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U.S. Soccer Wire: August 22, 2005


U.S. MNT Defeats Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 in World Cup Qualifier;
U.S. WNT Commemorates 20 Years of History

ONE STEP CLOSER TO GERMANY: The U.S. Men’s National Team beat Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 on Wednesday evening (Aug. 17) in an important World Cup qualifying match at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., to inch closer to qualifying for FIFA World Cup Germany 2006. The victory came courtesy of a second-minute goal from forward Brian McBride in front of 25,488 fans in Connecticut. With a win over Mexico, the U.S. would be guaranteed a spot in their fifth consecutive World Cup. Likewise, a tie against Mexico can also clinch a U.S. berth in the 2006 World Cup only if in the other two CONCACAF matches on Matchday 7, Trinidad & Tobago ties Guatemala and Costa Rica does not beat Panama. McBride’s early goal came just 91 seconds into the game on an easy pass from the left side of the penalty area from Bobby Convey, playing in his third straight qualifier for the U.S. The goal was created when midfielder John O’Brien shook off his marker in midfield and played a perfect ball into Convey, breaking behind a slow reacting Trinidad & Tobago defense. The goal for McBride moved him ahead of Earnie Stewart as the USA’s all-time leading goal scorer in World Cup qualifying play with 10 all-time strikes. The match, which was broadcast on ESPN2, also featured ESPN’s first soccer broadcast in High Definition.

U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM TURNS 20: It was 20 years ago on August 18 that the U.S. Women’s National Team took the field for the first-ever game, played in Jesolo, Italy. The U.S. WNT’s history began in the summer of 1985, when about 70 women’s soccer players convened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for the Olympic Sports Festival. It would be the first time women’s soccer was included in the event. A “paper team” had been picked in 1982, 1983 and 1984, but those squads never got together or played a match. This time it would be different. Then head coach Mike Ryan selected a squad that trained at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University before heading to Europe for a four-team tournament in Italy, dubbed the Mundialito or “Little World Cup.” On Aug. 18, 1985, the U.S. Women’s National Team played its first-ever match, facing host Italy in Jesolo. Some details of the 1-0 loss are lost in time but the significance of the match lives on. To commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the historic game, ussoccer.com tracked down 10 of the 12 players who were on the field at the very beginning, bringing back the voices of the past to relive a vital part of soccer history. Center Circle also took a look back at the first U.S. WNT game from the perspective of Mike Ryan, the first coach of the U.S. Click here to view.

HALL OF FAME TO INDUCT BALBOA, HARKES & RAMOS ON AUG. 29: U.S. Soccer greats John Harkes and Marcelo Balboa will celebrate their induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame on Monday, August 29 by playing in the Hall of Fame Game between their former clubs, D.C. United and the Colorado Rapids, this coming Monday in Oneonta, N.Y. The two former MLS and U.S. National Team standouts are being inducted into the hall along with former teammate Tab Ramos and "builder" Hank Steinbrecher and "veteran" Fernando Clavijo, who will coach the Rapids in the game. “I am very excited to pull on the Rapids shirt once again,” said Balboa in announcing his intentions to play in the match. “The bulk of my MLS career was in a Rapids jersey, so to be able to celebrate my induction by playing in it one more time will make the day even more special for me.” Harkes, who captained D.C. United to two MLS Championships in 1996 and 1997, will take the field for the black-and-red for the first time in more than seven years. “Those first two years were my chance to show U.S. soccer fans what I had learned in my years playing at the top of the English League,” Harkes said. “To be honored by induction into the Hall of Fame is certainly a very special moment in a soccer player’s career. To go into the Hall while playing with D.C. United in the Hall of Fame Game will be especially appropriate for me.” Ramos, a lifelong MetroStars midfielder, was also afforded a chance to play in the match, but instead will watch his former U.S. teammates from the sideline. “My MLS career was in the MetroStars strip. I can't imagine pulling on any other MLS uniform.”  Fans can watch the game at 1 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel. Tickets for the game at At-A-Glance Field on the Hall of Fame campus in Oneonta, N.Y., are still available to fans by calling 800-545-FAME (3263).

