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Abby Wambach, Christie Rampone and Kelley O’Hara Kick Off The Daytona 500

U.S. Women’s National Team players Abby Wambach, Christie Rampone and Kelley O’Hara got the VIP treatment at one of the marquee events of the NASCAR series – The Daytona 500. The players took in the sights and sounds, got to do a lap in the pace car with JJ Yeley, and Abby Wambach waved the green flag (successfully) to start what is known as the “Super Bowl” of car racing.

U-17 MNT Ready to Open World Cup Qualifying

U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team head coach Richie Williams and captain Hugo Arellano talk about prepping for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship ahead of the opening match against Cuba on Friday in Honduras.

U-17 MNT Kicks Off 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship Today

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team kicks off the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship  (Feb. 27 to March 12) today at 5 p.m. ET. The USA has been drawn with host Honduras, Cuba, Guatemala, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago in Group A. 

The U.S. opens against Cuba today at 5 p.m. ET, followed by Trinidad & Tobago (March 2), Guatemala (March 5), Honduras (March 8) and Jamaica (March 11). All of the USA’s group matches will be broadcast on FOX Sports 2, with the exception of its March 8 game against Honduras, which will be on FOX Soccer Plus. Fans can also follow on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt

The tournament, which takes place at two venues: Estadio Francisco Morazán for all Group A matches, and Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano for all Group B matches, the two Playoff games and the title match, will qualify four teams to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile this October. 

On Feb. 24, U-17 MNT head coach Richie Williams named a 20-player roster for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship.

 u17mnt

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): William Pulisic (Richmond United), Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy)
DEFENDERS (7): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy), Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy), Daniel Barbir (West Bromwich Albion), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake AZ), John Nelson (Internationals), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal), Luca de la Torre (Fulham), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (6): Pierre da Silva (Orlando City Academy), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey), Josh Perez (Unattached), Brandon Vazquez (Club Tijuana), Haji Wright (Unattached)

Qualifying Format Change: The CONCACAF U-17 Championship format has changed for 2015 with two groups of six teams. Previous tournaments had featured four groups of three teams. Under the new setup (which was also implemented earlier this year in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship), the first-place teams in Group A and Group B will automatically qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup and advance to face each other in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship Final. The second- and third-place teams in each group (four teams) will be reseeded based on group-stage results. In this playoff stage, the top seed will play the No. 4 seed and the second seed will face the No. 3 seed. The two winners from these respective games will also qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Eyes on Chile 2015: The U.S. has qualified in 14 FIFA U-16 or U-17 World Championships, which ties for the most appearances with Brazil. The 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup was the only occurrence in which the USA did not qualify for this tournament. The USA’s best performance was a fourth-place finish at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand. Landon Donovan earned the Golden Ball, which honors the tournament’s MVP.

2015 U.S. U-17 MNT RESULTS 

International record: 3-1-0; overall: 3-1-0

Date

Opponent

Result

U.S. Goal Scorers

Venue

Feb. 2

Panama

2-0 W

C. Pulisic, Perez

IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.

Feb. 4

Panama

0-2 L

--

IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.

Feb. 20

Bermuda

5-2 W

C. Pulisic, Gallardo, Perez, Wright (2)

IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.

Feb. 22

Bermuda

4-0 W

Vazquez (2), del Rosario

IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.


National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2015 Nominees Announced

CHICAGO (Feb. 26, 2015) – Ballots have been finalized for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2015 elections, and voting will begin immediately for the Player, Veteran Player and Builder categories. Voting will continue through Friday, March 20, and the election results will be announced shortly after. Induction ceremony details for the Class of 2015 will be announced at a later date.

Players in their first year of eligibility include the following: two-time FIFA World Cup participant and current Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter; 13-year MLS veteran Jimmy Conrad; 13-year MNT fixture and MLS Cup champion Frankie Hejduk; 2008 Olympic gold medalist Natasha Kai; four-time FIFA World Cup participant and three-time CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion Kasey Keller; 10-year MNT veteran and current LA Galaxy technical director Jovan Kirovski; 1996 Olympic gold medalist and 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Tiffeny Milbrett; two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Pat Onstad; three-time MLS Cup champion Eddie Robinson; Colombian MLS star Diego Serna; two-time Olympic gold medalist Lindsay Tarpley; 15-year veteran and two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Zach Thornton; and six-year WNT forward Christie Welsh.

