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Soccer Wire: U.S. WNT Storms Past Costa Rica, Set for Mexico


BOXX SCORES IN FIRST CAP, ROBERTS HITS 100 CAPS, MacMILLAN MAKES RETURN: The U.S. Women's National Team got goals from five different players to roll past Costa Rica 5-0 yesterday (Sept. 1) in front of a crowd of 12,349 in the team's first-ever match at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., and second to last match prior to the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003, which begins on Sept. 20. Midfielder Aly Wagner was involved in both goals in the first half, opening the scoring by bending a left-footed shot from 19-yards out into the upper left corner, and then serving in a cross for an Abby Wambach header just before halftime. In the second half, Shannon Boxx, making her first career appearance for the U.S., became the 14th player in U.S. WNT history to score in her first cap with an 18-yard strike in the 53rd minute. Four minutes later, Cindy Parlow knocked home a goal of her own and in the 82nd minute Mia Hamm finished up the scoring, pouncing on a loose ball and slotting it past the ‘keeper. The biggest crowd roar of the night came in the 70th minute, when midfielder Shannon MacMillan entered the game for Wambach, marking an incredible return to the field just 102 days after re-constructive surgery May 20 on her right ACL. Midfielder Tiffany Roberts captained the team for the first time in her 100th cap for the USA, becoming the 16th female player to join the Century Club.
U.S. WNT Send-Off Match
Date    Opponent        Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
Sept. 1    Costa Rica    5-0 W    Wagner, Wambach, Boxx, Parlow, Hamm

U.S. WNT TRAVELS TO SAN JOSE FOR FINAL SEND-OFF MATCH VS. MEXICO ON SUNDAY: After downing Costa Rica on Labor Day, the U.S. Women will remain in the L.A. area for three days before traveling to San Jose on Thursday (Sept. 4) in advance of a final send-off match against Mexico on Sunday (Sept. 7) live on ESPN at 10 a.m. PT at Spartan Stadium. Individual tickets from $20 to $50 are available through Ticketmaster.
U.S. WNT Schedule – Final Send-off Match
Date    Opponent        Kickoff (PT) / TV
Sept. 7    Mexico        10 a.m. / ESPN

U.S. ROSTER INCLUDES 12 VETERANS, EIGHT NEWCOMERS TO WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach April Heinrichs named the 20 players that will represent the United States in their home country on women’s soccer’s grandest stage last week. Leading the way are four players who are poised to play in their fourth Women’s World Cup tournament in team captains Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett, the world’s all-time leading scorer in Mia Hamm (141 goals), and the world’s all-time appearance leader in Kristine Lilly (254 caps). Hamm, Lilly and Foudy have played in all 18 of the USA’s Women’s World Cup matches. Of the rest of the players on the roster, four are set to play in their third Women’s World Cup tournament (Brandi Chastain, Tiffeny Milbrett, Tiffany Roberts and Briana Scurry), four made their second Women’s World Cup Team (Shannon MacMillan, Cindy Parlow, Christie Pearce and Kate Sobrero) and eight players will be debutantes (Shannon Boxx, Kylie Bivens, Angela Hucles, Siri Mullinix, Cat Reddick, Danielle Slaton, Aly Wagner and Abby Wambach). The 2003 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team is an experienced side with an average age of 27.5 years. Combined, the roster has 2,182 caps and 575 international goals. With 10 players having 100 or more caps, four players over 200 and two players almost at 100, the U.S. roster averages an astounding 109 caps per player. The 20 players named to the roster have a combined 116 games of Women’s World Cup experience and seven of those players have scored in a Women’s World Cup, led by Hamm and Milbrett, who have scored six goals each.
U.S. WNT Roster – FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003
GOALKEEPERS (2): Siri Mullinix (Washington Freedom), Briana Scurry (Atlanta Beat); DEFENDERS (7): Kylie Bivens (Atlanta Beat), Brandi Chastain (San Jose CyberRays), Joy Fawcett (San Diego Spirit), Christie Pearce (New York Power), Cat Reddick (UNC), Danielle Slaton (Carolina Courage), Kate Sobrero (Boston Breakers); MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx (New York Power), Julie Foudy (San Diego Spirit), Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Tiffany Roberts (Carolina Courage), Aly Wagner (San Diego Spirit); FORWARDS (5): Mia Hamm (Washington Freedom), Shannon MacMillan (San Diego Spirit), Tiffeny Milbrett (New York Power), Cindy Parlow (Atlanta Beat), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom).

– FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP USA 2003 UPDATE –

INDIVIDUAL MATCH DATE TICKETS STILL ON SALE AT FIFAworldcup.com: A limited number of individual match date tickets for all six venues of the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 are still on sale at FIFAworldcup.com.  Each match date consists of an afternoon or evening doubleheader, except the Third Place Match on Oct. 11 and the Final on Oct. 12, which will both be played as stand-alone games at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Individual match date tickets range in price from $20 to $175 (and up to $400 for the final), depending on the USA’s involvement and the stage of the three-week competition. Fans can also purchase these tickets over the phone by calling 1-800-WWC-TIKS (992-8457) or by visiting the stadium ticket office of five of the six venues during normal business hours. For the match dates at RFK Stadium, fans must call 202-432-SEAT (7328) or 1-800-551-SEAT (7328), as the stadium ticket office will not be open. Tickets for groups of 50 or more are available by calling 312-528-1290. Tickets for the USA’s Group A showdown with North Korea on Sept. 28 in Columbus are limited to eight per customer. Tickets for the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 Final on Oct. 12 in Carson, Calif., are limited to six per customer.

USA TO FACE SWEDEN, NIGERIA AND NORTH KOREA IN GROUP A PLAY ON EAST COAST: The U.S. Women’s National Team will begin its road toward the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup title in a difficult Group A against Sweden, Nigeria and Korea DPR (North Korea). The top-ranked U.S. WNT will open Group A play against the No. 5 team in the world, Sweden, on Sept. 21 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The U.S. will then meet Nigeria on Sept. 25 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and North Korea on Sept. 28 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Should the U.S. advance to the quarterfinals, the team will play one of the top two teams from Group B at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Both semifinals will be played at PGE Park in Portland, Ore., on Sunday, Oct. 5, while the third place match and final will be played as single games on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, respectively, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. In the rest of the draw, the other teams ranked in the top four in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking –Norway, Germany and China – were given top seeds in the other three groups. Joining Norway in Group B are Brazil, France and South Korea. Joining Germany in Group C are Canada, Japan and Argentina. And finally, in Group D with China are Ghana, Russia and Australia. The top two teams in Group C and D will face each other in the quarterfinals at PGE Park.
FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 – Groups
Group A: USA, Sweden, Nigeria, North Korea
Group B: Norway, Brazil, France, South Korea
Group C: Germany, Canada, Japan, Argentina
Group D: China, Ghana, Russia, Australia
FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 – U.S. WNT Schedule (* if necessary)
Date         Opponent           Venue; City                                                     Kickoff
Sept. 21    Sweden              RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.                    12:30 p.m. (ET)
Sept. 25    Nigeria               Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia, Pa.          3:45 p.m. (ET)
Sept. 28    Korea DPR       Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio       7:30 p.m. (ET)
Oct. 1       Quarterfinals*     Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.                     4:30 / 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Oct. 5       Semifinals*         PGE Park; Portland, Ore.                                4:30 / 7:30 p.m. (PT)
Oct. 11     Third Place*       The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.          12:30 p.m. (PT)
Oct. 12     Final*                 The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.          10 a.m. (PT)

 – LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP UPDATE –

MLS SHUTS OUT COMPETITION AS FOUR TEAMS ADVANCE TO SEMIFINALS: The quarterfinals of the 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup wrapped up last week and the final four teams are set for the semifinals. The MetroStars (MLS) will host D.C. United (MLS) in the first semifinal, while the second semifinal pits the Los Angeles Galaxy vs. the Chicago Fire. More information on the scheduling of the semifinals will be available later this week from U.S. Soccer. The MetroStars are looking to advance out of the semifinals for the first time in four trips after topping the New England Revolution (MLS) 2-1 in overtime in the quarterfinals on Aug. 27. D.C. looks to advance to the final for the first time since 1997 after topping the Division III prizewinner, the Wilmington Hammerheads, 1-0 in the quarterfinals. Chicago advanced with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Colorado Rapids (MLS), and will face the Galaxy, who cruised past the Seattle Sounders (A-League) 5-1 on the strength of a hat trick by Carlos Ruiz. The 2003 Open Cup final will be played on Oct. 15 final. For more information, log on the competitions page of ussoccer.com
Quarterfinals Results – 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
No.  Date         Result
27    Aug. 27    Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) 5, Seattle Sounders (A-League) 1  
28    Aug. 27    D.C. United 1, Wilmington Hammerheads (USL-PSL) 0  
29    Aug. 27    Colorado Rapids (MLS) 1, Chicago Fire (MLS)     2  
30    Aug. 27    New England Revolution (MLS) 1, MetroStars (MLS) 2
Semifinals Schedule – 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup  
No.  Date          Match-Up                                 Venue; City            Kickoff
31    Sept. 23    D.C. United at MetroStars         TBD                      TBD          
32    Sept. 24    Chicago Fire at L.A. Galaxy       TBD                      TBD

