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U.S. Soccer Wire - October 9, 2006


U.S. Soccer Mourns the Loss of MNT Assistant Coach Glenn Myernick;
U.S. WNT Defeats Iceland, 2-1, and Prepares for Peace Queen Cup

REMEMBERING MOOCH: The entire U.S. Soccer family is mourning the loss of U.S. Men’s National Team assistant coach Glenn “Mooch” Myernick, who passed away on Monday morning after failing to regain consciousness following a heart attack he suffered on Thursday (Oct. 5). Myernick, 51, died peacefully surrounded by his wife Nancy, daughter Kelly and son Travis, at the North Suburban Medical Center in Thornton, Colo. (Myernick tribute) The family wishes to express their extreme gratitude for the outpouring of support they’ve received over the past few days from people around the country. Funeral arrangements will be private, and a celebration of the life of Glenn Myernick will be planned in the near future. The loss of Myernick, an assistant coach for the USA at the last two FIFA World Cups, is the loss of an American soccer pioneer who represented the U.S. at every level as a player and a coach across a lifetime of soccer success. Fans can send their memories of "Mooch" to ussoccer.com at mooch@ussoccer.org. ussoccer.com will post thoughts and memories of Myernick from his friends and fans throughout the coming days. “Glenn Myernick was a player and coach deeply passionate about soccer and life,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “Whether it was family, friends or soccer, ‘Mooch’ was the kind of person that embraced everything in life, loving every minute of it. He will truly be missed by all of us in the U.S. Soccer family, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Nancy and his children at this difficult time.”

WAMBACH SCORES TWICE IN U.S. WIN: The U.S. Women’s National Team finished its 2006 schedule of domestic friendly matches with a 2-1 victory against Iceland as forward Abby Wambach scored twice to pace the USA, including a dramatic game-winning goal two minutes into second half stoppage time after Iceland had equalized with one minute left in regulation. The U.S. team heads into a break before regrouping in late October to travel to South Korea for the 2006 Peace Queen Cup, to be held in six South Korean cities from Oct. 28-Nov. 4, and featuring eight women’s national teams. Six of the eight teams in the tournament have either already qualified or will likely be in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, including all three of the USA’s first-round opponents. The USA opens Group B play against Denmark on Oct. 29 in Kimhae in the southeastern part of South Korea. The USA will then play Australia on Oct. 31 in Cheonan, outside of Seoul, before finishing group play against North Korea on Nov. 2 in Suwon, also outside of Seoul. The championship match, featuring the winners of the two groups, is on Nov. 4 in Seoul. Group A features South Korea, Brazil, Italy and Nigeria. These will be the first-ever games for the U.S. women in South Korea. Following the Peace Queen Cup, the USA will go on a short break before reconvening at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., to train for the 2006 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, which will serve as qualifying for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The Women’s Gold Cup will be held Nov. 22 and 26 at The HDC.

U.S. WOMEN TO FACE WINNER OF MEXICO-T&T IN GOLD CUP SEMIFINAL: The United States Women’s National Team will face the winner of Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago in one semifinal of the 2006 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup on Wednesday, Nov. 22, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. In the other semifinal, Canada will face the winner of Jamaica vs. Panama. The Mexico-T&T and Jamaica-Panama first-round matches will take place at Tropical Park in Miami, Fla., on Nov. 19. The winners of the two semifinal matches will earn this region’s two direct berths to the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China. The USA and Canada were given byes to the semifinal stage of the Women’s Gold Cup. The Women’s Gold Cup championship and third-place match will take place on Sunday, Nov. 26, at The HDC with the winner of the consolation game earning a spot in a two-game, home-and-away playoff against Asian third-place finisher Japan for the final berth to WWC ’07.

– YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. UNDER-20 MNT IN FOUR-DAY CAMP IN SUNRISE, FLA.: The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team is participating in a four-day camp in Sunrise, Fla., that will last through Thursday, Oct. 12. The camp, which began Sunday (Oct. 8), will include a closed-door match against the Haiti Under-23 Men’s National Team on Oct. 11. Of the 18 players U.S. U-20 MNT head coach Thomas Rongen selected on the roster, 11 are professionals playing in Major League Soccer or overseas. With the late inclusion of midfielder Dax McCarty of FC Dallas, the three overseas players come from two teams, and the remaining seven professionals come from six MLS teams, with the L.A. Galaxy and Columbus Crew both providing two players. Along with the professional players, Rongen has invited in six college players, including Anthony Wallace of USF, who was a late addition to the roster. Half of the college players will be making their first appearance at an Under-20 camp. The match against Haiti will be the U.S. Under-20 MNT’s tenth international match of the year. The U.S. is 3-4-2 overall this year, with wins over Argentina, Canada and Wales. The U.S. is preparing for the 2007 Under-20 Final Round Qualifying Tournament, which will take place in Mexico and Panama next year. A total of eight teams – four in each group – will be looking to progress to the 2007 U-20 FIFA World Cup in Canada.

