MILBRETT’S FIVE GOALS POWER U.S. PAST PANAMA 9-0, PROVIDE MOMENTUM FOR SEMIS: The U.S. Women’s National Team advanced to the semifinals of the 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup with a dominating 9-0 win over Panama at Safeco Field in Seattle, Wash., yesterday. Despite dominating its first two matches of the tournament, and out-shooting its opponents 55-3, the USA had struggled to score against teams content to drop 10 players behind the ball and bunker. The U.S. had no such trouble against Panama, finding a great rhythm that lasted the entire match and scored five goals in the first 14 minutes, including a natural hat trick from Milbrett, who scored three goals in the first eight minutes and 23 seconds after the opening whistle. Milbrett would add two more goals before leaving with a slight injury in the 56th minute, tying the team’s all-time single-game scoring record with five goals. Midfielder Shannon MacMillan had a pair of goals, with Tiffany Roberts and Abby Wambach both scoring to complete the rout. With the win, the USA clinched first place in Group 1 and a berth in the semifinal on Wednesday (Nov. 6) at Safeco Field against Costa Rica, pending the outcome of that Group 2 match tomorrow. The U.S. opened group play with a solid 3-0 victory over Mexico at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 27, followed by a 3-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif., on Oct. 29. A victory in the semifinal would earn the U.S. women one of this region's two berths to the 2003 Women's World Cup, being held Sept. 24-Oct. 11, 2003 in China. Mexico defeated T&T 2-0 yesterday on two goals from Monica Gerardo and will meet Group 2 winner Canada in the other semifinal on Wednesday at Safeco Field. All of the tournament matches are being played as doubleheaders, with all 16 being televised live on Fox Sports World and 13 of 16 live on Fox Sports en Espanol.
2003 FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD CUP DRAW SET FOR MAY 24, 2003 IN WUHAN, CHINA: At its meeting held last week in Zurich, the FIFA Women's Soccer Committee announced that the draw for the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup in China will take place in Wuhan on May 24, 2003. The fourth FIFA Women's World Cup will run from Sept. 24-Oct. 11, 2003, with 16 teams playing 32 matches in the five host cities of Shanghai, Hongkou, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Chenghu. Five teams have already qualified for the 2003 competition: Germany, Norway, Russia and Sweden, as well as the host China.
ARENA NAMES YOUTHFUL 23-MAN ROSTER FOR NOV. 17 FRIENDLY VS. EL SALVADOR: U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bruce Arena named his 23-man roster that will train in preparation for the international friendly against El Salvador on Nov. 17 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN at 3 p.m. ET, and fans can also follow the action live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Youth is the theme in the U.S. training camp, with the average player age coming in just under 24 years old. Eleven players will be in search of their first international cap, including high-scoring Revolution forward Taylor Twellman, who lit up MLS with 23 goals this year. During the previous four-year cycle under Bruce Arena, 93 different players were given an opportunity to play with the national team, and the trend resumes again as 2006 World Cup qualifying begins in about 18 months. All ten MLS teams are represented on the training camp roster, with the Columbus Crew and Revolution each contributing four players.
Goalkeepers (3): Adin Brown, Nick Rimando, Zach Thornton;
Defenders (7): Wade Barrett, Carlos Bocanegra, Dan Califf, Brian Dunseth, Chad McCarty, Eddie Robinson, Ryan Suarez;
Midfielders (9): DaMarcus Beasley, Leo Cullen, Ronnie Ekelund, Daniel Hernandez, Chris Klein, Kyle Martino, Pablo Mastroeni, Ben Olsen, Sasha Victorine;
Forwards (4): Jeff Cunningham, Landon Donovan, Clint Mathis, Taylor Twellman.
– U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –
U.S. MEN RETURN TO D.C. FOR NOV. 17 MATCH AGAINST EL SALVADOR LIVE ON ESPN: The U.S. Men’s National Team will return to international action in two weeks on Sunday, Nov. 17, as they welcome El Salvador to RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN. The United States has not faced an international opponent since the team’s historic quarterfinal finish at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in June. The team will train in the Washington, D.C. area beginning Sunday (Nov. 10). The teams last met in the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal earlier this year, with Brian McBride netting a hat trick en route to a 4-0 U.S. victory January 27 at the Rose Bowl. The United States went on to capture the Gold Cup Championship, beginning the impressive form that would carry through to Korea/Japan. Tickets for the Nov. 17 friendly, which is being presented to fans by LEGO, range in price from $22 to $50 and are now available at all TicketMaster outlets (D.C. 202-432-7328; Baltimore 410-481-7328; Northern Virginia 703-573-7328; out of state 1-800-551-7328). Complete ticket info is available at ussoccer.com. Discount rates for groups of 20 or more are available by calling the D.C. United ticket offices at 703-478-6600. The United States holds an 8-1-4 lifetime advantage against El Salvador, and has never lost a meeting on home soil. The Nov. 17 match will mark the first contest between the fellow CONCACAF nations in Washington, D.C., where the U.S. has amassed an 8-3-3 record. RFK last hosted an international friendly May 12 of this year, when the USA beat Uruguay 2-1.
– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –
U.S. UNDER-20s PREPARE TO KICK OFF CONCACAF QUALIFYING IN CHARLESTON, S.C.: The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team arrived in Charleston, S.C. this weekend to begin training for the CONCACAF qualifying tournament that is taking place at Blackbaud Stadium from Nov. 13-17. The U.S. will be joined by Haiti, El Salvador and Canada in Group B, with the top two teams advancing to the FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates from March 25-April 16, 2003. Nineteen year-old Bobby Convey, who has been playing professionally for D.C. United for three years, will lead the team, and he will receive offensive support from fellow MLS pros Ed Johnson and Santino Quaranta. Convey and Quaranta were MLS All-Stars in 2001, and Johnson and Quaranta combined to score an amazing 98 goals at the Under-17 level. In all, this team will have more professional players – eight – on his qualifying roster than any previous U.S. Under-20 MNT. Six of those players compete in Major League Soccer – Devin Barclay (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Ed Johnson (Dallas Burn), Justin Mapp (D.C. United), Santino Quaranta (D.C. United) and Jordan Stone (Dallas Burn) – while Frank Simek (Arsenal – England) and David Johnson (Willem II – Holland) represent the USA in Europe. The U.S. Under-20s have posted a 14-7-9 record in 2002, scoring more than twice as many goals as their opposition (55 to 27). Tickets for the qualifying tournament are currently available at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout the Carolinas (including Publix and Cat’s Music Stores), by phone at 843-554-6060, online at ussoccer.com and at Blackbaud Stadium (office open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.). Group tickets are available through the Charleston Battery at 843-971-4625. At the 2001 CONCACAF qualifying tournament, Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley helped the U.S. qualify for the World Youth Championship by topping Guatemala and Trinidad & Tobago and drawing with Costa Rica. The following is the complete U.S. U-20 roster:
Goalkeepers (2): Steve Cronin (Santa Clara), Ford Williams (UNC);
Defenders (6): Ryan Cochrane (Santa Clara), Jordan Harvey (UCLA), C.J. Klaas (Univ. of Washington), Chris Lancos (Univ. of Maryland), Chad Marshall (Stanford Univ.), Frank Simek (Arsenal – England);
Midfielders (6): Ricardo Clark (Furman Univ.), Bobby Convey (D.C. United – MLS), Ned Grabavoy (Indiana Univ.), David Johnson (Willem II – Holland), Justin Mapp (D.C. United – MLS), Jordan Stone (Dallas Burn – MLS);
Forwards (4): Devin Barclay (San Jose Earthquakes – MLS), Knox Cameron (Univ. of Michigan), Eddie Johnson (Dallas Burn – MLS), Santino Quaranta (D.C. United – MLS).
U.S. UNDER-20 QUALIFIERS AVAILABLE ON PAY-PER-VIEW: U.S. Soccer and Innovative Sports Marketing have partnered to make the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s three matches at the CONCACAF Under-20 qualifying tournament available on pay-per-view. The qualifying tournament will consist of three doubleheaders played at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., with games on Nov. 13, Nov. 15 and Nov. 17. The three U.S. qualifying matches will be shown live and are available for $19.95 each through DirectTV and Time-Warner cable (in NYC).
U.S. U-17s TOP PDL’S MIAMI TANGO 4-0, STAY BUSY THIS WEEKEND WITH TWO GAMES: The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team topped the Miami Tango of the PDL 4-0 this weekend at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Corey Ashe, Tomiwa Ogunsola, Jamie Watson and Michael Harrington scored for the U.S. The U-17s will stay busy with two games on Sunday (Nov. 10) in Bradenton, Fla. The 30 U.S. players in U.S. Soccer's full-time residency program will split into two teams with each team playing once as they meet the Florida ODP 1987 team and the Brandon Flames Under-18 team. Both matches will take place at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The U17s split up for four games two weekends ago and won all four matches by a combined 21-1. Guillermo Gonzalez had two goals in each of the two games he played, and Jacob Peterson scored in each of the three games in which he appeared. Gonzalez, the team's leading scorer, now has scored 21 goals in 2002. On the year the team has outscored their opponents 108-60 in 48 overall matches.
U.S. SOCCER TO HOST GIRLS "PLAY-IN DAYS" IN MIAMI ON NOV. 23-24: In an effort to reach out and create more identification and development opportunities for youth female soccer players, U.S. Soccer will host its first "Play-In Days" in Miami this November. Geared toward players who are playing outside of the traditional scouting networks, the "Play-In Days" will take place at Tropical Park in Miami on Nov. 23-24 from 9 a.m. - noon. The two-day training sessions will involve players from the Under-13 to the Under-15 age groups (players born from 1987 to 1989) playing in an informal setting and receiving help from some of the nation's top coaches. The event will be led by a combination of U.S. Soccer National Staff coaches and local state and club coaches. The "Play-In Days" event, which will be replicated in other cities across the U.S. in the future, allows coaches to evaluate players from outside the traditional scouting network and at the same time expose these young players to a new level of play. Girls attending these events will be considered for involvement in the Olympic Development Program as well as the U.S. Youth National Team programs.
– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –
FIFA ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE, DRAW DATE FOR 2003 FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP: FIFA announced last week the schedule of matches and the draw date for the 2003 Confederations Cup in France. The draw will take place prior to France’s friendly international against the Czech Republic at the Stade de France on Feb. 12, 2003. The fourth FIFA Confederations Cup will run from June 18-29, 2003, will see the hosts and defending champions France line-up against tough opposition in Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, Turkey and USA. The committee also decided that France and Brazil would be the seeded teams in the two groups and that it would not be possible for the two teams from CONMEBOL (Brazil and Colombia) or the two from UEFA (France and Turkey) to be drawn together in the same group.
CHICAGO FIRE NAMES MNT ASSISTANT DAVE SARACHAN AS NEW HEAD COACH: The Chicago Fire announced today that current U.S. Men’s National Team assistant coach Dave Sarachan has been named the franchise’s second-ever head coach. Sarachan succeeds former head coach Bob Bradley, who resigned and is now at helm with the MetroStars. The 48-year-old Sarachan has spent the last three years as U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena's right-hand man, and also was an assistant at D.C. United from 1997-1999. He joined D.C. United from Cornell University, where he compiled a 64-63-16 record over nine seasons in charge of the Big Red soccer program. In his time at the school, he led the club to successive appearances in the NCAA tournament in 1995 and 1996. Prior to taking the job at Cornell, Sarachan worked under Arena at Virginia from 1984 to 1988, after Bradley departed to take the head coaching position at Princeton.
USL ANNOUNCES FIRST ROUND OF HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES AT AOM: United Soccer Leagues announced the first class of inductees in all four categories of the newly-created USL Hall of Fame at their Annual Operations Meeting last week. In the Coaches and Players categories, seven individuals that have won a combined 17 championships between USL, MLS and the U.S. Open Cup were honored. The three coaches are former Milwaukee Rampage / current Kansas City Wizards head coach Bob Gansler, Rochester Raging Rhinos head coach Pat Ercoli and former Richmond Kickers head coach Dennis Viollet. Three U.S. Men’s National Team players were inducted, including former Long Island Rough Rider and current Chicago Fire midfielder Chris Armas and former Milwaukee forward and current Columbus Crew striker Brian McBride, who will be inducted alongside his 1994 teammate Tony Sanneh, who went on to play for Minnesota the following two years before moving on to MLS and the German Bundesliga. Charmaine Hooper, the first woman and Canadian to be inducted, has been the star of the Canadian Women’s National Team since its official formation in 1986. The USL also announced its 10+ club, which honors franchises that have operated as members of USL for 10 or more years. The 12 franchises included the Carolina Dynamo, Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Cocoa Expos, Connecticut Wolves, El Paso Patriots, Nashville Metros, Richmond Kickers, Vancouver Whitecaps and former clubs Albuquerque Geckos and Austin Lone Stars. Eleven individuals were inducted in the Builders category, including Lynn Agee (Nashville Metros), Anthony Bakker (Charleston Battery), Mike Balson (USL, Atlanta Express/Magic/Silverbacks), Joe Brown (Delaware Wizards, Carolina Dynamo), Enrique Cervantes (El Paso Patriots), Francisco Marcos (USL, Austin Sockadillos), Giles Malone (Cocoa Expos), Neil Macpherson (Carolina Dynamo), Pat Parker (USL), Devinder Sandhu (Nashville Metros) and Richard Stottler (Cocoa Expos).
U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT
PEAK PERFORMER: Having struggled with bunker defenses in its first two Women’s Gold Cup matches, Tiffeny Milbrett helped the U.S. Women’s National Team smash through the Panama wall over and over again, pouring in three goals in under nine minutes and adding another two before halftime to almost single-handedly (or single-footedly) drive the U.S. into the semis to play for a spot in the 2003 Women’s World Cup in China.
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: With the group stage out of the way, it’s down to one game for the U.S. Women’s National Team to qualify for the 2003 Women’s World Cup and have a chance to defend their world title. Standing in their way is Costa Rica, who could present the same frustrating offensive problems that hampered the U.S. women in 3-0 wins over Mexico and T&T in the opening round. The two teams meet on Wednesday (Nov. 2) at Safeco Field in Seattle at 7 p.m. PT live on Fox Sports World with a big berth on the line.
SOCCER SHOCKER: U.S. MNT defender Frankie Hejduk and his St. Gallen teammates were a part of the worst defeat in Swiss League history, as the team was stung for six goals in the first 45 minutes. By game's end, the final tally of 11-3 marked the most goals ever allowed in a Swiss league game.
“As far as skill, speed and goal scoring ability, Tiffeny is probably second to none in the world. And when you couple her with a player who can pass the ball exactly where it needs to be in Aly Wagner, you have a deadly combination."
- U.S. defender Brandi Chastain, after Milbrett’s five goals and Wagner’s three assists in the 9-0 rout.