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U.S. Soccer Wire - November 19, 2007



U.S. MNT DEFEATS SOUTH AFRICA IN LAST GAME OF THE YEAR;
VOTE NOW FOR THE 2007 “BEST OF U.S. SOCCER” AWARDS

U.S. MNT WIN, 1-0, AGAINST BAFANA BAFANA: The U.S. Men’s National Team earned a 1-0 victory over South Africa on Saturday afternoon at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, South Africa, behind a first-half goal from defender Steve Cherundolo. The victory for the U.S. was their first-ever on the African continent (in three all-time matches) and improved the team’s record in 2007 to 12-5-1. The U.S. will open the 2008 campaign when they host Sweden on Jan. 19 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The match will mark the USA’s 500th official game (tickets) since they began play at the international level in 1916. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel. Fans can also follow along live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The 2007 CONCACAF Champions will then host Mexico on Feb. 6 (tickets) at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The game will be shown live on ESPN2 and Univision at 8 p.m. CT, and fans can follow online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

FINALISTS NAMED FOR 2007 “BEST OF U.S. SOCCER” AWARDS: U.S. Soccer has announced the finalists for the 2007 “Best of U.S. Soccer” awards and voting for the 11 categories began Wednesday (Nov. 14) on ussoccer.com. The sixth annual series, presented by Soccer America, the No. 1 soccer magazine in the United States, gives fans the opportunity to make their selections for the best in soccer in the United States. Fans can vote once a day from now until Friday, Dec. 7, on ussoccer.com’s “Best of U.S. Soccer” blog page.

2007 “Best of U.S. Soccer” Awards Categories
Best Action Photo
Best all_access Video
Best Assist
Best U.S. Fan Atmosphere
Best Goal (MNT)
Best Goal (WNT)
Best Performance (Player)
Best Performance (Team)
Best Soccer Bar
Best Soccer Blog
Best Store

TICKETS ON SALE TUESDAY FOR USA-MEXICO ON FEB. 6: Beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 10 a.m. CT, fans can order their tickets for the clash between the 2007 CONCACAF Champion U.S. Men's National Team and Mexico on Feb. 6 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Tickets ranging in price levels from $35 to $165 and special edition U.S. Soccer on-field seats for $275 go on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 713-629-3700, at all Houston area Ticketmaster ticket centers (including Fiesta stores, Macy’s, Wherehouse Music, FYE, and select HEB stores), and at the Reliant Stadium south ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). In an arrangement unique for this game, U.S. Soccer has divided the seating into U.S., Mexico and mixed/neutral fan sections at each price level. Groups of 30 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (a special VIP package which includes a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. national team jersey with your name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits), are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com. Additionally, ticket packages that include a premium pregame party starting at 6 p.m. inside the Houston Texans' training bubble (located across from Reliant Stadium) go on sale Tuesday, November 20, at 10 a.m. CT through ussoccer.com and Ticketmaster. Packages priced at $250 each include a lower midfield game ticket, an all-you-can-eat buffet with beer and wine, and pregame entertainment.

VAZQUEZ NAMED 2007 CPISRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS MVP: U.S. Men's Paralympic Team midfielder Marthell Vazquez was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2007 Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Vazquez was the leading scorer for the U.S. team, notching four goals in the tournament and having multiple assists. He was also the team's leading scorer at the 2007 ParaPan American Games with three goals. The team finished in 10th place after kicking off the tournament with losses to the Netherlands and Iran, but then going on to win against Spain and Australia before bowing out with a 1-0 loss to Argentina.

U.S. Paralympic Team 2007 CPISRA World Championships Results
Date       Opponent       Result     U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
Nov. 5    Netherlands    0-3 L
Nov. 7    Iran                    1-3 L      Martell Vazquez
Nov. 9    Spain                3-0 W     Derek Arneaud, Josh McKinney, Shaun Schetka
Nov. 12  China                2-1 W     Martell Vazquez, Shaun Schetka
Nov. 14  Australia           2-1 W     Marthell Vazquez (2)
Nov. 16  Argentina          0-1 L

OLYMPIC QUALIFYING TO BE HELD IN LOS ANGELES, TAMPA AND NASHVILLE: U.S. Soccer and the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) have finalized plans that will see the United States host final round action of the 2008 CONCACAF Men’s Under-23 Championship in Los Angeles, Tampa and Nashville from March 11-23, 2008. The eight-team tournament will send two finalists to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Both The Home Depot Center and Raymond James Stadium will host three doubleheaders each in group play, while LP Field in Nashville will host the semifinals on Thursday, March 20, and the championship match and third-place game on Sunday, March 23. Ticket information for the games will be announced at a later date.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

