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U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. MNT To Begin Qualifying


U.S. HOSTS HOME LEG OF TWO-GAME SERIES LIVE AT 1 P.M. ET ON ESPN2, TELEMUNDO: The U.S. Men’s National team begins qualifying play for the 2006 FIFA World Cup on Sunday (June 13) at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, in the first of a two-game preliminary round series. The match kicks off at 1 p.m. ET (live on ESPN2 and Telemundo) and will conclude in St. George's, Grenada on June 20 (live on ESPN2 & Telemundo at 4 p.m. ET). The winner of the total goals series will advance to the four-team, six-game semifinal round which would begin for the U.S. on Aug. 18 in either Jamaica or Haiti. U.S. MNT Manager Bruce Arena last week selected a 19-man roster to train in advance of the match, which marks the first of at least 18 matches necessary in order to qualify for Germany 2006. Of the 19 players, 10 are based in Major League Soccer while nine play professionally overseas. Eleven of the players were part of the USA’s quarterfinal finish in the 2002 World Cup. Tickets ranging from $25-$65 are on sale now at all local Ticketmaster outlets (including all Kroger stores), online at ussoccer.com or by phone at 614-431-3600.
U.S. MNT Qualifying Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kasey Keller (Tottenham Hotspur), Jonny Walker (MetroStars); DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Cory Gibbs (Dallas Burn), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Eddie Pope (MetroStars), Tony Sanneh (FC Nürnberg), Greg Vanney (FC Bastia); MIDFIELDERS (6): Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire), Landon Donovan (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Lewis (Preston North End), Claudio Reyna (Manchester City), Earnie Stewart (D.C. United); FORWARDS (3): Conor Casey (FSV Mainz), Jovan Kirovski (Los Angeles Galaxy), Brian McBride (Fulham FC)

McBRIDE, REYNA REACH MILESTONES IN 4-0 ROUT OF HONDURAS IN FOXBORO: A pair of milestones were met on June 2 as the U.S. Men’s National Team topped Honduras 4-0 in their final tune-up match before World Cup qualifying begins on Sunday (June 13) in Columbus, Ohio, in the first of two games versus Grenada.  U.S. captain Claudio Reyna became the seventh U.S. player to record his 100th career cap, while forward Brian McBride passed Joe-Max Moore for second on the U.S. all-time scoring list with goals No. 24 and 25 of his career in the first half. Reyna joins Jeff Agoos, Marcelo Balboa, Paul Caliguiri, Cobi Jones, Joe-Max Moore and Eric Wynalda in the 100-cap club. Following the game, Reyna’s No. 10 jersey was presented to Jack Huckel of the National Soccer Hall of Fame to commemorate the event. After McBride’s stellar strikes in the 22nd and 37th minutes to give the U.S. a 2-0 halftime lead, the U.S. struggled early in the second half before midfielder Eddie Lewis put home a loose ball in the box in the 77th minute and defender Tony Sanneh headed home a Reyna free kick in the 81st minute for the final result. In his first appearance for the U.S. since the Confederations Cup last July, goalkeeper Tim Howard became the third U.S. goalkeeper in three games to record a shutout. In all, the U.S. defense has not allowed a goal in the last 291 minutes. With the USA’s second straight 4-0 victory over the “catrachos,” the U.S. improved to 5-2-3 against Honduras.

U.S. WOMEN TO LEARN WHO WILL STAND IN WAY OF GOLD IN ATHENS ON WEDNESDAY: The U.S. Women’s National Team will learn its first round opponents and placement on Wednesday (June 8) when the draw takes place for the upcoming Women's Olympic Football Tournament, scheduled to take place at five venues across Greece from Aug. 11-26. The 2004 Olympics will feature a unique tournament format with 10 teams (up from eight in 1996 and 2000) split into two groups of three teams each and one group of four. With the strange 4-3-3 breakdown comes the addition of a quarterfinal elimination round for the first time in the Olympics, with just two of 10 teams to be eliminated after 12 total first round games. In the past Olympic women’s soccer tournaments, the top two finishers in each four-team group advanced straight to the semifinals.
2004 Olympic Breakdown
Africa (1): Nigeria
Asia (2): China, Japan
CONCACAF (2): USA, Mexico
Europe (3): Germany, Sweden, Greece (host)
Oceania (1): Australia
South America (1): Brazil

