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U.S. Soccer Wire: Women's National Team to Kick Off New Year with Busy January


HEINRICHS ANNOUNCES ROSTER FOR JAN. 12 MATCH, "FOUR NATIONS" TOURNAMENT: The U.S. Women's National Team's clash with Mexico on Jan. 12 at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., (7  p.m. ET on ESPN2) will be just the beginning of a three-week trek that will take the team across the world to China, where they will face Norway, Germany and China in the Four Nations Women's Tournament taking place in Guangzhou from January 23-27, 2002. U.S. head coach April Heinrichs named the 24 players that will come into Charleston, S.C., on January 8 and train for four days.  She will then pick 18 players to face Mexico on January 12. The team will then have several days of training as she re-evaluates her roster before picking the 18 players to represent the USA against the three world powers in the Far East with matches on January 23, 25 and 27.  Guangzhou holds a special place in the hearts of the U.S. Women's National Team veterans, who won the first-ever FIFA Women's World Cup in the bustling metropolis back in 1991 with Heinrichs as team captain. The USA will open the tournament on Jan. 23 vs. Norway at Huadu Stadium, face Germany on Jan. 25 at Panyu Stadium and finish the tournament in grand  fashion, taking on China on Jan. 27 at Tianhe Stadium, site of the 1991 Women's World Cup Final. The tournament will afford the U.S. women some valuable experience, giving them a sneak preview of the venues, atmosphere and competition they should encounter at the 2003 Women's World Cup in China.  The pre-Women's World Cup seasoning may be most valuable for the younger players on the  squad, as this will mark the seventh trip to China for some of the U.S. veterans.  The U.S. team last visited China in January of 2001 to play two matches, losing 1-0 in Panyu before tying 1-1 in front of 30,000 fans at the brand-new Dragon Stadium in Hangzhou. The following is the complete 24-player WNT roster:
Goalkeepers: LaKeysia Beene (San Jose CyberRays), Jamie Pagliarulo (San Diego Spirit), Hope Solo (Univ. Of Washington); Defenders: Nancy Augustiniak (Atlanta Beat), Kylie Bivens (Santa Clara), Thori Bryan (San Jose CyberRays), Brandi Chastain (San Jose CyberRays), Joy Fawcett (San Diego Spirit), Jena Kluegel (UNC), Kate Sobrero (Boston Breakers), Cat Reddick (UNC), Danielle Slaton (Santa Clara);
Midfielders: Shannon Boxx (San Diego Spirit), Aleisha Cramer (BYU), Lorrie Fair (Philadelphia Charge), Julie Foudy (San Diego Spirit), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Aly Wagner (Santa Clara);
Forwards: Danielle Fotopolous (Carolina Courage), Mia Hamm (Washington Freedom), Shannon MacMillan (San Diego Spirit), Tiffeny Milbrett (New York Power), Cindy Parlow (Atlanta Beat), Abby Wambach (Florida).

LESS THAN 500 TICKETS LEFT FOR 2002 OPENER VS. MEXICO AT BLACKBAUD STADIUM: Before the U.S. Women's National Team embarks on the foreign tour to China, they must first focus on an up-and-coming Mexican side at what is sure to be a sold-out Blackbaud Stadium. As of today, only 200 corner seats (priced at $18 each) remain for the match at the 5,113-seat venue.  Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout the Carolinas and Georgia  (including Publix & Cat's Music), by phone at 843-554-6060.

HAMM WINS FIRST EVER FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR: U.S. Women's National Team star Mia Hamm was named the FIFA World Women's Player of the Year today at the FIFA World Player Gala 2001 in Zurich, Switzerland.  A men's World Player of the Year has been awarded since 1991, but this is the first year that a woman was so honored.  Portugal and Real Madrid star Luis Figo won the men's award. "It's a great honor," said Hamm.  "But more importantly, I think it's wonderful that FIFA has instituted this award and to see the progress that women's soccer has made with FIFA has been tremendous." Hamm received 154 points in voting by 72 women's national team coaches, beating out the two other finalists, China's Sun Wen (79 points) and U.S. teammate Tiffeny Milbrett (47 points).  Five points were awarded for a first place nomination, three points for a second place, and one point for a third. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players from their own national team.  Hamm played in front of swelled crowds all year long during the inaugural WUSA season for the Washington Freedom, yet another indication of her tremendous impact on the growth of the women's game.  She was named to the All-WUSA Second Team and capped her year with a rousing two-goal performance in a 4-1 victory over Germany at the Nike U.S. Women's Cup.

U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE

MOORE SCORES IN EVERTON WIN; REYNA DEBUTS FOR SUNDERLAND: U.S. Men's National Team forward Joe-Max Moore scored a 76th minute goal on Saturday to give his English Premier League squad Everton a 1-0 home win over Derby County. The goal was the first for Moore in a year-and-a-half in England, where he had not scored in his last 33 appearances for the Blues.  "It's been a long time coming," said Moore after the match.  "We thoroughly deserved a win tonight. We hit the post, the crossbar and missed a few other chances.  I just keep working in training.  I do a little bit every day around the goal.  I believe in it paying off, and it finally happened."  In his last appearance for the U.S., it was Moore who scored twice to give the U.S. a 2-1 victory over Jamaica on Oct. 7 and clinch a spot in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.  For the season, Moore has appeared in six league games for Everton on the year, all as a substitute.  Elsewhere, midfielder Claudio Reynamade his Premier League debut for Sunderland in a 2-0 loss at Southhampton.  The recent record-setter for an American-transfer, Reyna had a strong 90-minute performance in the defeat.

