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U.S. Soccer Wire - August 6, 2007


U-17 MNT HEAD COACH JOHN HACKWORTH NAMES 21 TO WORLD CUP ROSTER;
U.S. MNT TO FACE BIGGEST RIVAL MEXICO AT ESTADIO AZTECA SEPT. 9;
U.S. WNT SET TO FACE NEW ZEALAND ON SUNDAY, AUG. 12

ROSTER SET FOR UNDER-17 FIFA WORLD CUP: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth has named the 21-player roster that will represent the United States at the 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup from Aug. 18-Sept. 9 across eight venues in South Korea. Hackworth selected the majority of his 21-man roster from the 40 available players in U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 Residency Program based in Bradenton, Fla., with only two players, Tommy Meyer and Daniel Cruz, not currently part of Residency. The U.S. (one of the six seeded teams in the draw) was drawn into Group E of the 24-team tournament with Tajikistan, Tunisia and Belgium. The U.S. opens against Tajikistan on August 20 (7 a.m. ET), then faces Tunisia on August 23 (4 a.m. ET) and concludes group play on August 26 against Belgium (3 a.m. ET). The U.S. will play Tajikistan and Tunisia in Changwon before heading to Cheonan to face Belgium. All 52 matches of the tournament will be broadcast on ESPNU or ESPN360.com, with all three of the USA’s group matches being aired live on ESPNU. In addition, the USA’s second match against Tunisia on Thursday, Aug. 23 will be simulcast live on ESPN2 at 3:45 a.m. ET.

U.S. Under-17 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Larry Jackson (East Palo Alto, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Tommy Meyer (St. Louis, Mo.), Chris Klute (Grand Prairie, Texas), Kofi Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), Kirk Urso (Lombard, Ill.), Dane Shea (College Station, Texas), Gregory Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Brendan King (Naperville, Ill.), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.)
FORWARDS (5): Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), Bryan Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Abdusalam Ibrahim (FC Dallas.), Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.), Daniel Cruz (Glendale, Ariz.)

MNT FACE MEXICO AT ESTADIO AZTECA IN SEPTEMBER: After traveling to Sweden for their first friendly in Europe of 2007, the U.S. Men’s National Team will head to Mexico City where they will face longtime rival Mexico at Estadio Azteca on Sept. 9 at 3 p.m. CT. The match, which is the first international friendly in Mexico between the two teams since 1984, will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision. Prior to the Mexico match, the team will travel to face 11-time World Cup finalists Sweden on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Ullevi Stadium in Goteborg, Sweden. For the double fixture date in October, the U.S. will first meet Catalonia on Sunday, Oct. 14, at the famed Camp Nou in Barcelona (time TBD), marking the teams’ debut against each other. Three days later, the U.S. will take on 2008 European Championship co-hosts Switzerland for the first game between the two sides in nearly 13 years, and the first since the 1-1 draw at the 1994 FIFA World Cup hosted by the United States. All three European matches will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision, and fans can also follow live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

U.S. MNT 2007 Schedule
Date      Opponent      Venue                                                                  Result/Kickoff/TV
Jan. 20  Denmark      Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)             3-1 W
Feb. 7    Mexico           Univ. of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.)   2-0 W
March 25 Ecuador      Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Fla.)     3-1 W
March 28 Guatemala Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas)                         0-0 T
June 2   China            Spartan Stadium (San Jose, Calif.)                4-1 W
June 7   Guatemala^  Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)             1-0 W
June 9   T&T^               Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)             2-0 W
June 12 El Salvador^ Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)           4-0 W
June 16 Panama^      Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)           2-1 W
June 21 Canada^       Soldier Field (Chicago)                                     2-1 W
June 24 Mexico^         Soldier Field (Chicago)                                     2-1 W
June 28 Argentina #   Estadio Jose Romero (Maracaibo)                1-4 L
July 2     Paraguay #   Estadio Agustin Tovar (Barinas)                     1-3 L
July 5    Colombia #    Estadio Metropolitano FdL (Barquisimeto)   0-1 L
Aug. 22 Sweden          Ullevi Stadium (Goteborg, Sweden) 2:30 p.m. ET / FSC / Galavision (2:30 ET/PT)
Sept. 9  Mexico             Estadio Azteca (Mexico City, Mexico)              3 p.m. CT / ESPN2 / Univision
Oct. 14  Catalonia       Camp Nou (Barcelona, Spain)                        TBD / FSC & Galavision
Oct. 17  Switzerland    St. Jakob Park (Basel, Switzerland)                2:30 p.m. ET / FSC & Galavision

^ CONCACAF Gold Cup
# Copa America

U.S. WNT SET FOR NEW ZEALAND: The U.S. Women’s National Team will regroup in Chicago this week as Gatorade presents the U.S. WNT vs. New Zealand (tickets) in the second to last match of their 2007 Send-Off Series. The match will kick off at 12 p.m CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow along live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The match comes after the U.S. defeated Japan, 4-1, on July 28 at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. The USA will play its final Send-Off match on Aug. 25 in Carson, Calif., at The Home Depot Center in before the team heads to China. For complete details and ticket information for the entire Send-Off Series, visit ussoccer.com.

