LATE BOCANEGRA HEADER HELPS U.S. STAY UNBEATEN IN LAST SIX MATCHES: In their final match before starting the semifinal round of FIFA World Cup Qualifying, the U.S. Men’s National Team battled Poland to a 1-1 draw this evening in front of 39,592 fans at Soldier Field in Chicago. After a tame first half, the match opened up in the final 45 minutes and Carlos Bocanegra nodded home the equalizer two minutes from the final whistle to increase the USA’s undefeated streak to six games (a 5-0-1 record). The U.S. was the dominant team on the night, keeping most of the possession, but it appeared Poland might sneak out with a victory when Piotr Wlodarczyk knocked in a loose ball after misplayed clearances by Carlos Bocanegra and Tim Howard in the six-yard box in the 76th minute. The U.S. continued to push into the Polish backline though, and won four dangerous free kicks in a five-minute span near the end of the game before finally finding the equalizer with Bocanegra’s header off a Landon Donovan corner kick in the 88th minute. Midfielders Eddie Gaven and Brian Mullan both earned their first full international caps in the match, with Gaven coming on for Kerry Zavagnin in the 82nd minute and Mullan replacing Wolff in the 72nd minute. At age 17 and 260 days, Gaven became the fourth youngest player in U.S. Men’s National Team history to earn a cap. Forward Brian Ching earned his second cap for the U.S. Men, subbing in for McBride in the 65th minute.
U.S. MEN MOVE TO HIGHEST EVER WORLD RANKING AT NUMBER SEVEN: Two months after climbing back into the Top 10 in the FIFA World Rankings, the U.S. Men’s National Team continued its ascent up the ladder, moving up two notches to their highest ranking ever at seventh, ahead of such powerhouses as England, Italy, Argentina and Germany. This is the 16th time that the U.S. has been ranked in the Top 10 since breaking in for the first time in August of 2002 after their remarkable quarterfinal run in the 2002 World Cup. The U.S. dropped out of the Top 10 in September of 2003 and moved between 11th and 12th for the next seven months before finally jumping up to eighth in May of this year after a dominating 1-0 performance against then fourth-ranked Mexico on April 28 in Dallas. The U.S. then dropped to ninth in June, before making the two-spot leap to seventh. While there was no change in the top three, with Brazil still leading the pack ahead of France and Spain, July’s rankings saw significant moves in the top 20 due to strong showings in EURO 2004. A semifinal run pushed the Czech Republic up seven spots to fourth and the new European champion Greece shooting up to 14th, 21 spots beyond their location just one month ago. Portugal also made a significant move up the ladder with a second-place finish, moving 10 spots to 12th, while their quarterfinal opponent England moved up five spots to eighth. Other CONCACAF teams made some significant moves as Trinidad & Tobago (63rd), Cuba (66th), Panama (106th) and St. Kitts and Nevis (108th) all moved up 12 or more spots.
KICKOFF TIMES ANNOUNCED FOR FIRST THREE MATCHES OF SEMIFINAL ROUND: The kickoff times and venues for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s first three matches of the FIFA World Cup Qualifying semifinal round were determined last week. The USA will open the next round in Jamaica on Aug. 18 at National Stadium in Kingston at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local) live on ESPN2. The six-game, round-robin group continues with the U.S. at home versus El Salvador at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., on Sept. 4 at 4 p.m. ET and then on the road to meet Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City on Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. local). The four-team group concludes with a road game on Oct. 9 in El Salvador and then consecutive home games on Oct. 13 (against Panama) and Nov. 17 in Columbus, Ohio (against Jamaica). The semifinal round consists of three four-team groups playing a six-game round robin competition, with the top two finishers from each group moving onto the final round of qualifying in 2005.
MNT FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule – Semifinal Round
Date Opponent Venue; City Kickoff (ET) / TV
Aug. 18 Jamaica National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica 7 p.m. / ESPN2
Sept. 4 El Salvador Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass. 4 p.m. / Telemundo
Sept. 8 Panama Estadio Rommel Fernández 9 p.m. / TBD
Oct. 9 El Salvador TBD (away) TBD / TBD
Oct. 13 Panama RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C. TBD / TBD
Nov. 17 Jamaica Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio TBD / TBD
AFTER LAST WEEK OF CAMP, “QUEST FOR SUMMER GLORY” TOUR PICKS UP IN BLAINE: After a week-long break, the U.S. Women’s National Team returned on July 9 for its final training block of Olympic Residency Camp at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif. The USA travels to Minnesota on July 19 to prepare to face Australia in Blaine on July 21 at 6 p.m. CT live on ESPN2. Tickets are on sale now at all Minnesota and Wisconsin area Ticketmaster outlets, including Rainbow Foods, Dayton’s, Hy-Vee Foods, Marshall Field’s and Mervyn’s California. Tickets are available by phone by calling one of the following numbers – 651-989-5151 (Minneapolis); 218-727-2121 (Duluth); 507-625-7919 (Mankato); 507-252-1010 (Rochester); 320-253-3131 (St. Cloud) – or visiting ussoccer.com. The U.S. Women play their final match on August 1 (3 p.m. ET on ESPN2) at Rentschler Field in Hartford, Conn., before leaving for the Olympics a few days later. The U.S. is 3-0-1 in the first four games of the six-game "Quest for Summer Glory" Tour.
