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Soccer Wire: August 4, 2003


USL HAS SIX CHANCES TO UPSET MLS; TWO GAMES KICK OFF TOMORROW: After a two-week hiatus, the 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup gets back under way this week with a full slate of eight fourth round games across the country from New England to Los Angeles. A pair of games are set for tomorrow (Aug. 5), with the Kansas City Wizards (MLS) traveling to face the Colorado Rapids (MLS) at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colo., at 7 p.m. MT, while the San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) head up the Pacific Coast to take on the Seattle Sounders (A-League) at the Univ. of Washington at 7 p.m. PT. On Wednesday night (Aug. 6), the Wilmington Hammerheads (USL-PSL), already the Division III prize-winner in this year’s tournament, look to unseat the Dallas Burn (MLS) at Legion Sports Complex in Wilmington, N.C., at 7:30 p.m. ET. Three MLS teams will also be hosting matches on Wednesday. The New England Revolution will host the Rochester Raging Rhinos (A-League), the only non-MLS team to win the Dewar Trophy since 1996, at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Mass. D.C. United will host the Virginia Beach Mariners (A-League) at the Maryland Soccerplex in Boyds, Md., and the Columbus Crew will be hosting the MetroStars (MLS) at Crew Stadium. The Chicago Fire (MLS) will face the Milwaukee Wave United (A-League) at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee, Wisc., at 7:30 p.m. CT. In the final match, amateur division champion Fresno Fuego (PDL) will face the L.A. Galaxy in the first-ever Open Cup match at The Home Depot Center at 7:30 p.m. PT. For complete coverage of the 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, log on to the “Competitions” section at ussoccer.com.
Fourth Round Schedule
No. Date    Match-Up    Venue, City    Kickoff
19      Aug. 5    San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (A-League)     Univ. of Washington; Seattle, Wash.    7 p.m. PT
20      Aug. 6    Virginia Beach Mariners (A-League) at D.C. United (MLS)     Maryland Soccerplex; Boyds, Md.    7:30 p.m. ET
21 Aug. 6    Fresno Fuego (PDL) at Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)    The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.     7:30 p.m. PT
22      Aug. 6    Dallas Burn (MLS) at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL-PSL)     Legion Sports Complex; Wilmington, N.C.     7:30 p.m. ET
23      Aug. 5    Kansas City Wizards (MLS) at Colorado Rapids (MLS)     North Area Athletic Complex; Arvada, Colo.    7 p.m. MT
24 Aug. 6    Chicago Fire (MLS) at Milwaukee Wave United (A-League)    Uihlein Soccer Park; Milwaukee, Wisc.      7:30 p.m. CT
25      Aug. 6    MetroStars (MLS) at Columbus Crew (MLS)     Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio     7:30 p.m. ET
26    Aug. 6    Rochester (A-League) at New England (MLS)        Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass.         7:30 p.m. ET

OPEN CUP QUARTERFINAL PAIRINGS SET FOR AUG. 25 & 27: With 16 teams still alive heading into the fourth round of the 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup this week, U.S. Soccer has finalized the prospective quarterfinal pairings for the tournament. The quarterfinals will be held on Aug. 25 and 27, while the semifinals are scheduled for Sept. 23 & 24, and the final will be played on Oct. 15.
Quarterfinal Pairings – Aug. 25 & 27
Match 27: Fresno Fuego (PDL) or Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) or Seattle Sounders (A-League)
Match 28: Dallas Burn (MLS) or  Wilmington Hammerheads (USL-PSL) vs. D.C. United (MLS) or Virginia Beach Mariners (A-League)
Match 29: Kansas City Wizards (MLS) or Colorado Rapids (MLS) vs. Milwaukee Wave United (A-League) or Chicago Fire (MLS)
Match 30: Rochester Raging Rhinos (A-League) or New England Revolution (MLS) vs. Columbus Crew (MLS) or MetroStars (MLS)

2003-04 EUROPEAN SEASON OPENS WITH ACTION IN FRENCH, GERMAN LEAGUES: The European leagues are off and running again, with several U.S. Men’s National Team players back in action.  In Germany, Steve Cherundolo and his Hannover side started the Bundesliga campaign in grand fashion, dismantling pre-season favorite Hamburg 3-0 at the AOL Arena in Hamburg. The victory erased the memory of a 2-1 loss this time last year to open the 2002-03 season.  There is a little time to savor the victory, as Hannover begins their home schedule with a meeting against reigning league champions Bayern Munich on Aug. 9 at the Niedersachsenstadion. For a preview of the current Bundesliga season from Cherundolo himself, click here.  Meanwhile, Greg Vanney wasted little time in rejoining the ranks of SC Bastia after a successful summer with the MNT, earning a starting spot in the Corsican club's 0-0 opening day draw with Parisian powerhouse PSG at the Parc de Prince in Paris.  Vanney's side heads home for week two of Le Championnat, welcoming U.S. Under-23 MNT defender Oguchi Onyewu and his newly promoted FC Metz side. For a preview of the top French league from U.S. MNT strength & conditioning coach Pierre Barrieu, click here.

– FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP USA 2003 UPDATE –

USA TO FACE SWEDEN, NIGERIA AND NORTH KOREA IN GROUP A PLAY ON EAST COAST: At the Final Draw for the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 on July 17 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., the U.S. Women’s National Team learned that its opening round opponents in Group A are Sweden, Nigeria and Korea DPR (North Korea). The top-ranked U.S. WNT will open Group A play against the No. 5 team in the world, Sweden, on Sept. 21 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Following that game, the U.S. will play matches against Nigeria on Sept. 25 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and against North Korea on Sept. 28 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Should the U.S. advance to the quarterfinals, the team will play one of the top two teams from Group B at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Both semifinals will be played at PGE Park in Portland, Ore., on Sunday, Oct. 5, while the final and third place match will be played as stand alone games on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, respectively, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. In the rest of the draw, the other teams ranked in the top four in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking –Norway, Germany and China – were given top seeds in the other three groups. Joining Norway in Group B are Brazil, France and South Korea. Joining Germany in Group C are Canada, Japan and Argentina. And finally, in Group D with China are Ghana, Russia and Australia. The top two teams in Group C and D will face each other in the quarterfinals at PGE Park.
FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 – Groups
Group A: USA, Sweden, Nigeria, North Korea
Group B: Norway, Brazil, France, South Korea
Group C: Germany, Canada, Japan, Argentina
Group D: China, Ghana, Russia, Australia
FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 – U.S. WNT Schedule
Date             Opponent         Venue; City                                                 Kickoff
Sept. 21       Sweden             RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.                12:30 p.m. (ET)
Sept. 25       Nigeria              Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia, Pa.      3:45 p.m. (ET)
Sept. 28       Korea DPR       Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio  7:30 p.m. (ET)
Oct. 1          Quarterfinals*    Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.                 4:30 / 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Oct. 5          Semifinals*        PGE Park; Portland, Ore.                            4:30 / 7:30 p.m. (PT)
Oct. 11        Third Place*      The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.      12:30 p.m. (PT)
Oct. 12        Final*                The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.      10 a.m. (PT)
*if necessary

FIFA ANNOUNCES KICKOFF TIMES FOR ALL 32 WWC MATCHES: FIFA announced the kickoff times for all 32 matches of the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003. The complete schedule is below:
Group A
No.    Date              Match-up               Venue                        Kickoff (ET)
  2      Sept. 20        NGA vs. PRK        Lincoln Financial        2:45 p.m. 
  5      Sept. 21        USA vs. SWE        RFK Stadium            12:30 p.m. 
13      Sept. 25        SWE vs. PRK        Lincoln Financial        4:45 p.m. 
14      Sept. 25        USA vs. NGA        Lincoln Financial        7:30 p.m. 
21      Sept. 28        SWE vs. NGA       Crew Stadium           1 p.m. 
22      Sept. 28        PRK vs. USA        Crew Stadium            3:45 p.m. 
Group B
No.    Date              Match-up               Venue                        Kickoff (ET)
  1      Sept. 20        NOR vs. FRA        Lincoln Financial        12 p.m. 
  6      Sept. 21        BRA vs. KOR        RFK Stadium            3:15 p.m.
  9      Sept. 24        NOR vs. BRA        RFK Stadium            5 p.m. 
10      Sept. 24        FRA vs. KOR        RFK Stadium            7:45 p.m. 
17      Sept. 27        KOR vs. NOR       Gillette Stadium         12:45 p.m. 
19      Sept. 27        FRA vs. BRA         RFK Stadium            12:45 p.m. 
Group C
No.    Date              Match-up              Venue                        Kickoff (ET)
  3      Sept. 20        GER vs. CAN       Crew Stadium            5:45 p.m. 
  4      Sept. 20        JPN vs. ARG         Crew Stadium            8:30 p.m. 
11      Sept. 24        GER vs. JPN         Crew Stadium            5:45 p.m. 
12      Sept. 24        CAN vs. ARG       Crew Stadium            8:30 p.m. 
18      Sept. 27        CAN vs. JPN        Gillette Stadium          3:30 p.m. 
20      Sept. 27        ARG vs. GER        RFK Stadium            3:30 p.m. 
Group D
No.    Date              Match-up              Venue                         Kickoff (PT)
  7      Sept. 21        AUS vs. RUS        Home Depot Center    5:30 p.m. 
  8      Sept. 21        CHN vs. GHA       Home Depot Center    8:15 p.m.      
15      Sept. 25        GHA vs. RUS        Home Depot Center    4:15 p.m. 
16      Sept. 25        CHN vs. AUS        Home Depot Center   7 p.m. 
23      Sept. 28        GHA vs. AUS        PGE Park                  5:15 p.m.
24      Sept. 28        RUS vs. CHN        PGE Park                  8 p.m. 
Quarterfinals
No.    Date            Match-up                Venue                        Kickoff (local)
26      Oct. 1         1st B vs. 2nd A        Gillette Stadium          4:30 p.m. ET
25      Oct. 1         1st A vs. 2nd B        Gillette Stadium          7:30 p.m. ET
27      Oct. 2         1st C vs. 2nd D        PGE Park                  4:30 p.m. PT
28      Oct. 2         1st D vs. 2nd C        PGE Park                  7:30 p.m. PT
Semifinals
No.     Date          Match-up                Venue                        Kickoff (PT)
29      Oct. 5        W25 vs. W27          PGE Park                  4:30 p.m.
30      Oct. 5        W26 vs. W28          PGE Park                  7:30 p.m.
Third Place / Final
No.    Date          Match-up                 Venue                        Kickoff (PT)
31      Oct. 11      L29 vs. L30            Home Depot Center   12:30 p.m.
32      Oct. 12      W29 vs. W30         Home Depot Center   10 a.m.

