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U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. Men Advance to Quarterfinals of Gold Cup


U.S. MNT ADVANCES TO QUATERFINALS OF 2002 CONCACAF GOLD CUP: The U.S. Men advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup after posting back-to-back first round victories, en route to capturing the Group B Title. The USA took the group's crown with a 1-0 victory over Cuba before 31,244 at the Rose Bowl yesterday as forward Brian McBride scored the lone goal from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute.  With the victory, the U.S. improved its all-time record in Gold Cup group play to 14-0-0 and advances to the quarterfinal round for the sixth-consecutive tournament, while U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller earned his 24th career shutout. Prior to the win against Cuba, the Americans opened group play with a dramatic 2-1 victory over fellow-World Cup opponent Korea Republic on Saturday. Forward Landon Donovan opened the scoring in the 35th minute for the USA, but Korea Republic answered three minutes later as Song Chon-Gu fired a 35-yarder past Keller to level the score at 1-1. Midfielder  DaMarcus Beasley scored his first international goal two minutes into extra time for the 2-1 win before 42,117 spectators at the Rose Bowl. The U.S. awaits the Group A runner-up in the quarterfinals slated for Sunday Jan. 27 at the Rose Bowl at 2:30 p.m. PT. The U.S. will play the winner of Wednesday’s Guatemala – El Salvador match, and will play El Salvador if the teams draw.  The teams kick off at 7 p.m. PT at the Rose Bowl.

KELLER UNBEATEN IN 12 STRAIGHT MATCHES ON AMERICAN SOIL: Goalkeeper Kasey Keller earned his 26th career victory after posting his 24th career shutout in the Americans 1-0 victory over Cuba on Monday. Keller, who has  been with the USA since 1990, has not lost a decision at home in almost four years (2-0 loss to Holland on Feb. 21, 1998 in Miami, Fla.).

U.S. WNT GOLD MEDAL REMATCH WITH NORWAY TOMORROW: The U.S. Women's National Team opens the Four Nations Women's Tournament late tonight (Wed., Jan. 23, 1:30 p.m. local/12:30 a.m. ET) against Norway in the first meeting between the full squads of both teams since the 2000 Olympic gold medal match, won by Norway, 3-2.  The two teams did meet at the Algarve Cup in Portugal last March as an almost full-strength Norway side beat a young U.S. team, 4-3.  Of the 18 players on the U.S. roster for the Four Nations Tournament, only Cat Reddick, Jena Kluegel and Aleisha Cramer played in the Algarve Cup match. The Olympic loss was a heartbreaker for the U.S. Women, who outplayed the Scandinavians and tied the game 2-2 on virtually the last touch of regulation time as Tiffeny Milbrett headed in a Mia Hamm cross.  The U.S. lost in the 102nd minute of sudden death overtime on a goal from Boston Breakers forward Dagny Mellgren. After opening against Norway, the U.S. Women will continue the tournament against Germany on Jan. 25 in Panyu, before finishing the tourney in grand fashion, taking on China on Jan. 27 at Tianhe Stadium, site of the 1991 Women's World Cup Final. 
Goalkeepers: Lakeysia Beene, Jamie Pagliarulo;
Defenders: Kylie Bivens, Thori Bryan, Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Jena Kluegel, Cat Reddick, Danielle Slaton, Kate Sobrero;
Midfielders:  Aleisha Cramer, Lorrie Fair, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Aly Wagner;
Forwards:  Shannon MacMillan, Tiffeny Milbrett, Cindy Parlow.

MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE

U.S. MEN TO FACE ECUADOR IN BIRMINGHAM ON MARCH 10: The United States Men’s National Team will continue their World Cup preparations with an international friendly against fellow 2002 World Cup qualifiers Ecuador on March 10 at Legion Field Stadium in Birmingham, Ala., in a match that will be shown live on ABC at 4 pm ET.  The match will come just eight days after the U.S. faces Honduras in Seattle at Safeco Field.  Ecuador is coming off an impressive run through South American qualifying that included nine wins and four draws in 18 matches.  The surprise team of qualifying, Ecuador finished second ahead of traditional South American powers Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Colombia. The U.S. has never defeated Ecuador in eight all-time matches.

