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U.S. Soccer Wire - April 9, 2007


GREG RYAN NAMES U.S. ROSTER TO FACE MEXICO ON APRIL 14
IN FIRST HOME GAME OF 2007;
MATCH TO BE STREAMED LIVE ON ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS

RYAN TO BRING 18 TO NEW ENGLAND FOR MEXICO SHOWDOWN: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Greg Ryan has selected 18 players from his Spring Residency Training Camp roster for the team’s first game on home soil on Saturday, April 14, against Mexico (tickets) in Foxborough, Mass. Fans can watch the domestic opener at 5 p.m. ET, live via ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS live video streaming. A play-by-play account of the match can also be found on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The schedule continues with a match against Canada (tickets) on May 12 in Frisco, Texas. The USA will then embark on a six-game 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Send-Off Series, starting against China (tickets) on June 16 in Cleveland and continuing against Brazil (tickets) on June 23 in East Rutherford, N.J., in a re-match of the 2004 Olympic gold medal game.

U.S. Roster by Position – Detailed Roster at ussoccer.com
GOALKEEPERS (2): Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Tina Ellertson (Vancouver, Wash.), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (5): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.);
FORWARDS (5): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

Key U.S. WNT Dates
Date - Event
April 14 - Friendly vs. Mexico in Foxborough, Mass.
April 22 - FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007 Draw in Wuhon, China
May 12 - Friendly vs. Canada in Frisco, Texas / Special pink Breast Cancer Awareness jersey
June 16 - Send-Off Series Match vs. China in Cleveland
June 23 - Send-Off Series Match vs. Brazil in New Jersey
July 14 - Send-Off Series Match
July 28 - Send-Off Series Match
Aug. 12 - Send-Off Series Match
Aug. 25 - Send-Off Series Match
Sept. 10-30 - FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007

U.S. SOCCER’S COACHESNET LAUNCHES Q&A VIDEO SERIES WITH TOP NATIONAL TEAM COACHES: In yet another forum for unique and original content on ussoccer.com, U.S. Soccer’s CoachesNet has launched the first in an on-going series of videos showcasing the philosophy driving the elite coaches in U.S. Soccer’s National Team Program. The first “Starting XI” CoachesNet video features Greg Ryan, currently undefeated in more than two years at the helm of the U.S. WNT. (watch) In the “Starting XI,” coaches answer 11 questions focusing on a wide range of subjects, from coaching education and youth development to modern technology in the game of soccer. Available now through ussoccer.com, CoachesNet is devoted to educating its members on U.S. National Team coaching tactics by breaking down games at the highest level, analyzing training sessions and tactics, and delving into the keys to preparation. Sign-up now at coachesnet.ussoccer.com (register).

U.S. SOCCER REFEREES INCLUDED AS PROSPECTIVE WORLD CUP REFEREES: U.S. Soccer referees Jennifer Bennett and Kari Seitz and assistant referee Sharon Wheeler were included on FIFA's list of 51 candidates to officiate at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup. Bennett, Seitz and Wheeler will travel to Zurich, Switzerland, in early May for a final selection course. The course includes training sessions as well as tests on theory and the Laws of the Game. Former U.S. Soccer referee Sandra Hunt will also travel to Zurich for the course as an instructor.

U.S. SOCCER NATIONAL COACHING SCHOOLS SUMMER DATES SET: This summer, candidates will have a chance to learn from some of the nation’s top-level instructors, including current and former National Team, MLS and WUSA coaches at U.S. Soccer’s National Coaching Schools. Officially licensed by FIFA, the schools provide premier coaching education to coaches at all levels of the game. Limited space is available. Make your summer plans now to attend a U.S. Soccer “A”, “B” or “C” License course this June and July. For more information, visit ussoccer.com or call 312-808-1300. [CoachesNet]

REFEREES KICK OFF FULL-TIME REFEREE PROGRAM: Preseason is a time for players to work out their kinks, get fit and do what they can to prepare for 30 games, plus playoffs. And while players on all 13 MLS teams got set for the 2007 season, U.S. Soccer’s four full-time referees spent a week in Bradenton, Fla., working on fitness, studying game tapes and manning scrimmages, all in an attempt to increase the performance of MLS officiating this season. As Jair Marrufo, Ricardo Salazar, Baldomero Toledo and Terry Vaughn trained under the tutelage of U.S. Soccer's Director of Advanced & International Referee Development Esse Baharmast, ussoccer.com was there to capture an inside look into the week-long preparation camp (watch). The purpose of hiring the full four-time referees this year is to continue the growth and progress of soccer officiating in the United States. These camps, and the entire program overall, is designed to enhance high-level performance, training and development opportunities for the sport’s elite officials in the United States.

