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U.S. Soccer Wire: August 29, 2005

U.S. MNT Faces Archrival Mexico in Columbus, Ohio;
2005 Class Inducted Into National Soccer Hall of Fame

WIN AND WE’RE IN: The U.S. began preparations for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Mexico under cloudy skies this morning in Columbus, the team going through a light session lasting under an hour.  U.S. Manager Bruce Arena will have to wait until Tuesday to have his full compliment available for training, as players will continue to arrive into the evening.  It's only five days out until "Crew II", when Columbus Crew Stadium hosts its second consecutive USA home qualifier against Mexico in front of a sold-out crowd on MatchDay 7 of final round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. would directly qualify to the 2006 World Cup in Germany with a win against the Tricolor in Columbus. The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET and fans can follow the match live on Telemundo and’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

BALBOA, HARKES & RAMOS INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME: The trio of World Cup veterans, who gained entry into the Hall in their first year on the ballot, were joined by Fernando Clavijo (Veteran), Hank Steinbrecher (Builder) and five pre-NASL players during the two-day induction weekend that culminated with a match between the Colorado Rapids and D.C. United. Balboa, Harkes and Ramos were overwhelming favorites to be enshrined as the 2005 Class, each having collected well over the 80 percent votes required for induction back in April. Harkes and Balboa played for their former MLS squads in the match at At-A-Glance Field in Oneonta, while Clavijo suited up for the team he now coaches. All three players were clear choices in their first year of eligibility for election to the Hall of Fame and form the first all-MLS Hall of Fame class ever. A total of 123 votes were cast, and increase of 51 votes over the 2004 election. Election rules state that the top three will be elected if each receives more than 80 percent of the votes cast. In addition to the five inductees, a Blue Ribbon panel of the Hall of Fame studied the players from the pre-NASL era to determine those that may have been overlooked in the Hall of Fame process and elected Tom 'Whitey' Fleming, Alex McNab, Johnny Nelson, Werner Nilsen, and Fabri Salcedo.

U.S. OPEN CUP SEMIFINALISTS SET: The defending champion Kansas City Wizards will not defend their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title as the Minnesota Thunder of USL1 hit the road for a 3-1 victory. With three consecutive victories over MLS teams by a combined 14-6 score, the Thunder are the hottest USL team in the U.S. Open Cup since Rochester topped MLS teams in four consecutive games en route to the 1999 championship.  If the Thunder want to repeat that feat, they will have to get through two more MLS teams as the other three semifinalists all hail from the top division. Minnesota will travel west to the Home Depot Center to face the Galaxy, who were 2-1 winners over San Jose in Wednesday’s night cap. The other semifinal will feature teams who advanced in penalty kick shootouts after a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes of soccer. FC Dallas topped D.C. United 4-1 in penalties, and the three-time U.S. Open Cup champion Chicago Fire just edged by the Rochester Raging Rhinos with a 5-4 advantage from the spot. FC Dallas will host the Fire on Sept. 14 and open the U.S. Open Cup account for the brand new Pizza Hut Park. More tournament information is available at’s U.S. Open Cup competitions page.
2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals Schedule


U-17 '88 BEAT GAMBIA IN A FORFEITED GAME: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National team drew 1-1 with Gambia in an international friendly at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Sunday in a match that was suspended in stoppage time after Gambia was reduced to six players due to five ejections. Due to the suspension of play, the match was considered a U.S. win. The match, which was part of both teams’ preparations for the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship, was a rough affair, especially in the second half as Gambia received a total of 10 yellow cards and five ejections.  With only six players left on the field for Gambia, the referee called the match indicating that the African team was below the required numbers of players necessary to finish the game. Every U.S. match at the World Youth Championship can be followed live via’s MatchTracker, presented by Phillips Electronics. The U.S. and Gambia were supposed to play on Friday (Aug. 26) as well, but Gambia was delayed in arriving to the U.S. due to visa problems. The U-17s will play two more international matches before they leave for Peru, facing China in early September. Every U.S. match at the World Youth Championship will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel and can be followed live via’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
U-17 MNT Schedule/Results
Date         Opponent       Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
Aug. 20     Mexico           1-2 L      Hall
Aug. 28     Gambia          1-1 T      Hall

