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U.S. Soccer Wire: April 18, 2005


U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Qualifies for 2005 FIFA World Championship;
Tickets for Home Qualifier in Salt Lake City Go on Sale

U-17 MNT HEADS FOR THE ANDES: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team defeated Costa Rica, 2-1, on Saturday (April 16) at the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero in Heredia, Costa Rica, advancing to the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship. The match against Costa Rica was crucial for the U-17s, who had previously defeated El Salvador 3-0 in their first game and tied 1-1 with Cuba in their second. With four points heading into the third and final game, the team had to beat Costa Rica, who had six points, in order to finish in first place in Group A and secure a direct spot at the World Championship. Nikolas Besagno put the U.S. on the board in the 11th minute, when Blake Wagner served in the corner from the right side to the near post inside the six-yard box and the Costa Rican goalkeeper, Alfonso Quesada, reached up to snag it out of the air. With Jeremy Hall challenging in front of him, Quesada let it slip through his gloves and bounce to the back post where Besagno pounced on the loose ball and slammed it over the goal line. The U.S. doubled their lead in the 61st minute when Kevin Alston knocked the ball up the right sideline for Preston Zimmerman, who tried to get a flick on the ball but couldn’t get his head to it, allowing the ball to continue on its path into the penalty area. Omar Gonzalez timed a run perfectly, getting past his defender and hitting a one-time blast past the onrushing 'keeper into the open net. It was the first international goal for both Besagno and Gonzalez. The FIFA U-17 World Championship will take place from Sept. 16 to Oct. 2 in for venues across Peru. After qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Championship, the U.S. Under-17s will face Canada on Sunday (April 24) in Sunrise, Fla., as their northern neighbors conduct preparations for Group B of the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying, which will take place from May 17-21 in Mexico. Haiti and Honduras will join Canada and the host for the automatic berth to the World Championship and the berth to the two-game playoff against the Costa Rica for the third and final CONCACAF berth.
2005 CONCACAF Under-17 Qualifying Tournament
Date       Result                                       U.S. Goal Scorers 
April 12  USA 3, El Salvador 0             Ryan Soroka 17’, Kyle Nakazawa 28’, Preston Zimmerman 86’
                Costa Rica 3, Cuba 0 
April 14  USA 1, Cuba 1                        Kyle Nakazawa 1’
                Costa Rica 2, El Salvador 1 
April 16  Cuba 2, El Salvador 2 
                Costa Rica 1, USA 2              Nikolas Besagno 11’, Omar Gonzalez 61’

TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR JUNE 4 WORLD CUP QUALIFIER IN SALT LAKE CITY: Tickets are on sale beginning today 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.

BEASLEY BECOMES SECOND AMERICAN TO REACH CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMIFINALS: U.S. international midfielder DaMarcus Beasley becomes the second U.S. player in history to reach the Champions League semifinals as PSV Eindhoven slid past Olympique Lyonnais in penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation time on April 13 at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven. The teams has battled to a 1-1 draw in the first leg the week before, and finished with the same result before PSV advanced with a 4-2 scoreline in the penalty phase. Jovan Kirovski is the only other American to advance to the semifinal stage of the tournament, his Borussia Dortmund side having captured the Champions League title in 1997. Kirovski was a reserve for the first leg of the semifinals, but did not appear.  PSV will face AC Milan in the two-leg semifinal beginning April 26 at the San Siro in Milan, with the return leg set for May 4 in Eindhoven. "I'm very excited," Beasley told ussoccer.com. "It's great that in my first year in Europe we have accomplished this goal. It's a big step for my career. We have a great team at PSV, and I'm glad we can come through this together."

