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U.S. Soccer Wire: April 25, 2005


U-20 TAKE ON SEATTLE SOUNDERS AT HUSKY SOCCER FIELD ON MONDAY NIGHT: U.S. Under-20 head coach Sigi Schmid announced his 15-player roster to face the Seattle Sounders of the USL First Division on Monday, April 25 at 7 p.m. PT at Husky Soccer Field on the University of Washington campus. Of the 15 players on the qualifying roster, seven are professionals playing in Major League Soccer. Five MLS teams are represented on the roster as Chad Barrett and Will John were called in from the Chicago Fire, Tim Ward and Michael Bradley from the MetroStars, along with Arturo Alvarez (FC Dallas), Hunter Freeman (Colorado Rapids) and Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew). The match will serve as preparation for the U.S. as the U-20s are a little more than a month-and-a-half away from competing in the FIFA World Youth Championship, which will take place from June 10-July 2 in Holland. The U.S. qualified for Holland ’05 with a first-place finish in Group A of the CONCACAF Under-20 qualifying tournament at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., in January and was drawn into the difficult Group D with Argentina, Germany and Egypt. All six of the standout college players were recently with the Under-20s during their 12-day tour of Holland, where the team compiled a 2-0-1 record against top club teams. Half of the college players are from UCLA as Patrick Ianni, Marvell Wynne and Benny Feilhaber were all called in, along with forward Brad Evans (UC-Irvine) and goalkeepers Andrew Kartunen (Stanford) and Justin Hughes (UNC). Rounding out the roster are two players with the same name that have both made numerous U-20 rosters over the past year-and-a-half. Defender Robby Rogers from Fairfax, Va., is the only high school player to make the roster, while midfielder Robbie Rogers from Huntington Beach, Calif., was also called into the U-18 camp next week and will join the younger national team on Tuesday.
Under-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Justin Hughes (University of North Carolina), Andrew Kartunen (Stanford University); DEFENDERS (4): Hunter Freeman (Colorado Rapids), Robby Rogers (Renton SC), Tim Ward (MetroStars), Marvell Wynne (UCLA); MIDFIELDERS (5): Arturo Alvarez (FC Dallas), Benny Feilhaber (UCLA), Patrick Ianni (UCLA), Will John (Chicago Fire), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew); FORWARDS (4): Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire), Michael Bradley (MetroStars), Brad Evans (UC - Irvine), Robbie Rogers

BEASLEY CLOSES IN ON THE ‘DOUBLE’: U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley's dream debut campaign continued as PSV Eindhoven captured their 18th league title with a 3-0 win against Vitesse on Saturday. Beasley played 90 minutes in the championship-winning effort, helping PSV to their fourth Dutch league title in six years. Midweek, Beasley's 89th minute strike pulled PSV level with Feyenoord in the Dutch Cup semifinals. Mirroring the effort against Lyon a week earlier in the Champions League quarterfinal, the Eindhoven outfit triumphed in penalties, booking a date in the Dutch Cup final on May 28.  Needing only four points to secure the Dutch league title, PSV are closing in on the domestic 'double', and are still alive in the Champions League with the first semifinal leg against AC Milan slated for April 26 at the San Siro in Milan.  Beasley now has 12 goals in all competitions in his inaugural season in Holland. Beasley will be featured in Thursday’s edition of USA Today.

LEWIS SIDELINED: U.S. international midfielder Eddie Lewis underwent surgery to remove his appendix Saturday morning, effectively ending his season for Preston North End.  The winger has netted two goals in three final round World Cup qualifiers, including the game-winner against Trinidad on Feb. 9 and the USA's lone goal against Mexico on March 27 in Mexico City. Preston is in the midst of a promotion fight, currently sitting in fourth place in the English League Championship. Lewis is expected to be sidelined 4-6 weeks.

TICKET SALES FOR U.S.-ENGLAND FRIENDLY PASS 30,000 MARK: Tickets sales for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s May 28 friendly against England have surpassed the 30,000 mark after going on sale to the general public on March 31. Tickets ranging in price from $28 to $95 are available to the general public through ussoccer.com, by phone at 312-559-1212 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Chicagoland (including Carson Pirie Scott, Coconuts, Hot Tix, FYE, Tower Records, and Ritmo Latino stores). Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com. The Memorial Day Weekend match-up at Chicago’s Soldier Field kicks off at 2 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN. The meeting between the two quarterfinalists at the 2002 FIFA World Cup comes amidst the qualifying schedules for both nations as they aim for a spot in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

