ARENA TO NAME ROSTER FOR NOV. 17 MATCH TOMORROW AT 1 P.M. ET ON ussoccer.com: U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bruce Arena will announce the 23-man roster for the upcoming Nov. 17 friendly against El Salvador tomorrow (Oct. 29) at 1 p.m. ET exclusively on ussoccer.com. Kickoff for the match at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. is set for 3 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN. Several new faces are expected to join the side in the USA's first international match since their historic quarter-final finish in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Individual tickets for the match are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, while group tickets can be purchased through the D.C. United Sales Office by calling 703-478-6600.
GARCIA GOAL HOLDS UP AS COLUMBUS THWARTS L.A.’S “DOUBLE” BID: The Columbus Crew won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup last week with a 1-0 victory over the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy in front of 6,054 chilly fans at the Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The victory for the Crew came courtesy of a 30th minute goal from forward Freddy Garcia as teammate Brian West’s right side cross was deflected by Galaxy goalkeeper Matt Reis to the Guatemalan forward, who got the rebound and fired a low shot from seven yards out for the only goal of the game. The victory was the first domestic championship in the Crew's seven-year history and also earned them the final U.S. Soccer berth for the 2003 CONCACAF Champions Cup. The win gave the Crew 13 total victories in Open Cup competition since 1996 (the most since the inception of MLS). The match marked the first shutout in a U.S. Open Cup Championship match since the A-League’s Rochester Raging Rhinos blanked the Colorado Rapids (MLS) 2-0 on Sept. 14, 1999, also at Crew Stadium.
U.S. WNT BLANKS MEXICO, FACES T&T, PANAMA THIS WEEK TO CONCLUDE GROUP PLAY: The U.S. Women’s National Team opened the 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, the qualifying tournament for the 2003 Women’s World Cup, with a solid 3-0 victory over Mexico at the Rose Bowl. Aly Wagner, Cindy Parlow and Shannon MacMillan scored for the USA as it jumped to the top of Group 1 in the eight-team tournament, which will send its top two finishers to the 4th Women’s World Cup in China. The USA possessed the ball well on a bumpy field and wore down a committed Mexican team over 90 minutes, playing almost the entire match in the Mexican half as the Tricolores stayed compact in a tight defense that was marshaled by sweeper Monica Gonzales of the Boston Breakers. It was the first match at Rose Bowl for the U.S. women since the historic Women’s World Cup Final on July 10, 1999. In the first game of the doubleheader, Panama defeated Trinidad & Tobago, 4-2, in a wild end-to-end match. The U.S. will conclude opening round play with a match tomorrow (Oct. 29) versus Trinidad & Tobago at nearby Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif., and a match Saturday (Nov. 2) against Panama at Safeco Field in Seattle, Wash. Upon advancing, the U.S. will meet one of the top two teams from Group B (Canada, Costa Rica, Haiti and Jamaica) in the semi-finals in Seattle on Nov. 6 and then compete in the final at the Rose Bowl on Nov. 9. The tournament is both the women’s championship of this region and the qualifying tournament for the 2003 Women’s World Cup. The two finalists at the 2002 Women’s Gold Cup will automatically qualify for the 2003 Women’s World Cup, while the winner of the tournament’s third-place game will qualify for a Women’s World Cup qualifying playoff against the third place team from Asia. 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.
BEENE, BENSON REPLACE MULLINIX, SLATON ON U.S. WOMEN'S GOLD CUP ROSTER: In a swap of goalkeepers, LaKeysia Beene has replaced Siri Mullinix on the 2002 U.S. CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup roster. Mullinix sprained her left thumb last Monday as the USA opened five days of training in San Diego, Calif., then aggravated the injury last Saturday at the USA's final training before opening the Women's Gold Cup tournament on Sunday against Mexico, necessitating the change. Beene, who was the USA's starting goalkeeper for most of 2001 and the beginning of 2002, has played eight times for the USA this year and has 12 career caps. In addition, defender Jenny Benson has replaced defender Danielle Slaton. Slaton, the youngest member of the 2000 Olympic Team and the 2002 WUSA Defender of the Year for the Carolina Courage, will have arthroscopic surgery to repair articular cartilage in her right knee on Thursday in North Carolina. Benson, 24, who like Slaton is left-footed, had an excellent season with the Philadelphia Charge in 2002. She has just three caps for the full national team, making her the least-capped player on the roster, and made her first ever start on Sept. 8 vs. Scotland.
