ARENA TO ANNOUNCE 18-MAN ROSTER FOR MAY 8 MATCH VS. MEXICO IN HOUSTON: U.S. Men's National Team manager Bruce Arena will announce an 18-man roster for the upcoming match versus Mexico tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET exclusively on ussoccer.com, which underwent a design facelift last week. The U.S. enters the border battle, which is set for May 8 at Houston's Reliant Stadium, with a psychological edge after defeating their fiercest rival edge 2-0 in the Round of 16 at the 2002 World Cup almost 10 months ago, giving the U.S. a win in five of their last six meetings. More than 45,000 tickets have already been sold for what is being billed as "Revancha en la Cancha" and will broadcast live on both ESPN2 and Telemundo at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets for the biggest soccer game in Houston history, which is being presented by Budweiser, are still available in the $27-$50 range and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Texas (including Fiesta, Foley's and Wherehouse Music), by phone at 713-629-3700 and on-line at ussoccer.com. Groups of 30 or more can order tickets by calling toll free at 877-635-2002. Tickets are also available at the stadium ticket office.
FRIEDEL NAMED TO ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE YEAR FOR 2002-03: U.S. international goalkeeper Brad Friedel's outstanding success for both club and country have culminated in him becoming the first American ever named to the English Premier League Team of the Year. The awards banquet, held in London last night, honored the top 11 players in the league as voted on by the Professional Footballer's Association. Friedel has had a remarkable season in 2002-03, leading Blackburn Rovers to the Worthington Cup trophy and earning Man of the Match honors in the process. "Big Brad" then took his shot-stopping abilities to the world stage, helping guide the United States to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan for the first time in 72 years. Starting all five matches in Korea, he became one of only two goalkeepers in history to save two penalty kicks in the first round of the World Cup. He has been a dominating presence in the goal for Blackburn this year, appearing in 35 league matches and posting 15 shutouts (including victories against both Manchester United and Arsenal) as they made a run toward the top of the EPL table. Friedel, 31, is the second-most capped goalkeeper in U.S. history and was named the 2002 U.S. Soccer Chevy Male Athlete of the Year.
MacMILLAN NOTCHES FIRST FOUR-GOAL GAME AS U.S. ROUTS YOUNG CANADA TEAM: The U.S. Women's National Team went down a goal early but then rolled through a young Canadian team, scoring six consecutive times to win 6-1 at RFK Stadium. Shannon MacMillan scored four of those goals, including the final three of the match, while Kristine Lilly and Julie Foudy added a goal each. With a start in today's match, Lilly registered her 250th career cap for the U.S., extending her world record for international appearances among both men and women. The hat trick for MacMillan was the third of her career, and it was her first four-goal game. She joins Michelle Akers, Brandi Chastain, Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett as the only players to score at least four goals in one game. After powering a free kick past Canada 'keeper Erin McLeod to equalize in the 16th minute, MacMillan scored an equally spectacular goal in the 55th minute, beating the offside trap and running onto a bouncing pass from Aly Wagner and striking a perfect dipping lob from almost 40 yards out that easily beat the stranded goalkeeper. MacMillan made it a hat trick in the 78th minute, running onto a chipped pass from Wagner in the left side of the penalty area, and dribbling in alone on McLeod before lifting the ball over the shoulder of the sliding 'keeper. MacMillan completed her brilliant afternoon less than a minute later, slotting the ball into the right corner from 16 yards out after running onto a pass from Kristine Lilly. The four goals for MacMillan up her career total to 58 and move her past Cindy Parlow into fifth place on the all-time goals list and past Carin Gabarra into fifth place on the all-time points list with 159.
KATIA LEADS BRAZIL TO BERTH IN WORLD CUP FINALS; AFC QUALIFIERS RESCHEDULED: San Jose CyberRays forward Katia scored five goals as Brazil defeated Colombia 12-0 yesterday to win the four-team CONMEBOL qualifying tournament and earn passage to China for the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup. Katia's CyberRays teammate Pretinha added two goals in the rout of Colombia. Brazil had defeated Argentina 3-2 on April 23 and Peru 3-0 on April 25 to win the tournament with a full nine points. By finishing second at tournament, Argentina (four points) qualified for its first ever Women's World Cup. Needing just a tie in their last match against host Peru, the Argentines got just that, drawing 1-1. Argentina becomes just the second Spanish-speaking country to qualify for a Women's World Cup after Mexico did so in 1999. In other Women's World Cup news, the Asian Football Confederation Qualifying Tournament, which was originally scheduled for April 17-30 but was postponed due to concerns about S.A.R.S., will be played from June 10-22, 2003, in Bangkok, Thailand. The qualification of the two South American teams leaves just three spots undecided: two from Asia and the final berth, which will be decided in a playoff between Mexico (CONCACAF third place team) and the third place finisher in the Asian qualifying tournament.
