Candidates for 2002 MALE Athlete of the Year Award
» 12.19.02 - Arena Names 27-Man Training Roster:
U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bruce Arena has chosen a 27-man roster that will train in preparation for the international friendly against Canada on Saturday, January 18 at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The first training camp of 2003 will be held at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida from Jan. 4-16, before the team relocates to Ft. Lauderdale. Fans can follow the action Jan. 18 live online via ussoccer.com¡¦s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
"The training camp in Florida provides an opportunity to begin to build the foundations of fitness and form that will help us compete throughout the year,¡¨ said Arena. ¡§Since most of these players have experienced a long layoff, we will focus on improving their conditioning while continuing to evaluate their potential to compete at the international level."
Six players from the U.S. World Cup side will participate in camp, led by the attacking trio of Brian McBride, Clint Mathis and Landon Donovan. Mathis led the USA in scoring in 2002, recording seven goals and two assists. Meantime, the 20-year old Donovan, who recently re-signed with MLS for two more seasons, was the only player to appear in all 20 of the USA's matches in 2002, finishing first in starts and minutes played. Veteran defender Eddie Pope returns to national team duty after undergoing knee surgery on October 29 to remove scar tissue.
MLS players dominate the roster, with all 10 MLS teams represented for the two-week training camp. Six players from the 2002 MLS Best XI ¡V Wade Barrett, Carlos Bocanegra, Jeff Cunningham, Tim Howard, Steve Ralston, and Taylor Twellman ¡V make the roster. In addition, the league¡¦s goalkeeper of the year, the San Jose Earthquakes Joe Cannon, looks to earn his first cap for the United States.
The Columbus Crew contributes the largest contingent to Arena¡¦s side, with McBride leading five members of the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champions to Bradenton. MLS Rookie of the Year Kyle Martino will look to get his second cap for the U.S. after appearing in the 2-0 victory against El Salvador on Nov. 17 in Washington, D.C. The West coast clubs commit eight players to the effort, with 2002 MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes sending four a piece. Earthquakes midfielder Richard Mulrooney returns to action after suffering a fractured ankle against the L.A. Galaxy on Sept. 14 of this year.
In addition to the 27-man roster, Chicago Fire midfielder Chris Armas and FC Nurnberg defender Tony Sanneh will join the team in Florida to continue rehabilitation from injuries. Armas suffered a torn ACL in the USA's 2-0 win against Uruguay during the ¡§NIKE Road to Korea¡¨ on May 12 of this year. Sanneh has been playing through a back injury in Germany for the last two months, and will receive treatment while the German Bundesliga takes its annual winter break.
The match against Canada is a rematch of the team's 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal clash on January 30 in Pasadena, Calif., which was won by the U.S. in penalty kicks after a well-played 0-0 draw. In their history, the U.S. and Canada have squared off against each other 25 times in a rivalry dating all the way back to 1925, with the U.S. holding a slight 9-8-8 advantage. However, the United States has not lost to Canada in nine consecutive games, compiling a 5-4-0 mark in a stretch dating back more than 17 years to a 2-0 loss in Vancouver on April 2, 1985.
Tickets ranging in price levels from $17 to $40 go on sale starting Saturday, Dec. 7, at 10 a.m. ET at all South Florida Ticketmaster outlets (including FYE, Spec's Music and Ricky's Records), by phone (Ft. Lauderdale 954-523-3309; Miami 305-358-5885; West Palm Beach 561-966-3309) and on-line at www.ussoccer.com. Discount rates for groups of 20 or more are available immediately through U.S. Soccer by calling 312-528-1249.
Goalkeepers: Joe Cannon, Kevin Hartman, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
Defenders: Wade Barrett, Carlos Bocanegra, Danny Califf, Brian Dunseth, Nick Garcia, Chad McCarty, Eddie Pope, Ryan Suarez, Sasha Victorine
Midfielders: DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey, Chris Klein, Kyle Martino, Pablo Mastroeni, Clint Mathis, Richard Mulrooney, Ben Olsen, Steve Ralston, Pete Vagenas
Forwards: Jeff Cunningham, Landon Donovan, Brian McBride, Taylor Twellman
U.S. Men's National Team Staff
Head Coach: Bruce Arena (Fairfax, Va.)
Assistant Coach: Glenn Myernick (Denver)
Assistant Coach: Curt Onalfo (Oak Hill, Va.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Milutin Soskic (Bakersfield, Calif.)
General Manager: Pam Perkins (Evanston, Ill.)
Trainers: Ivan Pierra (Los Angeles)
, Theron Enns (Denver)
Equipment Manager: Joe Ahearn (Chicago)
Press Officer: Michael Kammarman (Chicago)
» 12.19.02 - U.S. SOCCER: U-23s fall to Canada, 2-0, in friendly:
Two goals in the first 21 minutes gave Canada a 2-0 win over the United States in the first of two men's under-23 friendlies.
