stroudsburg, Pa.), Briana Hovington (Lothian, Md.), Peyton Johnson (Baltimore, Md.), Kaitlyn Kerr (Bensalem, Pa.), Danielle Krohn (Wrightsville, Pa.), Beverly Leon (Wreatham, Mass.), Samantha Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Rachel Middleman (Mars, Pa.) Rachel Nichols (Fairfax Station, Va.), Rachel Nuzzolese (Upper Brookeville, N.Y.), Karly O’Toole (Glenmore, Pa.), Jazmine Reeves (Dover, Del.), Shannon Roche (Yardley, Pa.), Danielle Rutter (York, Pa.), Jessica Schloth (Fairfield, Conn.), Taylor Schram (Canonsburg, Pa.), Madeline Simms (Bowie, Md.), Jennifer Skogerboe (Ashburn, Va.), Alexa St. Martin (Westford, Mass.), Patrice Vettori (Dedham, Mass.), Deja Walker (La Plata, Md.)

Region II (25): Ashley Catrell (Overland Park, Kan.), Kori Chapic (Russell, Ohio), Kaysie Clark (Liberty, Mo.), Stephanie Condon (Western Springs, Ill.), Vanessa DiBernardo (Naperville, Ill.), Colleen Diemer (Plainfield, Ind.), Sarah Doggendorf (St. Charles, Mo.), Amber Fry (Northfield, Ill.), Megan Fuller (Bondurant, Ind.), Lauen Gagnon (Grand Haven, Miss.), Kellery Gravlin (St. Charles, Mo.), Kelsey Hough (Lake Forest, Ill.), Sarah Killion (Ft. Wayne, Ind.), Kelsey Muller (Okemos, Mich.), Katie Nasenbenny (LaGrange, Ill.), Lisa Nouanesengsy (Huger Heights, Ohio), Emily Oliver (Flossmoor, Il.), Megan Oyster (Naperville, Ill.), Emily Scott (Tinley Park, Ill.), Catherine Sessions (Woodbury, Minn.) Anna Sieloff (Troy, Mich.), Frances Silva-Leon (Overland Park, Kan.), Annie Steinlage (Noblesville, Ind.), Melissa Van Dorn (Polk City, Iowa)

Region III (25): Nina Anderson (Plano, Texas), Kathryn Bass (Coppell, Texas), Kaley Blades (Largo, Fla.), Jodi Calloway (Denton, Texas), Megan Carrell (Allen, Texas), Alexandria Crown (Lake Mary, Fla.), Nicole Duarte (League City, Texas), Mary Eggleston (Houston, Texas), Katrina Frost (Fayetteville, Ga.), Alexa Hosey (Port Orange, Fla.), Juliann Jeffrey (Richardson, Texas), Megan Kinneman (Missouri City, Texas), Jenifer LaCombe (Edmond, Okla.), Natalie Melo (Kissimmee, Fla.), Sydney Miller (Plano, Texas), Ashley Oswald (Pembroke Pines, Fla), Mollie Pathman (Durham, N.C.), Molly Richey (Flint, Texas), Julia Sandridge (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Carli Shultis (McDonough, Ga.), Courtney Smith (Plano, Texas), Annie Speese (Anansta, Ga.), Rebecca Twining (Houston, Texas), Chioma Ubogagu (Coppell, Texas), Madison Whitehead (Highland Village, Texas)

Region IV (25): Mackenzie Akerfields (Littleton, Colo.), Alyson Birgel (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Haley Boysen (Moorpark, Calif.), Mia Bruno (Torrance, Calif.), Alexandra Conti (Alamo, Calif.), Michelle Cruz (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Nicole De Puy (Irvine, Calif.), Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick (Pleasanton, Calif.), Alexandra Harrison (Laguna Hills, Calif.), Sofia Huerta (Boise, Idaho), Julie Beth Johnston (Mesa, Ariz.), Emily Kruger (Redwood City, Calif.), Natalie Lagunas (Canyon Country, Calif.), Natalia Ledezma (La Mirada, Calif.), Gabrielle Lindeman (Lake Oswego, Ore.), Melinda Madden (Lake Oswego, Ore.), Ariana Martinez (Moorpark, Calif.), Molly McCool (Bend, Ore.), Molly Mettler (Portland, Ore.), Kealia Ohai (Draper, Utah), Kyleigh Royall (Lehi, Utah), Ariela Schreibeis (Laramie, Wyo.), Crystal Shaffie (San Jose, Calif.), Zuri Walker (San Diego, Calif.), Carrie Whigham (Phoenix, Ariz.)


– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

ussoccer.com’s CENTER CIRCLE ONLINE ALL YEAR LONG: It’s been a while since ussoccer.com’s “Center Circle” reached your inbox, bringing an ear-to-ear smile to your face and distracting you from work until you read the latest Armchair Midfielder and In 3’s, topping off your reading with some U.S. National Team trivia. The bad news is, you won’t be receiving a monthly “Center Circle” in your inbox anymore. But the good news is, you don’t have to wait a whole month to get your “Center Circle” fix! Check out “Center Circle” daily at centercircle.ussoccer.com to read the latest Armchair Midfielder, hear from fan favorites in the “Off the Ball” section as the Valentin Chronicles and Manya’s Musings return or meet new players in the new “Hello My Name is…” and “YNT Spotlight” sections. Catch all the action at centercircle.ussoccer.com!

BARCELONA TOUR BEGINS: Two-time defending Spanish League champions Barcelona kicked off their U.S. tour on Sunday (Aug. 6) night against CD Guadalajara (Chivas) at The Coliseum in Los Angeles. A crowd of 92,650 turned out to watch the 1-1 draw, which was part of a double header with Chivas USA and the New England Revolution, who also played to a 1-1 draw. The crowd was the eighth largest in the history of soccer in the United States, and the largest ever for a game involving only club teams. Barcelona continues their tour against Mexico’s Club America at 9:30 p.m. CT at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The tour ends at Giants Stadium in E. Rutherford, N.J., when Barcelona takes on the New York Red Bulls at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 12, live on Fox Soccer Channel.

CONCACAF BEACH SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP SET FOR COSTA RICA: The inaugural CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship will take place at Punta Leona in Puntarenas, Costa Rica from Sep. 13-17, CONCACAF announced on Monday, Aug. 7. Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico and the USA will participate in the tournament, which will qualify two teams to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2006 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, from Nov. 2-12. The CONCACAF tournament will be played in a round-robin format with the champion and runner-up from the final round standings advancing to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2006 in Brazil.

U.S. Beach Soccer Championship Schedule
Date Opponent
Sep. 13 Canada
Sep. 14 Jamaica
Sep. 16 Mexico
Sep. 17 Costa Rica


VANCOUVER TAKES HOME W-LEAGUE TITLE: The Vancouver Whitecaps claimed their second W-League title in three years on Sunday (Aug. 6) with a 3-0 win against the Ottawa Fury at Swangard Stadium. More than 4,200 fans watched Christine Sinclair net her 12th goal of the year, and third of the playoffs, in the first half in what turned out to be the game-winner. Vancouver defender Martina Franko had a goal and an assist, and defender Sasha Andrews scored the third goal for the Whitecaps, as well as clearing the ball off the goal line early in the match to thwart Ottawa's best goal-scoring chance in the 16th minute. Sinclair was named W-League Championship Tournament Most Valuable Player.

ROMA FC'S CINDERELLA RUN ENDS: The fourth round of the 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup kicked off on Tuesday, Aug. 1, with D.C. United defeating the Columbus Crew, 2-1, and Roma FC’s Cinderella run coming to an end against the defending champions Los Angeles Galaxy in a 2-0 loss (highlights). The fourth round continued on Wednesday, Aug. 2, with one match being post-poned due to weather and two USL First Division squads forcing penalty kicks against MLS opponents. The Chicago Fire and Kansas City Wizards will play their fourth round match on Aug. 14, at 7:30 p.m. CT at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., after thunderstorms caused the match to be delayed for four hours before being called off. Complete fourth round U.S. Open cup results can be found at ussoccer.com's 2006 U.S. Open Cup homepage.

2006 US YOUTH SOCCER HIGHLIGHT SHOW ON FOX SOCCER CHANNEL: The 2006 US Youth Soccer National Championships Highlight Show will air on Fox Soccer Channel this Friday, August 11, at 8 p.m. ET. The two-hour show will feature game highlights from the recently completed national championships, feature stories and interviews. The self-produced program will highlight the 84 games played at the 2006 US Youth Soccer National Championships where the nation’s top youth teams played for their respective national championship in one of six age groups, Under-14 through Under-19, for boys and girls. In addition to the action on the field, the program will highlight various aspects of the event and its participants.

