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U.S. Soccer Wire: May 23, 2005


U.S. Men's National Team Arrives in Chicago, Prepares For Memorial Weekend
Match Against England on May 28 at Soldier Field in Chicago

WOLFF, POPE, ZAVAGNIN ADDED TO ROSTER FOR ENGLAND FRIENDLY: The U.S. Men’s National Team began arriving in Chicago on Sunday, with the latest roster additions of forward Josh Wolff and defender Eddie Pope. The addition of Wolff brings the USA's roster to 20 in advance of the England match. Wolff, who has 29 career caps and seven goals with the U.S., has already scored four goals and four assists in seven games for the Kansas City Wizards in 2005. He has one appearance for the U.S. in 2005, appearing as a second half sub in the USA's last match (a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Guatemala on March 30 in Birmingham, Ala.). A veteran of two U.S. World Cup teams, Pope has been added to the roster for the U.S. vs. England friendly at Soldier Field in Chicago on May 28 in the absence of defender Oguchi Onyewu. Onyewu will be representing his club Standard Liege in a Belgian playoff for a spot in the 2005-06 UEFA Cup. Liege finished the season this weekend tied with Racing Genk on 70 points and in third place in Belgium. The two-leg Belgian playoff is scheduled for Thursday (May 26) and Sunday (May 29). Pope is the second late addition to the U.S. roster, as Kerry Zavagnin replaced Pablo Mastroeni who is day-to-day with a quad injury and will stay with the Colorado Rapids this week. More than 40,000 tickets have been sold for the Memorial Weekend match and tickets can still be purchased through ussoccer.com, by phone at 312-559-1212 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Chicagoland (including Carson Pirie Scott, Coconuts, Hot Tix, FYE, Tower Records, and Ritmo Latino stores). Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com. The match against England, which will be broadcast live on ESPN, comes just seven days before the U.S. men take on Costa Rica in the USA’s second straight home qualifier.
U.S. MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Marcus Hahnemann (Reading FC), Kasey Keller (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Zach Thornton (Chicago Fire); DEFENDERS (6): Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus), Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Cory Gibbs (Feyenoord), Eddie Pope (Real Salt Lake), Greg Vanney (FC Dallas); MIDFIELDERS (7): Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards), John O’Brien (ADO Den Haag), Steve Ralston (New England Revolution), Clyde Simms (D.C. United); FORWARDS (4): Conor Casey (FSV Mainz), Eddie Johnson (FC Dallas), Brian McBride (Fulham FC), Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards)

STEWART RETIRES FROM PRO SOCCER: Former U.S. international Earnie Stewart has announced his retirement from professional soccer, stepping away from his playing career after spending the 2004-05 season with VVV Venlo in the Netherlands. Stewart began his professional career back in 1988, spending 14 total seasons in the Dutch Eredivisie with Willem II and NAC Breda. Stewart earned his final cap with the United States in 2004 in the USA's 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw in Jamaica. The appearance was the 101st of the veteran’s 14-year international career that saw him score 17 goals for the United States. His 101 caps rank seventh all-time in team history and his 17 goals are sixth. A veteran of three World Cups, Stewart is best remembered for his game-winning goal against Colombia at the 1994 World Cup that helped lift the U.S. into the second round. His 30 World Cup qualifying appearances and nine goals are both all-time U.S. bests, as are his 11 World Cup games played (tied with Cobi Jones). Winner of the 2001 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year award, Stewart spent one season in MLS with D.C. United in 2004, helping the team win their fourth MLS Cup crown. The 36-year-old Stewart steps aside from this playing career with one year left on his contract and will take over as Venlo’s club's new technical director. "I just hope that throughout my career, I brought everything I had to the field and that I'm remembered as a good person," said Stewart. "I'm not going to have the feeling that I want to be there. Of course you want to be there, but I'm not playing at this moment so it's further away. But it's going to be fun to look at my former teammates, Claudio (Reyna) and all my friends, and see them do well. That'll be fantastic."

GREENER PASTURES IN SALT LAKE CITY: The installation of grass at Rice-Eccles Stadium begins Monday (May 23) as local preparations continue for the June 4 World Cup Qualifying match between the U.S. and Costa Rica. The artificial surface of the stadium will be covered with a massive tarp prior to the arrival of the natural turn from Chanshare Farms in Tremonton, Utah. The entire process should take approximately two days to complete. Real Salt Lake will get the first crack at playing on the brand new surface when they take on the Chicago Fire this weekend. The USA’s match vs. Costa Rica on June 4 kicks off at 5:30 p.m. MT live on ESPN2, tape delayed on Telemundo and live online via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips. Tickets start at $25 and are available via ussoccer.com, calling 801-581-8849 and at the Rice-Eccles Stadium ticket office.

-- FIFA 2006 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

HARTFORD TO HOST USA VS. TRINIDAD & TOBAGO ON AUG. 17: Tickets are now on sale for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifying match vs. Trinidad & Tobago on August 17 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. The U.S. vs. Trinidad & Tobago match will kick off at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2, with fans also able to follow along live on ussoccer.com via MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at ussoccer.com, by phone at 860-525-4500, at all Ticketmaster outlets in the region (including Filene's Stores) and at the Hartford Civic Center (open Monday – Friday, 12 noon to 5 p.m.).  Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com. Trinidad & Tobago will be the first opponent that the U.S. faces for the second time in the 10-game final round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, playing the return leg of a 2-1 victory on February 9 in Trinidad.