WNT “Quest for Summer Glory” Tour
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorers Venue; City Attendance
April 24 Brazil 5-1 W Foudy, Wambach (2), Welsh, Hamm Legion Field; Birmingham, Ala. 11,527
May 9 Mexico 3-0 W Parlow, Hamm, Chalupny University Stadium; Albuquerque, N.M. 17,805
June 6 Japan 1-1 T Wambach Cardinal Stadium; Louisville, Ky. 7,525
July 3 Canada 1-0 W Mitts The Coliseum; Nashville, Tenn. 9,110
Date Opponent Venue; City Kickoff (Local) / TV
July 21 Australia National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn. 6 p.m. CT / ESPN2
Aug. 1 China Rentschler Field; Hartford, Conn. 3 p.m. ET / ESPN2
– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –
PETRUCELLI NAMES U-21 WNT ROSTER FOR 2004 NORDIC CUP: U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team head coach Chris Petrucelli has named the 18-player squad that will travel to Iceland for the 14th Annual Nordic Cup being held July 23-29 in nine small venues in the northern part of the country. The U.S. team will assemble to train for three days in New Jersey this weekend (which includes a scrimmage against the U.S. Under-19 National Team on July 17) before departing for Iceland, which will be hosting its second Nordic Cup. The USA won its second of six Nordic Cup titles in Iceland in 1999. Held in Northern Europe every summer, the Nordic Cup is the top competition in the world for U-21 women and the focus of the USA’s oldest youth national team during its seven-month run-up to the prestigious competition. Petrucelli chose six veterans of past Nordic Cups and included in the 18-player roster are six players who were members of the USA’s 2002 Under-19 World Championship. Forwards Manya Makoski and Kelly Wilson, midfielders Sarah Huffman and Lori Chalupny, and defenders Jill Oakes and Keeley Dowling were all part of the U.S. U-19 team that defeated Canada 1-0 in overtime at the 2002 U-19 World Championship Final in Edmonton in front of almost 50,000 fans. The USA will face a tough challenge in Group B, taking on Finland, Norway and Germany in first-round play. Group A features Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and England. The top two finishers in each group will cross over to play for the championship, while the two second place finishers will play for third, the third place finishers for fifth and the last place finishers in the groups will vie for seventh place. The USA opens the tournament against Finland on Friday, July 23, in Dalvik, and then faces Norway on Sunday, July 25, in Olafsfjordur. The U.S. will finish first-round play against Germany on Tuesday, July 27, in Dalvik. All four placement matches are set for Thursday, July 29.
U-21 WNT 2004 Nordic Cup Schedule
July 23 Finland
July 25 Norway
July 27 Germany
July 29 Placement Match
U-21 WNT 2004 Nordic Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (Stanford), Kati Jo Spisak (Texas A&M); DEFENDERS (5): Keeley Dowling, (Tennessee), Jenny Farenbaugh (Stanford), Lindsey Huie (Portland), Haley Hunt (Stanford), Jill Oakes (UCLA); MIDFIELDERS (7): Lori Chalupny (North Carolina), Sarah Huffman (Virginia), Carli Lloyd (Rutgers), Joanna Lohman (Penn State), Julianne Sitch (Depaul), Nikki Thaden (Texas), Kacey White (North Carolina); FORWARDS (4): Natasha Kai (Hawaii), Esmeralda Negron (Princeton), Manya Makoski (Arizona State), Kelly Wilson (Texas).
