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Archive - February 2004

Center Circle
February 26, 2004
Volume IV, Issue 2

Table of Contents

1.  Armchair Midfielder:
A Look Back at “The Streak”
2.  In 3’s:
WNT midfielder Lindsay Tarpley
3.  Gear Galore:
New Nike MNT kit
4.  Queries & Anecdotes:
MNT forward Josh Wolff
5.  Mark That Calendar:
WNT Olympic Qualifying
6.  Aly at the Oscars:
WNT midfielder Aly Wagner
7.  Fan Point/Counterpoint:
Top American in England?
8.  You Don’t Know Jack (Marshall):
“Americans Overseas” Trivia

1) Armchair Midfielder: A Look Back at “The Streak”
A monthly column about the State of U.S. Soccer that takes a hard look at everything from the performance of the U.S. National Teams to pro soccer in the good ‘ole U-S-of-A . If you’re looking for a viewpoint that you won’t see in a generic, nuts-and-bolts U.S. Soccer press release, you’ve come to the right place.

With the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team failing to qualify for the Olympics, a remarkable but little publicized streak ended for U.S. Soccer, as the U.S. National Teams had amassed a string of 19 consecutive appearances in FIFA-recognized outdoor world championships. The streak, which was the longest active one of its kind in the world, spanned nine years, beginning back in 1995 when the U-17s qualified for Ecuador.

We look back at “the streak,” giving a brief synopsis of how the respective U.S. National Team qualified and, more importantly, how they fared once they were there.[Read More]

2) In 3’s: WNT midfielder Lindsay Tarpley
What’s it going to be? Door number one, door number two, or door number THREE?!? Okay, so this section has less to do with “Let’s Make A Deal” and more to do with the Multiple Choice section of an SAT test. “In 3’s” peeks inside the head of a select National Team player as they pick one of three choices for 25 questions about personal tastes and pop culture.

Despite being born in Madison, Wisc., and raised in Kalamazoo, Mich., this Midwestern girl, like so many other best of the best young high school soccer players, Lindsay Tarpley was drawn to North Carolina for college. Once there, she quickly made her mark among the Tar Heels’ particularly talented team, leading the team in scoring with 16 goals and 15 assists as a freshman. She stepped it up even further in 2003, pouring in 23 goals and 27 assists for the most points (73) by a Tar Heel player since one Mia Hamm. [Read More]

3) Gear Galore: New Nike MNT kit
In a new piece for 2004, we engage in some shameless self-promotion by spotlighting a different U.S. Soccer product each month, from the newest Nike apparel to all kinds of other unique U.S. Men’s & Women’s merch. If Claudio and Landon and Kasey and the rest of the gang looked a little different in the USA-Netherlands match back on Feb. 18, it’s because they were sporting the brand new Total 90 kit from Nike, which has drawn rave reviews from New York to Milan. The U.S. Men will continue to wear the simple and classic-looking jersey with a few modern flourishes [Read More]

4) Queries & Anecdotes: MNT forward Josh Wolff
Off-the-wall Questions and Answers, Queries and Anecdotes from U.S. Men’s National Team forward Josh Wolff.

Like former Olympic and current Men’s National teammate John O’Brien, Josh Wolff’s promising young career for both club and country has repeatedly been held back due to injuries. But while he hasn’t been healthy year in and year out, he’s been there when it counted. As a rookie in MLS, he helped the Chicago Fire win "the double" (MLS and Open Cup) in 1998. As the team’s top striker, he helped the U.S. Under-23s to fourth place in the 2000 Olympics. And as a steady role player, he helped the U.S. Men’s National Team to a best ever eight place finish at the 2002 World Cup. This year, he’s hoping for his first injury-free MLS campaign in four seasons as a key contributor for the Kansas City Wizards. [Read More]

5) Mark That Calendar: WNT Olympic Qualifying
A stern reminder about an upcoming U.S. Soccer-related event, whether you plan to check it out live and in person, on the "telly" or that wacky world wide web.Although the U.S.Women’s National Team is the obvious favorite in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, they still have to get by three opening round opponents to get to the single elimination semi-finals. [Read More]

6) Aly at the Oscars: WNT midfielder Aly Wagner
With the 76th Annual Academy Awards coming up this Sunday (Feb. 29 – live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT), resident U.S. Soccer movie critic Aly Wagner critic sizes up the nominees for the top six awards in this special Oscars installment of "Aly at the Movies." [Read More]

7) Fan Point/Counterpoint: Top American in England?
In this playful piece, we pose a question or make a statement about something in soccer that will be opined about, agreed and disagreed on, by YOU, the reader. No more talking heads giving safe, politically correct answers. Those days are over. Instead, we’ve opened the floor to everyone out there in Cyberland to throw in their two cents.

Of the six Americans competing in the English Premier League, we asked you last month to choose who will make the biggest impact in the second half of the 2003-04 season. Your answer? All six, with B-Mac (not to be confused with crappy former British boy band BBMak) and Timmy grabbing a slight edge over the rest. Check out the best responses. [Read More]

8) You Don’t Know Jack (Marshall): “Americans Overseas” Trivia
Think you know your soccer trivia? We’ll be the judge of that. Pop quiz: who the heck is Jack Marshall? Even the trivia buffs in the U.S. Soccer Communications Department would be hard-pressed to tell you that one Jack Marshall received his one and only cap way back in 1926. Okay, that was pretty much impossible. They get easier. We give you four questions at varying difficulty levels, from 1 (easiest) to 4 (hardest).

With the story of the off-season being the move of several marquee Men’s National Team players from MLS to Europe, we look at the past success of Americans overseas. [Read More]

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