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

U.S. U-20s FINISH IN THIRD PLACE AT L’ALCUDIA TOURNEY IN SPAIN: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team took third place at the L’Alcudia International Tournament in Spain by defeating Russia 5-3 in penalty kicks after being knotted 0-0 at the end of regulation of the third place match. Patrick Ianni, Drew Moor, Miguel Saavedra, Arturo Alvarez, and Clint Dempsey all converted from the penalty spot for the U.S. The U-20’s advanced to the knockout round after drawing 0-0 with Slovenia in their final group match. In their earlier two group games in the eight-team tournament, the U-20s defeated Egypt 3-0 on goals from David Johnson, Danny Karbassiyoon and Saavedra, and tied Russia 1-1, with Johnson scoring from the penalty spot in the 16th minute. In the semifinals, the U.S. fell to Uruguay 1-0. The U-20s began the trip with a 1-0 exhibition loss to the reserve team from Spanish club Villareal. The U-20s remain in preparation for the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates from Nov. 27 to Dec. 19.
U.S. Under-20 MNT Results – L’Alcudia International Tournament
Date        Opponent    Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
Aug. 21     Egypt    3-0 W    D. Johnson, Karbassiyoon, Saavedra
Aug. 23     Russia    1-1 T    D. Johnson
Aug. 25     Slovenia    0-0 T    ---
Aug. 27     Uruguay    0-1 L    ---
Aug. 28     Russia    0-0 T (5-3 PKs)

U.S. SOCCER EXPANDS FULL-TIME UNDER-17 RESIDENCY PROGRAM TO 40 PLAYERS: U.S. Soccer has increased the number of players in their full-time Residency Program to 40 players, all of whom begin the fall semester tomorrow (Sept. 3) at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.  The additional 10 spaces in the residency program were added for the fall semester, as U.S. Soccer continues to increase its player development opportunities in this country.  This is the second year in a row that 10 additional players were added to the program, as just last year U.S. Soccer increased the number of players in the residency program from 20 to 30. The 40 U.S. players, which will be separated into a U-16 and U-17 squad, will attend classes at nearby Edison Academy and then return to the IMG campus to train in the afternoon under the guidance of U.S. Under-17 head coach John Ellinger and assistant coaches John Hackworth, Keith Fulk and Peter Mellor.

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

BRAZIL DOWNS SPAIN TO WIN 2003 FIFA UNDER-17 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Brazil was crowned champion with a 1-0 win over Spain in the final of the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship on Saturday (Aug. 30) in Helsinki, Finland, giving the Brazilians a record third title at the junior level. Leonardo smashed home the game-winner in just the 7th minute off a curling free kick from Joao. The U.S., which finished in fifth place, fell to both of the finalists, falling to Spain 2-0 in group play before getting knocked out by Brazil in the quarterfinals with a 3-0 loss. In the third place match, Argentina defeated Colombia 6-5 on penalties after remaining tied 1-1 after regulation and overtime.

U.S. MNT MIDFIELDER CLAUDIO REYNA MOVES FROM SUNDERLAND TO MAN CITY: Premier league’s Manchester City completed a $3.92 million transfer with first division Sunderland for U.S. MNT captain Claudio Reyna last Friday (Aug. 29). The 30-year-old Reyna, who has 97 caps with the U.S. MNT, had joined Sunderland from the Glasgow Rangers on a $6.8 million transfer in December 2001 and helped the team avoid regulation. Last October, Reyna suffered a season-ending knee injury and Sunderland was regulated to the first division. Reyna began his overseas career in 1994, joining German First Division club Bayer Leverkusen, before moving to the Bundesliga’s Wolfsburg.

 *** U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Last week, U.S. WNT midfielder Shannon Boxx came out of nowhere to make the U.S. Women’s World Cup roster, and she proved why she belongs on the team last night by becoming the 14th player in the U.S. WNT history to score in her first U.S. WNT game.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: It’s “Breakfast with Brandi” this Sunday morning (Sept. 7) as the U.S. Women’s National Team plays Mexico at Chastain’s hometown Spartan Stadium at 10 a.m. PT live on ESPN. U.S. WNT head coach April Heinrichs has one last chance to test some of the more inexperienced players on the squad before it’s time to pick a starting eleven and get prepared for the team’s WWC opener versus Sweden on Sunday, Sept. 21.

SOCCER SHOCKER: After posting three wins to open the English Premiership season for the first time in club history, Manchester United were shocked by a 1-0 loss to lowly Southampton. Forward James Beattie headed home the game-winner from close range past a shielded Tim Howard for the game’s only goal.

QUOTABLE: "I honestly didn't doubt I could comeback and I knew I was on a tighter schedule than most, so I didn't have time to mope or feel sorry for myself. I just went out there every day and put my heart and soul into it."
--U.S. WNT midfielder Shannon MacMillan, on her almost miraculous comeback from an ACL injury to play the final 20 minutes in the USA’s 5-0 win.

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