 -- FIFA 2006 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

GET TICKETS NOW FOR JUNE 4 WORLD CUP QUALIFIER IN SALT LAKE CITY: Tickets are now on sale for the U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup qualifying encounter with Costa Rica on June 4 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ticket for the match, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2, range in price levels from $25 to $108 and can be purchased through ussoccer.com, by phone at 801-581-8849 and at the Rice-Eccles Stadium ticket office. Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com. Real Salt Lake season tickets will be honored for the doubleheader. The match in Salt Lake City is the second of five qualifiers in this round to be played in the United States. Fans can also follow all of the U.S. national team World Cup qualifying action live at ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

AT HOME IN HARTFORD: The U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team will host Trinidad & Tobago on August 17 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., to begin the second half of the 10-game final round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. vs. Trinidad & Tobago match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET, with fans also able to follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Trinidad & Tobago will be the first opponent that the U.S. faces for the second time in the final round of qualifying, playing the return leg of a 2-1 victory on February 9 in Trinidad. Ticketing details for the match at Rentschler Field will be announced in the future. The U.S. and Trinidad & Tobago have played nine times in World Cup qualifying, with the U.S. compiling an undefeated record of seven wins and two ties. The U.S. has not surrendered a goal to Trinidad & Tobago in a home qualifier since a 1-1 tie in Torrance, Calif., on May 13, 1989, and has recorded a shutout in six of their nine overall qualifying matches.

AGAINST MEXICO IN OHIO: The U.S. Men’s National Team will host Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 3 in Columbus Crew Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET in their seventh of 10 final round qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. vs. Mexico match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Telemundo, with fans also able to follow the U.S. match live at ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. It will be the fourth out of five World Cup qualifiers played in the United States and the fifth World Cup qualifying match hosted by the six-year-old venue. Ticketing details will be announced in the future.

HOME AGAIN: The U.S., along with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago have kicked off the 10-game round-robin that will last until Oct. 12, 2005. After two tough road games, the U.S. men headed back to the States to play their first home game at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., on March 30, where they defeated Guatemala, 2-0. Another home game is on the list for the U.S., as they face Costa Rica at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on June 4 at 5:30 p.m. MT. The top three teams in the hexagonal automatically advance to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany while 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.
2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule – CONCACAF Final Round
Date      Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Feb. 9   Panama 0, Guatemala 0
Feb. 9   Costa Rica 1, Mexico 2
Feb. 9   Trinidad & Tobago 1,  USA 2 
Date          Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 26  Costa Rica 2, Panama 1
March 26  Guatemala 5, Trinidad & Tobago 1
March 27  Mexico 2, USA 1
Date          Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 30  Panama 1, Mexico 1
March 30  USA 2, Guatemala 0
March 30  Trinidad & Tobago 0, Costa Rica 0
Date      Match-up (Home teams listed first)
June 4   Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama   
June 4   Guatemala vs. Mexico   
June 4   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  Panama vs. Costa Rica  
Sept. 3  Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala
Sept. 3  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     Panama vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Oct. 8     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. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --

AKERS, FOUDY, HAMM NAMED FIFA AMBASSADORS FOR WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: FIFA President Sepp Blatter has named 15 women to a list of FIFA Ambassadors for Women's Football.  The list, containing some of the greatest names in women's soccer history, contains three U.S. legends in Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm.  With the distinction, the trio may be called upon to represent FIFA at women's soccer tournaments, events, courses, meetings and other activities. Joining the U.S. players on the list were Nigerian legend "Marvelous" Mercy Akide, one of Canada's all-time leading scorers in Silvana Burtini, Kioka Futbab of Japan, long-time Chinese star Liu Ailing, currently Italian National Team coach and one of the world's all-time top scorers Carolina Morace, former WUSA star and Matilda captain Julie Murray of Australia, current German assistant coach and future head coach Siliva Neid, ball magician Sissi of Brazil, former world all-time caps leader Heidi Stoere of Norway, Swedish legend Pia Sundhage, German Women's World Cup winner Bettina Wiegmann of Germany and former FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Sun Wen of China.

LILLY SCORES HER FIRST GOAL IN SWEDEN: U.S. Women's National Team captain Kristine Lilly, playing in Sweden for KIF Orebro (along with U.S. defender Kate Markgraf and former U.S. U-21 international Mary-Francis Monroe) for the months of April and May, scored her first goal for the club this weekend in a 1-1 draw with Goteborg.  Lilly's goal would have been the game-winner if not for a 90th minute equalizer from Lisa Ek.  Orebro opened their season a week ago with a 1-0 victory. Tiffeny Milbrett's club Sunnana SK picked up a big 5-0 win against AIK. Milbrett didn't score but was involved in all five goals and was named "Woman of the Match."  Milbrett scored her first goal of the campaign last week in a 2-1 loss to Djurgarden/Alvsjo.

