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U.S. Soccer Wire: March 15, 2010


U.S. MNT TO FACE AUSTRALIA IN SOUTH AFRICA ON JUNE 5;
U.S. U-17 WNT REACH SEMIFINALS OF CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIP IN COSTA RICA  

U.S. TO MEET AUSTRALIA ON JUNE 5 IN ROODEPORT, SOUTH AFRICA: The United States will play Australia on June 5 in Roodepoort, South Africa, one week before playing its first match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Kickoff at Ruimsig Stadium in suburban Johannesburg is set for 2:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow along live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and at twitter.com/ussoccer. Australia, currently ranked No. 23 in the world, has qualified for its second consecutive FIFA World Cup. After making the second round in Germany as a side from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), the Socceroos switched to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) where they have asserted themselves as one of the strongest teams in the region. Australia posted a 6-0-2 record in the final round of AFC qualifying, allowing just one goal as they finished first in their group.

U.S. TO FACE CZECH REPUBLIC AND TURKEY IN SEND-OFF SERIES FOR 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP: The U.S. Men's National Team will face two of the traditionally stronger teams from Europe in the Czech Republic and Turkey in the Send-Off Series prior to departing for South Africa and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The USA will meet the Czech Republic on May 25 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., at 8 p.m. ET before playing its final home tune-up match against Turkey on May 29 in Philadelphia. The game in Hartford will be broadcast live on ESPN and Galavision, while kickoff at Lincoln Financial Field is set for 2 p.m. ET, with ESPN2 and Galavision providing the television broadcast. Fans can also follow the matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and at twitter.com/ussoccer.

U.S. Men’s National Team 2010 Schedule

ussoccer.com’s MNT Coverage – March 9 – March 15

U.S. U-17 WNT MARCH INTO SEMIFINALS OF CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER THREE LOPSIDED VICTORIES: The U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team posted an impressive 32 goals for and zero against en route to claiming top spot in Group A of the 2010 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship in Alajuela, Costa Rica. The young U.S. women opened the tournament with a 9-0 win against Haiti. The match was marked by an emotional display after the final whistle as the American players consoled their Haitian counterparts, who were obviously still affected by the tragic earthquake which struck their country in January. The U.S. followed up that performance with a 13-0 dismantling of the Cayman Islands on March 12 as Morgan Brian and Havana Solaun both recorded hat tricks. With qualification for the semifinal round intact, the U.S. met hosts Costa Rica yesterday and posted a 10-0 victory behind a Taylor Smith hat trick. The U.S. will now face Canada or Mexico in the semifinals on Thursday, March 18. The opponent and match time will be determined after Canada and Mexico face off for the top spot in Group B later tonight. After the Costa Rica match, the U.S. and Haiti players were reunited when each member of the U.S. team donated a backpack full of gear and two pairs of cleats to each player on the Haiti team. In a show of solidarity and admiration, U.S. defender Olivia Brannon read a letter from the U.S. team to the Haitian players which was translated into Creole.

U.S. U-17 WNT Schedule

 Date Opponent  Result  Goalscorers  Venue 
 March 10  Haiti   9-0 W  Doll, Smith (2), Roccaro, Brian, Horan (4)  Alejandro Morera Soto Stadium
 March 12  Cayman Islands  13-0 W  Horan (2), Brian (3), Torres, Solaun (3), Clark, Farrell (2), Smith  Alejandro Morera Soto Stadium
 March 14  Costa Rica  10-0 W  Smith (3), Doll, Horan (2), Torres, Gonzalez, Brian  Alejandro Morera Soto Stadium

Fox Soccer Channel Broadcast Schedule
Date               Opponent/Match     Time (ET)             TV/Video
March 18        Semifinal 1              8 p.m.                    FSC
March 18        Semifinal 2              11 p.m.                  FSC
March 22        Final                       3 p.m.                    FSC

WATCH THE U-17 WNT QUALIFYING GAMES LIVE ON CONCACAF.COM: U.S. Soccer fans will have the opportunity to watch all of the U.S. Under-17 WNT games during the CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championship in Costa Rica live via streaming video at CONCACAF.com. The service is free with fans simply required to register on the site. All 16 games will be available live at CONCACAF.com's video portal, CONCACAF TV, and will also be viewable on-demand at the same location shortly after the conclusion of each match.