UPDATE ON U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM PLAYERS IN EUROPE: In other U.S. Men's National Team action overseas, U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel and Blackburn Rovers lost 2-1, marking their third straight league loss.  Friedel, who has played every minute of the season for Blackburn, and his teammates have not won in five league games, but did advance to the semifinals of the Worthington Cup on Dec. 12 with a 4-0 win over Arsenal. U.S. forward Jovan Kirovski saw action as both a starter and reserve last week for Crystal Palace, but the First Division club lost both matches 1-0 to Birmingham and Watford, respectively. Kirovski picked up a yellow card in the 90th minute in the Watford match after coming off the bench at halftime. U.S. MNT and Palace teammate Gregg Berhalter did not see action last week. Midfielder John O'Brien appeared in two matches for Ajax last week, coming off the bench in the 29thminute to help the club to a 4-3 win over Roosendahl in the fourth round of the Dutch Amstel Cup and starting in a 1-1 draw with Roda JC in league play.  Also in the Dutch Honor Division, Earnie Stewart started in NAC Breda's 3-2 league win over Fortuna. In Germany, defender Cory Gibbs started and picked up a 3rd minute yellow card in FC St. Pauli's 0-0 draw with Tony Sanneh's FC Nurnberg. Defender Steve Cherundolo earned his 11th consecutive league start in Hannover 96's 3-1 win over Gruether Furth.

U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE

U-19 WOMEN COME TOGETHER FOR YEAR-END CAMP IN SAN DIEGO: U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team head coach Tracey Leone will bring 26 players together at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in San Diego, Calif. for one last look in 2001, and a first look in 2002, as she runs an eight-day training camp from Dec. 27, 2001 through January 3, 2002. With the Football Confederation qualification for the 2002 FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championships being held May 5-12 in Trinidad & Tobago, each event for the U-19s becomes increasingly important as Leone gets closer to naming her roster for the tournament.  Among the 26 players named to the camp are 10 college freshman who recently completed their college seasons, including defenders Jessica Ballweg and Leslie Osborne, who last week won an NCAA title with the Santa Clara Broncos, the school's first in women's soccer.  Following is the training camp roster with hometowns:
Goalkeepers: Kim Bingham (San Ramon, Calif.), Ashlyn Harris  (Satellite Beach, Fla.), Mallory Moser (Mill Valley, Calif.), Megan Rivera (Miami, Fla.);
Defenders: Jessica Ballweg (Metuchen, N.J.), Amy Fazio (Alamo, Calif.), Kendall Fletcher (Cary, N.C.), Alison Graham (Fayeteville, Ga.), Keeley Dowling (Carmel, Ind.), Leslie Osborne (Menomonee Falls, Wisc.), Annie Schefter (Yakima, Wash.), Jessica Trainer (Sparta, N.J.);
Midfielders: Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Brittany Cooper (Albuquerque, N.M.), Jenny Farenbaugh (Reseda, Calif.), Sarah Huffman (Flower Mound, Texas), Manya Makoski (Trumbull, Conn.), Casey McCluskey (Fairfax Station, Va.), Jill Oakes (West Hills, Calif.), Sara Randolph (Cincinnati, Ohio);
Forwards: Lindsay Gusick (Livonia, Mich.), Megan Kakadelas (Carlsbad, Calif.), Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Stephanie Peel (Plano, Texas), Lindsey Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Kelly Wilson (Odessa Texas).

AROUND THE SOCCER NATION

UNC CLAIMS FIRST EVER MEN'S COLLEGE CUP TITLE WITH 2-0 WIN OVER INDIANA: The University of North Carolina captured their first men's soccer title on Sunday with a triumphant 2-0 win over Indiana in the Men's College Cup Final at Crew Stadium yesterday.  The Tar Heels, whose soccer program is known more for their women's team's dynasty and incredible 16 national titles, finally have a banner of their own to display at their home at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill. They also gained revenge for their loss to the Hoosiers on the same field in the 2000 quarter-final. Leading scorer Ryan Kneipper leaped over Indiana goalkeeper Colin Rogers, who had mis-timed his jump, and headed the ball into the back of the net for his 14th goal of the season in the 12th minute to give the Heels a 1-0 halftime lead. UNC would later add a penalty kick goal from senior co-captain Danny Jackson in the 75th minute to seal the hard-fought victory.