U-20 MNT TO COMPETE IN NORTHERN IRELAND MILK CUP THIS WEEK: U.S. Under-20 head coach Thomas Rongen has announced his 18-player roster for the 2004 Milk Cup, which takes place in Northern Ireland from July 16-23. Rongen has called in a roster similar to the one that competed in the Busan Four Nations International Tournament in Busan, South Korea, in late June, as nine of the 18 players will be making their second trip overseas in the past month. Included in the roster are four professionals, with two MLS players – Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes) and Craig Capano (Chicago Fire) – joining two overseas players – goalkeeper Quentin Westberg (ESTAC Troyes – France) and midfielder Jay Denny (Stoke City – England). The U.S. will leave on July 13 and have a couple days of training before opening up the tournament in Group 2 against Denmark on July 17 at the grounds of Donegall Celtic FC in Belfast. The U-20s will then face Turkey two days later at the Ballymena Showgrounds before finishing group play in the eight-team tournament against Wales at the Coleraine Showgrounds on July 21. Depending on how they finish in Group 2, the U.S. will play for their final standing on July 23 in the placement match, going up against the team in Group 1 (Brazil, Russia, Northern Ireland and Israel) that finishes in the same position. The Milk Cup will help Rongen continue to prepare for the CONCACAF U-20 Qualifying Tournament in January 2005.
U-20 MNT Schedule
July 17 Denmark
July 19 Turkey
July 21 Wales
July 23 Placement Match
U-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Justin Hughes (UNC), Quentin Westberg (ESTAC Troyes – France); DEFENDERS (6): Kiel McClung (UCLA), Patrick Phelan (Enfield, Conn.), Steve Purdy (UC-Berkeley), Nathan Sturgis (St. Augustine, Fla.), Tim Ward (Waukesha, Wis), Mike Ordonez (Miami, Fla.); MIDFIELDERS (6): Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Craig Capano (Chicago Fire), Nico Colaluca (Coventry, R.I.), Stuart Holden (Clemson), Jay Denny (Stoke City – England), Sasha Klejstan (Seton Hall); FORWARDS (4): Charlie Davies (Manchester, N.H.), Chad Barrett (UCLA), Kamani Hill (Berkley, Calif.), Will John (St. Louis University).
U-17 MEN TRAVEL TO MINNESOTA THIS WEEK TO FACE CANADA AND CRUZ AZUL: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will travel to Blaine, Minn., this week to play three matches in four days, as they will have two matches against Canada’s U-17 Men’s National Team and one match against an elite youth squad from famed Mexican club Cruz Azul. The U.S. will arrive on Wednesday (July 14) and conduct three days of training in the St. Paul area before taking on Canada in their first match on Saturday (July 17) at the National Sports Center in Blaine at 7:35 p.m. CT. The following day, the U.S. will not play as Canada and Cruz Azul will go head-to-head. The U.S. will then face Cruz Azul on July 19 and Canada for the second time on July 20, with both games being played at the National Sports Center and starting at 7:35 p.m. Head coach John Ellinger is bringing a 20-player roster for the three-game event as he continues to solidify his roster for the CONCACAF U-17 Qualifying Tournament in April or May of 2005. The majority of the players on the roster will be part of the 40 players in U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program this fall, with the exception of four players – Dax McCarty, Julian Valentin, Adam Sloustcher, and Marcus Rein – who graduated this past May. Preston Zimmerman was removed from the roster on Monday after suffering an injury late last week. A replacement will be added for the trip, but the player has yet to be determined.
U-17 MNT Schedule
Date Opponent Kickoff (CT)
July 17 Canada 7:35 p.m.
July 19 Cruz Azul 7:35 p.m.
July 20 Canada 7:35 p.m.
U-17 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Marcus Rein (Modesto, Calif.), Bryant Rueckner (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.); DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Borja (Anaheim, Calif.), Richard Edgar (Mechanicsville, Md.), Jeremy Hall (Tampa, Fla.), Eric Lichaj (Downers Grove, Ill.), Ofori Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Julian Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Taylor Hoss (Vancouver, Wash.); MIDFIELDERS (7): Kevin Alston (Silver Spring, Md.), Nicolas Besagno (Maple Valley, Wash.), Michael Dal Pra (Bronxville, N.Y), Ryan Soroka (Langhorne, Pa.), Eric Avila (Encinitas, Calif.), Dax McCarty (Maitland, Fla.), Adam Sloustcher (Pleasanton, Calif.); FORWARDS (3): Eddie Ababio (Tampa, Fla.), Quavas Kirk (Aurora, Ill.), Michael Stephens (Woodridge, Ill.).
