US SoccerUS Soccer

U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. Women's National Team Reaches Algarve Cup Final Undefeated

U.S. WNT PLAY GERMANY IN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: The U.S. and Germany will meet for the first time in a major tournament final on Tuesday (March 15) when they play for the 2005 Algarve Cup Championship at the 30,000-seat Algarve Stadium in Algarve, Portugal. Tuesday’s match is the sixth Algarve Cup final for the U.S. women, who won the last two tournaments and three overall in their 10 appearances in Algarve. The U.S. reached the cup final after going undefeated in their three group games, racking up three shutouts to go with the three wins. It is the first time the U.S. has advanced out of group play without allowing a single goal. In the first game, the team battled France for a solid 1-0 win with a goal from forward Christie Welsh. Two days later, Welsh scored a pair and Abby Wambach added another as the U.S. cruised to a 3-0 win over Finland. The USA’s next opponent was Denmark, the only team to beat the U.S. during the 10-game Fan Celebration Tour in 2004. This time, the U.S. was able to overcome the Danish squad with two goals from Kristine Lilly, one from Wambach and another from Welsh. The two goals on the day brought Lilly's international total to 103, just two behind former teammate Michelle Akers and Italian legend Carolina Morace. Fans can follow the Algarve Cup final on’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
WNT Algarve Cup Schedule
Date         Opponent           Result/Time  U.S. Goalscorers
March 9    France               1-0 W            Welsh
March 11 Finland               3-0 W            Welsh (2), Wambach
March 13 Denmark            4-0 W            Lilly (2), Wambach, Welsh
March 15 Championship   8:15 p.m. local / 3:15 p.m. ET

U.S. MNT VS HONDURAS: Having moved operations to the elevation of Colorado Springs, the national team returns to work Monday after having Sunday off and two days of training already under their belt.  Working amidst the majestic presence of Pike's Peak, the group continues the process of acclimatization. Their first real test will come March 19 in Albuquerque, when the U.S. hosts Honduras at University Stadium.  Kickoff for the match is set for 2 p.m. MT, and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and HDNet. Fans can also follow the match live on's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 505-925-5858 or 800-905-3315, by visiting any retail outlet (including Raley's or Oshman’s stores in Albuquerque and Santa Fe), and at the UNM Ticket Offices at The Pit and the UNM Bookstore. The numbers in Colorado Springs will remain the same as in the last camp, as Reading FC midfielder Bobby Convey has been summoned to camp and will arrive tomorrow evening.  Convey will be making his first trip with the national team in 2005, having made nine appearances and seven starts last year.  Convey is the first of what is expected to be several European-based players added to the roster in advance of the upcoming qualifiers against Mexico and Guatemala.

U.S. MNT VS, ENGLAND: The U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team will face England for the first time since 1994 in a Memorial Weekend match-up at Chicago’s Soldier Field on May 28 at 2 p.m. CT, in a match being 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. Tickets ranging in price levels from $28 to $95 go on sale starting Thursday, March 31 at 12 p.m. CT through, by phone at 312-559-1212 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Chicagoland (including Coconuts, Hot Tix, and Tower Records stores). Also starting on March 31, groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at This will mark England’s sixth visit to the United States, with England posting a convincing 4-1-0 record against the U.S., including a 29-6 advantage in goal differential. This will be the fifth match the U.S. has played in Chicago, and the fifth different European power to come to the Windy City as an opponent. The U.S. has a 1-1-2 record in Chicago since 1993 versus the likes of Portugal, Italy and Germany in addition to the aforementioned Poland match-up in 2004.


COLUMBUS TO HOST WORLD CUP QUALIFYING MATCH AGAINST MEXICO IN SEPTEMBER: 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 via 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 near future.

SALT LAKE CITY TO HOST WORLD CUP QUALIFIER AGAINST COSTA RICA: The U.S. MNT will host Costa Rica on Saturday, June 4 in Salt Lake City, Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium at 5:30 p.m. MT in their fourth of 10 final round qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The match against Costa Rica will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and will be followed by MLS expansion franchise Real Salt Lake hosting FC Dallas as the second game of the doubleheader at 8 p.m. Fans can also follow the U.S. match live at via MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The match in Salt Lake City is the second of five qualifiers in this round to be played in the United States. Tickets will range from $25 to $68 and on-sale details will be announced later in March. Fans can register for advance ticket information and an advance private sale at Real Salt Lake season tickets will be honored for the doubleheader.