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team - Training Camp Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brian Perk (UCLA), Joe Willis (Denver)
DEFENDERS (4): Nick Cardenas (San Diego State), Amaechi Igwe (Santa Clara), Nathan Sturgis (L.A. Galaxy), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Freddy Adu (D.C. United), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Miguel Gonzalez (New England Revolution), Rodrigo Lopez (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Stephen McCarthy (Santa Clara), Danny Szetela (Columbus Crew), Anthony Wallace (USF)
FORWARDS (4): Rodrigo Hidalgo (USF), Quavas Kirk (L.A. Galaxy), Robbie Rogers (SC Heerenveen), Johann Smith (Bolton FC)


U.S. UNDER-17 '90 MNT PREPARES FOR MATCH AGAINST PERU IN ARGENTINA: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will face Peru on Tuesday, Oct. 10, in the second match of their month-long tour of South America (photos). In the first match, the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team was handed a 6-1 defeat by Uruguay at the Estadio Centenario, site of the inaugural World Cup final in 1930 (highlights). The loss snaps a six-match winning streak for the United States against international opponents. The U.S. was whistled for two red cards and four penalty kicks, including three penalties in the final 15 minutes. Team captain Jared Jeffries recorded the lone goal for the U.S., converting a free kick to keep the U.S. in the match in the first half. The Under-17s began their month-long tour by spending five days in Montevideo, Uruguay, before traveling to Argentina where they will split time training in Buenos Aires, San Luis and Rosario. U.S. Under-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth named a 24-player roster to travel to South America, while the remaining 16 players in U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program will remain in Bradenton, Fla., to continue to train and play games. The Under-17s are scheduled to play eight more matches during the 30-day tour. The U.S. will play five Argentina club youth teams and four international matches, two of which will be played as part the Four Nations Tournament in San Luis. During the trip, the players will continue their studies by taking classes on-line. The team will also have a Spanish professor traveling with the team from the University of Rosario.

U.S. U-17 MNT Uruguay-Argentina Camp Schedule
Date         Opponent            Result    U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
Oct. 5       Uruguay              1-6 L      Jared Jeffries
Oct. 10     Peru
Oct. 13     TBD (New Zealand or Argentina)
Oct. 16     River Plate
Oct. 19     TBD
Oct. 23     Rosario Central
Oct. 24     Newells Old Boys
Oct. 25     Paraguay
Oct. 28     Renato Cesarini



– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

U.S. PARALYMPIC TEAM REGROUPS FOR TRAINING CAMP IN CHULA VISTA, CALIF.: U.S. Paralympic head coach Jay Hoffman has called 12 players into a week-long training camp beginning Oct. 6 at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. During the camp, which ends Oct. 15, the U.S. will face Canada two times, the first on Oct. 10 at 3:45 p.m. and again on Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. At the camp, Hoffman will begin preparing his team for 2007, which will include the Parapan American Games and a World Championship. The site and dates for the World Championship, which will serve as qualification for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, have yet to be determined. Paralympian Josh Blue will not be with the team at the training camp due to previous commitments after winning the fourth season of NBC's Last Comic Standing (watch).

U.S. Paralympic Team Schedule
Date      Opponent   Time
Oct. 10  Canada       3:45 p.m.
Oct. 12  Canada       10 a.m.

U.S. Paralympic Team Roster
Chris Ahrens (Brockport, N.Y.)
Joe Chavez (Bonita, Calif.)
Louis Garrett (Columbus, Ohio)
Keith Johnson (Houston, Texas)
Tommy Latsch (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Sean Matsey (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Jon McCullough (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Josh McKinney (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Shaun Schetka (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Jason Slemons (Eagle River, Ark.)
Marthell Vazquez (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Dave Woosnam (Roswell, Ga.)


U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION OPENS 2007 GRANTS PROGRAM APPLICATION PROCESS: The grant application process for the U.S. Soccer Foundation's 2007 Annual Grants Program is open from now until Nov. 22 at ussoccerfoundation.org. With the exception of its All Conditions Fields Grants, the Foundation’s 2007 Grants will be focused exclusively on projects and programs that develop players, referees and coaches in economically disadvantaged urban areas. The Foundation’s All Conditions Fields Grants will continue to be available to projects serving all types of communities, with priority given to those All Conditions Fields projects serving players in economically disadvantaged urban areas. More information about the grants is available at ussoccerfoundation.org/grants.

U.S. Soccer Foundation Important Dates
Sept. 8     2007 Annual Grants Program Online Registration Commences
Nov. 22    Deadline to Submit Completed Application by 5 p.m. ET


*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: It’s not common that an opponent is chosen as the “Center Circle Peak Performer,” but after Sunday’s U.S. WNT 2-1 win against Iceland, goalkeeper Thora Helgadottir certainly deserves the honor. Helgadottir basically stood on her head, posting double-digit saves for Iceland before coming out in the 78th minute to a loud ovation from the crowd. With Wambach’s winning goal coming in extra time, who knows what the score would have been if Helgadottir had stayed in the match.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: In their final match before the 2006 Major League Soccer playoffs, most MLS teams know whether they will be kicking off in the playoffs or watching from home. However, only D.C. United and FC Dallas have clinched home-field advantage for the playoffs and teams are still fighting to see in what position they will end up and, hence, who they will face in the first round. New England will face Columbus, New York takes on Kansas City, Houston will host Colorado and Los Angeles will play FC Dallas for the second week in a row on Saturday. On Sunday, Chicago will travel to D.C. and Chivas USA will take on Real Salt Lake in the final match of the regular season.

SOCCER SHOCKER: Coming off of a 3-1 win against defending FIFA World Cup champions Italy in UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying, it seemed France, the World Cup runners up, would have no problem facing Scotland on Saturday (Oct. 7). But Scotland had other ideas. Scottish defender Gary Caldwell scored the only goal of the match at Hampden Park, securing a 1-0 win against Les Blues and handing them their first EURO qualifying loss since June 5, 1999, when qualifying for Euro 2000, which they eventually won.

QUOTABLE: “We lost a great person today. He was an unbelievable husband and father, and the finest soccer person I've ever come across in the United States. He was an amazing resource for soccer in this country. He will be sorely missed."
-- Former U.S. MNT Manager Bruce Arena on MNT assistant coach Glenn “Mooch” Myernick, who passed away Monday (Oct. 9) morning after suffering a heart attack on Thursday (Oct. 5).

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