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U.S. Soccer Wire - March 6, 2006


U.S. WNT Opens Algarve Cup Thursday, March 9, Against China;
U.S. MNT Defeats Poland, 1-0, in Kaiserslautern, Germany

U.S. WNT KICKS OFF ALGARVE CUP PLAY ON THURSDAY: The U.S. Women’s National Team arrived in Lisbon, Portugal, on Thursday morning (March 2) after an overnight flight from Newark, N.J., then hopped on a bus for the four-hour drive south to the scenic Algarve region. The U.S. opens Algarve Cup play March 9, against China, followed by Denmark on March 11, and France on March 13. In Group B, the U.S. team will face three teams ranked in the top-10 in the latest FIFA Women’s World Rankings, taking on China (9th), Denmark (8th) and France (7th). Eight games of the tournament will be broadcast live in Europe on Eurosport, which necessitated changes to venues and kickoff times from the originally release schedule. The change for television moved the USA’s third match against France to the beautiful 30,000-seat Stadium Algarve, built for the 2004 European Championships. Fans can follow all the U.S. games live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

U.S. MNT DOWNS POLAND, 1-0, IN GERMANY: Clint Dempsey headed home the game-winner early in the second half and the U.S. Men’s National Team fought through tough conditions, including a snowstorm in the final 20 minutes, to defeat Poland, 1-0, on Wednesday (March 1), in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The match was played at Fritz-Walter-Stadion, the location of the USA’s June 17 World Cup match against Italy. The win improves the USA’s record to 4-0-1 during their 2006 World Cup preparations. In front of 13,395 fans, a majority of whom were military personnel from Ramstein Air Base, the U.S. wore their new white Nike kits for the first time, opting for the long sleeves, as the temperature dropped to 28 degrees at kickoff. The U.S. also wore black armbands in loving memory of Aidan O'Malley, son of U.S. Soccer's Sports Medicine Manager Hughie O'Malley, who recently passed away after a battle with leukemia. The U.S. has now won four games in a row in 2006, outscoring their opponents 13-2 while posting three shutouts. The U.S. will return to Germany on March 22, to face the World Cup hosts at Westfalonstadion in Dortmund. Kickoff for the match is at 2:25 p.m. ET and will be televised live on ESPN2 and delayed on Telemundo. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.



U.S. MNT TO PLAY JAMAICA ON APRIL 11, IN CARY, N.C.: The U.S. Men’s National Team will continue its 2006 World Cup preparations with a match against Jamaica on Tuesday, April 11, at SAS Park in Cary, N.C. The match kicks off at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the match live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The match will occur just under a month before the team begins to use the Cary facility as their base training camp prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The team will begin final preparations for Germany on May 9, in Cary, and will train for approximately two weeks at the facility.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. UNDER-17 WOMEN DEFEAT GERMANY IN FIRST OF TWO MATCHES: The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team defeated the Germany U-17 Women’s National Team, 3-2, on March 5, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., as midfielder Teresa Noyola scored twice and added an assist on forward Sarah Salazar’s goal. The two teams will meet again on March 8. The USA, which out-shot Germany 21-9, opened the scoring in just the fourth minute off a corner kick as Noyola finished during a scramble in front of the net. In the 60th minute, U.S. head coach Erica Walsh inserted Salazar and midfielder Elli Reed into the match and both would figure in the scoring. The match remained 1-0 until the 67th minute when Salazar struck from just outside the penalty box, chipping the ball over goalkeeper Jana Burmeister. Germany pulled a goal back just four minutes later as Marie Pollmann tallied, but Noyola clinched the game in the 76th minute, converting a penalty kick earned by Reed, who was taken down in the box. Germany made the final margin close as Pollman got her second of the game in the 86th minute.

