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U.S. Soccer Wire: U-23s To Face Mexico on Tuesday



U.S. UNDER-23s TO FACE MEXICO WITH ATHENS BERTH ON THE LINE: The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will face Mexico on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico, with a berth to the 2004 Athens Olympics this summer on the line. Kickoff for the match is set at 8 p.m. CT, and can be followed live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The U.S. advanced to the crucial semifinal match with Mexico after beating Honduras 4-3 on Saturday (Feb. 8) in their final match of group play in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament going undefeated in Group A (3-0-0) and earning a full nine points - the only team in the tournament to accomplish that feat. Mexico finished second in Group B after tying Costa Rica with seven points, but finishing with a lower goal differential. The U.S. opened up the qualifying tournament with a narrow 4-3 win over Panama, which saw the U.S. jump out to a 3-0 lead by the 30th minute only to have Panama scratch back for the equalizer by the 71st minute. Midfielder Bobby Convey saved the U.S. from a total collapse, scoring his second goal of the match in the 79th minute to provide the U.S. with its first three points. In their second match against Canada it was Convey who led the team to victory again, scoring both goals in a 2-0 win to seal a place in the semifinal round. In their final Group A match it was Alecko Eskandarian who pushed the U.S. to their 4-3 win, scoring his first hat trick at the international level.
U.S. U-23 MNT Results/Schedule (*if necessary)
2004 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Final Round Results) -- Mexico
Date           Opponent      Result       U.S. Goal Scorers
Feb. 3         Panama          4-3 W        Convey(2), Davis, Donovan         
Feb. 5         Canada           2-0 W       Convey(2)
Feb. 7         Honduras       4-3 W       Eskandarian(3), Beckerman                                  
Single Elimination Schedule
Date                 Opponent                       Venue                       Kickoff (local/CT)
Feb. 10             Mexico                           Estadio Jalisco         8 p.m.
Feb. 12*           Third Place / Final       Estadio Jalisco          5:30 p.m. / 8 p.m.

HEINRICHS TO NAME ROSTER FOR CONCACAF OLYMPIC QUALIFYING ON TUESDAY: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach April Heinrichs will announce the 20-player roster on Tuesday, Feb. 11 that will attempt to earn a berth in the 2004 Athens Olympics at the first-ever CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, taking place in Costa Rica from February 25-March 5, 2005. While spots in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournaments were earned according to finish at the previous year’s Women’s World Cup, for the first time ever, a separate tournament is being held to decide CONCACAF’s two berths to the Athens Olympics. The USA will head Group B in the Final Round, which also features Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti and Mexico. Canada heads Group B, which features Jamaica, Panama and host Costa Rica. Each country will play the other teams in its group once, with the top two finishers in each group “crossing over” for the semifinals, as first place in Group A will play second in Group B and vice-versa. The winners of the semifinal matches will earn berths to Greece. The USA will train in Costa Rica for 11 days before opening the tournament on February 25 against Trinidad & Tobago at Estadio Nacional in San José (3 p.m. CT). The USA will then face Haiti on February 27 at Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero in Heredia (8 p.m. CT) before finishing first round play against Mexico on February 29 at Estadio Nacional (3 p.m. CT). The semifinals will be played on March 3 at Estadio Nacional while the Final and Third-Place matches will take place on March 5 at Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero. Fans can follow all the U.S. matches on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The qualifying tournament will not only mark the first-ever trip for the U.S. women to Costa Rica, but also, in the 20th year of the program, the first-ever trip to a Spanish-speaking country.
U.S. WNT CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament Schedule (Final Round) – Costa Rica (*if necessary)
Date        Opponent                        Venue;City                                            Kickoff (local/CT)
Feb. 25    Trinidad & Tobago        Estadio Nacional; San Jose               3 p.m.
Feb. 27    Haiti                                  Eladio Rosabal Cordero; Heredia     8 p.m.
Feb. 29    Mexico                             Estadio Nacional; San Jose               3 p.m.
Single Elimination
Date             Opponent                        Venue                                                     Kickoff (local/CT)
March 3*    Semifinal (B1 or B2)        Estadio Nacional; San Jose                1 p.m. + 3 p.m.
March 5*    Third Place / Final           Eladio Rosabal Cordero; Heredia      6 p.m. + 8 p.m.     
          
