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U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. WNT Tops Canada


MITTS GOAL LEADS U.S. WOMEN PAST CANADA 1-0 IN FIRST EVER MATCH IN NASHVILLE: The U.S. Women's National Team put in a wonderful attacking performance that produced numerous chances, but just one goal, to win another hard-fought battle with border rival Canada, 1-0.  Unlikely hero Heather Mitts scored her first career goal in the 73rd minute, lunging to knock in her shot from point-blank range off a Shannon Boxx header in front of 9,110 fans at The Coliseum in Nashville. U.S. goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill earned first-ever start (her fourth cap) and first shutout for the USA, putting in a solid effort by making four saves and several solid catches off high balls.  The match was the team's first in the city of Nashville and the first since U.S. head coach April Heinrichs named the 18-player 2004 U.S. Women's Olympic Women's Soccer Team on July 1. The U.S. team will now go on a week-long break before returning for its final training block in Olympic Residency Camp at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif., from July 9-18.  The USA then travels to Minnesota to face Australia in Blaine on July 21 (6 p.m. CT on ESPN2), and plays its final match on Aug. 1 in Hartford, Conn., against China (3 p.m. ET on ESPN2) before leaving for the Olympics.
WNT “Quest for Summer Glory” Tour
Results
Date            Opponent        Result        U.S. Goal Scorers                                       Venue; City                                                        Attendance
April 24       Brazil              5-1 W        Foudy, Wambach (2), Welsh, Hamm           Legion Field; Birmingham, Ala.                            11,527
May 9          Mexico          3-0 W        Parlow, Hamm, Chalupny                            University Stadium; Albuquerque, N.M.                17,805
June 6          Japan             1-1 T         Wambach                                                    Cardinal Stadium; Louisville, Ky.                            7,525
July 3           Canada          1-0 W        Mitts                                                           The Coliseum; Nashville, Tenn.                               9,110
Schedule
Date            Opponent       Venue; City                                                    Kickoff (Local) / TV
July 21        Australia         National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.              6 p.m. CT / ESPN2
Aug. 1        China              Rentschler Field; Hartford, Conn.                     3 p.m. ET / ESPN2

TARPLEY, O’REILLY, LUCKENBILL, MITTS MAKE FIRST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach April Heinrichs last week named the 18 players that will represent the USA at the 2004 Olympics in Greece. Fourteen of the 18 players named to the roster were on the USA’s 2003 Women’s World Cup Team, but only half the team (nine players) have participated in an Olympics in either 1996, 2000, or both. Seven of the players earned a spot on their third Olympic Team in goalkeeper Briana Scurry, defenders Joy Fawcett and Brandi Chastain, midfielders Julie Foudy and Kristine Lilly and forwards Mia Hamm and Cindy Parlow.  All seven played a part in the USA’s 1996 gold medal victory in Athens, Ga., at the first Olympic women’s soccer competition, and will be shooting for a similar result in another Athens, this time Greece, where the 2004 gold medal match will be held. The four newcomers on the squad are goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill, defender Heather Mitts, midfielder Lindsay Tarpley and forward Heather O’Reilly. The U.S. roster features a wide age range from 36-year-old Fawcett to 19-year-old O’Reilly, with an average age of 27.4.
Women’s Olympic Team Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kristin Luckenbill, Briana Scurry; DEFENDERS (6): Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Kate Markgraf, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone, Cat Reddick; MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx, Julie Foudy, Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly, Lindsay Tarpley, Aly Wagner; FORWARDS (4): Mia Hamm, Heather O’Reilly, Cindy Parlow, Abby Wambach.

