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U.S. Soccer Wire: Dec. 20, 2010


WINNERS OF 2010 U.S. SOCCER ATHLETES OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED;
2010 BEST OF U.S. SOCCER AWARDS HANDED OUT IN 12 CATEGORIES;
DONOVAN GOAL CAPTURES 2010 BEST HIGHLIGHT ON ESPN’S WINNERS BRACKET;
SUNDHAGE CALLS 26 PLAYERS TO TRAINING CAMP IN JANUARY

WINNERS OF 2010 U.S. SOCCER ATHLETES OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED: For their excellence at the highest levels of the sport, U.S. Soccer named U.S. Men’s National Team forward Landon Donovan as the 2010 Male Athlete of the Year and U.S. Women’s National Team forward Abby Wambach as the 2010 Female Athlete of the Year. Under-20 MNT defender Gale Agbossoumonde and U-20 WNT goalkeeper Bianca Henninger won the Young Male and Young Female awards, respectively. The U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award is the highest honor awarded to soccer players in the United States. 

2010 BEST OF U.S. SOCCER AWARDS CONCLUDE WITH WINNERS IN 12 CATEGORIES: The winners of the 2010 Best Of U.S. Soccer Awards were announced last week. The 12 recipients of the ninth installment of the annual awards were revealed over the course of three days on ussoccer.com’s Studio 90 and were decided entirely by fan voting from Nov. 22 to Dec. 10 on ussoccer.com.

DONOVAN GOAL CAPTURES 2010 BEST HIGHLIGHT ON ESPN’S WINNERS BRACKET: Landon Donovan’s game-winning goal against Algeria in the 2010 FIFA World Cup took top honors as Best Highlight for 2010 on ESPN’s Winners Bracket, the show hosted by Michelle Beadle and Marcellus Wiley on Saturdays at 5 p.m. on ABC.  Each week the show puts the top 16 Sports Highlights of the week, from great performances to record-setting moments to unforgettable quotes, into a bracket which are then debated and voted on by ESPN’s panel of experts.  The goal and the victory also won the award for Best Moment at the 2010 ESPYs earlier this summer.

U.S. MNT JANUARY CAMP ROSTER SET TO BE ANNOUNCED TUESDAY AT 1 P.M. ET ON USSOCCER.COM:  U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley will unveil the roster for the 2011 January training camp Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET exclusively on ussoccer.com.  The group will convene beginning January 4 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, Calif., and will train in preparation for the USA’s opening match of the year against Chile. The annual camp is typically comprised primarily of MLS-based players who are out of season and players based on Europe who are on extended winter break.

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR FIRST MNT MATCH OF 2011 AGAINST CHILE: The U.S. Men’s National Team will play its first match of 2011 when they face Chile on Saturday, Jan. 22, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff for the match is set for 6 p.m. PT. Fans can also follow the match live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets starting at $18, plus special edition U.S. Soccer on-field seats for $150, are on sale now through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Southern California (including many Walmart and La Curacao locations). Fans can also buy tickets at The Home Depot Center weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

U.S. Men’s National Team 2010 Schedule and Results

ussoccer.com’s MNT Coverage – Dec. 14 – Dec. 20

SUNDHAGE CALLS 26 PLAYERS TO TRAINING CAMP IN JANUARY: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named 26 players to the roster for a six-day training camp from Jan. 8-13 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The camp will precede a trip to China for the 2011 Four Nations Tournament, a competition that will also feature Sweden, Canada and the host. Eight veteran players have been given the camp off by Sundhage, but they will join 15 players selected from the 26-player training camp roster for the trip to China. Sundhage will bring 23 players to Chongqing to play matches against Sweden on Jan. 21, Canada on Jan. 23 and China on Jan. 25. The Swedes are the USA’s third Group C opponent at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. 

