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U.S. Soccer Wire - March 18, 2008


U.S. U-23 MNT TO FACE CANADA IN SEMFINALS OF
2008 CONCACAF OLYMPIC QUALIFYING ON THURSDAY, MARCH 20;
U.S. WNT WINS SIXTH CONSECUTIVE ALGARVE CUP CHAMPIONSHIP;
SUNDHAGE CALLS 26 PLAYERS TO CAMP PRIOR TO OLYMPIC QUALIFYING

U.S. U-23 MNT WINS GROUP A, FACES CANADA IN OLYMPIC QUALIFYING SEMIFINALS: The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team advanced out of Group A of 2008 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying on top, and will face Canada in the tournament semifinals on Thursday, March 20, at 8 p.m. CT at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. The U.S. U-23 Men started off the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Cuba, followed by a 1-0 win against Panama. The squad closed out group play with a 1-0 win against Honduras, earning seven points and top spot in the group. In Group A, the action got a little unpredictable as group favorite, Mexico, was left out of the second round after drawing, 1-1, with Canada, falling 2-1 to Guatemala and despite winning, 5-1, against Haiti, ending up with a lower goal difference than the Canadians. The first semifinal of the night features Guatemala and Honduras, and kicks off at 5 p.m. ET. Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN Deportes will televise both semifinals live. Tickets priced from $18 to $65 for each of the two remaining doubleheaders are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 615-255-9600 and a local Ticketmaster ticket centers in Nashville.

U.S. U-23 MNT CONCACAF Championship Schedule
Date           Opponent             Results / Location                   Kickoff (local) / U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
March 11   Cuba                     1-1 T Adu
March 13   Panama                1-0 W Adu
March 15   Honduras             1-0 W Gaven
March 20   Canada                 LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.     8 p.m. CT
March 23   Third Place*          LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.     1 p.m. CT
March 23   Championship*   LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.     4 p.m. CT
* If necessary

WNT WIN SIXTH CONSECUTIVE ALGARVE CUP CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. Women’s National Team got a first half goal on a header by Natasha Kai and a 49th minute game-winner from Abby Wambach to defeat Denmark, 2-1, and win the 2008 Algarve Cup. Wednesday’s match marked the United States’ sixth straight appearance in the Algarve Cup title game and earned its sixth Algarve Cup championship overall, winning in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and now 2008. Seven different players scored the United States’ 12 goals in the tournament and the U.S. moved to 7-0-0 on the year under head coach Pia Sundhage, having scored 21 goals and allowed just two. The Algarve Cup title was the second tournament championship for Sundhage after having also won the Four Nations Tournament this past January in China.

U.S. WNT Algarve Cup Schedule
Date           Opponent   Result         U.S. Goal Scorers
March 5     China           4-0 W          Tarpley, Heath, Wambach, Lloyd
March 7     Italy               2-0 W          Tarpley, O’Reilly
March 10   Norway        4-0 W          Kai, Wambach, O’Reilly, Rodriguez
March 12   Denmark     2-1 W          Kai, Wambach

WNT RETURN TO CAMP BEFORE 2008 CONCACAF WOMEN'S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has called in 26 players to training camp, beginning on Friday, March 21, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., to begin final preparations for the 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament being held April 2-12 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Sundhage will choose a 20-player roster for the qualifying tournament. The U.S. will compete in Group A and will open the tournament on April 4 against Jamaica before facing Mexico on April 6. Both games will be played in the Estadio Olímpico Benito Juarez, which will host all 10 games during the qualifying tournament. The top two teams from Group A will advance to the semifinals, where they will cross over to face the top two teams from Group B, which includes Canada, Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago. The winners of the April 9 semifinals will qualify for the 2008 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing.

U.S. WNT Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Kristin Luckenbill (Paoli, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Keeley Dowling (Carmel, Ind.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (8): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Kacey White (Arlington, Texas), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.)
FORWARDS (5): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.)

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-23 WOMEN SWEEP ENGLAND U-23s: The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team defeated the England U-23 Women’s National Team, 2-0, to sweep the two-game series without giving up a goal. The USA had won 1-0 on March 12. Midfielder Tina DiMartino of UCLA had a goal and an assist as the USA scored in the eighth and 28th minutes. Goalkeepers Kelsey Davis and Val Henderson split the shutout. In the first game, the University of Florida’s Ashlee Elliott scored in the 90th minute to give the USA a deserved victory in which they out-shot England, 19-4.

U.S. U-23 WNT Results
Date           Opponent                      Result    U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
March 12   England U-23 WNT     1-0 W     Elliott
March 14   England U-23 WNT     2-0 W     DiMartino, Schoepfer

U.S. U-18 WNT GOES UNDEFEATED IN LA MANGA, SPAIN: The U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team tied 1-1 with the France U-19 Women’s National Team in its third and final match at the La Manga U-19 International Tournament. The draw gave the USA second place in the eight team tournament behind Italy’s U-19s, which won all three of their games in the other group. The USA was the only other team to go unbeaten. The U-18 Women kicked off the tournament with a 2-0 win against Sweden on March 10, and followed that up with a 1-0 win against Norway two days later.

