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U.S. Soccer Wire: October 10, 2005


U.S. Men's National Team Falls to Costa Rica, Prepares for Panama;
U.S. WNT Sets up Camp in California for Match vs. Australia

FOXBORO FINISH: The U.S. Men's National Team closes out a successful 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign against Panama in Foxboro, Mass. on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. Bruce Arena has named an 18-player roster for the match, following the team's difficult 3-0 loss in Costa Rica on Saturday. The Panama game will be shown live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips, and taped delayed at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on Telemundo. The match is presented by Philips Electronics and tickets start at just $20 and are available through ussoccer.com, by phone at 508-931-2000, at all Ticketmaster outlets in the region (including Filene's Stores) and at the Gillette Stadium Box Office (open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Discounted tickets (from $16-$28) are available for groups of 20 or more by calling the New England Revolution at 877-GET-REVS. (For a complete look at 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region, visit the competitions page at ussoccer.com.)
U.S. Men’s National Team Roster
Goalkeepers (2) –Tim Howard (Manchester United), Matt Reis (New England Revolution); Defenders (6) – Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Dan Califf (San Jose Earthquakes), Jay Heaps (New England Revolution), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Eddie Pope (Real Salt Lake), Jonathan Spector (Charlton Athletic); Midfielders (7) – Brian Carroll (D.C. United), Ricardo Clark (San Jose Earthquakes), Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), Daniel Hernandez (New England Revolution), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Kyle Martino (Columbus Crew), Steve Ralston (New England Revolution); Forwards (3) – Brian Ching (San Jose Earthquakes), Santino Quaranta  (D.C. United), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)

WNT PREPARES FOR MATILDAS: The U.S. WNT hit the field on Sunday, Oct. 9, for the first time since late July. The energy was high and excitement palpable as the USA gets ready to face 2004 Olympics participant Australia on Sunday, Oct. 16, at 3 p.m. PT (Live on ESPN2) at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium (get tickets now). U.S. head coach Greg Ryan put 22 players through a series of high-intensity short-sided games at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., to the tune of crunching guitar riffs during sound-check for the Green Day concert being held later in the evening and on a field covered with confetti that had blown over from the concert festivities the night before. Ryan will choose 18 players to suit up against the Matildas, as the USA looks to avenge a 1-1 tie suffered during group play at the 2004 Olympics. Ryan has a roster packed with veteran players such as midfielder Kristine Lilly, the USA's team captain who will be going for her 298th cap on Sunday, and rock-solid defender Kate Markgraf. Several young players are also looking for a chance to shine, including forward and high school senior Lauren Cheney, midfielder Carli Lloyd and defender Amy LePeilbet. Several WUSA veterans will also be competing for some playing time in defender Kylie Bivens, a member of the 2003 Women's World Cup Team, midfielder Stacey Tullock and Miller. Following the match against the Matildas, the U.S. women will face Mexico on Sunday, Oct. 23, in Charleston, S.C (get tickets now). The match will be broadcast live at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. See the roster here.

HAMM ELECTED TO THE ALABAMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME: In the first of what should be many inductions into various Halls of Fame, U.S. Soccer legend Mia Hamm has been elected to the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame for the class of 2006. Hamm will be one of eight individuals inducted on May 21, 2006. Hamm played her final game for the USA in December of 2004 after a historic career that saw her score a world-record 158 international goals while winning two Women’s World Cups and two Olympic titles during a career that spanned 275 matches. The emotional run to the 2004 Olympic gold medal was Hamm’s final world championship. A native of Selma, Alabama, Hamm played her youth soccer in Texas and Virginia before being spotted by then U.S. head coach Anson Dorrance. Hamm became the youngest woman to ever play with the U.S. National team when she debuted at the age of 15. Hamm won four NCAA titles at the University of North Carolina, leading the nation in scoring three times and ending her collegiate career as the ACC’s all-time leading scorer in goals (103), assists (72) and points (278). She was named U.S. Soccer’s Female Athlete of the Year five consecutive years in 1994-1998, and was also named was also named FIFA Women’s World Player of Year twice (2001 and 2002).

-- WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

CONCACAF: Costa Rica joined the United States and Mexico as CONCACAF representatives at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany on Saturday (Oct. 8) with a 3-0 win against the U.S. in San Jose, Costa Rica. Also on Saturday, Mexico reclaimed the top spot in the standings with a 5-2 win against Guatemala. The Chapines drop a spot to fifth in the standings, after Trinidad & Tobago defeated Panama by a 1-0 scoreline. While CONCACAF's three automatic berths have been decided, the fourth-place team, who will have a playoff against the fifth-place team from Asia, comes down to the final match. Guatemala currently has eight points, two behind Trinidad & Tobago, but could still overcome the Soca Warriors with a win against Costa Rica on Wednesday if Trinidad does not beat Mexico.
CONCACAF Final Round Standings
Team                     P    W    L    D    GF:GA   GD     PTS
Mexico *                9     7     1    1      21:7     +14      22
United States *       9     6     2    1      14:6      +8      19
Costa Rica *           9    5      3    1      14:11    +3      16
Trinidad & Tobago   9    3      5    1       8:14     -6       10
Guatemala             9    2      5    2      13:17     -4        8
Panama                 9    0      7    2       4:19     -15      2
* clinched spot in FIFA World Cup Germany 2006

Date       Match (home teams listed first) Location Kickoff/Result
Oct. 8     Costa Rica vs. USA  San Jose, Costa Rica 3:0
Oct. 8     Panama vs. Trinidad & Tobago  Panama City, Panama 0:1
Oct. 8     Mexico vs. Guatemala  San Luis Potosi, Mexico 5:2

Oct. 12   USA vs. Panama  Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass. 8 p.m. ET
Oct. 12   Guatemala vs. Costa Rica  Guatemala City, Guatemala 6 p.m. MT
Oct. 12   Trinidad & Tobago vs. Mexico  Port of Spain, Trinidad 8 p.m. ET

Playoff
Nov. 12/13    AFC #5 (Bahrain or Uzbekistan) vs. CONCACAF #4 (Guatemala or Trinidad & Tobago) 
Nov. 16         AFC #5 (Bahrain or Uzbekistan) vs. CONCACAF #4 (Guatemala or Trinidad & Tobago)

EUROPE: Eight of the 14 teams that will qualify for the World Cup have already reserved their spots. Germany qualified as the host nation and Ukraine booked an early ticket to their first-ever World Cup back on September 3. Holland, Poland, England, Croatia, Italy and Portugal secured their place at the world’s big dance on Saturday, (Oct. 8), while France, Spain, Turkey, Norway, Sweden and a number of other historically strong teams have yet to clinch their spot and will be trying to do so on Wednesday as European qualifying ends. Once the eight group champions and the top two second-place teams have qualified, there will be a draw to match up the remaining six second-place teams. Those teams will then have playoff for the remaining three European spots.

SOUTH AMERICA: Ecuador and Paraguay join Argentina and Brazil as the four South American nations that earned direct qualification to the 2006 World Cup in Germany. That leaves Uruguay, Colombia and Chile battling it out for the fifth spot and a chance to qualify against Australia in a playoff. Paraguay qualified with a 1-0 win against Venezuela, while Ecuador tied 1-1 against Uruguay to earn their spot. Of the three teams fighting for a playoff spot, Uruguay leads the pack with 22 points and faces Argentina in Uruguay on Wednesday. Colombia and Chile are tied at 21 points and face Paraguay and Ecuador, respectively, also on Wednesday.

AFRICA: The five teams that will represent Africa at the World Cup have been decided, and four of them earned the first-ever World Cup berths for their nations. Angola, Ivory Coast, Togo and Ghana will join Tunisia on the world stage, leaving behind teams such as Nigeria, Cameroon, Senegal, South Africa and Morocco. Nigeria was left behind despite a 5-1 trouncing of Zimbabwe, finishing second in Group 4, behind Angola. Both teams finished with 21 points, but Angola came out on top with a 2-1 aggregate score against Nigeria. Cameroon and Morocco finished behind Ivory Coast and Tunisia, respectively, by just one point, while Ghana and Togo each finished well ahead of the other teams in their group. All five African teams qualified on Saturday (Oct. 8). Cameroon was fighting with Ivory Coast for the top spot as they faced Egypt on Saturday. The match ended 1-1 when Pierre Wome of Cameroon failed to convert a penalty kick in extra time that would have sent his team to the World Cup.

ASIA: Japan, Iran, Korea Republic and Saudi Arabia were the first to book their ticket to Germany, while Bahrain and Uzbekistan battle it out for a playoff spot against the fourth place team from CONCACAF. On Saturday (Oct. 8), those two teams played to a 1-1 draw in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and will meet again on Wednesday, Oct. 12, to decide who will get another chance to qualify for the prestigious tournament. The draw in Uzbekistan comes one month after Uzbekistan’s 1-0 victory was ordered by FIFA to be replayed due to a misapplication of the laws.

