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U.S. Soccer Wire: March 2, 2009


U.S. UNDER-20 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM READY TO KICK OFF
2009 CONCACAF U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO;
U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM SET TO START 2009 AT THE ALGARVE CUP,
WITH NEWLY APPOINTED ASSISTANT COACH HEGE RIISE

U.S. U-20 MNT TRAVELS TO TOBAGO FOR 2009 CONCACAF UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has named 20 players who will compete for the 2009 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, from March 6-15 in Trinidad & Tobago. The tournament will qualify four teams to the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, which will take place from Sept. 24-Oct. 16 in Egypt. The U.S. convened in Bradenton, Fla., on Feb. 24 for five days of training before traveling on March 2 to Bacolet, Tobago, site of the USA’s three group games. The U-20s will have four days of final preparation leading into the opening game of the tournament. Of the 20 players on the qualifying roster, nine are currently professionals, with six in Major League Soccer and three overseas. The roster also features three players who were part of the U.S. team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada in midfielder Bryan Arguez, goalkeeper Brian Perk and defender Anthony Wallace.

U.S. Under-20 MNT 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (Central Florida; Lilburn, Ga.), Josh Lambo (FC Dallas; Middleton, Wis.), Brian Perk (UCLA; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7): Gale Agbossoumonde (unattached; Syracuse, N.Y.), Kyle Davies (Southampton; Danville, Calif.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), Aaron Maund (Notre Dame; Dorchester, Mass.), Amobi Okugo (San Juan Lightning; Sacramento, Calif.), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Sheanon Williams (unattached; Boston, Mass.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin; Miami, Fl.), Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo; Glendale, Ariz.), Dilly Duka (Rutgers; Montville, N.J.), Jared Jeffrey (Club Brugge; Richardson, Texas), Brian Ownby (Virginia; Glen Allen, Va.); Brek Shea (FC Dallas; College Station, Texas)
FORWARDS (4): Sam Garza (Denver; Highland Village, Texas), Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas; Rockford, Ill.), Billy Schuler (North Carolina; Allentown, N.J.), Tony Taylor (Jacksonville; Jacksonville, Fla.)

U.S. U-20 MNT CONCACAF U-20 Championship Schedule

Date Opponent Time (Local / ET) Venue; City
March 6 Jamaica 7 p.m. / 6 p.m. Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago
March 8 Honduras / St. Vincent & the Grenadines 6 p.m. / 6 p.m. Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago
March 10 El Salvador 7 p.m. / 7 p.m. Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago
March 13 Semifinals TBD Marvin Lee Stadium; Macoya, Trinidad
March 15 Final / Third Place TBD Marvin Lee Stadium; Macoya, Trinidad


SUNDAGE NAMES HEGE RIISE U.S. WNT ASSISTANT COACH AHEAD OF ALGARVE CUP: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has added former Norwegian star Hege Riise to her coaching staff. The long-time captain for Norway, Riise made her international debut in 1990 and played in four FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments (1991, 1995, 1999 and 2003), helping Norway to the title in 1995 as well as an Olympic gold medal in 2000. Riise has joined the U.S. team in Portugal at the Algarve Cup, which is being held from March 4-11, where the Americans will play Norway in their third group match. The two-time defending Algarve champion U.S. WNT will open up against Denmark on March 4 at Municipal Stadium in Lagos. Kickoff time is noon local and 7 a.m. ET. Fans can follow all the U.S. matches on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The USA’s other Group B matches will be played on March 6 in Ferreiras against Iceland (3 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET) and on March 9 in Albufeira against Norway (3 p.m. local / 11 a.m. ET). The U.S. must win its group to earn a place in the championship game, which will be played at the Estadio Algarve in Faro, a 30,000-seat venue built for the 2004 European Championship. The third-place match will also be played at the venue. Aside from the final and third-place games, the rest of the matches will be held in small stadiums spread out along the southern coast of Portugal.