FORMER U.S. MNT DEFENDER BOBBY SMITH INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME AS VETERAN: Former U.S. Men's National Team defender Bobby Smith was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame as a Veteran Player. Smith was a three-time NASL All-Star and three-time NASL champion with the Philadelphia Atoms and the New York Cosmos. He also suited up for the San Diego Sockers (1979) and the Montreal Manic (1981). He earned 18 caps for the U.S. MNT between 1973-80.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U-17 ’91 MNT DEFEAT MEXICO, 3-0, IN FINAL MATCH IN FRANCE TOURNAMENT: The U.S. Under-17 '91 MNT shutout Mexico, 3-0, on Monday in their final match of the 35th Mondial Minimes International Tournament in Mouilleron le Captif, France. The U.S. scored all three of its goals in the first half, with Scott Caldwell, who suffered a shot to the lip and stayed in the game after getting eight stitches, a factor in all three scores. The first two goals came off corner kicks served in by Caldwell, with Dersu Abolfathi and Kofi Sarkodie both nodding home from close range. The final goal came off a penalty kick just before halftime as Caldwell was brought down in the box and Abdus Ibrahim finished from the spot. In their group games, the U.S. first drew, 0-0, with England before falling to the Republic of Ireland, 2-1, with Ibrahim scoring the lone goal for the U.S. The ‘91s then defeated Cameroon in a shootout, 5-4, after tying, 1-1, in regulation play.

U-17 ’91 MNT Results
Date     Opponent     Result                      U.S. Goal Scorers
April 4   England         0-0 T                       --
April 5   Ireland            1-2 L                      Ibrahim
April 7   Cameroon     1-1 T (5-4 PKs)   Finley
April 9   Mexico            3-0 W                     Abolfathi, Sarkodie, Ibrahim

U.S. U-16 GNT ENDS CAMP WITH WIN OVER FLORIDA: The U.S. Under-16 Girls’ National Team ended its training camp in Sunrise, Fla., with a 3-2 victory over the University of Florida on April 6. U.S. Head coach Kazbek Tambi's team, made up primarily of players born in 1991, got an early goal from forward Kim Castleberry in just the second minute. Courtney Verloo, in her first training camp with the U-16s, scored the first of her two goals in the 46th minute, but the Gators cut the lead in half through KaLeigh Hudson in the 53rd. Verloo once again put the USA up by two with a goal in the 65th minute. Florida pulled a goal back through Ashley Harris in the 85th minute, but the young U.S. team held on for the victory. The U-16s are in the early part of preparations for qualifying for the 2008 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup, which will be held in New Zealand at the end of next year. The U-16s will come together next in June for a domestic training camp.

U.S. U-16 GNT Results
Date     Opponent             Score     U.S. Goal Scorers
April 6   Univ. of Florida   3-2 W      Kim Castleberry, Courtney Verloo (2)

MEXICO FALTERS, HAITI AND HONDURAS ADVANCE TO FIFA UNDER-17 WORLD CUP: Haiti and Honduras became the first of five CONCACAF teams to advance to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea this summer as the two finished first and second, respectively, in Group A of the CONCACAF U-17 Final Round Qualifying Tournament in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, this past weekend. Mexico, which won the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup, tied all three of their matches against El Salvador (2-2), Haiti (0-0) and Honduras (0-0) to finish in third place and will miss out on the chance to defend their title. Haiti and Honduras both finished group play with five points, but Haiti finished in first place with a better goal differential (plus-3 to plus-1). This is the first FIFA U-17 World Cup for Haiti and Honduras. It is also Haiti’s first appearance in a FIFA tournament since the 1974 World Cup. Three more CONCACAF teams will join Haiti and Honduras when Group B is decided in May. Group B, which includes the USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, will be played from April 30-May 7 in Kingston, Jamaica (full schedule). A total of 16 of the 24 teams have advanced to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will be played from August 18 to September 9 in eight venues in South Korea.

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

D.C. UNITED, HOUSTON DYNAMO FALL TO CHIVAS, PACHUCA: Jaime Moreno put D.C. United on the scoreboard first, but United was unable to hold off the Chivas attack as they fell, 2-1, in the semifinal round of the CONCACAF Champions Cup on Tuesday (April 3) night. On Thursday (April 5), defending MLS Cup Champions Houston Dynamo headed into Pachuca with a 2-0 lead, but fell by a score of 5-2 and a 5-4 aggregate score. The match was decided by a Pachuca goal in overtime, after Brian Mullan and Brian Ching put Houston on the board to make the aggregate score 4-4. Both teams were vying for a spot in the CONCACAF Champions Cup Final, the winner of which will participate in the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007. The runner up will be one of three CONCACAF participants at the 2007 Copa Nissan Sudamericana.

