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2010 CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship

Alajuela, Costa Rica
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Supporters Club Members Have First Opportunity to Purchase Tickets for Unprecedented USA-Mexico Clash on Oct. 10

CHICAGO (Aug. 27, 2015) – U.S. Soccer will hold a special sales process for its allotment of tickets for the USA-Mexico clash in the CONCACAF Cup on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl. The match pits the champions of the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups in a winner take all showdown for the right to represent the region at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.

Similar to other previous ticket sales, U.S. Soccer Supporters Club members and other members of the U.S. Soccer community will have an opportunity to purchase tickets from the allotment and will be seated in designated U.S. fan sections. U.S. Soccer Supporters Club members must have been registered before Aug. 26.

In early September, these supporters will receive information directly from U.S. Soccer via email about the ticket purchasing process. The exact details and timing of the process will be communicated directly at that time. Supporters will be able to purchase up to six tickets per household on a first-come, first-served basis while the supply of allocated tickets lasts.

#USWNT Victory Tour Rocks Out in Chattanooga

The World Cup Champion U.S. Women’s National Team continued its Victory Tour with a 7-2 win against Costa Rica in front of a record crowd of 20,535 at Finley Stadium. The crowd was the largest for a stand-alone WNT friendly in the southeastern region of the United States.

U-15 GNT Heads to U.S. Soccer NTC for Third Camp of 2015

CHICAGO (Aug. 26, 2015) – The U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team will hold its third training camp of 2015 as 24 players will come the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California, from Sept. 5-12.

The camp will be run by U.S. Soccer Women’s Development Coach Mark Carr, with 21 players born in 2001 and three born in 2002. This age group will form the core of the team that will attempt to qualify for the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

U.S. U-15 GNT Roster By Position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Ryan Campbell (SoCal Blues; Dana Point, Calif.), Julia Dohle (NYSC; Scarsdale, N.Y.), Vianey Lopez (Legends FC; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7): Sade Adamolekun (Lonestar SC; Spicewood, Texas), Tori Hansen (CASL; Raleigh, N.C.), Samantha Kroeger (Match Fit Academy; West Milford, N.J.), Makenna Morris (Bethesda Tempo; Germantown, Md.), Leah Scarpelli (PDA; Brick, N.J.), Natalia Staude (Tophat SC; Marietta, Ga.), Kennedy Wesley (SoCal Blues; Rossmoor, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Croix Bethune (Concorde Fire; Alpharetta, Ga.), Julia Burnell (Penn Fusion; Glen Mills, Pa.), Jordan Canniff (Richmond United; California, Md.), Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Sophia Jones (DeAnza Force; Menlo Park, Calif.), Madison Mercado (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Hollyn Torres (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas)
FORWARDS (7): Isabella D’Aquila (SoCal Blues; Orange, Calif.), Lia Godfrey (JFC Storm; Fleming Island, Fla.), Savianna Gomez (Beach Academy; Torrance, Calif.), Samantha Meza (Dallas Kicks; Balch Springs, Texas), Gabrielle Robinson (BRYC; Springfield, Va.), Alexandra Russell (Albion Hurricanes; Katy, Texas), Kate Wiesner (Slammers FC; Monrovia, Calif.) 

Veteran U.S. WNT Defender Rachel Van Hollebeke Retires from Club and Country

CHICAGO (Aug. 25, 2015) – Veteran defender Rachel Van Hollebeke has announced her retirement from club and country. Capped 113 times by the United States, she was a gold medal winner at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and a starter at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where she scored the clinching goal in the USA’s 2-0 opening match victory against Korea DPR. She is one of just five players to score for the United States as a defender in a Women’s World Cup. 

Van Hollebeke will begin her second career this fall when she starts medical school in her hometown at UC San Diego. Medical school has long been a goal for Van Hollebeke. She was pre-med in human biology when a student-athlete at Stanford and took her medical school entrance exams in 2008. She was accepted into UCSD in 2011 but has been deferring until this fall. Her father, Donald, was a long-time heart surgeon in San Diego. 

Van Hollebeke, who turns 30 on Aug. 26, made her first impact on the international scene as a key member of the U.S. team that won the 2002 FIFA Under-19 Women’s World Cup in Canada. She tore her ACL in the championship game of that tournament and would suffer another ACL injury before graduating from high school, the second on the opposite knee on her first day back on the field after the first surgery. 

