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Former U.S. MNT Players Tony Sanneh and Sasha Victorine Head to Cyprus as Part of Sports Envoy Program

Former U.S. MNT Defender Tony Sanneh and Midfielder Sasha Victorine Will Conduct Soccer Clinics in Cyprus

CHICAGO (Nov. 5, 2010) – Former U.S. Men's National Team defender Tony Sanneh and midfielder Sasha Victorine will travel to Nicosia, Cyprus on Monday, Nov. 8 as SportsUnited Sports Envoys hosted by the United States Embassy. Sanneh and Victorine will conduct multiple clinics over the course of a week with children ranging from 9 to 15 years old, as well as Cypriot soccer coaches. Youth from both Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities will participate in the various clinics and activities.

U.S. Soccer, in conjunction with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ SportsUnited Office, participates in international sports initiatives as a way to promote sports and spark dialogue with children from around the world.

At the clinics, Sanneh and Victorine will not only discuss soccer, specifically, but also how playing sports can help the participants stay active and healthy throughout their life. Sports Envoys also stress the importance of hard work as it relates to soccer, as well as success and achievement in the classroom and other areas of life.

“I’m honored to have the chance to represent the United States in these important efforts, and to get the opportunity to give back to the game that has given me so much,” said Sanneh. “Soccer is one of the universal languages that allows us to communicate with people from all over the world. To work with children and see how the game inspires and motivates them is a humbling experience. The gift of hope is one of the most priceless things we can offer, and I’m especially proud to be a part of the U.S. Sports Envoy Program as it attempts to achieve that goal.”

After arriving on Nov. 8, Sanneh and Victorine commence their clinics on Nov. 9 at the Academy of Soccer in Nicosia. On Wednesday, Nov. 10 the two will run a clinic at the local sports club in the village of Yeni Boğaziçi outside Nicosia.

Sanneh and Victorine will participate in a clinic on training with Cypriot soccer coaches on Thursday, Nov. 11, before holding a clinic with local children at the Olympiacos Soccer Academy later in the afternoon. On Friday, the duo will hold a clinic at APOEL Soccer Academy and on Saturday visit the Cypriot soccer school of Kaptan Erbay. The trip will conclude with attendance at a local soccer match hosted by Cypriot soccer officials and U.S. Embassy staff.

Sanneh earned 43 caps and scored three goals for the U.S. Men's National team between 1997 and 2005, and was a crucial member of the U.S. team that progressed to the quarterfinals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Sanneh played every minute of the USA's five games in Korea/Japan and was also a member of the U.S team that won the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Victorine earned four caps and scored one goal for the U.S. Men's National team between 2001 and 2004. The California native was also a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team that finished fourth in Sydney.

U.S. Soccer has participated in the SportsUnited Sports Envoy program since 2006. In that time, players and coaches traveled to Bahrain, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. Earlier this year, Lorrie Fair and Danielle Slaton traveled to Paraguay. Other past participants in the program include Marcelo Balboa, Glenn “Mooch” Myernick and Shannon MacMillan.