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U.S. Soccer Wire - January 14, 2008


U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM PREPARES TO FACE SWEDEN ON
SATURDAY, JANUARY 19, AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER;
U.S. WNT TO KICK OFF FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT ON WEDNESDAY;
U.S. WOMEN’S YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS RE-ALIGN

MNT GET SET FOR FIRST MATCH OF 2008: U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley and a 26-man contingent are at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., preparing for a matchup against Sweden on Saturday, January 19 (tickets). Kickoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. ET and fans can watch live on Fox Soccer Channel or follow along live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets, starting at $18, are available online at ussoccer.com.

U.S. MNT Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS(4): Steve Cronin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), 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 (IK Start), 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)

FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT MOVED TO GUANGZHOU: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage announced the 20-player roster that will participate at the 2008 Four Nations Tournament, which kicks off for the U.S. on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The U.S. Women will face Canada in their first match, followed by a game against Finland on Jan. 18 and closing out the tournament against host China on Jan. 20. Originally scheduled to be played in Foshan, the event was moved to Guangzhou. Fans can follow the U.S. Women’s National Team on their trip to China on ussoccer.com, with exclusive player interviews and game reports of the team’s matches.

2008 Four Nations Tournament Schedule
Date        Opponent      Location                        Time (ET)
Jan. 16    Canada         Guangzhou, China     12 a.m.
Jan. 18    Finland          Guangzhou, China     3:30 a.m.
Jan. 20    China             Guangzhou, China     3:30 a.m.

2008 Four Nations Tournament Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Ali Krieger (Dumfries, Va.), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Becky Sauerbrunn (St. Louis, Mo.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tina DiMartino (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.);
FORWARDS (5): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.)

U.S. YOUTH WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAMS RE-ALIGN: The structure of the U.S. Youth Women’s National Teams will change in 2008 as the U.S. Under-23s, Under-20s and Under-17s will all compete in major tournaments. The U-21 WNT has been changed to a U-23 age group as a result of the Nordic Cup becoming a U-23 competition. Also, the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team, under head coach Dean Duerst, is being reinstituted after having existed from 1998-2001. In addition, the U.S. Under-16 Girl’s National Team will be absorbed by the U.S. U-17 WNT, much in the same way the Men’s U-17 Residency Program features two age groups of players every year. The U.S. Women’s National Team program now has teams at the U-14, U-15, U-17, U-18, U-20, U-23 and full Women’s National Team levels, mirroring the structure on the men’s side, which competes every two years for FIFA U-17 and U-20 world championships.

VENUE CHANGED FOR CONCACAF WOMEN'S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING: The 2008 CONCACAF women's Olympic qualifying tournament will be played April 2-13 at the Estadio Olimpico Benito Juarez in Ciudad Juarez in Mexico. The tournament remains in the state of Chihuaha, but was originally scheduled to be played at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario in the city of Chihuahua. Competing in the tournament alongside the U.S. will be Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica, host Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago. The draw for the 2008 CONCACAF Women's Olympic qualifying tournament groups and fixtures will be announced in the future.

2008 NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME BALLOT RELEASED: The 2008 Player's Ballot was released on Monday by the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum in Oneonta, N.Y. Included on the ballot for the first time are former U.S. MNT players Jeff Agoos, Mark Chung, Troy Dayak, Robin Fraser, Manny Lagos, Preki Radosavljevic, Earnie Stewart and Richie Williams. On the women's side, Danielle Fotopoulos and Shannon MacMillan are on the ballot for the first time. More information is available at soccerhall.org.

- 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 37,000 TICKETS SOLD FOR U.S. MNT VS. MEXICO: More than 37,000 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 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. 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.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

DOMINI CERVI JOINS THE U.S. U-23 MNT IN BRADENTON: After six U.S. U-23 MNT players took a break from training camp to compete in the 2008 MLS Players Combine, the six-man group returned with a seventh player as Dominic Cervi joined the squad. Cervi, a goalkeeper from Norman, Okla., played for three years at the University of Tulsa. Cervi will replace defender Julian Valentin, who heads home after re-opening a wound in his face, requiring seven stitches. The team will be in camp until Jan. 20 as part of the team’s preparation for the final round of the 2008 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualification to be held from March 11-23, 2008.

