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U.S. Soccer Wire - February 19, 2007


BRADLEY LEADS UNDER-23 MNT TO JAPAN FOR TWO-GAME TOUR;
U.S. WNT CONTINUES ALGARVE CUP PREPARATIONS IN CARSON, CALIF.

U-23 MNT ARRIVE IN JAPAN, PREPARE FOR MATCHES THIS WEEK: The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team will play its first match of 2007 when they meet the Japan U-22 National Team on Feb. 21 (7 p.m. local time) at KKWing Stadium in Kumamoto, Japan. More than 23,000 fans are expected to attend the nationally televised match, which comes one week before Japan begins qualifying for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The U.S. team has been training in Kumamoto for two days after completing a 21-hour journey to Japan in the early hours of Sunday morning. Following the match against Japan, the U-23's will take on JFL side Rosso Kumamoto on Feb. 23 and begin dispersing back to their clubs the following day. The series of matches are the first for the U-23's since 2004, and mark the debut of head coach Bob Bradley. From the initial roster of 23 players that began training camp on Feb. 10 in Carson, six returned to their clubs before Bradley's squad traveled to Japan. In addition to Tally Hall (Esjberg FB), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo) and Julian Valentin (Wake Forest), who all had only been scheduled to participate in camp, Bradley released Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire), Nico Colaluca (Colorado Rapids), and Will John (Kansas City Wizards). Sal Zizzo, a UCLA product who played on the U-20 MNT that qualified for the 2007 U-20 FIFA World Cup, has been added to the travel roster.
U-23 MNT Schedule
Date         Opponent
Feb. 21    Japan U-22 MNT
Feb. 23    Rosso Kumamoto
U-23 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Justin Hughes (Colorado Rapids), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7): Sean Franklin (Cal State Northridge University), Hunter Freeman (Colorado Rapids), Michael Harrington (Kansas City Wizards), Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Nathan Sturgis (Los Angeles Galaxy), Rob Valentino (University of San Francisco), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Arturo Alvarez (FC Dallas), Quavas Kirk (Los Angeles Galaxy), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Peter Lowry (Santa Clara University), Ryan Solle (New England Revolution)
FORWARDS (4): Adam Cristman (New England Revolution), Jacob Peterson (Colorado Rapids), Jamie Watson (Real Salt Lake),
Sal Zizzo (UCLA)

U.S. WNT CONTINUES PRE-ALGARVE TRAINING CAMP: The U.S. Women’s National Team continues a 28-player training camp running through Feb. 21 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Several veterans including Shannon Boxx rejoined the squad for the camp which began on Feb. 14. Following the camp, U.S. head coach Greg Ryan will name 20 players that will travel to Portugal for the 14th annual Algarve Cup from March 7-14, 2007. The U.S. will face China, Finland and Sweden in Group B followed by a placement match. Fans can follow the USA’s grueling schedule of four games in eight days online with ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jenni Branam, Briana Scurry, Hope Solo
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler, Lori Chalupny, Keeley Dowling, Tina Frimpong, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone, India Trotter, Cat Whitehill
MIDFIELDERS (8): Yael Averbuch, Shannon Boxx, Angela Hucles, Carli Lloyd, Joanna Lohman, Marci Miller, Leslie Osborne, Aly Wagner
FORWARDS (9): Lauren Cheney, Danielle Fotopoulos, Natasha Kai, Kristine Lilly, Casey Nogueira, Heather O’Reilly, Lindsay Tarpley, Abby Wambach, Kacey White
2006 Algarve Cup Schedule – Group B
Date          Opponent                 Kickoff
March 7    China                        4:15 p.m. local / 11:15 a.m. ET
March 9    Finland                     4:15 p.m. local / 11:15 a.m. ET
March 12  Sweden                   4:15 p.m. local / 11:15 a.m. ET
March 14  Placement Match   TBD