U.S. WNT WIN FOUR NATIONS TOURNEY FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR: The U.S. Women’s National Team didn’t concede a single goal and finished with seven points from two wins and a tie to win the 2004 Four Nations Tournament in Shenzhen, China, last week for the second time in two years. In the USA’s final match of the round-robin tournament they downed Canada 2-0, which combined with China’s 2-2 tie with Sweden provided them with the title. In the defining game against Canada, the U.S. put together a classy performance, getting an early goal from 20-year-old Lindsay Tarpley and a late penalty kick from veteran Joy Fawcett after Abby Wambach had been chopped down from behind in the penalty area. In their opening match, the U.S. defeated Sweden 3-0 behind a header by Shannon Boxx and two strikes from Tarpley, and then two days later battled China to a scoreless draw. The Four Nations Tournament served as a bit of a coming out party for Tarpley at the full international level. The captain of the USA's 2002 Under-19 World Championship Team was the tournament's leading scorer with three goals and started all three matches.
U.S. WNT Results/Schedule – Four Nations Tournament – Shenzhen, China
Date           Opponent      Result      U.S. Goal Scorers
Jan. 30       Sweden          3-0 W       Tarpley(2), Boxx                    
Feb. 1        China              0-0 T         --                 
Feb. 3        Canada           2-0 W       Tarpley, Fawcett

ARENA TO ANNOUNCE U.S. MNT ROSTER ON THURSDAY FOR FEB. 18 HOLLAND MATCH:  U.S. Men’s National Team manager Bruce Arena will announce the final roster on Thursday for the match against fourth-ranked Holland on Feb. 18 at the Amsterdam ArenA in Amsterdam. Kickoff for the match, which will debut the USA's new Nike uniform, is set for 2:30 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.  Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The MNT is continuing its preparation for the Holland match as Arena has been putting 18 players (Cory Gibbs was added to the training camp roster Thursday) through the paces of twice-a-day sessions since Feb. 5 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The MNT beat Chicago 1-0 in their first scrimmage of the camp, getting the winning strike from Ante Razov on a 33rd minute penalty conversion. Both teams made liberal substitutions in the 60-minute contest, with Razov and Fire captain Chris Armas playing for Chicago in the first stanza. The U.S. is scheduled to play the MetroStars and D.C. United prior to departing Feb. 13 for Amsterdam. The final roster for the Holland match will consist of a mix of European and domestic-based players. The foreign-based players will join the traveling contingent in Holland after completing club play the weekend of Feb. 13-15.

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-21 WOMEN BEGIN TRAINING CAMP AT HDC ON FEB. 16: U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team head coach Chris Petrucelli will hold his second training camp of 2004 from Feb. 16-22 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The U-21s are working towards the 2004 Nordic Cup, the top competition in the world for U-21 women, to be held this summer in Iceland. Petrucelli is also preparing the U-21s for their first trip abroad of 2004, a tour of China in March where the team will face several top Chinese club teams.  The roster includes five players from the USA's 2002 Under-19 World Championship team in Keeley Dowling, Sarah Huffman, Jill Oakes, Manya Makoski and Kelly Wilson.  Natasha Kai from the University of Hawaii, who scored 29 goals for the Rainbow Wahines last season, gets her second call-up.
U.S. U-21 WNT Roster – NTC Training Camp; Carson, Calif.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Stanford), Cindy Bennett (Stony Brook), Kate Taylor (Boston College); DEFENDERS (4): Keeley Dowling (Tennessee), Nandi Pryce (UCLA); Christie Shaner (Notre Dame), Carmen Watley (UNC); MIDFIELDERS (10): Jessie Bruch (Nebraska), Kelly Hammond (Virginia), Sarah Huffman (Virginia), Lindsey Huie (Portland), Carly Lloyd (Rutgers), Joanna Lohman (Penn State), Jill Oakes (UCLA), Juliane Sitch (DePaul), Nikki Thaden (Texas), Kacey White (UNC); FORWARDS (7): Ali Andrzejewski (Maryland), Jenny Farnenbaugh (Stanford), Tina Frimpong (Washington), Natasha Kai (Hawaii), Manya Makoski (Arizona State), Tiffany Weimer (Penn State), Kelly Wilson (Texas).