2007 Women’s National Team Send-Off Series
Date       Opponent          Location                                                                      Result/Kickoff TV
June 16 China                 Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio)    2-0 W
June 23 Brazil                  Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)                 2-0 W
July 14   Norway               Rentschler Field (East Hartford, Conn.)               1-0 W
July 28   Japan                 Spartan Stadium (San Jose, Calif.)                       4-1 W
Aug. 12   New Zealand   Soldier Field (Chicago)                                            12 p.m. CT ESPN2
Aug. 25   Finland              The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)             6:30 p.m. PT ESPN2

U.S. 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Schedule
Date           Opponent         Venue                                                                               Kickoff
Sept. 11      North Korea    Chengdu (Chengdu Sports Center Stadium)          5 p.m. local / 5 a.m. ET
Sept. 14      Sweden           Chengdu (Chengdu Sports Center Stadium)          5 p.m. local / 5 a.m. ET
Sept. 18      Nigeria             Shanghai (Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium) 8 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET
Sept. 22      Quarterfinals*  Wuhan or Tianjin                                                          5 p.m. local or 8 p.m. local
Sept. 26/27 Semifinals*     Tianjin or Hangzhou                                                     8 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET
Sept. 30       Final*               Shanghai (Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium) 8 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET
* If Necessary

ESPN TO COVER 2007 FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD CUP: ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to broadcast all 32 matches of the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup from Sept. 10-30 in China. ESPN360.com will air all 32 games, ESPN will show 12 games and ESPN2 will broadcast 20 games. Matches will be preceded by a 30-minute pre-game show and there will be a one-hour show between matches on certain days. The games will be shown between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. ET from China.

2007 NIKE FRIENDLIES & WOMEN’S NIKE FRIENDLIES DATES SET: The 2007 Women’s Nike Friendlies will take place Sept. 20-23 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., and the 2007 Nike Friendlies will be played Dec. 6-9 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Participants and schedules will be finalized at a later date. U.S. Soccer’s Nike Friendlies is an annual competition in which the best youth men’s teams around the United States in the U-16, U-17 and U-18 age divisions are invited to the IMG Academy in Bradenton for a high-level, four-day event which stresses quality soccer and player development over wins and losses. Last year was the first year for the Women’s Nike Friendlies. The 2007 event will clubs in the U-15, U-16 and U-17 age groups, with the U.S. U-14 and U-15 Girls’ National Teams participating. U.S. Soccer will also be conducting a Referee Academy and Coaching Symposium in conjunction with the Men’s and Women’s Nike Friendlies, with details being finalized in the coming months.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-18 MNT TRAVELS TO JAPAN FOR SBS CUP: The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team will travel to Shizuoka, Japan, for the SBS Cup, where they will take on Ukraine, Japan and club team Shizuoka Selections in the four-team tournament. Head coach Bob Jenkins named 18 players to the roster for the trip, including seven players who were a part of the recent Pan American Games. Goalkeeper Warren Gross is one of three players to play in each of three matches at the Pan American Games, along with Peri Marosevic and Greg Eckhardt. Midfielders Michael Stephens and Dan Kelly each made two appearances in Brazil. Goalkeeper Brian Perk, who was a member of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup squad and picked up a quarterfinal win in goal against Uruguay, is one of three collegiate players on the roster, joining UCLA teammate Stephens and SMU’s Brian Ownby. The team will train at Santa Clara University from Aug. 4-7 before flying to Shizuoka City, Japan, site of all SBS Cup matches.

