U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. Women to Meet Norway Sunday in Blaine, Minn., Live on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET
SLATON OUT WITH INJURY, MITTS ADDED TO WNT CAMP AS TEAM HEADS TO MINNEAPOLIS: Due to inflammation in her right knee, Carolina Courage defender Danielle Slaton will not join the U.S. Women's National Team when they arrive in Minneapolis tomorrow for a four-day training camp prior to facing Norway on July 21 at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn. (ESPN at Noon CT). Slaton, a 2000 Olympian, has been a consistent starter of late for head coach April Heinrich's squad and has 32 career caps. Filling her spot on the roster is popular Philadelphia Charge defender Heather Mitts, who has just two caps with the WNT. Heinrichs will use the training camp to pick 18 players from this roster to face Norway. Mia Hamm, the world's all-time leading scorer for women's international soccer, returns to the National Team fold after missing the last four events due to injuries. The match also marks the return of 1999 Women's World Cup hero and Minnesota native Briana Scurry, who has not played for the USA since Aug. 20, 2000. In her continuing effort to blend the rising young talent with the USA's core of veterans, Heinrichs also called in two stars of the U.S. Under-19 National Team in midfielder Jill Oakes and forward Heather O'Reilly. Tickets are available at all TicketMaster outlets and can be charged by phone at 651-989-5151. For group tickets of 10 or more people, fans can call the Minnesota Thunder at 763-785-3668. Complete ticket information is available online at www.ussoccer.com. The following is the complete roster for the Norway training camp:
Goalkeepers (3): LaKeysia Beene, Briana Scurry, Hope Solo;
Defenders (8): Jenny Benson, Kylie Bivens, Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Jena Kluegel, Heather Mitts, Cat Reddick, Kate Sobrero;
Midfielders (6): Lorrie Fair, Julie Foudy, Angela Hucles, Jill Oakes, Tiffany Roberts, Aly Wagner;
Forwards (6): Mia Hamm, Shannon MacMillan, Tiffeny Milbrett, Heather O’Reilly, Cindy Parlow, Abby Wambach.
EIGHT MLS TEAMS AWAIT EIGHT A-LEAGUE SQUADS IN THIRD ROUND: The 2002 U.S. Open Cup heats up again with Third Round action this week (July 16 and 17), with all eight A-League survivors facing eight MLS teams – Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, Dallas Burn, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, NY/NJ MetroStars and San Jose Earthquakes. The Third Round begins tomorrow (July 16) with a single encounter, as the Hampton Roads Mariners host the MetroStars in Virginia Beach, Va. The remaining Third Round matches will take place on Wednesday (July 17) and will feature the Richmond Kickers traveling to take on the Crew, the Fire heading north to face the Milwaukee Rampage, the Rochester Raging Rhinos hosting the Wizards, the Burn visiting the Atlanta Silverbacks, the Rapids heading southeast to meet the Charleston Battery and the Earthquakes traveling to the Pacific Northwest to battle the Seattle Sounders. Lastly, the defending Open Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy will play their first ever Open Cup match away from the state of California as they square off against the Minnesota Thunder.
DONOVAN WINS 2002 ESPY FOR BEST MALE SOCCER PLAYER: U.S. Men’s National Team forward Landon Donovan won the ESPY award for Best Male Soccer Player last week at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. Donovan, who helped the San Jose Earthquakes go from worst-to-first and win the MLS Cup title in 2001 and was one of the key players for the USA at the 2002 World Cup, won the award over the Chicago Fire's Zach Thornton and 2001 MLS MVP Alex Pineda Chacon, now with the New England Revolution. The winners were chosen by the ESPY Awards Academy, which includes Hall of Fame athletes and coaches as well as nationally recognized print and broadcast sports journalists representing every major outlet. Presented by ESPN, the ESPY Awards benefit the V-Foundation and celebrated its 10th year in 2002. Hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, the ESPY Awards featured numerous celebrities from the world of entertainment and sports.