U.S. U-16 GNT and U-17 WNT Schedule
Date        Matchup / Result                                            Time
March 5    U.S. U-17 WNT 3, Germany U-17 WNT 2
March 6    U.S. U-16 GNT vs. Germany U-17 WNT           10 a.m.
March 7    U.S. U-17 WNT vs. U.S. U-16 GNT                  11 a.m.
March 8    U.S. U-17 WNT vs. Germany U-17 WNT            4 p.m.
March 9    U.S. U-16 GNT vs. Germany U-17 WNT            10 a.m.

U-17 MNT DOWNS VIRGINIA, GETS SET FOR VISITING U-18 MNT THIS WEEK: The U.S. Under-17 '89 Men's National Team got by the University of Virginia this past weekend on a last minute strike from Brandon Tarr. The match, which was played at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., was a close affair throughout before Greg Eckhart was able to find Tarr in the 90th minute for the winning goal. The U-17 '89 and '90 MNTs will each take on the U-18 MNT this week at IMG. The '89s will face the U-18s on Tuesday, March 7, while the '90s will meet the older national team on Thursday, March 9. During the coming weeks, the U-17s will welcome a few college teams as they will take on West Virginia, Connecticut and Wake Forest.

U-17 '89 MNT Result/Schedule
Date          Opponent     Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
March 4      UVa             1-0 W     Tarr
March 7      U-18 MNT
U-17 '90 MNT Schedule
Date          Opponent
March 9      U-18 MNT

U-18 MNT HOLDS SECOND CAMP OF 2006 AT IMG ACADEMIES IN BRADENTON, FLA.: The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team began its second camp of the year on March 4, at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Head coach Bob Jenkins invited 22 players into the camp, which ends March 11, and an additional 10 players currently in U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program will join the U-18s for practices during the week. The majority of the players were part of the initial 58-player camp that was held last month at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The U-18s will train every day and have two scheduled matches against the U-17 Men’s National Team on March 7 and March 9.
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U-18 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS: Matt Brutto (Warrington, Pa.), Warren Gross (Greenfield Center, N.Y.); DEFENDERS (7): Kemo Djedovic (Cupertino, Calif.), Doug Ferner (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Blair Gavin (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Colin Givens (Troy, Mich.), Cam Lamming (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), Jeff Leach (Canaan, Conn.), Danny Rodriguez (Oxnard, Calif.); MIDFIELDERS (10): Wilber Bonilla (Brentwood, N.Y.), Brandon Busch (San Diego, Calif.), Kaoru Forbess (Benton, Ark.), Jose Gonzalez (Soquel, Calif.), Eber Martinez (Arlington, Va.), Vince O’Campo (San Diego, Calif.), Kekoa Osorio (Makakilo, Hawaii), Michael Stephens (Naperville, Ill.), John Tardy (Staten Island, N.Y.), Ryan Thomas (Claremont Calif.); FORWARDS (3): Corben Bone (Plano, Texas), Dimitri Omphroy (Alameda, Calif.), Casey Townsend (Trever City, Mich.).

U-18 MNT Schedule
Date        Opponent
March 7    U-17 MNT
March 9    U-17 MNT

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

U.S. SOCCER REFEREE SEITZ TO OFFICIATE AT ALGARVE CUP; HUNT TO INSTRUCT: U.S. Soccer referee Kari Seitz was selected as one of the FIFA referees that will officiate at the 2006 Algarve Cup in Portugal. Seitz was the only U.S. official selected for the Algarve Cup and will join former U.S. FIFA Referee Sandra Hunt, who was assigned as one of the FIFA Referee Instructors for the tournament.

HOUSTON MLS TEAM TO BE RE-NAMED HOUSTON DYNAMO: Houston’s new Major League Soccer (MLS), will be known as Houston Dynamo after a brief stint as Houston 1836. The announcement came from team Gengeral Manager and President Oliver Luck at a press conference Monday (March 6) at the Museum of Natural Science’s Wiess Energy Hall. “Dynamo is a word to describe someone who never fatigues, never gives up,” said Luck. “The new name is symbolic of Houston as an energetic, hard-working, risk-taking kind of town. To me, Dynamo has a blue-collar feel to it, as well as an association with the energy business, which is one of the things Houston is known for. We think this is a great name that Greater Houston can rally around.”

