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U.S. Soccer Wire -- U-20 MNT Advances to 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship


U-20 MNT ADVANCE TO FIFA WORLD YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP IN HOLLAND:  The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team went undefeated during the U-20 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament this past week at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., winning all three of their matches to win Group A and to advance to the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland. The U.S. opened the tournament in blazing fashion, as an Eddie Gaven hat-trick propelled a five-goal output in the first 25 minutes against Trinidad & Tobago on Jan. 12 and an eventual 6-1 shellacking in front of the home crowd. Two days later, the U.S. solidified their spot in Holland with goals in each half from Freddy Adu and Jacob Peterson to defeat Panama 2-0. On Sunday, the U.S. captured two firsts by going undefeated and capturing sole position of first place in the final round CONCACAF qualifying as two first half goals by Chad Barrett and Danny Szetela pushed the U.S. past Costa Rica 2-0. While the U.S. had already advanced, the victory was significant as it allowed Panama to leapfrog Costa Rica and move into second place, securing their spot in the world championship as the top two teams from the tournament advanced. Eddie Gaven finished the tournament as the leading scorer with three goals. The 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship will take place in six venues in Holland from June 10-July 2. The other two teams that will represent CONCACAF at the world championship will come from the CONCACAF U-20 Group B, which includes Honduras, Mexico, Canada and Jamaica. The tournament will be played in San Pedro Sula, Honduras from Jan. 26-30.
U-20 CONCACAF Group A Qualifying Tournament
Date     Opponent               Result      U.S. Goal Scorers
Jan. 12 Trinidad & Tobago    6-1 W      Gaven (3), Adu, John, Own goal
Jan. 14 Panama                  2-0 W      Adu, Peterson
Jan. 16 Costa Rica              2-0 W      Barrett, Szetela


-- FIFA 2006 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

U.S. MEN TO OPEN HOME QUALIFYING AT BIRMINGHAM’S LEGION FIELD ON MARCH 30: The U.S. Men’s National Team will open its home schedule of the final round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Kickoff against Guatemala is set for 7 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and tape delayed on Telemundo at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. Fans can also follow the match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The match in Birmingham is the first of five qualifiers in this round to be played in the United States, and will follow two road qualifying matches for the USA in Trinidad & Tobago on Feb. 9 and Mexico on March 26 or 27. Ticket information for the game will be announced in January. Guatemala is one of the surprises in the final round, finishing tied on points with Costa Rica at the top of Group 2. Guatemala started out strong in group play, taking seven out of nine points from their first three matches.  Behind the goal-scoring prowess of Los Angeles Galaxy forward Carlos Ruiz, Guatemala held on from there to enter the final round of qualifying for the first time in history. Ruiz, the two-time MLS scoring leader, has amassed 50 goals in only three seasons and has proven to be virtually unstoppable at the international level by averaging a goal a game in semifinal round play.  The U.S. will be returning to Birmingham’s Legion Field for the first time since March 10, 2002, when the U.S. defeated Ecuador 1-0 in a World Cup preparation match before 24,133 fans. The team’s only other visit came nearly two years earlier, when the U.S. MNT drew 1-1 with Tunisia in front of 21,637 fans in the team’s first-ever match in Alabama.