SEVEN OF EIGHT TEAMS SET FOR CONCACAF UNDER-23 CHAMPIONSHIP: Seven out of eight teams for the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Men’s Under-23 Championship have been finalized, as two of three Central American teams have assured themselves a place in the Final Round. Guatemala upset Costa Rica, 2-1, on Nov. 18 to become the second Central American team to qualify for the eight-team tournament in March of 2008. Guatemala topped Nicaragua, 3-0, in the first game of the triangular. In the other triangular, Honduras posted a 3-0 win over El Salvador and drew, 1-1, with hosts Panama to earn a trip to the U.S. in March. The two second-place finishers from each triangular, Panama and Costa Rica, will play a two-game home-and-away playoff series later this month, with the winner becoming the eighth team in the final round tournament. U.S. Soccer and CONCACAF have finalized plans that will see the United States host final round action of the 2008 CONCACAF Men’s Under-23 Championship in Los Angeles, Tampa and Nashville from March 11-23, 2008.

U.S. UNDER-20 MNT HEADS TO ARGENTINA: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will travel to Argentina on Friday, Nov. 23, for an 11-day training camp that will include three international games. Head coach Thomas Rongen has named an 18-player roster for the trip that includes two veterans of the team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Bryan Arguez and Anthony Wallace, as well as six players who competed at the 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Korea. Two Southampton FC (England) players, Kyle Davies and Andrew Giallombardo, will also be making their way to Argentina as well as four players from Major League Soccer. Abdusalam Ibrahim and Anthony Wallace will represent FC Dallas, while Arguez and Jorge Flores will join the squad from DC United and Chivas USA, respectively. The team will face Paraguay on Nov. 26 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and two days later will take on the hosts. Rongen’s squad will round out their trip on December 1 against Uruguay.

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wisc.), Larry Jackson (East Palo Alto, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (8): Gale Agbossoumonde (Syracuse, N.Y.), Victor Cortez (University of San Fransisco), Kyle Davies (Southampton FC), Ian Kalis (Plano, Texas), Chris Klute (Grand Prairie, Texas), Aubrey Perry (Ocoee, Fla.), Kofi Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Bryan Arguez (DC United), Pablito Cruz (Azusa, Calif.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Andrew Giallombardo (Southampton FC), Abdusalam Ibrahim (FC Dallas), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.)
FORWARDS (2): Ellis McLoughlin (University of Washington), Charles Renken (Edwardsville, Ill.)

NIKE FRIENDLIES SET FOR DEC. 6-9 IN BRADENTON, FLA.: The 2007 Nike Friendlies will take place from Dec. 6-9 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., with 54 teams competing across the Under-15/16 and Under-17/18 age groups. The U.S. Under-17 and Under-15 Mens’ National Teams will each be divided into two squads that will represent U.S. Soccer. The U.S. Under-17 ‘92s will compete against youth national teams from Brazil, Russia and Turkey in an international bracket, while the U-17 ‘91s and two U-15 Boys’ National Teams will compete against elite club teams. In addition to a full complement of national staff coaches, scouts from top European clubs, including Barcelona, Arsenal, Manchester United, Celtic and PSV Eindhoven will be on hand, along with college coaches from across the country.

U.S. U-15 GNT HEADS TO U.S. YOUTH SOCCER ODP INTERREGIONALS: The U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team kicks off their run at the U.S. Youth Soccer ODP Thanksgiving Interregional event in Coral Springs, Fla., as they take on Chile on Monday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. ET at Coral Glades High School. The event lasts until Nov. 23 at the North Community Park and Coral Glades High School Sportsplex. The U-15 Girls follow up the Chile match by facing Canada on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. ET, also at CGHS, and end the tournament against the Region I (East) ‘91s on Friday, Nov. 23, at 10 a.m. ET at North Community Park Field 1.

2007 U.S. Youth Soccer ODP Thanksgiving Interregionals U.S. U-15 Girl’s National Team Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Emily Oliver (Flossmoor, Ill.), Anna Sieloff (Troy, Mich.);
DEFENDERS (5): Briana Hovington (Lothian, Md.), Megan Oyster (Naperville, Ill.), Catherine Sessions, Catherine (Woodbury, Minn.), Brittany Von Rueden (Mequon, Wis.), Carrie Whigman (Phoenix, Ariz.);
MIDFIELDERS (7): Michelle Cruz (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick (Pleasanton, Calif.), Natalia Ledezma (La Mirada, Calif.), Samantha Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Mollie Pathman (Durham, N.C.), Haley Rosen (Palos Verdes, Calif.), Olivia Schultz (Hopkins, Minn.);
FORWARDS (3): Devin Marshall (Bonita, Calif.), Kealia Ohai (Draper, Utah), Cate Parchinski (Colorado Springs, Colo.).