U.S. OPEN CUP QUARTERFINALISTS SQUARE OFF: Eight teams continue their quest for the 2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship this Wednesday (Aug. 24) night as the quarterfinals of the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history kicks off in four venues from coast to coast. Six teams from Major League Soccer and two teams from the United Soccer Leagues First Division are the remaining survivors of a field of 42 teams that began play on June 8. The winners of eight of the last nine U.S. Open Cup Championships are still alive in the 2005 tournament, with the three-time champion Chicago Fire leading the charge. The Rochester Raging Rhinos (USL1) are the last lower division team to win it all as the 1999 champions. The Minnesota Thunder (USL1) and San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) are the only clubs of the final eight with their team name not inscribed on the Dewar Cup. After the Wednesday night quarterfinal games, the winners advance to the semifinals on Sept. 14 two weeks before the 2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final is played on Sept. 28. More tournament information is available at ussoccer.com’s U.S. Open Cup competitions page.
2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals Schedule

2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals Schedule

-- U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE --

U.S. UNDER-17 RESIDENCY PROGRAM KICKS OFF MONDAY: U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 Residency Program will kick off its fall semester on Monday, Aug. 22, as all 40 players will arrive at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The players will conduct their first training session the following day on Tuesday, Aug. 23. In all, 24 players are returning to the residency program, while 16 players will be beginning their first semester under the instruction of head coach John Hackworth. The majority of the returning players will be vying for a spot on the U.S. roster for the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship, which will take place from Sept. 16-Oct. 2 in Peru. The U.S. opens the FIFA U-17 World Championship against North Korea (Korea DPR) on Sept. 17 at 12:45 p.m. CT, before facing Italy on Sept. 20 (3:30 p.m. CT) and concludes group play on September 23 (3:30 p.m. CT) against Ivory Coast. The U.S. will play their first two group matches against North Korea and Italy at Elias Aguirre Stadium in Chiclayo, before moving to Lima to face Ivory Coast at Nacional Stadium in their third and final group match. Every U.S. match at the World Youth Championship can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. For a complete residency roster, click here.

U-17 '88 MEN FALL TO MEXICO, FACE GAMBIA TWICE THIS WEEK: The U.S. Under-17 '88 Men's National Team fell to Mexico 2-1 on Saturday evening (Aug. 20) at East Central Hornets High School in San Antonio, Texas. [http://www.ussoccer.com/news/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=228643] The match, played on artificial turf, was preparation for the upcoming 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship. The majority of the matches during the tournament will be played on artificial turf, similar to the tournament two years ago in Finland. In an evenly contested match, Mexico was able to slip two goals by U.S. goalkeeper Bryant Rueckner in the second half. Mexico was reduced to 10 men after 80 minutes and Jeremy Hall was able to pull one back in the 89th minute for the U.S., but the Mexican defense was able to hold off their northern neighbors as they looked for the last-gasp equalizer. With less than a month away before competing in the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship, the U.S. will continue its preparations for tournament this week with two games against fellow World Championship qualifier Gambia at Eckerd College, facing the African nation on Friday, Aug. 26 and Sunday, Aug. 28. The U.S. was drawn in to Group C with North Korea, Italy and Ivory Coast, while Gambia is in Group D with Brazil, Qatar and the Netherlands. The U.S. opens against North Korea (Korea DPR) on Sept. 17 at 12:45 p.m. CT, before facing Italy on Sept. 20 (3:30 p.m. CT) and concludes group play on Sept. 23 (3:30 p.m. CT) against Ivory Coast. The U.S. will play their first two group matches against North Korea and Italy at Elias Aguirre Stadium in Chiclayo, before moving to Lima to face Ivory Coast in their third and final group match at Nacional Stadium. Every U.S. match at the World Youth Championship will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel and can be followed live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
U-17 MNT Schedule/Results
Date           Opponent    Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
Aug. 20      Mexico           1-2 L      Hall
Aug. 26      Gambia
Aug. 28      Gambia