U.S. WNT Algarve Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (3) (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (6) (St. Louis Athletica);
DEFENDERS (5): Rachel Buehler (2) (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (6) (St. Louis Athletica), Kendall Fletcher (1) (Los Angeles Sol), Heather Mitts (5) (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (9) (Sky Blue FC);
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (6) (Los Angeles Sol), Tina DiMartino (1) (FC Gold Pride), Carli Lloyd (4) (Chicago Red Stars), Heather O’Reilly (7) (Sky Blue FC), Lindsay Tarpley (7) (Chicago Red Stars), Kacey White (1) (Sky Blue FC), Angie Woznuk (2) (St. Louis Athletica);
FORWARDS (4): Angela Hucles (5) (Boston Breakers), Natasha Kai (4) (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (1) (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (4) (Boston Breakers).
Number of Algarve Cups attended, including 2009, in parenthesis

U.S. WNT Algarve Cup Schedule
Date Opponent Time (Local / ET) Venue; City
March 4 Denmark 12 p.m. / 7 a.m. Estádio Municipal; Lagos
March 6 Iceland 3 p.m. / 10 a.m. Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras
March 9 Norway 3 p.m. / 11 a.m. Estádio Municipal; Albufeira
March 11 Placement Match TBD TBD

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR U.S. MNT APRIL 1 MATCH AGAINST TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: U.S. Soccer fans looking forward to the second home match of the Final Round of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup can buy tickets now at ussoccer.com and ticketmaster.com. Tickets start at $20 and are available through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Central Tennessee (including Macy’s, Kroger, and FYE), as well as the LP Field ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages which include a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. national team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits), are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com. Kickoff for that match is set for 6:45 p.m. CT, and coverage begins live at 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2 and Galavision. The team’s final three FIFA World Cup qualifying matches at home will take place in Chicago, Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C. The U.S. will host Honduras on June 6 at Soldier Field (Game No. 5), and then face El Salvador at Rio Tinto Stadium on Sept. 5 in Sandy, Utah (No. 7). The team closes out the final round of qualifying against Costa Rica on Oct. 14 at historic RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. (No. 10).

U.S. Men’s National Team 2009 Schedule

Date Opponent Result / Time TV / U.S. Goal Scorer(s) Venue; City
Jan. 24 Sweden 3-2 W Kljestan (3) The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.
Feb. 11 Mexico* 2-0 W Bradley (2) Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
March 28 El Salvador* 9 p.m. ET ESPN2 / Telefutura Estadio Cuscatlán; San Salvador, El Salvador
April 1 Trinidad & Tobago* 6:30 p.m. ET ESPN2 / Galavision LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.
June 3 Costa Rica* TBD   Away (Venue TBD)
June 6 Honduras* 7 p.m. CT ESPN Classic / Galavision Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill.
June 15 Italy# 8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. ET   Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria
June 18 Brazil# 4 p.m. / 10 a.m. ET   Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria
June 21 Egypt# 8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. ET   Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace; Rustenburg
July 3-26 CONCACAF Gold Cup TBD TBD TBD
Aug. 12 Mexico* TBD TBD Away (Venue TBD)
Sept. 5 El Salvador* 5:30 p.m. MT ESPN Classic / Galavision Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Sept. 9 Trinidad & Tobago* 7 p.m. ET ESPN Classic / Galavision Away (Venue TBD)
Oct. 10 Honduras* TBD   Away (Venue TBD)
Oct. 14 Costa Rica* TBD ES  

* FIFA World Cup Qualifier
# FIFA Confederations Cup

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-20 WOMEN HEAD TO 10 NATIONS TOURNAMENT IN LA MANGA, SPAIN: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team head coach Jillian Ellis will bring 18 players to La Manga, Spain, from March 6-14 for the 10 Nations Tournament that will mark the first international matches of this cycle. The team will play three matches against European U-20 teams, taking on Norway on March 9, France on March 11 and Germany on March 13. The roster features six players from the USA’s 2008 U-17 Women’s National Team that finished second at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, including the Mewis sisters, Samantha and Kristie, the latter of whom won the Bronze Ball as the third best player of the tournament, and Vicki DiMartino, who won the Silver Shoe as the second highest scorer. The roster also features two players from the USA’s 2008 U-20 Women’s National Team that won the U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Chile, including Golden Ball and Golden Shoe winner Sydney Leroux, who scored five times in Chile to lead the Americans to victory. Ellis is preparing the USA to qualify for the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup that will be held in Germany.

