MIA ADDS THREE ASSISTS, WAMBACH NOTCHES FIRST CAREER HAT TRICK FOR U.S.: The U.S. Women's National Team put forth a dominating effort in the stifling heat and humidity yesterday, pouring in six unanswered goals in the second half to pound Scotland, 8-2, at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The Washington Freedom forward tandem of Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach accounted for most of the offensive explosion, with each player notching a hat trick. For Hamm, it was the 10th of her international career, while it was the first for Wambach. Hamm, who missed the first nine national team games of the 2002 while recovering from knee surgery, added three assists and showed that she was back in form and ready to help the U.S. team in its qualifying run for the 2003 Women's World Cup. Hamm was named Chevrolet Player of the Match and upped her career goal total to 133. The match marked the first meeting ever between the teams and Scotland showed some pluck in the first half, going into the break with a surprising 2-2 tie on the strength of a goal and assist from captain and forward Julie Fleeting. U.S. head coach April Heinrichs made four halftime subs, including Wambach, and the USA proved too powerful for the Scots, who wilted in low 90s temperatures as the game wore on.
WIZARDS TO MEET CREW IN U.S. OPEN CUP SEMI TOMORROW AT 8 P.M. ET ON FSW/FSWE: The Columbus Crew will host the Kansas City Wizards in the second and final 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal set for tomorrow night (Sept. 10) at 8 p.m. ET broadcast live on Fox Sports World and FSW Español. The match will mark the first ever meeting between these two Midwest teams in tournament play. The Columbus Crew have never lost an Open Cup game at home (5-0-1), while the Kansas City Wizards have earned two consecutive road victories in 2002. The winner of the Crew-Wizards match-up will meet the defending Open Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy for the 2002 title set for late October at a site to be determined. L.A. advanced to their second consecutive Open Cup Final after topping the Dallas Burn 4-1 on goals by Carlos Ruiz, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Cobi Jones and Simon Elliott in the first Semifinal on Sept. 3 at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif.
WUSA NAMES STARTERS, RESERVES FOR ALL-STAR GAME IN PORTLAND ON SEPT. 21: The WUSA unveiled the starting lineups and reserves for the North and South All-Star teams that will compete in the 2002 WUSA All-Star Game in Portland, Oregon on September 21. The WUSA's inaugural All-Star Game will have a World Cup flavor as 13 of the 22 starters competed at the historic Women's World Cup in 1999. Headlining the list for the South All-Stars is Washington's Mia Hamm, San Diego's Julie Foudy and 2002 WUSA Defensive Player of the Year Danielle Slaton of the Carolina Courage. San Jose's Brandi Chastain, New York's Tiffeny Milbrett and 2002 WUSA MVP and Offensive Player of the Year Marinette Pichon of the Philadelphia Charge lead the North squad. Carolina and Philadelphia each placed five players on the starting lineups, while San Jose has four. Fans, WUSA players, coaches and general managers, and a media panel selected the All-Star starting lineups. Carolina head coach Marcia McDermott and Philadelphia head coach Mark Krikorian will serve as the head coaches of the two WUSA All-Star teams.
2002 WUSA All-Star Game Lineups (* starters denoted by asterisk)
Goalkeepers (2): Melissa Moore* (Philadelphia), LaKeysia Beene (San Jose);
Defenders (5): Jenny Benson* (Philadelphia), Brandi Chastain* (San Jose), Jennifer Tietjen* (Philadelphia), Kate Sobrero (Boston), Erica Iverson (Philadelphia);
Midfielders (5): Lorrie Fair* (Philadelphia), Kristine Lilly* (Boston), Sissi* (San Jose), Tisha Venturini-Hoch* (San Jose), Angela Hucles (Boston);
Forwards (4): Katia* (San Jose), Tiffeny Milbrett* (New York), Marinette Pinchon* (Philadelphia), Maren Meinert (Boston).
Goalkeepers (2): Kristin Luckenbill* (Carolina), Briana Scurry (Atlanta);
Defenders (5): Danielle Slaton* (Carolina), Jennifer Grubb* (Washington), Joy Fawcett* (San Diego), Nel Fettig (Carolina), Carrie Moore (Washington);
Midfielders (5): Hege Riise* (Carolina), Tiffany Roberts* (Carolina), Homare Sawa* (Atlanta), Julie Foudy* (San Diego), Kylie Bivens (Atlanta);
Forwards (5): Mia Hamm* (Washington), Birgit Prinz* (Carolina), Abby Wambach* (Washington), Charmaine Hooper (Canada), Shannon MacMillan (San Diego).