OCEANIA: While no team from Oceania can directly qualify for the FIFA World Cup, Australia previously defeated the Solomon Islands by a 9-1 aggregate score to earn a spot in a playoff against the fifth place team from South America. Australia will face their South American opponent (Uruguay, Colombia or Chile) in November.

-- YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --

U.S. U-17 WOMEN HEAD TO HDC FOR TRAINING CAMP: The U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team, led by head coach Erika Walsh, will hold a training camp at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from Oct. 12-19. Walsh has called in 22 players to the camp, almost all of whom have seen action for the U-17s this year. Getting their first looks are defenders Colleen Flanagan (Downingtown, Pa.) and Nicole Moore (Virginia Beach, Va.), midfielder Emily Shibata (Walnut Creek, Calif.) and forward Kendra Chandhoke (Morrison, Colo.). Forward Kelly O’Hara (Fayetville, Ga.) leads the U-17s in scoring this year with five goals. The feisty striker has scored four times in international matches, including both goals in a 2-0 victory against the Japan U-18s at the Texas Shootout last June. Crafty midfielder Tobin Heath has three goals for the U-17s this year. Several of the U-17s in this camp, all born in 1988, could be in the running for spots on head coach Tim Schulz’ U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team that will attempt to qualify for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship to be held next September in Russia. That tournament is for players born on or after Jan. 1, 1986.
U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Roster
Goalkeepers (2): Chantel Jones (Richmond, Va.), Alyssa Naeher (Seymour, Conn.); Defenders (8): Kelly Eagan (St. James, N.Y.), Colleen Flanagan (Downingtown, Pa.), Megan Jesolva (La Mirada, Calif.), Meghan Klingenberg (Gibsonia, Pa.), Nicole Moore (Virginia Beach, Va.), Sara Murphy (Mendham, N.J.), Lauren Switzer (St. Charles, Ill.), Lauren Wilmoth (Garland, Texas); Midfielders (6): Becky Edwards (Downingtown, Pa.), Melissa Hayes (Cave Creek, Ariz.), Ali Hawkins (Encinitas, Calif.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Emily Shibata (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Kristin Stannard (Midlothian, Va.); Forwards (6): Kendra Chandhoke (Morrison, Colo.), Rachel Givan (Ridgeland, Miss.), Alicia Jenkins (Diamond Springs, Calif.), Jessica McDonald (Glendale, Ariz.), Ashley Moore (Clifton Park, N.Y.), Kelley O’Hara (Fayetville, Ga.).

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

EARTHQUAKES CLINCH SUPPORTERS SHEILD: The San Jose Earthquakes clinched the 2005 Supporter’s Shield for the best regular season record (currently 17-4-9) with a 2-2 tie against Real Salt Lake on Saturday (Oct. 8), ending the regular season undefeated at home with one game left to play. The regular season ends Saturday, October 15, as the Kansas City Wizards and the MetroStars are still fighting for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Defending champion D.C. United, the New England Revolution and the Chicago Fire have already clinched their Eastern Conference playoff spots and San Jose, FC Dallas, Los Angeles and Colorado will see playoff action in the Western Conference. San Jose will face either the Los Angeles Galaxy or the Colorado Rapids in the MLS Cup Playoffs in a home-and-home aggregate goal Western Conference Semifinal Series. In the Eastern Conference, Chicago will face D.C. United on October 21 and October 30, and New England will either match up against the Wizards or the Metrostars. The first leg of the remaining semifinals will take place either Saturday, October 22, or Sunday, October 23, and the second leg will be played on Saturday, October 29 or Sunday, October 30.

ussoccer.com's CORNER PICKS ENDING WEDNESDAY: Corner Picks, ussoccer.com's fantasy pick 'em game, closes out in the last match of the hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. With unbelievable prizes that include a Philips FlatTV, a VIP experience for two at a U.S. MNT match in 2006 and other great prizes from U.S. Soccer and Philips still on the line, the battle for the Corner Picks crown is coming down to the wire. "hartman06"  is leading "Jeago Paraiba" by a slim 655 points (11,530 to 10,875), while the popular "Little Joe Cow" handle is in third with 10,415 points. Other top performers include: "homerj," "pacman08" and "ChickenHead." Fans can log on to ussoccer.com right now and once again test their prognostication skills with fans from across the United States for the match against Panama. Just log on to ussoccer.com and predict the answers to five Corner Picks questions, one question for each corner flag and a Center Circle bonus question.