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (5): Nicole Barnhart (Out of Contract), Ashlyn Harris (Western New York Flash), Jill Loyden (Out of Contract), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Out of Contract) 
DEFENDERS (5): Stephanie Cox (Out of Contract), Whitney Engen (Western New York Flash), Becky Sauerbrunn (Washington Freedom), Meghan Schnur (Out of Contract), Brittany Taylor (Sky Blue FC) 
MIDFIELDERS (12): Jordan Angeli (Boston Breakers), Yael Averbuch (Out of Contract), Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC), Meghan Klingenberg (North Carolina), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Joanna Lohman (Philadelphia Independence), Kristie Mewis (Boston College), Kelley O’Hara (Boston Breakers), Leslie Osborne (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Out of Contract), Lindsay Tarpley (Out of Contract) 
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Sydney Leroux (UCLA), Alex Morgan (California), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence)

OPENING MATCH OF 2011 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TO BREAK ATTENDANCE RECORD: The Opening Match of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany will set a new European attendance record for women's football. FIFA announced on Dec. 17 that more than 50,000 tickets have already been sold for the clash between hosts Germany and Canada June 26, 2011 at Berlin's Olympiastadion.

ussoccer.com’s WNT Coverage – Dec. 14 – Dec. 20

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-20 MNT ROUNDS OUT 2010 WITH PAIR OF WINS AGAINST CANADA: Following a week of training twice daily in Ft. Lauderdale, the U.S. ended the week with a pair of friendlies against Canada, earning a 2-0 victory on Dec. 16 and a 5-0 win on Dec. 18. With head coach Thomas Rongen using an entirely different starting lineup in both games, the U.S. dominated its CONCACAF foe. Soony Saad and Jack McInerney scored in the first match while goalkeeper Kevin Piedrahita earned a shutout in his first ever U.S. cap. On Dec. 18, the U.S. converted a 1-0 halftime lead into a 5-0 win behind a hat trick from Joe Gyau and two from Josh Gatt, who was involved in all five goals with three assists to go along with his two tallies. Top-choice ‘keeper Zac MacMath was in the net to pick up his third shutout of the year.

Date                Opponent                    Result              U.S. Goalscorer(s)
Dec. 16            Canada                        2-0 W              Saad, McInerney
Dec. 18            Canada                        5-0 W              Gyau (3), Gatt (2)

U.S. U-18 MNT EDGED BY GERMANY IN FINAL MATCH IN TEL AVIV: The U.S. U-18 MNT battled to a 1-2 loss to Germany on Dec. 17 in the third and final game of the four-team international tournament in Tel Aviv. The U.S. opened the trip with a 3-0 defeat to France on Dec. 14 and a scoreless draw against host Israel on Dec. 16. Mike Matkovich’s side took a lead against Germany, who won all three of its matches, after a 62nd minute goal from Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler. Germany answered back just five minutes later and scored an 89th minute winner. The U.S. team, which now features players born in 1993, will next come together early next year.

Date                Match              Result              U.S. Goalscorer(s)
Dec. 14            France             3-0 L               --
Dec. 16            Israel              0-0 T              --
Dec. 17            Germany         1-2 L               Vandermaas-Peeler

U.S. U-17 MNT DRAWN INTO GROUP B FOR 2011 CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group B of the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which will serve as qualifying for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, along withCuba and Panama. Groups A and B will play at Trelawny Stadium in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on Feb. 14, 16 and 18. The complete match schedule for the event will be announced at a later date. 

U.S. U-15 BOYS’ NATIONAL TEAM COMPLETES FINAL TRAINING CAMP OF 2010: The U.S. U-15 BNT rounded out its 2010 schedule with an eight-day training camp that included an international friendly against India in Bradenton, Fla. After training twice per day for the week of Dec. 11-18, the U.S. matched up against India on Dec. 16 and came away with a 4-1 victory. Bradford Jamieson scored the first three goals for the U.S. and Emerson Hyndman netted the fourth. The camp featured players born in 1996, and this age group will continue training under head coach Jim Barlow through next summer.

