SUPPORT FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA HIGHLIGHTS U.S. 2018/2022 FIFA WORLD CUP BID;
CABRERA NAMES ROSTER FOR U-17 CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIP;
U.S. WNT TO FACE CANADA JULY 19 AND 22;
U.S. SOCCER LAUNCHES U.S. SOCCER SUPPORTERS CLUB
WORDS OF SUPPORT FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA HIGHLIGHT U.S. BID FOR 2018/2022 FIFA WORLD CUP: The USA Bid Committee’s effort to bring the FIFA World Cup to the United States in 2018 or 2022 has garnered the support of President Barack Obama, who has reached out to the world's governing body of soccer to endorse the efforts to bring the world’s largest sporting event back to the United States. In a letter to FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter and U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, President Obama noted the role soccer played in his life as a youth, and its ability to unite people, communities and nations from every continent. The United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia have formally declared their desire to host to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022. FIFA has set May 2010 as the deadline for countries to submit their final paperwork to play host to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will then study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.
CABRERA NAMES 20-PLAYER ROSTER FOR CONCACAF QUALIFYING: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Wilmer Cabrera has named 20 players who will represent the United States at the 2009 CONCACAF U-17 Championship from April 21-May 2 in Tijuana, Mexico. The four semifinalists at the tournament qualify for the 2009 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, which is slated for Nigeria from Oct. 24-Nov. 15. The U.S. will open its regional campaign against Cuba on April 21 at 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET) at Estadio Caliente. The U.S. will play Canada on April 23 and round out Group A play against Honduras on April 25, with both games also slated for 4 p.m. local time. Fans can follow every U.S. match during the tournament live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The top two finishers in Group A advance to the semifinals of the tournament and earn half of CONCACAF’s four berths to Nigeria. They will also cross over to play one of the top two teams from Group B, which is made up of Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago. The semifinals will be played on April 29, with the final and third place match played on May 2.
U.S. CONCACAF Under-17 Championship Schedule
|April 21||Cuba||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico||4 p.m. / 7 p.m.|
|April 23||Canada||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico||4 p.m. / 7 p.m.|
|April 25||Honduras||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico||4 p.m. / 7 p.m.|
|April 29||Semifinals||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico||TBD|
|May 2||Third Place / Final||Estadio Caliente; Tijuana, Mexico||TBD|
U.S. U-17 MNT CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Earl Edwards (Nomads SC; San Diego, Calif.), Spencer Richey (Crossfire Premier; Seattle, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (7): Zachary Herold (West Pines United FC; Port St. Lucie, Fla.), Perry Kitchen (Chicago Magic AS Monaco; Indianapolis, Ind.), Emilio Orozco (Rampage FC; Oxnard, Calif.), Tyler Polak (Capital Soccer Academy; Lincoln, Neb.), Alex Shinsky (Super Nova FC; York, Pa.), Jared Watts (North Meck SC; Statesville, N.C.), Eriq Zavaleta (FC Pride; Westfield, Ind.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Andrew Craven (First Coast Kicks; St. Simons Island, Ga.), Marlon Duran (Latino Americana; Duncanville, Texas), Luis Gil (Pateadores; Garden Grove, Calif.), Sebastian Lleget (Santa Clara SC; South San Francisco, Calif), Carlos Martinez (Wilmington Jr.; San Pedro, Calif.), Nicholas Palodichuk (Washington Premier FC; Battleground, Wash.)
FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls; Barnegat, N.J.), Dustin Corea (East Side United FC; Milwaukee, Ore.), Joseph Gyau (FC DELCO; Silver Spring, Md.), Stefan Jerome (West Pines United FC; Davie, Fla.), Jack McInerney (Cobb SC; Alpharetta, Ga.)
WNT FACES CANADA TWICE IN JULY: The U.S. Women’s National Team will play Canada twice in July, facing its familiar foe on Sunday, July 19, at Rochester Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., and then again three days later on Wednesday, July 22, at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C. The matches mark the first meetings between the teams since Natasha Kai scored an overtime game-winner in a 2-1 quarterfinal victory for the U.S. at the 2008 Olympics in Shanghai, China, on Aug. 15, 2008. The game in Rochester kicks off at 3 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN. The match in Charleston kicks off at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Espanol. Both matches will be available online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets for both games go on sale to the public Friday, April 24, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the Rochester and Charleston areas. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale starts Thursday, April 23, at 10 a.m. ET and runs until Friday, April 24, at 8 a.m. ET at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.