TICKETS ON SALE FOR MARCH MNT FRIENDLIES IN TAMPA, FRISCO: Tickets are now available for U.S. MNT friendlies vs. Ecuador on March 25 in Tampa, Fla., and vs. Guatemala on March 28 in Frisco, Texas. The games will be played during a FIFA match window which will allow the U.S. to have a full compliment of players available for selection by head coach Bob Bradley as the United States continues to prepare for this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup and Copa America. Tickets for USA vs. Ecuador start at $18 and are available at ussoccer.com, all Bay area Ticketmaster outlets (including the Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa Theater, the USF Sun Dome, and FYE stores) and by phone at 813-287-8844. Tickets for USA vs. Guatemala also start at $18 and are available online at ussoccer.com, at all Dallas-Ft. Worth area Ticketmaster outlets (including Macy’s, Fiesta Stores, and FYE) and by phone at 214-373-8000. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets to both matches by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtaining a group order form at ussoccer.com.

TICKETS ON SALE FOR U.S. WNT DOMESTIC OPENER IN FOXBOROUGH: Tickets are on sale for the U.S. Women’s National Team’s domestic opener vs. Mexico on April 14 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The match will serve as the opening game of a doubleheader also featuring the hometown New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC. Kickoff for the U.S. match is at 5 p.m. ET followed by the MLS contest at 7:30 p.m. ET. Fans will be able to follow the U.S. WNT game live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets start at $32 and are on sale online at ussoccer.com, all Massachusetts Ticketmaster outlets (including Macy’s and FYE Stores), the Gillette Stadium Box Office (Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and by phone at 1-866-448-7849 or 1-617-931-2222. Groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets at discounted prices by calling the New England Revolution at 1-877-GET-REVS (438-7387). The U.S. women will be playing their first match in the Boston area since the historic 1-0 win against Norway on October 1, 2003, during the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinals.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-21 WOMEN CONTINUES HDC TRAINING CAMP: U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team head coach Bill Irwin continues to work with 24 players at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The training camp, which started on Feb. 17, will continue until Feb. 23. Seven of the players on the U-21 roster were members of the U.S. team that participated in the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship. Irwin will use this camp in part to formulate a roster that will travel to England from March 9-18 where the U-21s will play several top English women’s clubs.
Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Joanna Haig (Louisville), Dianne Pfenniger (Texas)
DEFENDERS (7): Marissa Abegg (Stanford), Erin Hardy (UCLA), Nikki Krzysik (Virginia), Stephanie Logterman (Texas), Kasey Moore (Texas), Hillary Schwarzbach (Santa Clara), Sue Weber (Hofstra)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Brittany Bock (Notre Dame), Tina DiMartino (UCLA), Carly Dobratz (Washington State), Kara Kabellis (Wisconsin), Ali Krieger (Penn State), Lisa Sari (Portland), Meghan Schnur (UConn), Laura Robinson (Texas A&M)
FORWARDS (7): Kiki Bosio (Santa Clara), Kylie Rossi (Tennessee), Ella Masar (Illinois), Jessica Okorafo (Purdue), Rachel Rapinoe (Portland), Jessica Rostedt (Virginia), Michele Weissenhofer (Notre Dame)