Long-known for her mental toughness, Hollebeke would go on to be a starter for the USA at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand (earning 30 total U-19 caps), and then play extensively for the U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team (earning 17 U-21 caps). She got her first call-up to the senior National Team in July of 2006 and made her full National Team debut under Pia Sundhage against China at the Algarve Cup in March of 2008. 

“I’m sad to be leaving the game because I love soccer, I love my teammates and I love Portland, but it’s also been a passion of mine for a long time to attend medical school, and this is the right time to start that journey,” said Van Hollebeke, who has played the last three seasons for Portland Thorns FC and was among the last 25 players vying for spots on the 2015 Women’s World Cup roster before it was cut to 23. “Soccer has been a huge part of my life, but I am so excited for this next step. I feel ready. I felt a shift this year and it was the right time to begin this part of my life.” 

Née Rachel Buehler, she changed to her married name on the back of her jersey at the beginning of 2014, but it was her maiden name that produced one of the best nicknames in U.S. history. Known for her sweet disposition off the field, her crunching tackles and tenacious ball-winning on the pitch earned her the moniker of “The Buehldozer” during the latter part of her career. 

Van Hollebeke started 84 of her 113 caps while playing center and outside back and scored five international goals. She is one of six players to play almost exclusively on the back line to earn 100 or more caps for the USA and scored on a header in her 100th cap as she captained the team against Iceland at the 2013 Algarve Cup. 

Van Hollebeke grew up in Del Mar, California, north of San Diego, where she played youth club soccer for the San Diego Surf. She would go on to have a decorated career at Stanford, becoming a three-year captain and earning a slew of academic and athletic awards. 

Van Hollebeke won league championships in both Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). She was allocated to the FC Gold Pride for the inaugural season of WPS in 2009 and captained the club to the league title in 2010. She played in 2011 for the Boston Breakers. In the NWSL, she was allocated to the Portland Thorns in 2013, playing every minute of all 20 matches in which she appeared while helping lead the team to the league title in its inaugural season. She played the 2014 season for the Thorns and will end her career at the club when this season concludes. Due to her medical school commitments, she may not be available for the final two regular season games but could be available for the playoffs should the Thorns qualify. 

“I feel so blessed to have had the experiences in this game and I’m so thankful to my family, my husband and of course, all of my coaches and the support staff I’ve worked with over the years,” said Van Hollebeke. “My teammates are all like my sisters, and I love them all so much. I will forever be honored to be a part of such an outstanding group of women. In the end, I’m just very thankful to U.S. Soccer for investing in me at an early age and for bestowing on me the greatest honor of representing the United States for so many years.” 

Q&A: Tab Ramos Details New Player Development Initiatives

ussoccer.com: When you talk about implementing small sided standards and having players play on smaller fields with teams of fewer players, what is the goal?
Tab Ramos: “We are helping players develop by putting them in an environment where they are constantly involved in the play. That could be with the ball or without the ball. In small-sided games, all players are involved in the play. If they are defending, they are trying to win the ball back, cutting angles, communicating with teammates or just getting goal-side of the ball quickly. If they have the ball, they are immediately being challenged so they have to adjust to thinking quickly either to play the ball to a teammate, protect the ball to keep possession or more importantly take a player on and make a play to goal. When the game is on a big field, there are many different ways to not be involved or to hide. With these initiatives we believe we will be developing players that are much more comfortable on the ball who will have an easier time making better decisions under pressure by the opponent.”

ussoccer.com: How will these small sided standards directly impact the players?
TR: “By being involved constantly, the players will learn from a young age how to make important plays and make plays individually that can break down teams. That’s something we lack. We do have good players and every day we produce better players, but in general, I think we need to develop a higher number of players who have the ability to make important plays that can make a difference in the game. They will be able to see plays develop in high pressure situations from a younger age, and will learn to find solutions faster. They’ll be able to break down teams on their own with the right timing of a pass.”

