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U.S. Soccer Wire -- Under-20 National Team 18-Man Qualifying Roster Announced


U-20 MNT HEAD COACH SCHMID TO ANNOUNCES FINAL 18-MAN QUALIFYING ROSTER:  United States Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Sigi Schmid announced today the 18-man roster that will represent the U.S. at the CONCACAF Group A Qualifying Tournament at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from Jan. 12-16. Schmid brought in 22 players to the HDC on Jan. 2 and held one final week of training before making his final decision on which 18 would make the final roster. Of the 18 players on the qualifying roster, 13 are in college while five are professional players, four of which play in Major League Soccer – Freddy Adu (D.C United), Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Gaven (MetroStars) and Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew). The final professional player is first-choice goalkeeper Quentin Westberg, who plays for ESTAC Troyes in the second division in France. The U.S., which will be attempting to qualify for their fifth consecutive FIFA World Youth Championship, will play the second match of three doubleheaders during the six-game round-robin tournament, with each team playing on January 12, 14 and 16. The U.S. will open up the qualifying tournament against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. PT before facing Panama on Friday, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. PT. The U-20s wrap up the tournament against Costa Rica on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2:30 p.m. PT. Tickets ranging in price levels from $10 to $24 are available online at ussoccer.com.
U.S. Under-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Quentin Westberg (ESTAC Troyes), Andrew Kartunen (Stanford),; DEFENDERS (6): Greg Dalby (Notre Dame), Hunter Freeman (Virginia), Patrick Ianni (UCLA), Patrick Phelan (Wake Forest), Tim Ward (St. Louis), Marvell Wynne (UCLA); MIDFIELDERS (5): Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Benny Fielhaber (UCLA), Eddie Gaven (MetroStars), Sacha Kljestan (Seton Hall), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew); FORWARDS (5): Freddy Adu (D.C. United), Chad Barrett (UCLA), Charlie Davies (Boston College), Will John (St. Louis), Jacob Peterson (Indiana).
U-20 CONCACAF Final Round Schedule
Date        Match-up Kickoff (PT)
Jan. 12    Costa Rica vs. Panama 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 12    USA vs. T&T 8 p.m.
Jan. 14    T&T vs. Costa Rica 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 14    USA vs. Panama 8 p.m.
Jan. 16    Panama vs. T&T 12 p.m.
Jan. 16    USA vs. Costa Rica 2:30 p.m.

-- FIFA 2006 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

U.S. MEN TO OPEN HOME QUALIFYING AT BIRMINGHAM’S LEGION FIELD ON MARCH 30: The U.S. Men’s National Team will open its home schedule of the final round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Kickoff against Guatemala is set for 7 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and tape delayed on Telemundo. Fans can also follow the match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The match in Birmingham is the first of five qualifiers in this round to be played in the United States, and will follow two road qualifying matches for the USA in Trinidad & Tobago on Feb. 9 and Mexico on March 26 or 27. Ticket information for the game will be announced in January. Guatemala is one of the surprises in the final round, finishing tied on points with Costa Rica at the top of Group 2. Guatemala started out strong in group play, taking seven out of nine points from their first three matches.  Behind the goal-scoring prowess of Los Angeles Galaxy forward Carlos Ruiz, Guatemala held on from there to enter the final round of qualifying for the first time in history. Ruiz, the two-time MLS scoring leader, has amassed 50 goals in only three seasons and has proven to be virtually unstoppable at the international level by averaging a goal a game in semifinal round play.  The U.S. will be returning to Birmingham’s Legion Field for the first time since March 10, 2002, when the U.S. defeated Ecuador 1-0 in a World Cup preparation match before 24,133 fans. The team’s only other visit came nearly two years earlier, when the U.S. MNT drew 1-1 with Tunisia in front of 21,637 fans in the team’s first-ever match in Alabama.

U.S. OPENS WORLD CUP QUALIFYING ON FEB. 9 IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: The United States will open its bid to qualify for its fifth consecutive World Cup finals in Trinidad & Tobago on Feb. 9 as the final round draw for 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying was announced on Nov. 30. The U.S., along with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago will compete in the 10-game round-robin format from Feb. 9-Oct. 12, 2005, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.  The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 12/13 and Nov. 16 against the fifth-place finisher in Asian qualifying.  Drawn as Team 6 in the final round format, the U.S. faces a tricky road to Germany as their first two games will take place on the road.  The U.S. gets its consecutive home dates for Matches 3 & 4 and 6 & 7, and will then face two away matches before concluding final round play in the United States.  Venues for the five home matches for the U.S. will be announced as they become finalized.
2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule – CONCACAF Final Round
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
Feb. 9        Panama vs. Guatemala 
Feb. 9        Costa Rica vs. Mexico 
Feb. 9        Trinidad & Tobago vs. USA 
 
Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 26/27 Costa Rica vs. Panama
March 26/27 Guatemala vs. Trinidad & Tobago
March 26/27 Mexico vs. USA 

Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
March 30     Panama vs. Mexico   
March 30    USA vs. Guatemala   
March 30     Trinidad & Tobago vs. Costa Rica

Date           Match-up (Home teams listed first)
June 4/5      Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama   
June 4/5      Guatemala vs. Mexico   
June 4/5      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. 3/4     Panama vs. Costa Rica  
Sept. 3/4     Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala
Sept. 3/4     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. 8/9       Panama vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Oct. 8/9       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-14 BNT TO TRAVEL TO MEXICO FOR TRAINING CAMP AND GAMES: The U.S. Under-14 Boys' National Team will travel to Guadalajara, Mexico, on Jan. 16 for a week-long training camp that will consist of six matches against Mexican club youth teams. Head coach Manfred Schellscheidt is bringing 34 players and will hold a day of training before splitting the players into two teams for their first matches on Jan. 18 against Chivas and a team still to be determined. The U-14s will have two more game days, going up against Cruz Azul and Chivas on Jan. 20 and Cruz Azul and a team still to be determined on Jan. 22, before returning home a day later.
U-14 BNT Schedule
Date          Opponent 
Jan. 18      Chivas
Jan. 18      TBD
Jan. 20      Cruz Azul
Jan. 20      Chivas
Jan. 22      Cruz Azul
Jan. 22      TBD
U-14 BNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Alexander Ferguson (Kent, Wash.), Brett Finkelstein (San Rafael, Calif.), Zachary MacMath (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Brandon Paul (Flemington, N.J.); DEFENDERS (11): Chad Barson (Lewis Center, Ohio), Kevin Gnecco (North Hampton, N.H.), Luis Herrera (Harlingen, Texas), Sean Peckham (Warminster, Pa.), Travis Pittman (Manassas, Va.), Nick Rihn (Glendale, Calif.), Chris Smith (Chula Vista, Calif.), Kyle Soroka (Langhorne, Pa.), Zarek Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Juan Valladolid (Oxnard, Calif.), Marby Velasquez (Brentwood, Calif.); MIDFIELDERS (12): Jason Alvarez (Palm Coast, Fla.), Scott Caldwell (Braintree, Mass.), Ian Christianson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Brian Dominguez (Atlanta, Ga.), Uwem Etuk (Herndon, Va.), Gregory Garza (Grapevine, Texas), Michael Giuliano (Columbia, Conn.), Kyle Hyland (Bay Village, Ohio), James Mulligan (Medford, N.Y.), Amobi Okugo (Sacramento, Calif.), Dillon Powers (Plano, Texas), Alexei Reyes (Dallas, Texas); FORWARDS (7): Dersu Abolfathi (Irvine, Calif.), Adedoja Akinsanya (Sacramento, Calif.), Jose Altamirano (San Diego, Calif.), Ryan Finley (Lumberton, N.J.), Andrew Lubahn (Erie, Pa.), Jesus Mireles (Pharr, Texas), David Yang (Ann Arbor, Mich.).

U-18 MNT TIE IN SECOND GAME OF COPA CHIVAS YOUTH TOURNAMENT: In their second match of the 2005 Copa Chivas, the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team tied 1-1 with Chivas La Piedad on Monday (Jan. 10), taking the lead in the 15th minute when Mike Grella found Lee Nguyen, who buried his shot into the net. But Chivas struck back right before half after being awarded a penalty kick. Head coach Bob Jenkins brought 19 players to the tournament that includes 16 teams, the majority being Mexican club youth teams. The U.S. will play their final group game against Monterrey on Jan. 11. The top two teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals, which will take place on Jan. 13. The semifinals will take place on Jan. 14 and the final and third place match on Jan. 15.
U.S. Under-18 MNT Schedule
Date        Opponent                  Result
Jan. 9      Atlas                            n/a   
Jan. 10   Chivas La Piedad     1-1 T     
Jan. 11    Monterrey