Goalkeepers (2): LaKeysia Beene (San Jose), Briana Scurry (Atlanta);
Defenders (5): Jenny Benson (Philadelphia), Brandi Chastain (San Jose), Joy Fawcett (San Diego), Cat Reddick (UNC), Kate Sobrero (Boston);
Midfielders (6): Lorrie Fair (Philadelphia), Tiffany Roberts (Carolina), Angela Hucles (Boston), Julie Foudy (San Diego), Kristine Lilly (Boston), Aly Wagner (Santa Clara Univ.);
Forwards (5): Shannon MacMillan (San Diego), Tiffeny Milbrett (New York), Heather O'Reilly (PDA Splash), Mia Hamm (Washington), Cindy Parlow (Atlanta).
– 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 next month 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 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 during the "Nike Road to Korea.”
– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –
U.S. ADDS UNDER-17 WOMEN’S TEAM, HEINRICHS NAMES THREE NEW COACHES: With a focus on developing players for the Under-19 Women's National Team, U.S. Soccer added an Under-17 Women's National Team to the stable of five Women's National Team programs, which includes the Under-16 Girls, Under-19 Women and Under-21 Women, in addition to the full Women's National Team. Former U-19 Women's assistant coach Dave Smith will serve as the U-17 team's first head coach, in an appointment made by U.S. Women's National Team head coach and technical director April Heinrichs, and will guide the team for the first time when they get together in November. In addition to the appointment of Smith, Heinrichs also named Chris Petrucelli as the new Under-21 Women’s National Team head coach and former Under-21 WNT assistant coach Sue Patberg as the new Under-16 Girls National Team head coach. The U.S. Under-21s have won four of the last five Nordic Cups, the tournament that is widely considered the premier event in the world for that age group. The Under-16 Girl’s National Team serves as a stepping-stone into the youth national teams program for young players and is often their first exposure to international soccer.
U.S. UNDER-20 QUALIFYING ROSTER FEATURES EIGHT PLAYERS WITH PRO EXPERIENCE: With just over two weeks before the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team attempts to qualify for their fourth consecutive World Youth Championship, U.S. head coach Thomas Rongen selected a squad of 18 players to represent the U.S. at the CONCACAF Group B qualifying tournament in Charleston, S.C. The tournament, which marks the first time U.S. Soccer has hosted an Under-20 qualifying tournament since 1980, will take place at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., with doubleheaders on Nov. 13, 15 and 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. Eleven members of Rongen’s qualifying team came through U.S. Soccer’s full-time residency program, including goalkeeper Steve Cronin and Bobby Convey, who were both members of the U.S. squad that placed fourth at the 1999 FIFA Under-17 World Championship. Rongen 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, Bobby Convey, Ed Johnson, Justin Mapp, Santino Quaranta and Jordan Stone – while Frank Simek and David Johnson represent the USA’s young yanks abroad. 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. 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. Klaus (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 three U.S. qualifying matches will be shown live and are available for $19.95 each through DirectTV and Time-Warner cable (in New York City). Additional outlets are expected to be announced soon. 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 top two finishers in Charleston will advance to the FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates from March 25-April 16, 2003. The U.S. Under-20s, who are attempting to qualify for a record fourth consecutive FIFA World Youth Championship for the first time in U.S. Soccer history, open the tournament on Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET against Haiti before facing El Salvador on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET and Canada on Nov. 17 at 2:30 p.m. ET.
– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –
CREW EARN SPOT IN 2003 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS CUP WITH U.S. OPEN CUP TITLE: U.S. Soccer’s allocation of four positions in the 2003 edition of the CONCACAF Champions Cup was approved by CONCACAF last week, paving the way for the Columbus Crew to earn an automatic berth in the event next year as winner of the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship to earn. Joining the Crew as the four U.S. representatives will be the 2002 MLS Cup winner (Los Angeles), the MLS Cup runner-up (New England Revolution), and the runner-up for the 2002 Supporter’s Shield (San Jose Earthquakes, as the team with the second most points in the MLS regular season, since L.A. automatically qualified as MLS Cup champ). The CONCACAF Champions Cup is a 16-team tournament that annually crowns the overall champion of the CONCACAF region covering North and Central America and the Caribbean. The tournament will be played as home-and-away legs from the round of 16 through to the 2003 final. Although exact tournament dates have yet to be finalized, a draw will take place this winter to place four U.S. teams, four Mexican teams, six Central American teams and two Caribbean teams into two brackets. At the draw, two U.S. and two Mexican teams will be placed in each bracket, being joined by three Central American and one Caribbean team each.
SPIRIT NAMES OMID NAMAZI NEW HEAD COACH: The WUSA's San Diego Spirit named Omid Namazi as the third head coach in club history. Namazi, an experienced professional player and championship coach comes to the Spirit from the Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). The 36-year-old, who scored two goals in two international matches with the U.S. Futsal National Team in 2002, led the Kixx to the 2001-2002 MISL Championship as their player/coach. The Washington D.C. native, who is also a USSF “A” licensed coach and served as a staff coach of the New Jersey Olympic Development Program, was a five-time National Professional Soccer League (now the MISL) All-Star and is the Kixx all-time leader in assists. Namazi coached the Kixx for part of the 1999 season through the present, he will leave the indoor club to begin immediately working with the Spirit.
ANDY SCHMETZER TAKES OVER COACHING HELM OF CLEVELAND FORCE: The MISL’s Cleveland Force announced last week that Technical Director Andy Schmetzer has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the 2002-03 season. Schmetzer will replace former coach Mike Pilger, who still had one year remaining on his contract after this season. The former defender, who achieved a silver medal with the U.S. squad at the 1992 FIFA Five-A-Side (now Futsal) World Championship in Hong Kong, has spent 14 indoor soccer seasons and has led the Cleveland franchise to three championships (1993-94, 1995-96, 1998-99).
USL ANNOUNCES CREATION OF FOUR NEW PDL TEAMS FOR 2003 SEASON: United Soccer Leagues announced the addition of four new Premier Development League franchises for the 2003 season last week as it prepares for the Annual Operations Meeting to be held Nov. 7-9 in Clearwater, Fla. The four new PDL teams will be the Albany Black Watch Highlanders (Northeast Division), West Virginia Chaos (Mid Atlantic Division), Fort Wayne Fever (Great Lakes Division), and Abbotsford (Northwest Division). Former D3 Pro League clubs South Jersey Barons and Greenville Lions will also be joining the fray as members of the PDL in 2003. Clubs not returning to the PDL in 2003 include the Chicago Eagles Select, Chico Rooks, Dayton Gemini, Greenville Lions Premier and Los Angeles Heroes. More additions to the PDL are expected to be announced around the dates of the AOM. USL will announce official operational details such as alignments, playoff system and schedules after the AOM.
U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT
PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. MNT goalkeeper Brad Friedel posted a stellar performance for Blackburn this weekend, making a whopping 13 saves to help Rovers earn a big 2-1 win at Arsenal. Friedel, who was named Man of the Match, tore cartilage in his knee in pre-game warm-ups but fought through the injury to record his fifth victory of the year. It was Blackburn's first victory at Highbury since Dec. 1997, ending Arsenal's 16-match home unbeaten run in league play. Rovers have won four of last five league matches, climbing to seventh in the EPL standings.
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: While the U.S. got their most difficult opening round opponent out of the way with a 3-0 win over Mexico, the Tricolores now must face an upstart Panama team that grabbed three points with a 4-2 win over T&T in the first match of the tournament and features a 17-year-old forward that notched a hat trick in the victory. With only two of the four teams advancing out of Group 1, their match-up tomorrow night (Oct. 29) looks to be the battle for second place, assuming the U.S. is victorious in its remaining matches – tomorrow (Oct. 29) against T&T and Saturday (Nov. 2) against Panama.
“We've known about Brad (Friedel) for a long time. We think he's the best goalkeeper in the country."
- Blackburn head coach Graeme Souness, after Friedel’s winning performance while battling a pre-game cartilage injury this weekend.