ALL U.S. GAMES AT FIFA UNDER-17 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE TELEVISED ON FSC: All three of the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team’s games at the FIFA U-17 World Championship will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel, two of which will be shown live. Fox Soccer Channel will televise a total of 10 matches during the tournament (nine live) kicking off its coverage with a tape-delayed broadcast of the U.S.-North Korea match on Sept. 17 at 3 p.m. ET. The USA’s other two Group C matches will be televised live by FSC, showing the U.S.-Italy match on Sept. 20 at 4:30 p.m. ET and the U.S.-Ivory Coast match on Sept. 23 at 4:30 p.m. ET. FSC will also show one other group play match, broadcasting the Brazil-Netherlands match on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. ET, and will televise almost the entire second round, including two quarterfinal matches, both semifinals, the third place match and the final.
FIFA U-17 World Championship - Fox Soccer Channel Broadcast Schedule
Date         Group/Round                Teams                      Kickoff (ET)
Sept. 17          C                           U.S.-North Korea       3 p.m. (delay)
Sept. 20          C                           U.S.-Italy                  4:30 p.m.
Sept. 20          D                           Brazil-Netherlands     7 p.m.
Sept. 23          C                           U.S.-Ivory Coast        4:30 p.m.
Sept. 25          Quarterfinals           TBA                          5 p.m.
Sept. 26          Quarterfinals           TBA                          8 p.m.
Sept. 29          Semifinals              TBA                          5 p.m.
Sept. 29          Semifinals               TBA                         8 p.m.
Oct. 2              Third Place Match  TBA                          4 p.m.
Oct. 2              Final                      TBA                          7 p.m.

U-17 '89 MNT TO COMPETE IN PEPSI INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT IN ENGLAND: The U.S. Under-17 '89 Men's National Team traveled to Bristol, England, this Saturday (Aug. 27) to participate in the Pepsi International Tournament. The U.S. will face England, Italy and Portugal in the four-team, round-robin tournament. The U-17 '89s will open against Italy on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at Clevendon Town Football Club, before taking on host England on Friday, Sept. 2, at Swindon Town Football Club and will finish the tournament against Portugal on Sunday, Sept. 4, at Forest Green Rovers Football Club. With U-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth preparing the U.S. for the FIFA U-17 World Championship, assistants Raul Diaz Arce and Brian Maisonneuve will direct the 18-player team during the tournament. The U-17 '89s will be looking for their second title in a month as they just returned from Japan where they won the Sixth Toyota International Football Tournament, defeating Japan 2-1 in the final.
U-17 '89 MNT Roster - Pepsi International Tournament
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brandyn Bumpas (Denver, Colo.), Josh Lambo (Middletown, Wisc.); DEFENDERS (5): Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Greg Eckhardt (Orange Park, Fla.), Ian Kalis (Plano, Texas), Anthony Wallace (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.); MIDFIELDERS (4): Edgar Barajas (San Fernando, Calif.), Cameron Brown (Garland, Texas), Kyle Davies (Pleasanton, Calif.), Kirk Urso (Lombard, Ill.); FOWARDS (7): Josmer Altidore (Boca Raton, Fla.), Andrew Giallombardo (Manalapan, N.J.), Perica Marosevic (Rockford, Ill.), Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), Joseph Sorrentino (Trenton, N.J.), Michael Stephens (Woodridge, Ill.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.)


CHARLOTTE EAGLES WIN USL SECOND DIVISION TITLE IN PENALTY KICKS: In a game that opened with a goal in the first minute, the Charlotte Eagles and Western Mass Pioneers finished in the first round of the sudden death penalties to break a 2-2 draw in front of a packed house of 4,722. Charlotte was shut out by the Pioneers in their two meetings on the season in a 0-0 draw in Charlotte and a 2-0 loss at Lusitano Stadium. The victory in penalties was redemption for the Eagles, who fell by the exact same scoreline in last year's final.