U-19 WOMEN HEAD TO MEXICO FOR TWO MATCHES AGAINST SENIOR NATIONAL TEAM: U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team head coach Tracey Leone will take her team to Mexico from Feb. 15-21, for two matches against the full Mexican Women's National Team.  It will be the first two full international matches of 2004 for the U-19s, who are preparing for CONCACAF Qualifying in May for the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship that will be held in November in Thailand.  The U.S. U-19s have traveled to Mexico in the first part of the year for the last three years, and it has proven to be a valuable trip for the team in terms of competition and development, especially due to playing in front of highly partisan crowds.  Last year, the young U.S. team dropped the first match of the tour 1-0 before coming back to take the second leg 2-0, on goals from Megan Rapinoe and Angie Woznuk.  This year, the USA will face Mexico in Mexico City on Feb. 18 followed by the second leg in Tabasco on Feb. 20.  The 18-player U.S. roster is a young one, with only seven players currently in college, including just one of the forwards.  Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris is the most experienced player on the roster, owning 23 caps at the U-19 level.  Forward Kerri Hanks has 19 caps and 10 goals for the U-19s.   Following is the U.S. roster for the two matches:
U.S. U-19 Mexico Tour Schedule - Feb. 15-21
Date        Opponent                        City
Feb. 18    Mexico                             Mexico City             
Feb. 20    Mexcio                             Tabasco                             
U.S. U-19 WNT Mexico Tour Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Ashlyn Harris (Satellite Beach, Fla.), Ashley Phillips (West Peabody, Mass.); DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Stanford), Jen Buczkowski (Notre Dame), Stephanie Logterman (Austin, Texas), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kia McNeil (Avon, Conn.), Becky Sauerbrunn (Virginia); MIDFIELDERS (5): Elizabeth Jobe (Clemson), Rebecca Moros (Duke), Lorraine Quinn (Farmingdale, N.Y.), Jennifer Redmond (Morristown, N.J.), Angie Woznuk (Portland); FORWARDS (5): Sheree Gray (Toms River, N.J.), Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas), Alexa Orand (Orange, Calif.), Megan Rapinoe (Redding, Calif.), Julia Schnugg (Florida State).

U-17 ‘87s DRAW WITH UCLA AND CHICAGO FIRE, FALL TO GALAXY LAST WEEK: The U.S. Under-17 ’87 Men’s National Team concluded its week-long training camp at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with two matches against UCLA and the L.A. Galaxy, before facing the Chicago Fire on Sunday (Feb. 8), a day after returning to Residency at Bradenton, Fla. UCLA took the lead three times (with two goals by former U-17 and U-20 Jordan Harvey), but the U.S. found the equalizer after every Bruins tally to give the Under-17s a 3-3 draw with the UCLA on Thursday (Feb. 5). After Christian Jimenez’ penalty kick made it 1-1 in the 35th minute, U.S. defender Tim Ward paced the U-17s during the back and forth match, assisting on Rodrigo Hidalgo’s goal in the 42nd minute to make it 2-2 and scoring on a free kick in the 88th minute (his first with the U-17s) to equalize for the final time at 3-3. The following day, the U.S. fell to the L.A. Galaxy 3-1. Midfielder Adam Sloustcher found the equalizer for the U.S. in the 29th minute to make it 1-1, but L.A.'s 2004 SuperDraft first round pick, Joseph Ngwenya, was able to find the back of the net twice before the end of the first half for the two-goal victory. After flying back to Bradenton, Fla., late Friday night, the Under-17s earned a 2-2 draw against the Chicago Fire on Sunday afternoon. Dax McCarty and Rodrigo Hidalgo scored for the U-17s in the first half of the 60-minute match, but the Fire was able to get two back late in the second half (57th and 59th) for the draw.
U-17 ‘87s MNT Results
Date           Opponent      Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
Feb. 5        UCLA             3-3 T       Jimenez, Hidalgo, Ward
Feb. 6        L.A. Galaxy    1-3 L       Sloustcher
Feb. 8        Chicago Fire  2-2 T       McCarty, Hidalgo

