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U.S. Soccer Wire: Golden Boot Winner Ronaldo Strikes Twice to Lead Brazil to Record Fifth World Cup Title, 2-0 over Germany


Winning all seven of its matches and lifted by an incredible eight goals from living legend Ronaldo, Brazil capped an impressive run to the 2002 World Cup championship with a 2-0 win over three-time champ Germany yesterday in Yokohama, Japan. The 25-year-old striker scored both goals for the Samba Kings, knocking home a rebound that German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn coughed up in the 67th minute and later one-timing a cross that Rivaldo expertly let run through his legs in the 79th minute to put the game away. With the win, Brazil became the first ever five-time World Cup champion, having entered yesterday’s match with four titles, ahead of Italy and Germany’s three. In Saturday’s third place match, the two biggest surprises of 2002 Korea/Japan – Turkey and South Korea – entertained the packed stadium in Daegu, Korea, with a barnburner of a match. Turkey scored the quickest goal in World Cup history when Hakan Sukur stole the ball from Korean defender Hong Myong-Bo just after kickoff and fired a shot past Lee Woon-Jae just 10 seconds into the game. Korea drew even. Korea drew even at 1-1 on a superb free kick goal by Lee in the 13th minute, but Turkey poured in two goals before halftime and held on for a 3-2 win. In the semifinals, Ronaldo gave Brazil a 1-0 decision in a well-played Group C rematch with Turkey by holding off four defenders and toe-poking a shot past goalkeeper Rustu Recber for the game’s only score. Germany needed a header by midfield star Michael Ballack, who picked up a yellow card earlier in the match and was forced to sit out the final, in the 75th minute to down Korea 1-0.

U.S. CAPTAIN REYNA NAMED TO 2002 FIFA WORLD CUP ALL-STAR TEAM: U.S. World Cup Team captain Claudio Reyna has been named to the All-Star Team of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, becoming the first American to receive such a distinction.  A member of the U.S. National Team since 1994, the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan was the third for Reyna, who was on the U.S. roster in 1994 and played in all three games at the 1998 World Cup in France. The 28-year-old Reyna has been known for years in the United States for his vision and deft touch on the field, as well as his leadership off of it.  He has earned 92 caps and scored eight goals in his nine-year career with the U.S., which also includes appearances for the U.S. at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. Reyna has distinguished himself in Europe playing in Germany, Scotland and England, and last December moved to Sunderland of the English Premier League for an American transfer record of $6.8 million.
Goalkeepers (2): Oliver Kahn (GER), Rustu Recber (TUR);
Defenders (5): Roberto Carlos (BRA), Sol Campbell (ENG), Hong Myung Bo (KOR), Alpay Ozalan (TUR), Fernando Hierro (ESP);
Midfielders (5): Rivaldo (BRA), Ronaldinho (BRA), Claudio Reyna (USA), Michael Ballack (GER), Yoo Sang Chul (KOR);
Forwards (4): Ronaldo (BRA), El Hadji Diouf (SEN), Hasan Sas (TUR), Miroslav Klose (GER).

U.S.-GERMANY MATCH SETS ESPN RATING RECORD FOR SOCCER BROADCASTS: ESPN's July 21 telecast of the U.S. vs. Germany quarterfinal match, which was seen in an average of 3.77 million television homes based on a 4.36 rating, became the network's most-watched and highest-rated soccer telecast ever, according to Nielsen Media Research data.  Also, the telecast is ESPN's most-viewed program ever in the second quarter of a year (April - June). The quarterfinal game surpassed a 1999 Women's World Cup semifinal match between U.S. and Brazil, watched by 2.88 million television homes.  Previously, the highest-rated soccer telecast on ESPN was a 4.26 for the first-round match of the 1994 World Cup between U.S. and Colombia. Even more impressive, the U.S.-Germany match was ESPN's highest-rated program of the year among men 18-34 (5.32 rating) and cable's most-viewed morning (7:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.) program ever among men 18-34 (1,351,571 impressions).

WATTS’ RESOLUTION CONGRATULATING U.S. WORLD CUP TEAM PASSES IN HOUSE: Last Friday, the House of Representatives passed a resolution authored by House Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts, Jr. (Okla.) to congratulate the U.S. National Soccer Team for making the quarterfinals of the World Cup.  The following excerpts are from remarks made by Watts on the House Floor: "The United States National Soccer Team is a perfect example of the American Dream.  Rising above low expectations and defeating the dire predictions of sportswriters and pundits, our soccer team shot and scored their way to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup. Like so many other underdogs, the U.S. team proved that with hard work and determination, success can be achieved and odds can be overcome.”