2006 US CLUB SOCCER NATIONAL CUP V CHAMPIONS CROWNED: US Club Soccer 2006 National Cup V Champions were crowned in Greensboro, N.C. Tuesday, July 25 in Girls Super Group U-15 through U-17 and Premier U-12 through U-14 and U-16 through U-17 age groups and Monday, July 31 in Boys Super Group U-13 through U-17 and Premier U-12 through U-17 age groups. Ironbound SC claimed a pair of National Cup titles, while three teams became the first to repeat as National Cup Champions: Bridge FA’s Boys Super Group U-15s, CASL Elite’s Boys Super Group U-13s and Slammers FC’s Girls Super Group U-16s. Capital Athletic Boca Juniors’ Girls Super Group U-15s and San Juan SC Spirits’ Girls Super Group U-17s also won their second National Cup Championship. The freshly crowned 2006 National Cup V champions will have their names engraved on The Doug Hamilton Memorial Cup. The newly renamed National Cup trophy honors Doug Hamilton, the former President & General Manager of Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy and Chief Operating Officer of AEG Sports who passed away in March. Visit www.usclubsoccer.org for results, photos and coverage of the 2006 National Cup V Finals.

2006 National Cup V Boys Super Group Champions
U-13: CASL Elite (N.C.)
U-14: ISC Strikers Silver Elite (Calif.)
U-15: Bridge FA Gold (S.C.)
U-16: Sockers FC Chicago White (Ill.)
U-17: Ironbound SC Warriors (N.J.)

2006 National Cup V Boys Premier Champions
U-12: LA Rampage (Calif.)
U-13: Juventus Sport Monarcas (Calif.)
U-14: Roanoke Star Premier (Va.)
U-15: Ironbound SC Blaze (N.J.)
U-16: South Charlotte SA Gold (N.C.)
U-17: MPS Cape Cod Crusaders (Mass.)

2006 National Cup V Girls Super Group Champions
U-15: Capital Athletic Boca Juniors (Calif.)
U-16: Slammers FC (Calif.)
U-17: San Juan SC Spirits (Calif.)

2006 National Cup V Girls Premier Champions
U-12: Internationals (Ohio)
U-13: Arsenal FC (Calif.)
U-14: PDA Fire (N.J.)
U-16: Rio Vista Football Tiburonas (N.M.)
U-17: New Jersey Wildcats (N.J.)


HALL OF FAME GAME TICKETS NOW ON SALE: Tickets for the 2006 Hall of Fame Game between the Columbus Crew and the New York Red Bulls at 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 28, in Oneonta, N.Y., are now on sale through Ticketmaster, including online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at (607) 722-7272 and at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout upstate New York, including Kaufmann’s Department Stores. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the event. The Hall of Fame Game is the final event of the 2006 Induction Weekend on Aug. 26-28. Former MNT defender Alexi Lalas and former WNT captain Carla Overbeck will be inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame, along with veteran Al Trost and builder Philip Anschutz, at 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 28. The Induction Ceremony takes place in the HOF museum and is open to the public free of charge. The Hall of Fame Game follows the Induction Ceremony on At-A-Glance Field on the Hall of Fame campus.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: As a much-touted MLS All-Star game between the MLS All-Stars and Chelsea FC looked to be heading to a scoreless stalemate, Dwayne De Rosario capped off his All-Star Game MVP performance with the only goal of the match. De Rosario settled a throw-in from FC Dallas midfielder Ronnie O’Brien, turned and ripped a shot from the top of the box that went between Chelsea backup ‘keeper Hilario and the near post. It was all the MLS would need to beat two-time defending English Premier League champions Chelsea.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: Those who weren’t able to watch the MLS All-Stars take on two-time English Premier League defending champions Chelsea or the match between between Chivas of Guadalajara and Spain’s two-time defending champions Barcelona need not fret. There is plenty of international soccer still to be seen in the United States as Barcelona takes on Club America (live on Fox Soccer Channel) at 9:30 p.m. CT at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Wednesday, Aug. 9, while DC United faces Real Madrid (live on Comcast SportsNet – MidAtlantic) at 8 p.m. PT at Qwest Field in Seattle, Wash., that same evening. Barcelona will then travel East to take on Red Bull New York at 7:30 p.m. ET at Giants Stadium in E. Rutherford, N.J., on Saturday, Aug. 12, while Real Madrid pays a visit to Real Salt Lake at 7:30 p.m. MT at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. Both matches will be shown live on Fox Soccer Channel.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Many people said the match between Chelsea FC and the MLS All-Stars would be a close affair, with MLS players in top form and Chelsea coming off summer break, but who really believed the good ol’ boys would stand a chance against such superstars as Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Andriy Shevchenko, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien (just to name a few)?

QUOTABLE: “After having the opportunity to play in my third World Cup and taking some time to reflect with my family, I felt like it was the right moment to say goodbye to the national team. I’ll miss all my teammates, and I will always appreciate the successes we had together. I really never imagined that my international career would last this long, and I am very grateful for the opportunities over the last 11 years. I want to thank everyone in the U.S. Soccer family, and particularly the fans, for all the support over the years. It has made my national team career very, very special."
-- U.S. MNT defender Eddie Pope upon announcing his retirement from international soccer.
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