— U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE —
U.S. WNT TO FACE AUSTRALIA, ITALY & RUSSIA IN 2002 NIKE U.S. WOMEN’S CUP IN OCT.: U.S. Soccer has finalized the opponents, dates and venues for the 2002 edition of the Nike U.S. Women’s Cup, the most prestigious women’s event conducted by U.S. Soccer, and one of the most respected women’s tournaments in the world. The four-team, six-game competition will feature the U.S. Women’s National Team, as well as Australia, Italy and Russia. In the tournament’s opening match, the U.S. will take on Russia at the Mitchel Athletic Complex on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 4 p.m. ET (TV broadcast to be determined). Tickets for the tournament opener, which is presented by Philips Electronics, range in price levels from $22 to $55 and are available now at 12 noon ET at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout the area (including The Wiz, Compact Disc World, Tower Records, HMV Record Stores and Filene’s) or by calling 631-888-9000 (Long Island) or 212-307-7171 (New York City). Groups of 20 or more can call the New York Power at 1-866-769-7849. From there, the tournament heads south to North Carolina, where the U.S. Women’s National Team will play two games as part of doubleheaders at the recently opened SAS Park in Cary, N.C. The U.S. Women will take on Australia on Wednesday, Oct. 2 (presented by Avaya) at 7:30 p.m. ET live on ESPN2, and finish the tourney against Italy on Saturday, Oct. 6 (presented by Chevrolet) at 2 p.m. ET live on ESPN2. Tickets for the N.C. doubleheaders, which range in price from $18 to $55, are now available at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout the Carolinas (including Kroger, Hecht's and FYE), by calling 919-834-4000 or going on-line at www.ticketmaster.com. For groups of 20 or more, call 312-528-1249.
T&T JOINS MEXICO AND PANAMA AS U.S. WOMEN’S WORLD CUP QUALIFYING OPPONENTS: The U.S. Women’s National Team’s road to the 2003 Women’s World Cup in China took its final shape last month with Trinidad & Tobago becoming the final team to qualify for the USA’s four-team group at the upcoming 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup. The tournament, which is serving as both the women’s championship of this region and as the qualifying tournament for the 2003 Women’s World Cup, is being played from Oct. 27 to Nov. 9 in the Los Angeles area, Seattle and Victoria, B.C. The two finalists at the 2002 Women’s Gold Cup will automatically qualify for the 2003 Women’s World Cup, while the winner of the tournament’s third-place game will qualify for a Women’s World Cup qualifying playoff against the third place team from Asia. The eight-team tournament, which features two groups of four teams each, will see the U.S. face Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico and Panama. The U.S. will open the tournament on Sunday, Oct. 27 against Mexico at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, before taking on Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif. The USA’s third group match will be played on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Safeco Field in Seattle against Panama. Should the U.S. qualify for the semifinals, the team will stay in Seattle, as both semifinals will be played as a doubleheader at Safeco Field on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Those semifinal matches will decide the two automatic CONCACAF berths at the 2003 Women’s World Cup, which is being played in China from Sept. 24 to Oct. 11, 2003. The tournament’s championship and third-place games will be played on Saturday, Nov. 9 in Pasadena, Calif., at the Rose Bowl. All of the tournament matches are being played as doubleheaders and will be televised live on Fox Sports World and Fox Sports World Espanol.
— U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE —
EURO LEAGUES BACK IN ACTION THIS WEEK AFTER INTERNATIONAL DATE: The European leagues kick back into action after international play ruled the weekend. Claudio Reyna sees action first as Sunderland meets Middlesbrough in a mid-table clash tomorrow (Sept. 10). Kasey Keller and first place Tottenham travel across town to Craven Cottage for the London derby against Fulham. Brad Friedel and Blackburn face another stiff test in the young season as they host Chelsea at Ewood park. In Germany, Tony Sanneh travels to the Weserstadion as F.C. Nurnberg face Werder Bremen, while Gregg Berhalter is expected to make his debut for Energie Cottbus against U.S. World Cup teammate Steve Cherundolo when their sides meet in a bottom-of-the-table clash. In Holland, league leaders Ajax and John O’Brien look to build on their great start, hosting F.C. Zwolle on Saturday (Sept. 14). NAC Breda and Earnie Stewart have a chance to improve their place in the standings, facing an away match against Heerenveen.
— U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE —
U.S. U-17s TO FACE ENGLAND, RUSSIA & YUGOSLAVIA IN ITALIAN TOURNAMENT: The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team departed yesterday for Italy, where they will take part in the FISF (Football International Solidarity Foundation) International Soccer Tournament, being played this week (from Sept. 12-16) in Gaeta and Formia. The tournament is being staged to commemorate the victims of Sept. 11 by the FISF and will see the U.S. square off in Group A play against England (Sept. 12), Russia (Sept. 13) and Yugoslavia (Sept. 15). The tournament also features the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy and Uruguay in Group B. The winner of each group will square off against each other in the tournament final on Sept. 16 at Stadio Riciniello in Gaeta.