U.S. WNT PLAYERS CONTINUE TO HAVE SUCCES IN FRANCE: Olympic Lyonnaise, the current club home to four U.S. Women's National Team pool players in goalkeeper Hope Solo, defender Danielle Slaton, midfielder Lorrie Fair and forward Christie Welsh, continues to reap the benefits of their American quartet.  Midfielder Aly Wagner, who played several matches with OL, has returned to the USA to finish her studies.  OL defeated Montpellier on April 10, 1-0, through a goal from the USA's 2005 Algarve Cup hero Christie Welsh to qualify for the French Cup semifinals where they will face Soyeux in two legs on May 5 and May 15.  Although OL is out of the running for the league title, they have won eight matches in a row in all competitions, and did defeat Paris Saint-Germain, 2-0, on April 17 through a 68th minute goal from Slaton, her first in France, and one from Welsh in the 88th minute. They also defeated Henin Beaumont, 6-0, yesterday with Welsh getting one goal.  Currently third in the league on 62 points behind Montpellier (78) and Juvisy (75), OL finishes its league season with a matches against Toulouse on May 1 and against Clairefontain on May 8.

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

U-18 MNT IN CAMP AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER IN CARSON, CALIF.: The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team’s weeklong camp kicked off on Sunday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The U-18s will play two matches, facing the Chivas USA reserve team on Tuesday (April 26) and the Southern California SeaHorses of the Premier Development League on Saturday (April 30). Head coach Bob Jenkins has invited 22 players into the camp, including six players who were part of U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program.
U-18 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Steve Sandbo (SMU), Chris Seitz (San Luis Obispo, Calif.); DEFENDERS (6): Jeff Buddenbohn (Sierra Madre, Calif.), Pav Casteneda (Babylon, N.Y.), Lionel Cruz (Round Rock, Texas), Greg Folk (UCLA), Chris Schuler (Aurora, Ill.), Julian Valentin (Wake Forest); MIDFIELDERS (9): Tony Beltran (Claremont, Calif.), Paul Gerstenberger (Schenectady, N.Y.), Michael Konicoff (Montabello, N.Y.), Rodrigo Lopez (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Pat Marion (Coto de Caza, Calif.), Dax McCarty (UNC), Robbie Rogers (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Kevin Tangney (New Town, Pa.), Evan Toft (Centennial, Colo.); FORWARDS (5): Diego Barrera (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Mike Grella (Glen Cove, N.Y.), Brian Martin (Milwaukee, Wis.), Johann Smith (Bloomfield, Conn.), Sal Zizzo (San Diego, Calif.).

U-18 MNT Schedule
Date        Opponent
April 26   Chivas USA (reserve team)
April 30   SC SeaHorses

U-17 ’88 MNT DOWNS CANADA 2-0, INCREASE UNBEATEN CONCACAF STREAK TO SIX GAMES: The U.S. Under-17 ’88 Men’s National Team defeated Canada 2-0 on Sunday in Sunrise, Fla., increasing their unbeaten CONCACAF streak to six games. The U.S. dominated play for most of the match, outshooting Canada 17-2. Forward David Arvizu opened the scoring with a goal in the sixth minute when he buried a cross from Ryan Soroka and Amaechi Igwe sealed the victory finishing off a pass from Michael Farfan. The match served as preparation for Canada as they will attempt to join the U.S. by snagging a CONCACAF berth to the FIFA U-17 World Championship when they compete in the Group B CONCACAF qualifying tournament from May 17-21 in Mexico. The U.S. won Group A of the Under-17 CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Costa Rica two weeks ago and solidified their spot in the FIFA U-17 World Championship, which will take place in Peru from September 16-October 2.