 – U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

UNDER-20s POST PERFECT 4-0 RECORD, WIN USASA SOCCER FESTIVAL INT’L DIVISION: After opening the 2003 USASA Soccer Festival in Houston, Texas, on July 27 with a 1-0 win over the Midwest Region select team, the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team added three more victories last week to finish 4-0 and win the international division of the annual competition. After providing the lone goal in the first match, forward Ed Johnson helped the U.S. to its next two victories, scoring in both a 3-0 win over El Salvador on July 29 and adding an insurance goal in a 2-0 win over Honduras on July 31. In the team’s final match, midfielder Ed Grabavoy provided an assist and a game-winning goal to help the U.S. overcome Canada 2-1 and remain unbeaten at the event. The tournament marked the first time that the team had played a match since early March.
U.S. U-20 MNT Results – 2003 USASA Soccer Festival
Date           Opponent                Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
July 27        USASA Midwest    1-0 W    E. Johnson
July 29        El Salvador             3-0 W    E. Johnson, Grabavoy, Cameron
July 31        Honduras                2-0 W    Klaas, E. Johnson
Aug. 2        Canada                    2-1 W    Barclay, Grabavoy

ADU’S FOUR GOALS HELP UNDER-17s OPEN ENGLAND TOUR WITH TWO WINS: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team got four goals in two games from 14-year-old forward Freddy Adu to post wins in their first two matches of a four-game trip to Manchester, England. Adu converted a penalty kick in the 41st minute after MetroStars midfielder Eddie Gaven was taken down in the box to give the U.S. a 1-0 victory over Australia today. In their opening match, the U-17s got a goal from forward Jamie Watson in the 6th minute and three second-half strikes from Adu as they downed the U-18 Blackburn Rovers 4-2 on Aug. 2 at the Blackburn Rovers Academy. The U.S. will next face the Manchester United youth team on Thursday (Aug. 7) before finishing the tour against fellow FIFA U-17 World Championship participant Nigeria on Saturday (Aug. 9). The team will travel to Finland to undergo final preparation for the World Championship, which takes place from Aug. 13-30.
U.S. U-17 MNT Results / Schedule
Date           Opponent                    Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
Aug. 2        Blackburn                    4-2 W    Watson, Adu (3)
Aug. 4        Australia                      1-0 W    Adu
Aug. 7        Manchester United
Aug. 9        Nigeria

U.S. U-17 STARS MAKE SPLASH IN SEPTEMBER ISSUE OF YM: Seven of the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team players are featured in the "Boys of the Month" section of the September issue of YM (Your Magazine, formerly Young and Modern). Danny Szetela, Steve Curfman, Freddy Adu, Kyle Helton, Guillermo Gonzalez, Michael Harrington and Jonathan Spector are all pictured in the magazine, along with a short bio on each player. There are also pictures of four U-17 MNT players – John DiRaimondo, Adrian Chevannes, Corey Ashe and Brandon Owens – on the YM Web site at: http://www.ym.com/boys.

