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U.S. Soccer Wire - October 2, 2006


U.S. WNT Prepares To Face Iceland in Richmond, Va., After Convincing
10-0 Win Against Chinese Taipei at The Home Depot Center;
Chicago Fire Claims Fourth U.S. Open Cup Championship With 3-1 Win

THE BIG 6-2: U.S. forward Abby Wambach tied, then surpassed, recently retired forward Shannon MacMillan’s 59-goal mark to climb into sole position of sixth place on the U.S. WNT all-time scoring charts with a hat trick in the USA’s 10-0 win against Chinese Taipei on Sunday. It was Wambach’s fifth career hat trick as she also picked up three assists to lead the U.S. effort that saw three young players score their first U.S. Women’s National Team goals. With the hat trick, Wambach upped her international goal total to 62 in just 78 games. The match also marked the return of defender Kate Margraf to the lineup for the first time since the birth of her son in July of this year. In just her fourth appearance for the USA, forward Megan Rapinoe recorded her first two international scores, knocking home the ninth and 10th goals of the day. Midfielder Leslie Osborne opened the scoring for the U.S. in the eighth minute with her first career goal, and midfielder Carli Lloyd also opened her international scoring account, pounding in the eighth of the game. UCLA junior Danesha Adams, who was the USA’s leading scorer at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia last August, made her debut for the senior Women’s National Team, recording an assist on the final goal. Forward Lindsay Tarpley, who has played predominantly midfield for the national team, made just her third-ever start at forward, and recorded the second multi-goal game of her career, getting her 11th and 12th goals. The USA will finish its 2006 schedule of domestic friendly matches on Oct. 8 at the University of Richmond against Iceland (tickets). That game kicks off at 2 p.m. ET live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the action live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

CHICAGO FIRE CLAIMS FOURTH U.S. OPEN CUP TITLE: The Chicago Fire defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy, 3-1, to lift the historic Dewar Cup trophy and claim the 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S .Open Cup championship. The Fire scored twice in the first 16 minutes behind goals from Nate Jaqua and Andy Herron, before icing the game late on a goal by Thiago in the 88th minute. The lone Galaxy goal came courtesy of Alan Gordon in the 52nd minute. The victory for the Fire marked their fourth U.S. Open crown in the past nine years, helping to further stamp their modern day dominance on the tournament. Only four other teams have won the 93-year-old tournament as many as four times, with the most recent team to accomplish the feat being Los Angeles Maccabee S.C. in 1978, after capturing the title in 1973, '75 and '77. The previous Fire U.S. Open Cup titles came in 1998, 2000 and 2003. The match was televised nationally on Fox Soccer Channel and played in front of 8,151 fans at Toyota Park in the Chicagoland area. For a complete recap of the 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, including summaries of each round, visit ussoccer.com's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup homepage.

WOMEN’S NIKE FRIENDLIES WRAP UP AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER: A four-day weekend of elite women’s youth soccer wrapped up on Sunday as the inaugural Women’s Nike Friendlies took place at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Three U.S. Women’s Youth National Teams, one Olympic Development Program squad and 24 elite Nike club teams from throughout the United States participated in the event, which stresses quality soccer over wins and losses. Tournament standings were not kept as each team played three games over the course of the four days. A complete recap of the event is available at ussoccer.com’s Women’s Nike Friendlies homepage, and includes daily results and exclusive all_access video.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. UNDER-17 ’90 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM TO TRAIN IN URUGUAY, ARGENTINA: The U.S. Under-17 ’90 Men’s National Team will conduct a first-of-its-kind tour of South America as they will train in Uruguay and Argentina for the entire month of October. The Under-17s will begin their month-long tour by spending five days in Montevideo, Uruguay, before traveling to Argentina where they will split time training in Buenos Aires, San Luis and Rosario. U.S. Under-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth named a 24-player roster to travel to South America, while the remaining 16 players in U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program will remain in Bradenton, Fla., to continue to train and play games. Hackworth’s four assistant coaches – Raul Diaz Arce, Keith Fulk, Brian Maisenneuve and Tim Mulqueen – will split time between South America and Bradenton. During the 30-day tour, the Under-17s are scheduled to play nine matches. The U.S. will play five Argentina club youth teams and four international matches, two of which will be played as part the Four Nations Tournament in San Luis. During the trip, the players will continue their studies by taking classes on-line. The team will also have a Spanish professor traveling with the team from the University of Rosario.