U-17s KICK OFF YEAR FOR WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAMS: The U.S. U-17s kicked off the 2005 season of activity for the U.S. Women's National Teams programs with an eight-day training camp at the U.S. Soccer National Team Training Center in Carson, Calif., running from Jan. 8-15. The camp will serve as a transition period from former head coach David Smith to new head coach Erika Walsh as 24 players converge on Southern California to begin the new year of training.  Walsh, who was an assistant on the staff of U.S. team that took third at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand, will serve an assistant coach during this camp, but will take over the reins from Smith (who was an assistant on the 2002 U-19 World Championship Team) after this week. It will be Walsh’s first assignment as a head coach for a U.S. Women's National Team.  Following is the roster for the camp feature 24-players, many of whom saw action for the U.S. U-16s or U-17s in 2004:
U-17 WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Briana da Mota (Lilburn, Ga.), Chantel Jones (Richmond, Va.), Alyssa Naeher (Stratford, Conn.); DEFENDERS (6): Jane Alukonis (Cocoa Beach, Fla.), Kendall Campise (Plano, Texas), Kasey Johnson (Sierra Madre, Calif.), Sara Murphy (Mendham, N.J.), Lauren Switzer (St. Charles, Ill.), Lauren Wilmoth (Garland, Texas); MIDFIELDERS (7): Carolyn Blank (Toms River, N.J.), Becky Edwards (Downingtown, Pa.), Lauren Fowlkes (Kansas City, Mo.), Ali Hawkins (Encinitas, Calif.), Melissa Hayes (Cave Creek, Ariz.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Kristin Stannard (Midlothian, Va.); FORWARDS (8): Gina DiMartino (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), Michelle Enyeart (Hemet, Calif.), Rachel Givan (Ridgeland, Miss.), Christina Hagner (San Francisco, Calif.), Jessica McDonald (Phoenix, Ariz.), Ashley Moore (Clifton Park, N.Y.), Kelly O’Hara, (Fayetteville, Ga.), Nikki Washington (Mesquite, Texas)   


– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

U.S. WOMEN TOP HEXAGONAL, MEN END GROUP PLAY AT 2005 DEAFLYMPICS:  The U.S. Women’s National Deaf Soccer team is at the top of the table in the women’s tournament at the 2005 Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia. The women have nine points after victories over Denmark, 5-2, Norway, 5-0, and Russia, 4-1. The USA next faces host Australia on Tuesday (Jan. 11) at 6 p.m. local time, followed by the final round-robin match against Great Britain at 4 p.m. local time on Thursday (Jan. 13). The Men’s National Deaf Soccer team fell to Italy, 4-1, which placed the team in third place in Group 2. Besides the game against Italy, the men finished with a forfeit win over Ghana and a 2-1 loss to Turkey. The team faces Greece, who finished third in Group 4, at 6 p.m. local time on Wednesday (Jan. 12) in a match to determine who plays for ninth through 12th places.
Deaf MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS: Chris Hamstra (Cape Coral, Fla.), Donald Slate (Newton, Mass); DEFENDERS: Matthew Eby (Gap. Pa.), Elijah Gold (Ithaca, N.Y.), Joel Gross (Carlisle, Ohio), Trevor Holtgrave (Ft. Wayne, Ind.), Bobby Michel (Baltimore, Md.), D.J. Rowse (Seattle, Wa.); MIDFIELDERS: Jordan Auckland (Ellensburg, Wa.), Mike Higgins (Potomac, Md.), Mike Lawson (Wall, N.J.), Neil Trip (Dallas, Texas), Christos Nicholas (Boyds, Md.), Adam Ramey (Cardiff. Calif.), Josh Reiher (Milwaukee, Wis.); FORWARDS: Larry Manning (Massapequa, N.Y.), Mark Sorokin (West Hartford, Conn.).
Deaf MNT Results
Date     Matchup                                            U.S. Goal Scorers
Jan. 4   United States vs. Ghana (forfeit)              n/a
Jan. 6   United States 1 vs. Turkey 2                 Sorokin
Jan. 8   United States 1 vs. Italy 4                      Ramey
Deaf WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS: Amy Badami (Santee, Calif.), Stephanie Grover (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Elizabeth Sorkin (Elk Grove, Calif.); DEFENDERS: Reagan Anders (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Jennifer Buckly (Macedon, N.Y.), Emily Cressy (Ventura, Calif.), Megan Johnston (Phoenix, Ariz.); MIDFIELDERS: Nicole Banks-Gough (West Jordan, Utah), Kelli Beechy (Salem, Ore.), Jennifer Fields (Covington, La.), Katie Romano (Bartlett, Ill.), Mary Silvestri (Danbury, Conn.), Tracy Walker (Orange County, Calif.); FORWARDS: Kay Barrios (Rochester, N.Y.), Austra Bloms (Portland, Ore), Erin Coppedge (Annapolis, Md.), Lindsey Dolich (Alameda, Calif.), Betsy Hoerner (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.), Devon Hostetler (Portsmouth, R.I.), Virginia Keeler (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Deaf WNT Results
Date        Matchup                                     U.S. Goal Scorers
Jan. 6      United States 5, Denmark 2    Romano 2, Coppedge, Keeler 2
Jan. 8      United States 5, Norway 0       Keeler 3, Romano 2
Jan. 10    United States 4, Russia 1        Cressy, Romano, Coppedge 2
 
