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.
KAHN NAMED TOP GOALKEEPER, GOLDEN BALL WINNER OF 2002 WORLD CUP: Although Brazil won the 2002 World Cup, German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn won the Golden Ball, the top award of the tournament honoring the Cup’s most outstanding player. Kahn was also honored with the Yashin Prize, an honor given to the tournament’s top goalkeeper, which is almost more impressive given all of the tremendous performances by ‘keepers at Korea/Japan. Kahn, who had conceded just one goal in the six games leading up to the final, became the first goalkeeper in World Cup history to take the Golden Ball honor. Ronaldo, who won the Golden Shoe with a whopping, tourney-high eight goals, earned the Silver Ball, while Korea’s Myung Bo Hong finished third in the media voting and earned the Bronze Ball. Belgium took the FIFA Fair Play Award, which is given to the team with the best record of fair play according to a points system and criteria established by the FIFA Fair Play Committee. The following is the complete list of awards for the 2002 World Cup:
Golden Ball – Oliver Kahn (GER)
Silver Ball – Ronaldo (BRA)
Bronze Ball – Myung Bo Hong (KOR)
Golden Shoe – Ronaldo (BRA); 8 goals
Silver Shoe (tie) – Miroslav Klose (GER), Rivaldo (BRA); 5 goals
Yashin Prize (Top Goalkeeper) – Oliver Kahn (GER)
Fair Play Award – Belgium
HAMM, SCURRY RETURN TO WNT FOLD, JOINED BY TWO U-19 STARS: U.S. Women's National Team head coach April Heinrichs named the 23-player roster that will participate in a four-day training camp prior to the USA's match against Norway on July 21 at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn. The match will be televised live on ESPN at Noon CT (1 p.m. ET). The team will arrive in Minnesota on July 16 and Heinrichs will use the training camp to pick 18 players from this roster to face Norway. Tickets are available at all TicketMaster outlets and can be charged by phone at 651-989-5151. Complete ticket information for the match is available online at www.ussoccer.com. For group tickets of 10 or more people, fans can call the Minnesota Thunder at 763-785-3668. 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. 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, Cat Reddick, Danielle Slaton, 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.
– U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –
FRIEDEL RE-SIGNS WITH BLACKBURN, TO OPEN PREMIER SOCCER ACADEMIES IN
OHIO: U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Brad Friedel re-signed with English Premiership club Blackburn Rovers last week in a four-year deal that will keep him in England through 2006. Also last week, the Columbus Crew and Soccer Ventures, L.L.C., headed by Friedel, announced the formation of a partnership to present an exciting new soccer-camp concept, called Premier Soccer Academies, starting in 2003. A total of three camps - in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati, at sites to be determined - will be held in the first year (2003), for boys 14-19 years old. The weeklong, overnight camps will be targeted toward serious players wishing to play at a high level.
DONOVAN NAMED AOL’S “CRUSH OF THE MONTH” FOR JULY: U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder/forward Landon Donovan has been selected as AOL's July Crush of the Month (Keyword: Crush). The page is Jessica's crush of the month and the specific interactive page has been part of AOL's teen site for the last year and is among the AOL teen pages that draws the most hits. Donovan will be doing a video shoot for AOL this week that will then made available on the site. Fans can send in questions for the 20-year-old to answer, and he will be participating in a 30-minute chat session at a later date.
— U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE —
USA’s 1999 WWC WIN CHOSEN AS GREATEST MOMENT IN WOMEN'S SPORTS HISTORY: Almost three years after that glorious day at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., the impact of the historic victory by the U.S. Women's National Team in the 1999 Women's World Cup continues to be felt. ESPN.com readers have voted the USA's penalty kick shootout victory over China on July 10, 1999, as the greatest moment in women's sports history. While the staff of ESPN.com's "PAGE 2" chose the victory as the third greatest moment in women's sports history, behind former President Nixon signing Title IX into law on July 23, 1973, and Billie Jean King's victory over Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes" on Sept. 20, 1973, the readers overwhelmingly chose Brandi Chastain and her teammates to top the list in an online survey.
– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –
U.S. UNDER-21 WNT TO DEFEND NORDIC CUP TITLE IN FINLAND FROM JULY 22-28: Following a 10-day training camp in San Diego, Calif., U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team head coach Jerry Smith has chosen the 18 players that will represent the United States at the 2002 Women's U-21 Nordic Cup Championships, 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. An always 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. The following is the complete U.S. U-19 WNT roster for the 2002 Nordic Cup:
Goalkeepers (2): Nicole Barnhart (Stanford), Hope Solo (Washington);
Defenders (5): Betsy Barr (Portland), Amy LePeilbert (Arizona State), Ally Marquand (Notre Dame), Nandi Pryce (UCLA), Cat Reddick (UNC);
Midfielders (5): Devvyn Hawkins (Santa Clara), Carli Lloyd (Rutgers), Joanna Lohman (Penn State), Aly Wagner (Santa Clara), Kim Yokers (California);
Forwards (6): Abby Crumpton (Michigan), Mary McDowell (UNC), Alyssa Ramsey (UNC), Marcia Wallis (Stanford), Christie Welsh (Penn State), Veronica Zepeda (Santa Clara).
— 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 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 25, 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.
MLS TEAMS AWAIT A-LEAGUE SQUADS IN THIRD ROUND: The 2002 U.S. Open Cup Third Round kicks off on July 16-17, with the eight Second Round 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 match-ups for the Third Round begin on July 16 with one encounter, as the Hampton Roads Mariners greet the MetroStars. The remaining Third Round matches will take place on 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.
FOX SPORTS WORLD, ESPANOL ANNOUNCE 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 two Quarterfinal games (on August 7, with kickoff times slated for 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET, respectively), 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).
FALLEN D3 PRO LEAGUE, PDL TEAMS SPLIT OPEN CUP PRIZE MONEY: The D3 Pro League’s Greenville Lions, New York, Freedoms, San Diego Gauchos, South Jersey Barons and Utah Blitzz will share the $10,000 in prize money reserved for the D3 team that advances the farthest. All five teams advanced to the Second Round of the 2002 Open Cup on June 25-26, but then they were eliminated in the Third Round by A-League squads on July 16-17. In the PDL, the Des Moines Menace and Raleigh CASL Elite both advanced to the Second Round will split the $10,000 bonus given to the amateur team that advances the farthest in the annual tournament.
— AROUND THE SOCCER WORLD —
MLS GETS ANOTHER BIG ATTENDANCE BOOST WITH FOURTH OF JULY CROWDS: As has become customary, MLS attendances again skyrocketed for the now-famous series of Fourth of July matches that promise all 10 teams in action as the nation celebrates its independence. This year was no exception, as both Colorado and Los Angeles drew crowds of over 55,000 to Invesco Field at Mile High and the Rose Bowl, respectively. In fact, both crowds placed among the top 10 all-time in the league’s seven-year history. The crowd at Invesco (61,213) was fifth on the list, while the Rose Bowl turnout placed ninth at 55,234. The following are the attendances for the five games that took on July 4:
Rapids 3, Fire 2 (at Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver - 61,213)
Galaxy 2, Earthquakes 1 (at The Rose Bowl, Pasadena - 55,234)
Wizards 2, United 1 (at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City - 19,641)
Burn 2, MetroStars 0 (at The Cotton Bowl, Dallas - 16,055)
Revolution 4, Crew 1 (at CMGI Field, Foxboro - 10,903)
2002 USASA NATIONAL CUP FINALS TO BE HELD IN OAKFORD, PA., FROM JULY 19-21: 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: The New England Revolution came up big in a busy week of MLS action, winning two big matches – a 4-1 win over Columbus on July 4 and a 2-0 win over D.C. on July 6 – in a span of three days to vault to The Revolution, while only 6-9-1 in 2002, ran their record to 5-1-1 in matches where they score in the first 11 minutes.
“All of America and a generation of soccer fans have waited a lifetime for a magical World Cup performance like this."
- MLS President Don Garber, commenting on the USA-MLS matchup set for the 2002 MLS All-Star Game at RFK Stadium on August 3.