U.S. UNDER-20 WOMEN HEAD TO MEXICO FOR TWO MATCHES: U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team head coach Jillian Ellis will take 18 players to Mexico from Feb. 18-23 as the team will play the full Mexico Women's National Team in two games. These will be the first international matches for the U-20s during the new cycle as the team begins the long road to the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup to be held sometime in the early fall in Chile. The U.S. team will face Mexico on Feb. 20 and 22 at 4 p.m. in Ixtapan de la Sal, located about 80 miles from Mexico City. The matches will be highly competitive for the young U.S. side as Mexico is deep into preparations for two crucial Women's World Cup playoff matches against Japan on March 10 (in Japan) and March 17 (in Mexico). The U.S. roster features midfielder Tobin Heath, a veteran of the U.S. team that participated in the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia. Heath is the only player on the roster with previous caps at the U-20 level.
Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kristin Olsen (USC), Chanel Jones (Virginia)
DEFENDERS (4): Meghan Klingenberg (Hotspurs), Lauren Barnes (Alta Loma Arsenal), Carly Peetz (Nebraska), Lauren Wilmoth (UCLA)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Becky Edwards (Florida State), Kaley Fountain (Lonestars 88), Tobin Heath (UNC), Kelly Henderson (Boston College), Whitney Hooper (Texas A & M), Christine Nairn (Free State Shooters), Kristin Stannard (Stanford)
FORWARDS (5): Kendra Chandhoke (Portland), Gina DiMartino (Boston College), Melissa Henderson (Dallas Texans), Jessica McDonald (Phoenix College), Elli Reed (Utah Avalanche Premier)

U-17 MNT DEFEAT JAMAICA ALL-STARS DURING TRIP LAST WEEK: The U.S. Under-17 '90 Men's National Team defeated the Jamaica All-Stars, 3-0, on Friday (Feb. 16) in Kingston, Jamaica. Ellis McLoughlin, Billy Schuler and Kirk Urso tallied for the U.S. McLoughlin put the U.S. up early, hitting a well-struck ball from the top left corner of the penalty area in the sixth minute. Schuler played the ball to the forward and he buried the one-timer into the far post. Schuler got on the board as well when he finished off a chance in the 74th minute. Axel Levry played the ball in to Schuler at the top of the box and he perfectly placed his shot off the right post and in. Urso closed the curtains on the day by curling his 35-yard free kick from the left side past the 'keeper in the 87th minute.
U.S. U-17 MNT Results
Date         Opponent                Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
Feb. 16    Jamaica All-Stars     3-0        McLoughlin, Schuler, Urso

U-15 BNT TO CONDUCT CAMP AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER: The U.S. Under-15 Boys’ National Team will be starting a weeklong training camp on Feb. 17 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The U-15 BNT will have three games through the course of the week, on Feb. 19, 21, and 23, with opponents yet to be decided. The camp will run through Sat., Feb. 24 with head coach Jim Barlow leading the 24 players.
U-15 BNT Schedule
Date         Opponent
Feb. 19    TBD
Feb. 21    TBD
Feb. 23    TBD
U-15 BNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Samir Badr (Fairfax, Va.), Earl Edwards (San Diego, Calif.), Eric Reyes (Pembroke Pines, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (6): Estanilao Arevalo (Oxnard, Calif.), Bryan Duran (Duncanville, Texas), Joe Garcia (Niderwald, Texas), Chase Miller (Duncannon, Pa.), Tyler Polak (Lincoln, Neb.), Joshua Sylva (Las Vegas, Nev.)
MIDFIELDERS (11): Zachery Barnes (Flower Mound, Texas), Alex Bramall (Newburgh, N.Y.), Zachary Herold (Port Saint Lucie, Fla.), Sebastien Ibeagha (Edmond, Okla.), Stefan Jerome (Davie, Fla.), Perry Kitchen (Indianapolis, Ind.), Sebastian Lletget (San Francisco, Calif.), Carlos Martinez (Las Vegas, Nev.), George Pantelic (Northridge, Calif.), Ross Tomaselli (Wilmington, N.C.), Jared Watts (Statesville, N.C.)
FORWARDS (4): Andrew Craven (St. Simons Island, Ga.), Donovan Henry (Lakeworth, Fla.), Jack McInerney (Alpharetta, Ga.), Charles Renken (Edwardsville, Ill.)