U.S. U-18 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Warren Gross (Penn State), Brian Perk (UCLA)
DEFENDERS(6): Shawn Barry (Miramar, Fla.), Andreas Chronis (Bayside, N.Y.), Greg Eckhardt (Clemson University), Erik Rengifo (Woodhaven, N.Y.), Danny Rodriguez (Oxnard, Calif.), Howard Turk (Fairfax, Va.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Jose Gonzalez (Soquel, Calif.), Dan Kelly (Indiana University), David MacVane (Middle Grove, N.Y.), Ariel Osorio (SMU), Brian Ownby (Glan Allen, Va.), Michael Stephens (UCLA), Andrew Weideman (San Ramon, Calif.)
FORWARDS (3): Danny Barrera (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Kaoru Forbess (Benton, Ark.), Perica Marosevic (University of Michigan)

UNDER-17 MNT IN WORLD CUP PREPARATION CAMP: The Under-17 Men’s National Team is training in Atlanta, Ga., in their final stages of preparation for the upcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup in South Korea. The 21-player World Cup squad played two games against the Atlanta Silverbacks and Charlotte Eagles of the USL, falling 5-2 and 4-0, respectively. In their final tune-up game before group play begins, the team will take on fellow World Cup participants Costa Rica on Aug. 7. The U.S., who was one of the seeded teams in the World Cup draw, opens their campaign against Tajikistan on August 20, faces Tunisia on August 23 and concludes group play on August 26 against Belgium. The U.S. will play Tajikistan and Tunisia in Changwon before heading to Cheonan to face Belgium.

U.S. UNDER-17 '91 MNT HEADS TO JAPAN: The U.S. Under-17 ‘91s Men’s National Team will travel to Japan for the Toyota International Youth Football Championship, where they will face Japan on Aug. 10 and Australia on Aug. 11 before playing a placement match depending on their results in group play. Head coach Brian Maisonneuve named an 18-player roster for the tournament, which includes two players, Samir Badr and Earl Edwards (both goalkeepers), born in 1992, and one player born in 1993, Charles Renken. Renken led the team to a win over their first opponent, Japan, on June 11, scoring two goals in the 3-1 victory. The 13-year-old is one of 14 players on the roster who appeared in that game, including Ryan Finley, who also tallied a goal. Following group play, the U.S. will play a placement match on Aug. 13 against a team from Group B, which includes the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and a Japanese Youth All-Star team.

U.S. U-17 ’91 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Samir Badr (Fairfax, Va.), Earl Edwards (San Diego, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (4): Gale Agbossoumonde (Syracuse, N.Y.), Aubrey Perry (Ocoe, Fla.), Parker Walsh (Roanoke, Va.), Chad Barson (Lewis Center, Ohio)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Christian Ramos (Miami, Fla.), Pablito Cruz (Azusa, Calif.), Scott Caldwell (Braintree, Mass.), Jose Altamirano (San Diego, Calif.), Eder Arreola (Chino Hills, Calif.), Korey Veeder (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
FORWARDS (3): Dersu Abolfathi (Irvine, Calif.), Charles Renken (Edwardsville, Ill.), Ryan Finley (Lumberton, N.J.)

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

2007 FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD CUP SCHEDULE AMMENDED: Two match dates have been changed in the schedule for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China. The matches between Germany and Japan and England and Argentina will take place on Monday, Sept. 17, instead of Tuesday, Sept. 18. Both matches will kick off at 8 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET).

POSSIBLE SEMIFINALS PAIRINGS SET FOR U.S. OPEN CUP: U.S. Soccer announced the possible pairings for the semifinals of the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, Aug. 1. The semifinal round will take place between August 31 and September 5 as the quarterfinal winners face off. The quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup begin Tuesday, August 7, and conclude Wednesday, August 8. Eight teams remain from the original field of 40 MLS, USL-1, USL-2, PDL, and USASA squads. Three games are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, with the Richmond Kickers (USL-2) taking on the Carolina Railhawks (USL-1), FC Dallas (MLS) playing the Charleston Battery (USL-1), and the Colorado Rapids (MLS) visiting the Seattle Sounders (USL-1). The quarterfinal round will end on August 8 after the Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2) take on the New England Revolution.

U.S. PARALYMPIC SOCCER TEAM READY FOR PARAPAN-AM GAMES: The U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team left for Brazil on Sunday to compete in the Para-PanAmerican Games this week. The six-team tournament features the U.S. in Group A taking on host Brazil (Aug. 13, 10 a.m. local) and Venezuela (Aug. 14, 12 p.m. local) at the Deodora Complex in Rio De Janeiro. Group B features Argentina, Canada and Colombia. The tournament semifinals are set for Aug. 16 and the championship game is Aug. 18. Paralympic soccer is played seven-a-side on a smaller field and with smaller goals than non-disabled soccer. Each team plays with seven men using the International Federation of Associated Football (FIFA) rules which have been slightly modified to accommodate the disabilities of the athletes.