U-17 '89 MNT PLAY IN BALLYMENA INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT: The U.S. Under-17 ’89 Men’s National Team arrived in Northern Ireland on Thursday (April 21) to compete in the 2005 Ballymena International Tournament. The U.S. was placed in to Group A with Slovakia, Israel and Northern Ireland and will play a total of four games in five days from April 25-April 29. The U.S. kicked off the tournament against Slovakia on Monday (April 25) winning 2-0, before facing Israel and Northern Ireland on the following two days. All the teams will have a day of rest on April 28 before playing their placement matches against teams from Group B (Czech Republic, Finland, Scotland and Switzerland) on April 29. U.S. U-17 assistant coach Keith Fulk will lead the team in the tournament, along with assistants Brian Maisonneuve and Raul Diaz Arce. The U.S. brings all thirteen ’89 players from Residency, along with five other players – Daniel Kelly, Jonathan Kluz, Demitrius Omphroy, Eber Martinez and Andrew Duran. Also last week, The U.S. U-17 ’89s played two games while their older Residency teammates were in Costa Rica for the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament. In their first match on April 9, the U-17 ‘89s allowed a 90th minute goal and fell 3-2 to St. Leo College. Joseph Sorrentino and Perica Marosevic both scored in the first half as the teams went into the half tied 2-2 before St. Leo got the late game-winner. In the second match on April 13, the University of Tampa struck first in the eighth minute before the U.S. got two goals from Hector Jimenez and one from Josmer Altidore to pull away for a 3-1 victory.
U-17 '89 Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brian Perk (Santa Margarita, Calif.), Joe Bendik (Atlanta, Ga.); DEFNEDERS (7):Anthony Wallace (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Jonathan Collier (Fayetteville, Ga.), Greg Eckhardt (Orange Park, Fla.), Bryan Arguez (Miami, Fla.), Victor Cortez (San Pablo, Calif.), Michael Stephens (Woodridge, Ill.), Jonathan Kluz (Racho Cucamongo, Calif.); MIDFIELDERS (5): Andrew Giallombardo (Manalapan, N.J.), Josmer Altidore (Boca Raton, Fla.), Joseph Sorrentino (Trenton, N.J.), Daniel Kelly (Nashville, Tenn.), Andrew Duran (Chicago, Ill.); FORWARDS (4): Cesar Nunez (Gurnee, Ill.), Perica Marosevic (Rockford, Ill.) Demitrius Omphroy (Oakland, Calif.), Eber Martinez (Reston, Virginia).
U-17 '89 Schedule
Date         Opponent                Result    U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
April 25    Slovakia                  2-0 W     Nunez (12’), Marosevic (17’)
April 26    Israel
April 27    Northern Ireland
April 29    Placement Match

U.S. U-16s WRAP UP SUCCESSUL CAMP AT THE HDC, LOOK FORWARD TO JAPAN TOUR: The U.S. U-16 Women's National Team completed a short, five-day training camp at the Home Dept Center last week, playing two matches during the camp, a 4-2 victory against the U.S. U-15 Girl's Developmental Team and a 2-2 tie with the U-18 Southern California Blues girl's club.  Againt the U-15s, forward Laura Heyboer (Hudsonville, Mich.) notched a true hat trick inside the first 26 minutes (with the first off a PK) while Ashley Rape (Dallas, Texas) added a fourth goal in the 67th minute.  Melissa Henderson had both assists on Heyboer's goal in the run of play.  Both U-15 goals came in the second half.  Against the Blues, the U-16s fell behind 2-0 after just 30 minutes, but rallied to tie the game on two late goals from Jessie Baddley (Ogden, Utah) in the 65th and 72nd minutes. The U.S. U-16s, led by head coach Sue Patberg, will now focus on their first international trip of the year, traveling to Japan from May 5-16 to face several women's club sides.  After three training camps this year, including two matches against the Germany U-17s last February, Patberg has chosen the following 18 players for the Japan tour:
U.S. U-16 Roster for Japan Tour
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bianca Henninger (San Jose, Calif.), Jorden Kussmann (Lakewood, Wa.); DEFENDERS (5): Lauren Barnes (Upland, Calif.), Hannah Cerrone (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Kate Deines (Issaquah, Wa.), Gretchen Miller (Fairport, N.Y.), Michelle Oliver (Roswell, Ga.); MIDFIELDERS (5): Courtney Barg (Plano, Texas), Erica Campanellis (Plano, Texas), Sinead Farrelly (Havertown, Pa.), Teresa Noyola (Palo Alto, Calif.), Megan O'Hai (Salt Lake City, Utah); FORWARDS (6): Jessie Baddley (Ogden, Utah), Chelsea Bednarz (Chandler, Ariz.), Amy Caldwell (Braintree, Mass.), Bianca D'Agostino (Longmeadow, Mass.), Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas), Casey Nogueira (Raleigh, N.C.).

U.S. Under-16 GNT Results
Date         Matchup/Result                            U.S. Goal Scorers
April 18    USA 4, U.S. U-15s 2                   Heyboer (3), Rape
April 19    USA 2, SoCal Blues U-18s 2     Baddley (2)

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

USSOCCER.COM FEATURES DEFINITIVE LOOK AT NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME 2005 CLASS: Former U.S. internationals Marcelo Balboa, John Harkes and Tab Ramos were elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame on Tuesday (April 19), each gaining entry in their first year on the ballot.  The trio of World Cup veterans will formally be inducted into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony Aug. 29 in Oneonta, N.Y. The trio were the overwhelming favorites to be enshrined as the 2005 Class, each having collected well over the 80 percent votes required for induction.  Other notable U.S. players on this year's ballot included Thomas Dooley, Hugo Perez, Peter Vermes, Bruce Murray and Roy Wegerle. For a definitive look at the illustrious careers of these three legends, visit ussoccer.com.