ussoccer.com’s U-17 WNT Coverage – March 9 – March 15

  U.S. WOMEN RETAIN WORLD’S TOP RANKING: The U.S. Women’s National Team once again sits atop the FIFA Women’s World Rankings after an impressive four-game run at the Algarve Cup in Portugal where the Americans defeated the seventh, fourth and second ranked teams in the world. The USA downed No. 2 Germany in the championship game by a 3-2 score. Brazil is third, followed by Sweden, Korea DPR and Japan (tied for No. 5), Norway, England and France (tied for No. 8), and Canada, which got back into the top-10 at the expense of Denmark, which did not perform well at the Algarve Cup. Japan’s No. 5 standing is its highest since the introduction of the rankings. In all, 105 international matches were played around the world since the previous edition of the world ranking last June. The Algarve Cup, the Cyprus Women’s Cup and the many qualifying matches for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™ have seen 14 teams return to the ranking after what was in some cases a long absence. The next FIFA Women’s World Ranking will be published on May 28, 2010.

SUNDHAGE ANNOUNCES 24-PLAYER ROSTER TO FACE MEXICO TWICE IN MARCH: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named 24 players to a training camp surrounding two matches against Mexico in late March. The first match will be on March 28 at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego and March 31 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, the home of reigning Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake. The second match which will be in San Diego, and will kick off at 2 p.m. PT and will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español. The match in Utah will kick off at 7 p.m. MT and be televised live on ESPN2. Fans can follow both matches online via ussoccer.com MatchTracker and at twitter.com/ussoccer.

U.S. WNT Roster by Position Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3)
: Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Whitney Engen (Chicago Red Stars), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC), Brittany Taylor (Sky Blue FC), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (St. Louis Athletica), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (6): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (California), Casey Nogueira (Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O’Hara (FC Gold Pride), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

U.S. Women’s National Team 2010 Schedule

ussoccer.com’s WNT Coverage – March 9 – March 15

ADDITIONAL USA FAN TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP MATCHES: U.S. Soccer has announced there will be an additional sales phase of 2010 FIFA World Cup tickets for matches involving the U.S. Men’s National Team from Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. ET until April 7, 2010. While the June 12 match against England is sold out, there are still tickets available in the U.S. fan section for the other two group matches. With excitement building towards the opening of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the organizers are making more tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability, for U.S. citizens and residents interested in sitting in USA fan sections.

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-23 WNT FALLS TO FREEDOM, BEATS MIAMI DURING FLORIDA TRAINING CAMP: The U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team finished up a week-long training camp in Sunrise, Fla., last weekend that included matches against the Washington Freedom and the University of Miami. The USA fell to the Freedom, which is deep into their pre-season training, by a 2-0 score as Kristin Arnold and Natalie Kulla split time in goal. The U.S. team fell victim to an Abby Wambach goal in the 38th minute and then let in another with just seconds left in the match. The U-23s rebounded to beat the University of Miami 4-1 getting goals from Whitney Hooper and Mariah Nogueira before Danielle Foxhoven scored twice in a three-minute span, the first off a penalty kick, to seal the match. Rachel Shipley had two assists, setting up Nogueira’s goal and Foxhoven’s second. Jillian Mastroianni started in goal against Miami before giving way to Kulla in the 67th minute.

Date               Opponent                            Result       U.S. Goal Scorer(s)                           Venue
March 9          Washington Freedom         0-2 L             --                                                  Vero Beach, Fla.
March 10        Univ. of Miami                   4-1 W          Hooper, Nogueira, Foxhoven (2)        Sunrise, Fla.