U.S. U-16 GNT HEADS TO BRAZIL FOR THREE MATCHES THIS WEEK: The U.S. U-16 Girl's National Team will take its first and only trip abroad this year when it travels to Brazil for three matches from July 11-19. It will be the first-ever trip to Brazil for this age group. Head coach Sue Montagne-Patberg and assistant coach Jillian Ellis, the former U.S. U-21 Women's National Team head coach, will take 18 players to the state of Sao Paulo for matches against three Brazilian women's clubs. The team is scheduled to face Juventus FC on Thursday (July 15) in Limeira, before traveling to Campinas to face Gaurani on Saturday (July 17), and finishes up the tour with a match against Santos FC in Sao Paulo on Sunday (July 18). The squad may also have a match against the Brazilian U-19s, who are headed to the FIFA U-19 World Championship in Thailand in November. The U.S. roster features five players from the N.Y./N.J. area and three players from Arizona, as well as Casey Nogueira, the daughter of indoor soccer's greatest goalkeeper of all-time, Victor Noguiera.
U-16 GNT Schedule
July 15 Juventus FC
July 17 Gaurani
July 18 Sao Paolo
U-16 GNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Chantal Jones (Richmond, Va.), Alyssa Naeher (Seymour, Conn.); DEFENDERS (6): Jane Alukonis (Cocoa Beach, Fla.), Hannah Cerrone (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Lindsey Johnson (Phoenix, Ariz.), Lauren Switzer (St. Charles, Ill.), Lauren Wilmoth (Garland, Tex.); MIDFIELDERS (4): Carolyn Blank (Toms River, N.J.), Ali Hawkins (Encinitas, Calif.), Melissa Hayes (Cave Creek, Ariz.), C.J. Ludemann (Holtsville, N.Y.); FORWARDS (6): Rachel Given (Ridgeland, Mass.), Jessica McDonald (Phoenix, Ariz.), Ashley Moore (Clifton Park, N.Y.), Casey Nogueira (Cedarburg, Wis.), Kelly O'Hara (Fayetteville, Ga.), Nikki Washington (Mesquite, Texas).
– LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP UPDATE –
A-LEAGUE VS. MLS OPEN CUP BATTLES BEGIN WEDNESDAY IN PORTLAND: The 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup resumes play on Wednesday (July 14) as the Portland Timbers (A-League) host the San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) in the franchise's first home Open Cup match ever. The final eight MLS teams will join the Open Cup in this round, and their opponents will be six A-League teams as well as the Columbus Crew and Dallas Burn, who made it safely out of the third round. Three Premier Development League teams forced overtime versus A-League opponents in the third round, but none prevailed as each of the lower division teams lost in the third round. The Richmond Kickers scored in the 94th minute to top the Cape Cod Crusaders, the Minnesota Thunder tallied in the 116th minute to beat the Boulder Rapids Reserve and the Atlanta Silverbacks scored in the final minute of overtime versus the Carolina Dynamo in the three most dramatic matches of the night. The balance of the fourth round matches will be played on July 20 and 21. For complete schedule information and the latest news and stats from the U.S. Open Cup, log on to ussoccer.com.
Fourth Round Schedule
# Date Match-up Venue; City Kickoff (local)
25 July 14 San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) at Portland Timbers (A) PGE Park; Portland, Ore. 7 p.m. PT
26 July 20 Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) at Minnesota Thunder (A) Metrodome; Minneapolis, Minn. 7 p.m. CT
27 July 20 Colorado Rapids (MLS) at Dallas Burn (MLS) Cotton Bowl; Dallas, Texas 7 p.m. CT
28 July 20 Rochester Rhinos (A) at New England Revolution (MLS) Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass. 7:30 p.m. ET
29 July 20 Chicago Fire (MLS) at Columbus Crew (MLS) Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio 7:30 p.m. ET
30 July 20 Kansas City Wizards (MLS) at Atlanta Silverbacks (A) DeKalb Stadium; Clarkston, Ga. 7:45 p.m. ET
31 July 20 MetroStars (MLS) at Charleston Battery (A) Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C. 7:30 p.m. ET
32 July 21 D.C. United (MLS) at Richmond Kickers (A) Univ. of Richmond Stadium; Richmond, Va. 7 p.m. ET
– AROUND THE SOCCER WORLD –
