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U.S. Soccer Wire: January 28, 2008


BOB BRADLEY NAMES INITIAL ROSTER FOR MATCH AGAINST MEXICO;
TONY DiCICCO NAMED HEAD COACH OF THE U.S. U-20 WNT;
PIA SUNDHAGE CALLS IN 37 PLAYERS FOR FEBRUARY CAMP

BACK IN CARSON: U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has recalled 21 players to U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., to begin preparations for the match against Mexico. All 21 players on the Carson roster were part of the group that began training in early January and finished with a 2-0 win against Sweden on Jan. 19 at the HDC. Missing are four members of the Under-23 Men’s National Team – Jozy Altidore, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan and Marvell Wynne – who will participate in the U-23 camp being held from Jan. 24-Feb.2 in Bradenton, Fla. The team will train in Carson until Feb. 3 before leaving for Houston. The final roster for the Mexico match, which may include more European-based players, will be finalized prior to the team’s departure from Carson. More than 47,000 tickets have been sold for the showdown with the USA’s regional rivals on Feb. 6 in Houston. Kickoff at Reliant Stadium is set for 8 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision, as well as on 75 affiliates of the Fútbol de Primera Radio Network. Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets as low as $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.

U.S. MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS(4): Steve Cronin (LA Galaxy), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Zach Wells (D.C. United)
DEFENDERS (8): Dan Califf (Aalborg BK), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Ramiro Corrales (SK Brann), Todd Dunivant (Toronto FC), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Eddie Robinson (Houston Dynamo)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Pat Noonan (Aalesund FK)
FORWARDS (4): Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution), Jeremiah White (AGF Aarhus)

DiCICCO TO COACH U.S. U-20 WOMEN: Tony DiCicco, the head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1994-1999, has been named the head coach of the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team. DiCicco replaces Jillian Ellis, who has been hired by current U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage as an assistant on her staff through the 2008 Olympics, should the USA qualify in April. DiCicco will be charged with taking over a team that will attempt to qualify for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup being held in Chile from Nov. 20-Dec. 7. Dates and venues for the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament have yet to be set. DiCicco will officially coach his first event with the U-20s during a trip to Chile in mid-February where the team will face three U-20 Women’s National Teams: England (Feb. 11), Norway (Feb. 13) and Chile (Feb. 15). The schedule for the U-20s this year will include numerous training camps, as many as four international trips, matches against U-20 and full Women’s National Teams, and of course, the CONCACAF qualifying tournament.

WNT TO HOLD FEBRUARY CAMP BEFORE ALGARVE CUP: U.S. Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has called 37 players to the next training camp that begins on Feb. 1 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The camp is part of preparations for the CONCACAF Olympic Women’s Qualifying Tournament, being held April 2-13 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. After a week of training and evaluation, Sundhage will release some players and focus on the remainder of the group to pick a 20-player roster for the 2008 Algarve Cup, which will be held from March 5-12 in Portugal.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Cori Alexander (Martinez, Calif.), Kristen Luckenbill (Paoli, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (12): Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Keeley Dowling (Carmel, Ind.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Amy LePeilbet (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Becky Sauerbrunn (St. Louis, Mo.), Brittany Taylor (Campbell Hall, N.Y.), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (13): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Jen Buczkowski (Elk Grove Village, Ill.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tina DiMartino (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Lindsay Huie (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Sarah Huffman (Flower Mound, Texas), Noelle Keselica (Gaithersburg, Md.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Joanna Lohman (Silver Spring, Md.), Manya Makoski (Trumbull, Conn.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.);
FORWARDS (8): 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.). Tiffany Weimer (North Haven, Conn.), Christie Welsh (Massapequa Park, N.Y.).