WAMBACH GOAL SALVAGES 1-1 DRAW WITH JAPAN IN LOUISVILLE: The U.S. Women's National Team battled through a lackluster first half to draw Japan 1-1 on a second-half strike from forward Abby Wambach on a hot day at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on June 6.  The goal was the team-leading 12th of the year for the 5’11” forward and gave her 26 in 37 career matches for the USA as their record moved to 12-1-2 in 2004. The match marked only the second game in U.S. women's history on a synthetic FieldTurf surface and the U.S. team struggled with the hard ground throughout the match, while the technical Japanese seemed to thrive on it.  Japan's first-half pressure paid off in the 20th minute, as Eriko Arakawa beat the U.S. back line with yards to spare off a cross-field pass from Tomomi Miyamoto and raced in and converted past Briana Scurry from 12 yards out. The USA goal finally came in the 59th minute off another great buildup that started down the right flank. Midfielder Julie Foudy cut the ball back and launched a cross to Mia Hamm, who volleyed the ball to the penalty spot.  Aly Wagner managed to get a head on the ball and flicked it to the far post, where Wambach ran onto the bouncing ball and struck a volley into the upper right corner to tie the game. In the game, the U.S. was outshot by Japan 12-8, marking the first time in seven years and 104 games that the U.S. has been outshot by an opponent in a domestic match. The amazing streak dates all the way back to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory for the U.S. over France in which the French put together a 15-12 shot advantage in Tampa, Fla., on April 27, 1997. The U.S. team now returns to the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif., for a week of training before a two-week break.  The U.S. team will regroup in late June to prepare for their next match on July 3 vs. Canada in Nashville, Tenn. (7 p.m. CT on ESPN).  The USA will finish its Olympic preparation with matches on July 21 vs. Australia in Blaine, Minn. (6 p.m. CT on ESPN2), and with an Olympic send-off match on Aug. 1 in Hartford, Conn. against China (2:55 p.m. ET on ESPN2).
U.S. WNT “Quest for Summer Glory” Tour
Results
Date         Opponent    Result     U.S. Goal Scorers                                       Attendance
April 24    Brazil          5-1 W     Foudy, Wambach (2), Welsh, Hamm          11,527
May 9      Mexico        3-0 W    Parlow, Hamm, Chalupny                            17,805
June 6      Japan           1-1 T     Wambach                                                    7,525
Schedule
Date        Opponent    Venue; City                                                    Kickoff (Local) / TV
July 3      Canada        The Coliseum; Nashville, Tenn.                       7 p.m. CT / ESPN
July 21    Australia      National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.             6 p.m. CT / ESPN2
Aug. 1     China          Rentschler Field; Hartford, Conn.                    3 p.m. ET / ESPN2

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

UNDER-19 WOMEN EASILY QUALIFY FOR 2004 FIFA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Behind a first-half hat trick from midfielder Angela Woznuk, the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team secured a place in the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship on June 4 with a 6-0 victory over Mexico in the semifinals of the CONCACAF U-19 Final Qualifying Tournament at McGill University Molson Stadium in Montreal, Canada. The U.S. qualified for its second straight U-19 World Championship with the semifinal victory and will have five months to prepare to defend its crown against the best in the world in Thailand from Nov. 10-27. The U.S. won the inaugural U-19 World Championship in 2002 behind a golden goal from Lindsay Tarpley in overtime for a 1-0 victory over Canada in Edmonton. Canada captured the second of two CONCACAF bids available to the U-19 World Championship after defeating Costa Rica 4-0 in the second semifinal played directly after the USA-Mexico match. In the tournament final, a reversal of the 2002 world championship final, Canada won in the 118th minute on a golden goal by Josee Belanger. The U.S. opened the tournament with dominating victories over Dominican Republic (14-0 on May 28), Trinidad & Tobago (11-1 on May 30) before tying Costa Rica 0-0 on June 1 to win the group and advance to the semifinals. U.S. forward Kerri Hanks finished as the leading scorer of the tournament with nine goals in four matches.
U.S. U-19 WNT Results
Date         Opponent                   Result       U.S. Goal Scorers
May 28    Dominican Republic    14-0 W    Kia McNeill (4), Kerri Hanks (3), Megan Rapinoe (2), Stephanie Kron, Yael Averbuch, Rachel Buehler, Alexa Orand, Stacy Lindstrom
May 30    Trinidad & Tobago     11-1 W    Kerri Hanks (3), Bristyn Davis (2), Yael Averbuch, Angie Woznuk, Rachel Buehler, Megan Rapinoe
June 1      Costa Rica                  0-0 T       ---
June 4      Mexico                       6-0 W      Woznuk (3), Hanks (2), Kron
June 6      Canada                       1-2 L (OT)      Hanks