ALL U.S. GAMES AT FIFA UNDER-17 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE TELEVISED ON FSC: All three of the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team’s games at the FIFA U-17 World Championship will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel, two of which will be shown live. Fox Soccer Channel will televise a total of 10 matches during the tournament (nine live) kicking off its coverage with a tape-delayed broadcast of the U.S.-North Korea match on Sept. 17 at 3 p.m. ET. The USA’s other two Group C matches will be televised live by FSC, showing the U.S.-Italy match on Sept. 20 at 4:30 p.m. ET and the U.S.-Ivory Coast match on Sept. 23 at 4:30 p.m. ET. FSC will also show one other group play match, broadcasting the Brazil-Netherlands match on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. ET, and will televise almost the entire second round, including two quarterfinal matches, both semifinals, the third place match and the final.
FIFA U-17 World Championship - Fox Soccer Channel Broadcast Schedule
Date         Group/Round    Teams                               Kickoff (ET)
Sept. 17             C                U.S.-North Korea            3 p.m. (delay)
Sept. 20             C                U.S.-Italy                           4:30 p.m.
Sept. 20             D                Brazil-Netherlands         7 p.m.
Sept. 23             C                U.S.-Ivory Coast              4:30 p.m.
Sept. 25    Quarterfinals    TBA  5 p.m.
Sept. 26    Quarterfinals    TBA  8 p.m.
Sept. 29    Semifinals        TBA  5 p.m.
Sept. 29    Semifinals        TBA  8 p.m.
Oct. 2         Third Place       TBA  4 p.m.
Oct. 2         Final                   TBA  7 p.m.

U-17 '89 MNT TO COMPETE IN PEPSI INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT IN ENGLAND: The U.S. Under-17 '89 Men's National Team will travel to Bristol, England, this Saturday, Aug. 27, to participate in the Pepsi International Tournament. The U.S. will face England, Italy and Portugal in the four-team, round-robin tournament. The U-17 '89s will open against Italy on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at Clevendon Town Football Club, before taking on host England on Friday, Sept. 2, at Swindon Town Football Club and will finish the tournament against Portugal on Sunday, Sept. 4, at Forest Green Rovers Football Club. With U-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth preparing the U.S. for the FIFA U-17 World Championship, assistants Raul Diaz Arce and Brian Maisonneuve will direct the 18-player team during the tournament. The U-17 '89s will be looking for their second title in a month as they just returned from Japan where they won the 6th Toyota International Football Tournament, defeating Japan 2-1 in the final.
U-17 '89 MNT Roster - Pepsi International Tournament
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brandyn Bumpas (Denver, Col.), Josh Lambo (Middletown, Wisc.); DEFENDERS (5): Mykell Bates (Roseville, Calif.), Greg Eckhardt (Orange Park, Fla.), Ian Kalis (Plano, Texas), Anthony Wallace (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Daniel Wenzel (Federal Way, Wash.); MIDFIELDERS (4): Edgar Barajas (San Fernando, Calif.), Cameron Brown (Garland, Texas), Kyle Davies (Pleasanton, Calif.), Kirk Urso (Lombard, Ill.); FOWARDS (7): Josmer Altidore (Boca Raton, Fla.), Andrew Giallombardo (Manalapan, N.J.), Perica Marosevic (Rockford, Ill.), Ellis McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.), Joseph Sorrentino (Trenton, N.J.), Michael Stephens (Woodridge, Ill.), Sheanon Williams (Boston, Mass.)

– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –

U.S. SOCCER REFEREES STOTT AND HALL SELECTED FOR WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS: U.S. Soccer and FIFA Referees Kevin Stott and Brian Hall were selected to officiate World Cup qualifying matches on Sept. 3 and Sept. 7, respectively. Stott, who is being considered for a referee spot at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, will officiate the match between Panama and Costa Rica on Sept. 3 at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama. Hall represented the U.S. at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan. He will be the referee between Mexico and Panama on Sept. 7 at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico.