TICKETS SELLING FAST AND FURIOUS FOR U.S. – HONDURAS REMATCH IN SEATTLE:   More than 12,000 tickets have already been sold to the U.S. – Honduras friendly on March 2 at Safeco Field in Seattle.  The game will kick off at 1 p.m. PT and will be televised live on ESPN.  The VIP Midfield seats ($55) have been sold out.  Tickets can be ordered by calling TicketMaster at 206-628-0888. For more information, click here.

WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE

U.S. WOMEN LOOKING FOR WIN #200:  The next victory for the U.S. Women will be the 200th in the 18-year history of the program. Through two Women's World Cup championships and an Olympic Gold Medal, the U.S. Women's National Team's all-time record currently stands at 199-44-25 after 268 total internationals.

U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE

U-19 WOMEN CONTINUE PREPARATIONS FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING: U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team head coach Tracey Leone continues what will be a busy year for her squad with a training camp from January  26-February 2 at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.  The  U.S. U-19s will participate in CONCACAF Qualifying in Trinidad & Tobago from May 5-12, with the top two countries qualifying for the first-ever FIFA Under-19 Women's World  Championship taking place in Canada from August 17 - Sept. 1, 2002.  The USA will compete in Group B, which will be contested on the island of Tobago, while Group A will be played on Trinidad, highlighted by host T & T, Mexico and Jamaica.  Joining the USA in Group B will be Haiti and the winners of Group 2 in Caribbean Zone qualifying, along with the winner of the qualifying tournament in the Central Zone.  Following is the training camp roster:
Goalkeepers: Kim Bingham (San Ramon, Calif.), Ashlyn Harris (Satellite Beach, Fla.), Kate Taylor (Menomonee Falls, Wisc.), Megan Rivera (Miami, Fla.);
Defenders:  Lauren Zeeler (n/a), Katie Bunch (St. Louis. Mo.), Keeley Dowling (Carmel, Ind.), Jessica Ballweg (Metuchen, N.J.), Kendall Fletcher (Cary, N.C.), Jessica Trainor (Sparta, N.C.);
Midfielders: Annie Schefter (Yakima, Wash.), Brittany Cooper (Albuquerque, N.M.), Noelle Keselica (Gaithursburg, Md.), Allison Graham (Fayeteville, Ga.), Sarah Huffman (Flower Mound, Tex.) Manya Makoski (Trumbell, Conn.), Leslie Osborne (Menomonee Falls, Wisc.), Lori Chalupny (Chesterfield, Mo.);
Forwards: Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Kelly Wilson (Odessa, Tex.), Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Megan Kakadelas (Carlsbad, Calif.), Mary Boland (Hudson, Ohio), Kristin Weiss (Brecksville, Ohio).

U-23s TO TRAVEL TO EUROPE TO FACE ITALY, PLAY THREE GAMES IN PORTUGAL:  The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will embark on a four-game tour to Europe in February, playing three matches in Portugal before wrapping up the European journey against Italy in Italy.   The matches will be the USA’s first Under-23 internationals since the team finished in fourth place at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  The U.S. Under-23s (players born since Jan. 1, 1981) will open their European trek in Madiera, Portugal, competing in the Madiera International Tournament. The U.S. will face a Madeira Regional Team (February 5), Slovakia (Feb. 6) and Portugal (Feb. 8) in Portugal.  The Under-23s will then hop over to Italy, where they will face Italy on February 12.  Much of the Under-23 team is expected to be made up of former U.S. Under-20 players, many of whom were a part of the U-20 squad which topped Italy, 2-1, in Toulon, France, last May.