U.S. MNT QUALIFIER IN ALABAMA DRAWS CLOSER, TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE: There is still time to purchase tickets for the United States Men’s National Team’s first home game of the final round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday, March 30, at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Tickets range in price from $18 to $55 and can be purchased online at, all Ticketmaster outlets throughout Alabama (including Publix and Coconuts), and by phone at 1-800-277-1700. Groups of 15 or more can order through the Alabama Sports Foundation at 205-967-4745, ext. 119. 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 live on’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The U.S. will be returning to Birmingham’s Legion Field Stadium 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 last time the teams met was during semifinal round qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The teams split points in a 1-1 draw in Mazatenango, Guatemala on July 16, 2000, then Brian McBride tallied the lone goal in the USA’s hard fought 1-0 win on Sept. 3, 2000 at RFK Stadium.

U.S. PREPARES TO MEET MEXICO AT THE ESTADIO AZTECA: 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. The top three teams 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.  Drawn as Team 6 in the final round format, the U.S. faces a tricky road to Germany as their first two games take place on the road. The U.S. gets 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.  The first U.S. home game will be played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. on March 30, with kick off scheduled for 7 p.m. CT. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. The second home game, against Costa Rica, will be played at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, with kickoff scheduled for 5:30 p.m. MT on Saturday, June 4. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow both matches live on’s Matchtracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Venues for the other three home games will be announced shortly.
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 vs. Panama
March 26 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 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-20s TO FACE ARGENTINA, EGYPT AND SOUTH KOREA IN SUWON, SOUTH KOREA; ROSTER, TO BE RELEASED TUESDAY: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will face Argentina, Egypt and South Korea in the Suwon International Youth Football Tournament in Suwon, South Korea, from March 22-26. U.S. U-20 head coach Sigi Schmid will name his roster on Tuesday (March 15) for the four-team tournament, which will serve as preparation for the U.S. as they prepare for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland from June 10-July 2. The U.S. opens the four-team, round-robin tournament against Argentina on Tuesday, March 22 at 4:30 p.m. local time/2:30 a.m. ET, before meeting the host two days later at 7 p.m. local time/5 a.m. ET and concluding play against Egypt at 12:30 p.m. local time/10:30 p.m. ET. All of the matches in the tournament will be played at Suwon World Cup Stadium.  In an interesting twist of fate, the U.S. was recently drawn into Group D of the FIFA World Youth Championship with two of the opponents they will face in Suwon – Argentina and Egypt. At the WYC, the U.S. is scheduled to play all their group games at Enschede Stadium in Enschede, Holland, opening up the tournament against Argentina on June 11, before meeting Germany on June 14 and finishing group play against Egypt on June 18. This is the second trip to the Asian country in the past 10 months for the Under-20s, as the U.S. traveled to the southern city of Busan for the Four Nations International Tournament this past June. With Thomas Rongen the head coach at the time, the U.S. finished third in the tournament, falling to South Korea 1-0 in the opening match in front of 30,000 fans, before dropping a tough 2-1 decision to Brazil and then drawing with Poland in their final match.

U-17 MNT WILL TRAVEL TO NORTH CAROLINA FOR THREE-MATCH SERIES: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will travel to Wilmington, N.C., to face three local college teams in three days this weekend. Head coach John Hackworth will bring 20 players to Wilmington to face Davidson, UNC-Wilmington and Wake Forest. The U.S. will open up the weekend on Friday, March 18 when they take on Davidson at 7 p.m. on the campus of UNC-Wilmington, before meeting UNC-Wilmington on Saturday, March 19 at 7 p.m. and finishing up on Sunday, March 20 against Wake Forest at 2 p.m. All three matches will take place at UNC-Wilmington Soccer Stadium.
U-17 MNT Schedule
Date         Opponent
March 18  Davidson
March 19  UNC-Wilmington
March 20  Wake Forest