ARENA NAMES ROSTER FOR JULY 11 MATCH VS. POLAND AT SOLDIER FIELD: U.S. Men’s National Team manager Bruce Arena has selected 19 players to face Poland on Sunday, July 11 in the USA’s final tune-up prior to the semifinal round of FIFA World Cup qualifying.  Kickoff at the newly renovated Soldier Field in Chicago is set for 6 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the game live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.  The match is part of a doubleheader featuring the Chicago Fire hosting the New England Revolution at 8:30 p.m. CT. The match will give Chicago Fire stars Chris Armas and DaMarcus Beasley an opportunity to represent the U.S. in front of the Soldier Field faithful, while also marking a homecoming for Chicago native Brian McBride and former Fire All-Star Carlos Bocanegra and Zach Thornton.  Tickets for the doubleheader, which range from $28-80, can be purchased at all area Ticketmaster outlets including Coconuts stores, Hot Tix, and Tower Records or by calling 312-559-1212. Tickets are also available online at ussoccer.com. For discounted group ticket information, contact U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290.
MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Tim Howard (Manchester United), Zach Thornton (out of contract); DEFENDERS (6): Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Cory Gibbs (Dallas Burn), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Pope (MetroStars); MIDFIELDERS (7): Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Landon Donovan (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Gaven (MetroStars), Brian Mullan (San Jose Earthquakes), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards); FORWARDS (4): Brian Ching (San Jose Earthquakes), Clint Mathis (Hannover 96), Brian McBride (Fulham FC), Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards)

-- U.S. WORLD CUP QUALIFYING UPDATE --

U.S. KICKS OFF SEMIFINAL ROUND WITH ROAD MATCH IN JAMAICA IN AUGUST 18: With the second round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying complete, the U.S. Men's National Team begins preparations for Group A opponents El Salvador, Jamaica and Panama in the semifinal round, which takes place from Aug. 18 to Nov. 17.  The USA will open the next round in Jamaica on Aug. 18. The six-game, round-robin group continues with the U.S. at home on Sept. 4 in Foxboro, Mass. (against El Salvador), and on the road on Sept. 8 in Panama. The four-team group concludes with a road game on Oct. 9 in El Salvador and then consecutive home games on Oct. 13 (against Panama) and Nov. 17 in Columbus, Ohio (against Jamaica). The semifinal round consists of three four-team groups playing a six-game round robin competition, with the top two finishers from each group moving onto the final round of qualifying in 2005. Below are the semifinal round groups:
CONCACAF Semifinal Round Groups
Group A: El Salvador, Jamaica, Panama, USA
Group B: Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras
Group C: Mexico, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago
MNT FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule – Semifinal Round
Date                Opponent        Venue; City                                            Kickoff / TV
Aug. 18           Jamaica            TBD (away)                                          TBD / TBD
Sept. 4            El Salvador      Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.           TBD / TBD
Sept. 8            Panama            TBD (away)                                          TBD / TBD
Oct. 9/10        El Salvador       TBD (away)                                          TBD / TBD
Oct. 13           Panama            RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.           TBD / TBD
Nov. 17          Jamaica            Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio             TBD / TBD

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U-20 MNT TO FACE DENMARK, TURKEY AND WALES IN NORTHERN IRELAND MILK CUP: U.S. Under-20 head coach Thomas Rongen has announced his 18-player roster for the 2004 Milk Cup, which takes place in Northern Ireland from July 16-23. Rongen has called in a roster similar to the one that competed in the Busan Four Nations International Tournament in Busan, South Korea, in late June, as nine of the 18 players will be making their second trip overseas in the past month. Included in the roster are four professionals, with two MLS players – Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes) and Craig Capano (Chicago Fire) – joining two overseas players – goalkeeper Quentin Westberg (ESTAC Troyes – France) and midfielder Jay Denny (Stoke City – England). The U.S. will leave on July 13 and have a couple days of training before opening up the tournament in Group 2 against Denmark on July 17 at the grounds of Donegall Celtic FC in Belfast. The U-20s would then face Turkey two days later at the Ballymena Showgrounds before finishing group play in the eight-team tournament against Wales at the Coleraine Showgrounds on July 21. Depending on how they finish in Group 2, the U.S. will play for their final standing on July 23 in the placement match, going up against the team in Group 1 (Brazil, Russia, Northern Ireland and Israel) that finishes in the same position. The Milk Cup will help Rongen continue to prepare for the CONCACAF U-20 Qualifying Tournament in January 2005.
U-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Justin Hughes (UNC), Quentin Westberg (ESTAC Troyes – France); DEFENDERS (6): Kiel McClung (UCLA), Patrick Phelan (Enfield, Conn.), Steve Purdy (UC-Berkeley), Nathan Sturgis (St. Augustine, Fla.), Tim Ward (Waukesha, Wis), Mike Ordonez (Miami, Fla.); MIDFIELDERS (6): Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Craig Capano (Chicago Fire), Nico Colaluca (Coventry, R.I.), Stuart Holden (Clemson), Jay Denny (Stoke City – England), Sasha Klejstan (Seton Hall); FORWARDS (4): Charlie Davies (Manchester, N.H.), Chad Barrett (UCLA), Kamani Hill (Berkley, Calif.), Will John (St. Louis University).

