ARENA TO ANNOUNCE ROSTER FOR GERMANY ON WEDNESDAY CONFERFENCE CALL: U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bruce Arena will announce his 20-player roster on a conference call this Wednesday (March 20) at 3 p.m. ET, in advance of the USA’s match against Germany in Rostock, Germany on March 27. The conference call will also feature midfielder Claudio Reyna, who will be calling in from his home in England. The U.S. is currently off to its best-ever start with just one loss in eight games (at Italy on Feb. 13) and a run to their second Gold Cup championship. The USA-Germany match can be seen tape delayed on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET and Telemundo at 11:30 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow the action live from Germany online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics, beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET.
U.S. LOOKING FOR THREE IN A ROW AGAINST GERMANS: The U.S. MNT will be looking to extend an unprecedented streak against one of the top teams in the world when the U.S. travels to Rostock, Germany, to face the three-time world champions on March 27. The U.S. has shutout Germany in their last two encounters, winning 3-0 on Feb. 6, 1999, in Jacksonville, Fla., and 2-0 on July 30, 1999,at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico. Those matches mark the only time the U.S. has posted consecutive shutouts against a European team in a calendar year. The March 27 match marks the first USA-Germany game on German soil since the country’s unification. The U.S. and Germany became familiar foes in the 1990s, playing seven times (including two U.S. matches against East Germany). The U.S. holds a 2-3-0 record against Germany, and a 0-2-0 record against East Germany. The Germans last lifted the World Cup in Italy 1990 and are the only team in history to reach the championship game in three straight tournaments (1982, 1986, 1990). In addition, they are three-time winners of the European Championship (1972, 1980 & 1996.)
CASEY CONTINUES SCORING STREAK: Conor Casey scored the opening goal in Hannover’s 4-0 win over SSV Reutlingen on Saturday, continuing a recent tear in which he has started the last three matches for Hannover and has tallied three goals in the last four games – including two game-winning goals. In the three matches Casey has started, Hannover has outscored their opponents 10-2. Hannover, where Steve Cherundolo has been a mainstay in the line-up all season, has posted an 18-1-7 league record to date, not losing their first league game until February 6. Casey came to Hannover on loan from Borussia Dortmund, where he was unable to break into the first team after leading Dortmund’s amateur team – and the league – in scoring. In all, Casey has appeared in 11 matches for Hannover and totaled four goals.
MLS SEASON KICKS OFF: The 2002 MLS season kicks off on Saturday, with all 10 teams in action. The 26-game regular season will run through Sept. 22, and 85% of the league’s matches will take place on weekends or holidays. Some of the highlights on the opening weekend include the Fire traveling to Columbus to take on the Crew in a match that will be televised live on ABC at 4 p.m. ET. D.C. United renews their cross-continental rivalry with the Galaxy and defending MLS Cup champions San Jose face Dallas, in a match between two teams who recently swapped star strikers when the Burn sent Ariel Graziani to San Jose in return for Ronald Cerritos.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS MEDICINE CONFERENCE IN BEVERLY HILLS: The leaders from the world of soccer and medicine will come together this weekend at the first ever International Football and Sports Medicine Conference being staged at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., from March 22-24, 2002. With the world’s foremost experts addressing long-term health and safety issues for athletes worldwide at every level of soccer competition, the conference promises to be an educational experience. The conference is open to practicing professionals in the field of Sports Medicine, as well as to coaches and players at every level of the sport. For more information, or to sign up for the conference’s mailing list, send an email to email@example.com.
MNT EURO UPDATE: Blackburn and Brad Friedel surrendered two goals in the first 15 minutes, falling to Leeds 2-0 and sitting barely above the relegation zone in 16th place. Claudio Reyna remained sidelined for Sunderland's 4-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea, although the move to keep him out of the line-up seemed precautionary. Joe-Max Moore entered at the interval in Everton's 2-1 win against Fulham in the first match for new manager David Moyes. The victory ended an eight-match winless run for the Blues. Jovan Kirovski also got the half-time nod for Crystal Palace, the Eagles continuing a four-match skid with a 1-0 loss to league-leaders Manchester City. John Thorrington went the distance as Huddersfield Town made it three in a row with a 1-0 victory against Cambridge United. Greg Vanney made his 10th straight appearance for FC Bastia as they drew 0-0 with FC Lorient. John O'Brien played his 20th league match of the year for top of the table Ajax. The Amsterdam side are unbeaten in nine matches, running out 2-0 winners against Heerenveen. Earnie Stewart played 84 minutes in NAC Breda's 1-1 draw away to Roda JC. In Germany, Tony Sanneh and FC Nurnberg suffered their second straight shutout loss, falling 1-0 to Borussia MG. Nurnberg are hovering just above the relegation zone in the 15th position. Cory Gibbs appeared for FC St. Pauli as their four-match unbeaten run came to a screeching halt with the 4-0 loss to Energie Cottbus. Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 made it five straight wins, defeating SSV Reutlingen 4-0 and moving 10 points clear at the top of the 2nd Bundesliga table.