– U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –
UNIQUE USA HOMECOMING MATCH TO BE BROADCAST LIVE ON ABC AT 3:30 P.M. ET: Major League Soccer announced last week that the 2002 MLS All-Star Game will be a celebration of soccer in America, featuring the U.S. Men's National Team against the best of Major League Soccer on August 3 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The unique match will be broadcast live on ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET. In addition, the 2002 MLS All-Star festivities will look to honor the accomplishments of players past and present who have contributed to the rise and development of American soccer in the modern era. In addition to the celebratory game between the U.S. National Team and MLS All-Stars (as voted by the fans, players, coaches and media), MLS and U.S. Soccer will recognize previous players who have been an integral part of the growth of soccer in the United States. The 2002 MLS All-Star Game offers four levels of ticket pricing, ranging from $27 to $55 for individuals, and $22 to $45 for groups of 20 or more. For Group Sales information, call D.C. United at 703-478-6600; or go online at www.dcunited.com and at RFK Stadium advance sales during all D.C. United home games. For individual tickets call TicketMaster at 202-432-SEAT (metro D.C.); 410-481-SEAT (Baltimore & MD); 703-573-SEAT (Virginia); or go online at www.ticketmaster.com and visit ticket outlets including HECHT's, Tower Records and at RFK Stadium.
– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –
MEDIA ACCREDITATION FOR U-19 WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP NOW AVAILABLE: Media interested in obtaining accreditation for the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship in Canada must fill out an application form and send it to FIFA for approval before July 20, 2002. The form is available on the Canadian Soccer Association web site at: www.canadasoccer.com or on the FIFA web site at www.fifa.com. The tournament will run from Aug. 17-Sept. 1 in Edmonton, Victoria and Vancouver. The application form is for all media, including photographers. Television and radio must send their applications to KirchMedia, who hold the television and radio rights. Further information is on the media accreditation form. The U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team will bring a talented squad to the first-ever youth world championship for women as the Americans play all of their first round matches in Victoria, B.C. The U.S. team was drawn into Group C with England, Chinese Taipei and Australia and will play their matches at the 6,000-seat Centennial Stadium.
LEONE NAMES 27 PLAYERS FOR FINAL U-19 PRIOR TO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team head coach Tracey Leone has named the 27 players who will participate in a 13-day training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in San Diego, Calif., from July 14-26. Leone will pick the 18-woman roster from these 27 players for the 2002 FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship, taking place in Canada from Aug. 17-Sept. 1. The U.S. players will train daily and play several scrimmages during the camp, all working towards earning a spot on the roster when the USA opens world championship play on Saturday, Aug. 17, against England at 1 p.m. PT in the first match of the tournament. The USA will face Australia in its second opening round game on Monday, Aug. 19 at 7:15 p.m. PT and finish Group C play on Wednesday, Aug. 21 against Chinese Taipei (a.k.a. Taiwan) at 7:15 p.m. PT. The team will likely be led by the new "Triple-Edged Sword" of Lindsay Tarpley, Heather O'Reilly and Kelly Wilson, a trio of forwards who have combined for 53 goals in their U-19 international careers. The U-19s feature several creative and dangerous midfielders in Jill Oakes, who along with O'Reilly, is training with the full Women's National Team this week, and Lori Chalupny, a key player on last summer's U-21 Nordic Cup championship team along with Oakes. The Americans break camp on July 27, but will regroup in Portland, Ore., for several days of training from Aug. 9-12 before heading up to Victoria, B.C., to begin final preparations for the world championship. The following is the 27-player U.S. U-19 training camp roster:
Goalkeepers (4): Kim Bingham (San Ramon, Calif.), Ashlyn Harris (Satellite Beach, Fla.), Megan Rivera (Miami, Fla.), Kate Taylor (Menomonee Falls, Wisc.);
Defenders (7): Jessica Ballweg (Santa Clara University), Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Keeley Dowling (Tennessee), Stephanie Ebner (Taylorsville, Utah), Kendall Fletcher (Cary, N.C.), Amy Steadman (UNC), Jessica Trainor (Virginia);
Midfielders (8): Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Allison Graham (Peachtree City, Ga.), Kelly Hammond (Bowie, Md.), Sarah Huffman (Flower Mound, Texas), Manya Makoski (Trumbull, Conn.), Jill Oakes (West Hills, Calif.), Leslie Osborne (Santa Clara), Annie Schefter (Yakima, Wash.);
Forwards (8): Ashley Foster (Athens, Ga.), Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas), Megan Kakadelas (USC), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Natalie Sanderson (Stanford), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Kelly Wilson (Texas), Angela Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.).