U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team Roster
GOALKEEPER: Keith Johnson (Houston, Texas)
DEFENDERS: Derek Arneaud (Lehigh Valley, Pa.), Louis Garrett (Columbus, Ohio), Jason Slemons, John Theobald
MIDFIELDERS: Josh McKinney (Virginia Beach, Va.), Tom Latsch (Virginia Beach, Va.), Shaun Schetka (Wexford, Pa.)
FORWARDS: Chris Ahrens (Virginia Beach, Va.), Josh Blue, Marthell Vazquez (Virginia Beach, Va.)

WASHINGTON FREEDOM TO PLAY CONNECTICUT REDS IN HALL OF FAME GAME: The Washington Freedom will face the SoccerPlus Connecticut Reds in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 26 at 2 p.m. ET at At-A-Glance Field in Oneonta, N.Y., immediately following the 2007 National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased by calling (607) 432-3351. The match will feature new inductees Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy, as well as former teammates such as Carla Overbeck, who was inducted last year, suiting up for Washington. The Reds will be coached by former WNT head coach Tony DiCicco. More information about the National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction Weekend is available at http://www.soccerhall.org/.

LOS ANGELES AND HOUSTON TO HOST SUPERLIGA SEMIFINALS ON AUG. 14-15: The Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo, two of the semifinalists in the inaugural SuperLiga™ 2007, will host the next round matches scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, August 14 and 15. Los Angeles and CF Pachuca advanced to the semifinals out of Group A ahead of CD Guadalajara and FC Dallas. Houston and D.C. United lead Group B over Club America and Monarcas Morelia. More information is available at SuperLiga2007.com.

SuperLiga Semifinals Schedule
Date       Matchup                                          Venue                                                            Time (ET)
Aug. 14  Houston Dynamo vs. Pachuca   Robertson Stadium (Houston, Texas)   10 p.m.
Aug. 15  LA Galaxy vs. D.C. United            Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)      10 p.m.

U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION GRANTS PROGRAM OPEN FOR 2008: The 2008 Annual Grants Program for the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the major charitable arm of soccer in the United States, is now available online at ussoccerfoundation.org. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. ET on Monday, October 15. Applications can be submitted for: a Program Grant to support the development of players, coaches or referees; a Field Enhancement Grant to improve a field with new goals, irrigation or lighting; or an All Conditions Fields Grant to help build a synthetic grass field. More information about the grant making program, as well as Frequently Asked Questions are available at ussoccerfoundation.org.

WASHINGTON WINS 2007 W-LEAGUE TITLE: The Washington Freedom defeated the Atlanta Silverbacks, 3-1, to win the 2007 W-League Championship in their first season in the league. Rebecca Moros and U.S. WNT forward Christie Welsh scored for the Freedom in the first half, with the final goal coming from second-half sub Tiffany McCarty.

COACHING SYMPOSIA HELD IN CONJUNCTION WITH SEND-OFF SERIES GAMES: Soccer coaches around the nation will have an opportunity to join the U.S. Soccer Coaching Department in supporting the U.S. Women’s National Team this summer in advance of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China. Two Coaching Symposia remain in August as part of the USA’s final Send-Off Series games before they take on the world in China. Coaches from around the country will converge in Chicago on Aug. 11 for the USA-New Zealand match at Soldier Field on Aug. 12 (symposium schedule). The final U.S. Soccer Coaching Symposium of the summer will be staged at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on Aug. 24-25 with the U.S. Women taking on Finland just days before their China departure. [CoachesNet]

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. Men's National Team defender Oguchi Onyewu helped Standard Liege open the 2007-2008 Jupiler League season with a win, heading home a corner kick in the 48th minute vs. Zulte-Waregem for what proved to be the game-winner in a 4-1 victory on the road.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Former Colombia National Team goalkeeper Rene Higuita, one of the most eccentric goalkeepers of his time, has returned to professional soccer at the age of 41. Higuita, known most famously for pulling off the scorpion kick while in goal in a friendly against England, among other controversies, signed with Venezuelan club Guaros de Lara and debuted in a 2-2 against Monagas on Sunday, Aug. 5.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: With just over a month left before the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the U.S. Women are in fine-tuning mode as Gatorade presents the U.S. WNT vs. New Zealand on Sunday, Aug. 12, at 12 p.m. CT at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. Fans can follow along live on ESPN2 and ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

QUOTABLE: “It's not that I don't like them. I just like beating them.”
-- U.S. MNT forward Landon Donovan on playing Mexico.

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