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U.S. Soccer Wire - January 7, 2008


SUNDHAGE TO ANNOUNCE FOUR NATIONS ROSTER ON TUESDAY;
U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OPENS CAMP IN CARSON, CALIF.;
UNDER-23 MNT BEGINS 2008 WITH TRAINING CAMP IN FLORIDA

SUNDHAGE TO ANNOUNCE FOUR NATIONS ROSTER TUESDAY: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage will announce her 20-player roster for the 2008 Four Nations Tournament on Tuesday (Jan. 8). Tuesday is the final day of a six-day training camp at The Home Depot Center that included 27 players, 16 of whom were on the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster. The U.S. will travel to Foshan, China, on Jan. 9 before opening the competition against Canada on Jan. 16. The U.S. will also face Finland on Jan. 18 and China on Jan. 20. This will be the ninth trip to China for the U.S. women since 1998 and serves as continuing preparation for the 2008 Olympics. The Americans will have to qualify from the CONCACAF Final Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament being held April 2-13 in Mexico.
2008 Four Nations Tournament Schedule
Date          Opponent     Location
Jan. 16     Canada        Foshan, China
Jan. 18     Finland         Foshan, China
Jan. 20     China            Foshan, China
2008 Four Nations Tournament Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (8): Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Keeley Dowling (Carmel, Ind.), Amy LePeilbet (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Becky Sauerbrunn (St. Louis, Mo.), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (10): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tina DiMartino (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Ali Krieger (Dumfries, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Joanna Lohman (Silver Spring, Md.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.);
FORWARDS (6): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

LILLY EXPECTING FIRST CHILD, WILL NOT PLAY FOR WNT IN 2008: Kristine Lilly, captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team for the last three years, will not play for the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2008 as she expecting her first child with husband David Heavey, a firefighter in Brookline, Mass. The news means that Lilly will not play in the 2008 Olympics should the USA qualify in April. Lilly is due in July. Lilly, 36, is one of the most legendary female players in world history. She debuted for the USA in 1987 at the age of 16 and played 22 years for her country. In addition to holding the world record for caps, she has scored 129 career international goals, second only in women’s soccer history to Mia Hamm (158).“I’m not closing any doors as far as soccer,” said Lilly, who has played 340 games for the USA. “I hope to play in the new league and if one day I get the chance to play for (new U.S. head coach) Pia (Sundhage), that would be fantastic. But for now, I’m focusing on becoming a mom for the first time and everything that goes with that experience.”

BRADLEY OPENS FIRST CAMP OF 2008 WITH 26 PLAYERS: The U.S. Men’s National Team opened its 2008 schedule on Jan. 3 with a 26 player training camp at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. In the long term, U.S. head coach Bob Bradley is preparing for qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which begins in mid June. In the short term, the U.S. has a friendly match at The Home Depot Center on Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m. PT vs. Sweden. That match will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel, and fans can buy tickets starting at $18 online at ussoccer.com. The U.S. roster includes 23 players based in MLS, and three players from Scandianvian clubs that are currently on winter break. Landon Donovan is the leading capwinner with 96 appearances, while eight players are looking for their first appearances. Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Steve Cronin has received the call to duty, as Matt Pickens was given permission to leave camp.
U.S. MNT Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS(4) – Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Steve Cronin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Zach Wells (D.C. United)
DEFENDERS (9) –Dan Califf (Aalborg BK), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Ramiro Corrales (SK Brann), Todd Dunivant (Toronto FC), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Eddie Robinson (Houston Dynamo), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7) –Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Pat Noonan (New England Revolution)
FORWARDS (6) –Josmer Altidore (New York Red Bulls), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution), Jeremiah White (AGF Aarhus)

SUNDHAGE’S COACHING STAFF TAKES SHAPE: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage continues to put the final touches her coaching staff as the U.S. team prepares to head to the 2008 Four Nations Tournament in China, being held in Foshan from Jan. 16-20. Phil Wheddon, the Women’s National Team goalkeeper coach since the end of 2006, and also from 2002-2004, has been retained by Sundhage and will handle all the goalkeeper training duties. Sundhage has also hired fellow Swede Helena Andersson as the team’s Strength and Fitness coach. Rounding out her staff is former U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team head coach Erica Walsh, who will be with the WNT on a part-time basis. Walsh, who is the head women’s soccer coach at Penn State University, was also an assistant for the USA at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand.

- MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE -

U.S. MNT LEARNS HOME AND AWAY SCHEDULE FOR SEMIFINAL ROUND OF WCQ: The U.S. Men’s National Team will be on the road for its first two games of the Semifinal Round of CONCACAF qualifying should it get past their Second Round opponent (Barbados or Dominica) in June. If the U.S. advances past Barbados or Dominica in their home-and-away series, they could face Guatemala and Cuba on the road to start the Semifinal Round before heading back to the U.S. for their first home match against Trinidad & Tobago. Guatemala, Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago all would need to advance out of their Second Round matches. The U.S. would kick off their Semifinal Round campaign away on Aug. 20 and on Sept. 6, which would be the first of a two-game stretch. The U.S. would then return from the United States to play two consecutive home games on Sept. 10 and Oct. 11, before traveling for an Oct. 15 match. The team's final match of the Semifinal Round would be home on Nov. 19.
Potential Semifinal Round Qualifying Schedule*
No.    Date            Location
A2      Aug. 20       Away (Guatemala) ^
A4      Sept. 6        Away (Cuba)
A5      Sept. 10      Home (Trinidad & Tobago)
A8      Oct. 11        Home (Cuba)
A9      Oct. 15        Away (Trinidad & Tobago)
A12    Nov. 19      Home (Guatemala)

*If the U.S. advances past their second round opponent, either Barbados or Dominica.
^Favorite to advance out of Second Round listed in parentheses.

MORE THAN 32,000 TICKETS SOLD FOR U.S. MNT VS. MEXICO: More than 32,000 tickets have been sold for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s Feb. 6 clash with rival Mexico at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The match kicks off at 8 p.m. CT and will be televised live on ESPN2 and Univision. In an arrangement unique for this game, U.S. Soccer has divided the seating into U.S.A., Mexico, and mixed/neutral fan sections at each price level. Tickets staring at $35 are on sale now at ussoccer.com, by phone at 713-629-3700, at all Houston area Ticketmaster ticket centers (including Fiesta stores, Macy’s, Wherehouse Music, FYE, and select HEB stores), and at the Reliant Stadium south ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Groups of 30 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or can call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com. Additionally, ticket packages that include a premium pregame party starting at 6 p.m. are also on sale through ussoccer.com and Ticketmaster. Packages priced at $250 each include a lower midfield game ticket, an all-you-can-eat buffet with beer and wine, and pregame entertainment.

- AROUND THE REGION -

SCHEDULE SET FOR MEN’S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING: The U.S. has learned that it will kick off Group A of the 2008 CONCACAF Men’s Under-23 Championship against Cuba on Tuesday, March 11 at 8 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The U.S., which plays in the late game in each of the three doubleheaders, will then face Panama on Thursday, March 13 at 8 p.m. ET and finish the round-robin tournament against Guatemala on Saturday, March 15 at 7 p.m. ET. Group B, which will begin on March 12, features Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico, and will be played at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. After group play, the top two teams will advance to the semifinals which will be played on March 20 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. LP Field will also be the location for the third-place game and championship match on Sunday, March 23. The two semifinal winners qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
U.S. U-23 MNT CONCACAF Championship Schedule
Date             Opponent        Location                                                                 Kickoff
March 11     Cuba                Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.         8 p.m. ET
March 13     Panama          Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.         8 p.m. ET
March 15     Honduras       Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.         7 p.m. ET

OLYMPIC QUALIFYING SERIES TICKETS ON SALE NOW: U.S. Soccer and the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) have announced that series tickets for the 2008 CONCACAF Men’s Under-23 Championship in Los Angeles, Tampa and Nashville are on sale now. The eight-team tournament, set to be played from March 11-23, 2008, will send two finalists to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Both The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., will host three doubleheaders each in group play, while LP Field in Nashville will host the semifinals, final and third-place match. A series ticket consists of all matches scheduled at a single venue. Fans can order series tickets -- priced from $36 to $195 depending on the seating area and number of match days included in the series – online at ussoccer.com, by phone at 813-287-8844 (Tampa), 213-480-3232 (Los Angeles) or 615-255-9600 (Nashville) and at local Ticketmaster ticket centers in the venue cities. A full schedule is available online at ussoccer.com.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

NOWAK CALLS 24 PLAYERS TO U-23 TRAINING CAMP IN BRADENTON: The Under-23 Men’s National Team opened training camp on Sunday (Jan. 6) in Bradenton, Fla. U.S. head coach Peter Nowak called 24 players into the two-week training camp though Jan. 20 as part of the team’s preparation for the final round of the 2008 CONCACAF Men’s Under-23 Championship to be held from March 11-23. The roster includes 15 professional and nine collegiate players. Of the professional players, six are based abroad while nine ply their trade in Major League Soccer. Four players in camp are coming off championship seasons, as Stuart Holden and Patrick Ianni hoisted the MLS Cup with the Houston Dynamo, while Julian Valentin and Pat Phelan won the College Cup with Wake Forest. Four Under-23 players, Josmer Altidore, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kjlestan and Marvell Wynne are currently in camp with the full team in Carson, Calif.
Under-23 Men’s National Team Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake), Chris Brown (Boston College), Billy Chiles (Towson University)
DEFENDERS (8): Sean Franklin (Cal State Northridge), Steve Purdy (1860 Munich), Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Greg Dalby (SC Charleroi), Julian Valentin (Wake Forest), Pat Phelan (Wake Forest), Mike Randolph (Galaxy), Chance Myers (UCLA)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Johann Smith (Bolton FC), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Stephen King (Maryland), Alejandro Bedoya (Boston College), Eric Avila (UC Santa Barbara), Arturo Alvarez (FC Dallas), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (5): Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Charlie Davies (Hammarby), Preston Zimmerman (Hamburg), Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire), Kamani Hill (Vfl Wolfsburg)