U.S. U-23 WNT Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Kristin Arnold (Texas A&M; Centennial, Colo.), Natalie Kulla (Marquette; St. Louis, Mo.), Jillian Mastroianni (Boston College; Durham, Conn.)
DEFENDERS (7): Lauren Barnes (UCLA; Upland, Calif.), Jackie Carron (Michigan; Rochester Hills, Mich.), Lauren Fowlkes (Notre Dame; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Liz Harkin (Arizona State; Granite Bay Calif.), Megan Jesolva  (California; La Mirada, Calif.), Lindsey Kowal (Harvard; East Meadow, N.Y.), Jessica Tsao (Portland; Portland, Ore.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Amanda DaCosta (Florida State; Katonah, N.Y.), Alexandra Elston (Arizona State; Phoenix, Ariz.), Sinead Farrelly (Virginia; Havertown, Pa.), Mariah Nogueira (Stanford; Westminster, Calif.), Eli Reed (Portland; Park City, Utah), Rachel Shipley (Texas A&M; Plano, Texas), Keelin Winters (Portland; Englewood, Colo.), Kylie Wright (UCLA; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
FORWARDS (6): Danielle Foxhoven (Portland; Littleton, Colo.); Sarah Hagen (Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Appleton, Wis.), Melissa Henderson (Notre Dame; Garland, Texas), Whitney Hooper (Texas A&M; Houston, Texas), Whitney Palmer (Oklahoma; Plano, Texas), Danielle Toney (Penn State; Northville, Mich.)

RONGEN SET TO BRING 20 TO DALLAS CUP: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has announced a 20- player team that will compete in the upcoming Dallas Cup. The group will come together on March 25 in Dallas, and will serve as the tournament’s opening game when facing Mexico on Sunday, March 28, in the stadium at Pizza Hut Park at 7 p.m. CT. As part of the Super Group, Rongen’s squad will also face the Vancouver Whitecaps on March 29 at 2:30 p.m. CT and Eintrecht Frankfurt inside the stadium on March 31 at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for all of the games can be purchased at dallascup.com. Joining the U.S. in Dallas will be a mix of youth national team veterans and newcomers, which include youth players and newly signed Francisco Navas Cobo from the Houston Dynamo and Tigres’ Moises Orozco. Zac MacMath and Kofi Sarkodie, who were teammates at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, while Will Packwood, Tyler Polak and Jared Watts played in the 2009 edition of the tournament. Dillon Powers and Amobi Okugo were part of the previous U-20 cycle, with Powers featuring for the U.S. at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup and Okugo part of the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. 

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster By Position                                                            
GOALKEEPERS (2): Justin Luthy (Boston College; Dublin, Ohio), Zac MacMath (Maryland; St. Petersburg, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (7): Chad Barson (Akron; Lewis Center, Ohio), Jesus Gonzalez (CZ Elite; Burbank, Calif.), Ian Hines-Ike (Chivas USA Academy; Littleton, Colo.), Tyler Polak (CSA Legacy; Lincoln, Neb.), Kofi Sarkodie (Akron; Huber Heights, Ohio), Zarek Valentin (Akron; Lancaster, Pa.), Jared Watts (Wake Forest; Statesville, N.C.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Jose Altamirano (San Diego State; San Diego, Calif.), Bryan De La Fuente (Chivas USA Academy; Bell, Calif.), Ruben Gonzalez (Chivas USA; Hawaiian Gardens, Calif.), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union; Sacramento, Calif.), Will Packwood (Birmingham City; Concord, Mass.), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), Cesar Zamora (Chivas USA Academy; Sylmar, Calif.)
FORWARDS (4): Will Bates (Virginia; Chester, Va.), Ryan Finley (Duke; Lumberton, N.J.), Francisco Navas Cobo (Houston Dynamo; Richmond, Texas), Moises Orozco (Tigres; Oxnard, Calif.)

U.S. U-20 WNT CONTINUES PREPARATIONS FOR GERMANY 2010 IN FLORIDA: U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis and 24 players are in Gainesville, Fla., for a training camp until March 21 that will feature matches against two Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) clubs. Ellis is without several regulars due to school commitments, but will give a look to several new players as she continues to formulate a roster that will take part in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this summer in Germany. The U.S. U-20s will face the host University of Florida on Monday, March 15 at 5:30 p.m. and take on the Boston Breakers on Wednesday, March 17 at 3 p.m. Both of those matches will take place at the University of Florida.  The U.S. U-20s will finish the schedule of scrimmages against the Atlanta Beat at Flagler College on Friday, March 19 at 7 p.m. 

