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U.S. Soccer Wire - January 22, 2007


U.S. MNT Prepares For Rival Mexico on Feb. 7 After
3-1 Win Against Denmark in Opening Match of 2007;
U.S. U-20 MNT Earns Berth at 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada;
U.S. WNT Kicks Off Four Nations Tournament on Friday vs. Germany

MNT FACES MEXICO AFTER DENMARK WIN, THEN ECUADOR AND GUATEMALA: The U.S. MNT defeated Denmark, 3-1, in their opening match of 2007, marking head coach Bob Bradley’s first win at the helm of the National Team. The win also saw veteran Landon Donovan break an 18-game scoring drought for the U.S., and defender Jonathan Bornstein and forward Kenny Cooper score their first international goal in their first cap for the U.S. MNT. Players will take some time off before regrouping for a Feb. 7 encounter with regional rival Mexico at the University of Phoenix (tickets). The match will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. MT on ESPN2 and Univision, and fans can also follow the action live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Following the match against Mexico, the U.S. MNT will head to Tampa Bay, Fla., to take on South American side Ecuador on March 25 at Raymond James Stadium (tickets). Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. Three days later, the U.S. will match up against Guatemala at 8 p.m. CT at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas (tickets). Both March matches will be broadcast live via ESPN2, Galavision and ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

U.S. U-20 MNT QUALIFY FOR RECORD SIXTH STRAIGHT FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP: The U.S. U-20 MNT won Group A of the 2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament with a 5-0 win against host Panama, clinching a berth in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. The U.S. U-20 men will participate in the FIFA event for the sixth consecutive time – a CONCACAF record – and the 11th time overall. The U.S. opened the tournament with a 4-1 win against Haiti courtesy of a hat trick by forward Andre Akpan and a goal from Anthony Wallace. The U-20s followed up with a 0-0 draw against Guatemala, before wrapping up the tournament with a 5-0 rout of Panama on goals from Freddy Adu, who scored twice, Robbie Rogers, Johann Smith and Jonathan Villanueva. The U.S. clinched a spot in the tournament early on Sunday when Haiti defeated Guatemala, mathematically advancing both the U.S. and Panama. Sunday’s win against the hosts put the U.S. at the top of their group for the second consecutive time, and the first time outside of the United States.

2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament
Date      Opponent                  Result     U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
Jan. 17  USA vs. Haiti             4-1 W     Andre Akpan (3), Anthony Wallace
Jan. 19  USA vs. Guatemala     0-0 T
Jan. 21  USA vs. Panama        5-0 W     Freddy Adu (2), Robbie Rogers, Johann Smith, Jonathan Villanueva


WNT KICKS OFF FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT ON FRIDAY: The U.S. Women’s National Team is in China preparing to kick off the 2007 Four Nations Tournament on Friday, Jan. 26, against Germany at 3 a.m. ET. Head coach Greg Ryan named the 20-player roster for the tournament in Guangzhou, China, after a training camp in early January. After taking on Germany, the U.S. will face England (Jan. 28) and China (Jan. 30) in the annual competition that brings together four of the world’s top women’s soccer teams. All the matches will be played at Guangdong Olympic Stadium in Guangzhou. The tournament will be highlighted by defender Cat Whitehill earning her 100th career cap in her first Four Nations Tournament match. Should she play against Germany, at 24 years, 350 days, she would become the fifth youngest player and 19th overall to earn a 100th cap for the USA. Only Cindy Parlow, Mia Hamm, Lorrie Fair and Lilly (in that order) would have been younger. This will be one of the youngest rosters the USA has ever taken into a major tournament, with 14 of the 20 players 24-years-old or under. Ryan chose the roster after a five-day training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., that featured 28 players. This will be the sixth time the USA has traveled to China in January for the Four Nations tournament. The USA also participated in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006, taking top honors four times, winning in every year but 2002.

2007 Four Nations Tournament Schedule
Date        Matchup                      Time
Jan. 26    China vs. England         1:30 p.m. local / 12:30 a.m. ET
Jan. 26    USA vs. Germany         4 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET
Jan. 28    China vs. Germany       1:30 p.m. local / 12:30 a.m. ET
Jan. 28    USA vs. England           4 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET
Jan. 30    Germany vs. England    1:30 p.m. local / 12:30 a.m. ET
Jan. 30    USA vs. China              4 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET

U.S. WNT Four Nations Tournament Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (7): Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tina Frimpong (Vancouver, Wash.), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Yael Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Joanna Lohman (Silver Spring, Md.), Marci Miller (St. Charles, Ill.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.)
FORWARDS (5): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Casey Nogueira (Cedarburg, Wis.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.)


– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-15 GIRL’S NATIONAL TEAM OPENS CAMP AT THE HDC: The U.S. Under-15 Girl’s National Team opens its first training camp of the year under head coach Tad Bobak as 26 players will train from Jan. 22-28 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. This will be the first National Team training camp experience for all of the players in this youngest level of the U.S. Women’s National Teams. While players born in 1991 will likely make up the corps of the team that will attempt to qualify for the 2008 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, the first FIFA event ever at that age level, some of these 1992s may also be in consideration by the end of this year.