2004 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL CHAMPIONS DOMINATE 2004 “BEST OF…”:  With a historic year that included tears of joy from a dramatic overtime Olympic gold medal finish and tears of sadness from the retirement of a trio of legends, the U.S. Women’s National Team deservedly earned a whopping eight of the 11 “Best of…” U.S. Soccer awards, including Best U.S. Soccer Story, Best Goal, Best Assist and Best Fashion Statement.  The winners of the awards were determined via online voting at ussoccer.com, where people had a chance to vote for one or all of the 11 categories once a day from Nov. 19-Dec. 17.
2004 Best of U.S. Soccer Award Winners
Best Soccer Bar: Ginger’s Ale House (Chicago, Ill.)
Best Soccer Store: Soccer USA (Austin, Texas)
Best U.S. Soccer Story: Hamm, Foudy and Fawcett Finish Legendary WNT Careers
Best Fashion Statement: U.S. Women's National Team's gold medals and Olympic wreaths
Best U.S. Crowd: 14,780 (sell out) – Sept. 25 @ Frontier Field (Rochester, N.Y.) – U.S. WNT 4, Iceland 3
Best Soccer Fans: The Sam's Army contingent in Foxboro, Mass., for the U.S. Men's first home qualifier
Best Goal: Abby Wambach’s skillful flick and volley– U.S. WNT 3, Iceland 0 – Sept. 29
Best Assist: Mia Hamm to Heather O'Reilly – U.S. WNT 2, Germany 1 (OT) – Aug. 23 
Best Late-Game Heroics: Abby Wambach's “golden” game-winning header – U.S. WNT 2, Brazil 1 (2OT) – Aug. 26
Best Game Performance (Player): Mia Hamm’s tireless work all over the field – U.S. WNT 2, Germany 1 (OT) – Aug. 23
Best Game Performance (Team): U.S. WNT 2, Brazil 1 (2OT) – Aug. 26

TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR KOREA REPUBLIC-SWEDEN FRIENDLY AT HDC ON JAN. 22: U.S. Soccer announced that 2002 FIFA World Cup semifinalist Korea Republic will take on 15th-ranked Sweden in an international friendly on Saturday, January 22, 2005 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.  Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT.  The second-ever meeting between Korea Republic and Sweden has been scheduled as both sides continue their paths through FIFA World Cup qualifying in their respective regions. Tickets ranging in price levels from $18 to $45 are on sale now through Ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also on sale by phone (213-480-3232 in L.A.; 714-740-2000 in Orange County; 619-220-8497 in San Diego), and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Southern California (including Robinson’s-May, Wherehouse Music and Tower Records), and at The Home Depot Center ticket office. Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290.


*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: It didn't take him long. Landon Donovan scored in his first match since his return to Bayer Leverkusen last Wednesday, the third goal in a 4-0 test-match victory over lower division side Germania Leer. He also played the final 35 minutes in a 4-2 victory over Dutch team Feyenoord over the weekend. Leverkusen returns from winter break on Jan. 22 at Hannover 96.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: Coming off a sub-par performance against Exeter in the FA Cup this past weekend, Manchester United will look to regain some confidence and solidify a lead against league leader Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the semifinal round of the Carling Cup. The game will be shown on closed-circuit television on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET/ 12 p.m. PT.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Manchester United drew with Exeter of the Nationwide Conference in the third round of the FA Cup at Old Trafford on Saturday. To put that in perspective, United is 95 places ahead of Exeter in the English table. Eighteen months ago, Exeter fell out of League two and into the Nationwide Conference and nearly folded. Now, with a replay set for St. James Park, Exeter will have a payout of between 650,000 and 750,000 pounds that will cover the last of the team's debts.

QUOTABLE: "It depends on which earth you're talking about."
        -- Real Salt Lake John Ellinger, who mentored Clint Mathis periodically through his rise through the amateur and pro ranks, when asked whether Mathis is a down-to-earth kind of guy.

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