China 2003 WWC Qualifiers (13 of 16 decided)
CONCACAF: Canada, United States
EUROPE: Russia, France, Sweden, Germany, Norway
AFRICA: Ghana, Nigeria
SOUTH AMERICA: Brazil, Argentina
-- U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --
UNDER-19 WOMEN ARRIVE IN CHULA VISTA FOR TRAINING CAMP: The U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team arrived in Chula Vista, Calif., on Saturday for a nine-day training camp at ARCO Olympic Training Center. During the camp, the team will play the WUSA's San Diego Spirit on Wednesday (April 30). U.S. U-19 WNT head coach Tracy Leone has called in a 28-player roster full of high school standouts.
Goalkeepers (3): Ashlyn Harris (Satellite Beach, Fla.), Ashley Philips (West Peabody, Mass.), Julie Ryder (Dekalb, Ill.);
Defenders (9): Jen Buzckowski (Elk Grove Village, Ill.), Mary Castelanelli (Lodi, Calif.), Laura Comeau (Leigh, N.H.), Stephanie Logterman (Austin, Texas), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Denay Riley (Washingtonville, N.Y.), Becky Sauerbrunn (St. Louis, Mo.), Megan Schnur (Butler, Penn.), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.);
Midfielders (8): Amy Berend (Lewisville, Texas), Jessica Bruch (St. Louis, Mo.), Shannon Foley (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), Jamie Gilbert (North Andover, Mass.), Stephanie Kron (Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Darby Kroyer (San Ramon, Calif.), Lorraine Quinn (Farmingdale, N.Y.), Hayley Siegle (Elicott City, Md.);
Forwards (8): Bristyn Davis (Locust Valley, N.Y.), Tina Estrada (Fremont, Calif.), Sheree Gray (Toms River, N.J.), Libby Guess (Athens, Ga.), Kerri Hanks (Allan, Texas), Megan Rapinoe (Redding, Calif.), Julia Schnugg (Alamo, Calif.), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.)
UNDER-16 GIRLS ARRIVE IN IRELAND FOR BALLYMENA INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT: The U.S. Under-16 Girls National Team arrived in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday to take part in the Ballymena International Tournament this weekend (May 2-5). The U-16 GNT will face Northern Ireland, Scotland and England in the tournament. The team conducted training sessions today and Sunday, and will play a friendly against a U-19 Ireland selection team tomorrow (April 29). U.S. Under-16 WNT head coach Sue Montagne Patberg has called in a 18-player roster for the tournament.
Goalkeepers (2): Kelsey Davis (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Meagan McCray (San Francisco, Calif.);
Defenders (4): Melissa Clarke (Norcross, Ga.), Nicole Krzysik (Clifton, N.J.), Kasey Moore (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Stefani Rocco (Sacramento, Calif.);
Midfielders (7): Carolyn Blank (Toms River, N.J.), Brittany Bock (Chicago, Ill.), Cydne Currie (Irving, Texas), Janae Godoy (Yakima, Wash.), Melissa Hayes (Cave Creek, Ariz.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Elizabeth Redmond (Morristown, N.J.);
Forwards (5): Mandy Moraca (Mantua, N.J.), Ashley Myers (Bel Air, Md.), Alexa Orand (Orange, Calif.), Amy Rodriquez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Nicole Washington (Mesquite, Texas).
U-15 BOYS HEAD TO CHULA VISTA FOR TRAINING CAMP: The U.S. Under-15 Boys National Team will be heading to Chula Vista, Calif., for a week-long training camp that begins on Sunday (May 4). U-15 MNT head coach Ken Lolla has called in a 32-player roster for the week-long camp, which has the team playing six games over the course of three days.