U-17 WOMEN POST 2-0-2 UNDEFEATED RECORD AT USASA SOCCER FESTIVAL: The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team posted an undefeated record of 2-0-2 while playing against older competition at the USASA Soccer Festival last week. The U-17 Women, who improved to 6-0-2 in 2003, began with a 1-1 tie with the USASA East select team, with Yael Averbuch providing a penalty kick strike in the 70th minute to even the match. After holding the USASA West to a scoreless draw in their second match, the U-17 Women exploded with a 2-0 win over the USASA South and then a 5-0 rout of the Midwest region in its final match, with Cydne Currie providing a first-half hat trick and Mandy Moraca adding a pair in the second stanza.
U.S. U-17 WNT Results – 2003 USASA Soccer Festival
Date           Opponent                Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
July 28        USASA East          1-1 T     Averbuch
July 30        USASA West         0-0 T     ---
Aug. 1        USASA South         2-0 W    n/a
Aug. 2        USASA Midwest    5-0 W    Currie (3), Moraca (2)

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

MLS ALL-STARS DOWN CHIVAS 3-1 IN FRONT OF SOLD-OUT CROWD AT H.D.C.: The best of MLS defeated the visiting CD Guadalajara 3-1 in the 2003 Pepsi MLS All-Star Game on Aug. 2 in front of a sellout crowd of 27,000 fans at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Following a spirited but scoreless first half, MLS All-Stars head coach Bob Bradley made a series of offensive changes at the halftime break, bringing on the potent attacking trio Ante Razov, Landon Donovan and eventual MVP Carlos Ruiz. The plan worked, as Razov, Ruiz and midfielder DaMarcus Beasley tallied for the MLS All-Stars in a 28-minute span in the second half, while Jair Garcia provided the lone offense for Chivas with an equalizer in the 66th minute. K.C. Wizards midfielder Preki made MLS history in the match, becoming the only player to start all eight All-Star games.

CAPE COD TO DEFEND PDL TITLE AGAINST CHICAGO FIRE RESERVES ON SATURDAY: In a showdown of the league’s top two offensive clubs and a rematch of the 2002 final, the Cape Cod Crusaders will defend their title against the Chicago Fire Reserves in the Premier Development League championship on Saturday (Aug. 9) at 7 p.m. ET at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville, Ill. The game will be broadcast via tape delay at 10:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports World. The Crusaders (12-4-2), who led the league in scoring with 64 goals in 18 games, advanced to the championship with a 4-2 victory over the visiting Memphis Express. The Fire Reserves finished second in the league in the regular season with a 15-2-1 record and had the league’s second-best offense with 60 goals and the fourth-best defense with 17 goals allowed in 18 games. The match will be the second of a doubleheader between the Chicago Fire and the MetroStars of MLS that begins at 4 p.m. ET.

W-LEAGUE FINAL SET FOR THIS WEEKEND IN VIRGINIA BEACH: The 2003 W-League season is down to four teams heading into the W-League Championship tournament this weekend in Virginia Beach, Va., as the Chicago Cobras, Ottawa Fury and Seattle Sounders Women join the host Hampton Roads Piranhas. The semifinals kick off on Friday (Aug. 8) as the Cobras (10-1-1) face the Fury (11-2-1) at 5 p.m. ET, while the Sounders Women (8-3-1) will take on the unbeaten regular season champion Piranhas (12-0-0) at 7:30 p.m. ET. The championship will be held on Sunday (Aug. 10) live on Fox Sports World at 5:00 p.m. ET. The Third Place game is set for 2:30 p.m. ET.

***U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT***

PEAK PERFORMER:  Although their four-game pre-season swing through the States appeared on paper to be more of a publicity tour than a serious series of exhibitions, Manchester United came out to play, posting four decisive victories and a goal margin of 14-3 over some of the top clubs in the world to warm up for what appears to be yet another season dominating the English Premier League.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: The most intriguing of the eight U.S. Open Cup fourth round matches that take place this week comes on Wednesday (Aug. 6) at The Home Depot Center, as the 2002 MLS champion L.A. Galaxy host the Fresno Fuego, a USASA-affiliated amateur team that qualified out of the USL’s Premier Development League. The Fuego have been on fire, scoring a total of nine goals in their last two wins over professional clubs in the Utah Blitzz and El Paso Patriots.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Who knew that U.S. MNT goalkeeper Tim Howard would perform so well in his first two games as part of ManU lore, especially against the likes of Juventus and Barcelona? After making 12 saves in his debut, a 4-1 win at Giants Stadium, he was again up to the task in keeping Barca to just one goal in a 3-1 victory at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly, drawing much praise from Sir Alex (see below.)

QUOTABLE: "He was excellent. He's very, very agile; he's brave, he's quick. That was a very good debut for him today. We were hoping the boy would have a good debut because it's his hometown. It was a big night for him and he's come through."
--Manchester United head coach Alex Ferguson on Howard’s debut in New Jersey

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