“In general we would like for players to be able to process information faster, and when they are in this environment they are going to learn to do that over a number of years. When you have young players in an 11v11 game there are only so many involved in any one play at a time. By taking numbers away and playing 4v4, 7v7, and 9v9, you are multiplying their chances on the ball, increasing their touches and making it overall more for them by making them an active participant at all times. Fast forward 10 years and there are thousands of game situations added to a player’s development.”

ussoccer.com: What does changing birth year registration from an August-May format to January-December accomplish?
TR: “It makes the process easier. Over the years you go through coaching youth soccer and you are constantly finding parents and players confused about what age group players belong in. The current August 1 cutoff meant that two players born in the same year could be in different age groups. To make it more confusing, different school systems have different cutoff months for going into the new grades. It was just very difficult for parents to take it all in. This new calendar year system makes soccer easier. If you’re born in a certain year you belong in that certain age group. Simple. It also puts our players on the same age-playing calendar as the rest of the world so they will be used to competing in the right age group.  That makes it much easier for us to scout for the National Teams and find players ready to compete internationally.”

ussoccer.com: Are these Birth Registration changes happening right away?
TR: “We are easing into it and working towards it. Best practices will come into effect next year as we work towards getting everyone ready for 2017 when all these development standards will be fully implemented.  Some teams have been together for a couple of years already so the goal is to make the change without disrupting too much. At this point clubs have to decide on their own how they manage the transition over the next year and a half or so. Some clubs have already made the change starting this year and are already ahead of the curve, which is great. That helps so much. In general, we have to give everyone the opportunity to get comfortable with it, but it will come, so the sooner the clubs react the better.”

New U.S. Soccer Coaching Initiatives Target Improvement in Youth Development Standards

CHICAGO (Aug. 24, 2015) – In another step towards its commitment to long-term player development, U.S. Soccer is phasing in new standards related to small-sided games and birth-year registration.

U.S. Soccer will standardize small-sided game participation and field size based on player age groups, while also aligning birth-year registration calendars with the start of the calendar year and run from January to December.

The coaching initiatives, which will be mandated by August of 2017, are focused on advancing youth players’ individual skill and intelligence, and providing players with the best opportunity to improve.

“Our number one goal is to improve our players down the road and these initiatives will help us do that,” said U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach and Youth Technical Director Tab Ramos. “With small-sided standards what we’re trying to do is to help players develop by putting them in an environment where they are constantly involved in the play and our changes in birth-year registration will make age groups easier to understand, while aligning our calendar with the international calendar.” 

SMALL-SIDED STANDARDS
The small-sided standards are focused at players from the U-6 to U-12 age groups. The field size is based on age groups, providing a more age appropriate environment that will allow players with a better opportunity to develop heightened soccer intelligence and on-the-ball skills.

The field dimensions and number of players on the pitch will increase in size from 4v4 to 7v7 to 9v9 as players age, up until they reach the U-13 age group and begin to play full 11v11 matches.

In general we would like for players to be able to process information faster, and when they are in this environment they are going to learn to do that over a number of years," Ramos said. "When you have young players in an 11v11 game there are only so many involved in any one play at a time. By taking numbers away and playing 4v4, 7v7, and 9v9, you are multiplying their chances on the ball, increasing their touches and making it overall more for them by making them an active participant at all times. Fast forward 10 years and there are thousands of game situations added to a player’s development.”

For more detailed information on the new small-sided standards and to view field size progression by age group, click here.

BIRTH-YEAR REGISTRATION
Birth-year registration calendars will now align with the start of the calendar year and run from January to December, rather than August to July as it had previously. For example, a U-15 player (players 15 years old or younger) would have a birth year of 2000 (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31) for the 2015 registration year.  In 2016, U-15 players would be born in 2001 or earlier. Birth-year registration applies to all player age groups and not just players age 12 and younger.

The initiative will align registration with the international standard, while simultaneously providing clearer information on player birth dates to combat ‘relative age effect’.

Relative age effect refers to the selection bias related to players that are more physically mature than their peers due to being born earlier in the year. U.S. Soccer seeks a balance of players that are born throughout the year so that all players, those born in the earlier months, and those born later have equal opportunity to grow and develop as soccer players.