U.S. U-20 WNT 10 Nations Tournament Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bianca Henniger (Santa Clara; Los Gatos, Calif.), Cat Parkhill (Minnesota; Apple Valley, Minn.)
DEFENDERS (5): Cloee Colohan (Black Diamond Park City SC; West Point, Utah), Camille Levin (Stanford; Newport Coast, Calif.), Kristie Mewis (SC Scorpions; Hanson, Mass.), Whitney Sharpe (UCLA; West Des Moines, Iowa), Brianne Young (Texas A&M; Castle Pines North, Colo.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Zakiya Bywaters (Neusport SC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Alexis Harris (Dallas Texans; Plano, Texas), Mandy Laddish (Blue Valley Stars; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Samantha Mewis (SC Scorpions; Hanson, Mass.), Casey Short (Florida State; Naperville, Ill.)
FORWARDS (6): Vicki DiMartino (Albertson Fury; Massapequa, N.Y.), Maya Hayes (Aristics Club; West Orange, N.J.), Sydney Leroux (UCLA; Phoenix, Ariz.), Tiffany McCarty (Florida State; Laurel, Md.), Kealia Ohai (Utah Avalanche; Draper, Utah), Toni Pressley (Florida State; Melbourne, Fla.)

U.S. U-17 WOMEN TRAIN AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER: U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team head coach Kazbek Tambi has called 24 players to a training camp at The Home Depot Center, which kicked off Saturday, Feb. 28, and runs through Friday, March 6. It is the second camp for this age group this year. Tambi oversaw a super camp with 48 players earlier this year in Florida. The players on this roster were mostly born in 1993 and 1994, with one born in 1995. This is a somewhat rare appearance for the U-17s in California, as the team did most of its training on the east coast leading up to the first U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup last year in New Zealand.

U.S. U-17 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bryane Heaberlin (Clearwater Chargers; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Molly Poletto (Storm – Copa; Englewood, Colo.), Abby Smith (Dallas Texans; Dallas, Texas)
DEFENDERS (5): Olivia Brannon (Michigan Jags; Troy, Mich.), Miranda Cornejo (San Diego Surf ; Vista, Calif.), Alexandra Courtnall (Eagles Premier; Westlake Village, Calif.), Laura Liedle (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Rachel Price (Space Coast; Melbourne Beach, Fla.)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Morgan Andrews (FC Stars of Mass.; Milford, N.H.), Morgan Brian (Ponte Verde Storm; St. Simons Island, Ga.), Kaysie Clark (KC Select Scream; Liberty, Mo.), Alexandra Doll (Bethesda SC; Bethesda, Md.), Caprice Dydasco (HSC Bulls; Honolulu, Hawaii), Isabel Farrell (Crossfire; Bellevue, Wash.), Shelby Payne (IMG Academies; Bradenton, Fla.), Sydney Payne (IMG Academies; Bradenton, Fla.), Cari Roccaro (Albertson Fury 93; East Islip, N.Y.), Ashley Spivey (Baltimore Bays; Baltimore, Md.)
FORWARDS (6): Mariana Galvan (Santa Clara Sporting; San Jose, Calif.), Kylie McCarthy (San Diego Surf; Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), Ashley Meier (Cleveland Whitecaps; Strongsville, Ohio), Cate Parchinski (Pride Predators; Colorado Springs, Colo.), Courtney Proctor (Santa Clarita United Blazers; Santa Clarita, Calif.), Taylor Smith (Solar Red; Fort Worth, Texas)

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

JOSH BLUE TO APPEAR ON COMEDY CENTRAL MARCH 27: U.S. Paralympic Soccer player Josh Blue, who three years ago was the winner of Season Four of Comedy Central’s Last Comic Standing, will once again bring his standup to the network as Comedy Central presents Josh Blue, at 10 p.m. ET on Friday, March 29. In 2006, Blue was selected over hundreds of comics to make the show and joined 11 other comedians to live on the cruise ship Queen Mary, where they competed in various contests to determine the top six. Once he made his way to the final six, the public voted to see who would stay and who would go home and Blue won over his audience to win the fourth season of the NBC comedy competition. Fans can check out more about Blue at www.joshblue.com.