“CENTER CIRCLE” AVAILABLE AT www.ussoccerfan.com: U.S. Soccer’s cutting edge e-zine, “Center Circle” is now available online at www.ussoccerfan.com. The monthly e-zine allows fans an inner glimpse into the off-the-field lives of some of the USA’s top soccer players. In this month’s issue, learn what Landon Donovan thinks about all the hype, why Jordan Stone has a huge head of hair, and read Aly Wagner’s picks for the Oscars and Joy Fawcett’s life as the ultimate “soccer mom.”
— U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE —
U.S. UNDER-20s FINISH TOUR OF MEXICO WITH ONE WIN, TWO DRAWS: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team traveled south of the border last week, playing three matches in Guadalajara, Mexico. The U.S. Under-20s opened the trip with a 2-1 win over Gallos de Jalisco, a Mexican second-division club. Knox Cameron and Ed Johnson scored in the win for the U.S. The U.S. wrapped up their three-game tour with two draws against a Central Mexico Regional Team that is comprised of nearly three-quarters of Mexico’s Youth National Team. Tyson Wahl opened the scoring for the U.S. in the sixth minute, but Central Mexico Regional Team equalized three minutes later. The match finishd 1-1. The teams drew 0-0 in a rematch two days later, with Steve Cronin and Adam Schuerman each playing one half in the nets, but neither were forced to make a save.
U.S. Under-20 Men in Guadalajara, Mexico
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goalscorers
March 26 Gallos De Jalisco 2-1 W Cameron, E. Johnson
March 27 Central Mexico Reg. 1-1 T Wahl
March 30 Central Mexico Reg. 0-0 T -
U.S. UNDER-17s FALL TO MYPA, 4-1, PREPARE FOR TRIP TO FRANCE: The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team returned from the Mundialito Joao Havelange last week, where they topped Uruguay 3-0 to finish the tournament in 5th place. The Under-17s faced Finish first division side MyPa on Thursday in Bradenton, Fla., falling 4-1 in a match much closer than the scoreline showed. The Under-17s rebounded with a 4-0 win against an Under-19 Lakeland club team on Saturday. Guillermo Gonzalez scored for the U.S. in both matches, and has tallied five goals in the last four games. Corey Ashe added two assists in the win. The Under-17s will face the University of South Florida on March 20 and then depart on March 23 for the Montaigue Tournament in Montaigue, France. Following is a complete match schedule for the U.S. in France:
Montaigue Tournament – Montaigue, France
Date Opponent Kickoff Time
March 26 Portugal 6 p.m. local
March 27 Tunisia 4 p.m. local
March 30 Semis / placement TBD
April 1 Final / placement TBD
U-21 AND U-19 OPEN WUSA TRAINING CAMP WITH 1-1 DRAW: The WUSA West Coast Preseason Tournament, featuring the San Diego Spirit, the San Jose CyberRays, the U.S. Under-21 and U.S. Under-19 Women's National Teams and the U.S. Amateur Team, opened yesterday as the U-21s tied the U-19s, 1-1, at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in San Diego, while the Spirit tied the CyberRays, 2-2, on a rainy night in front of 3,337 fans at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium. The U-21s, lead by head coach Jerry Smith, opened the scoring against Tracey Leone's U-19s as Laura Schott finished a rebound of a Joanna Lohman's shot in the 33rd minute. The U-19s, deep in preparation for the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the first-ever U-19 Women's World Championships, got an equalizer in the 77th minute from Kelly Cox, who is in her first camp with the U-19s. About 100 miles North, the Spirit and the CyberRays battled on a hard and slick field, but produced some fine soccer and quality goals. Shannon MacMillan, fresh off her seven-goals-in-four-games performance at the Algarve Cup for the U.S. Women's National Team, opened the scoring in the 9th minute. Brazilian Katia equalized in the 14th minute with a brilliant strike from distance and CyberRays captain Tisha Venturini-Hoch put her team ahead in the 37th minute with a finesse finish. The Spirit tied the match in the 74 minute through a solo effort from Shauna Rohbock. Following is the schedule for the remaining matches of the WUSA West Coast Preseason:
WUSA - West Coast Preseason Tournament Schedule
March 17-23, 2002 – ARCO Olympic Training Center
Tuesday, March 19
10 a.m. U-19 WNT vs. San Jose CyberRays
10 a.m. U-21 WNT vs. San Diego Spirit
1 p.m. U-21 WNT vs. San Jose CyberRays
3 p.m. U.S. Amateur Team vs. San Diego Spirit
Thursday, March 21
10 a.m. U-19 WNT vs. San Diego Spirit
10 a.m. U-21 WNT vs. U.S. Amateur Team
Saturday, March 23
TBD U-21 WNT vs. U-19 WNT
7:00 San Diego Spirit vs. San Jose CyberRays in Las Vegas
U.S. UNDER-16 GIRLS PREPARE FOR THREE INTERNATIONALS IN BRADENTON, FLA.: The U.S. Under-16 Girl’s National Team played their first internationals of 2002 this past week, facing Germany twice and ending the week with a match against northern rivals Canada. The U.S. Under-16s, who posted a 7-0-2 record in 2001, faced stiff competition from the Germans, losing the opener 1-0 on March 11, and then battling back for a tough 2-2 draw on March 13. Angela Woznuk and Amanda Cinalli tallied for the U.S. in the win, with Cinalli netting the equalizer in the 79th minute. Steve Swanson’s squad ended the camp in Bradenton, Fla., with a 3-1 win against Canada on Friday. Amy Burlingham, Elizabeth Guess and Adele Letro each scored for the U.S. The U.S. Under-16s are scheduled to regroup in late May for a slate of games in Europe.
Under-16 Girls in Bradenton, Fla. – March 9-15
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goalscorers
March 11 Germany 0-1 L -
March 13 Germany 2-2 T Woznuk, Cinalli
March 15 Canada 3-1 W Burlingham, Guess, Letro
— AROUND THE SOCCER NATION —
U.S. FUTSAL TEAM READIES FOR FIRST-EVER HOME MATCHES: U.S. Futsal National Team Head Coach Keith Tozer has called in 17 players for a training camp in Washington, D.C. this week, the team's first action in almost two years. The U.S. will be hosting their first-ever international futsal games on American soil when the team faces Canada on Wednesday, March 20, at 8 p.m. ET at UMBC, and Mexico on March 21 at American University at 7 p.m. ET. The training camp will mark the squad's first preparation for the 2004 Futsal World Championship, and first action since finishing third at the 2000 CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Costa Rica that prevented them from advancing to their fourth consecutive FIFA World Championship. "I am extremely excited about the upcoming camp in Washington D.C. and beginning our preparation for our trip to Belgium and future tournaments," said Tozer. The young U.S. squad features just seven players with previous international experience. Forwards Bernie Lilavois and defender Josh Timbers all have five caps each, while defender Pat White has three international appearances for the U.S. The Americans are no strangers to Mexico after defeating the Tri-Colores during the 2000 CONCACAF Tournament. After a hard-fought 3-2 win in the first game on July 25, 2000, the USA made it two in a row with a 5-1 victory in the second match, which was for the tournament's bronze medal, four days later (July 29). Prior to the match-up against Mexico, the USA will open the home stand against Canada in their first international meeting. Forward Mark Thomas, formerly of the Baltimore Blast, is a late addition to Keith Tozer’s 17-man line-up. Thomas played four times for the squad in 1998.
D.J. COUNTESS TRADED TO DALLAS BURN: U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team goalkeeper D.J. Countess was traded to the Dallas Burn this past week, eight months after being allocated to the Metrostars in a weighted draft. Countess did not make an appearance for the Metrostars. The Burn acquired Countess and a 2nd round selection in next year's draft from the MetroStars, who acquired Jamaican midfielder Winston Griffiths and the Burn's 1st round selection in next year's draft. Countess was the USA’s starting goalkeeper at the 1999 FIFA Under-17 World Championship and the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship. He was named the Tournament’s Top Goalkeeper at the Under-20 Group B Qualifying Tournament in Trinidad in March, 2000.
