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U.S. Soccer Wire - October 8, 2007



NEW ENGLAND CLAIMS 2007 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP TITLE;
U.S. WNT TAKES ON MEXICO IN ST. LOUIS ON SATURDAY, OCT. 13;
DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY FALL SHOWCASE CONLCUDES IN CALIF.

NEW ENGLAND CAPTURES LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP: Pat Noonan recorded a goal and two assists to pace the New England Revolution to the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship, defeating the host FC Dallas, 3-2, before an exuberant crowd of 10,618 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The Open Cup title is the first championship of any kind in Revolution franchise history, and ends a streak of four losses in domestic competition finals that included one Open Cup and three MLS Cup final appearances. New England also broke their losing spell in finals at Pizza Hut Park, having lost back-to-back MLS Cup finals in 2005 and 2006 in Frisco. The five-goal final was the highest scoring U.S. Open Cup final in almost 15 years, dating all the way back to 1993 with San Francisco CD Mexico defeated Philadelphia United German-Hungarians, 5-0. The Revolution are the seventh club from Major League Soccer to claim the U.S. Open Cup title since the league’s inception in 1996. Overall, 11 of the tournament’s past 12 champions have been MLS clubs. The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the U.S. Soccer Federation’s National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. It is the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor long-time soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.

U.S. WNT KICKS OFF MEXICO SERIES IN ST. LOUIS ON SATURDAY: The U.S. Women’s National Team will kick off their three-game series against Mexico on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. CT at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo. (tickets). The series continues on Wednesday, Oct. 17, in Portland, Ore. The match (tickets) kicks off at 7 p.m. PT at PGE Park. The series wraps up on Oct. 20 at 4:30 p.m. MT (tickets) at University Stadium in Albuquerque, N.M.

U.S. WNT vs. Mexico Series
Date       Venue                                                                Kickoff
Oct. 13   Edward Jones Dome (St. Louis, Mo.)        7 p.m. CT
Oct. 17   PGE Park (Portland, Ore.)                            7 p.m. PT
Oct. 20   University Stadium (Albuquerque, N.M.)    4:30 p.m. MT

U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY FALL SHOWCASE WRAPS UP: A full complement of national staff coaches, including U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley, U.S. U-20 head coach Thomas Rongen, U-17 head coach John Hackworth and U.S. Soccer Director of Coaching Bob Jenkins and more than 50 college coaches from across the country were on hand to scout the elite talent at U.S. Soccer's first Development Academy Fall Showcase Weekend. Thirty-six teams from 18 elite clubs joined two U.S. Youth Men's National Teams to play 38 matches during the three-day event. Throughout the afternoon, players relaxed in a special Players Lounge that was stocked with Gatorade and fruit snacks, and entertained themselves playing FIFA '08 on Xbox and checking emails on computers provided by Nike. Headlining the entertainment in the lounge was a performance by Seymour Saves The World, a Minneapolis, Minn., based rock band. For all the scores, photos, podcasts and video from the inaugural U.S. Soccer Development Academy Fall Showcase, log on to ussoccer.com.

BRADLEY TO NAME TRAINING CAMP ROSTER TOMORROW: U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley will announce tomorrow the initial roster that will train in Europe in advance of the friendly against Switzerland. Kickoff against the co-hosts of the 2008 European Championship is set for Wed., Oct. 17 at 8:30 p.m. local time (2:30 p.m. ET) at St. Jakob's Park in Basel , and the match will be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker. The U.S. team will begin gathering for training on Wednesday (Oct. 10) in Yverdon-les-Bains. The final roster for the Switzerland match will be named early next week.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-17 ’91 MNT TOPS U-18 CHIVAS USA IN DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY SHOWCASE: The U.S. Under-17 '91 Men’s National Team defeated Chivas USA Under-18, 3-0, in their first match of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, scoring three unanswered goals from three different scorers in the premier game of the Fall Showcase Weekend at The Home Depot Center. The U.S. controlled most of the match, taking a 1-0 into halftime after a goal from Pablito Cruz, his first goal with the Under-17 squad. Just before the 30 minute mark, Bryan Dominguez, who was dangerous all night, played the ball to Cruz streaking downfield to his left. Cruz took a touch and hit a low, hard shot to the far post, beating Chivas ‘keeper Juan Quiroz. Chivas turned up the pressure in the second half, doing their best to break down the U.S. defense, but the back line of Aubrey Perry, Kofi Sarkodie, Greg Garza and team captain Gale Agbossoumonde kept Chivas from getting many quality chances. The U.S. doubled their lead in the 73rd minute when Amobi Okugo made a run from his defensive position and found Nick Millington, who hit a strong shot past Quiroz from near the top of the penalty area. Quiroz was called on to make one of his many great saves, denying a heavy, curling shot from Ryan Finley. But just a minute later, second-half substitute Ben Speas beat a defender and then slotted a ball across the box and eventually found Eder Areola, who made no mistake in finishing the ball into the empty net for the final score of 3-0.

U.S. UNDER-18 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM HEADING TO FRANCE: The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team will travel to Limoges, France, from Oct. 27 to Nov. 4 to participate in the 2007 Limoges Tournament. U.S. Under-20 head coach Thomas Rongen, who will be leading the team as part of early preparations for the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, has named an 18-player roster made up of players born in 1990 and 1991. The squad includes 11 players who were a part of the recent FIFA Under-17 World Cup in South Korea, where the U.S. advanced to the Round of 16. Mykell Bates, the team’s leading scorer in South Korea, will headline the team along with goalkeeper Josh Lambo, who recorded a shutout against Belgium to help the team advance through the group stage. Also on the roster are four players who are a part of U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy program, with two representatives each from Chivas USA (Omar Elmasri and Mario Ledezma) and D.C. United (Shane Cooke and Chris Hegngi). The team will train in Limoges, and play three games against international opponents. On Oct. 29, the U.S. will take on France, and two days later face Turkey before rounding out the tournament on Nov. 3 against Scotland.