U.S. SOCCER SUPPORTERS CLUB LAUNCHES AS OFFICIAL FAN MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM: U.S. Soccer is pleased to announce the formation of the U.S. Soccer Supporters Club, the official fan membership program of the U.S. national teams. Fans can sign up at ussoccer.com to join the U.S. Soccer Supporters Club, which provides exclusive benefits to members while creating a unique platform for the most passionate fans to demonstrate their support. U.S. Soccer SC members receive numerous benefits, highlighted by priority status to secure tickets to the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. U.S. Soccer will distribute its ticket allotment from FIFA to those dedicated members of USSSC before holding a general lottery, providing members the best chance to see the U.S. play in biggest sporting event in the world. For more information, visit ussoccer.com.
CROMWELL, MILLER HEAD TO BOLIVIA AS SPORTS ENVOYS: Former U.S. Women’s National Team player Amanda Cromwell and former U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team coach Jay Miller are set to travel to Bolivia for a series of soccer clinics around the South American country as part of the first Sports Envoy program of 2009. Launched in 2006, the Sports Envoy program pairs U.S. Soccer with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs on a sports initiative that sends players and coaches from U.S. Soccer’s National Teams as State Department Sports Envoys to conduct clinics and spark a dialogue with local children around the world. Each program includes one male and one female Sports Envoy. Miller, who coached the U.S. U-17 MNT during the 1997 FIFA U-17 World Cup, is a veteran of the Sports Envoy program, having traveled to Morocco last year. Cromwell, who earned 55 caps for the Women's National Team between 1991 and 1998, will participate in the program for the first time.
TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE FOR MNT QUALIFIER AGAINST HONDURAS: More than 28,000 tickets have been sold for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Honduras on June 6. Kickoff at Soldier Field is set for 7 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Galavision. Fans can also follow along live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets are available by visiting ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Chicagoland, including Carson Pirie Scott, Hot Tix, FYE and Ritmo Latino stores (Note: Tickets are not sold at Soldier Field except on the day of the event). 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.
U.S. TO FACE GRENADA, HONDURAS AND HAITI IN GROUP B: The United States will kick off its Gold Cup title defense against Grenada, Honduras and Haiti after being drawn into Group B of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The U.S. will first take on Grenada on July 4 at 6 p.m. PT at Qwest Field in Seattle. The team then crosses the country to face Honduras on July 8 at 9 p.m. ET at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., before rounding out group play against Haiti on July 11 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. ET. The U.S. has never lost a match in Gold Cup group play, holding a 21-0-1 lifetime record. The U.S. is seeking to become the second team to win three consecutive Gold Cups, having claimed the crown in 2005 and 2007. Prior to the Gold Cup opener in Seattle, the U.S. will be coming off a stretch of at least five games in the previous 31 days. The U.S. plays at Costa Rica on June 3 in FIFA World Cup qualifying, before returning home to host Honduras in Chicago on June 6. Then the U.S. heads to South Africa for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup – a tournament for which the U.S. qualified as 2007 Gold Cup champions – for matches against Italy, Brazil and Egypt in the group stage.
U.S. Men’s National Team 2009 Schedule
|Date||Opponent||Time / Result||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*||2-2 T||Altidore, Hejduk||Estadio Cuscatlán; San Salvador, El Salvador|
|April 1||Trinidad & Tobago*||3-0 W||Altidore (3)||LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.|
|June 3||Costa Rica*||TBD||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||TBD||Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria|
|June 18||Brazil #||4 p.m. / 10 a.m. ET||TBD||Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria|
|June 21||Egypt #||8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. ET||TBD||Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace; Rustenburg|
|July 4||Grenada ^||6 p.m. PT||TBD||Qwest Field; Seattle, Wash.|
|July 8||Honduras ^||9 p.m. ET||TBD||RFK Stadium; Washingon, D.C.|
|July 11||Haiti ^||7 p.m. ET||TBD||Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.|
|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||TBD||Away (Venue TBD)|
|Oct. 14||Costa Rica*||TBD||ESPN2/Galavision||RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.|
# FIFA Confederations Cup
^ CONCACAF Gold Cup
U.S. WOMEN TO HOST JAPAN IN MAY: The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Japan, the 2008 Olympic semifinalists, on Wednesday, May 20, at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, and Saturday, May 23 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The game in Texas kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT and fans can follow the action live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The match in Utah will kick off at 4 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español, with fans also able to follow online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets for both matches are now on sale and more information is available in the Schedule & Tickets section of ussoccer.com.
– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –
U.S. U-23 WNT SWEEPS THREE MATCHES IN NORTHWEST: The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team won all three of its matches against college teams during its training camp in Portland, Oregon, last week, defeating Oregon State 3-1, the University of Washington 2-1 and the University of Portland 3-2. On April 14, the U.S. got an opening goal from Stanford’s Christen Press in the 20th minute before Penn State forward Katie Schoepfer scored twice in a seven-minute span, tallying in the 25th and 31st minutes. The Beavers added a goal in the 73rd minute. On April 16, the U-23s defeated the Huskies on a 14th minute goal from 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Silver Ball winner Alex Morgan and an 89th minute game-winner from UNC’s Ali Hawkins. Washington had equalized three minutes into the second half, but Hawkins’ dramatic header with one minute left in regulation came off a corner kick from Lauren Barnes. The U.S. team closed out the camp on April 18 against Portland which was played in front of 2,234 fans at the Clive Charles Soccer Complex. The USA got the scoring started with a goal on their first shot of the match off a strike from Santa Clara’s Kiki Bosio. Portland equalized just before halftime and three goals were scored in the final 15 minutes, two by Schoepfer, who finished a fine camp with four total goals. The U.S. U-23s will come together in mid-May for a trip to Belfast, Ireland, to play the full Women’s National Teams of Ireland and Scotland.
U.S. U-23 WNT Results
|Date||Opponent||Result||U.S. Goal Scorer(s)||Venue|
|April 14||Oregon State||3-1 W||Press, Schoepfer (2)||Corvallis, Ore.|
|April 16||Washington||2-1 W||Morgan, Hawkins||Beaverton, Ore.|
|April 18||Portland||3-2 W||Bosio, Schoepfer (2)||Portland, Ore.|
U.S. U-20 WNT Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Taylor Vancil (Louisville; South Elgin, Ill.), Chante Sandiford (UCLA, Owensville, Md.), Kelsey Wys (Parkland Predators; Coral Springs, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (6): Jazmyne Avant (Florida; Coppell, Texas), Amber Brooks (Arsenal World Class; New Hope, Pa.), Zakiya Bywaters (Neusport SC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Cloee Colohan (Black Diamond SC; West Point, Utah), Crystal Dunn (Albertson SC; Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Melinda Mercado (Oklahoma State; Sapulpa, Okla.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Katy Frierson (Auburn; Birmingham, Ala.), Maya Hayes (Aristics Club; West Orange, N.J.), Olivia Klei (Pleasanton Rage; Pleasanton, Calif.), Teresa Noyola (Stanford; Palo Alto, Calif.), Alev Kelter (Alaska Rush; Eagle River, Alaska), Jenna Richmond (McLean SC; Centreville, Va.), Erika Tymrak (IMG Academy; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.), Beth West (Texas A & M; Centennial, Colo.)
FORWARDS (6): Lauren Alwine (Virginia; Elizabethtown, Pa.), Kim Castleberry (Dallas Texans; McKinney, Texas), Elizabeth Eddy (So Cal Blues; Costa Mesa, Calif.), Courtney Jones (UNC; Danville, Calif.), Kristie Mewis (South Shore Select; Hanson Mass.), Chioma Ubogagu (D’Feeters; Coppell, Texas), Courtney Verloo (South Side Strikers, Tualatin, Ore.)
MATKOVICH TO HOLD 26-PLAYER CAMP FOR U-18 MNT AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER: U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team head coach Mike Matkovich called 26 players to a domestic training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., which kicked off on Saturday, April 18, and runs through April 26. Gale Agbossoumonde and Amobi Okugo were both part of the U.S. U-20 MNT that recently qualified for the FIFA U-20 World Cup with a second place finish in the CONCACAF Championship in Trinidad & Tobago. Including that duo, nine players on the roster were part of the U-17 Men's National Team Residency Program, including 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup veterans Gregory Garza and Kofi Sarkodie. Garza, currently part of Sporting CP's youth system, is also the only European-based player on the roster. Matkovich's group includes 17 players who are currently part of U.S. Soccer's Development Academy, representing 15 different clubs. Arsenal FC and the Columbus Crew Juniors are the only two Academy clubs to send more than one player with Dion Acoff and Miles Byass, and Chad Barson and Ben Speas, respectively.