GALAXY , REVOLUTION FACE SECOND LEG OF 2006 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS' CUP: Both the Los Angeles Galaxy and the New England Revolution played to scoreless draws in the opening leg of the 2006 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. New England was the home team against LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica on Wednesday (Feb. 22), playing at the National Sports Centre in Hamilton, Bermuda. The second leg of the series will take place March 8, at Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto in Alajuela, Costa Rica. The Galaxy hosted defending champion Deportivo Saprissa, also from Costa Rica, at The Home Depot Center and will head to Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Jose, Costa Rica, for the second leg of the series on March 8.

2006 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup Quarterfinals Schedule*
Date                 Teams / Result                                              Time (ET)
Wed, Feb. 22     New England Revolution 0, LD Alajuelense 0      --
Wed, Feb. 22     CD Olímpia 0, CF Toluca 2                              --
Wed, Feb. 22     Portmore United 1, Club América 2                    --
Thurs, Feb. 23    LA Galaxy 0, Deportivo Saprissa 0                    --
Wed, March 8     CF Toluca vs. CD Olimpia                              4 p.m.
Wed, March 8     Club América vs. Portmore United                   8 p.m.
Wed, March 8     LD Alajuelense vs. New England Revolution      9 p.m.
Wed, March 8     Deportivo Saprissa vs. LA Galaxy                    9 p.m.

* Home team is listed first and all times are Eastern. Telecast schedules will vary and not all games will air live.

GET DETAILED INFORMATION ON GERMANY FOR YOUR WORLD CUP TRIP: U.S. Soccer is working with the German National Tourist Office to help give American fans traveling to Germany to watch the World Cup a source and tool for making their trip this summer an unforgettable one. Germany is rolling out the red carpet for visitors with diverse soccer-related fan festivals, cultural events and special exhibitions in all 12 host cities, as well as smaller towns. Along with public viewing locations for all 64 games, there will be theater events, concerts and parties before, during and after the World Cup. Media and fans can find out about all these spectacular events and get detailed information on every host city by logging onto the German National Tourist Office website at cometogermany.com.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. MNT midfielder Bobby Convey and goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann have not let their guard down for their club, English Championship side Reading FC. Convey scored his sixth goal of the season and Hahnemann recorded his 18th league shutout in the 3-0 win against Burnley on Saturday (March 4). With the top two teams earning automatic promotion to the Premier League, Reading has a 20-point lead over third-place Leeds United.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: After winning the 2006 Four Nations Tournament in China, the U.S. Women’s National Team is ready to conquer the Iberian Peninsula at the 2006 Algarve Cup. Fans can follow all of the U.S. matches live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker starting March 9, when the squad takes on China at 9 a.m. ET.

SOCCER SHOCKER: The same day that the U.S. beat Poland, 1-0, in Kaiserslautern, Germany, the Germans were having a nightmare in Florence, Italy. A goal from Robert Huth in the 82nd minute was not enough to overcome goals from Alberto Gilardino (4th minute), Luca Toni (6’), Daniele de Rossi (38’) and Alessandro Del Piero (57’) in Germany’s 4-1 loss to the Italians. Now the Germans must regroup before their next match, where they will no doubt triple their efforts as they continue to prepare for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Interestingly enough, that next match is against the U.S. MNT on Wednesday, March 22, in Dortmund, Germany, which makes it a must-see encounter. Fans cans follow the match live at 2:25 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

QUOTABLE: “Thank you for lowering your team's ability and allowing our team to trounce you year after year."
-- Comedian and former William & Mary soccer player Jon Stewart on SI.com on whether U.S. MNT Manager Bruce Arena ever said anything to him as the coach of UVa when the two schools faced each other.

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