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U.S. Soccer Wire - November 5, 2007


2007 “BEST OF U.S. SOCCER AWARDS CALL FOR NOMINATIONS;
U.S. BEACH SOCCER TEAM FACES PORTUGAL IN LAST GROUP MATCH AT
2007 FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP;
U.S. PARALYMPIC TEAM KICKS OFF CPISRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

NOMINATE YOUR FAVORITES FOR THE 2007 "BEST OF U.S. SOCCER" AWARDS: It’s been a great 2007 for U.S. Soccer, but there’s still one more thing left: ussoccer.com’s Best of U.S. Soccer awards! The annual series, presented by Soccer America, the No. 1 soccer magazine in the United States, is in its sixth year and once again U.S. Soccer fans will be handing out the honors. The final round of voting for all categories in the 2007 Best of U.S. Soccer awards will begin on Tuesday, Nov. 13, but over the next week we need help in paring down the options and coming up with a list of finalists for four of the 11 categories: Best Soccer Bar, Best Soccer Store, Best all_access Video (watch) and our newest category, Best Soccer Blog. To get in on the 2007 Best of U.S. Soccer nomination process all you need to do is email to mailto:centercircle@ussoccer.org?subject=Best%20of%20U.S.%20Soccer%20Nominations with a list of your choices for the four awards.

U.S. BEACH SOCCER TEAM DROPS ONE, WINS ONE AT WORLD CUP: The U.S. Beach Soccer Team faces Portugal in their third and final Group B match on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the 2007 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. The U.S. must tie or win against Portugal to advance to the next round. The U.S. dropped their first match of the tournament, 8-4, to Spain on Friday (Nov. 2), and defeated Iran, 7-6, in their second match on Sunday (Nov. 4). Fans can watch the U.S. face Portugal on same-day delay at 4:45 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and at 7 p.m. ET on Galavision.

Date       Opponent                    Result    U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
Nov. 2     Spain                            4-8 L      Xexeo, Ibsen, Albuquerque, Chimienti
Nov. 4     Iran                                7-6 W    Nolz (2), Chimienti (2), Morales, Astorga, Ibsen
Nov. 6     Portugal
Nov. 8     Quarterfinals*
Nov. 10   Semifinals*
Nov. 11   Final / Third Place*
*If Necessary

U.S. Beach Soccer World Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Luis Montanez (Hayward, Calif.), 12-Bayard Elfvin (Portland, Ore.);
DEFENDERS (4): 3-Brendon Taguinod (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 5-Benyam Astorga (Miami, Fla.), 9-Zak Ibsen (San Francisco, Calif.), 10-Francis Farberoff (Miami Beach, Fla.);
FORWARDS (6): 2-Jevin Albuquerque (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 4-Yuri Morales (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 6-Ronnie Silva (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 7-Josh Nolz (Virginia Beach, Va.), 8-Anthony Chimienti (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), 11-Raphael Xexeo (Lawndale, Calif.)

PARALYMPIC TEAM KICKS OFF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team head coach Jay Hoffman and a 12-man roster traveled to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2007 Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association World Championships. The tournament, which kicked off Monday (Nov. 5), will last through Nov. 17. The Paralympic team was drawn into Group A, along with Iran, the Netherlands and Spain. The U.S. team fell to the Netherlands, 3-0, in their first match and will next face Iran on Wednesday, Nov. 7 before closing out group play on Nov. 9 against Spain. It is the second trip to Rio this year for the Paralympians, who finished in fourth place at the 2007 Para PanAmerican Games earlier this year. Second round games begin Nov. 12 with matches for the bottom two finishers in each group. The quarterfinals take place Nov. 13, with the semifinals occuring on Nov. 15 and the final on Nov. 17.

U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team Group Schedule
Date      Opponent       Result
Nov. 5   Netherlands   0-3 L
Nov. 7   Iran
Nov 9    Spain

U.S. Men’s Paralympic National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (1): Keith Johnson (Houston, Texas)
DEFENDERS (4): Chris Ahrens (Rochester, N.Y.), Derek Arneaud (E. Stroudsburg, Pa.), Louis Garrett (Columbus, Ohio), John Theobald (Syracuse, N.Y.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Tommy Latsch (Cleveland, Ohio), Jon McCullough (Washington, D.C.), Josh McKinney (Cary, N.C.), Shaun Schetka (New Brighton, Pa.), Jason Slemons (Eagle River, Alaska)
FORWARDS (2): Josh Blue (Denver, Colo.), Marthell Vazquez (Long Beach, Calif.)