UNDER-20s TO FACE BRAZIL ON JUNE 16, TRAVEL TO SOUTH KOREA FOR TOURNEY: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will play defending Under-20 FIFA World Champion Brazil on Wednesday, June 16, at 8 p.m. (ET) at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. It will be the U.S. U-20’s second match at Lockhart Stadium in two months after they defeated Haiti Select 1-0 on April 21 behind a 20-yard strike from Craig Capano in the second half. After the Brazil match, the majority of the team will then travel to Busan, South Korea to participate in the Busan Four Nations International Tournament along with South Korea, Poland and Brazil. The team will leave on June 18 and have a few days of training before facing South Korea in the opening match of the tournament on June 22. The U.S. will then face Brazil on June 24 and finish the round-robin play against Poland on Feb. 26. All the matches will take place at Busan Asiad Main Stadium. Head coach Thomas Rongen will announce his roster for the Brazil match and the South Korea trip tomorrow (June 8). The roster will consist of a mixture of professional, top college and top high school players, as Rongen continues to sort through the U.S. U-20 player pool in preparation for the CONCACAF U-20 World Youth Championship qualifying tournament in January 2005. Advance tickets for the Brazil match on June 16 are $20 for adults and $10 for kids under the age of 12 and are on sale now by calling Complete Ticket Solutions at 1-877-877-7677 or online at www.tixops.com. For groups of 25 or more, there is a $2 discount per ticket. Tickets are also available online at:
http://www.ticketfusion.com/store/one/index.html?store_id=1718&master_store_id=1718&page_type=ticket&show_id=102016&cid=957098\
U-20 MNT Schedule
Date               Opponent                Kickoff
June 16           Brazil                      8 p.m. ET
U-20 MNT Schedule – Busan International Tournament
Date                Opponent               Kickoff (local / ET)
June 22           South Korea           7 p.m. / 6 a.m.
June 24           Brazil                      4:30 p.m. / 3:30 a.m.
June 26           Poland                    12:30 p.m. / 11:30 p.m.

U-17 ’88 MNT TESTED BY OLDER COMPETITION DURING CAMP IN CARSON: The U.S. Under-17 '88 Men's National Team met some tough, older competition during last week’s training camp at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. After falling to the much older U-19 Irvine Strikers 4-0 on May 29, the ‘88s came out with a higher intensity three days later in the rematch and pulled out a tight 1-0 victory behind a clinical finish by David Arvizu, who was sent through by Ryan Soroka in the 77th minute. On June 2, the U.S. fell to an experienced Orange County BlueStars (PDL) team 1-0 after a second half goal off a corner kick. The following day, the U.S. broke into two squads as head coach John Ellinger had brought in seven players not currently in Residency as he looks to solidify his squad as they near qualifying for the U-17 World Championship in early 2005. The majority of Residency players took on the Irvine Strikers once again (as the AEG All-Stars were forced to cancel a day earlier) and fell behind by two goals after the 16th minute, but were able to battle back to tie the match on goals by Quavas Kirk (18th) and Richard Edgar (35th), only to surrender a penalty kick in the 87th minute to fall 3-2 to the older squad. In the final match of the week, the U.S. got goals from Gabriel Farfan, Danny Ortega and David Arvizu to cruise to a 3-1 victory over the Santa Anita Stampede.
U-17 ’88 MNT Results
Date            Opponent                                       Result        U.S. Goal Scorers
May 29        Irvine Strikers U-19                       0-4 L         ---
June 1          Irvine Strikers U-19                       1-0 W        Arvizu
June 2          Orange Co. BlueStars (PDL)         0-1 L          ---
June 3          Irvine Strikers U-19                        2-3 L        Kirk, Edgar
June 3          Santa Anita Stampede                    3-1 W       G. Farfan, Ortega, Arvizu

– LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP UPDATE –

SACRAMENTO UPSETS SPOKANE; FIRST ROUND OF 2004 OPEN CUP ENDS TOMORROW: Results are in from six of the eight first round matches in the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with the two final matches to be played tomorrow night (June 8). On June 2, the Carolina Dynamo, Cape Cod Crusaders, Chicago Fire Reserves and South Jersey Barons of the Premier Development League all moved on in the tournament with multi-goal victories over regional qualifiers from the United States Amatuer Soccer Association. Out West, the contests were much tighter, with the Boulder Rapids Reserve (PDL) staging a come-from-behind 2-1 win over regular Open Cup participant Chico Rooks (USASA). In the closest first round tilt to date, the Sacramento Knights of USASA's Region IV topped the Spokane Shadow of the PDL on a penalty kick just one minute into overtime for a 2-1 win. First round action continues tomorrow (June 8) as the DFW Tornadoes (PDL) host Legends FC (USASA) in a Dallas derby, while Azzurri (USASA) of Dallas travels east to face the Cocoa Expos (PDL) on the Atlantic coast of Florida. Through the six games played, the leading scorer for the tournament is Julian Nash of the Chicago Fire Reserves, who picked up two goals and two assists for six points against S.A.C. Wisla. Log on to the competitions page of ussoccer.com for complete coverage of the tournament, including insight from U.S. Under-20 forward Jamie Watson, who is playing in the Cup with the DFW Tornadoes.
First Round Results
#     Date       Result
1     June 2     Boulder Rapids Reserve (PDL) 2, Chico Rooks (USASA) 1
2     June 2     Sacramento Knights (USASA) 2, Spokane Shadow (PDL) 1 (OT)
3     June 2     Allied S.C. (USASA) 0, South Jersey Barons (PDL) 5
5     June 2     Chicago Fire Reserves (PDL) 5, S.A.C. Wisla (USASA) 1
6     June 2     Cape Cod Crusaders (PDL) 4, N.Y. Greek American-Atlas (USASA) 1
8     June 2     Milwaukee Bavarians (USASA) 1, Carolina Dynamo (PDL) 5
First Round Schedule
#     Date       Teams                                                                        Venue; City    Kickoff
4     June 8     Legends FC (USASA) at DFW Tornadoes (PDL)     Pennington Field; Bedford, Texas    7:30 p.m. CT
7     June 8     Azzurri (USASA) at Cocoa Expos (PDL)     Cocoa Expo Sports Center, Cocoa, Fla.    7:30 p.m. ET

– AROUND THE SOCCER WORLD –

U.S. FUTSAL TO FACE PANAMA, GUYANA AND CUBA IN FINAL QUALIFYING IN JULY: The U.S. Futsal National Team learned last week that it was placed in Group B alongside Panama, Guyana and Cuba in the draw for the CONCACAF Final Qualifying Tournament being played in Heredia, Costa Rica in July. The U.S. earned a spot in the eight-team final round competition after sweeping Honduras in a two-game series on May 18 and 20 in Milwaukee, Wisc. The U.S. compiled an aggregate score of 7-1 over Honduras, with MISL star Lee Edgerton leading the way with two goals. The U.S. will open its qualifying campaign against Panama on July 24 before rounding out group play on July 26 against Guyana and July 28 against Cuba. From there the U.S. will hope to advance to the semifinals on July 30, where the winner of that game will qualify for the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship being played from Nov. 21 to Dec. 5 in Chinese Tapei. Both finalists will play for the CONCACAF crown on July 31. Group A in the Final Qualifying Tournament consists of reigning regional champion and host Costa Rica, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and Surinam. All of the tournament matches will be played in Heredia.