U.S. U-20 WNT Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adriana Franch (Oklahoma State; Salina, Kansas), Bianca Henninger (Santa Clara; Los Gatos, Calif.), Kelsey Wys (Florida State; Coral Springs, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (7): Cloee Colohan (Portland; West Point, Utah), Vicki DiMartino (Boston College; Massapequa, N.Y.), Danielle Hubka (Maryland; Strongsville, Ohio), Kendall Johnson (Portland; Portland, Ore.), Toni Pressley (Florida State; Melbourne, Fla.), Rachel Quon (Stanford; Lake Forrest, Ill.), Courtney Verloo (Stanford; Portland, Ore.)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Amber Brooks (North Carolina; New Hope, Pa.), Charney Burk (Portland; North Tuscan, Calif.), Kelly Coheeney (Virginia Tech; Ridgewood, N.J.), Elizabeth Eddy (So Cal Blues; Costa Mesa, Calif.), Katy Frierson (Auburn; Birmingham, Ala.), Kayla Grimsley (South Carolina; Lakeland, Fla.), Kristie Mewis (Boston College; Hanson, Mass.), Samantha Mewis (Scorpion SC; Hanson, Mass.), Jenna Richmond (McLean SC; Centreville, Va.), Casey Short (Florida State; Naperville, Ill.)
FORWARDS (4): Sade Ayinde (Maryland; North Bellmore, N.Y.), Maya Hayes (Aristocats; West Orange, N.J.), Courtney Jones (North Carolina; Danville, Calif.), Tiffany McCarty (Florida State; Laurel, Md.)

U.S. U-17 MNT WILL FACE 10 DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY CLUBS FROM MARCH UNTIL MAY: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team faced Development Academy club PDA on Thursday, March 11, in the first of 10 matches against Academy clubs throughout the country. The 10-game tour provides the U.S. U-17 MNT and Academy players a chance to play against high-quality competition in different professional environments. The U.S. will play against four Academy clubs affiliated with an MLS team and five other Development Academy clubs. All four scheduled matches against MLS Development Academy clubs will be played as a doubleheader with an MLS game.

U-15 BOYS NATIONAL TEAM TRAINING CAMP UNDERWAY IN BRADENTON, FLA.: The U.S. U-15 Boy’s National Team has convened in Bradenton, Fla., for the start of a 10-day training camp under head coach Jim Barlow. The camp will be held alongside the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team training, as all but one of the 36 players were born in 1995 (the lone exception being Emerson Hyndman, born in 1996) and are eligible to play in the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup. There are 15 players who participate in U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy, playing against players as much as two to three years older than they are, as the U-15/16 consists of players born on or after Jan. 1, 1993. Six more players are part of Academy clubs, but do not yet play in the Academy.  The U-15 BNT will train twice per day at the IMG Academies, scrimmaging the U-17 MNT late in the week.

U.S. U-15 BNT Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Arthur Eggers (CESA; Moore, S.C.), Ethan Horvath (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Zachary Steffen (FC DELCO; Downington, Penn.)
DEFENDERS (9): Feliciano Charles (CD Chivas; Grand Prairie, Texas), Dylan Greenberg (Albertson SC; Dix Hills, N.Y.), Trevor Haberkorn (Solar SC; Roanoke, Texas), Matthew Habrowski (Derby County Wolves; Berkley, Mich.), Edvin Ibrahimovich (Rockford Raptors; Machesney Park, Ill.), Dakotah Millard (South Carolina United; Hopkins, S.C.), Christian Sady (New England Revolution; North Andover, Mass.), Jacob Smith (Concorde Fire; Atlanta, Ga.), Manuel Villegas Jr. (Merced Atlas; Winton, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (19): Osvaldo Chavez Jr. (Mexicas FC; El Paso, Texas), Christian DeLuna (Mustang SC; Bay Point, Calif.), Marco Delgado (LAFC Chelsea; Glendora, Calif.), Nicholas Gaitan (Albertson SC; Oceanside, N.Y.), Emerson Hyndman (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Anthony Jeffries (Chicago Fire; Downers Grove, Ill.), Shane Kronick (NY Red Bulls; Westfield, N.J.), Ismael Longo (Weston FC; Weston Fla.), Emilio Lopez (Madison FC; Madison, Wisc.), Antonio Murillo (Brazil FC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Jose Navarro (Banata Soccer Club; Surprise, Ariz.), Misael Osorio (Arsenal SC; Moreno Valley, Calif.), Miguel Polley (Derby County Wolves; San Diego, Calif.), Christian Rodriguez (LMVS Hawks; Alexandria, Virg.), Michael Sullivan (De Anza Force; Redwood City, Calif.), John Toher (NY Red Bulls; Blauvelt, N.Y.), Patrick Tshiani (Bethesda SC; Bethesda, Md.), Travis Wannemuehler (Evansville SC; Evansville, Ind.), Henry Wingo (Crossfire Premier SC; Lake Forest Park, Wash.)
FORWARDS (5): Pablo Aguilar (IMG Academy; Guatemala City, Guatemala) Paul Arriola (Chula Vista Rangers; Chula Vista, Calif.), Lynden Gooch (Santa Cruz Breakers; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Ben Spencer  (New Mexico Rush; Albuquerque, N.M.), Antonio Velasquez (Neusport; Las Vegas, Nev.)