AROUND THE SOCCER NATION

SALYER SIGNS WITH SV WERDER BREMEN:  Former U.S. Under-20 defender Philip Salyer has signed a professional contract with German Bundesliga club SV Werder Bremen.  Salyer will begin his time in Germany playing with Werder Bremen’s amateur team.  A first choice for the U.S. Under-20s at left back in 2000-01, Salyer started the team’s first nine internationals of 2001, before falling ill at the World Youth Championship in Argentina. He finished his Under-20 career with 14 caps.   Salyer was not involved in the National Team program until 2000, when then-U.S. Under-20 head coach Wolfgang Suhnholz brought him in. Salyer did not disappoint, tallying one goal and six assists while playing primarily as a left back.  One of the most fit players on the team, Salyer appeared in 50 matches and became one of Suhnholz’s most consistent players.  Salyer is in the current pool of players for the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team, but he was on trial in Germany during the team's first training camp of 2002.

LALAS MULLS OFFER TO JOIN A-LEAGUE'S THUNDER:  Former U.S. National Team veteran Alexi Lalas is mulling an offer to play for the A-League's Minnesota Thunder during the 2002 United Soccer Leagues season.  The two-time World Cup defender spent last season with the Los Angeles Galaxy, whom he helped guide to the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship, after taking a year off from the sport in 2000.  According to reports in the Minneapolis Pioneer Press, Lalas will make a decision within the next 7 to 10 days on joining the A-League club.

BABA, MCCARTY CHOSEN IN MLS WAIVER DRAFT: The Colorado Rapids and the Columbus Crew were the only teams to add to their roster at the MLS Waiver Draft on January 17.  The Rapids reclaimed midfielder Imad Baba, just two days after placing him on waivers. Columbus reached a deal with the Wizards to acquire the fourth overall selection, and with that selection the Crew chose Chad McCarty. McCarty was a key component on the backline of the 2000 U.S. Olympic squad that advanced to the semifinals in Sydney, Australia.

DOOLEY LANDS COACHING JOB IN GERMANY:  Former U.S. Men’s National Team standout Thomas Dooley has taken over as head coach of Saarbruecken, the last-place team in the German Second Division.  Dooley played for the U.S. from 1992 until he retired from international play in 1999, earning 81 caps and playing in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups.  Dooley, who was born to an American father in Germany, grew up in Germany and played 199 first divison games for Schalke, Leverkusen, Kaiserslautern and Hamburg.  He played in MLS for the Crew and the Metrostars before retiring in 2000.

U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT

SOCCER SHOCKER:  Haiti, relative CONCACAF minnows, shocked Gold Cup invitees and 2002 World Cup qualifiers Ecuador 2-0 in the first round of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday.  An Ecuador own goal and a strike just before the end of the first half was enough for Haiti to hold on and survive a second-half barrage from Ecuador.  Ecuador, who finished second in CONMEBOL qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, entered the tournament as one of the favorites.

MARQUEE MATCH- UP:  The U.S. Men ‘s National Team, winners of Group B, will play either Guatemala or El Salvador in the Gold Cup quarterfinals on Sunday, January 27 in Pasadena, Calif.  With a win in the quarterfinals, the U.S. is guaranteed two more matches, and with a loss, the tournament is over for Bruce Arena and his boys.

PEAK PERFORMER:  DaMarcus Beasley, who entered the Gold Cup with just 3 caps, provided the U.S. with some much-needed spark in the first round.  Beasley came off the bench to score the game-winner in injury-time of the opening 2-1 win against the Korea Republic and then drew a penalty that set up the only goal in the win over Cuba.

QUOTABLE:  
“I'm happy that there weren't any rule requirements that you couldn't play teenagers today, because we'd be in trouble if that were the case.”
- Bruce Arena, after a pair of 19-year olds (Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley) scored to lead the U.S. to a 2-1 win over the Korea Republic.


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