U-17 WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM KICKS OFF WORLD CUP YEAR IN FLORIDA: The U.S. Under-17 Women‘s National Team closes its first training camp of 2008 on Monday (Jan. 7) in Sunrise, Fla. Head coach Kazbek Tambi has been working with a roster of 24 players as the team kicks off preparations for the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, to be held Oct. 30-Nov. 16 in New Zealand. The USA will have to qualify for the first-ever Women’s World Cup for this age group, but CONCACAF qualifying dates and venues have yet to be set. The age cutoff for the 2008 U-17 WWC is Jan. 1, 1991, and the majority of Tambi’s roster will likely consist of ‘91s with a few talented ‘92s sprinkled in.
U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Lianne Maldonado (Clifton, N.J.), Jennifer Pettigrew (Kearney, N.J.), Kelsey Wys (Coral Springs, Fla.), Taylor Vancil (South Elgin, Ill.);
DEFENDERS (5): Catherine Cabot (San Diego, Calif.), Crystal Dunn (Rockville Center, N.Y.), Kristine Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Megan Oyster (Naperville, Ill.), Julia Roberts (Fredrick, Md.);
MIDFIELDERS (9): Amber Brooks (New Hope, Pa.), Cloee Colohan (West Point, Utah), Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick (Pleasanton, Calif.), Olivia Klei (Pleasanton, Calif.), Rachel Mercik (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), Samantha Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Shayla Mutz (Chicago, Ill.), Jenna Richmond (Centerville, Va.), Erica Tymrak (Detroit, Mich.); FORWARDS (6): Kim Castleberry (McKinney, Texas), Tani Costa (Honolulu, Hawaii), Alexa Harris (Plano, Texas), Caroline Miller (Rockville, Md.), Alyssa Rich (Cincinnati, Ohio), Mary Wagner (Wall, N.J.).

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED FOR PASSBACK TOUR: The United States Soccer Foundation, the major charitable arm of U.S. Soccer, is accepting applications for its 2008 "Passback Tour" until the close of business on Friday, Jan. 12. The tour is a series of soccer skills clinics for urban disadvantaged children across the country held on a state-of-the-art field by some of the best coaches and players around. The 2008 event will consist of an eight-city tour with about 100 participants in each city. More information, including an application to participate in the tour, is available at www.passback.org/tour.

NATIONAL FUTSAL CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE HELD IN FEBRUARY: The Super F League is now accepting registrations for the 2008 Champions Cup, the largest futsal tournament in North America. In its fourth year, the tournament will be held in Overland Park, Kan., from Feb. 16-17 and will serve as the national championship for Under-8 through Under-18 Boys’ and Girls’ age groups, as well as the Men’s and Women’s Open division. Super F has youth and adult leagues in several major cities that represent more than 7,500 youth players on 800 plus teams. Registration closes January 27 and more information is available at www.superfchampionscup.com.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Stephanie Cox (formerly Lopez) has had quite a whirlwind in the past six months. Heck, in the past three weeks the WNT defender finished college, moved, got married, picked up her diploma, went on a honeymoon and got back in time for the WNT’s first camp of 2008. Not impressed? Well, read about her entire journey and we’ll think you’ll see why she’s our peak performer.

SOCCER SHOCKER: English League One side Luton is looking for a buyer as the club struggles to pay its staff and players, but it was Liverpool who struggled on the field vs. the team 60 places below them in the FA Cup. The little club from Luton controlled the first half and then got a little luck to hold Liverpool to a 1-1 draw forcing a replay.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: Tim Howard and Everton can move level Manchester City with three points at Goodison Park vs. Sven Erickson’s surging Citizens at 3 p.m. local time (same day delay at 4:30 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel). If Liverpool fails to earn a point at Middlesbrough, Everton can take possession of the fourth spot at the weekend’s conclusion as Howard’s side has a better goal differential than Manchester City.

QUOTABLE: “I am excited about having a baby and being home with my husband, but the process of stepping away from the game and my teammates has been a bit emotional. I will miss the game, but I will miss being around my teammates even more. When you do something for over 20 years, it will just take some time to adjust to a new lifestyle. I plan to continue promoting soccer by running my camps, doing clinics and appearances, as well as looking into starting a foundation. I may be stepping away from the game for a bit, but I won’t stop supporting it.” – U.S. WNT forward Kristine Lilly

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