MNT TO FACE SWEDEN IN FIRST MATCH OF 2008: Six months prior to the start of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the United States Men’s National Team will play its first match of 2008 against Sweden on Saturday, Jan. 19, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., at 5:30 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel. Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Tickets ranging in price levels from $18 to $55 and special edition U.S. Soccer on-field seats for $150 are now on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone (213-480-3232 in L.A.; 714-740-2000 in Orange County; 619-220-8497 in San Diego), at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Southern California (including Macy's, Wherehouse Music, FYE and Ritmo Latino), and at The Home Depot Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com or by calling 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (a special VIP package which includes a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. national team jersey with your name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits), are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-18 MNT RETURNS FROM LIMOGES TOURNAMENT IN FRANCE: The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team finished the Limoges Tournament in France with a 0-2-1 record. After a one-day delay before their trip to France, the U.S. took on the host country on Oct. 31, just 24 hours after arriving, and fell, 3-1, with Billy Schuler scoring the lone American goal. The following night, the squad lost to Turkey, also a 3-1 defeat, with Shane Cooke getting on the score sheet for the U.S. In their final match against Scotland on Nov. 3, the U.S. took away their only point of the trip with a 1-1 draw. Bryan Dominguez scored the game-tying goal on a direct free kick in the 23rd minute. U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen was leading the team as part of early preparations for the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

Limoges Tournament Results
Date        Opponent    Result    U.S. Goal Scorer
Oct. 30    France          1-3 L      Schuler
Oct. 31    Turkey           1-3 L      Cooke
Nov. 3     Scotland        1-1 T      Dominguez

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

FIFA ANNOUNCES 2011 WWC AND 2014 WC HOSTS: FIFA announced on Tuesday that Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Germany will stage the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The selection of Brazil came as no surprise as after Colombia withdrew their proposal, it was the only South American country with a bid to host the tournament under FIFA’s rotating system, an idea which a day earlier was abandoned starting with the 2018 tournament. Two-time defending Women’s World Cup champion Germany beat out Canada, the only other remaining bidder in the running to stage the women’s tournament in 2011. Germany held the highly successful 2006 FIFA World Cup less than two years ago. This will be the sixth Women’s World Cup staged by FIFA and just the second in Europe, after the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup was held in Sweden. Two Women’s World Cups have been held in China (1991, 2007) and two in the United States (1999, 2003).

MLS NAMES SEVERAL END OF SEASON AWARD WINNERS: New England Revolution defender Michael Parkhurst was named the 2007 Visa Defender of the Year, Kansas City Wizards forward Eddie Johnson was named Comeback Player of the year and U.S. Soccer referee Brian Hall was named 2007 Official Sports International (OSI) Referee of the Year. The Visa Defender of the Year and the MLS Comeback Player of the Year award were determined by equal voting from the media, MLS players and MLS coaches and general managers. The OSI Referee of the Year was determined by equal voting from the media, MLS players, MLS coaches and general managers and MLS referees. In the first set of awards, Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan was named Major League Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year for 2007. Parkhurst earned the Kraft Fair Play Award, the Columbus Crew earned the MLS Team Fair Play Award, D.C. United's Luciano Emilio won the Budweiser Golden Boot and Chicago's Diego Gutierrez won the U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award. The remaining award winners will be posted on MLSnet.com as they are announced.

Major League Soccer Awards
Award                                           Winner
Goalkeeper of the Year             Brad Guzan (Chivas USA)
Fair Play Award                           Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
Team Fair Play Award                Columbus Crew
Golden Boot                                 Luciano Emilio (D.C. United)
Humanitarian of the Year           Diego Gutierrez (Chicago Fire)
Defender of the Year                   Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
Comeback Player of the Year    Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards)
Referee of the Year                      Brian Hall

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DARTFISH TECHNOLOGY: Dartfish is offering free Webinars to demonstrate the benefits of the Connect Plus product. Sign up at https://www.gotomeeting.com/register/206453530 for the next 30-minute educational online seminar on Nov. 8 at 11:30 a.m. ET. Get the competitive edge U.S. National Team coaches have by using the same tools they use. Whether you’re reviewing game footage, analyzing techniques or preparing for your next competition, Dartfish offers an array of video analysis software to make a difference in your program. Learn more at dartfish.com.

2007 USL HALL OF FAME CLASS ANNOUNCED: Charlotte Eagles head coach Mark Steffens, former Long Island Rough Rider Giovanni Savarese and former Richmond Kicker Rob Ukrop were announced as the 2007 inductees for the United Soccer Leagues Hall of Fame. They will be inducted at the USL Annual General Meeting on Nov. 18 in Tampa, Fla., along with six 10+ clubs: the Bradenton Academics, Indiana Invaders, Kansas City Brass, Northern Virginia Royals, Vermont Voltage and Western Mass Pioneers, who were all founded in 1998.