U.S. U-18 MNT Schedule
Date       Opponent
Oct. 29   France
Oct. 31   Turkey
Nov. 3    Scotland

U.S. U-18 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wisc.), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.);
DEFENDERS (5): Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Omar Elmasri (Arcida, Calif.), Nick Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Brandon Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.);
MIDFIELDERS (6): Vincenzo Bernardo (Madison, N.J.), Shane Cooke (Warrenton, Va.), Greg Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Jared Jeffrey (Dallas, Texas), Brek Shea (College Station, Texas), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.);
FORWARDS (5): Chris Agorsor (Severn, Md.), Chris Hegngi (Silver Spring, Md.), Mario Ledezma (Sylmar, Calif.), Alex Nimo (Portland, Ore.), Billy Schuler (Allentown, N.J.)

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

U.S. SOCCER REFEREES PARTICIPATE IN DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY: Referees from across the nation, including full-time U.S. Soccer and FIFA referee Terry Vaughn, officiated matches this weekend under the eyes of top members of the U.S. Soccer Referee Department. Esse Baharmast (Director of International and Professional Referee Development), Alfred Kleinaitis (Manager of Referee Training and Development) and Paul Tamberino (Manager of Professional Assignment and Assessment) conducted referee assessment and training of the 40 officials who participated in this weekend's action. Baharmast spoke with ussoccer.com about the importance of the Academy in the identification and development of referees in the United States.

U.S. WOMEN DROP TO SECOND IN FIFA WORLD RANKINGS: After its third-place finish at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the U.S. Women’s National Team has dropped one spot to #2 in the FIFA Women’s World Ranks behind WWC champions Germany. Brazil, with its dynamic run to the final, has moved up five spots to third in the world. This is only the third change in top spot of the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, which has been dominated by Germany and the USA since its introduction four years ago. Sweden and Norway, both teams that were defeated by the USA at the Women’s World Cup, are at four and five respectively.

USYS REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP DATES SET FOR 2008: US Youth Soccer is proud to announce the dates and locations for the 2008 US Youth Soccer Regional Championships, the second leg of the US Youth Soccer National Championships Series, one of the country's most prestigious national youth soccer tournaments. After another banner year in 2007, the regional tournaments will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii; Portland, Maine; Raleigh and Wilson, N.C. and Rockford, Ill. To see the full list of dates and locations please visit USYouthSoccer.org or http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org.

NOMINATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR 2008 WERNER FRICKER BUILDER AWARD: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2008 U.S. Soccer Werner Fricker Builder Award, which is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer, without regard to personal recognition or advancement. The award was created in 2002 and is the greatest recognition bestowed by U.S. Soccer on its membership. The award is designed to honor those who have created or fostered programs that will outlast their own active involvement in the sport and that establish a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States. Interested persons can nominate individuals for the annual Werner Fricker Builder Award by downloading the form at ussoccer.com and mailing it to U.S. Soccer, c/o the Werner Fricker Builder Award Committee, 1801 S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616 or emailing it to wernerfrickeraward@ussoccer.org. This form is also available at ussoccer.com, and applications must be postmarked or sent by January 1, 2008 (download application).

U.S. SOCCER GLOBAL: Though the MLS is entering its final push into the postseason, the European domestic leagues are just kicking into high gear. With league, cup and European competitions well underway, the best place to follow any national team players playing abroad is on U.S. Soccer Global. On the blog, we’ll keep you up to date with the significant happenings from around the globe, as our players are constantly making news in foreign leagues. Whether its pictures, videos, game recaps, or links, if one of our players is turning heads in another country, then we’ll be sure that you’re informed as well.

ONE MORE WEEK TO APPLY FOR U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION GRANTS: The 2008 Annual Grants Program for the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the major charitable arm of soccer in the United States, is now available online at ussoccerfoundation.org. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. ET on Monday, October 15. Applications can be submitted for: a Program Grant to support the development of players, coaches or referees; a Field Enhancement Grant to improve a field with new goals, irrigation or lighting; or an All Conditions Fields Grant to help build a synthetic grass field. More information about the grant making program, as well as Frequently Asked Questions are available at ussoccerfoundation.org.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Former U.S. U-20 MNT forward Preston Zimmerman notched his third and fourth goals of the season for Hamburg SV’s second team in a 3-1 win against SV Babelsburg on Sunday, Sept. 30. The win helped Hamburg move up to 10th in the standings, and they will next face Dynamo Dresden.

SOCCER SHOCKER: The shockwaves were going through Southern California on Saturday (Oct. 6) as the San Diego State University Aztecs defeated No. 14 UCLA, 1-0, at the SDSU Sports Deck. It was the first time since October 11, 1989, that the Aztecs beat UCLA, out-shooting the Bruins 12-1 in the second half. The winning goal came in the 85th minute from freshman Khadim Diouf.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: After a strong bronze-medal finish at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the U.S. WNT is back in action as they take on Mexico on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. CT at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo.

QUOTABLE: “It’s overwhelming. It’s such a different feeling from our past experiences. It’s a much better view from up on the stage afterwards. We have a lot of experience in finals. We never got rattled. Every time we went up, they came fighting back. We’ve been in finals before but I just had a feeling about tonight. I knew we were going to win.”
-- New England captain Steve Ralston, who has been in MLS since 1996 and collected his first trophy with the 3-2 win against FC Dallas in the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final.

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