2007 U.S. Youth Soccer ODP Thanksgiving Interregionals U.S. U-15 Girl’s National Team Schedule
Date        Matchup                                                         Time           Location
Nov. 19   U.S. U-15 GNT vs. Chile U-16 GNT          7 p.m.         Coral Glades HS
Nov. 21   U.S. U-15 GNT vs. Canada U-16 GNT     7 p.m.         Coral Glades HS
Nov. 23   U.S. U-15 GNT vs. Region I ‘91s              10 a.m.        North Community Park Field #1

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

HOUSTON DYNAMO WINS SECOND STRAIGHT MLS CUP: The Houston Dynamo won their second straight MLS Cup Championship on Sunday (Nov. 18), defeating the New England Revolution, 2-1, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The Revs opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a goal from Taylor Twellman, but Houston responded in the second half with a goal from Joseph Ngwenya in the 61st minute and Dwayne De Rosario in the 74th minute. De Rosario was named MLS Cup Most Valuable Player, his second such honor, and to the 2007 MLS "Best XI" squad.

2008 MLS CUP TO BE HELD AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER: Major League Soccer announced that the 2008 MLS Cup will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 23, 2008, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. MLS Cup was previously held at The Home Depot Center in 2003 and 2004, with the San Jose Earthquakes and D.C. United, respectively, lifting the MLS Cup trophy. The Home Depot Center is home to U.S. Soccer's National Training Center, the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA. More information about tickets is available at MLSnet.com or lagalaxy.com.

NEW OSI REFEREE UNIFORMS UNVEILED DURING MLS CUP: U.S. Soccer referee Alex Prus, assistant referees Adam Wienckowski and Robert Fereday, and fourth official Brian Hall, were the first to wear the new Official Sports International referee uniforms at MLS Cup on Sunday (Nov. 18). The new uniforms feature a redesigned shirt and socks, as well as a new color option, with green being added to the array of gold, red, blue and the traditional black, as well as a new sock design. Also featured on the sleeve of the shirt and on the shorts is the updated U.S. Soccer Referee Program logo, which was introduced earlier this year. This launch marks the first time U.S. Soccer’s official referee uniform design has been changed since 1998, when an updated kit was presented after the World Cup. The last time a new USSF-approved color option was made available was 2002, when blue was introduced. The new uniforms are available for purchase at officialsports.com. OSI has served as the exclusive supplier of USSF Referee apparel and accessories since 1998.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DARTFISH TECHNOLOGY: Dartfish is offering free Webinars to demonstrate the benefits of the Connect Plus product. Sign up at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/782680525?Portal=www.gotomeeting.com for the next 30-minute educational online seminar on Nov. 20 at 11:30 a.m. ET. Get the competitive edge U.S. National Team coaches have by using the same tools they use. Whether you’re reviewing game footage, analyzing techniques or preparing for your next competition, Dartfish offers an array of video analysis software to make a difference in your program. Learn more at www.dartfish.com.

U.S. SOCCER COACHING SYMPOSIUM HELD AT NIKE FRIENDLIES: The U.S. Soccer Coaching Department will conduct a Coaching Symposium in conjunction with the 2007 Nike Friendlies from Dec. 6-9 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The three-day symposium will offer coaches an opportunity to interact with members of the U.S. Men’s National Team coaching staff, as well as other coaches associated with U.S. Soccer. More information is available at the Coaches Section of ussoccer.com.

APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED FOR PASSBACK TOUR: The United States Soccer Foundation, the major charitable arm of U.S. Soccer, is now accepting applications for its 2008 "Passback Tour". The tour is a series of soccer skills clinics for urban disadvantaged children across the country held on a state-of-the-art field by some of the best coaches and players around. The 2008 event will consist of an eight-city tour with about 100 participants in each city. More information, including an application to participate in the tour, is available at www.passback.org/tour.

U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION HOLIDAY AUCTION: The U.S. Soccer Foundation will begin conducting its Holiday Auction on Thursday, Nov. 15, when fans and constituents can view the assorted soccer memorabilia that will be up for auction this year at www.ussoccerfoundation.org/auction. The collection for this year includes autographed balls and jerseys from clubs and players, including Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Liverpool, Rangers FC and Paris St. German. Money collected from the auction will benefit the David Vanole Memorial Fund. The auction ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 13.

MLS NAMES END-OF-SEASON AWARD WINNERS: Major League Soccer named D.C United’s Luciano Emilio as the league’s Most Valuable Player for the 2007 season. Also earning post-season accolades were the Chicago Fire’s Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who won Sierra Mist Goal of the Year, and the Los Angeles Galaxy’s Cobi Jones, who was honored with the Commissioner’s Award for his contributions to soccer in the United States. Also named was the 2007 “Best XI” squad.