– AROUND THE SOCCER REGION –

U.S. SOCCER REFEREES TO WORK FIFA WORLD CUP GERMANY 2006 QUALIFIERS: After officiating more than 200 matches in 2003, the U.S. Soccer Referee Department and the Federation’s referees on the FIFA international list will begin their involvement with FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 qualifiers over the next two months. In all, four referees, four referee assistants and three assessors will be involved in the first stage of CONCACAF qualifying. Kevin Stott will begin his 10th year as a FIFA referee, and he will lead a four-person U.S. crew during a Feb. 18 match between Haiti and Turks and Caicos Islands in the Orange Bowl in Miami. Coming off a year in which he worked the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the FIFA World Youth Championship in United Arab Emirates, the California native will be the fourth official for the second leg of that series three days later. Sixth-year FIFA referee Ricardo Valenzuela, a resident of Northern California, will serve as the fourth official for the first leg and will swap roles with Stott to referee the Turks and Caicos Islands vs. Haiti in Hialeah, Fla., on Feb. 21. The assistant referees with that crew for both games will be Craig Lowry and Steve Davidson. In a later series, Brian Hall, the longest tenured U.S. referee on the FIFA list at 13 years, will lead a crew to Bermuda for a Feb. 29 fixture between Bermuda and Montserrat at the Bermuda National Sports Center in Prospect. Hall, who last year ran the middle at MLS Cup 2003, was the only American referee in Korea and Japan for the FIFA World Cup 2002. Joining Hall in Bermuda will be assistant referees Chris Strickland and Gregory Barkey as well as fourth official Michael Kennedy. In addition to those on the field, three U.S. Soccer representatives will serve as referee inspectors, including two members of the U.S. Soccer Referee Department. U.S. Soccer Director of Advanced and International Referee Development Esse Baharmast and Manager of Referee Development and Education Alfred Kleinaitis will be joined by Vincent Mauro to each work at two first stage matches. Kleinaitis will work the Antigua and Barbuda vs. Netherlands Antilles match on Feb. 18 and the Bahamas vs. Dominica on March 28. On March 19 and 21, Mauro will work both legs of the Domincan Republic vs. Anguilla series, with both games being played in Santo Domingo in the Domincan Republic. Baharmast has been assigned to Aruba vs. Surinam on Feb. 28 and St. Lucia vs. British Virgin Islands on March 28. These assignments are handed down from FIFA Director of Competitions Jim Brown in Zurich, Switzerland.