U.S. OPENS WORLD CUP QUALIFYING ON FEB. 9 IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: The United States will open its bid to qualify for its fifth consecutive World Cup finals in Trinidad & Tobago on Feb. 9 as the final round draw for 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying was announced on Nov. 30. The U.S., along with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago will compete in the 10-game round-robin format from Feb. 9-Oct. 12, 2005, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.  The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 12/13 and Nov. 16 against the fifth-place finisher in Asian qualifying.  Drawn as Team 6 in the final round format, the U.S. faces a tricky road to Germany as their first two games will take place on the road.  The U.S. gets its consecutive home dates for Matches 3 & 4 and 6 & 7, and will then face two away matches before concluding final round play in the United States.  Venues for the five home matches for the U.S. will be announced as they become finalized.
2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule – CONCACAF Final Round
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Feb. 9        Panama vs. Guatemala 
Feb. 9        Costa Rica vs. Mexico 
Feb. 9        Trinidad & Tobago vs. USA  
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 26/27 Costa Rica vs. Panama
March 26/27 Guatemala vs. Trinidad & Tobago
March 27      Mexico vs. USA 
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 30     Panama vs. Mexico   
March 30    USA vs. Guatemala   
March 30     Trinidad & Tobago vs. Costa Rica
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
June 4/5      Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama   
June 4/5      Guatemala vs. Mexico   
June 4/5      USA vs. Costa Rica   
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
June 8        Panama vs. USA   
June 8         Costa Rica vs. Guatemala   
June 8         Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Aug. 17       Guatemala vs. Panama   
Aug. 17       Mexico vs. Costa Rica   
Aug. 17       USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Sept. 3/4     Panama vs. Costa Rica  
Sept. 3/4     Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala
Sept. 3/4     USA vs. Mexico  
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Sept. 7       Mexico vs. Panama 
Sept. 7        Guatemala vs. USA  
Sept. 7         Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Oct. 8/9       Panama vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Oct. 8/9       Mexico vs. Guatemala 
Oct. 8/9       Costa Rica vs. USA 
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Oct. 12        USA vs. Panama   
Oct. 12        Guatemala vs. Costa Rica
Oct. 12        Trinidad & Tobago vs. Mexico
 
Playoff (*home team will be determined by lottery at the conclusion of the final round)
Date Match-up
*Nov. 12/13 AFC #5 vs. CONCACAF #4 
*Nov. 16 AFC #5 vs. CONCACAF #4

-- U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --

U-14 BNT TO TRAVEL TO MEXICO FOR TRAINING CAMP AND GAMES: The U.S. Under-14 Boys' National Team will travel to Guadalajara, Mexico, on Jan. 16 for a week-long training camp that will consist of six matches against Mexican club youth teams. Head coach Manfred Schellscheidt is bringing 34 players and will hold a day of training before splitting the players into two teams for their first matches on Jan. 18 against Chivas and a team still to be determined. The U-14s will have two more game days, going up against Cruz Azul and Chivas on Jan. 20 and Cruz Azul and a team still to be determined on Jan. 22, before returning home a day later.
U-14 BNT Schedule
Date          Opponent 
Jan. 18      Chivas
Jan. 18      TBD
Jan. 20      Cruz Azul
Jan. 20      Chivas
Jan. 22      Cruz Azul
Jan. 22      TBD
U-14 BNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Alexander Ferguson (Kent, Wash.), Brett Finkelstein (San Rafael, Calif.), Zachary MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Brandon Paul (Flemington, N.J.); DEFENDERS (11): Chad Barson (Lewis Center, Ohio), Kevin Gnecco (North Hampton, N.H.), Luis Herrera (Harlingen, Texas), Sean Peckham (Warminster, Pa.), Travis Pittman (Manassas, Va.), Nick Rihn (Glendale, Calif.), Chris Smith (Chula Vista, Calif.), Kyle Soroka (Langhorne, Pa.), Zarek Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Juan Valladolid (Oxnard, Calif.), Marby Velasquez (Brentwood, Calif.); MIDFIELDERS (12): Jason Alvarez (Palm Coast, Fla.), Scott Caldwell (Braintree, Mass.), Ian Christianson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Brian Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Uwem Etuk (Herndon, Va.), Gregory Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Michael Giuliano (Columbia, Conn.), Kyle Hyland (Bay Village, Ohio), James Mulligan (Medford, N.Y.), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Dillon Powers (Plano, Texas), Alexei Reyes (Dallas, Texas); FORWARDS (7): Dersu Abolfathi (Irvine, Calif.), Adedoja Akinsanya (Sacramento, Calif.), Jose Altamirano (San Diego, Calif.), Ryan Finley (Lumberton, N.J.), Andrew Lubahn (Erie, Pa.), Jesus Mireles (Pharr, Texas), David Yang (Ann Arbor, Mich.).