MEN'S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING INDIVIDUAL TICKETS GO ON SALE WEDNESDAY: Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and U.S. Soccer have announced that individual tickets for 2008 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying in Los Angeles, Tampa and Nashville will go on sale Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 12 p.m. local time in each market. The eight-team event, which includes national teams at the Under-23 age level, will be played as eight doubleheaders from March 11-23, 2008, and will send two finalists to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Group A, which includes the United States, Honduras, Cuba and Panama, will play at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on March 11, 13 and 15. Group B features Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico facing off on March 12, 14 and 16 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. LP Field in Nashville will host the semifinals on Thursday, March 20, and the championship match and third-place game on Sunday, March 23. Tickets priced from $18 to $65 for each of the eight doubleheaders in the tournament go on sale beginning Wednesday (January 30) at 12 p.m. local time in each venue through 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. In Tampa and Los Angeles (where first round doubleheaders are scheduled), teams competing at those sites will have seats at every price level set aside for their fans, allowing supporters of the same country to sit together. Fans must order online to choose from this allotment. In Nashville, where the participating teams won’t be known until several days before the semifinal round, seating until the end of the first round will be allocated (based on the local population) for U.S.A., Mexico, and mixed/neutral fan sections at each price level. Series ticket sales will end on 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, for fans looking to buy tickets to all three match dates in each venue.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-23 MNT RETURNS TO FLORIDA: U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Peter Nowak has named 23 players to participate in the team’s second training camp of 2008 from Jan. 26 – Feb. 2 in at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. The week-long camp will be Nowak’s final chance to train and evaluate players before selecting the team that will compete in CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying from March 11-23, 2008, in Los Angeles, Tampa and Nashville. The U.S. plays in the late game in each of the three doubleheaders at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa (tickets), playing Cuba at 8 p.m. ET on March 11, Panama at 8 p.m. ET on March 13 and finishing the round-robin tournament against Guatemala on at 7 p.m. ET Saturday, March 15. After group play, the top two teams from each group 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 and championship matches on Sunday, March 23. The two finalists will advance to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

U.S. U-23 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Dominic Cervi (Chicago Fire), Tally Hall (Esbjerg fB), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): Kamani Hill (Vfl Wolfsburg), Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Chance Myers (Kansas City Wizards), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Mike Randolph (LA Galaxy), Nathan Sturgis (Real Salt Lake), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Arturo Alvarez (FC Dallas), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (6): Josmer Altidore (New York Red Bulls), Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire), Adam Cristman (New England Revolution), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Robbie Findley (LA Galaxy), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)

U.S. U-20 MNT DRAWS TWICE AT COPA CHIVAS: The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team opened its campaign at the Copa Chivas tournament in Guadalajara with a 2-2 draw against America on Saturday, Jan. 26, with goals from Felix Garcia and Alex Nimo. The U-20 MNT drew, 1-1, with Tecos the following day with another goal from Garcia. U.S. goalkeeper Abdul Hamid was forced the leave the game against Tecos with an injury and returned to Virginia to treat a separated shoulder. He was replaced on the roster by Zac MacMath. The dropped their third game of the tournament, 1-0, to Lokomotiv Moscow and return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 29, against Estudiantes de la Plata.

U.S. Under-20 MNT Copa Chivas Schedule
Date        Opponent                           Result       U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
Jan. 26   America                                2-2 T        Felix Garcia, Alex Nimo
Jan. 27   Tecos                                    1-1 T        Felix Garcia
Jan. 28   Locomotiv Moscow             0-1 L        --
Jan. 29   Estudiantes de la Plata
Jan. 30   Santos
Jan. 31   Quarterfinals
Feb. 1     Semifinals
Feb. 2     Final

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Josh Lambo (FC Dallas), Zac MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (7): Gale Agbossoumonde (Syracuse, N.Y.), Franklin Blaise (Miami, Fla.), Paolo DelPiccolo (Lakewood, Colo.), Nicholas Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Matthew Uy (Fairfield University), Zarek Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Sheanon Williams (University of North Carolina)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Jose Altamirano (San Diego, Calif.), Steven Birnbaum (Irvine, Calif.), Andrew Lubahn (Erie, Pa.), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Pablo Punyed (Miami, Fla.),
FORWARDS (6): Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Felix Garcia (Laredo, Texas), Christian Gonzales (Miami, Fla.), Alex Nimo (Real Salt Lake), Ahkeel Rodney (Elmont, N.Y.), Hasani Sinclair (Coral Springs, Fla.)

U.S. U-14 BNT TRAVELS TO GUADALAJARA FOR TRAINING CAMP: The Under-14 Boys' National Team closed out a week-long training camp in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday, Jan. 27. Head coach Manny Schellscheidt split his squad into Blue and White teams, with the Blue team picking up two draws and the White team coming away with a win and a loss. Eric Sanchez and Eric Gonzales scored goals for the Blue team, while Bryan Celis scored in both games for the White team and Jalen Robinson added a tally in the win over Chivas de Guadalajara.