U.S. OPEN CUP QUALIFYING ROUND DRAW COMPLETE: For the first time, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will feature a qualifying round in 2005 to pare the field down from 42 to 40 teams before the First Round of the Open Cup kicks off Wednesday, June 15, 2005. With the expansion of Major League Soccer by two teams, the 40-team field was expanded by two so that no lower division or amateur teams would lose a spot in the tournament portion of U.S. Soccer’s National Championship. Two teams each from the United States Adult Soccer Association and Premier Development League of the United Soccer Leagues were drawn to play in the Qualification Round scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, 2005. The second-place qualifier from USASA Region III will face the second-place qualifier from the PDL’s Southern Conference, while the other match up will feature the second-place qualifier from USASA Region IV against the second place qualifier from the PDL’s Western Conference. A full slate of eight games will get underway on June 15 and will include teams from USASA, PDL and USL’s Second Division.

MISL FINALS LIVE ON ESPN2: The Major Indoor Soccer League and ESPN announced last week that the 2005 MISL Championship Series Finals will be broadcast live on ESPN2. The first game of the Series Finals will be played on May 14 at 9 p.m. ET at U.S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, Wis. Game two will take place on May 21 at 7 p.m. ET at Savvis Center in St. Louis, Mo. The MISL Championship Series begins the weekend of April 29 and includes four teams. The Milwaukee Wave defeated two-time defending MISL Champion Baltimore Blast, 11-8, on Sunday to clinch the top seed in the MISL postseason, wrapping up the regular season as 2004-05 MISL Regular Season Champions. The other postseason spots are allotted to the three teams with the next best regular season win percentage, determining the No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 seeds, which went to the Cleveland Force, the Philadelphia Kixx and the St. Louis Steamers, respectively.
2005 MISL Championship Series
Semifinal #1
#2 Cleveland Force vs. #3 Philadelphia KiXX
Game 1 Friday, April 29 Savvis Center (St. Louis, Mo.) 6 p.m. ET
Game 2 Sunday, May 1 Wolstein Convocation Center (Cleveland, Ohio) 5 p.m. ET
Semifinal #2
#1 Milwaukee Wave vs. #4 St. Louis Steamers
Game 1 Friday, April 29 Savvis Center (St. Louis, Mo.) 8:30 p.m. ET
Game 2 Sunday, May 1 U.S. Cellular Arena (Milwaukee, Wis.) 2 p.m. ET
Finals
Game 1 Saturday, May 14 U.S. Cellular Arena  (Milwaukee, Wis.) 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Game 2 Saturday, May 21 Savvis Center (St. Louis, Mo.) 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Everybody expected DaMarcus Beasley to do well in Holland when he transferred to Dutch club PSV Eindhoven from the Chicago Fire last season. Few people, however, would have predicted that Beasley would score 12 goals across three competitions, including six in the Eredivisie. Beasley’s squad captured the Dutch league title on Saturday (April 23) with a 3-0 win against Vitesse. PSV has also advanced to the Amstel Cup finals by defeating Feyenoord in penalties on Wednesday (April 20) – where DaMarcus scored the equalizing goal – and will travel to Italy this week to play A.C. Milan in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals on Tuesday, April 26, at San Siro Stadium in Milan.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: Overflowing with confidence after clinching the Dutch league title on Saturday (April 23), PSV Eindhoven continues their run in the Champions League on Tuesday (April 26) when they face A.C. Milan at the San Siro at 2:30 p.m. ET in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals. The match will be broadcast live on Setanta Sports USA, available on DirectTV, and on closed-circuit television.

SOCCER SHOCKER: After becoming the first team to win back-to-back tournament titles since the Mexican League switched to two short seasons a year, the defending champion UNAM Pumas have been left out of the post-season after a disastrous 2005 Clausura season. UNAM, led by former Mexican international Hugo Sanchez, have amassed a 4-9-1 record and have only tallied 13 out of 45 possible points this season. UNAM is 18 points behind league-leader Cruz Azul with three games left in the regular season.

QUOTABLE: "I've never been a part of a game like that. It was like a (World Cup) qualifier."
     -- U.S. MNT and L.A. Galaxy forward Landon Donovan after the first MLS derby on Saturday (April 23), in which the Galaxy won 3-1 against Chivas USA.

-ussoccer.com-

 

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