2004 MISL ALL-STARS ANNOUNCED, FANS CAN VOTE ONLINE FOR STARTERS: The Major Indoor Soccer League announced the rosters last week for the 2004 MISL All-Star Game, to be played on Sunday, February 29, at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo., home of the St. Louis Steamers. Kickoff for the match will be at 1:05 p.m. CT. The 2004 All-Star Game will feature the MISL USA team, comprised of U.S. citizens, versus the MISL International squad, made up of foreign citizens. Players from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Ghana, Croatia, Mexico, Trinidad, Bermuda, Macedonia, Yugoslavia, Ireland, Serbia, and Chile have all been elected to the League’s showcase event. The Baltimore Blast will send the most players to St. Louis with seven, while the Milwaukee Wave will send six players and the Philadelphia KiXX will have five representatives. Four teams (Baltimore, Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia) will have players on both the MISL USA and MISL International teams. Dallas Sidekicks forward David Doyle was named to the All-Star team, but due to an broken ankle he suffered on Jan. 25, Cleveland Force forward Hector Marinaro, indoor soccer’s all-time leading scorer, has been named as his replacement. The 2004 All-Star starters will be determined by the people, as the MISL gives fans a hand in the voting process for the first time. Beginning on Friday, February 6, fans will be able to visit the MISL’s official website, www.misl.net, and choose the 2004 All-Star starting lineups. Online voting will end at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 22. The starting lineups will be introduced on Thursday, February 26, at the MISL All-Star Welcome Reception, to be held at the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles, Mo., from 5:30-8 p.m. CT.
2004 MISL USA All-Stars
GOALKEEPERS (2): Scott Hileman (Baltimore Blast), Victor Nogueira (San Diego Sockers); DEFENDERS (6): Sean Bowers (San Diego Sockers), Jeff Davis (Kansas City Comets), Troy Dusosky (Milwaukee Wave), Danny Kelly (Baltimore Blast), Chris Morman (Milwaukee Wave), Pat Morris (Philadelphia KiXX); MIDFIELDERS/FORWARDS (8): Steve Butcher (St. Louis Steamers), Giuliano Celenza (Baltimore Blast), Don D’Ambra (Philadelphia KiXX), Todd Dusosky (Milwaukee Wave), Greg Howes (Milwaukee Wave), Michael King (Milwaukee Wave), Joel Shanker (Philadelphia KiXX), Paul Wright (San Diego Sockers).
2004 MISL International All-Stars
GOALKEEPERS (2): Peter Pappas (Philadelphia KiXX), Sagu (Dallas Sidekicks); DEFENDERS (6): Lovelace Ackah (Milwaukee Wave), Sinisa Alebic (Dallas Sidekicks), Vlatko Andonovski (Kansas City Comets), Genoni Martinez (Monterrey Fury), Nevio Pizzolitto (Cleveland Force), Wendell Regis (Baltimore Blast); MIDFIELDERS/FORWARDS (8): David Bascome (Baltimore Blast), Denison Cabral (Baltimore Blast), Dino Delevski (Kansas City Comets), Miodrag Djerisilo (Kansas City Comets), David Doyle (Dallas Sidekicks), Carlos Farias (Baltimore Blast), Marco Lopez (Monterrey Fury), Goran Vasic (Philadelphia KiXX).  

*** U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team midfielder Bobby Convey almost single handedly put the U.S. a game away from advancing to Athens 2004 after scoring four goals, including both game-winners, during their first two Group A matches to put them into the crucial semifinals of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament. After starting the scoring output of three goals in the first 30 minutes for the U.S. during their first match against Panama, Convey also punched in the game winner in the 79th minute after Panama had scratched back to equalize at 3-3. Two days later, Convey scored both goals as the U.S. defeated Canada 2-0 and secured a spot in the semifinal.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will face Mexico in the all-important semifinals of the 2004 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying (Feb. 10) at Estadio Tres de Marzo in Guadalajara, Mexico. The winner, along with the winner in the other semifinal between Costa Rica and Honduras, will qualify for Athens 2004. Kickoff for the match is at 8 p.m. CT, and can be followed live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Manchester City produced one of the greatest comebacks in FA Cup history last week as they came from three goals and a man down at halftime to beat Tottenham 4-3. The Spurs looked to have the game wrapped up after taking a three goal lead at the 43rd minute and then seeing City’s Joey Barton get dismissed after the halftime whistle for dissent, but Manchester got goals from Sylvain Distin, Paul Bosvelt, Shaun Wright-Phillips and a stoppage time header from Jon Macken in the second half for the miraculous win.

QUOTABLE: “Un partidazo.”

                -- U.S. Under-23 MNT forward Landon Donovan, who is bilingual, when asked by members of the Mexican media to characterize Tuesday's game. The comment when roughly translated: “A huge game.”

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