U.S. YOUNGSTER JOHNSON SCORES IN HOLLAND: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team pool player David Johnson scored in a 4-1 win for Willem II over Belgium side Dessel Sport last week. Johnson, who signed a contract through 2005 with Dutch Honor Division side Willem II, has played twice with the U.S. Under-20s in 2002. He spent most of 2001 in U.S. Soccer's full-time residency program in Bradenton, Fla., and played in one match at the 2001 Under-17 World Championship.
U.S. UNDER-21 WNT TO DEFEND NORDIC CUP TITLE IN FINLAND NEXT WEEK: U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team head coach Jerry Smith chose the 18 players that will represent the United States at the 2002 Women's U-21 Nordic Cup Championship, which is being contested in Finland from July 22-28. Without a sanctioned FIFA championship for U-21 women, the Nordic Cup serves at the top competition in the world for this age group. The U.S. U-21s have achieved tremendous success at the Nordic Cup since 1997, winning the tournament, which is played annually in Northern Europe, in four of the past five years. The eight competing teams are divided into two groups of four, with first-round play consisting of round-robin matches within the group. The group winners will then play for the championship. The two second-place group finishers will play for third place, the third-place finishers for fifth and the last-place finishers will play for seventh. The USA is in Group A along with host Finland, the full Greece Women's National Team and Denmark, while a stacked Group B features Sweden, Germany, Iceland and Norway. All the matches will be played in and around the city of Turku on the southwest tip of Finland, about 90 miles west of the Helsinki. A physically taxing Nordic Cup schedule features four matches in seven days for all eight teams, with the group winners meeting for the championship on July 28 in Turku.
— 2002 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP UPDATE —
A-LEAGUE SWEEPS ALL EIGHT SECOND ROUND MATCHES FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1996: For the first time since 1996, A-League teams swept the entire 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Second Round by winning all eight matches last week and advancing to the Third Round of the single-elimination tournament, where they will meet eight MLS Teams from July 16-17. Second Round play began Tuesday, June 26, with one game as the A-League’s Seattle Sounders traveled to defeat the D3 Pro League’s Utah Blitzz 2-1 in Salt Lake City. The remaining seven Second Round matches took place on June 26 as the Minnesota Thunder (A-League) kicked off “Elimination Wednesday” with a convincing 6-1 victory over the visiting San Diego Gauchos (D3). The Thunder’s offense was led by forward Johnny Menyongar’s four-goal performance, which places him in a four-way tie for second (along with Abdul Thompson Conteh, Welton and Josh Wolff) in the Open Cup all-time goalscorers list (since 1996) with seven career goals. All four trail current leader Jamie Moreno of D.C. United (MLS) with 10 career goals. In other Second Round results: The 1995 champion Richmond Kickers (A-League) easily blanked the host Raleigh CASL Elite of the Premier Development League, 3-0; the 1999 champion Rochester Raging Rhinos needed to go to overtime to top the visiting Des Moines Menace (PDL) 3-2; the visiting Hampton Roads Mariners (A-League) posted a 1-0 win over the South Jersey Barons (D3); host Atlanta Silverbacks (A-League) earned a 2-0 shutout over the Memphis Express (PDL); Charleston Battery (A-League) earned a 3-0 road win over the Greenville Lions (D3); and the New York Freedoms (D3) – who were the last team to win back-to-back Open Cup titles as the N.Y. Pancyprian Freedoms in 1982-83 – fell to the host Milwaukee Rampage (A-League) 4-0.
