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U.S. Soccer Wire: Plans for FCT Take Shape


U.S. WOMEN WILL MAKE FIRST STOP IN SOLD-OUT ROCHESTER ON SEPT. 25: The U.S. Women’s National Team’s highly anticipated “Fan Celebration Tour” will travel through 10 American cities this Fall, beginning with a Sept. 25 match at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y. The match in Rochester sold out on Saturday just a few hours after tickets went on sale to the general public. The tour was scheduled in the wake of the USA’s emotional 2-1 Gold Medal overtime victory over Brazil at the 2004 Olympics on Aug. 26 in Athens, Greece, which was a sweet return to the top of the women’s soccer mountain for the U.S. WNT, who previously won the Olympic Gold in the USA in 1996 and FIFA Women’s World Cup crowns in 1991 and 1999. As it becomes available, schedule and ticket information for all 10 matches on the “Fan Celebration Tour” will be released to registered fans at ussoccer.com. The public sale for tickets at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PGE Park in Portland and Giants Stadium in New Jersey will begin this Friday (Sept. 17) through ussoccer.com and local Ticketmaster outlets in each market. The entire “Fan Celebration Tour” marks one final chance for the U.S. Women's National Team’s legion of diehard supporters to see this group of special players on the international soccer stage.
2004 U.S. WNT “Fan Celebration Tour”
   #    Date                        Opponent           Venue; City                                            Kickoff (local)
   1    Sat., Sept. 25          Iceland                Frontier Field; Rochester, N.Y.              7:30 p.m. ET
   2    Wed., Sept. 29       Iceland                Heinz Field; Pittsburgh, Pa.                     7:30 p.m. ET
   3    Sun., Oct. 3            New Zealand       PGE Park; Portland, Ore.                      5 p.m. PT
   4    Sun., Oct. 10          New Zealand       Paul Brown Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio    TBD
   5    Sat., Oct. 16           Mexico               Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Mo.  5 p.m. CT
   6    Wed., Oct. 20        Ireland                 Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill.                      7:30 p.m. CT
   7    Sat., Oct. 23           Ireland                TBD; TBD                                             TBD
   8    Wed., Nov. 3         Denmark             Giants Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.     7:30 p.m. ET
   9    Sat., Nov. 6           Denmark              TBD; TBD                                            TBD
  10   TBD                       TBD                    TBD; TBD                                            TBD

JONES GOAL IN 92ND MINUTE DELIVERS TIE, HELPS U.S. STAY ATOP GROUP 1: The U.S. Men’s National Team benefited from a case of déjà vu on the road on Sept. 8, overcoming a shaky second half to tie the game in the final minutes and earn an important point on the road, tying Panama 1-1 at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in its third match of the semifinal round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The important point for the U.S. came via second-half substitute Cobi Jones, a veteran of three World Cups for the United States, who tied the game in the 92nd minute by poking home a miskicked shot from Landon Donovan from eight yards out. Donovan had jumped onto a deflected ball in the penalty area that was lifted into the box from the halfway line by midfielder Eddie Lewis in the game’s final desperate moments. The draw was similar to the U.S. MNT’s first road qualifier, in which forward Brian Ching headed home the equalizer to draw with Jamaica 1-1 on Aug. 18. The point for the U.S. keeps the team in first place in Group 1 with five points, one ahead of both Panama and Jamaica. Jamaica moved back into the mix with a strong 3-0 victory in El Salvador on Wednesday night, following a single draw in their opening two matches at home. The draw extended the USA’s unbeaten streak to a team record 10 games, besting two nine-game streaks for the United States previously set in 1991 and 1998. The U.S. is 6-0-4 during the streak and improved the team’s overall record to 6-1-5 in 2004.
MNT FIFA World Cup Qualifying Results – Semifinal Round
Date         Opponent      Venue; City                                                                    Result       U.S. Goal Scorers
Aug. 18    Jamaica         National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica                               1-1 T        Ching
Sept. 4     El Salvador    Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.                                    2-0 W      Ching, Donovan
Sept. 8     Panama          Estadio Rommel Fernandez; Panama City, Panama         1-1 T        Jones
Group 1 Standings
Teams             GP  W   L    T   GF GA GD   Pts
USA                 3    1    0    2    4    2    +2     5
Jamaica             3    1    1    1    5    3    +2     4
Panama             3    1    1    1    4    4     0      4
El Salvador       3    1    2    0    2    6    -4      3