Of the 31 players on the Player ballot, Robin Fraser and Shannon MacMillan are in their final year of eligibility.

In order to be eligible for election as a Player, an individual must be retired for at least three years, but for no more than 10 years, and have either: 1) Played in at least 20 international games for the U.S., or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and named to a postseason All-League or All-Star team at least once.

The voting pool includes all past and present full Men's and Women's National Team coaches, all active MLS and NWSL head coaches with a minimum of four years of experience as a head coach at the highest level in the United States, MLS and NWSL management representatives, the MLS and NWSL Commissioners, U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General, U.S. Soccer President, designated media members, and all Hall of Famers.

Each voter can list up to 10 candidates per ballot. Any player appearing on at least 66.7 percent of ballots will earn election, while any player who does not appear on at least five percent of ballots will be removed from voting contention until they qualify for the Veteran ballot.

2015 National Soccer Hall of Fame Player Ballot

Chris Armas
Gregg Berhalter*
Jimmy Conrad*
Robin Fraser**
Frankie Hejduk*
Chris Henderson
Natasha Kai*
Kasey Keller*
Jovan Kirovski*
Chris Klein
Jason Kreis
Eddie Lewis
Shannon MacMillan**
Clint Mathis
Tiffeny Milbrett*
Jaime Moreno
John O’Brien
Ben Olsen
Pat Onstad*
Steve Ralston
Ante Razov
Tiffany Roberts
Eddie Robinson*
Tony Sanneh
Briana Scurry
Diego Serna*
Kate Sobrero Markgraf
Lindsay Tarpley*
Taylor Twellman
Christie Welsh*
Zach Thornton*

* First year of eligibility
** Final year of eligibility; moves to Veteran ballot in 2016

In addition to the Player ballot, voting is also set to begin for the Veteran Player and Builder ballots. Nine players are up for selection on the Veteran ballot, which is voted on only by current Hall of Famers after the list has been narrowed down by a screening committee.

Voters can name up to five Veteran candidates, and the top vote-getter will be elected as long as he or she appears on a minimum of 50 percent of the ballots. If no individual appears on 50 percent of the ballots, then no Veteran will be elected to the 2015 Class. More than one candidate may be elected in the event of a tie.

In order to be eligible for election as a Veteran, an individual must be retired for more than 10 years, and have either: 1) Played in at least 20 international games for the U.S. This requirement is reduced to 10 games if the games were prior to 1990, or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and named to a postseason All-League or All-Star team at least once. or 3) Played at least five seasons in the MISL between 1984 and the end of the league in 1992, and been selected as a first-team postseason All-Star in at least one of those seasons.

2015 National Soccer Hall of Fame Veteran Ballot

Mike Burns
John Doyle
Marco Etcheverry
Linda Hamilton
Mary Harvey
Shep Messing
Glenn Myernick
Cindy Parlow
Tisha Venturini-Hoch

  • Eligible Veteran Bios
  • The 2015 Builder ballot includes nine individuals selected by a screening committee and follows the same procedures for election as the Veteran ballot, although the voting pool is expanded to also include select soccer administrators.

    Builders must be at least 50 years old and are eligible by making their mark in the soccer community in a non-playing capacity while sustaining a major and positive impact on American Soccer at the national federation or first-division level for at least 10 years. Referees must serve as a FIFA referee for at least seven years to be eligible (although a referee who has less than seven years as a FIFA international referee still can qualify for the list via 10 or more years as a United States first-division referee).

    2015 National Soccer Hall of Fame Builder Ballot

    Bob Contiguglia
    Don Garber
    Richard Groff
    Robert Kraft
    Tim Lieweke
    Francisco Marcos
    Fritz Marth
    Kevin Payne
    Sigi Schmid

    Complete information about the election and eligibility procedures is available online at ussoccer.com.