CONCACAF ANNOUNCES FINAL QUALIFYING ROUND FOR U-20s AND U-17s: CONCACAF announced the fixtures for the final round of qualifying for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship and the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship after holding the draws for both competitions this afternoon at the offices of the CONCACAF General Secretariat in New York. The U.S. will host Group A in the Under-20 qualifying tournament from January 12-16 in a location still to be determined, and will be joined by two nations from the Central American Zone (UNCAF) and the Caribbean Zone (CFU) Series 1 winner. Honduras will host Group B from January 26-30, with Canada Mexico and the Caribbean Zone Series 2 winner. The top two finishers from each of the two groups will qualify for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. The final stage of the CONCACAF U-17 qualification has also been set, with the U.S. traveling to Costa Rica to play in Group A with the host, the Caribbean Zone Series 1 winner and the Central American Zone Series 1 winner (Guatemala, Nicaragua or El Salvador) from April 12-16. In Group B, Canada will host with Mexico, Caribbean Zone Series 2 winner and Cental American Zone Series 2 winner (Honduras, Belize or Panama). The group winners will qualify for the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Peru, while the runners-up will compete in a home-and-away playoff, with the winner earning the third and final CONCACAF berth.

U-17 MEN TRAVEL TO MINNESOTA NEXT WEEK TO FACE CANADA AND CRUZ AZUL: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will travel to Blaine, Minn., next week to play three matches in four days, as they will have two matches against Canada’s U-17 Men’s National Team and one match against an elite youth squad from famed Mexican club Cruz Azul. The U.S. will arrive on July 14 and conduct three days of training in the St. Paul area before taking on Canada in their first match on July 17 at the National Sports Center in Blaine at 7:35 p.m. CT. The following day, the U.S. will not play as Canada and Cruz Azul will go head-to-head. The U.S. will then face Cruz Azul on July 19 and Canada for the second time on July 20, with both games being played at the National Sports Center and starting at 7:35 p.m. Head coach John Ellinger is bringing a 20-player roster for the three-game event as he continues to solidify his roster for the CONCACAF U-17 Qualifying Tournament in April or May of 2005. The majority of the players on the roster will be part of the 40 players in U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program this fall, with the exception of four players – Dax McCarty, Julian Valentin, Adam Sloustcher, and Marcus Rein – who graduated this past May. The U-17’s matches will lead into the U.S. Women’s National Team’s second-to-last match before leaving for the Olympics in Athens as they go up against Australia on Wednesday, July 21 at the National Sports Center at 6 p.m. CT.
U-17 MNT Schedule
Date             Opponent            Kickoff (CT)
July 17         Canada                7:35 p.m.
July 19         Cruz Azul             7:35 p.m.
July 20         Canada                7:35 p.m.
U-17 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Marcus Rein (Modesto, Calif.), Bryant Rueckner (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.); DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Borja (Anaheim, Calif.), Richard Edgar (Mechanicsville, Md.), Jeremy Hall (Tampa, Fla.), Eric Lichaj (Downers Grove, Ill.), Ofori Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Julian Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.), Taylor Hoss (Vancouver, Wash.); MIDFIELDERS (7): Kevin Alston (Silver Spring, Md.), Nicolas Besagno (Maple Valley, Wash.), Michael Dal Pra (Bronxville, N.Y), Ryan Soroka (Langhorne, Pa.), Eric Avila (Encinitas, Calif.), Dax McCarty (Maitland, Fla.), Adam Sloustcher (Pleasanton, Calif.); FORWARDS (4): Eddie Ababio (Tampa, Fla.), Quavas Kirk (Aurora, Ill.), Michael Stephens (Woodridge, Ill.), Preston Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.).