-- GROUP 1 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

Group 1 Results
Date         Result                                Venue; City
Aug. 18    USA 1, Jamaica 1              National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica
Aug. 18    El Salvador 2, Panama 1    Cuscatlan Stadium; San Salvador, El Salvador

Sept. 4     USA 2, El Salvador 0        Foxboro Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.
Sept. 4     Panama 2, Jamaica 1         National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica

Sept. 8     Panama 1, USA 1             Fernandez Stadium; Panama City, Panama
Sept. 8     Jamaica 3, El Salvador 0   Cuscatlan Stadium; San Salvador, El Salvador

Group 1 Schedule

Date        Match-Up                         Venue; City                                                       Kickoff (local)
Oct. 9     El Salvador vs. USA          Cuscatlan Stadium; San Salvador, El Salvador    7:30 p.m. MT
Oct. 9     Panama vs. Jamaica           Fernandez Stadium; Panama City, Panama         TBD

Oct. 13   USA vs. Panama               RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.                        7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 13   Jamaica vs. El Salvador     National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica                  TBD

Nov. 17  USA vs. Jamaica               Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio                         8 p.m. ET
Nov. 17  Panama vs. El Salvador     Fernandez Stadium; Panama City, Panama         TBD

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

U-17 ’88 MEN  FALL TO ARGENTINA IN PARAGUAY, GET SET FOR URUGUAY, ECUADOR: The U.S. Under-17 ’88 Men’s National Team fought tough with a talented Argentina side in their opening match of the Campeonato Sudamericano de Futbol Sub-16 Tournament on Sunday night at a rain-soaked Estadio Villa Alegre in Encarnacion, Paraguay, but couldn’t come back from a two-goal deficit and eventually fell 2-1. After trading chances in the first ten minutes of the match, forward Juan Antonio took advantage of a poor clearance in the 12th minute to give Argentina an early lead. The quick strike put the U.S. on its heels as they struggled for the rest of the first half, only able to muster one attempt on frame. In the second stanza, the U.S. started to push into the attack and goalkeeper Bryant Rueckner came up with a number of huge saves to keep the deficit to one for a time, but Argentina’s offense was too much as Diego Buonanote trickled a second goal into the net in the 69th minute. Eleven minutes later, the U.S. got back in the match as Quavas Kirk buried a loose ball in the box, but an equalizing goal was not in the cards. The U.S. will face Uruguay next on Wednesday (Sept. 15) again in Encarnation, before finishing Group B play against Ecuador on Saturday (Sept. 18). Uruguay currently sits tied atop Group B with Argentina as they came from behind with two goals in the final 15 minutes to take down Ecuador.
U-17 ’88 MNT Results / Schedule (* if necessary)
Date                Opponent            Result       U.S. Goal Scorers
Sept. 12          Argentina             1-2 L        Kirk
Sept. 15          Uruguay   
Sept. 18          Ecuador   
Sept. 21/22     Quarterfinals*   
Sept. 24          Semifinals*   
Sept. 26          Final*   
U-17 ’88 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brian Perk (Santa Margarita, Calif.), Bryant Rueckner (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.); DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Borja (Anaheim, Calif.), Richard Edgar (Mechanicsville, Md.), Jeremy Hall (Tampa, Fla.), Eric Lichaj (Downer’s Grove, Ill.), Patrick Rickards (Sacramento, Calif.), Ofori Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Joel Smith (Irvine, Calif.); MIDFIELDERS (7): Matt Armstrong (Phoenix, Ariz.), Nikolas Besagno (Maple Valley, Wash.), Michael Dal Pra (Bronxville, N.Y.), Amaechi Igwe (Belmont, Calif.), Ryan Soroka (Langhorne, Pa.), Blake Wagner (Tampa, Fla.), Drew Yates (Pasadena, Md.); FORWARDS (4): Eddie Ababio (Tampa, Fla.), Quavas Kirk (Aurora, Ill.), Michael Stephens (Woodridge, Ill.), Preston Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.).