U-18 MNT PLAY FOUR CLOSE MATCHES IN COPA CHIVAS YOUTH TOURNAMENT: After drawing 1-1 in their first and second matches of the 2005 Copa Chivas, the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team continued its tying ways with a 3-3 draw against Monterrey on Jan. 11. Lee Nguyen scored his second and third goals of the tournament with strikes in the first half against Monterrey and Johann Smith added the final tally in the second half, but Monterrey was able to counter with three goals of their own. The U.S. moved onto the next round and faced Chivas once again, this time falling 2-1 to get knocked out of the tournament. The U.S. also faced Holland, who was also knocked out of the tournament early, in a scrimmage on Jan. 14. Holland took a early 2-0 lead in the first half, but the U.S. registered three goals from Nguyen, Anthony Beltran and Rodrigo Hidalgo for a 3-2 comeback victory.
U.S. Under-18 MNT Results
Date        Opponent      Result
Jan. 9      Atlas             1-1 T  
Jan. 10    Chivas          1-1 T   
Jan. 11    Monterrey     3-3 T
Jan. 12    Chivas          1-2 L
Jan. 14    Holland        3-2 W


U.S. U-16 GIRL’S START 2005 WITH TRAINING CAMP AT HDC:  U.S. Under-16 Women’s National Team head coach Sue Patberg will run her first camp of 2005 from Jan. 22-29 at the U.S. Soccer National Team Training Center in Carson, Calif. Patberg, who enters her third year as the helm of the U-16s, will bring 24 players to the Home Depot Center, many of whom were a part of the USA’s first U-15 Girl’s Development Team last year. Following is the roster for the U.S. U-16 Girl’s:
U-16 GNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Wendy Balogun (Bowie, Md.), Jorden Kussmann (Lakewood, Wash.), Nicole Weiss (Redding, Conn.); DEFENDERS (7): Lauren Barnes (Upland, Calif.), Hannah Cerrone (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Kate Dienes (Issaquah, Wash.), Chelsea Raegan (Raritan, N.J.), Mary Rachel Reynolds (Alpharetta, Ga.), Kacey Richards (Williamstown, N.J.), Gretchen Miller (Fairport, N.Y.); MIDFIELDERS (9): Skyy Anderson (Cambridge, Mass.), Courtney Barg (Plano, Texas), Emily Esbrook (Novi, Mich.), Sinead Farrelly (Havertown, Pa.), CJ Ludemann (Holtsville, N.Y.), McKenna Louise McKetty (Sacramento, Calif.), Casey Noguiera (Cedarburg, Wis.), Teresa Noyola (Palo Alto, Calif.), Sara Salazar (Broken Arrow, Ok.); FORWARDS (5): Amy Caldwell (Braintree, Mass.), Bianca D’Agostino (Longmeadow, Mass.), Laura Heyboer (Hudsonville, Mich.), Brooke Knowlton (Rexford, N.Y.), Danielle Toney (Northville, Mich.).


– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

U.S. WOMEN’S DEAFLYMPIC TEAM WINS GOLD, MEN FINISH NINTH: The United States’ Women’s Deaf National Soccer Team took the Gold Medal at the 2005 Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday, January 16, by defeating Russia, 3-0, at the Olympic Park. The U.S. women become the first soccer Gold Medal winners of the tournament, as this was the first year women’s soccer was included as a Deaflympic sport. The U.S Men’s Deaflympic team ended their tournament run with the team’s highest finish ever, defeating the Czech Republic, 1-0, for ninth place on Friday. Kelly Beechy led the U.S. women in the final game, opening up scoring in the 28th minute and then again in the 74th. Also scoring for the U.S. was Virginia Keeler, who put one past the Russian ‘keeper in the 66th minute. The U.S. advanced to the final game with a 7-2 semifinal win over Denmark. Megan Johnston led the team in the semifinal with a hat-trick. Beechy scored twice for the U.S., and Katie Romano and U.S. captain Erin Coppedge each tallied once. Keeler finishes the tournament tied in third place in the scoring table, with seven goals, along with Norway’s Tone Rorstad. Coppedge was the tournament’s second leading scorer, with 10 goals, following Russia’s Irinia Degtrayeva, who had 12. On the men’s side, Josh Reiher had the team’s game-winning goal in the 23rd minute in the U.S. win over the Czech Republic. The ninth-place finish is the team’s highest ever, after finishing in 10th place at the 2001 Deaflympics in Rome, Italy.
Deaf WNT Results
Date     Matchup                                      U.S. Goal Scorers
Jan. 6   United States 5, Denmark 2          Romano (2), Coppedge, Keeler (2)
Jan. 8   United States 5, Norway 0            Keeler (3), Romano (2)
Jan. 10 United States 4, Russia 1             Cressy, Romano, Coppedge (2)
Jan. 11 United States 6, Australia 0          Bloms, Coppedge (5)
Jan. 13 United States 3, Great Britain 0     Keeler, Anders, Coppedge
Jan. 14 United States 7, Denmark 2*         Johnston (3), Beechy (2), Coppedge, Romano
Jan. 16 United States 3, Russia 0**           Beechy (2), Keeler
*Semifinal match
**Gold Medal match
Deaf MNT Results
Date     Matchup                                         U.S. Goal Scorers
Jan. 4   United States vs. Ghana (forfeit)         n/a
Jan. 6   United States 1, Turkey 2                  Sorokin
Jan. 8   United States 1, Italy 4                      Ramey
Jan. 12 United States 2, Greece 0*                 Lawson, Ramey
Jan. 14 United States 1, Czech Republic 0**   Reiher
*Second Round
**Ninth-place match

NIKE AND U.S. CLUB SOCCER FORM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP: U.S. Club Soccer announced last week that it has reached an agreement with Nike for the Beaverton, Ore. based company to become the Official Apparel and Equipment Supplier for all U.S. Club Soccer programs. A member of the U.S. Soccer Federation with more than 900 clubs in 44 states, U.S. Club Soccer includes programs such as The National Cup, id2 and The Champions League Cup. In addition to supplying US Club Soccer's programs with all necessary equipment needs, Nike will provide US Club Soccer with the resources to insure their continued rapid growth. Nike, regarded as the world's leader in apparel and footwear, has been a longtime supporter of soccer in the United States. Since 1995, Nike has been a major sponsor and licensee of U.S. Soccer, outfitting both the men and women's national team programs.

GOODBYE FOX SPORTS WORLD, HELLO FOX SOCCER CHANNEL: Fox Sports World will be relaunched as Fox Soccer Channel at midnight on February 7, announced David Sternberg, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Fox Soccer Channel. Fox Soccer Channel will draw more than 80 percent of its first-run programming hours from world-class soccer competitions, including the Barclays English Premier League, the English FA Cup, the UEFA Cup, the Toyota Intercontinental Cup, World Cup qualifying matches for the United States and England national teams, the ChampionsWorld Series, and numerous European and Latin American national leagues. Domestic action on the network will feature America's top professional league, Major League Soccer, as well as matches from the United Soccer Leagues. FOX Sports will provide viewers an exclusive first look at the channel during the Super Bowl XXXIX Pre-Game Show, set for Sunday, February 6 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Following the Super Bowl, at midnight on Monday, February 7, Fox Soccer Channel will officially unveil all-new on-air broadcast graphics and music. The first week will be highlighted by a live telecast of the international friendly between England and Holland on Wednesday, February 9, at 2:45 p.m. ET.