Dec. 19 in Ft. Lauderdale
USA 0 Canada 2. Goals: Canizalez 1, Matondo 21.
USA -- Countess, Lewis (Yi, 46), Gray (Akwari, 46), Oliver (S.Thompson, 46), Carroll (Wingert, 75), Beckerman, Martino (Pause, 46), Davis, Levesque (J.Thompson, 46), Johnson, Testo (Convey, 46).
Canada -- Rayner, Oppong (Savaria, 46), Braz, Marshall, Williams, Hutchison, Harmse, Pozniak, Matondo, Friend (J.Thompson, 46), Canizalez (Chin, 70). From SoccerAmerica.com.
» 12.18.02 - MLS finalizes deal to keep Donovan n San Jose until 2004:
Landon Donovan accepted less money to play in San Jose. Christmas came early for Major League Soccer this year, according to deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis.
MLS and Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday formally announced an agreement that will allow forward Landon Donovan to remain with the San Jose Earthquakes through the end of the 2004 season.
"Of course, I would have loved to have Landon back with our team this season," said Leverkusen coach Klaus Toppmoeller. "As we saw at the World Cup this summer, Landon is obviously one of the most exciting young players in the world.
"However, in the best interest of all the parties involved, we feel it will be best for Landon to remain in the United States."
Donovan had previously signed a two-year co-sharing agreement that gave the Bundesliga club the right to recall the 20-year old star at the end of the 2002 season. Leverkusen had initially exercised their right to retain Donovan at the conclusion of the 2002 season, but at Donovan's request, new negotiations were scheduled between MLS, Bayer Leverkusen and Donovan's agent, Richard Motzkin of SportsNet.
"The rapid improvement of MLS and the open-mindedness of Bayer Leverkusen have given me a chance to pursue my professional goals while making a contribution to the growth of MLS and American soccer," said Donovan. "I'm proud that I can remain part of the San Jose Earthquakes, and I owe a tremendous amount of thanks to MLS, Bayer Leverkusen and Richard Motzkin for their efforts in making this happen."
As in the first arrangement between MLS and Bayer Leverkusen, Donovan's new deal provides the German club an opportunity to repurchase the forward's contract at the conclusion of the 2004 season.
Should Leverkusen exercise that option and later transfer Donovan to another club, MLS would receive a percentage of any transfer fee collected. The agreement provides that if Leverkusen fails to exercise its option to repurchase Donovan's contract at the end of the 2004 season, MLS has the option to retain Donovan on a long-term contract.
"I would first like to thank everyone at Bayer Leverkusen for their cooperation in this process," said MLS commissioner Don Garber. "Their progressive approach to negotiations and the innovative nature of this agreement speaks volumes about their respect for MLS and the quality of our league.
"I'm very proud that Landon will have the opportunity to inspire the future generations of American soccer players on a regular basis through performances they can watch live in stadiums around the country."
Since joining the Earthquakes in March of 2001, Donovan has risen to the forefront of American soccer, leading San Jose to the MLS Cup championship in his first season and spearheading the U.S. national team's run to the World Cup Quarterfinals this past summer in Korea.
Donovan has become the highest-profile American player, having graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and appeared the Late Show with David Letterman.
As a 16-year-old, Donovan became one of the youngest Americans ever to sign a professional contract overseas when he joined Bayer Leverkusen in February 1999. After nearly two seasons with the club, Donovan's desire to return stateside prompted a unique agreement between MLS and Bayer Leverkusen that allowed the Redlands, Calif., native to join the Earthquakes for the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
At the international level, Donovan started in all five matches for the United States and scored two goals at the World Cup. During the tournament he played a total of 435 minutes at four different positions (left midfield, right midfield, center midfield and forward) and netted the game-clinching goal in a historic 2-0 win over rival Mexico in the Round of 16.
Donovan also keyed a strong U.S. effort during a 1-0 loss against Germany in the quarterfinals.
In 2002, he was the only player to appear in all 19 U.S. matches, scoring six goals and notching two assists. For his efforts, Donovan was named the Honda Player of the Year in October, beating out veteran teammates Claudio Reyna and Brad Friedel in a nationwide vote conducted by 277 journalists.
Selected Quotes Courtesy of Major League Soccer.,BR>
Landon Donovan - Forward, San Jose Earthquakes, U.S. National Team
"Words can't express how happy I am today. I feel really blessed to have the opportunity to continue playing in the United States, and I plan to take full advantage of it in order to help raise the profile of MLS and the sport of soccer in this country."