U.S. U-17 MNT Uruguay-Argentina Camp Schedule
Date       Opponent
Oct. 5      Uruguay
Oct. 10    Peru
Oct. 13    TBD
Oct. 16    River Plate  
Oct. 19    TBD  
Oct. 23    Rosario Central
Oct. 24    Newells Old Boys
Oct. 25    Paraguay
Oct. 28    Renato Cesarini

NEW FORMAT FOR U-17 CONCACAF WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: Just this past week, CONCACAF announced a new format for the Under-17 Final Round Qualifying Tournament set for April of 2007. In the new format, a total of nine countries will compete for five berths in two groups, with one group hosted by Jamaica (Group B – five teams) and the other by Honduras (Group A – four teams). The top two teams from Group A along with the best three from Group B will advance to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will be played from Aug. 18-Sept. 9 in South Korea. Joining the U.S. and the host nations in the CONCACAF U-17 Final Round are Canada, Haiti, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and two more countries yet to qualify from the Central American Qualification, which will be played in El Salvador next month. A draw to determine the teams in Group A and B will be made once U-17 qualification is concluded and all the Final Round teams are confirmed. The U.S. is the only nation to qualify and compete in all 11 FIFA World Championships (now called World Cups) at this age group. The U.S. won the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament twice (1983 and 1992) when just one winner was crowned from 1983-1996. Since the event became a final round qualification consisting of two groups in 1999, the U.S. has won their group the past three competitions in 2001, 2003 and 2005.

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS CAPTURE USL FIRST DIVISION TITLE: The Vancouver Whitecaps captured their first USL First Division Championship in their 14th season in the league with head coach Bob Lilley ending his winless playoff history in Rochester (0-7-0) with a 3-0 victory against the Rochester Raging Rhinos on Saturday. It was the first time in league history that a visiting team won in a single game final. Jeff Clarke was honored as the USL First Division Championship Game Most Valuable Player for his play at midfield. The USL First Division championship gave the Whitecaps organization a 'double' for the year after claiming the W-League Championship in August in Vancouver. They are the third to accomplish the feat with Long Island winning the W-League and USL Second Division titles in 1995 and Mass Premier Soccer winning the W-League (Boston Renegades) and Premier Development League (Cape Cod Crusaders) in 2002.

U.S. FUTSAL TEAM ID CAMP TAKES PLACE IN MILWAUKEE, WIS.: The U.S. Futsal team has regrouped for the first time since the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship in Chinese Taipei in an identification camp that will run through Oct. 5. U.S. Futsal head coach Keith Tozer has called 24 players into the camp, which will be the team's only event of the year. The futsal squad can expect more action in 2007 as they prepare for the 2007 Pan American Games.

U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION OPENS 2007 GRANTS PROGRAM APPLICATION PROCESS: The grant application process for the U.S. Soccer Foundation's 2007 Annual Grants Program is open from now until Nov. 22 at ussoccerfoundation.org. With the exception of its All Conditions Fields Grants, the Foundation’s 2007 Grants will be focused exclusively on projects and programs that develop players, referees, and coaches in economically disadvantaged urban areas.  The Foundation’s All Conditions Fields Grants will continue to be available to projects serving all types of communities, with priority given to those All Conditions Fields projects serving players in economically disadvantaged urban areas. More information about the grants is available at ussoccerfoundation.org/grants.

U.S. Soccer Foundation Important Dates
Sept. 8    2007 Annual Grants Program Online Registration Commences
Nov. 22    Deadline to Submit Completed Application by 5 p.m. ET

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. WNT forward Abby Wambach stated her case for ‘Peak Performer’ honors by recording three goals and three assists against Chinese Taipei on Sunday. Her hat trick places her in sole possession of sixth place on the WNT all-time scoring charts, with 62 goals in just 78 games.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: In the final home game before CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying in November, the U.S. WNT will take on Iceland on Sunday, Oct. 8, at University of Richmond Stadium in Richmond, Va. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET and fans can follow all the action live on ESPN2 and ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Soccer critics often complain about soccer being such a low-scoring game, citing 0-0 ties and 1-0 wins. Hopefully they were watching the U.S. WNT on Sunday as they put on quite a show in a 10-0 win against Chinese Taipei. The U.S. hadn’t scored that many goals in a match since winning 11-0 against Trinidad & Tobago on June 23, 2000.

QUOTABLE: “We're going into this World Cup as underdogs, and all Americans love a fight."
 -- U.S. WNT forward Abby Wambach discussing the team’s preparations for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.
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