U-17s SNAG FOUR VICTORIES, INCLUDING THREE AGAINST UVA, UND AND USF: Last week in Bradenton, the U-17s (Team A and B) came away with four victories against three college squads and a local U-18 club. The U-17s (Team B) opened the week on March 7 with a 3-1 win over the University of Virginia, getting goals from Eddie Ababio, Omar Gonzalez and Danny Ortega. A day later, the U-17s (Team A) erupted after a scoreless first half to notch three goals in the second stanza against the University of Notre Dame to cruise to a 3-1 victory. Quavas Kirk put the first points on the board when he finished off a service from Preston Zimmerman in the 51st minute. Five minutes later, Ryan Soroka doubled the U.S. lead as he buried a strike past the Notre Dame 'keeper after receiving a feed from Kirk. The match was put out of reach in the 82nd minute when Notre Dame suffered an own goal. On March 11, the U-17s played two matches in Tampa, snagging a 3-1 victory over the University of South Florida and a 7-0 thrashing of Brandon FC U-18. Against USF, David Arvizu opened the scoring in the 7th minute, followed by two strikes from Quavas Kirk. In the other match, Hector Jimenez scored the first and fourth goals, while Ryan Peterman, Eddie Ababio, Josmer Altidore, Omar Gonzalez and Bryan Arguez also contributed to the scoring line.
U-17 MNT Results
Date      Opponent                               Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
March 7 University of Virginia              3-1 W   Ababio, Gonzalez, Ortega
March 8 Notre Dame University          3-1 W   Kirk, Soroka, Own goal
March 11 University of South Florida  3-1 W   Arvizu, Kirk (2)
March 11 Brandon FC U18                  7-0 W  Jimenez(2), Peterman, Ababio, Altidore, Gonzalez, Arguez


GERHARD MENGEL RECEIVES 2005 WERNER FRICKER BUILDER AWARD: Michigan Soccer Association President Gerhard Mengel was presented with the 2005 Werner Fricker Builder Award at U.S. Soccer’s 2004 Annual General Meeting in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday (March 12). The Werner Fricker Builder Award is bestowed annually upon a person whose contributions to the development of soccer in the U.S. will live on for generations. Mengel’s dedication to the growth of soccer in the U.S. began as a player for the Carpathia Kickers of Detroit, Mich. Since then, he has founded or co-founded clubs, leagues and referee associations and served the game as a player, coach, referee, referee instructor and assessor and administrator. He is also chairman of the National Cups Committee and in December 2004, the National Men’s Over-30 Competition was renamed the Gerhard Mengel Men’s Over-30 Cup in his honor.

FIVE HONORED WITH PRESIDENT’S AWARDS AT ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia presented five individuals or groups with President’s Awards at the Annual General Meeting in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday (March 12). The President’s Awards are designed to recognize both individuals and institutions that have given selflessly of themselves for the betterment of our sport. Recipients of the award were former Men’s National Team star Paul Caligiuri; President of Illinois Adult Soccer and Chairman of the United States Adult Soccer Association Diversity Committee, George Chazaro; the Frisco Sports and Entertainment Complex; the Delaware Diversity Project and U.S. Soccer referee Kari Seitz.

APRIL HEINRICHS INDUCTED INTO COLORADO SPORTS HALL OF FAME: Former U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach, April Heinrichs, was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday (March 8), two days after being named Colorado Sportswoman of the year. Heinrichs grew up in Littleton, Colo. She was a part of two state championship teams at Heritage High School in Littleton, three national championship teams at the University of North Carolina and captained the team U.S. Women’s National Team that won the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991. Most recently, Heinrichs led the U.S. women to a Gold Medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, before stepping down from her duties as head coach.

MCBRIDE, BOCANEGRA BACK FOR 2005 MLS ALL-STAR GAME: U.S. Men’s National Team forward Brian McBride and defender Carlos Bocanegra will make a visit states-side for the 2005 All-Star game, this time wearing the colors of their club team: Fulham FC. For the second time in three seasons, the 2005 MLS All-Stars will square off against a foreign opponent when they play Fulham Football Club of the English Premier League on July 30 at 3:30 p.m. ET at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The match will be broadcast live on ABC Sports. McBride and Bocanegra are both former MLS All-Stars. McBride is a seven-time All-Star (1996-2002) and was named MVP in 1998. Both McBride and Bocanegra joined Fulham in 2004.