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

MONTREAL, SEATTLE TO MEET IN A-LEAGUE FINAL ON SATURDAY LIVE ON FSW: The Montreal Impact return to the A-League Championship game for the first time since winning the title in 1994 courtesy of a 1-1 draw Sunday and a 3-1 aggregate score series win over the Syracuse Salty Dogs. The Impact will face the 1995 and 1996 champion Seattle Sounders, who advanced with a 1-1 draw as well. The Whitecaps' Jason Jordan tied up the Western Conference Final at 1-1 in Vancouver in the 18th minute only to see the Sounders' Jason Farrell hit the series-winner in the 44th for a 2-1 aggregate score in the series. The two teams will meet at Claude-Robillard Stadium in Montreal, Quebec, on Saturday (Sept. 18) at 7 p.m. ET live on Fox Sports World.
2004 A-League Playoff Results
Eastern Conference (Montreal wins by 3-1 aggregate)
Date          Result                                Location
Sept. 10    Montreal 2, Syracuse 0      P&C Stadium; E. Syracuse, N.Y.
Sept. 12    Montreal 1, Syracuse 1      Claude-Robillard Stadium; Montreal, Quebec
Western Conference (Seattle wins by 2-1 aggregate)
Date          Result                                Location
Sept. 10    Seattle 1, Vancouver 0       Seahawks Stadium; Seattle, Wash.
Sept. 12    Seattle 1, Vancouver 1       Swangard Stadium; Burnaby, B.C.

FUTSAL HEADS TO BRAZIL FOR TRAINING CAMP, PAIR OF MATCHES: The U.S. Futsal National Team head coach Keith Tozer has selected a 14-player roster that is currently in Brazil for an eight-day training camp that includes two friendly matches versus Brazil on Friday (Sept. 17) and Saturday (Sept. 18). The U.S. is preparing for the FIFA Futsal World Championship 2004 which will be played from November 21 to December 5, 2004. The U.S., which qualified by winning the 2004 CONCACAF Futsal Championship in July in Costa Rica, was drawn into Group C with Italy, Japan and Paraguay. Brazil, regarded as one of the top futsal nations in the world, also qualified for the World Championship and will face Australia, Czech Republic and Thailand in Group B. The roster features eight players of the 12 players from the CONCACAF Championship team.
U.S. Futsal Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brett Phillips (St. Louis Steamers), Nick Vorberg (Milwaukee Wave); DEFENDERS (3): Troy Dusosky, Troy (Milwaukee Wave), Chris Morman (Milwaukee Wave), Pat White (Milwaukee Wave); MIDFIELDERS (6): John Ball (Cleveland Force), Andy Guastaferro (Chicago Storm), Joel Shanker (Philadelphia Kixx), Matt Tanzini (Kansas City Comets), Johnny Torres (Milwaukee Wave), Lee Tschantret, Lee (Baltimore Blast); FORWARDS (3): Jamar Beasley (Kansas City Comets), Todd Dusosky (Milwaukee Wave), Greg Howes (Milwaukee Wave).

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: D.C. forwards Alecko Eskandarian and Jaime Moreno were both back in fine form yesterday to help United earn just their second win in their last 10 matches (a record of 2-4-4) and a crucial three points as they push for a playoff berth. Moreno provided all three assists in a 3-0 win over Dallas on Sept. 11, with Eskandarian converting a pair and late sub Freddy Adu adding an insurance goal in the 84th minute.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: Two of the most consistently competitive teams in A-League history will face off for the league crown on Saturday (Sept. 18), pitting Goalkeeper of the Year Greg Sutton and the stingy Montreal Impact defense against the Seattle Sounders striking tandem of Roger Levesque and Welton. The match will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. ET on Fox Sports World.

QUOTABLE: "You draw your games away, you win at home and you qualify for the World Cup. So far we are on schedule.”
          --U.S. MNT goalkeeper Kasey Keller, on the team’s simple formula of getting through the semifinal round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup

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