WUSA WOMEN’S SOCCER FESTIVALS TO FEATURE HOST OF U.S. WNT STARS: A number of U.S. Women’s National Team stars currently training in residency camp at The Home Depot Center in preparation for the 2004 Athens Olympics will be taking some important time off in June to participate in two WUSA Soccer Festivals in Minnesota and California. The Minnesota WUSA Soccer Festival will be played at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn. It features one game on Friday, June 18 at 7:35 p.m. ct between the Atlanta Beat and the New York Power, and one match on Saturday, June 19 at 5 p.m. CT as the Washington Freedom take on the Boston Breakers. The follow-up June 27 doubleheader at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., will feature the San Diego Spirit against the Carolina Courage at 12 p.m. PT and the San Jose CyberRays versus the Philadelphia Charge at 2:30 p.m. PT.
Blaine, Minn. – National Sports Center – June 18-19
Date            Match-up                                                        Kickoff (CT)
June 18       Atlanta Beat vs. New York Power                   7:35 p.m.
June 19       Washington Freedom vs. Boston Breakers       5 p.m.
Carson, Calif. – The Home Depot Center – June 27
Date            Match-up                                                        Kickoff (PT)
June 27       San Diego Spirit vs. Carolina Courage             12 p.m.
June 27       San Jose CyberRays vs. Philadelphia               2:30 p.m.

USL’S BEST TO TAKE ON ENGLISH SQUAD ON WEDNESDAY IN CHARLESTON: A team made up of United Soccer Leagues All-Stars from the A-League and Pro Soccer League (PSL) will represent the United States when they meet an English team full of All-Stars from the English Nationwide Conference on Wednesday (June 9) at Blackbaud Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET.  The match is the return leg of a two-game series, with the U.S. looking to get revenge after falling 2-1 on the inaugural game in March 2002 in Stevenage Borough, England.  The U.S.-based roster consists of 13 A-League players and three PSL players.  As the game is considered a National Team representative match, only US players were considered for selection. The England National Game XI squad will feature the top professional players from the English Nationwide Conference and are managed by Paul Fairclough, who won the Vauxhall Conference with Stevenage Borough in 1996 and has also worked as Club Scout for Arsenal Football Club. Charleston Battery Head Coach Chris Ramsey will coach the U.S. side.
U.S. Representative XI Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Chris Doyle (Charleston), Dusty Hudock (Charleston); DEFENDERS (5): Tim Karlexis (Wilmington – PSL), Scott Schweitzer (Syracuse), John Wilson (Rochester), Alan Woods (Atlanta), David Wright (Rochester); MIDFIELDERS (4): Jeff Bilyk (Virginia Beach), Mike Burke (Richmond), Justin Evans (Pittsburgh), Marco Ferruzzi (Minnesota); FORWARDS (4): Chris Carrieri (Rochester), Joacob Coggins (Charlotte – PSL), Dustin Swineheart (Charlotte – PSL), Dante Washington (Virginia Beach).

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. Men’s National Team forward Brian McBride picked up his scoring pace in the U.S. where he left off in England, scoring a pair of quality goals to lead the U.S. past Honduras 4-0 on June 2 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. McBride also had a pair of goals in his final match of the 2003-04 EPL season, helping Fulham past Bolton 2-0 on May 15. With the two goals for the U.S., he moved past Joe-Max Moore into second place on the all-time U.S. MNT scoring list with 25 goals in 74 appearances.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: The Road to Germany 2006 officially begins on Sunday (June 13) in Columbus, with the U.S. Men’s National Team trying to gain a significant home field goals advantage over Grenada before traveling down to play in unfavorable conditions in the return leg of the two-game preliminary round series on June 20. Watch the match live at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and Telemundo or follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

SOCCER SHOCKER: The Solomon Islands tied Australia 2-2 on Sunday to knock Oceania's 2003 Confederation's Cup representative New Zealand out of 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. New Zealand finished third in the six-team group with losses to Australia (1-0) on May 29 and Vanuatu (4-2) on June 2. Despite a +12 goal differential, New Zealand finished with nine points, while Solomon Islands finished with 10. The Solomons will now meet Australia in a playoff next year to determine who goes through to a final playoff against the fifth place South American side for a berth to Germany 2006.

QUOTABLE: "It's not up to our standards.  We are preparing in residency camp and working hard to make sure something like this doesn't happen again."
        --U.S. WNT forward Abby Wambach, on the team’s disappointment in its 1-1 tie with Japan on June 6

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