U.S. U-15 GNT “CARRY OVER” CAMP COMES TO THE HDC IN LATE MARCH: The U.S. Under-15 National Team will bring 24 players to The Home Depot Center from March 20-27 for what will be a final training camp – or more aptly an extension – for the cycle of last year’s U-15s who were born mostly in 1994. This year’s U-15 Girls’ National Team players were born in 1995, but the March camp at The Home Depot Center for the 94s serves dual purposes. First, to provide a look at any players who might still be able to help the 2010 U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team that is currently in Costa Rica at the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championships, and second, to give additional programming for a group of players who comprise the core age group of players attempting to qualify for the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup. Of the 24 players selected by U.S. head coach Mike Dickey, 20 were born in 1994, three in 1995 and one in 1993. The U-15s will play several matches during the week against local girls’ clubs and college teams.

U.S. U-15 GNT Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Caroline Casey (Virginia Rush; Chesapeake, Va.), McKenzie Karas (Premier Black; Las Vegas, Nev.), Carissa Miller (Sereno Soccer Club; Cave Creek, Az.)
DEFENDERS (6): Morgan Andrews (FC Stars of Massachusetts; Milford, N.H.), Lauren Bernard (Arsenal World Class; Colchester, Vt.), Margo McGinty (Albertson SC;  Levittown, N.Y.), Katie Naughton (Sockers FC; Arlington Heights, Ill.), Rachel Price (Lady Renegades; Melbourne Beach, Fla.) Maya Theuer (San Diego Surf; Carlsbad, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Stephanie Amack (Mustang Blast; Pleasanton, Calif.), Katherine Bettinger (Marin FC; Belvedere, Calif.), Summer Green (Michigan Hawks; Milford, Mich.), Caroline Lindquist (CASL Spartan Elite Black; Raleigh, N.C.), Ashley Meier (Cleveland Whitecaps; Strongsville, Ohio), Reilly Parker (Mustang Blast; Danville, Calif.), Ryan Walker (Mustang Soccer Club; Oakland, Calif.), Haley Washburn (San Juan Soccer Club; Folsom, Calif.), Danielle Weatherholt (So Cal Blues; Capistrano Beach, Calif.)
FORWARDS (6): Hayley Dowd (FC Stars of Massachusetts; Peabody, Mass.), Gabrielle Galanti (Montclair Thunderbolts; Howell, N.J.), Jasmine Paterson (Kendall Soccer Shores; Key Largo, Fla.), Corey Persson (Stars of Massachusetts; Danvers, Mass.), Courtney Proctor (Santa Clarita Blazers; Santa Clarita, Calif.), Brittany Ratcliffe (FC Pennsylvania Strikers; Williamstown, N.J.)

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

USA BID CONTINUES ITS PUSH TO GATHER SUPPORT: With just more than 10 months to go before FIFA’s decision on the host nations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups™, the USA Bid Committee continues to gather support for their cause. The power of our movement ultimately lies in the number of Americans who stand behind the bid and proclaim to the world "The Game is in US." We invite you to tell your family, friends, neighbors and teammates that you want the FIFA World Cup™ to come to the United States -- and ask them to join our grassroots movement. Learn how to help us spread the word about The United States’ bid for the FIFA World Cup™ all across the Internet by visiting the Bid Committee’s official site.