U.S. U-18 WNT Results
Date            Opponent                     Results    U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
March 10    Sweden U-19 WNT    2-0 W        Frierson (2)
March 12    Norway U-19 WNT      1-0 W       Nosbusch
March 14    France U-19 WNT       1-1 T         Nosbusch

U.S. U-17 WOMEN HEAD TO SUNRISE, FLORIDA FOR TRAINING CAMP: Coming off a championship at the Future Starts Tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, last February, the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team heads to Sunrise, Fla., for a training camp from March 20-26 as it continues preparation for qualifying for the 2008 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup. U.S. head coach Kazbek Tambi will bring 24 players to the camp that will feature a match against the University of Miami on March 25 in Sunrise. Tambi called in 17 of the 18 players that won the Future Stars Tournament, with the exception of midfielder Jenna Richmond, who tore her ACL while in New Zealand.

U.S. U-17 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alexa Gaul (Naperville, Ill.), Taylor Vancil (South Elgin, Ill.), Kelsey Wys (Coral Springs, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (7): Zakiya Bywaters (Las Vegas, Nev.), Crystal Dunn (Rockville Center, N.Y.), Kristen Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Meagan Morris (Montclair, N.J), Megan Oyster (Naperville, Ill.), Julia Roberts (Fredrick, Md.), Anne Steinage (Grand Haven, Mich.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kathryn Bennett (Clyde Hill, Wash.), Amber Brooks (New Hope, Pa.), Cloee Colohan (West Point, Utah), Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick (Pleasanton, Calif.), Olivia Klei (Pleasanton, Calif.), Samantha Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Erika Tymrak (Bradenton, Fla.)
FORWARDS (7): Tani Costa (Honolulu, Hawaii), Victoria DiMartino (Massapequa, N.Y.), Alexis Harris (Plano, Texas), Caroline Miller (Rockville, Md.), Kealia Ohai (Draper, Utah), Courtney Verloo (Tualatin, Ore.), Mary Wagner (Wall, N.J.)

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

ONLINE APPLICATION NOW AVAILABLE FOR 2008 CONCACAF WOMEN’S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING: Media members can now apply credentials for the 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Qualifying tournament from April 2-12, 2008, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Media should visit: http://www.concacaf.com/view_article.asp?lang=en&id=4120 to apply for credentials. The deadline to apply for credentials is March 28.

NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME PARTNERS WITH SPORTS MUSEUM OF AMERICA: The U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y., announced a partnership with the Sports Museum of America (SmA). The SmA, set to open in May 2008 in New York City, will display archival soccer materials provided by the Hall of Fame, including the Michelle Akers Day proclamation by the State of Washington and the 1973 NASL Championship Trophy, as well as other memorabilia on a rotating basis.

U.S. SOCCER SPRING COACHING SCHOOL SET: U.S. Soccer's National Coaching School Spring dates have been set for March 29-April 6. The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. will host both an “A” Audit and a “B” License course. The “B” License course is currently sold out. Space is available for the “A” Audit course, but is limited. More information is available in the Coaches Section of ussoccer.com.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Former U.S. Men’s National Team forward Brian McBride is back on the English Premier League scoring charts after blasting in a header in Fulham’s 1-0 win against Everton. McBride recently came off an injury that kept him sidelined for six months. McBride's second-half header was the difference between the two sides, and handed relegation-threatened Fulham an invaluable points boost.

SOCCER SHOCKER: There will be a border battle in Nashville on Thursday, but it’s certainly not the one most people were expecting. Instead of facing Group B favorite Mexico in the semifinals of the 2008 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament, the U.S. U-23 MNT will take on Canada for a berth at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The Mexico U-23 MNT failed to make it out of group play, after defeating Haiti, 5-1, in their final, must-win group match. Unfortunately for the Mexicans, they had to beat Canada in the tiebreakers in order to advance, and the Canadians defeated Guatemala, 5-0, in the first match of the doubleheader.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: It’s go-time for the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National team, as they face Canada on at 8 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 20, 2008, with a berth at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing at stake. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel in English, and ESPN Deportes in Spanish.

QUOTABLE: “I would say there’s nothing that’s tough about being captain. Everything is for a reason and for a purpose and I’ve enjoyed every part of it. Yeah, some things may be harder than others to handle but that’s part of it and that’s part of what I enjoy. I’m just trying to get this team ready for qualifying and everything I can do to get us there is my mission now.”
--U.S. Women’s National Team captain Christie Rampone on being team captain.

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