CREDENTIAL APPLICATION FOR MLS CUP 2005 NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE: Media planning to cover MLS Cup 2005 at Pizza Hut Park on Sunday, November 13 can now apply for media credentials online.  Media members that have applied for credentials for recent MLS / SUM events can login using the same email address and password previously used. Otherwise, please register through the application. Media credential applications must be received by Friday, November 4 at 5 p.m. ET. Credentials from previous MLS matches or other soccer events, including 2005 MLS All-Stadium and Team season credentials, will not gain media access to this game. All media are required to re-apply for credentials ahead of MLS Cup 2005.

FUND CREATED TO SUPPORT HURRICANE KATRINA RELIEF: The U.S. Soccer Foundation has established the Soccer United Recovery Fund, to help rebuild soccer programs in Gulf Coast communities. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the U.S. Soccer Federation, Major League Soccer (MLS), the MLS Players Union, the U.S. National Team Players Association and the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol, created an on-line auction of game-worn uniforms that raised over $135,000 for relief and recovery services for the people of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.  Youth soccer organizations, including United States Youth Soccer (USYS) and American Youth Soccer (AYSO), have waived all fees for clubs and players in the area and are providing equipment and other support wherever possible. Contributors may support this effort by purchasing one of the special t-shirts or other products designed and being sold by Eurosport. Thanks to the contributions of Eurosport and its vendors, 100 percent of the sales proceeds will go to the Fund and be directly granted to soccer players and clubs who need help getting back on their feet. Purchase Soccer United Recovery Fund gear – or make a direct donation – online at soccerunitedrecoveryfund.org.

ALL_ACCESS RECAP: With the U.S. Men’s National Team back in action and plenty of new faces on the squad, ussoccer.com is pleased to bring you the latest all_access video series, “Opportunity Knocks.” With the U.S. already qualified for the 2006 World Cup, opportunity is knocking for some youngsters on the team looking to earn their spot on the World Cup roster. Join these players as ussoccer.com takes you behind the scenes in this exclusive look at the Men’s National Team.
all_access Video
Costa Rica Post-Match Reaction
Detour En Route to Costa Rica
USA-CRC: Last Time Around
Opportunity Knocks: Brian Ching
Opportunity Knocks: Santino Quaranta
Opportunity Knocks: Taylor Twellman
Costa Rica Preview
all_access Podcast
Arena, Lewis and Pope Discuss Costa Rica
Curt Onalfo Scouts Costa Rica
Eddie Lewis Discusses His Move to Defense
MNT European Update

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Eddie Lewis tried not to let the rain-soaked synthetic pitch or the 30,000 crazed fans at the sold out Estadio Ricardo Saprissa slow him down on Saturday, Oct. 8. Although the outcome, a 3-0 loss was not in favor of the U.S. squad, Lewis was the heart of the team, wearing the captain’s armband and racing all over the field to attack and defend as needed. Unfortunately, Lewis earned his second yellow card in qualifying and will be unable to suit up for the national team against Panama on Wednesday, Oct. 12, in Foxboro, Mass., but his hustle and heart earned him “Peak Performer” honors for this week.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: It’s the last match of the CONCACAF Hexagonal Final Round of qualifying on Wednesday, Oct. 12, and the U.S. is up against a Panama team that has nothing to fear and nothing to lose. While the U.S. has already secured a spot in the World Cup finals, the young squad chosen by Arena is looking to show him they belong on the 2006 FIFA World Cup roster. Kickoff on Wednesday is slated for 8 p.m. ET and can be seen live on ESPN2, as well as ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

SOCCER SHOCKER: While many people may have never heard of the African country of Togo, residents there have certainly heard of Germany. Togo was one of four African nations to qualify for their first-ever World Cup on Saturday, Oct. 8, and one of five African teams to qualify, overall. Angola, Ivory Coast and Ghana also booked a spot at their first World Cup, while Tunisia returns to the international tournament, leaving out African powerhouses such as Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.

QUOTABLE: "Even though the president called me Hector, it's OK."
 -- Los Angeles Galaxy striker Herculez Gomez on his visit to the White House for a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.

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