U.S. SOCCER SUMMER NATIONAL COACHING SCHOOLS ANNOUNCED: U.S. Soccer’s National Coaching Schools for the “A,” “B” and “C” License Courses will take place throughout the month of June in four locations across the United States.  Summer “A” Audit, “A,” “B” and “C” courses are set for June 5-13 at Darlington School in Rome, Ga. and “B” and “C” courses will take place at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Northfield Mount Hermon School in Northfield, Mass., will host “A” Audit, “A,” “B” and “C” License courses June 17-25 and a National “A” Audit, “A” and “B” course will take place June 19-27 Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Ill.

CHAMPIONS CROWNED AT 2010 US YOUTH SOCCER ODP CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 2010 US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) Champions were crowned yesterday at Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Ariz.  These state-level US Youth Soccer ODP 1993 and 1994 Boys and Girls teams, Under-16 and Under-15, earned their way to the ODP Championships by way of winning their respective regional championships. Eagerly seeking the top youth talent in the country, collegiate and national team coaches observed the US Youth Soccer ODP Championship players during these matches. The participants represent the future of American soccer at the collegiate and international levels. Brief recaps from the championship final and consolation matches are available at www.USYouthSoccer.org.

2009-2010 US YOUTH SOCCER NATIONAL LEAGUE TO COMPLETE SEASON THIS WEEKEND IN VEGAS: US Youth Soccer National League Under-15, Under-16 and Under-17 boys’ and girls’ teams will resume league play March 19-21 at Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex in Las Vegas as a part of the 2010 Player's Soccer Showcase.  Games will feature four of eight boys and girls teams per age group. At the end of the weekend, the national league champions and the remaining 10 of 12 League qualifiers for the 2010 US Youth Soccer National Championships will be determined. The Under-15 Girls Dallas Texans 95 Red and Under-17 Boys GSA Phoenix (Ga.) have already secured a seat at the national championships via league success.  Follow all of the action at www.USYouthSoccer.org.

US YOUTH SOCCER GRANTS AWARDED TO 39 BENEFICIARIES: US Youth Soccer today announces the 39 recipients of its 13th annual grants cycle. In all, through its partnership with adidas, US Youth Soccer awarded over $122,000 of adidas merchandise to 39 different groups nationwide for player development (10 TOPSoccer, 14 Soccer Across America and 15 Recreation groups for soccer development).  To date, US Youth Soccer has awarded more than $2 million in grant support since 1998 to grow the game.  Also, for the first year, Kwik Goal, the official goal and field equipment supplier of US Youth Soccer, has also donated 40 Infinity® goal sets that have been allocated to select recipients in addition to their adidas equipment.  Learn more at www.USYouthSoccer.org.

*** CENTER CIRCLE SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Clint Dempsey returned from injury this past week in a substitute appearance for Fulham in their Europa League clash with Juventus on Thursday. The Texas native then got the nod in the London club’s starting IX over the weekend as he continues his progression toward full match fitness.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: The U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team will face either Mexico or Canada in the semifinal of the 2010 CONCACAF U-17 Championship on Thursday, March 18. The time and opponent will be determined today, March 15, when Canada and Mexico face off in their Group B finale. The crucial match will see the winner not only qualify for the final of the tournament, but also secure a berth to the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad & Tobago.

SOCCER SHOCKER: While playing for Italian side AC Milan this Sunday, David Beckham ruptured his left Achilles tendon and looks to miss out on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. England’s most capped player will be out for an expected 6 months after undergoing surgery in Finland with a specialist.

QUOTABLE: “I saw her crying and that was pretty hard for me to see. She’s a ‘keeper and we have that bond. I knew that she had probably lost people close to her and when she goes home she might not have anywhere to go. I gave her a big hug and told her she did great. She came to compete in this tournament despite all that she’s been through and I have tremendous respect for her.” – U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin on her post-match moment with Haiti goalkeeper Alexandra Coby

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