"It makes the process easier," Ramos said of the birth-year registration initiative. "Over the years you go through coaching youth soccer and you are constantly finding parents and players confused about what age group players belong in. The current August 1 cutoff meant that two players born in the same year could be in different age groups. To make it more confusing, different school systems have different cutoff months for going into the new grades. It was just very difficult for parents to take it all in. This new calendar year system makes soccer easier. If you’re born in a certain year you belong in that certain age group. Simple. It also puts our players on the same age-playing calendar as the rest of the world so they will be used to competing in the right age group.  That makes it much easier for us to scout for the National Teams and find players ready to compete internationally.” 

The birth-year registration initiative will not cause the dissolution of age-group based teams that already play together, but will rather give players the opportunity to ‘play up’ with older age-groups.

For more information on the new birth-year registration initiative, click here.

Last Week in Review: MNT Players Stay Hot as Summer Winds Down

This time next week, the Men’s National Team will be in camp training for friendlies against Peru and Brazil ahead of the critical CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said of these friendlies that “we want to see the players make statements towards the Mexico game,” so making the roster is a critical step. With those choices looming, several U.S. players made an impact with their club teams last week.

Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore led the way for Toronto FC, which cruised to a 5-0 win against Orlando City SC. The match was an important one because at its onset Toronto and Orlando City were separated by just three points in a close playoff race in the East. The captain was up to the challenge and responded by assisting on two of Toronto’s first three goals. Late in the second half, his long-time MNT teammate Altidore came off the bench and made an impact. While only playing 18 minutes, he made the most of them by scoring from the penalty spot and finishing off a set piece in rapid succession. WATCH: Match Highlights

Two MNT teammates combined for a goal in Saturday night’s matchup between Sporting KC and Columbus Crew. Matt Besler sprung Graham Zusi into the attack, the midfielder then offering a fantastic solo effort capped by a curling shot to the right corner that gave his squad a 2-1 lead. The Crew would rally and end up winning 3-2, but Zusi’s goal earned honors as an MLS Goal of the Week nominee.

In Sunday’s marquee game, the first between LA Galaxy and New York City FC, Gyasi Zardes showed out on the big stage, rising above the NYC FC defense to head home the first goal of the game. The Galaxy would play on to a 5-1 win.

Real Salt Lake held strong at home against the visiting Seattle Sounders FC, with Nick Rimando backstopping his team to a 2-0 win. The shutout was Rimando’s seventh of the season, and the win snapped a three-game losing streak.

While the Earthquakes were far away from home taking on D.C. United, that didn’t stop Chris Wondolowski from adding to his tally. Wondolowski got the action started early, finishing into the lower left corner from six yards out in the game’s fourth minute for his 12th goal of the year. It was a big week for Wondo, who scored a double, including his 100th goal as an Earthquake, in the team’s game on Aug. 19.

Meanwhile, across the pond the MNT was also active. Danny Williams scored Reading FC’s goal in its 1-1 draw on Aug. 19 against Sheffield Wednesday. Tim Ream completed a transfer to Fulham from Bolton Wanderers, joining a long list of U.S. internationals to ply their trade at Craven Cottage. Ream earned honors as Bolton’s Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons and will look to carry that that success over to Fulham.

In Germany, Aron Johannsson made his first start with his new Bundesliga club Werder Bremen and played 80 minutes in the team’s 1-1 draw with Hertha Berlin.

In Mexico, Ventura Alvarado made his second consecutive start for Club America. The defender has been a part of a strong America backline that has only surrendered one goal in its last four games (4-0-0).

All-Important October Matches Loom Large for MNT and U-23s

At the start of the year, the clearest goal for the U.S. Men’s National Team was to lock up a spot at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The road to Russia now has one final hurdle, and it’s a mouth-watering matchup with its biggest rival.

On Oct. 10, the United States and Mexico will meet in a do-or-die, one-match playoff at the legendary Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, with the winner taking CONCACAF’s spot at the World Cup warm-up competition.

While the U.S. has largely been successful against Mexico on home soil in the last 20 years, the task of facing a charged Mexican side at a giant venue like The Rose Bowl will serve up a new challenge. Four of the six largest crowds ever to watch the MNT play have watched a USA-Mexico match in southern California, and often with a heavy pro-Mexico tilt. That tide has turned in other venues – most notably Columbus Crew Stadium – and now the opportunity exists to make the Rose Bowl another example of the growing legion of U.S. supporters. After experiencing strong fan turnout during domestic matches throughout 2015, U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann stressed the importance of making sure American fans turn up for the team at the imperative playoff match.