2004 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL CHAMPIONS DOMINATE 2004 “BEST OF…”:  With a historic year that included tears of joy from a dramatic overtime Olympic gold medal finish and tears of sadness from the retirement of a trio of legends, the U.S. Women’s National Team deservedly earned a whopping eight of the 11 “Best of…” U.S. Soccer awards, including Best U.S. Soccer Story, Best Goal, Best Assist and Best Fashion Statement.  The winners of the awards were determined via online voting at ussoccer.com, where people had a chance to vote for one or all of the 11 categories once a day from Nov. 19-Dec. 17.
2004 Best of U.S. Soccer Award Winners
Best Soccer Bar: Ginger’s Ale House (Chicago, Ill.)
Best Soccer Store: Soccer USA (Austin, Texas)
Best U.S. Soccer Story: Hamm, Foudy and Fawcett Finish Legendary WNT Careers
Best Fashion Statement: U.S. Women's National Team's gold medals and Olympic wreaths
Best U.S. Crowd: 14,780 (sell out) – Sept. 25 @ Frontier Field (Rochester, N.Y.) – U.S. WNT 4, Iceland 3
Best Soccer Fans: The Sam's Army contingent in Foxboro, Mass., for the U.S. Men's first home qualifier
Best Goal: Abby Wambach’s skillful flick and volley– U.S. WNT 3, Iceland 0 – Sept. 29
Best Assist: Mia Hamm to Heather O'Reilly – U.S. WNT 2, Germany 1 (OT) – Aug. 23 
Best Late-Game Heroics: Abby Wambach's “golden” game-winning header – U.S. WNT 2, Brazil 1 (2OT) – Aug. 26
Best Game Performance (Player): Mia Hamm’s tireless work all over the field – U.S. WNT 2, Germany 1 (OT) – Aug. 23
Best Game Performance (Team): U.S. WNT 2, Brazil 1 (2OT) – Aug. 26

TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR KOREA REPUBLIC-SWEDEN FRIENDLY AT HDC ON JAN. 22: U.S. Soccer announced that 2002 FIFA World Cup semifinalist Korea Republic will take on 15th-ranked Sweden in an international friendly on Saturday, January 22, 2005 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.  Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT.  The second-ever meeting between Korea Republic and Sweden has been scheduled as both sides continue their paths through FIFA World Cup qualifying in their respective regions. Tickets ranging in price levels from $18 to $45 are on sale now through Ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also on sale by phone (213-480-3232 in L.A.; 714-740-2000 in Orange County; 619-220-8497 in San Diego), and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Southern California (including Robinson’s-May, Wherehouse Music and Tower Records), and at The Home Depot Center ticket office. Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290.


*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. Under-20 MNT midfielder Eddie Gaven was on fire this weekend at the U-20 CONCACAF qualifying tournament at The Home Depot Center in Carson California. Gavin scored the first U.S. goal of the tournament in the second minute of the opening match against Trinidad & Tobago. The MetroStars midfilder then went on to score two more at the U.S. rolled over Trinidad & Tobago 6-1. Gaven also participated in the U-20 victory over Panama, which qualified the squad for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships Holland, when he assisted Jacob Peterson in the 90th minute for the team’s second goal. In just 248 minutes with the U-20s, Gaven has amassed eight points (three goals, two assists).

MARQUEE MATCHUP: U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo may see a familiar face in the opposing lineup as his side Hannover 96 prepares to meet Landon Donovan’s Bayer Leverkusen in Hannover on Sunday (January 23, 2005) at 12:30 p.m. ET.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Moenchengladbach. As scary as it looks, this new word is now part of U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller’s everyday vocabulary after leaving the Tottenham Hotspurs of the English Premier League to join Borussia Moenchengladbach (MOAN-chen-GLAHD-bach) of the German Bundesliga.

QUOTABLE: "They're all crazy. There's one who says he's Napoleon and no one believes him. Another believes he's (tango legend Carlos) Gardel, and no one believes him. I say I'm Maradona and no one believes me."
--Diego Maradona, who on Jan. 5 returned to a Cuban drug rehab center, on his stint last year in an Argentine psychiatric hospital.

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