U.S. TAKES ON MEXICO IN COLUMBUS ON SEPT. 3: The U.S. Men’s National Team will host Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 3 in Columbus Crew Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET in their seventh of 10 final round qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. vs. Mexico match, which is being presented by Budweiser, will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Telemundo, with fans also able to follow the U.S. match live at ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. It will be the fourth out of five World Cup qualifiers played in the United States and the fifth World Cup qualifying match hosted by the six-year-old venue. Ticketing details will be announced in the future.

2006 FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING SCHEDULE:
CONCACAF Final Round
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Feb. 9        Panama 0, Guatemala 0
Feb. 9        Costa Rica 1, Mexico 2
Feb. 9        Trinidad & Tobago 1,  USA 2 
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 26   Costa Rica 2, Panama 1
March 26   Guatemala 5, Trinidad & Tobago 1
March 27   Mexico 2, USA 1
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 30   Panama 1, Mexico 1
March 30   USA 2, Guatemala 0
March 30   Trinidad & Tobago 0, Costa Rica 0
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
June 4        Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama   
June 4        Guatemala vs. Mexico   
June 4        USA vs. Costa Rica   
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
June 8        Panama vs. USA   
June 8        Costa Rica vs. Guatemala   
June 8        Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Aug. 17      Guatemala vs. Panama   
Aug. 17      Mexico vs. Costa Rica   
Aug. 17      USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Sept. 3       Panama vs. Costa Rica  
Sept. 3       Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala
Sept. 3       USA vs. Mexico  
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Sept. 7       Mexico vs. Panama 
Sept. 7      Guatemala vs. USA  
Sept. 7      Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Oct. 8         Panama vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Oct. 8         Mexico vs. Guatemala 
Oct. 8/9     Costa Rica vs. USA 
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Oct. 12       USA vs. Panama   
Oct. 12       Guatemala vs. Costa Rica
Oct. 12       Trinidad & Tobago vs. Mexico
 
Playoff (*home team will be determined by lottery at the conclusion of the final round)
Date                Match-up
*Nov. 12/13    AFC #5 vs. CONCACAF #4 
*Nov. 16          AFC #5 vs. CONCACAF #4

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

U.S. UNDER-20s DOWN CANADA 2-1, COLLEGE PLAYERS CONTINUE CAMP IN CARSON: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team fell behind early, but bounced back with two goals in a five-minute span late in the first half to defeat Canada 2-1 last Wednesday (May 18) in cold and rainy conditions at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn. The U.S. fell behind halfway through the first half as Canadian forward Will Johnson blasted a shot high into the net from close range, but was able to bounce back with a strike from Eddie Gaven and a penalty kick from Freddy Adu. Gaven, the catalyst for the U.S. in his attacking midfield role, scored the equalizer in the 34th minute and then helped set-up Adu’s game-winning penalty kick a few minutes later with a great individual effort. The victory served as the final preparation match for the U.S. before the team departs for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, which will take place from June 10-July 2 in Holland. The 15 college players traveled back to Carson, Calif., to continue their camp at The Home Depot Center, while the seven Major League Soccer professionals returned to their respective clubs. The college players will remain in camp until May 28, at which time Schmid will announce his final 21-man roster for the World Youth Championship. The U.S. is tentatively set to leave for Holland on June 1 and will have about a week-and-a-half of training before the tournament begins. The U.S. will play all three of its group matches in Enschede, opening the tournament against Argentina on June 11, before facing Germany on June 14 and finishing Group D play on June 18 against Egypt.

MEXICO WINS U-17 GROUP B CONCACAF QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT: Mexico secured a spot in the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Championship in Peru this summer by winning all three matches in Group B of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament this past weekend. Mexico shutout all three opponents, defeating Haiti 2-0 in their opening match and then blanking Honduras 3-0 and Canada 2-0 to finish with nine points. Mexico joins the U.S., who won Group A last month, as automatic qualifiers for the World Championship, which will take place from Sept. 16-Oct. 2 in Peru. Honduras finished second in Group B and will now take on Group A runner-up Costa Rica in a home-and-home playoff series to decide the third and final CONCACAF berth for the FIFA U-17 World Championship. The dates and times of the series are to be determined.

-- WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --

O’REILLY HAT TRICK LEADS WILDCATS TO FIRST OF TWO BIG WEEKEND WINS: U.S. Women’s National Team forward Heather O’Reilly scored three goals and assisted on another as the New Jersey Wildcats rolled to a 4-0 victory over the Western Mass Lady Pioneers last Friday. O’Reilly opened the scoring in the 18th minute, converting a penalty kick that she earned after being taken down the box. O’Reilly got her second in the 66th minute, running onto a pass from fellow 2004 Olympian Lindsay Tarpley before blasting a 20-yard shot that skimmed just inside the right post. O’Reilly completed her hat trick in the 72nd minute, converting a tap-in. The Wildcats continued their domination of the USL W-League with an 8-0 thrashing of the New Hampshire Lady Phantoms on Saturday. O’Reilly and Tarpley tallied once each, but the Wildcats also got goals from Jen Redmond, Kacey White and Kelly Hammond, all of whom started training yesterday with the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. In other W-League matches featuring U.S. Women’s National Team pool players, midfielder Angela Hucles scored the winning goal in overtime for the Boston Renegades in 1-0 victory over the Long Island Lady Riders. Hucles scored in the 106th minute on a chilly Long Island night in a match that also featured the Boston debut of former U.S. U-19 and current U.S. U-21 international defender Becky Sauerbrunn. Last Friday, defender Amy LePeilbet and goalkeeper Jen Branam helped the Arizona Heatwave to a 2-0 victory over the San Diego Gauchos Women and followed that up with a 9-0 rout of the Gauchos on Sunday. On Saturday, Heather Mitts’ Central Florida Krush picked up a 3-2 win over the Charlotte Lady Eagles and forward Kelly Schmedes (formerly Wilson). In Sweden, U.S. captain Kristine Lilly and Kate Markgraf’s final match for KIF Orebro ended in a 1-0 loss to league leaders Malmo. The U.S. duo now heads back to the USA as the Swedish league takes a break for the 2005 European Women’s Championships.

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

WAVE WIN FOURTH MISL CHAMPIONSHIP: They needed the longest game in MISL history to do so, but a Todd Dusosky goal nine minutes into the second overtime period gave the Milwaukee Wave their fourth MISL Championship with a 10-9 victory over the Cleveland Force in the second game of the 2005 MISL Championship Series. In one of the closest championships in league history, the Wave won the first game by a matching 10-9 score on May 14 on a Johnny Torres overtime goal. The Wave was down by two goals after Cleveland stormed ahead with five goals over a 11 minute span at the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters. As the did in Game 1, the Wave came back to see Michael King score the tying goal with the ‘keeper pulled out and the sixth attacker on the field. Dusosky had eight assists and one goal - the championship winner - in the series to garner championship MVP honors.
MISL 2005 Championship Series
Game #    Date        Result                                        Venue; Time
Game 1    May 14    Milwaukee 10, Cleveland 9    U.S. Cellular Arena (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Game 2    May 21    Milwaukee 10, Cleveland 9    Savvis Center (St. Louis, Mo.)

U.S. SOCCER REFEREE SALAZAR, AR KERMIT QUISENBERRY OFFICIATE U-17 QUALIFIER: U.S. Soccer referee Ricardo Salazar and assistant referee Kermit Quisenberry were two of the four officials at the Mexico vs. Canada Under-17 World Championship qualifying match on May 21 in Culiacan, Mexico. Salazar and Quisenberry worked with the other officials to control a potentially difficult game and were approached by both teams after the match and congratulated on a job well done. The match determined the winner of CONCACAF Group B, with Mexico earning a berth in the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship to be played in Peru in September. The U.S. U-17 squad earned their berth to the World Championship last month by coming in first place in Group A of CONCACAF qualifying in Costa Rica.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: After coming out last week for Preston North End just three weeks after an appendectomy, Eddie Lewis once again came out strong for his club on Thursday (May 19) in the second leg of Preston’s Championship playoff series against Derby County. Lewis played 90 minutes, coming off as a stoppage time substitute in the 0-0 draw, which put Preston in the race to earn their first spot in the Premiership in the club’s history. Preston North End will face West Ham, who knocked out Ipswich in the other playoff series, on May 30 at Millennium Stadium.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: For the first time since 1994, the U.S. and England will square off against each other in an International Friendly match at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 28 at Soldier Field. The Memorial Weekend matchup is the USA’s final tuneup before taking on Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier on June 4 at 5:30 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City, Utah. As with all great soccer matches, the action is best taken in live as tickets are still available at ussoccer.com and all Chicagoland Ticketmaster outlets. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN and fans can also follow the action live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Perhaps after a more than 17-year career, 100 caps and 100 club goals, it isn't exactly shocking that Earnie Stewart has finally decided to hang up his professional boots. But what is perhaps shocking is just where the longtime U.S. Soccer veteran ranks in so many categories. He is first in World Cup qualifying caps with 30 (tied with Cobi Jones). He is first in WCQ goals with nine. He is first in World Cup appearances with 11 (tied with Jones). He is sixth all-time in U.S. history with 17 goals. He is seventh all-time for the U.S. with 101 caps. He is seventh all-time for the U.S. with 44 points. He is tenth all-time with 10 assists. Impressive numbers for the versatile midfielder with the size 5 1/2 feet.

QUOTABLE: "Earnie Stewart had a fabulous career with the national team.  His commitment, leadership, and versatility were instrumental in the USA's success in both the 1994 and 2002 World Cups. He brought experience, humor and pride to the field every day.  We have the greatest respect for Earnie and want to wish him the very best as well as thank him for his service to U.S. Soccer."
-- U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bruce Arena after learning of former U.S. international Earnie Stewart’s decision to retire from professional soccer.

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