Major League Soccer Awards
Award                                             Winner
Coach of the Year                        Preki (Chivas USA)
Rookie of the Year                       Maurice Edu (Toronto FC)
Goalkeeper of the Year               Brad Guzan (Chivas USA)
Fair Play Award                             Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
Team Fair Play Award                 Columbus Crew
Golden Boot                                  Luciano Emilio (D.C. United)
Humanitarian of the Year            Diego Gutierrez (Chicago Fire)
Defender of the Year                    Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
Comeback Player of the Year     Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards)
Referee of the Year                      Brian Hall
Most Valuable Player                   Luciano Emilio (D.C. United)
Goal of the Year                            Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Chicago Fire)
Commissioner’s Award              Cobi Jones (Los Angeles Galaxy)

2007 Major League Soccer "Best XI"
GK - Brad Guzan (Chivas USA)
D - Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
D - Eddie Robinson (Houston Dynamo)
D - Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA)
M - Dwayne De Rosario (Houston Dynamo)
M - Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution)
M - Christian Gomez (D.C. United)
M - Ben Olsen (D.C. United)
M - Guillermo B. Schelotto (Columbus Crew)
F - Luciano Emilio (D.C. United)
F - Juan Pablo Angel (New York Red Bulls)

U.S. SOCCER WINTER COACHING SCHOOLS SET: U.S. Soccer's National Coaching Schools have been set for the first week of January, giving every coach a chance to obtain a FIFA recognized “A”, “B” or “C” level license while increasing their knowledge of the game. All January "A," "B" and "C" coaching schools will take place from Jan. 2-10, 2007, in three warm-weather locations. The National “A” License course will take place at the University of Tampa in Tampa, Fla., and The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The National “B” and “C” License courses will be offered at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and a soon to be announced West Coast site. Also in January is the third edition of U.S. Soccer's National Goalkeeping License course, which will be held Jan. 4-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. More information is available in the Coaches Section of ussoccer.com.

NOMINATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR 2008 WERNER FRICKER BUILDER AWARD: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2008 U.S. Soccer Werner Fricker Builder Award, which is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer, without regard to personal recognition or advancement. The award was created in 2002 and is the greatest recognition bestowed by U.S. Soccer on its membership. The award is designed to honor those who have created or fostered programs that will outlast their own active involvement in the sport and that establish a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States. Interested persons can nominate individuals for the annual Werner Fricker Builder Award by downloading the form at ussoccer.com and mailing it to U.S. Soccer, c/o the Werner Fricker Builder Award Committee, 1801 S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616 or emailing it to wernerfrickeraward@ussoccer.org. This form is also available at ussoccer.com, and applications must be postmarked or sent by January 1, 2008 (download application).

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Marthell Vazquez, a midfielder for the U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team, was named Most Valuable Player of the 2007 Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was quite an honor for the 10th place U.S. squad, and a well-deserved recognition for Vazquez, who was the team’s leading scorer in Brazil with four goals, finding the net against Iran, China and twice against Australia.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Israel stunned Europe on Saturday when it defeated Russia, 2-1, scoring in the 92nd minute in Tel Aviv. The win placed Croatia and England in the top two spots of Euro2008 qualifying with 26 and 23 points, respectively. Most people had written England off after they struggled in qualifying with draws against Israel and Macedonia and losses to Croatia and Russia, but now they have a legitimate chance at qualifying for the European tournament. With one qualifying match left to go, England must win against Croatia on Wednesday, Nov. 21, in order to qualify outright for the tournament, or they can draw and hope that Andorra defeats or ties Russia.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: 2010 World Cup qualifying for the CONCACAF region hasn’t started yet, but South American qualifying is well underway, as is qualifying for the 2008 European Championship. On Wednesday, Nov. 21, Fox Soccer Channel will be broadcasting live as the Netherlands take on Belarus (11:55 a.m. ET), Israel faces Macedonia (2 p.m. ET) GolTV also gets in on the action as Spain faces Northern Ireland (live, 1:55 p.m. ET), Italy goes up against the Faroe Islands (same-day delay, 4 p.m. ET) and Chile takes on Paraguay (live, 8:30 p.m. ET).

QUOTABLE: "It can be found, yes, absolutely. There are so many players in the U.S. so there might be a chance. I think it’s hard to create that kind of player. I think that’s a player that tries things herself and is very interested in soccer and she finds her own way. She’s unique. You had Michelle Akers in ’91, that’s another player. Mia Hamm being around forever, is another player. Yes, I’m absolutely sure there is that kind of player in the States."
-- U.S. WNT head coach Pia Sundhage on whether a player like Marta, of Brazil, can be found in the U.S., or if she could be created.

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