CALIGIURI DISPLAY OPENS AT NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME: The National Soccer Hall of Fame announced last week the installation of a new display celebrating the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final and the retirement of Los Angeles Galaxy defender Paul Caligiuri. The match represented Caligiuri's final appearance as a professional player. His long and storied history began with the U.S. Men's National Team in 1984. He earned 110 caps and played in the World Cup in 1990 and 1994. The most memorable moment of his career occurred on November 19, 1989, when his booming and dipping strike from 35 yards gave the USA a 1-0 victory and qualification for the 1990 World Cup. Caligiuri will be eligible for election to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005.

HUNT WORKS ASIAN WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP IN CHINESE TAIPEI: Veteran U.S. Soccer referee Sandra Hunt just returned from Chinese Taipei, where she worked the 13th Asian Women's Championship from Dec. 4-16.  Hunt arrived in Taipei on Nov. 29 and her schedule has included a prepartory course for referees and a physical fitness test.  Her first  assignment in the tournament was running the middle in in the Korea Republic's 7-0 blanking of India on Dec. 4, marking the first of five games in which she served as the center official.  Those five games culminated with the tournament semifinal on Dec. 14, which saw Japan defeat the Korea Republic, 2-1.  She also served as the fourth official on three occasions during the tournament.  Hunt, of Bellingham, Wash., has been a FIFA official since 1999 and has previously worked the 1999 Women's World Cup and 2000 Olympic Women's Soccer Tournament.

BRIAN HALL TO WORK 2002 CONCACAF GOLD CUP: U.S. Soccer referee Brian Hall will work the 2002 Gold Cup in California and Miami as one of 10 officials appointed by CONCACAF. The Gold Cup is set for Jan. 18 - Feb. 2 at the Rose Bowl and the Orange Bowl.  Hall, of Gilroy, Calif., has been a FIFA official since 1992 and also worked the 2000 edition of the Gold Cup, as well as an Asian World Cup Qualifier in Saudi Arabia.

LANDON DONOVAN, U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION JOIN FORCES FOR BOBBLEHEAD DOLL: Through a collaborative deal with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Landon Donovan and SportsNet Marketing & Management, Inc., have combined to produce a "Landon Donovan Bobblehead Doll". The latest craze for sports enthusiasts and sports memorabilia collectors, the Landon Donovan bobblehead doll was created for the purpose of helping to build the future National Team Training Center, as all proceeds from the doll will be allocated to this Capital Campaign. Manufactured by Bensussen, Deutsch & Associates, the Donovan dolls will be sold through Eurosport, a leading soccer product and apparel catalog, website at www.soccer.com starting today. Eurosport's direct mailing catalog will feature the Donovan bobblehead doll beginning in February 2002.

USL SELECT TIES ESTORIL 1-1 IN FIRST GAME OF PORTUGAL TOUR: Less than 48 hours after jetting across the Atlantic to Portugal, United Soccer Leagues (USL) Select Team came away from its first match with a 1-1 draw against Estoril Praia of the Southern Zone of Second Division B on a 68th minute equalizer from Indiana Invaders' Leonardo Peirano. After a free kick goal from Estoril Praia's Marcial in the second half, the USL Select Team leveled the score at 1-1 in the 68th minute on a corner kick. Wilmington Hammerheads forward Teofilo "Coco" Cubillas sent the corner into the six-yard box, where Peirano headed the equalizer just beneath the crossbar.

SIDEKICKS TOP SOCKERS 6-3 IN GAME 1 OF 2001 WISL CHAMPIONSHIP: The Dallas Sidekicks got the edge on the San Diego Sockers with a 6-3 victory in Game 1 of the 2001 World Indoor Soccer League (WISL) Championship in Dallas this weekend.  The Sockers will host Game 2 of the two-game series on Saturday (Dec. 22) at the San Diego Sports Arena.  If the series is tied after the second match, then a mini-game will determine the winner.

U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT

PEAK PERFORMANCE: With the #1-ranked women's team having faltered in the Women's College Cup just a week earlier, the UNC men's team redeemed the soccer fans in Chapel Hill with a surprising 2-0 win over powerhouse Indiana at Columbus Crew Stadium yesterday. It was defense that did it for the Tar Heels, as they held the Hoosiers scoreless for the just third time this season and helped senior goalkeeper Michael Ueltschey earn his 14th shutout of the season.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: The San Diego Sockers, owners of perhaps the only indoor soccer dynasty and a total of 10 indoor titles, will be looking for their first WISL Championship when they meet the Dallas Sidekicks, who captured the first WISL crown in 1998, in Game 2 of the final series this Saturday at the San Diego Sports Arena.

SOCCER SHOCKER: China were eliminated from the 2001 Asian Women's Championship in Chinese Taipei after dropping a 3-1 decision in the semifinals to DPR Korea (North Korea) last Friday.  In the other semifinal match, Japan topped Korea Republic (South Korea), 2-1.  The defending Asian Champions will not reach the final for the first time since 1981 having won seven consecutive titles (1986-1999).  China is scheduled to host the USA, Norway and Germany in a four-nation international tournament from January 16-28 in Guangzhou.

QUOTABLE:
"I knew the responsibility as a senior and as a captain, I took it upon myself to grab the ball and take it."
- UNC midfielder Danny Jackson, whose successful PK sealed the Tar Heels' first ever men's college soccer championship.

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