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

U.S. SOCCER COACHESNET ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR BRAZIL AND GERMANY/NETHERLANDS TRIPS IN MARCH 2011: In an effort to continue providing unique coaching opportunities to its membership, U.S. Soccer’s CoachesNet announces plans to offer educational trips to Brazil and to Germany and the Netherlands in 2011. Entering its third year, the aim of U.S. Soccer’s international coaching education program is to expose U.S. coaches to other federations and clubs to learn the steps they take to develop their coaches and players. Attendees interact directly with top-level coaches, administrators and players from some of the best clubs and countries in the world. Scheduled to take place March 17-25, 2011, coaches will visit five-time FIFA World Cup Champion Brazil, host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The coaching education workshop in Germany and the Netherlands will take place from April 28 – May 6, 2011 and will mark the 40th anniversary of U.S. Soccer’s Coaching Education Program which began under the direction of Dettmar Cramer.

NATIONAL GOALKEEPER COURSE TO BE HELD JAN. 23-30 AT THE HDC: Registration for U.S. Soccer’s National Goalkeeping License set for Jan. 23-30, 2011 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. is now open. The course, intended for both the goalkeeper coach and the team coach, will focus on improving the coaches' ability to train goalkeepers individually, as well as integrate them into team training. Register at ussoccer.com.

SARAH KATE NOFTSINGER ANNOUNCED AS FIRST ECNL COMMISSIONER: The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) announced that Sarah Kate Noftsinger has been hired as the league’s first commissioner, effective immediately. As the ECNL Commissioner, Noftsinger will be responsible for day-to-day operations management, event logistics and operations, marketing and sponsor development and management, and program development and expansion. 

CHRISTIAN LAVERS ANNOUNCED AS US CLUB SOCCER EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT: US Club Soccer announced that Christian Lavers will serve as the organization’s Executive Vice President effective Jan. 1, 2011. In this position, Lavers will oversee US Club Soccer’s club and player development programs and league initiatives, develop the organization’s marketing and commercial strategies, as well as secure strategic partnerships and sponsorships. One of the founding members of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL), Lavers will continue to serve as the ECNL’s president.

NATIONAL CUP X SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 25-28 IN CHINO, CALIF.: Ayala Park in Chino, Calif., will be the site of a National Cup X Regional on June 25-28, 2011, US Club Soccer has announced. The Regional will join a slate of eight other National Cup X Regionals announced previously, as well as the National Cup X Finals, to be held July 29-Aug. 1 in Boise, Idaho. This will mark the National Cup’s first visit to Chino and the sixth straight year that a National Cup Regional will be held in Southern California. For the past five years, Regionals were held at the San Bernardino Soccer Complex in San Bernardino, Calif.

*** CENTER CIRCLE SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Closing out their 2010 schedule, the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team collected two victories against CONCACAF neighbors Canada in Boca Raton, Fla. Jack McInerney and Soony Saad provided the goals in the 2-0 win on Dec. 16 and Joe Gyau hit for a hat trick and Josh Gatt chipped in for two goals on Dec. 18 in the 5-0 triumph.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: MLS First Kick 2011 has been announced by the league, which includes the opening matches for the entire first week of the 2011 season. The opening match will see the L.A. Galaxy visit Seattle Sounders FC on Tuesday, March 15 at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The rest of the league will get into action the following Saturday on March 19 with defending champion Colorado Rapids playing host to expansion Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC receiving Toronto FC featuring as two of the more intriguing matchups.

QUOTABLE:  “I've always been the kind of person who doesn't really focus on individual achievements or awards but, having had the injury and major surgery, it feels good to know I can come back and still play well enough to win those personal accolades. For me though, I'd rather give back every award I've ever won for a World Cup championship.”  --U.S. WNT Forward Abby Wambach on receiving the 2010 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year award

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