FIRE OPEN ROUND OF 16 MATCH WITH VITAL ROAD WIN: The Chicago Fire shut out Guatemalan defending champion and current Guatemalan leader CSD Municipal in the first leg of the 2002 (Round of 16) FC Champions Cup in front of over 25,000 fans at Mateo Flores Stadium in Guatemala City on Saturday. Fire midfielder Dema Kovalenko's 55th minute tally proved to be the difference, and the Fire will return home to prepare for the second leg of the international tournament next Wednesday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. CT from the Fire's new home at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville.
WIZARDS, EARTHQUAKES ADVANCE TO 2002 CHAMPIONS CUP QUARTERFINALS: The Kansas City Wizards shutout W Connection FC 2-0 at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday to advance to the second round of the 2002 Champions Cup. Mike Burns and Preki each scored for the Wizards, with the goals coming less than a minute apart in the second half. The two-goal performance gave Kansas City a 3-0 aggregate goal margin in the two game, first round series. They will face the winner of the Tauro FC (Panama) and Santos Laguna (Mexico) series in the second round. The defending MLS Champion San Jose Earthquakes advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2002 Football Confederation Champions Cup with a 3-1 home leg victory over CD Olimpia in front of a sold-out crowd at Sheldon Florin Community Stadium in Sacramento, Calif. San Jose advanced the Round of 16 by outscoring Olimpia 4-1 on aggregate goals, following the Earthquakes 1-0 victory over CD Olimpia in the away leg on March 13. The Quakes will now face the winner of the Pachuca - Defense Force FC grouping in the quarterfinals.
— A LOOK AHEAD —
A quick glance at U.S. National Team games taking place in the next two weeks …
Date Match-up Location
March 19 U.S. U-19 WNT v San Jose CyberRays Chula Vista, Calif.
March 19 U.S. U-21 WNT v San Diego Spirit Chula Vista, Calif.
March 19 U.S. U-21 WNT v San Jose CyberRays Chula Vista, Calif.
March 20 U.S. U-17 MNT v Univ of South Florida Bradenton, Fla.
March 20 U.S. Futsal Team v Canada Baltimore, Md.
March 21 U.S. U-19 WNT v San Diego Spirit Chula Vista, Calif.
March 21 U.S. U-21 WNT v National Amateurs Chula Vista, Calif.
March 21 U.S. Futsal Team v Mexico Washington, D.C.
March 23 U.S. U-21 WNT v U.S. U-19 WNT Chula Vista, Calif.
March 26 U.S. U-17 MNT v Portugal Montaigue, France
March 27 U.S. MNT v Germany Rostock, Germany
March 27 U.S. U-17 MNT v Tunisia Montaigue, France
March 30 U.S. U-17 Placement Match Montaigue, France
U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT
PEAK PERFORMER: Conor Casey tallied and went all 90 minutes in a 4-0 win over SSV Reutlingen on Saturday. Casey has started three matches for Hannover and has tallied three goals in the last four games – including two game-winning goals.
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: Major League Soccer kicks off its seventh season this Saturday (March 23) when all 10 teams are in action. The Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew renew their rivalry when they meet at Columbus Crew Stadium at 4 p.m. ET, in a match that will be broadcast live on ABC.
SOCCER SHOCKER: Hapoel Tel Aviv stunned AC Milan 1-0 in their opening UEFA Cup quarterfinal leg on Thursday. The matched was played in Nicosia, Cyprus, after UEFA ruled that Israel was too dangerous a venue for international games during the current volatile security situation. Hapoel are the first Israeli club to reach this stage of the UEFA Cup, while Milan are five time European champs.
QUOTABLE: “It's always the same, you know. Brazil are never good in qualifying games. But when they are in the finals, everything goes fine. … We must forget about what happened in the past and only focus on building up a very strong side. Brazil are always Brazil. We always play in the World Cup to win it.''
-- Brazilian star Ronaldinho in the French daily L'Equipe. Brazil lost six qualifiers in the build-up to the 2002 World Cup after previously losing just one qualifier in their history.