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2008 Women's Nike Friendlies Kick Off Wednesday; Schedule Now Available


CHICAGO (August 19, 2008) – The U.S. Under-14 Girls’ National Team will kick off the third annual Women’ s Nike Friendlies on Wednesday, Aug. 20, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., starting a five-day event featuring more than 40 matches of elite women’s youth soccer. The event concludes Sunday, Aug. 24, and will also include a U.S. Soccer Referee Academy.

More than 25 of the nation’s top youth women’s teams will participate in the prestigious youth competition, along with two U.S. U-14 Girls’ National Teams and the U.S. U-15 Girls’ National Teams. Teams will participate in the U-15, U-16 and U-17 age levels. The two U.S. U-14 Girls’ National Teams will participate in the U-16 age group, and the U.S. U-15 Girls’ National Team will participate at the U-17 level.

U.S. Soccer’s Women’s Nike Friendlies is an annual competition in which the best youth soccer clubs around the United States in the U-15, U-16 and U-17 age divisions are invited to The Home Depot Center in Carson for a high-level four-day event which stresses quality soccer and player development over wins and losses. Standings are not kept during the competition, in which each teams play three 80-minute games during the four days.

“This is the kind of event that the best young soccer players in the country should be playing in,” said U.S. National Staff Coach Mike Dickey, who oversees the Under-14 Girls’ Development Program. “The Women’s Nike Friendlies provide players an opportunity to play the sport in the right environment and for the right reasons, which ultimately helps players develop and reach their full potential.”

Following the opening match on Wednesday evening between the U-14 Girls’ National Team and the U-16 Real So Cal at 7 p.m. on the Mooch Myernick Field at The Home Depot Center, all of the invited clubs have been invited to a Thursday morning breakfast at the HDC Stadium Club to watch the U.S. Women’s National Team battle Brazil for the Gold Medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics (live at 6 a.m. PT).

The welcome breakfast will feature a number of educational messages and will be hosted by U.S. defender Cat Whitehill and USC Women’s Soccer Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin.

Every participating team will play on the first full day of the Women’s Nike Friendlies on Thursday, Aug. 21. Teams will play their second match of the event either on Friday, Aug. 22, or Saturday, Aug. 23, and will wrap up the weekend with a third and final match on Sunday, Aug. 24.

The Nike Women’s Friendlies emerged in 2006 as an extension of the Nike Friendlies, held at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. The event has become highly anticipated by college coaches because of the emphasis on quality soccer and the top-level competition.

In the largest age group of the event, the U-17s, the U.S. U-15 GNT will be joined by Birmingham United (Ala.), Colorado Rush (Colo.), FC DELCO (Pa.), Irvine Strikers (Calif.), Real Colorado (Colo.), Real So Cal (Calif.), Seacoast United (N.H.) and Surf (Calif.).

The U-16 age group will feature Irvine Strikers (Calif.), Mustangs (Calif.), PDA (N.J.), Real Colorado (Colo.), Real So Cal (Calif.), Sereno (Ariz.), Slammers (Calif.), and Surf (Calif.), along with two U.S. U-14 GNTs. In the U-15 group, Crossfire (Wash.), Irvine Strikers (Calif.), PDA (N.J.), Slammers (Calif.), Surf (Calif.), Real So Cal (Calif.), Sereno (Ariz.) and Mustangs (Calif.) will compete amongst the final list of teams still being finalized.

“From a national team perspective,” added Dickey, “this year’s event will also give us a glimpse at the players that will be a part of our future national teams, and most specifically the core group of 1993s and ‘94s who will try to help the United States qualify for the 2010 U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

During the tournament, parents, fans and participants can follow the action at the Nike Friendlies at ussoccer.com. U.S. Soccer will also be conducting a Referee Academy in conjunction with the Women’s Nike Friendlies.