U.S. U-16 GNT HEADS TO BRAZIL FOR THREE MATCHES: The U.S. U-16 Girl's National Team will take its first and only trip abroad this year when it travels to Brazil for three matches from July 11-19.  It will be the first-ever trip to Brazil for this age group.  Head coach Sue Montagne-Patberg and assistant coach Jillian Ellis, the former U.S. U-21 Women's National Team head coach, will take 18 players to the state of Sao Paulo for matches against three Brazilian women's clubs.  The team is scheduled to face Juventus FC on Thursday, July 15, in Limeira, before traveling to Campinas to face Gaurani on Saturday, July 17, and finishes up the tour with a match against Santos FC in Sao Paulo on Sunday, July 18.  The squad may also have a match against the Brazilian U-19s, who are headed to the FIFA U-19 World Championship in Thailand in November.  The U.S. roster features five players from the New York/New Jersey area and three players from Arizona, as well as Casey Nogueira, the daughter of indoor soccer's greatest goalkeeper of all-time, Victor Noguiera.
U-16 GNT Schedule
Date             Opponent
July 15          Juventus FC
July 17         Gaurani
July 18         Sao Paolo
U-16 GNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Chantal Jones (Richmond, Va.), Alyssa Naeher (Seymour, Conn.); DEFENDERS (6): Jane Alukonis (Cocoa Beach, Fla.), Hannah Cerrone (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Lindsey Johnson (Phoenix, Ariz.), Lauren Switzer (St. Charles, Ill.), Lauren Wilmoth (Garland, Tex.); MIDFIELDERS (4): Carolyn Blank (Toms River, N.J.), Ali Hawkins (Encinitas, Calif.), Melissa Hayes (Cave Creek, Ariz.), C.J. Ludemann (Holtsville, N.Y.); FORWARDS (6): Rachel Given (Ridgeland, Mass.), Jessica McDonald (Phoenix, Ariz.), Ashley Moore (Clifton Park, N.Y.), Casey Nogueira (Cedarburg, Wis.), Kelly O'Hara (Fayetteville, Ga.), Nikki Washington (Mesquite, Texas).

– LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP UPDATE –

PDL TESTS A-LEAGUE, BUT ALL EIGHT HIGHER DIVISION TEAMS ADVANCE: Three Premier Development League teams forced overtime versus A-League opponents, but none prevailed as each of the lower division teams lost as the eight 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup third round matches were played June 30. The Richmond Kickers scored in the 94th minute to top the Cape Cod Crusaders, the Minnesota Thunder tallied in the 116th minute to beat the Boulder Rapids Reserve and the Atlanta Silverbacks scored in the final minute of overtime versus the Carolina Dynamo in the three most dramatic matches of the night. Three other matches were decided by one goal – with two of those decided in the final minutes of regulation – as the Columbus Crew (MLS) topped the Syracuse Salty Dogs (A-League) with a penalty kick in second half stoppage time. Also, the Rochester Raging Rhinos (A-League) broke a scoreless draw with an 82nd minute goal to edge the Chicago Fire Reserves (PDL), and the Portland Timbers (A-League) defeated the Utah Blitzz (PSL) 2-1. Each of the 16 teams remaining in the tournament hail from the A-League or Major League Soccer. The third round winners will advance to play an MLS club in July. For complete schedule information and the latest news and stats from the U.S. Open Cup, log on to ussoccer.com.
Third Round Results
#        Date         Result                                                                                        Venue;City
17     June 30     Portland Timbers 2, Utah Blitzz 1                                                Rice-Eccles Stadium; Salt Lake City, Utah
18     June 30     Boulder Rapids Reserve 1, Minnesota Thunder 2 (OT)               James Griffin Stadium; St. Paul, Minn.
19     June 30     Wilmington Hammerheads 0, Charleston Battery 2                      Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.
20     June 30     Atlanta Silverbacks 3, Carolina Dynamo 2 (OT)                         MacPherson Stadium; Browns Summit, N.C.
21     June 30     Virginia Beach Mariners 0, Dallas Burn 2                                    Old Panther Stadium; Duncanville, Texas
22     June 30     Cape Cod Crusaders 0, Richmond Kickers 1 (OT)                    Sports Backers Stadium; Richmond, Va.
23     June 30     Syracuse Salty Dogs 1, Columbus Crew 2                                  Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
24     June 30     Chicago Fire Reserves 0, Rochester Raging Rhinos 1                  Frontier Field; Rochester, N.Y.
Fourth Round Schedule
#       Date         Match-up                                                                                   Venue; City                                                     Kickoff (local)
25     July 14     San Jose Earthquakes at Portland Timbers                                  PGE Park; Portland, Ore.                                 7 p.m. PT
26     July 20     Los Angeles Galaxy at Minnesota Thunder                                  Metrodome; Minneapolis, Minn.                       7 p.m. CT
27     July 20     Colorado Rapids at Dallas Burn                                                  Cotton Bowl; Dallas, Texas                              7 p.m. CT
28     July 20     Rochester Raging Rhinos at New England Revolution                  Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass.                     7:30 p.m. ET
29     July 20     Chicago Fire at Columbus Crew                                                 Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio                       7:30 p.m. ET
30     July 20     Kansas City Wizards at Atlanta Silverbacks                                DeKalb Stadium; Clarkston, Ga.                      7:45 p.m. ET
31     July 20     MetroStars at Charleston Battery                                                Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.               7:30 p.m. ET
32     July 21     D.C. United at Richmond Kickers                                               Univ. of Richmond Stadium; Richmond, Va.     7 p.m. ET