Under-23 Men’s National Team Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Dominic Cervi (University of Tulsa), 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), Pat Phelan (Wake Forest), Mike Randolph (Galaxy), Chance Myers (UCLA)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Stuart Holden (Houston), Johann Smith (Darlington), 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)

RONGEN NAMES 16 PLAYERS FOR COPA CHIVAS: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has named 16 players to his initial roster for the Copa Chivas tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico. The team will train from Jan. 20-24 in Bradenton, Fla. in conjunction with the Under-18 Men’s National Team’s Mega-camp. Rongen will take up to five players from the mega-camp to Guadalajara on Jan. 24. More information about the tournament will be available in the coming week.

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Abdul Hamid (Annandale, Va.), Josh Lambo (Middleton, Wis.)
DEFENDERS (5): Franklin Blaise (Miami, Fla.), Nicholas Millington (Raleigh, N.C.), Brek Shea (College Station, Texas), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.), Matthew Uy (New Hyde Park, N.Y.)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Bryan Arguez (Miami, Fla.), Amobi Okugo (Sacremento, Calif.), Pablo Punyed (Miami, Fla.), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (5): Hugh Dixon (Humble, Texas), Jorge Flores (Anaheim, Calif.), Felix Garcia (Laredo, Texas),
Cristian Gonzales (Miami, Fla.), Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.)

U.S. U-18 MNT TO HOLD MEGA-CAMP: The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team will kickoff 2008 with a 72-player mega-camp from January 17-24 at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. A roster will be released on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at ussoccer.com. All of the players on the roster were born on or after Jan. 1, 1990. With a three-year gap between the U-17 and the U-20 Men’s National Team, the Under-18 MNT was created to aid in the transition for younger players born in the odd-numbered years. The players on the U-18s are predominantly those who fall in that age gap where they were too old for the U-17s, but yet still young to have an immediate impact with the U-20s. Players on this Under-18 roster will be the core age-group for the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt with Under-20 head coach Thomas Rongen. Rongen will take as many as five players from the mega-camp with the Under-20 squad that will travel to Guadalajara, Mexico for the Copa Chivas Tournament from Jan. 24-Feb. 3.

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

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 Olympic Qualification 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 and final. 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. 

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

HAMM, GARCIAPARRA TO HOST CELEBRITY SOCCER MATCH: Former U.S. Women's National Team star and two-time FIFA Player of the Year Mia Hamm and husband Nomar Garciaparra are hosting a charity soccer match on Saturday, January 26, at 1 p.m. at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Tickets for the match are $20 and all seats are general admission. Proceeds from the match, which will feature several sports celebrities including MNT forward Landon Donovan and WNT forward Abby Wambach, will benefit bone marrow patient and family services at the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the Mia Hamm Foundation. More information is available at miafoundation.org.

2008 CONCACAF FUTSAL CHAMPIONSHIP DATES ANNOUNCED: The 2008 CONCACAF Futsal Championship will take place June 2-8 at the Domo Polideportivo in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The U.S. National Futsal team will compete in the event, along with Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Panama and two teams from the Caribbean. Three countries will qualify for the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil. The U.S. will attempt to qualifing for their second FIFA Futsal World Cup, having made it to Chinese Taipei in 2004 after winning the CONCACAF Futsal Championship in Costa Rica earlier that year.

USL FIRST DIVISION 2008 SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED: The United Soccer Leagues First Division will kick off their 164-game regular season schedule on Saturday, April 12. Starting off the season will be the Charleston Battery as they visit Miami FC at 7:30 p.m. ET, and the Vancouver Whitecaps as they host the Montreal Impact at 10 p.m. ET. Fans can watch the games live online at USLlive.com. Each team will play each opponent three times during the season, which ends on Sept. 21, and the top seven teams will advance to the playoffs. More information, including a complete schedule the schedule of televised matches, is available at USLsoccer.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: Midfielder Michael Bradley scored his 11th goal of the season in all competitions on Sunday (Jan. 13) as SC Herenveen drew, 2-2, against FC Utrecht. The 20-year-old’s strike gave the team a 2-0 lead in the 27th minute but Utrecht game back to tie the match in the second half.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The U.S. Men’s National Team kicks off 2008 with a match against Sweden on Jan. 19 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The match kicks off at 5:30 p.m. PT and will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel. Fans can also follow the action live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

QUOTABLE: “I have so much respect and admiration for the past captains and to be placed in that group is one of the biggest honors in my career. I look forward to the year ahead and using my past experiences in helping lead this team to achieve our goals together. However, we all know that everyone on this team is a leader and it will take the entire team working together to get where we want to be.”
-- U.S. Women’s National Team defender Christie Rampone, who was recently named captain of the squad.

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