2007 USL Hall of Fame Inductees
Mark Steffens
Giovanni Savarese
Rob Ukrop

10+ Clubs
Bradenton Academics
Indiana Invaders
Kansas City Brass
Northern Virginia Royals
Vermont Voltage
Western Mass Pioneers

USL PDL EXPANDS TO PANAMA CITY, FLA.: United Soccer Leagues announced on Thursday (Nov. 1) that a new club will be added to the Premier Development League for the 2008 season. The Panama City (Fla.) Pirates, as the team will be called, will represent Panama City Beach and the Bay County Area. “Panama City Beach is the perfect area and a great market for a USL PDL soccer team,” said Carey Turner, who was named General Manager of the Pirates. “Our goal is to offer sports entertainment at its best and a competitive soccer team that the local soccer fans can identify with and call their own.”

U.S. SOCCER WINTER COACHING SCHOOLS SET: U.S. Soccer's National Coaching Schools have been set for the first week of January, giving every coach a chance to obtain a FIFA recognized “A”, “B” or “C” level license while increasing their knowledge of the game. All January "A," "B" and "C" coaching schools will take place from Jan. 2-10, 2007, in three warm-weather locations. The National “A” License course will take place at the University of Tampa in Tampa, Fla., and The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The National “B” and “C” License courses will be offered at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and a soon to be announced West Coast site. Also in January is the third edition of U.S. Soccer's National Goalkeeping License course, which will be held Jan. 4-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. More information is available in the Coaches Section of ussoccer.com.

U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM NOMINATED FOR “PREMIO DE LA GENTE” AWARD: The U.S. Men’s National Team has been nominated for one of the 2007 El Premio de la Gente Awards, up against Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay for “Most Popular International Soccer Team of the Year.” Vote for the U.S. Men at http://www.votaelpremio.com/index.php. It is the first year that sports are included in the award, which has previously been the “Premio de la Gente” Music Awards.

NOMINATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR 2008 WERNER FRICKER BUILDER AWARD: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2008 U.S. Soccer Werner Fricker Builder Award, which is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer, without regard to personal recognition or advancement. The award was created in 2002 and is the greatest recognition bestowed by U.S. Soccer on its membership. The award is designed to honor those who have created or fostered programs that will outlast their own active involvement in the sport and that establish a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States. Interested persons can nominate individuals for the annual Werner Fricker Builder Award by downloading the form at ussoccer.com and mailing it to U.S. Soccer, c/o the Werner Fricker Builder Award Committee, 1801 S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616 or emailing it to wernerfrickeraward@ussoccer.org. This form is also available at ussoccer.com, and applications must be postmarked or sent by January 1, 2008 (download application).

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: After a win over Iran, the U.S. is poised to progress to the knockout stage of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Rio De Janiero. Though they suffered an opening round loss to Spain, the U.S. bounced back with a win over Iran and can advance to the next round with a win or a tie against Portugal on Nov. 6. Former MNT player Zak Ibsen scored the winning goal against Iran, and will look to lead the U.S. team into the knockout stages of the competition. Tuesday’s game will be shown delayed on ESPN2 at 4:45 pm ET and at 7 p.m. ET on Galavision.

SOCCER SHOCKER: The debate concerning the merit of the MLS Playoff system will surely come to a head this week, as both number one seeds were eliminated from the postseason in the opening round. Chicago Fire again asserted their playoff domination over D.C. United, and held on for a 3-2 aggregate win. Meanwhile in the Western Conference, top seed Chivas USA were unceremoniously eliminated by the Kansas City Wizards. This marks the fourth consecutive year that at least one top seed has been sent home in the first round of the playoffs.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The stage is set for the MLS Conference Finals as the Chicago Fire battles the New England Revolution at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Nov. 8, live on ESPN2 for the Eastern Conference title. The Major League Soccer playoffs continue on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports en Español and HDNet, when the Kansas City Wizards and Houston Dynamo duke it out for the Western Conference title and a spot in the 2007 MLS Cup.

QUOTABLE: “We've played Chicago 38 million times since I've been here. [The Fire] are playing really well, they believe in the system, and that makes them very strong. It's going to be a battle. We've played them almost every year in the playoffs and that says a lot for both franchises.”
-- New England Revolution forward Taylor Twellman told the Boston Globe following the Revs’ 1-0 win against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, Nov. 3, leading them into the Eastern Conference championship against the Chicago Fire on Thursday, Nov. 8.

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