U.S. U-15 GNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Erin Dees (Downers Grove, Ill.), Megan Kinneman (Missouri City, Texas), Rachel Middleman (Mars, Penn.), Emily Oliver (Flossmoor, Ill.)
DEFENDERS (7): Mackenzie Akerfelds (Littleton, Colo.), Mia Bruno (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.), Alexandra Conti (Alamo, Calif.), Briana Hovington (Lothian, Md.), Megan Oyster (Naperville, Ill.), Catherine Sessions (Woodbury, Minn.), Carrie Whigham (Phoenix, Arizona)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Jodi Calloway (Denton, Texas), Michelle Cruz (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick (Pleasanton, Calif.), Natalia Ledezma (La Mirada, Calif.), Samantha Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Rebecca Twining (Houston, Texas), Madison Whitehead (Highland Village, Texas)
FORWARDS (8): Kaley Blades (Largo, Fla.), Kori Chapic (Russell, Ohio), Nicole Duarte (League City, Texas), Kylie Facinelli (Del Mar, Calif.), Sofia Huerta (Boise, Idaho), Devin Marshall (Bonita, Calif.), Tawni Martino (Irvine, Calif.), Kealia Ohai (Draper, Utah)


– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

FORMER U.S. GOALKEEPER VANOLE PASSES AWAY: Former U.S. MNT goalkeeper David Vanole, a longtime player and coach at the highest levels of the sport in the United States, has passed away at the age of 43. In addition to being part of the 1990 FIFA World Cup team, Vanole started all three games for the United States at the 1998 Olympics in Seoul. As a coach, Vanole represented the United States again at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, serving as goalkeeper coach for the silver-medal winning U.S. Women's National Team. He was also a coach at various youth national team levels, including a stint under Sigi Schmid with the U.S. U-20 MNT at the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1999 in Nigeria. As a player, the Redondo Beach, Calif., native made his biggest mark in the late 1980s, playing a key role in helping the United States qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, the team's first appearance in the tournament in 40 years. He earned 13 caps with the U.S. MNT from 1986-1989, recording three shutouts (photo gallery). He also went undefeated in five World Cup qualifying games on the road to Italy (3-0-2). Vanole also played nine times for the U.S. Olympic team, helping the team qualify for the 1988 tournament and then starting all three matches in Seoul, South Korea.

DEMPSEY DEBUTS WITH FULHAM, WOLFF WITH 1860 MUNICH: U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year finalist Clint Dempsey got his first minutes in a Fulham uniform last Saturday, entering in the 81st minute of Fulham's 1-1 draw with Tottenham at Craven Cottage. With chants of 'USA, USA, USA' greeting his entrance, Dempsey's appearance marked the first time in EPL history that three Americans were on the field with the same team at the same time, as both Carlos Bocanegra and Brian McBride were included in the first XI. The Nacogdoches, Texas, native started the sequence that led to the game's first goal, winning a challenge with Spurs striker Robbie Keane that launched a counterattack ending in a penalty earned by McBride and a conversion by Vincenzo Montella in the 84th minute. U.S. forward Josh Wolff also got his first sniff of European action, coming on in the 60th minute of 1860 Munich's 3-0 home loss to Gruether Furth. The side currently sits in eighth place in the Second Bundesliga, only five points outside the promotion zone.

CARIBBEAN FIELD COMPLETED FOR 2007 CONCACAF GOLD CUP: Trinidad & Tobago, Guadeloupe, Cuba and Haiti will represent the Caribbean at the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup after qualifying over the weekend at the Digicel Caribbean Cup. The four teams qualified by earning the top two spots in each of the two groups in the tournament. Trinidad & Tobago won the Sedley Joseph Group with a 3-1 win against Haiti. Guadeloupe claimed the top spot in the Bobby Sookram Group, qualifying to the Gold Cup for the first time with a 1-0 victory against St. Vincent & Grenadines.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team not only qualified for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, they did so by winning their qualifying group for the second consecutive time, and the first time outside of the United States. Peak Performer honors go to the entire squad for going undefeated in the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament, scoring nine goals and allowing only one in three matches.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Brazilian forward Romario was dealt a setback in his attempt to score 1,000 professional goals – a feat accomplished only by Pele – when FIFA ruled that he could not play with Brazilian club Vasco until June. FIFA rules state that a player cannot transfer to more than two clubs in a 12-month span, and Romario has already played for United Soccer Leagues club Miami FC and Adelaide United in Australia. Romario has been training with Vasco since the beginning of January and will miss the Rio de Janeiro state championship and the Brazilian Cup.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The U.S. MNT has kicked off 2007 with a 3-1 win against Denmark and the U.S. U-20 MNT qualified for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Now it’s the Women’s National Team’s turn as they start off the year at the Four Nations Tournament in China. The U.S. women open the tournament against Germany on Friday, Jan. 26, followed by a matchup against England on Sunday, Jan. 28, and wrapping up against China on Tuesday, Jan. 30. All three matches will be at 3 a.m. ET and fans can get a recap of all three matches, as well as exclusive all_access features and photo galleries at ussoccer.com.

QUOTABLE: “David was one of the pioneers at the start of a new era for U.S. Soccer. I remember very well his impact on the team at the 1988 Olympics and in helping the United States end a very long World Cup drought in 1989. He should be remembered for that right alongside the other early stars of the sport in our country. At this difficult time, we wish his wife, Kerry, and his family the best and our thoughts are with them.”
-- U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati on the passing of former U.S. Soccer goalkeeper David Vanole.
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