U.S. SOCCER REFEREES STOTT AND HALL SELECTED FOR WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS: U.S. Soccer and FIFA Referees Kevin Stott and Brian Hall were selected to officiate World Cup qualifying matches on Sept. 3 and Sept. 7, respectively. Stott, who is being considered for a referee spot at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, will officiate the match between Panama and Costa Rica on Sept. 3 at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama. Hall represented the U.S. at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan. He will be the referee between Mexico and Panama on Sept. 7 at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico.

2006 FIFA WORLD CUP TO BE SHOWN LIVE IN HIGH DEFINITION ON ESPN AND ABC: ESPN HD, ABC HD and ESPN2 HD will combine to present live coverage of all 64 matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup (Germany 2006) in high definition beginning Friday, June 9, through Sunday, July 9, 2006, from 12 cities in Germany. In addition, the high-definition services will feature the 2006 World Cup studio programs including the pre-, halftime and post-match segments. The high definition telecasts will be offered as a simulcast of ESPN, ABC Sports and ESPN2 World Cup coverage and will be the first time all 64 FIFA World Cup matches will be available in high definition television in the United States. The 2006 World Cup will mark the ninth FIFA World Cup competition on ESPN. Much like prior FIFA events on the ESPN, Inc. family of networks, the 2006 World Cup will be presented in high definition without commercial interruptions during play.  Working with its broadcast partners at FIFA and Soccer United Marketing, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports' high-definition coverage will deliver to U.S. viewers a high-quality image resolution from each World Cup match.

REYNA, MCBRIDE SCORE IN EUROPE: U.S. internationals Claudio Reyna and Brian McBride put their stamp on the EPL this weekend, each netting key goals for their sides as the young season starts to take shape. Reyna, who will captain the U.S. in their crucial World Cup qualifier against Mexico next week, scored the equalizer from 12 yards out in the 66th minute, then Andy Cole added the game-winner three minutes later as Manchester City improved their unbeaten record to 3-0-1 with a 2-1 victory against Portsmouth. Much farther south in West London, Brian McBride delivered Fulham their first win of the year, getting on the end of a service from Moritz Volz and drilling home from a dozen yards.  The U.S. international striker's second goal of the season proved the only goal of the match, disappointing his former club Everton in handing them a 1-0 defeat.  There was more good news for U.S. fans as Carlos Bocanegra made his debut appearance for Fulham this year after being sidelined with a knee injury, going the distance in central defense to help solidify the shutout


PEAK PERFORMER: After scoring in against Blackburn Rovers in the second match of the English Premiership season, Brian McBride brought out the big guns again and scored in Fulham’s first win of the season. McBride’s goal handed his former club a 1-0 loss at Craven Cottage.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: This is it. This is THE game that you can’t miss. The USA vs. Mexico game that could clinch the USA’s spot in the 2006 World Cup. Once again, the CONCACAF rivals face off at 7:30 p.m. ET at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. A win in Columbus would send the U.S. packing their bags for Germany. Fans can watch the game live on Telemundo, as well as on’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

SOCCER SHOCKER: In a move that highlights their cleverness and longevity, former U.S. National Team defenders Marcelo Balboa and Fernando Clavijo combined on a brilliantly original goal to spark the Colorado Rapids from a 2-0 deficit to a 6-2 victory in Monday's National Soccer Hall of Fame Game. On the goal, the Rapids earned a penalty kick which Balboa stepped up to take. After making eye contact with the Rapids head coach (playing in the match alongside his 2005 Hall of Fame Classmate), Balboa approached the ball to take his shot. Instead of shooting, though, he tapped the ball to his left and Clavijo came racing into the area ahead of everyone (showcasing the speed he was so famous for during his playing days) and slotted the ball home for the Rapids first goal. A Hall of Fame worthy goal, no doubt.

QUOTABLE: "The Hall of Fame is so far beyond anything you can dream about that to say that I had a dream about this would be an outright lie. When you get elected into the Hall of Fame, you get elected into a group of elite people who are the top of the top of the game at the professional level. Just to be standing here is an incredible honor for me."
 -- Former U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder and 2005 National Hall of Fame inductee Tab Ramos, who appeared in three World Cups for the United States. is the official website of U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in the United States.