MLS NAMES 2004 ALL-STAR STARTERS, RESERVES FOR JULY 31 MATCH IN D.C.: MLS finalized the 18-man rosters of the East and West teams for the 2004 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game to be played on Saturday, July 31 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. (live on ABC at 2 p.m. ET). East Head Coach Peter Nowak (D.C. United) and West Head Coach Sigi Schmid (Los Angeles Galaxy) named a combined total of 13 reserve selections in addition to the pair of "Commissioner's Picks" (one per conference: Adu for the East, Kreis for the West) selected by MLS Commissioner Don Garber. Eight of the 15 reserve selections received their first career All-Star selection, joining 10 other first-time All-Stars from the list of starters unveiled on July 9. Both the defending champion San Jose Earthquakes and finalist Chicago Fire led the list of starters with five players on the respective rosters. Defender Eddie Pope, in his seventh All-Star Game, was the leading vote-getter in balloting among MLS players while also tied with Donovan in balloting by the coaches, GMs and media. Pope will be joined by 17-year-old midfielder Eddie Gaven, who becomes the youngest player ever selected to start an MLS All-Star Game. The 22 starters were selected through balloting of fans, media, MLS players and the league's coaches and general managers, with each group representing 25 percent of the final tally. Below are the final 18-player rosters:
Western Conference (* denotes starter)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kevin Hartman (L.A. Galaxy), Pat Onstad* (S.J. Earthquakes); DEFENDERS (5): Jeff Agoos* (S.J. Earthquakes), Chris Albright* (L.A. Galaxy), Jimmy Conrad (K.C. Wizards), Cory Gibbs* (Dallas Burn), Pablo Mastroeni* (Colorado Rapids); MIDFIELDERS (6): Landon Donovan* (S.J. Earthquakes), Andreas Herzog* (L.A. Galaxy), Chris Klein (K.C. Wizards), Richard Mulrooney* (S.J. Earthquakes), Ronnie O’Brien* (Dallas Burn), Kerry Zavagnin (K.C. Wizards); FORWARDS (5): Brian Ching (S.J. Earthquakes), Jovan Kirovski (L.A. Galaxy), Jason Kreis (Dallas Burn), Carlos Ruiz (L.A. Galaxy), Josh Wolff (K.C. Wizards).
Eastern Conference (* denotes starter)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Henry Ring* (Chicago Fire), Jon Busch (Columbus Crew); DEFENDERS (4): Jim Curtin* (Chicago Fire), Frankie Hejduk* (Columbus Crew), Ryan Nelsen* (D.C. United), Eddie Pope* (MetroStars); MIDFIELDERS (7): Chris Armas* (Chicago Fire), DaMarcus Beasley* (Chicago Fire), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Clint Dempsey (N.E. Revolution), Eddie Gaven* (MetroStars), Amado Guevara* (MetroStars), Ben Olsen (D.C. United); FORWARDS (5): Freddy Adu (D.C. United), Alecko Eskandarian (D.C. United), Jaime Moreno* (D.C. United), Pat Noonan (N.E. Revolution), Damani Ralph* (Chicago Fire).
FUTSAL TEAM PICKS UP WIN OVER MEXICO IN QUALIFYING PREPARATION MATCHES: The U.S. Futsal National Team beat and tied Mexico in a pair of matches last weekend as the team prepares for the CONCACAF Final Qualifying Tournament, which begins on July 24 in Heredia, Costa Rica. The U.S. topped Mexico 3-1 on July 9 with a pair of unanswered goals in the second half. In the second game of the series the following day, Matt Tanzani scored in the second half as the U.S. picked up a come-from-behind tie. These matches were the final chance for head coach Keith Tozer to evaluate his team before he selects his 12-player roster for the tournament early this week. The team will depart on Sunday (July 19) for Costa Rica for a few days of training prior to the beginning of the tournament. The U.S. will open its qualifying campaign against Panama on July 24, and round out its group play on July 26 against Guyana and July 28 against Cuba. From there the U.S. will hope to advance to the semifinals on July 30, where the winner of the two semifinal matches will qualify for the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship being played from Nov. 21-Dec. 5 in Chinese Tapei. Both finalists will play for the CONCACAF crown on July 31. The U.S. earned a spot in the eight-team final round competition after sweeping Honduras in a two game series in May in Milwaukee, Wis.
*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: With Brazil, Colombia and Mexico all looking sharp and leading the way at Copa America 2004, and Argentina advancing depending on the outcome of their match with Uruguay on Tuesday (July 13), it should make for some excellent attack-minded quarterfinal matches on Saturday (July 17) and Sunday (July 18) to pick up where the exciting Euro 2004 took off.
SOCCER SHOCKER: Greece made a huge jump in the FIFA World Rankings, rocketing up the charts like the new Usher single from 35th to 14th place after they ran roughshod over Euro 2004. It’s also a bit surprising to realize that at the seventh place spot, the U.S. is ahead of long-time world powers like England (#8), Italy (#9), Argentina (#11) and Germany (tie for #12).
QUOTABLE: "We do so little in the grand scheme of things. You go to hospitals to see kids or go to schools and visit with kids and things. Teachers are doing this stuff every day. Doctors and nurses are doing it all day long. I come in for an hour, tell some jokes and I get an award. I'm proud of it, but it's a little embarrassing."
--D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen, who won the team's Humanitarian of the Year award in 2003 (The Patriot-News)