– AROUND THE SOCCER REGION –

HOUSTON, D.C. UNITED REPRESENT U.S. IN CONCACAF CHAMPIONS' CUP MATCHES THIS WEEK: D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo hit the road this Wed., Feb. 21, to play the first leg matches of the quarterfinals of the 2007 CONCACAF Champions Cup. Houston travels to face Puntarenas of Costa Rica with kickoff at 2:35 p.m. ET, and D.C. United travels to Honduras to face CD Olimpia at 9 p.m. ET. Both teams will return home to host the second leg on March 1. The quarterfinal winners will advance to the Champions’ Cup semifinals on March 13-15 and April 3-5.The semifinal winners will play for the title on April 17-19 and 24-26, with the winner also qualifying to the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007. All four quarterfinals involving U.S.-based teams will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and FoxSports en Español. The CONCACAF Champions’ Cup™ is the longest running international club competition in the region and has crowned the champion club of the Confederation since its inception in 1962. The Dynamo qualified as MLS Cup Champions, and D.C. United qualified as Supporters Shield (regular season) winners.
CONCACAF Champions' Cup Schedule - U.S. Teams
Date         Matchup                                                       Kickoff (ET)   Location                                   TV
Feb. 21    Puntarenas FC vs. Houston Dynamo     2:35 p.m.     Puntarenas, Costa Rica     FSC/FSE
Feb. 21    CD Olimpia vs. D.C. United                        9 p.m.         Tegucigalpa, Honduras      FSC
March 1   Houston Dynamo vs. Puntarenas FC     9:05 p.m.     College Station, Texas        FSC/FSE
March 1   D.C. United vs. CD Olimpia                       7:05 p.m.     Washington, D.C.                FSC/FSE
Full schedule at CONCACAF.com

FIELD COMPLETE FOR 2007 CONCACAF GOLD CUP: Panama and Honduras became the final two teams to qualify for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, with key victories in the Copa de Naciones Digicel 2007 de UNCAF (Central American Qualification) in El Salvador. Honduras trounced Nicaragua 9-1 on Thursday in the fifth-place game to earn the fifth and final qualifying berth from UNCAF. Panama qualified for the Gold Cup on Tuesday, becoming the fourth team to clinch a position in the semifinals of the UNCAF qualifying tournament. Earlier, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala all secured their position in the Gold Cup as semifinalists in the qualifying tournament. Canada, Mexico and the United States qualified for the Gold Cup as past champions, and Cuba, Guadeloupe, Haiti and Trinidad & Tobago qualified via The Digicel Caribbean Cup in mid-January. The CONCACAF Gold Cup will be played across six venues in the United States from June 6-24. The semifinals and finals will be played in Chicago at Soldier Field. CONCACAF will unveil the groups and complete schedule of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup in early March.
2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup Teams
Canada
Costa Rica
Cuba
El Salvador
Guadeloupe
Guatemala
Haiti
Honduras
Mexico
Panama
Trinidad & Tobago
United States

FINAL TWO FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP BERTHS TO BE DECIDED IN CONCACAF GROUP B: Only the top two qualifiers from Group B of CONCACAF Final Round qualifying have yet to book their spot at the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada. Mexico, Costa Rica, St. Kitts and Nevis and Jamaica will face each other on Feb. 21-25 in Culiacan, Sinaloa, on the west coast of Mexico, to determine the final two entries into the prestigious event. The U.S. and Panama qualified for the tournament on Jan. 21 after finishing first and second, respectively, in Group A of CONCACAF Final Round qualifying. The other qualifiers are: Nigeria, Zambia , Congo, Gambia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Korea DPR, Japan, Korea Republic, Jordan, Spain, Scotland, Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Portugal and Canada.

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

MLS SETS QUALIFYING PAIRINGS FOR U.S. OPEN CUP: Major League Soccer has released their schedule for the first MLS play in games for the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. For the first time, six MLS teams will try to qualify for the final two spots available in the tournament. Real Salt Lake will host the Kansas City Wizards on April 18 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, and the Columbus Crew will host the Los Angeles Galaxy on April 24 at Crew Stadium. The winner of the Kansas City/Real Salt Lake game will play the Colorado Rapids, and the winner of Los Angeles/Columbus will play New York Red Bulls. The second two play-in matches must take place prior to the qualifying deadline of May 28. The Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, D.C. United, New England Revolution, FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo have already qualified for the Open Cup based on 2006 final standings.