 -- FIFA 2006 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

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 Hartford match will mark the USA’s eighth overall appearance in Connecticut and their first visit to the state capital in 32 years, dating all the way back to a 1-0 win over Bermuda on Sept. 9, 1973. The team hasn’t played in the Nutmeg State since a 2-1 victory over Scotland on May 26, 1996 in New Britain, a victory that improved their overall record in Connecticut to 4-2-1. The World Cup qualifier comes one year after the Women’s National Team became the first U.S. team to play at the three-year-old Rentschler Field, topping China 3-0 in an Olympic send-off match in front of 15,093 fans on Aug. 1, 2004. In the 23-year history of the series vs. Trinidad & Tobago, the U.S. has an 11-1-3 record, including a flawless 7-0-1 mark at home. 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 THE AZTECAS 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 SWEET HOME: 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. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --

U.S. U-20 MNT WINS, TIES IN FIRST TWO GAMES OF HOLLAND TOUR: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defeated Feyenoord’s reserve squad 1-0 in Rotterdam, Holland, with a goal by Lee Nguyen in the 58th minute to kick off their three-game Holland tour on Tuesday (April 12). The U-20s followed up the victory with a 1-1 draw against FC Twente’s reserves in Enschede on Thursday (April 14) in which Arturo Alvarez nailed home the equalizer in the 78th minute. The U.S. travels to Maasbree on Tuesday (April 19) to take on Borussia Monchengladbach’s reserve team in the third and final match of the tour. This is the third camp for the U.S. Under-20s as they continue to prepare for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship from June 10-July 2 in Holland. The U.S. has already held a domestic camp in February and participated in an international tournament in South Korea in March after qualifying for the World Championship this past January by winning Group A of the CONCACAF Under-20 Qualifying Tournament at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
U.S. Under-20 MNT Results
Date        Matchup/Result                               U.S. Goal Scorers
April 12   USA 1, Feyenoord 0                      Lee Nguyen 58’
April 14   FC Twente 1, USA 1                      Arturo Alvarez 78’
April 19   USA vs. Borussia M’gladbach 

U-18 MNT GET SET FOR CAMP AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER IN CARSON, CALIF.: The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team will be gathering for a weeklong camp from April 23-30 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 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 '89 MNT TO PLAY IN BALLYMENT INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT: The U.S. Under-17 ’89 Men’s National Team will travel to 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. kicks off the tournament against Slovakia on April 25 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. will bring all 13 ’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
April 25     Slovakia
April 26      Israel
April 27     Northern Ireland
April 29     Placement Match

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

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.

2005 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES TO BE ANNOUNCED LIVE ON ESPNEWS: The 2005 Hall of Fame Inductees will be announced live on ESPNews on Tuesday (April 19) beginning at 4 p.m. ET. A number of well-known stars, such as Marcelo Balboa, Mike Burns, Thomas Dooley, John Harkes, Peter Nowak, Hugo Perez, Tab Ramos, Carlos Valderrama, and Peter Vermes, highlight the 2005 ballot. Most of these players were pioneers in the formation of Major League Soccer as well as stars for the U.S. Men’s National Team. The ballot also includes several members of the U.S. Women’s National Team who won the Women’s World Cup in 1991 or 1999, including Wendy Gebauer, Linda Hamilton, Mary Harvey, and Sara Whalen.

RYAN NAMED U.S. WNT HEAD COACH: Greg Ryan has been named the new Head Coach and Technical Director of U.S. Soccer's Women's National Team. Ryan, 48, was previously named the interim head coach after the resignation of April Heinrichs on Feb. 15, and he led the USA to the championship at the 2005 Algarve Cup in early March. In Portugal, the team was undefeated and did not allow a goal over four matches, including a 1-0 victory over Germany in the title game. Ryan had served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women's National Team since January of 2004 and was part of the staff that helped win the Olympic gold medal while setting a record for wins in a calendar year (28) and posting a 28-2-4 record. Ryan becomes the fifth head coach in the history of a program that has compiled a record of 262-50-35 since its inception in 1985. Ryan will be charged with overseeing the USA's five youth women's and girl's national teams as well as the transition from Under-19 to Under-20 for the next FIFA Women's Youth World Championship in 2006 in Russia.