U-15 Group
Crossfire (Wash.)
Irvine Strikers (Calif.)
Mustangs (Calif.)
PDA (N.J.)
Real So Cal (Calif.)
Sereno (Ariz.)
Slammers (Calif.)
Surf (Calif.)

U-16 Group
Irvine Strikers (Calif.)
Mustangs (Calif.)
PDA (N.J.)
Real Colorado (Colo.)
Real So Cal (Calif.)
Sereno (Ariz.)
Slammers (Calif.)
Surf (Calif.)
U-14 GNT (competing as two teams)

U-17 Group
Birmingham United (Ala.)
Colorado Rush (Colo.)
FC DELCO (Pa.)
Irvine Strikers (Calif.)
Real Colorado (Colo.)
Real So Cal (Calif.)
Seacoast United (N.H.)
Sereno (Ariz.)
Surf (Calif.)
U-15 GNT

Wednesday, August 20
Under-16
Team                                                            Field    Time
U-14 GNT Stripes (2) vs. Real So Cal       1       7 p.m.

Thursday, August 21
Under-17
Team                                                            Field    Time
Birmingham United vs. Real So Cal          3        10 a.m.
Surf vs. Colorado Rush                                4        10:45 a.m.
FC Delco vs. U-15 GNT                                1        12 p.m.
Seacoast vs. Real Colorado                        4        12:45 p.m.
 
Under-16
U-14 GNT Stars (1) vs. Surf                         1        10 a.m.
Irvine Strikers vs. PDA                                   2        10:45 a.m.
Slammers vs. Sereno                                   3        12 p.m.
Real Colorado vs. Mustangs                       2        12:45 p.m.

Under-15
PDA vs. Slammers                                         5        10 a.m.
Sereno vs. Mustangs                                     6        10:45 a.m.
Real So Cal vs. Surf                                       5        12 p.m.
Crossfire vs. Irvine Strikers                           6        12:45 p.m.

Friday, August 22
Under-17
Team                                                            Field       Time
U-15 GNT vs. Irvine Strikers                        1       10:45 a.m.
Colorado Rush vs. Seacoast                      3       12 p.m.
Real Colorado vs. FC Delco                        5       12 p.m.

Under-16
No games scheduled

Under-15
Sereno vs. PDA                                              2        10 a.m.
Mustangs vs. Crossfire                                5        10 a.m.
Slammers vs. Real So Cal                          4        10:45 a.m.

Saturday, August 23
Under-17
Team                                                            Field    Time
Irvine Strikers vs. Real So Cal                   4        10:45 a.m.
Surf vs. Birmingham United                       4        12:45 p.m.

Under-16
Real So Cal vs. Irvine Strikers                    3            8 a.m.
PDA vs. U-14 GNT Stars (1)                       1           10 a.m.
Mustangs vs. Slammers                             5           10 a.m.
Sereno vs. U-14 GNT Stripes (2)              1           12 p.m.
Real Colorado vs. Surf                                5           12 p.m.

Under-15
Surf vs. Irvine Strikers                                   2          12:45 p.m.

Sunday, August 24
Under-17
Team                                                            Field    Time
Birmingham Utd. vs. Colorado Rush        5        8 a.m.
U-15 GNT vs. Real Colorado                      4        8 a.m.
Seacoast vs. Real So Cal                            5      10 a.m.
FC Delco vs. Surf                                           6      10 a.m.

Under-16
U-14 GNT Stripes (2) vs. PDA                     1        8 a.m.
Slammers vs. Real So Cal                          2        8 a.m.
Surf vs. Mustangs                                          6        8 a.m.
Real Colorado vs. U-14 GNT Stars (1)      2     10 a.m.
Irvine Strikers vs. Sereno                              4     12 p.m.

Under-15
Irvine Strikers vs. Mustangs                         3       8 a.m.
Crossfire vs. Surf                                           1      10 a.m.
Slammers vs. Sereno                                   3      10 a.m.
PDA vs. Real So Cal                                      4      10 a.m.

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