— U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE —

USA’s 1999 WWC WIN CHOSEN AS GREATEST MOMENT IN WOMEN'S SPORTS HISTORY: Almost three years after that glorious day at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., the impact of the historic victory by the U.S. Women's National Team in the 1999 Women's World Cup continues to be felt. ESPN.com readers have voted the USA's penalty kick shootout victory over China on July 10, 1999, as the greatest moment in women's sports history. While the staff of ESPN.com's "PAGE 2" chose the victory as the third greatest moment in women's sports history, behind former President Nixon signing Title IX into law on July 23, 1973, and Billie Jean King's victory over Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes on Sept. 20, 1973, the readers overwhelmingly chose Brandi Chastain and her teammates to top the list in a survey of numerous e-mails sent to the site.  In addition, in a current poll asking ESPN.com readers to chose their greatest moment in women's sports history, the U.S. women have collected 50% of the votes, followed by the institution of Title IX at 18% and Billie Jean King's victory at 8%.  Other events that made the list are, in order, according to the ESPN.com readers: Kerri Strugg vaulting to victory at the 1996 Olympics despite a broken ankle; the amazing run by the University of Connecticut basketball team in 1995 during a season in which they went 35-0; the Williams sisters dominating the U.S. Open in 2001; Babe Didrikson dominating women's athletics in the early 1930s; the U.S. softball team taking the gold medal in the 1996 Olympics; the U.S. hockey team winning the gold medal in Nagano, Japan in 1998 and Willa Rudolph winning three track gold medals at the 1960 Olympics.

-- U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --

U.S. UNDER-19 WOMEN CAP THREE-GAME EUROPEAN TOUR WITH 5-0 WIN OVER SWEDEN: The U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team finished its three-game European tour last week with a 5-0 win over Sweden’s Under-19 WNT in Hudiksvall, Sweden. Forward Lindsey Tarpley led the way, scoring two goals in three minutes (in the 26th and 28th minutes) as the U.S. dominated the match. As she did in the opening 2-1 win over the German U-19’s, midfielder Lori Chalupny started the rout by striking in the 20th minute. Midfielder Monya Makoski and forward Kerri Hanks later provided insurance goals in the 66th and 83rd minutes, respectively. In their first game since winning the 2002 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in early May to earn a berth the 2002 FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship, the U.S. U-19s shook off the jet lag to earn a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Germany, the two-time reigning European champions, in June 18 to open the tour. Chalupny scored the USA's first goal in the 40th minute, but Germany's Anne-Katherine Sabel tied the match 11 minutes into the second half.  U.S. forward Heather O'Reilly came off the bench at halftime and got the winning goal in the 72nd minute.  The win over Germany was significant in that it was the U-19s first-ever match against a top-quality European U-19 national team and a team that is also a co-favorite to win the first-ever FIFA Under-19 World Championship being contested in Canada from Aug. 17-Sept. 1, 2002. In their second match of the tour, the U.S. U-19’s almost overcame a talented Under-21 German team but fell 4-3. O’Reilly had two goals in the second half to boost the team’s unsuccessful comeback bid.

Date Opponent  Result U.S. Goal Scorers
June 18 Germany U-19s 2-1 W Chalupny, O’Reilly
June 20 Germany U-21s 4-3 L O’Reilly (2), Wozniak
June 26 Sweden U-19s 5-0 W Chalupny, Tarpley (2), Makoski, Hanks

—  2002 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP UPDATE —

A-LEAGUE SWEEPS ALL EIGHT SECOND ROUND MATCHES FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1996:  For the first time since 1996, A-League teams swept the entire 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Second Round by winning all eight matches last week and advancing to theThird Round of the single-elimination tournament, where they will meet eight MLS Teams from July 16-17. Second Round play began last Tuesday with one game as the A-League’s Seattle Sounders traveled to defeat the D3 Pro League’s Utah Blitzz 2-1 in Salt Lake City. The remaining seven Second Round matches took place on June 26 as the Minnesota Thunder (A-League) kicked off  “Elimination Wednesday” with a convincing 6-1 victory over the visiting San Diego Gauchos (D3).  The Thunder’s offense was led by forward Johnny Menyongar’s four-goal performance, which places him in a four-way tie for second (along with Abdul Thompson Conteh, Welton and Josh Wolff) in the Open Cup all-time goalscorers list (since 1996) with seven career goals.  All four trail current leader Jamie Moreno of D.C. United (MLS) with 10 career goals. In other Second Round results:  The 1995 champion Richmond Kickers (A-League) easily blanked the host Raleigh CASL Elite of the Premier Development League, 3-0; the 1999 champion Rochester Raging Rhinos needed to go to overtime to top the visiting Des Moines Menace (PDL) 3-2; the visiting Hampton Roads Mariners (A-League) posted a 1-0 win over the South Jersey Barons (D3); host Atlanta Silverbacks (A-League) earned a 2-0 shutout over the Memphis Express (PDL); Charleston Battery (A-League) earned a 3-0 road win over the Greenville Lions (D3); and the New York Freedoms (D3) –  who were the last team to win back-to-back Open Cup titles as the N.Y. Pancyprian Freedoms in 1982-83 – fell to the host Milwaukee Rampage (A-League) 4-0.