D.C. FALLS TO UNAM PUMAS IN MEXICO CITY, BOWS OUT OF CHAMPIONS CUP: Defending MLS Cup Champion D.C. Untied fell to UNAM Pumas by a score of 5-0 on Wednesday (April 13) at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario in Mexico City. The loss knocks D.C. out of the CONCACAF Champions Cup final, which will be disputed between Pumas and Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica, who defeated Monterrey of Mexico in penalties. The first leg of the final will be played on May 4 at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Jose, Costa Rica. The return leg will be played on May 11 at the Estadio Tecnologico in Monterrey, Mexico. The winner of the 2005 Champions’ Cup will qualify for the FIFA Club World Championship to be held from Dec. 11-18 in Japan.
2005 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup Semifinal Round
Date        Result                                           
April 6     D.C. United 1, UNAM Pumas 1
April 7     Deportivo Saprissa 2, CF Monterrey 2
April 13   UNAM Pumas 5, D.C. United 0
April 13   CF Monterrey 1, Deportivo Saprissa 1 (3-5 pk)

ESPN2 TO TELEVISE MISL FINALS: The Major Indoor Soccer League and ESPN announced on Tuesday (April 12) 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 MISL Regular Season Champion receives an automatic bid to postseason play and earns the No. 1 seed as determined by regular season win percentage. 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.

FIRST WORLD CUP GOAL SCORER DIES: Frenchman Lucien Laurent, who scored the first goal in World Cup history, died on Monday (April 11) at the age of 97 years old. Laurent scored in the 19th minute of France’s 4-1 defeat of Mexico on July 13, 1930, in Montevideo, Uruguay. He scored twice in 10 appearances between 1930 and 1935 for “Les Bleus.”

USL SOCCERFEST HEADS TO TAMPA, PDL KICKS OFF SEASON: United Soccer Leagues and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission announced today that the inaugural USL SoccerFest will be held in Tampa, the home of the organization’s headquarters, in the fall of 2005. The USL SoccerFest is comprised of the USL 2005 Annual General Meeting, which takes place Oct. 29-31, and the Super Y-League North American Finals, which will be played from the 17th to the 22nd of November. Also in USL news, the Premier Developmental League kicks off on Saturday (April 23) as the San Diego Gauchos host the Fresno Fuego at 10:30 p.m. ET at the University of San Diego.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: The U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team showed just what they were made of on Saturday (April 16) when they faced Costa Rica at the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero in Heredia, Costa Rica. The match, which ended 2-1 in favor of the U.S., determined first and second place in Group A of CONCACAF World Championship qualifying. After a win against El Salvador and a draw against Cuba, the U.S. had to beat Costa Rica, who had two previous wins, in order to finish first and earn an automatic spot in the World Championship. The U.S. came out organized, aggressive and determined to get the win and earned a berth in the World Championship, which will be played from Sept. 16 to Oct. 2 in four venues across Peru.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The heat will be on in L.A. this weekend when the Galaxy squares off against expansion team Chivas USA on Saturday (April 23) in the first-ever MLS derby at The Home Depot Center. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET.

SOCCER SHOCKER: When is Australia not part of Oceania? When it’s part of Asia. The Football Federation of Australia moved one step closer to becoming part of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as they were released from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC). The AFC is willing to let Australia join the confederation pending approval from FIFA. The move would allow Australia to attempt to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup through the tougher Asia group, which has four direct World Cup qualifying spots and a playoff spot. Currently, the OFC winner has a playoff against a South American team in order to qualify.

QUOTABLE: ""I never thought this would happen in a million years.  My two biggest dreams as a kid were to play in the World Cup and in the Champions League, and I've been able to fulfill them both.  I can't wait to play in the San Siro against AC Milan."
-- U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder DaMarcus Beasley to ussoccer.com on being the second American to reach the Champions League semifinals.

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