Goalkeepers (4): Francisco Hernandez (Fresno, Calif.), Evan Newton (Virginia Beach, Va.), Bryant Rueckner (Fontana, Calif.), Kevin Sweetland (Hartford, Conn.);
Defenders (11): Chris Cano (Staten Island, N.Y.), Richard Edgar (Mechanicsville, Md.), Jesse Henderson (West Bloomfield, Mich.), Eric Lichaj (Downers Grove, Ill.), Ofori Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Jeffrey Scannella (Alpharetta, Ga.), Kenneth Walker (Wickliffe, Ohio), Taylor Waspi (Deer Park, Ill.), Sam Westberg (St. Cloud, France), Mark Wiltse (Belle Mead, N.J.), Christopher Ye (Englewood, Calif.);
Midfielders (12): Fredua Adu (Potomac, Md.), Anthony Ampaiptakwong (Dallas, Texas), Joe Castaldo (Atlanta, Ga.), Michael Dalpra (Bronxville, N.Y.), Juan Guzman (Charlotte, N.C.), Bret Merchant (Modesto, Calif.), Kyle Nakazawa (Palos Verdes East, Calif.), Bahram Sajjadi (Arlington, Texas), Tommy Stackhouse (Flemington, N.J.), Blake Wagner (Tampa, Fla.), Jonathon Villanueva (Dallas, Texas), Drew Yates (Pasadena, Calif.);
Forwards (5): Jose Angulo (Clifton, N.J.), Bruce Ayala (Maspeth, N.Y.), Cameron Jordan (Ft. Wayne, Ind.), Quavas Kirk (Aurora, Ill.), Ryan Soroka (Langhorne, Pa.).
-- AROUND THE SOCCER WORLD --
HONDURAS, MARTINIQUE ARE LAST TO QUALIFY FOR 2003 GOLD CUP: Honduras topped host Martinique 4-2 last night at the Stade Dillon in Fort-de-France to finish first in the three-nation Interzone Playoffs that qualified two teams for the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer. Prior to the triangular event's final match, Honduras and Martinique had already clinched the two berths to the Gold Cup competition after both squads posted victories over the competition's third team, Trinidad & Tobago, last week.
April 23 Martinique 3, T&T 2
April 25 Honduras 2, T&T 0
April 27 Honduras 4, Martinique 2
2003 CONCACAF GOLD CUP GROUPS, SCHEDULES FINALIZED: After Honduras and Martinique claimed the final two berths at the Interzone Playoffs over the weekend, CONCACAF finalized the groups and schedules for the 2003 Gold Cup Group. The 12-team event will have 10 CONCACAF teams and two invited squads from CONMEBOL (Brazil, Colombia) competing from July 12-27 in three cities: Foxboro, Mass., and Miami, Fla., as well as Mexico City. The 2003 competition will have the three previous champions from the six prior Gold Cup tournaments: Canada (2000), Mexico (1993, 1996-1998) and the USA (1991, 2002). Interzone Playoff winner Honduras will play its Gold Cup opening round matches at the Estadio Azteca in a Group A that includes five-time FIFA world champion Brazil and host Mexico. Martinique, who finished second in the three-team playoff series, has been placed in Group C at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, along with El Salvador and USA. Group D, also in Foxboro, includes Canada, Costa Rica and Cuba. Group B, to be played at Miami's Orange Bowl, has Guatemala, Jamaica and the 2001 Copa America champion Colombia. Matches in Groups A and B will be played on July 13, 15 and 17, while Groups C and D will play on July 12, 14 and 16. Quarterfinals 1 and 2 will be played in Foxboro on July 19, while Quarterfinal 3 will be played in Mexico City and Quarterfinal 4 in Miami, both on July 20. Semifinal 1 will be played July 23 in Miami, while Semifinal 2 will be held the following evening in Mexico City. The third-place match is set for July 26 at the Orange Bowl, with the final on Sunday afternoon July 27 at Estadio Azteca.
Group A (Mexico City): Brazil, Honduras, Mexico
Group B (Miami): Colombia, Guatemala, Jamaica
Group C (Foxboro): El Salvador, Martinique, USA
Group D (Foxboro): Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba
CLUB AMERICA ADVANCES, GIVES MEXICO ALL FOUR SPOTS IN CHAMPIONS CUP SEMIS: Although they suffered a 3-1 loss to LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica, Club América advanced to make it an all-Mexican final four in the CONCACAF Champions Cup by winning the quarterfinal tie between the two clubs 5:3 on aggregate. From the start, América was looking merely to defend the 4-0 advantage gained in the first leg at the Estadio Azteca last week. América will now face CD Toluca FC in one semifinal matchup, with CA Monarcas Morelia and CD Necaxa meeting in the other, as the opening matches in both ties are set for Wednesday (April 30). The second leg of the Morelia-Necaxa series is slated for May 7, while América and Toluca will battle in the final match of their series on May 14. This is first time in the 41-year history of the competition that the final four features teams all from the same country.