U.S. U-14 BNT Results
Date          Matchup                                                                 U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
Jan. 22     Chivas Valle Verde 2, USA Blue 1                     Eric Sanchez
                  Chivas San Rafael 3, USA White 1                   Bryan Celis
Jan. 24     Chivas San Rafael 1, USA Blue 1                     Eric Gonzalez
                  USA White 2, Chivas de Guadalajara 1            Jalen Robinson, Bryan Celis

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 Olympic Qualification 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 phase of the 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 (local)
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
March 20    Semifinals*           LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.                             5 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. CT
March 23    Third Place*          LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.                             1 p.m. CT
March 23    Championship*   LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.                             4 p.m. CT
* If necessary

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED: CONCACAF announced the launch of the CONCACAF Champions League, will begin in August 2008, taking the place of the Champions' Cup. Twenty-four teams from the region will participate in the CONCACAF Champions League, which feature four teams from Mexico and the USA, three teams from the Caribbean, two teams each from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and one team each from Canada, Belize, and Nicaragua. More information is available at concacaf.com.

HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES VETERAN, BUILDER BALLOT: The National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum announced the 2008 Veteran Ballot and the 2008 Builders Ballot. The Veteran Ballot is made up of 15 players who were selected from the more than 300 eligible players by the 16-member Veteran Screening Committee. The 16 Builder candidates were selected by the Builder's Screening Committee from a list of 53 eligible candidates. A complete list of the Veteran and Builder ballots for 2008 is available at soccerhall.org.

REYNA LENDS WORLD CUP JERSEYS TO SPORTS MUSEUM OF AMERICA: Former U.S. Men's National Team captain and four-time FIFA World Cup veteran, Claudio Reyna, was surrounded by avid young soccer fans as he provided more than a dozen World Cup traded jerseys and a 2006 FIFA World Cup pennant to the Sports Museum of America (SmA). The jerseys were from Reyna's personal collection of shirts he traded with opponents during the World Cups in which he participated. The Sma is scheduled to open in May 2008. More information is available at sportsmuseum.com. U.S. Soccer, one of over 60 single-sport halls of fame, governing bodies, museums and other sports organizations across North America to partner with the SmA, was among the first ten organizations to join with SmA. As part of the partnership, U.S. Soccer has agreed to lend artifacts and archival material pertaining to soccer as well as marketing support. In return, SmA lends financial and marketing support as well as a place in the Hall of Halls gallery.

MIA HAMM INDUCTED INTO NC SOCCER HALL OF FAME: Former U.S. Women's National Team star Mia Hamm was inducted into the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame on Saturday, Jan. 26. Hamm, who retired from the WNT in 2004, led North Carolina to four NCAA titles and was a three-time Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year. During her 18 years with the U.S. Women's National Team, Hamm earned 275 caps and scored 158 goals. She led the team to two FIFA Women's World Cup titles and two Olympic gold medals. Also inducted, were Gary Hall, the former coach at Barton, Lenoir-Rhyne and Campbell, and longtime referee and state youth referee administrator Paul James.

DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: Applications for the 2008-09 season of U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy are being accepted from now until March 1, 2008. Clubs will be admitted on a rolling basis until April 1, at which point all clubs will be notified of their status. Academy clubs follow the model used at the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program, with a focus on training and player development. Teams are required to train three times per week and rest one day per week during the eight-month season, during which they will play 30 regular-season Academy games. Applications are available at ussoccer.com.

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, Ks., 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: Maybe you’re tired of seeing Michael Bradley being named “Peak Performer” but, the fact of the matter is, he is on a scoring rampage. Bradley extended his rich vein of goalscoring form with two goals in Heerenveen’s 3-0 win over De Graafschap on Saturday. With the victory Heerenveen move up to third place in the Eredivisie table. The two goals give Bradley 15 in all competitions, and five in his last four games.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: Fulham travel to face Bolton on Tuesday in the Premier League. Both teams are struggling in the lower half of the table, and each could use a win. For Fulham, who counts five Americans in its ranks, three points could be just the remedy for the team’s poor form recently. The match kicks off at 8 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET) on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and will be broadcast on same-day delay in the U.S. at 5 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel.

QUOTABLE: “It's been nice because the movement of our team right has been good. I've been able to see the right times to get forward whether it's been coming into the box a little bit late or runner harder to get up as one of the first guys.”
-- Midfielder Michael Bradley on his recent scoring run with Dutch club Heerenveen, in a podcast with ussoccer.com before scoring twice this past weekend.

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