FOX SPORTS WORLD, ESPANOL ANNOUNCES 2002 U.S. OPEN CUP TV SCHEDULE: Fox Sports World (FSW) and Fox Sports World Español (FSWE), which have broadcast a number of Open Cup matches across the last two years (including the semifinals and championship games), will once again be the official television broadcaster of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2002. The schedule for this year’s tournament will include one Quarterfinal game (on August 7), both Semifinals matches (tentatively set for either September 3-4 or 10-11) and the 2002 Championship game (set for the weekend of October 26-27).
2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Timeline
August 7 - Quarterfinals
September 3-4 or 10-11 - Semifinals
October 26 or 27 - Championship
— AROUND THE SOCCER WORLD —
2002 USASA NATIONAL CUP FINALS TO BE HELD THIS WEEK IN OAKFORD, PA.: The U.S. Amateur Soccer Association will determine its 10 national champions of 2002 in the annual National Cup Finals being staged at the Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association’s United German Hungarian Club soccer facilities in Oakford, Pa., from July 19-21. The annual amateur championship features champions from each of the four U.S. Soccer regions (Regions I, II, III and IV) squaring off in 10 different age brackets (men’s and women’s Under 20, Under-23, Over-30, Open and Amateur).To qualify for the USASA National Cup Finals, teams progressed through competitions within their cities and states, before eventually competing for their respective regional championship (Region I in the East, Region II in the Midwest, Region III in the South and Region IV in the West). Each of the four regions then send their 10 division winners in five men’s and women’s competitions to the National Cup Finals. The competition for all 40 finalists begins July 19 with semifinal matches, as teams from Region I and Region III are paired up in half the games, and Region II and IV teams meet in the other half. The semifinal winners compete for the National Cup title in their respective USASA categories beginning with the Men’s and Women’s Open finals on July 20, with the remaining championship finals to conclude the next day (July 21).
U.S. SOCCER SPOTLIGHT
PEAK PERFORMER: After impressing on the world stage at Korea/Japan, U.S. Men’s National Team stars DaMarcus Beasley and Josh Wolff are showing their value back in the U.S. as well. Wolff scored two goals in a span of three minutes and then provided the assist on Beasley’s “golden goal” strike that lifted Chicago to a 3-2 victory over the MetroStars on Saturday. Beasley also earned the assist on Wolff’s second goal as the pair again sparked the Fire attack. The two also combined in their first game back in the lineup together last week, as Beasley set-up Wolff’s goal in a 2-1 win over Colorado on July 7.
MARQUEE MATCH-UP: When the U.S. Women’s National Team takes on Norway on Sunday (live on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET) it will be just the third domestic match for the team in 2002, but it will also mark one of the rare opportunities that the USA has to play its most challenging rival on home soil, with the last seven meetings between the two teams having been outside the U.S. Having lost the last two decisions to the Scandinavians, including the bitter 3-2 loss in overtime of the 2000 Olympic Gold Medal match in Sydney, Mia & Co. will undoubtedly be looking to take a step toward evening up the all-time series, which Norway leads with a 16-13-2 record against the U.S.
SOCCER SHOCKER: In a testament to the parity within MLS as we near the halfway point of Year Seven, not one team has been able to piece together a three-game winning streak in 2002. In the latest attempt to do so, after winning two games in a span of three days last week, the New England Revolution were handed a 4-2 loss by the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday.
“If it’s one guy, not a sport. If it’s a bunch of guys racing, a sport. If they’re racing in a thunderstorm, then it’s a sport televised on Fox."
- U.S. MNT midfielder/forward Clint Mathis, commenting on a man’s recent solo balloon trip around the world in the “Sport? Not a Sport?” piece in the July 15 issue of Sports Illustrated.