MLS TEAMS AWAIT A-LEAGUE SQUADS IN THIRD ROUND: The 2002 U.S. Open Cup Third Round kicks off on July 16-17, with the eight Second Round survivors facing eight MLS teams – Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, Dallas Burn, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, NY/NJ MetroStars and San Jose Earthquakes. The match-ups for the Third Round begin on July 16 with one encounter, as the Hampton Roads Mariners greet the MetroStars.  The remaining Third Round matches will take place on July 17 and will feature the Richmond Kickers traveling to take on the Crew, the Fire heading north to face the Milwaukee Rampage, the Rochester Raging Rhinos hosting the Wizards, the Burn visiting the Atlanta Silverbacks, the Rapids heading southeast to meet the Charleston Battery and the Earthquakes traveling to the Pacific Northwest to battle the Seattle Sounders. Lastly, the defending Open Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy will play their first ever Open Cup match away from the state of California as they square off against the Minnesota Thunder.

FOX SPORTS WORLD, ESPANOL ANNOUNCE 2002 U.S. OPEN CUP TV SCHEDULE: Fox Sports World (FSW) and Fox Sports World Español (FSWE), which have broadcast a number of Open Cup matches across the last two years (including the semifinals and championship games), will once again be the official television broadcaster of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2002. The schedule for this year’s tournament will include two Quarterfinal games (on August 7, with kickoff times slated for 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET, respectively), both Semifinals matches (tentatively set for either September 3-4 or 10-11) and the 2002 Championship game (set for the weekend of October 26-27).
2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Timeline
August 7 -- Quarterfinals
September 3-4 or 10-11 -- Semifinals
October 26 or 27 -- Championship

— AROUND THE SOCCER WORLD —

FIFA TO ANNOUNCE SITE FOR 2003 CONFEDERATIONS CUP IN SEPTEMBER: The announcement for the site of the 2003 Confederations Cup will be made during the FIFA Executive Committee meetings that will take place from September 23-24. The bi-annual FIFA competition is scheduled to take place from June 18-29, 2003, and will feature the five confederation champions (AFC, CAF, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, UEFA) along with the FIFA World Cup Winner, the defending FIFA Confederations Cup champion and the respective host nation.  The national associations bidding to host the event are Australia, France, South Africa and United States.

FIRE FALLS 2-0 TO MORELIA IN FIRST LEG OF 2002 CHAMPIONS CUP QUARTERFINALS: Two second-half goals by Mexico's Monarcas del Atletico Morelia just nine minutes apart was enough to top the MLS's Chicago Fire 2-0 in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the 2002 Football Confederation (CONCACAF) Champions Cup in Morelia, Mexico on Sunday. With the win, the Mexican side will have an advantage going into the second leg of the tournament, set for July 10 at 7:30 p.m. (CT) at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville, Ill. The winner of the home-and-home series will face the Kansas City Wizards in one semifinal, while Pachuca CF of Mexico and LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica meet in the other semifinal.

U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT

PEAK PERFORMER: While the goalscorers normally get all the glory, the 2002 World Cup will undoubtedly be remembered for the outstanding performances of goalkeepers, including U.S. giant Brad Friedel, Spain’s Iker Casillas and Turkey’s Rustu Recber. But no one was better than Germany’s Oliver “The Wrath of” Kahn, who will likely earn the Top Goalkeeper honor and was named as one of two goalkeepers on the FIFA 2002 World Cup All-Star Team. Entering the final, he had conceded just one goal in six matches based on the kind of brilliant and daring shot-stopping performance like he put up against the USA on June 21. Despite bobbling a shot that lead to an easy goal in the final, Kahn firmly established himself as the world's top goalkeeper.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: The Fourth of July: fireworks, flags, friends and Major League Soccer? Yes, it’s true. MLS matches have become a staple of this country’s Independence Day celebration, and 2002 is no exception. All 10 teams are in action on Thursday (July 4) as the season heats up with the return of each team’s respective World Cup stars. As in years past, expect a huge spike in MLS attendance as these unique holiday games have been witnessed by some of the biggest crowds in league history.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Not as much of a shocker as it was a welcome and pleasant surprise was Ronaldo’s magical performance and perfect finishing at 2002 Korea/Japan. After a ’98 World Cup that ended with a 3-0 loss to France and a sluggish, subpar effort in the final, a rejuvenated Ronaldo was again in top form and showed why he is still one of the top players in the world. Even with the bad taste left from France ’98, it’s hard to argue with 10 goals in 13 World Cup games. Is he really only 25 years old???

QUOTABLE: 
“My big victory, as I have said before, was to play soccer again, to run again and to score goals again. This conquest today, our fifth world title, has crowned my struggle, my recovery."
- Brazil forward Ronaldo, who had not been 100% healthy until earlier this year and missed much of the last four years since the 3-0 loss to France at the 1998 World Cup with a series of injuries.


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