2006 FIFA WORLD CUP TO BE SHOWN LIVE IN HIGH DEFINITION ON ESPN AND ABC: ESPN HD, ABC HD and ESPN2 HD will combine to present live coverage of all 64 matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup (Germany 2006) in high definition beginning Friday, June 9, through Sunday, July 9, 2006, from 12 cities in Germany. In addition, the high-definition services will feature the 2006 World Cup studio programs including the pre-, halftime and post-match segments. The high definition telecasts will be offered as a simulcast of ESPN, ABC Sports and ESPN2 World Cup coverage and will be the first time all 64 FIFA World Cup matches will be available in high definition television in the United States.  The 2006 World Cup will mark the ninth FIFA World Cup competition on ESPN. Much like prior FIFA events on the ESPN, Inc. family of networks, the 2006 World Cup will be presented in high definition without commercial interruptions during play.  Working with its broadcast partners at FIFA and Soccer United Marketing, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports' high-definition coverage will deliver to U.S. viewers a high-quality image resolution from each World Cup match.

U.S. PLAYERS IMPRESS IN EUROPE: Fresh off their World Cup qualifying win against Trinidad & Tobago, several members of the U.S. MNT carried that momentum back to their European club sides this weekend. Brian McBride netted Fulham’s only goal in the 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Blackburn Rovers. U.S. captain Claudio Reyna played all 90 minutes in Manchester City’s 2-1 win against Birmingham. Bobby Convey found the net twice for Reading as his side cruised to a 5-0 win past Millwall, which was also the third consecutive shutout for Marcus Hahnemann. Eddie Lewis also notched his first goal of the season for Leeds in their 2-0 win against Wolverhampton. U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller posting his first shutout of the season in a 3-0 win against Kutzof for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the opening round of the German Cup. In Belgium, Oguchi Onyewu, another centerpiece of the U.S. defense, went the distance helping Standard de Liege to a 2-0 victory over St. Truiden. The shutout keeps Standard undefeated at 3-0-0.

DONOVAN, DEMPSEY, MASTROENI AND HEJDUK SELECTED TO FACE REAL MADRID: A 19-man MLS Select squad traveled to Spain following the past weekend's MLS matches to face Real Madrid on Tuesday, August 23, in the 27th annual Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu. The cast of players participating in the match includes MNT members Landon Donovan, Frankie Hejduk, Pablo Mastroeni, Clint Dempsey, Jimmy Conrad, and Jeff Cunningham. New England Revolution Head Coach Steve Nicol will lead the MLS Select team against the “Galacticos.” The event will mark the first time an American squad will play for the Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu in the history of the competition. The match at the legendary Santiago Bernabeu will be broadcast live in the United States on Tuesday starting at 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Espanol.

U.S. SOCCER PARALYMPIAN JOSH BLUE TO APPEAR ON COMEDY CENTRAL: U.S. Soccer Paralympic Team member and professional comedian Josh Blue will appear on Comedy Central’s “Mind of Mencia” on Wednesday, Aug. 24, at 10:30 p.m. ET. Blue was a member of the team that finished in seventh place at the recent 2005 Paralympic World Championships staged in Connecticut and participated at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, Greece. Paralympic soccer is played seven-a-side by athletes with cerebral palsy, who have survived a stroke or sustained traumatic brain injury.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Despite have to trek across the pond to face Trinidad & Tobago at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on Wednesday (Aug. 17) and then having to head back to face Millwall with Reading FC, Bobby Convey didn’t miss a beat. After playing for 88 minutes and providing the game-winning assist in the midfield for the U.S. in the World Cup qualifier, Convey went back to England and scored Reading’s first two goals in a 5-0 rout against Millwall.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: For the first time since 1979, when the tournament first started, a U.S. team will face nine-time European Champion Real Madrid for the 27th Annual Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu.  The match between the MLS Select Team and Real Madrid will be broadcast live from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid at 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Espanol.

SOCCER SHOCKER: After a strong 10-2-3 start to the 2005 MLS season, FC Dallas is winless in its past seven games. Despite being in second place in the Western Conference, Dallas has not won a league game since beating the Colorado Rapids 3-1 on June 25 in Colorado.

QUOTABLE: “It was a definitely a little heavy legged going into that run but when you’re doing it you don’t really think about what you’re doing until after you score. I was exhausted. It’s always good to have a goal like that as your first goal so that everyone can remember.”
 -- U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Bobby Convey about scoring his first goal Reading FC, which came off of a 70-yard run on Saturday (Aug. 20).

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