THREE C’S FOR THE USA: The United States Men’s National Team has been drawn against Costa Rica, Canada and Cuba in the first round of the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, CONCACAF announced on Wednesday (March 2). The U.S. will open Group B play against Cuba on Thursday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m. PT at Qwest Field in Seattle, before meeting Canada two days later on Saturday, July 9, at the same venue, the match slated for a 1:30 p.m. PT kickoff. The U.S. will travel across the country for their final group match against Costa Rica on Tuesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. In Group A, Colombia was announced as the second guest team and will join Honduras, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago in Miami as the four teams will play all of their group matches at the Orange Bowl. In Group C, four-time champion Mexico will join Guatemala, Jamaica and guest South Africa for two games in the Los Angeles area, opening at The Home Depot Center before moving to the L.A. Memorial Coliseum for their second match. The teams will travel to Houston for their final group matches, closing out the first round on July 13 at Reliant Stadium. The top two teams from each group and the two best third-place teams will advance to the quarterfinals in Foxboro and Houston on July 16 and 17, respectively. Giants Stadium will host the semifinal matches on July 21 and the Gold Cup Final on July 24. The eighth edition of the Gold Cup will be held across seven U.S. venues from July 6-24.
2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup Groups
Group A                      Group B        Group C
Honduras                    USA              South Africa
Panama                      Costa            Rica Guatemala
Trinidad & Tobago    Canada         Mexico
Colombia                   Cuba              Jamaica

D.C. WINS, WIZARDS TIE IN CONCACAF 2005 CHAMPIONS’ CUP OPENER: Josh Gros and Alecko Eskandarian both scored to give D.C. United a 2-1 win over Jamaican club Harbour View on Wednesday (March 9) at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md., in the first leg of the 2005 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. D.C. United faces the Jamaican squad again on March 16 at Harbour View Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. In Kansas City, the Wizards battled to a 0-0 tie with Deportivo Saprissa, of Costa Rica, at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City will travel to San Jose, Costa Rica, for the second leg of the tournament, meeting up with the Costa Rican champion again on March 17 at Estadio Saprissa. The winner of the Champions’ Cup will represent CONCACAF at the FIFA Club World Championships to be held in Japan from Dec. 11-18, 2005. The second-place team will represent CONCACAF as one of the final 16 teams of the CONMEBOL Copa Sudamericana, played from October through December 2005.
Champions’ Cup Quarterfinals Schedule – First Leg
Date       Matchup                                                               Result
March 9 DC United vs. Harbour View                              2-1
               Kansas City Wizards vs. Deportivo Saprissa  0-0
               Rayados de Monterrey vs. CSD Municipal       2-1
               CD Olimpia vs. UNAM Pumas                           1-1
Champions’ Cup Quarterfinals Schedule – Second Leg
Date         Matchup                                                                Time (local); Venue
March 16 Harbour View vs. DC United                               7:30 p.m.; Harbour View Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica
                 CSD Municipal vs. Rayados de Monterrey        8 p.m.; Estadio Mateo Flores, Guatemala City, Guatemala
                 UNAM Pumas vs. CD Olimpia                            8:30 p.m.; Estadio Olimpico Universitario, Mexico City, Mexico
March 17 Deportivo Saprissa vs. Kansas City Wizards   8 p.m.; Estadio Saprissa, San Jose, Costa Rica


PEAK PERFORMER: Although usually only one player is awarded Peak Performer honors for the week, this week’s accolades go to the U.S. Women’s National Team’s entire back line. The USA’s defense, made up of Heather Mitts, Lorrie Fair, Cat Reddick, Stephanie Lopez, Kate Markgraf, Jill Oakes and Lindsey Huie, and goalkeepers Hope Solo and Nicole Barhart, held all three of their opponents scoreless in group play for the first time in their history at the Algarve Cup. Their next challenge is the biggest as they face an also undefeated German squad in the championship game tomorrow (Tuesday, March 15) at 3:15 p.m. ET in Algarve, Portugal.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: In a rematch of the 2004 Olympic quarterfinals, the U.S. women square off against a powerful German Women’s National Team in the Championship game of the 2005 Algarve Cup tomorrow (March 15) at 3:15 p.m. ET. It will be the first meeting in a major tournament final for the two teams, as the Germans have become one of the USA’s biggest rivals, and one they have faced in the knockout phase of major tournaments for three straight years.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Columbus Crew goalkeeper Jon Busch became just the seventh player in long history of the U.S. Men’s National Team to earn a shutout in his first cap with the team. He is also one of just five players to earn a shutout victory in his first cap. Busch held South American power Colombia scoreless, making two saves on nine shots in a 3-0 win on March 9 in Fullerton, Calif., in a preparation match for both teams as they face upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

QUOTABLE: "I was nervous.  It's my first cap, but once you get out there, after the first five or 10 minutes you get comfortable and get used to it and it's just like any other soccer game.  Except different, totally different."
     -- Eighteen-year-old Amy Rodriguez on getting her first cap with the U.S. WNT against Finland in the Algarve Cup.