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U.S. Soccer Wire: August 4, 2008


U.S. WNT FACE NORWAY WEDNESDAY IN FIRST MATCH OF 2008 OLYMPICS;
U.S. MEN’S OLYMPIC TEAM OPENS GAMES AGAINST JAPAN ON THURSDAY

U.S. WNT BEGINS OLYMPIC PLAY LIVE ON MSNBC: The U.S. Women’s National Team is ready to kick off their Group G Olympic opener against Norway at 7:45 p.m. local time / 7:45 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 6, at Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium. The match will be broadcast live on MSNBC and Universal HD, with the pre-game show starting at 7:30 a.m. ET, as well as on NBC Olympic Soccer Channel. All 12 teams in three groups will be in action on Aug. 6, which also includes several other great matches, including Brazil vs. Germany in Group F and China vs. Sweden in Group E. The U.S. and Norway are certainly familiar with each other having met 43 times over the years and twice already this year.

U.S. WNT Olympic Group G Schedule
Date       Opponent             Time (ET)           TV 
Aug. 6    Norway                  7:45 a.m. ET      (Live on MSNBC [broadcast at 7:30 a.m. ET], Universal HD,
                                                                            NBC Olympic Soccer Channel)
Aug. 9     Japan                    5 a.m. ET           TBD
Aug. 12  New Zealand        7:45 a.m. ET     TBD

U.S. MEN’S OLYMPIC TEAM FACES JAPAN, LIVE ON MSNBC: The U.S. Men’s Olympic Team came in third place at the ING Cup in Hong Kong before heading to China for the 2008 Olympic Games. The U.S. played to a scoreless draw against Ivory Coast in their ING Cup opener on July 30, before falling, 1-0, on Aug. 2 to Cameroon. In their opening match of the Olympics, the U.S. will face Japan at 5 p.m. local / 5 a.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 7, live on MSNBC (broadcast begins at 4:55 a.m. ET), Universal HD and the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel. The U.S. faces the Netherlands two days later at 7:45 a.m. ET and wraps up Group B play against 1996 Gold medalists Nigeria at 5 a.m. ET.

U.S. Men's Olympic Group B Schedule
Date        Opponent          Time (ET)                     TV 
Aug. 7      Japan                5 a.m. ET                      (Live on MSNBC [broadcast at 4:55 a.m. ET], NBC Olympic Soccer Channel)
Aug. 10    Netherlands    7:45 a.m. ET                 TBD
Aug. 13    Nigeria              5 a.m. ET                      TBD

NBC TO PROVIDE CHANNEL EXCLUSIVELY FOR OLYMPIC SOCCER COVERAGE: NBC Universal will launch a channel exclusively dedicated to full coverage of Men’s and Women’s Soccer at the 2008 Olympic Games. A total of 32 Men’s and 26 Women’s Soccer Games will be shown in their entirety on the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel, in addition to coverage on USA Network, MSNBC and live streaming on NBCOlympics.com. The seven NBC Networks — NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA, Oxygen, Telemundo and Universal HD — will provide an unprecedented 3,600 hours of coverage, all in high definition. NBCOlympics.com will also provide over 3,000 hours of on-demand access to full event replays and extensive highlights. The NBC Olympic Soccer Channel is available on major cable, satellite and telephone companies and distributors.

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-20 MNT FINISH THIRD AT MILK CUP: The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team finished third at the 2008 Milk Cup with a 2-0 victory against Belgium at Riada Stadium in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland. The U.S. got goals from Peri Marosevic and Casey Townsend, both in the second half, on a sunny day in Northern Ireland. The U.S. U-20 Men reached the third place match after defeating Wales, 4-0, and falling to Northern Ireland, 3-1, in their opening match.

U.S. U-20 MNT Milk Cup Results
Date       Opponent               Result       U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
July 28   Northern Ireland     1-3 L        Own Goal
July 30   Wales                       4-0 W       Brek Shea (2), Peri Marosevic, Danny Cruz
Aug. 1    Belgium                    2-0 W       Peri Marosevic, Casey Townsend

U.S. UNDER-20 WOMEN FALL TO TOP CLUBS IN ENGLAND: After a training camp in New Jersey from July 23-28, in which the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team downed the W-League’s New Jersey Sky Blue by a 5-1 score, the team headed to England where it dropped matches to the Everton Ladies (1-0) and the Arsenal Ladies (3-1). Against the Sky Blue on July 26, the USA got an early goal from Alex Morgan, who also added one with 15 minutes left in the game, plus individual scores from Gina DiMartino, Amanda DaCosta and Kiersten Dallstream for the final margin. The U.S. team then headed to Europe and faced Everton on July 30 almost right off the plane. Everton’s lone goal came in the 80th minute, but the Americans hit the post twice after beating the ‘keeper during the game. Two days later against Arsenal, one of the top women’s clubs in the world, the USA played well but fell behind, 3-0, as superstar Kelly Smith scored against the run of play, the USA gave up a penalty and then a goal off a corner kick. Alex Morgan pulled a late goal back with three minutes left. The U.S. team will finish the trip with a match on July 5 against Chelsea. The U.S. will then head home as the bulk of the team will prepare for their college pre-season camps, although there will be some U-20 activity during the college season. U.S. U-20 WNT head coach Tony DiCicco is preparing his side for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to be held in Chile in December. The 16 teams that will compete for the U-20 world title this year are:

AFC: China, Japan, North Korea
CAF: Congo DR, Nigeria
UEFA: England, France, Germany, Norway
CONCACAF: Canada, USA, Mexico
OFC: New Zealand
CONMEBOL: Brazil, Argentina
Host: Chile

U.S. U-18 MNT WRAPPING UP SOUTH AMERICA TOUR: The U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team will wrap up their tour of South America on Wednesday, Aug. 6, when they face a youth team from Argentinean club Estudiantes. The U.S. U-18 men kicked off the tour by participating in the City of Trinidad Under-20 International Tournament. The team finished in third place after starting off with a 1-0 loss to Venezuela on July 31. The squad defeated Paraguay, 1-0, on Aug. 2 before falling, 3-1, to Uruguay one day later.