    The National Soccer Hall of Fame closed its Oneonta, N.Y., facility in 2010. The election process is being administered by U.S. Soccer Federation staff under election and eligibility guidelines established by the Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

    Established in 1950, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is dedicated to the sport of soccer in America by celebrating its history, preserving its legacy, inspiring its youth and honoring its heroes for generations to come. 

    USA Opens CONCACAF U-17 Championship against Cuba

    The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team faces Cuba in Group A play to open the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship on Friday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m. ET. The match, which takes place at Estadio Francisco Morazan in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, will be shown live on FOX Sports 2. Four teams from the tournament will qualify directly to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.

    Here is a breakdown of the USA’s previous encounters with Cuba in this event:

    • The USA is 5-0-2 in the all-time series against Cuba in this tournament.
    • The series started with the USA defeating Cuba 1-0 on Nov. 25, 1988, in the final round of the 1988 CONCACAF U-16 Championship. The USA and Cuba, as well as Canada, advanced out of the group to qualify for the 1989 FIFA U-16 World Championship.
    • The U.S. and Cuba met twice in the 1991 CONCACAF U-16 Championship, drawing 1-1 in Group 2 on March 28, followed by the USA’s 1-0 victory in the final round on April 2 in Port of Spain, Trinidad. It was the USA’s only win in the final round, but it was enough as the U.S., Cuba and Mexico advanced to the 1991 FIFA U-17 World Championship.
    • On Aug. 23, 1992, the USA defeated Cuba 2-0 in the final round of the 1992 CONCACAF U-16 Championship. With its second consecutive win, combined with a draw between Mexico and Canada, the U.S. leapfrogged Mexico to win the tournament.
    • The USA and Cuba tied 1-1 in Group A of the 2005 CONCACAF U-17 Tournament, which proved to be the only small setback for the U.S., which won its group with a 2-0-1 record.
    • The USA’s most lopsided win against Cuba was on the shortened 2009 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, opening the tournament with a 5-0 win on April 21. Jack McInerney scored two goals and assisted two others. Luis Gil added a goal and set up both McInerney goals, and Stefan Jerome’s opening goal proved to be the game-winner. The U.S. won Group A with a 3-0-0 record. The event in Tijuana was then canceled because of a swine flu outbreak. The four semifinalists advanced to the FIFA U-17 World Cup: Group A winner USA, Group A runner-up Honduras, Group B winner Mexico and Group B runner-up Costa Rica.

    Photo Gallery: WNT Enjoys Post-Training Scavenger Hunt

    Photos from the U.S. WNT's third day in Portugal ahead of the annual Algarve Cup. The USA takes on Norway on March 4 in its opening Group B match. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and will also be available on FOX Sports Go. Fans can also follow U.S. Soccer's coverage on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt,@ussoccer_esp and Instagram @ussoccer_wnt.

    Below is a gallery from the players post-training scavenger hunt that had the team in stitches by the end. 

    WNT Preps For Its 20th Algarve Cup

    The WNT has once again encamped on the beautiful southern coast of Portugal for the annual Algarve Cup. This year’s tournament takes on increased importance with the 2015 Women’s World Cup about 100 days away. With group matches against Norway, Switzerland and Iceland in a span of six days, the coaches and players are looking forward to the excellent competition as they continue the process of building towards the World Cup.

    U-23 WNT Competes in Spain Ahead of NWSL Camps

    The U.S. U-23 WNT returns to beautiful La Manga, Spain, for three games in a six-team invitational tournament. It’s an exciting time for thirteen players on the roster as they are set to begin their professional careers, heading straight to their NWSL preseason camps following this event. Head coach Janet Rayfield shares her optimism for the squad as Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Sarah Killion (Sky Blue FC), Caprice Dydasco (Washington Spirit), Shea Groom (FC Kansas City) and Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), all youth WNT veterans, talk about going pro and embracing the unique environment of the U-23s.

    Photo Gallery: WNT Gets Out on the Practice Pitch

    Photos from the U.S. WNT's second day of training in Portugal ahead of the annual Algarve Cup, which begins on March 4, when the USA takes on Norway in its opening Group B match. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and will also be available on FOX Sports Go. Fans can also follow U.S. Soccer's coverage on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt, @ussoccer_esp and Instagram @ussoccer_wnt.