U-17 MNT Closes Out Vaclav Jezek Tournament with 2-1 Win Against Ukraine

HLINSKO; Czech Republic (Aug. 22, 2015) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team closed out its run in the Vaclav Jezek tournament with a win against Ukraine.

Ukraine found the net first, but the U.S. came from behind with a pair of second half goals from Christian Pulisic and Joe Gallardo.

The U-17’s now return to the USA where they will continue preparation for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile. The USA opens group play against Nigeria on Oct. 17 at 4 p.m. ET in Santiago, followed by Croatia on Oct. 20 at 4 p.m. ET in Vina Del Mar and Chile on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. ET in Vina Del Mar.

-U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team United vs. Ukraine
Date: Aug. 22, 2015
Competition: 22nd International Youth Tournament of Vaclav Jezek
Venue: Hlinsko; Czech Republic
Kickoff: 11 a.m. local
Weather: 65 degrees

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F                                                         
USA                            0          2          2        
UKR                            1          0          1         

UKR-Akhmed Alibekov (Penalty)                 42 minute
USA-Christian Pulisic (Josh Perez)                63
USA-Joe Gallardo (Christian Pulisic)             81                       

Lineups:
USA: 12-Kevin Silva; 2-Alexis Velela (3-John Nelson, 59), 5-Daniel Barbir, 14-Tanner Dieterich, 13-Reginald Cannon; 16-Tommy McCabe, 6-Tyler Adams (8-Luca de la Torre, 59), 18-Eric Calvillo (capt.)(10-Christian Pulisic, 59); 7-Josh Perez (20-Alejandro Zendejas, 75), 17-Haji Wright, 19-Joe Gallardo
Subs Not Used: 1-Will Pulisic, 4-Hugo Arellano, 9-Brandon Vazquez, 11-Pierre Da Silva, 15-Auston Trusty
Head Coach: Richie Williams  

UKR: 23-Yaroslav Herasymenko (1-Vadym Shevchuk, 46); 2-Dmytro Bondar, 3-Mykyta Velychenko, 15-Stanislav Hudz 4-Yevhen Korochov (10-Roman Vantukh, 34); 6-Vladyslav Dubinchak (14-Ivan Antoniuk, 71), 9-Akhmed Alibekov (capt.), 7-Ivan Kaliuzhnyi; 11-Nazariy Rusyn, 8-Artem Kozak, 16-Yurii Zavinskyi
Subs Not Used: 5-Ruslan Marushka, 13-Mykola Shaparenko
Head Coach: Volodymyr Tsytkin

Misconduct Summary:
UKR-Vladyslav Dubinchak (Caution)             58th minute
UKR-Dmytro Bondar (Caution)                      87
USA-Alejandro Zendejas (Caution)                87
USA-Haji Wright (Caution)                             91       

Officials:
Referee: Kotyza Vaclav
Referee 2: David Benes
Referee 3: Jaroslav Bednar

Results

Date Matchup Result Venue Attendance Goal Scorers
March 20, 2010 U-17 WNT vs Costa Rica Under-17 Women 6-0 W Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto; Alajuela, Costa Rica 0 Clark, Torres, Brannon, Horan, Farrell, Brian
March 18, 2010 U-17 WNT vs Canada Under-17 Women 0-0 D Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto; Alajuela, Costa Rica 0 --
March 14, 2010 U-17 WNT vs Costa Rica Under-17 Women 0-0 D Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto; Alajuela, Costa Rica 0 T. Smith (3), Doll, Brian (2), Horan (2), Torres, Gonzalez
March 12, 2010 U-17 WNT vs Cayman Islands Under-17 Women 3-0 W Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto; Alajuela, Costa Rica 0 Horan (2), Brian (3), Torres, Solaun (3), Clark, Farrell (2), Smith
March 10, 2010 U-17 WNT vs Haiti Under-17 Women 9-0 W Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto; Alajuela, Costa Rica 0 Doll, T. Smith (2), Roccaro, Brian, Horan (4)
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