U.S. U-18 MNT Schedule / Results
Date       Opponent     Result    U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
July 31   Venezuela     0-1 L       --
Aug. 2    Paraguay       1-0 W     Anthony Arena
Aug. 3    Uruguay         1-3 L       Latif Alashe
Aug. 6    Estudiantes   --

U-15 BNT PLAYS SIX MATCHES IN CHICAGO: The U.S. Under-15 Boys’ National Team played six matches in the Chicago area from July 21-27, against six different club, academy and ODP teams. The U.S. U-15s opened up the weekend on Thursday, July 24, winning 6-1 against the Cuauhtémoc Blanco Academy and falling 2-0 to Hamburg SV. The team then recorded dual 2-2 ties, against both the Chicago Fire Academy and an Olympic Development Program Select team on Friday, July 25. The U.S. U-15 BNT played again two days later, falling 2-0, to the Chjicago Sockers and, 1-0, to 36 Lions.

U.S. U-15 BNT Results
Date        Opponent                                      Result     U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
July 24    Cuauhtémoc Blanco Academy 6-1 W       Joel Salmeron, Jalen Robinson, Desmond Gonzalez (2), Atsou Ayah, Bryan Celis
July 24     Hamburg SV                                0-2 L          --
July 25     Chicago Fire Academy              2-2 T         Desmond Gonzales, Victor Zamora
July 25     ODP Select Team                       2-2 T         Sebastian Velasquez, Melvin Snoh
July 27     Chicago Sockers                        0-2 L           --
July 27     36 Lions                                        0-1 L          --

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

U.S REFEREES READY FOR OLYMPIC GAMES: The U.S. referee team of Kari Seitz, Marlene Duffy and Veronica Perez will represent the U.S. as the crew officiating the Olympic women's soccer match between Germany and Brazil on Aug. 6 in Shengyang, China. On the men's side, full-time U.S. referee Jair Marrufo and Kermit Quisenberry will officiate in the match between Cameroon and South Korea on Aug. 7 in Qinhuangdao, the same city where the U.S. Women will play their first two matches.

HALL OF FAME INDUCTS DORRANCE, PEREZ: Former U.S. Women's National Team head coach Anson Dorrance and former U.S. Men's National Team player Hugo Perez were inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y. Dorrance, who was inducted as a Builder, led the U.S. team to the first-ever FIFA Women's World Cup title in 1991, as well as leading the University of North Carolina to numerous NCAA championships. Perez was inducted as a Veteran Player. He was a member of the U.S. Men's National Team from 1984 to 1994, earning 73 caps.

U.S. OPEN CUP SEMIFINALS TAKE PLACE TUESDAY, AUG. 12: The U.S. Open Cup defending champions New England Revolution and D.C. United face off in the semifinals of the 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 12. In the other semifinal, USL First Division clubs Seattle Sounders and Charleston Battery clash for a chance to advance to the tournament final. The Sounders, who will join Major League Soccer in 2009, travel to face the Battery at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal Schedule
Date       Matchup                                                                                     Venue; City/State                            Time
Aug. 12  New England Revolution (MLS) at D.C. United (MLS)     RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C. 7:30 p.m. ET
Aug. 12  Seattle Sounders (USL1) at Charleston Battery (USL1) Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C. 7:30 p.m. ET

*** CENTER CIRCLE SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. Men’s Olympic Team goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who was the 2007 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, recently signed with English Premier League club Aston Villa. Guzan will join U.S. goalkeepers Brad Friedel and Tim Howard in the English Premier League after three years with Chivas USA. Guzan was a first-round draft pick for Chivas USA in their inaugural season, and went from understudy to starting goalkeeper when veteran Martin Zuñiga was hurt during pre-season. Guzan is currently one of three overage players with the U.S. team at the Olympic Games in China, and started in both of the USA's shutout victories against Barbados in the second round of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: Soccer fans can get into the Olympic spirit before the opening ceremony, with the Women’s tournament kicking off Wednesday, Aug. 6, and the Men’s tournament beginning Thursday, Aug. 7. The U.S. WNT will face Norway on Aug. 6, with coverage beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET on MSNBC, and at 7:45 a.m. ET on Universal HD and the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel. The U.S. Men’s Olympic Team will face Japan on Aug. 7, with coverage beginning at 4:55 a.m. ET on MSNBC and 5 a.m. ET on the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel.

QUOTABLE: “For every athlete and every team in this Olympics, a gold medal should be their goal. That’s our outlook on it and I am sure for Norway as well, but you have to take it step by step. If you can play good soccer, you can advance.”
-- U.S. Women’s National Team captain Christie Rampone on taking the Olympics one game at a time.

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