USL TEAMS EARN VICTORIES IN CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTERFINALS: The CONCACAF Champions League returned to action after a short winter break, with the first leg of the quarterfinals taking place Feb. 24-26. The first match date of the series featured a 1-1 draw between the Houston Dynamo and Atlante at Robertson Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 24. One day later, the Montreal Impact eclipsed Santos Laguna 2-0 in front of 55,571 fans at the Stade Olympique in Montreal. Eduardo Sebrango scored twice for the Impact, securing a good lead before the team travels to Torreon, Mexico, for the second leg of the series. Cruz Azul fell to Pumas 1-0 in an all-Mexican League quarterfinal that same day. On Thursday, Feb. 26, it was the Puerto Rico Islanders’ turn to shine, defeating Honduran club Marathon in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The second leg of each series will be played March 3-6 and complete schedule information is available at www.concacaf.com.

US YOUTH SOCCER CELEBRATES 35TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2009: US Youth Soccer, the nation's largest youth sports organization, celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2009. The celebration kicks off at the organization's annual convention, the 2009 US Youth Soccer Workshop in San Jose, Calif., March 5-7, 2009. The Game for All Kids!® exploded from 100,000 players in 1974 to over 1 million in the early nineties. Today, US Youth Soccer registers more than 3.2 million players annually, ages 5 to 19 through 55 US Youth Soccer State Associations.

US YOUTH SOCCER NATIONAL LEAGUE BOYS UPDATE FROM GEORGIA: Teams battled the elements during the last day of play outside Atlanta, Ga. The weekend showcased talent from some of the top teams in the Under-15 through Under-17 Boys age groups. Congratulations to the Dallas Texans 93 Red (North Texas), the Under-16 Boys clinched the US Youth Soccer League title and ticket to the 2009 US Youth Soccer National Championships this weekend. The Under-17 Boys teams were unable to play their games and will be rescheduled for a later date.

2009 US YOUTH SOCCER WORKSHOP KICKS OFF IN SAN JOSE: The annual US Youth Soccer convention begins Thursday, March 5, and runs through Saturday, March 7, in San Jose, Calif., at the McEnery Convention Center. Over 3,000 soccer coaches, administrators, referees and enthusiasts are expected. The event, the largest of its kind for youth sports in North America, features more than 90 educational workshops and demonstrations. The Awards Gala is scheduled for Friday evening and the Kick Zone will be held Saturday with free admission.

*** CENTER CIRCLE SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: The Montreal Impact not only defeated Mexican Primera División club Santos Laguna 2-0 on Wednesday, Feb. 25, they also did it in front of 55,571 fans at the Stade Olympique in Montreal. The Impact’s Eduardo Sebrango opened the scoring five minutes into the match and closed it out with a 77th minute chip over Santos’ goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez. The Impact travel to Mexico for the second leg on Thursday, March 5, at 9 p.m. CT, live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: Clint Dempsey and Fulham will try to end Manchester United’s quest for an unprecedented trophy haul this season when the Cottagers host the European Champions in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup on Saturday. Fulham's home form has been stellar this year, and they'll need the backing of a reliable Craven Cottage crowd if they want to have a chance at beating United, who lifted the Carling Cup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. The game will be shown live on Setanta Sports on Saturday, with kickoff at 12:00 p.m. ET, so head to your local U.S. Soccer Bar to catch the action.

SOCCER SHOCKER: March has just begun but could the Premier League race already be over? Depending on who you ask, and that includes Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, the title may already be out of reach for the clubs chasing champions Manchester United. That's because an unexpected 2-0 loss to Middlesbrough this weekend has left the Reds seven points adrift of the leaders in the table, while Chelsea have leapfrogged the Merseysiders thanks to a superior goal differential. If that's bad news (or good news, depending on your perspective) then this may be worse: Manchester United can stretch their lead to double digits if they win their game in hand against Newcastle United on Wednesday.

QUOTABLE: "I've heard about FA Cup final songs - especially that Anfield Rap. I was thinking about hanging up my mic and retiring, but if we get to Wembley I can do better than that."
- U.S. MNT and Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey, on recording a song if Fulham reaches the FA Cup final, similar to the Anfield Rap sung by Liverpool players in the early ’90s.


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