    Across the Academy – Feb. 25, 2015

    ACADEMY/YNT SPOTLIGHT:
    U-17 MNT Opens CONCACAF U-17 Championship on Friday: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has named the 20-player roster that will represent the USA at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. Nineteen of the 20 players have ties to the Development Academy. The USA is paired with Cuba, Guatemala, host side Honduras, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago in Group A. After the USA’s game against Cuba on Friday, Feb. 27, the U-17 MNT faces Trinidad & Tobago on March 2, followed by Guatemala (March 5), Honduras (March 8) and Jamaica (March 11).

    Futsal Period Enhancing Play at YNT Level: During the Development Academy’s futsal regionals, ussoccer.com caught up with U.S. U-14 Boys’ National Team head coach Brian Johnson and others to discuss how the Academy futsal period is aiding the players’ skill for the U-14 BNT, Academy teams on the outdoor front and levels beyond.

    Academy futsal on ussoccer.com:

    For the latest Development Academy results, information and more, visit academy.demosphere.com and ussoccer.com’s Academy section. Follow the Academy on Twitter @ussoccer_acad, Instagram and Facebook.

    ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Feb. 21-22):

    • West Conference: Crossfire Premier’s Uriel Herrera scored his 20th goal of the season to lead his U-17/18 side to a 3-0 victory against the Portland Timbers in Northwest Division action. Herrera is tied with Real So Cal’s Spencer Held as the goal scoring leaders at the older age group. Cody Gibson and Joey Parish also added goals to help Crossfire Premier improve to 13-4-5 on the season.
    • Central Conference: The Texas Rush U-17/18s rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw on the road against FC Dallas. The heated Frontier Division is tight among the top of the standings. Texas Rush is 8-3-4 and in third place at 1.87 points per game, and FC Dallas is in fourth at 7-4-3 and 1.71 points per game.
    • East Conference: Orlando City had an unbeaten weekend on the road against South Carolina United Battery Academy, posting a 1-1 draw at the U-15/16 level and a 4-1 win at the U-17/18s. Benjamin Michel scored twice for Orlando City as the older squad overcame an early deficit.

    Academy Honors:

    • Academy Player of the Week: Real Salt Lake AZ’s Brooks Lennon had a productive weekend with two goals, scoring the opener of his U-17/18 team’s 5-0 victory against Nomads SC, followed by the lone goal during a 1-0 win against San Diego Surf. Real Salt Lake AZ is first in the Southwest Division (18-3-3, 2.38 points per game), and Brooks has now scored 18 goals in 19 appearances. That ranks third among all goal scorers at the Academy’s U-17/18 age level.
    • Academy Referee of the Week: Jessica Nila, a 22-year-old Grade 7 referee from northern California, received high marks this past weekend during the U-15/16 match between Strikers FC and Pateadores, earning Academy Referee of the Week. Nila is in the midst of her first season working Development Academy matches.

    For all Development Academy results, standings and more, visit academy.demosphere.com or click on the following links:

    ON USSOCCER.COM:
    Academy Playoffs, Showcases Return to Grand Park: The Development Academy’s U-13/14 Showcase and the Academy Playoffs for the older-age groups return to Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana. The younger-age showcase runs June 19-22. The U-16 and U-18 Showcases take place June 22-25, and the Academy Playoffs are set for June 23-26. Additionally, the Academy Championships will be held July 16 and 18 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.

    Academy Coaching Spotlight: Planning for the Future: Sockers FC technical director David Richardson spoke with ussoccer.com about the new Youth Technical Directors course and its role in transforming leaders within the youth soccer community.

    OTHER LINKS:

    Results

    Date Matchup Result Venue Attendance Goal Scorers
    December 1, 2010 U-17 MNT vs Korea Republic 2-1 W Reach 11 Sports Complex; Phoenix, Ariz. 247 Dunn, M. Rodriguez
    December 3, 2010 U-17 MNT vs Brazil 0-0 D Reach 11 Sports Complex; Phoenix, Ariz. 2,500
    December 5, 2010 U-17 MNT vs Turkey 0-2 L Reach 11 Sports Complex; Phoenix, Ariz. 2,350 --
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