Goalkeepers (2): Philip Marfuggi (West Windsor, N.J.), Quentin Westberg (Saint Cloud, France);
Defenders (5): Adrian Chevannes (Ft. Worth, Texas), Brandon Oot (Lafayette, N.Y.), Dwight Owens (Murrieta, Calif.), Jonathan
Spector (Arlington Heights, Ill.), Eric Vogl (Fayetteville, Ga.);
Midfielders (7): John DiRaimondo (St. Louis, Mo.), Edward Gaven (Hamilton, N.J.), Chris Germani (Yardley, Pa.), Guillermo Gonzalez (Paramount, Calif.), Brian Grazier (Edwardsville, Ill.), Daniel Szetela (Clifton, N.J.), Chase Wileman (Dallas, Texas);
Forwards (4): Corey Ashe (Virginia Beach, Va.), Michael Harrington (Greenville, N.C.), Jacob Peterson (Portage, Mich.), Robbie Rogers (Rolling Hills Estate, Calif.).
U-17 FULL-TIME RESIDENCY PROGRAM EXPANDED TO 30 PLAYERS AT IMG ACADEMY: U.S. Soccer has increased the number of players in their Under-17 Full-Time Residency Program to 30 players, all of whom began the fall semester last week at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. An additional 10 spaces in the residency program were added for the fall semester, as U.S. Soccer continues to increase its player development opportunities in this country. The 30 U.S. players have been placed in a setting where they attend classes at nearby Edison Academy and then return to the IMG campus to train daily under the guidance of U.S. Under-17 head coach John Ellinger and assistant coach John Hackworth. On the weekends, the team usually participates in a mixture of games and training sessions. Fourteen of the 30 players are beginning their first semester in the full-time program and nine are beginning their third semester after joining the full-time residency program in September 2001.
— AROUND THE SOCCER WORLD —
MEDIA ACCREDITATION FORM FOR 2002 WOMEN’S GOLD CUP NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE: Applications for media accreditation for the 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup are now being accepted. The entire accreditation process will be handled online: Simply visit the Football Confederation website at www.footballconfederation.com and click on the button for media accreditation application on the right-hand side. Deadline for application is Oct. 18. NO CREDENTIAL APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE DEADLINE. For the 2002 FC Women’s Gold Cup, in the light of heightened security measures throughout the USA, all journalists must have accreditation with photos. Accreditation centers will be established at each venue, in Pasadena and Fullerton, Calif.; Seattle, Wash., and Victoria, B.C., Canada. Media members are strongly advised to secure their credentials, once approved, prior to the actual beginning of the event. While accreditation centers will be open prior to matches, significant delays could result impairing the ability of media members to cover the event. All approved media applicants will receive, by return e-mail, details on the location and opening hours of the accreditation centers.
U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT
PEAK PERFORMER: Mia is back. We saw it in the second half of the WUSA season. But we hadn’t seen her back in top form in a U.S. uniform until yesterday’s 8-2 thrashing of Scotland in Columbus in which she notched her 10 career international hat trick to go along with three assists. The world’s greatest female goal scorer wreaked havoc on the Scottish defense, buzzing around and constantly pressuring the tired back line, pouncing on poor back passes and tormenting the goalkeepers with deft touches and impossible angles. A healthy and confident Mia couldn’t have resurfaced at a better time as the U.S. Women’s National Team readies for 2003 Women’s World Cup qualifying later this fall.
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: Well, it’s a pretty safe bet that a Lamar Hunt-owned team will be playing for the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship. The two Hunt-owned MLS franchises – Columbus Crew and Kansas City Wizards – will face off in Columbus tomorrow night (Sept. 10; live on Fox Sports World and FSW Espanol at 8 p.m. ET) to have the opportunity to knock off the defending champion L.A. Galaxy in late October.
SOCCER SHOCKER: Those who tuned into the ESPN broadcast at halftime to see the U.S. WNT tied 2-2 at halftime with Scotland must’ve been shocked. The U.S. was sluggish coming out of the gate, and Scottish captain and playmaker Julie Fleeting took advantage with a goal and an assist across three minutes to even to score before the break. But what was just as surprising as Scotland’s gutsy first-half performance was how badly they broke down in the summer heat in the second half to allow six unanswered goals. Couple the 8-2 loss with the Scotland Men’s National Team’s 2-2 draw with the Faroe Islands, and it was a poor showing all around for the kilt-wearing nation.
“It was a great start for us, but the second half showed the difference between the two countries. I think we were real beat, as you could tell at the end. The heat is definitely different from what we are used, and we struggled with that a bit, and our tired legs took its toll."
- Scotland WNT forward Julie Fleeting (also of the WUSA’s San Diego Spirit), on the sweltering 90-plus degree heat for the midday match in Columbus