CONCACAF Champions' Cup
Date        Result
April 3      D.C. United 1, CD Guadalajara 2 (2-3 aggregate)
April 5      Houston Dynamo 2, Club Pachuca 5 (4-5)

2007 CONCACAF GOLD CUP TICKETS NOW ON SALE: Tickets for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup are now on sale for all dates and venues. Tickets start at $20 for first round games and can be purchased by calling 1-888-878-2007. Ticket packages are available for all games and match days at a single venue. Discounts are also available for groups. More information is available at concacaf.com.

HAMPTON ROADS PIRANHAS ACQUIRE PDL FRANCHISE: The Hampton Roads Piranhas, a 13-year member and 2003 W-League champion, have acquired the Premier Development League rights for the territory of Hampton Roads, which includes Virginia Beach, Va. The new squad will begin play in 2007, assuming the schedule previously established for the Virginia Beach Submariners in the Mid Atlantic Division. The Piranhas will be coached by Jon Hall and will play at a site to be determined.

CALIFORNIA CLUBS WIN U.S. CLUB SOCCER 2007 CHAMPIONS CUP TITLES: California clubs swept U.S. Club Soccer's 2007 Champions Cup titles on Easter Sunday, April 8 at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex. San Juan SC claimed the girls’ championship, while Los Angeles FC was victorious in the boys competition. Eight boys clubs and eight girls clubs competed in the tournament in Orlando, Fla. Each of a club’s three teams – U-13s, U-15s and U-17/U-18s – earned points towards their club’s placement at the 2007 Champions Cup. More information on the 2007 Champions Cup, including complete results and standings, is available at usclubsoccer.org.

Final 2007 Champions Cup Club Standings

Girls
First – San Juan SC (Calif.)
Second – CASL (N.C.)
Third – Colorado Rush (Colo.)
Fourth – Albertson SC (N.Y.)
Fifth – FC DELCO (Pa.)
Sixth – Internationals (Ohio)
Seventh – Weston Fury FC (Fla.)
Eighth – LAFC (Calif.)

Boys
First – Los Angeles FC (Calif.)
Second – San Juan SC (Calif.)
Third – Scott Gallagher SC (Mo.)
Fourth – CASL (N.C.)
Fifth – PA Classics (Pa.)
Sixth – Atlanta Concorde Fire FC (Ga.)
Seventh – Colorado Rush (Colo.)
Eighth – Internationals SC (Ohio)

USL LAUNCHES ONLINE STREAMING OF MATCHES WITH USL LIVE: United Soccer Leagues and Turner Broadcasting announced the launch of USL Live, which will provide exclusive online streaming of USL First Division matches. Fans can follow all of their favorite USL First Division club's matches at USLlive.com. The first match will feature the Rochester Raging Rhinos take on the Puerto Rican Islanders on Friday, April 13, at 8 p.m. ET.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. MNT and Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan helped his club team open the 2007 Major League Soccer season on a high note, scoring the second goal in the squad’s 2-0 win against expansion club Toronto FC. It is the first MLS goal of Kljestan’s career and the perfect way to start his second season in the league. Before the season began, ussoccer.com’s “Center Circle” caught up with Klejstan to get his take on the this year’s season. Check out his 2007 MLS predictions.

SOCCER SHOCKER: What a difference two years make. After winning the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup, Mexico failed to advance to the 2007 tournament after finishing third out of their four-team CONCACAF qualifying group. Mexico didn’t win a game, earning just three straight ties, and were shutout by Haiti and Honduras after scoring two goals in their opening 2-2 draw with El Salvador. By finishing first and second, respectively, Haiti and Honduras both earned their first-ever berth to a FIFA U-17 World Cup.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The U.S. WNT returns to action on home soil on Saturday, April 14, at 5 p.m. ET against CONCACAF rival Mexico in New England in the first match of a doubleheader, with the New England Revolution facing Toronto FC later in the evening. For the first time with a full U.S. National Team, ussoccer.com will provide live video streaming of the match on MatchACCESS. Fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

QUOTABLE: “This feels like our home, not like the Broncos' home. As players, we get energy from hearing the home crowd, to have them close.”
-- U.S. MNT and Colorado Rapids midfielder Kyle Beckerman on Dick's Sporting Goods Park, the newest soccer-specific stadium in the U.S. and home of the Colorado Rapids.


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