U.S. U-18 MNT Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Alex Long (CASL Chelsea FC Academy; Cary, N.C.), Zachary MacMath (Maryland; St. Petersburg, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (6): Gale Agbossoumonde (unattached; Syracuse, N.Y.), Chad Barson (Columbus Crew Juniors; Lewis Center, Ohio), Peabo Doue (D.C. United Academy; Germantown, Md.), Gregory Garza (Sporting CP; Grapevine, Texas), Kofi Sarkodie (Akron; Huber Heights, Ohio), Zarek Valentin (PA Classics; Lancaster, Pa.);
MIDFIELDERS (11): Jose Altamirano (Del Mar Sharks; San Diego, Calif.), Steven Birnbaum (Pateadores; Irvine, Calif.), Leon Carby (Oakwood SC; West Hartford, CT), Adam Jahn (San Juan Lightning Crew; El Macero, Calif.), Nicholas Millington (Wake Forest; Raleigh, N.C.), Amobi Okugo (San Juan Lightning Crew; Sacramento, Calif.), Dillon Powers (Andromeda; Plano, Texas), Jossimar Sanchez (PDA; Rocky River, Ohio), Anthony Salciccia (De Anza Force; San Jose, Calif.), Ben Speas (Columbus Crew Juniors; Akron, Ohio), London Woodberry (FC Dallas Juniors; McKinney, Texas)
FORWARDS (7): Dion Acoff (Arsenal FC; Upland, Calif.), Will Bates (Richmond Strikers; Chester, Va.), Josh Beard (Sockers FC; Schaumburg, Ill.), Miles Byass (Arsenal FC; San Bernardino, Calif.), Scott Caldwell (Akron; Braintree, Mass.), Hasani Sinclair (Schulz Academy; Coral Springs, Fla.), Justin Watson (Bridge FA; Myrtle Beach, S.C.)
– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –
CRUZ AZUL AND ATLANTE TO FACE OFF IN CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL: Cruz Azul overcame a two-goal deficit from the first match of the semifinal series against Puerto Rico Islanders on Tuesday, April 7, going the distance in the second leg and advancing 4-2 on penalty kicks after a 3-3 tie on aggregate. The Mexican club will face Atlante, also from Mexico, in the two-game tournament final. Atlante advanced after also coming from behind, defeated Santos Laguna 4-3 on aggregate after falling 2-1 in the first leg. Cruz Azul and Atlante will meet at 9 p.m. CT on Wednesday, April 22, and again on Wednesday, April 29, also at 9 p.m. CT, to determine the champion of the CONCACAF region.
*** CENTER CIRCLE SPOTLIGHT ***
PEAK PERFORMER: Good things came in pairs this week for U.S. players both here and abroad, starting with Tim Howard's performance in the FA Cup Semifinal. Facing his former club Manchester United, the USA's starting 'keeper stoned Dimitar Berbatov and United captain Rio Ferdinand on the first two attempts in the penalty shootout to marshal Everton to a 4-2 victory and a place in the FA Cup final on May 30 against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium. In Belgium, defender Oguchi Onyewu headed home a deuce to lead Standard de Liege to a 3-0 win against Mouscron and into a first-place tie on points with Anderlecht. Here in the home of the U.S. Soccer Federation, a pair of former U.S. strikers accounted for all four goals in the 2-2 draw between Chicago and Kansas City, with Fire striker Brian McBride tallying the first two goals of the match before Wizards forward Josh Wolff countered with two of his own in the final 12 minutes to leave the teams sharing a point. Certainly, an honorable mention goes to midfielder Maurice Edu, who tallied the winning goal in Rangers 3-2 win at Hibernian that kept the Glasgow outfit just one point behind crosstown rivals Celtic in the SPL title chase.
MARQUEE MATCHUP: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team holds the distinction of being the only team from CONCACAF to have qualified for every FIFA U-17 World Cup, and looks to keep the streak alive as the 2009 CONCACAF U-17 Championship kicks off. The U.S. first faces Cuba on April 21, followed by Canada on April 23 and rounds out group play against Honduras on April 25. The top two teams from the group qualify for the U-17 FIFA World Cup from Oct. 24-Nov. 15 in Nigeria.
SOCCER SHOCKER: It’s been a while, but fans of Dutch Eredivisie club AZ Alkmaar have plenty of reason to celebrate, despite the team’s 2-1 loss at home to Vitesse Arnhem on Saturday, April 18. The Dutch club would have clinched the Eredivisie title with a win, but instead had to rely on the result of the PSV Eindhoven match against Ajax. PSV Eindhoven’s 6-2 thrashing of Ajax put the Amsterdam club 11 points behind AZ Alkmaar with only three matches to play. It’s AZ Alkmaar’s first title since 1981.
QUOTABLE: “Hosting another successful World Cup is important for the continued growth of the sport in the United States. And it is important to me personally. As a child, I played soccer on a dirt road in Jakarta, and the game brought the children of my neighborhood together. As a father, I saw that same spirit of unity alive on the fields and sidelines of my own daughters’ soccer games in Chicago. Soccer is truly the world’s sport, and the World Cup promotes camaraderie and friendly competition across the globe. That is why this bid is about much more than a game. It is about the United States of America inviting the world to gather all across our great country in celebration of our common hopes and dreams.”
-- President Obama demonstrates his support of the USA Bid to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup in a letter to FIFA President Joseph Blatter.