ROCHESTER, PAETEC PARK TO HOST W-LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP: The Rochester Rhinos and United Soccer Leagues announced last week that the 2007 W-League Final Four Championship will be held at PAETEC Park on Fri., Aug. 3, and Sun., Aug. 5. PAETEC Park is the home of the second-year W-League Rhinos. Last season, the Rochester Raging Rhinos hosted the 2006 USL First Division Final at PAETEC Park. In the stadium’s inaugural season, the Rhinos also hosted such high-profile events as Drum Corps Associates (DCA) 2006 World Championship, the Empire State Games opening ceremonies, a U.S. Women’s National Team match, and numerous high school soccer and football games. The W-League season kicks of on Friday, May 11 when the Charlotte Lady Eagles host the Atlanta Silverbacks.

MACCABI USA/SPORTS TO COMPETE IN MACCABI GAMES & PAN-AM MACCABI GAMES: Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel is looking for soccer players between the ages of 15-54 to participate on teams that will represent the USA in the 12th Annual European Maccabi Games in Rome, Italy, and at the 11th Annual Pan-Am Maccabi Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Maccabi USA is a volunteer organization that seeks to enrich the lives ofJewish youth in the United States, Israel and the Diaspora through athletic, cultural and educational programs. The European Maccabi Games will be held in Rome between July 4-12, 2007. A total of 16 sports are planned and more than 30 countries are expected to participate with over 2000 competing athletes. The Pan-Am Maccabi Games will be staged in Buenos Aires beginning on December 26 and conclude on January 2, 2008. More than 17 countries will compete in the event. To learn more and apply for a place on one of the teams, please visit the MUSA website at www.maccabiusa.com or call Ami Monson at 215-561-6900, ext 116.

HOST THE JR. OLYMPIC SKILLS COMPETITION IN YOUR COMMUNITY: U.S. Soccer and the United States Olympic Committee invite you to host the soccer portion of the Jr. Olympic Skills Competition. This is the second year of the program, and in its inaugural year in 2006 the program drew more than 1.5 million participants (of which 25 percent were soccer participants). The program is designed to provide 8 to 13-year-old boys and girls in your community with an opportunity to get involved in a soccer skills competition. For more information contact the Jr. Olympic Skills National Headquarters at joskills@usoc.org.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Early on Sunday morning, Sevilla and Fredi Kanoute were looking up at Barcelona and Ronaldinho in both the table and scoring charts. After Valencia picked off Barcelona, a pair of goals by Kanounte vs. Atletico Madrid put Sevilla level with Barcelona with 46 points atop La Liga and Kanounte one goal ahead of Ronaldinho (16 to 15) on the scoring charts.

SOCCER SHOCKER: As the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 gets underway, Tuesday’s Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich clash at the Bernabeu (ESPN Deportes, 2:30 p.m. ET) is a match-up of teams not guaranteed positions in next year’s Champions League, as both regular participants sit in fourth place in their respective league tables.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The two most recent Champions League winners will face off in this season’s Round of 16 on Wed., Feb. 21 at 2:30 p.m. ET as Barcelona hosts Liverpool (live on ESPN Deportes). Barcelona, who won 2-1 over Arsenal last year, looks to stay alive its quest for a third title, while five-time winners Liverpool look to return to the final for the first time since a dramatic 4-3 victory in 2005.

QUOTABLE: “It's important that we share ideas. It's important that those programs understand how important they are and that they … are the building blocks. Any time we're all together and we can look at our players and discuss the things we see, discuss the things that need to be better, it helps."
-- U.S. U-23 MNT head coach Bob Bradley to The Los Angeles Times, on working with Under-20 MNT head coach Thomas Rongen and Under-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth during a Under-23 MNT training camp last week.


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