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

USYS TO RELOCATE NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS TO NEW FRISCO SOCCER FACILITY: The Hunt Sports Group announced last week on behalf of the Frisco Soccer & Entertainment Center that the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYS) has voted to move their corporate headquarters from Richardson to the new Frisco Soccer & Entertainment Center in Frisco, Texas. The agreement between the entities is for 20 years and is coupled with a 15-year marketing agreement between the Dallas Burn and the North Texas State Soccer Association. “It is very exciting for our organization to be a part of this new premier soccer facility, which will be host to outstanding youth, adult and professional soccer events for years to come," said David Messersmith, President of US Youth Soccer. The MLS team currently known as the Dallas Burn, who will be changing their name next season, will play their home schedule at the Frisco Soccer & Entertainment Center beginning in the spring of 2005. The 117-acre facility will feature a 20,000 seat soccer stadium, accommodating MLS matches, major concerts, international soccer matches and high school football. Adjacent to the stadium will be 17 regulation-size, tournament-grade soccer fields which will be utilized on a year-round basis, making the facility one of the focal points for youth and adult soccer around the country. An estimated 1.4 million spectators and participants are expected to visit the facility annually.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: After a disappointing 2003 that saw the WUSA suspend operations and her miss out on making the U.S. roster for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, defender Heather Mitts has risen from the ashes and made her mark on the team in 2004. After appearing in just five matches for the U.S. Women from 1999-2003, the former Philadelphia Charge center back has appeared in a whopping 15 of 16 matches this year, starting 10. Last week she further justified her place on the 2004 U.S. Women’s Olympic Roster by earning Chevrolet Woman of the Match honors after scoring her first full international goal in a 1-0 win over Canada on July 3.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: The U.S. Men got the better of Poland in Plock with a 1-0 road win on March 31, but expect a young Polish squad to be bolstered by their sizeable Chicago community when the two teams meet on Sunday (July 11) at 6 p.m. at Soldier Field in Chicago, the home of U.S. Soccer. Fire regulars Chris Armas and DaMarcus Beasley and former Fire stars Carlos Bocanegra, Josh Wolff and Zach Thornton will look to lead the USA to its sixth consecutive victory in 2004, a streak that started with the Poland win.

SOCCER SHOCKER:  It was déjà vu all over again in Portugal last week, as Greece posted two similar 1-0 victories over highly favored opponents to fill the history books as perhaps the greatest underdog ever to win a European Championship. Greece struck on successful corner kicks to go ahead both matches, with Traianos Dellas heading home the game winner in stoppage time of the first overtime to defeat Czech Republic 1-0 in the semifinals on July 1 and forward Angelos Charisteas heading home the lone goal in the 57th minute of a 1-0 win that stole the trophy from the host nation on July 4. Coupled with a yet another 1-0 upset win, this time over France in the quarterfinals on June 25, Greece became the only team in the history of the World Cup and European Championships to win the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals all by shutout.

QUOTABLE: "I made the Olympic team and scored a goal. It's been a good week."
        --U.S. WNT defender Heather Mitts


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