MEXICO CLAIMS THIRD CONCACAF SPOT TO FIFA UNDER-17 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Mexico earned the third and final CONCACAF spot for the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Finland this past Saturday, beating Jamaica 5-0 at Estadio Azul in Mexico City to win the home-and-home playoff series 7-0 on aggregate score. Two weeks ago, Mexico beat Jamaica in the first leg 2-0 in Kingston. Mexico, who joins Costa Rica and the USA as the CONCACAF representatives for the World Championship, will be making their seventh overall appearance and first since New Zealand in 1999. The USA finished ahead of Jamaica in Group A qualifying in Guatemala City, while Mexico were runner-ups to Costa Rica in Group B held in Victoria, B.C. Canada. Along with the three CONCACAF teams, Finland, Korea Republic, Yemen, China PR and Australia have all secured spots in the 16-team field for the World Championship, which will be held from August 13-30.
U.S. DEAF SOCCER TEAM TAKES FIRST AT TOURNAMENT IN BELGIUM: USA Deaf Soccer Association's (USADSA) U.S. Men's Deaf National Team took first place at the Belgium International Invitational Soccer Tournament in Kortrijk on April 19 and 20. The first-place finish was the best ever in a tournament for the U.S. Men's Deaf National Team since they began competing in 1981. The team was led by head coach Peter R. Cornell and assistant head coach Kyle Cornell, and compiled a 2-0-3 record in the five-game tournament. "Everybody contributed and the outcome should not be a surprise," said Peter Cornell after the championship. "We have some very good players. We did, however, play some very tough teams, especially from England." Mike Lawson, a freshman at the Rochester Institute of Technology was selected MVP of the tournament, while Mike Higgins, a freshman at the George Washington University, led the team with four points. The United States Women's Team earned seventh place in a very difficult indoor setting. The event in Kortrijk marked the first time the USA has sent both National Teams to participate in the same tournament.
SOCCER VACATIONS ANNOUNCES TRIP TO FRANCE FOR 2003 CONFEDERATIONS CUP: Soccer Vacations, the Official Travel Package Provider of U.S. Soccer, has announced a unique trip package for fans to follow the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup in France, where they will open against 2002 World Cup quarterfinalist Turkey on June 19 in St. Etienne, followed by group matches against defending world champs Brazil and current African champs Cameroon in Lyon on June 21 and 23, respectively. For more info, contact Soccer Vacations at
www.soccervacations.com on the web or toll free at 877-667-5338
DEADLINE FOR CREDENTIAL APPLICATIONS FOR 2004 OLYMPICS THREE WEEKS AWAY: All journalists and photographers interested in covering the 2004 Men's and/or Women's Olympic Soccer Tournaments have just three weeks left to apply for credentials online by visiting: http://www.usocpressbox.org/ and searching under Media Registration. The U.S.O.C. deadline for all media credentials applications for the 2004 Olympics is May 20, 2003. FIFA itself will not issue any accreditation for these events, which are part of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games to be held in Athens and various other venues under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Olympic Men's and Women's Football Tournaments will be contested in August 2004 in five venues: Athens, Heraklio, Patra, Thessaloniki and Volos.
U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT
PEAK PERFORMER: A week after earning Peak Performer honors for registering a goal, assist and goal-clearing header to help the San Diego Spirit win their home opener, U.S. Women's National Team midfielder/forward Shannon MacMillan had an equally dominant performance in turning a 1-0 deficit to a 6-1 rout in Saturday's win over Canada. Her four goals, including a natural hat trick in the second half, moved her to fifth place all-time on U.S. WNT list for both goals and total points and also gave here the team scoring lead in 2003 with 13 points (six goals, one assist). On top of that, after flying back West after the game Saturday night, she assisted on the tying goal in a 2-1 win over the San Jose CyberRays yesterday in San Diego.
SOCCER SHOCKER: Down 2-0 with 17 minutes to go, relegation bait Bolton mounted a fantastic comeback to earn a 2-2 tie with Arsenal in front of their home crowd at Reebok Stadium. The win lifted Wanderers out of the relegation zone and also robbed Arsenal of a crucial three points, likely costing their last chance to make a run at Manchester United for the English Premier League crown.
"This was the effort we've been looking for. Our boys are still not happy, but if we bring this type of football back to D.C., we'll be heading into the right direction. I've been watching games this week and I believe we are the best team in the Eastern Conference. We are putting on a great show for MLS".
- A strong opinion from United head coach Ray Hudson, whose United team is still winless (0-1-2) after a 1-1 tie with the also winless Colorado Rapids (0-1-1) and sits in last place among five teams in the East.