Ivan Gazidis - Deputy Commissioner, MLS
"The fact that Landon will be staying in MLS makes a bold statement about his desire to take our sport to an entirely new level in this country. It also demonstrates his confidence in both the quality of MLS competition and the future of professional soccer in this country. We are very thankful to Bayer Leverkusen for allowing Landon to continue pursuing his personal and professional goals with us."
Johnny Moore - General Manager, San Jose Earthquakes
"This is a great day for our club. We are thrilled to have Landon back with the team. The league has again demonstrated that it is committed to keeping and developing the best young American talent."
Frank Yallop - Head Coach, San Jose Earthquakes
"Landon has been a very important part of our team for the past two seasons. We are excited to have him on the team for the next two seasons as we continue our quest to bring more championships to San Jose."
Reiner Calmund - General Manager, Bayer Leverkusen
"We are excited to have reached yet another arrangement that confirms our long-term interest in developing some of America's best young talent. This co-sharing agreement reflects the growing relationship between Bayer Leverkusen and Major League Soccer."
Ilja Kaenzig - Director of Sport, Bayer Leverkusen
"We have decided that Landon will stay with the San Jose Earthquakes and MLS for an additional two years. As a key player for both San Jose and the United States Men's National Team, we're confident he is remaining in an environment that will continue his development as one of the world's elite talents."
Rudi Voeller - Head Coach, German Men's National Team, 2002 German World Cup Team
"Landon's performance in Korea this summer proved without a doubt that he belongs among the world's best. I have seen firsthand how his play has helped elevate the game in the United States and players of his caliber will certainly inspire the next generation of American players."
Richard Motzkin - Principal & Founder of SportsNet, LLC
"I'd like to first give credit to both Bayer Leverkusen and MLS for working hard to find a solution that benefits everyone and accommodates Landon's true wishes. As Landon has consistently stated following the 2002 World Cup, his desire is to stay in MLS to continue to develop as a player, person and spokesman for the sport of soccer in the U.S. By foregoing significant financial gains in Germany to stay in the U.S., Landon continues to demonstrate both his true character and why he has become American soccer's most visible spokesman and icon today. Landon's desire to promote the League and sport makes this without a doubt one of the most significant signings in MLS history." From CNNSI.com.
» 12.18.02 - LANDON DONOVAN TO REMAIN WITH EARTHQUAKES: World Cup Hero and MLS Superstar Set To Play At Least Two More Seasons For Earthquakes
SAN JOSE, CA (December 18, 2002) - The San Jose Earthquakes, Major League Soccer, and Bayer Leverkusen announced today that World Cup hero and star forward Landon Donovan will remain with the San Jose Earthquakes through the end of the 2004 season.
Donovan had previously signed a two-year co-sharing agreement that gave the Bundesliga club the right to recall the 20-year old star at the end of the 2002 season. Leverkusen had initially exercised their right to retain Donovan at the conclusion of the 2002 MLS season, but at Donovan’s request, new negotiations were scheduled between MLS, Bayer Leverkusen and Donovan’s agent, Richard Motzkin of SportsNet.
As in the first arrangement between MLS and Bayer Leverkusen, Donovan’s new deal provides the German club an opportunity to repurchase the young forward’s contract at the conclusion of the 2004 season. Should Leverkusen exercise that option and later transfer Donovan to another club, MLS would receive a percentage of any transfer fee collected. The agreement provides that if Leverkusen fails to exercise its option to repurchase Donovan’s contract at the end of the 2004 season, MLS has the option to retain Donovan on a long-term contract.
"The rapid improvement of MLS and the open-mindedness of Bayer Leverkusen have given me a chance to pursue my professional goals while making a contribution to the growth of MLS and American soccer,” said Donovan. “I'm proud that I can remain part of the San Jose Earthquakes, and I owe a tremendous amount of thanks to MLS, Bayer Leverkusen and Richard Motzkin for their efforts in making this happen."
“This is a great day for our club,” Earthquakes General Manager Johnny Moore said. “We are thrilled to have Landon back with the team. The league has again demonstrated that it is committed to keeping and developing the best young American talent.”
Since arriving in San Jose in 2001, Donovan, 20, has risen to the top of American soccer, leading the Quakes to the 2001 MLS Cup Championship and helping drive the U.S. National Team to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup. His success has landed him spots on the cover of Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine as well as appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman and MTV’s Total Request Live, among others.
During the past two seasons with the Earthquakes, the soccer icon has scored 14 goals and notched 10 assists for 41 career points. Donovan helped lead the Quakes to their first-ever MLS Cup Championship in 2001 and back-to-back 45-point seasons in 2001 and 2002, the best point totals in club history. Possessing both strong vision and excellent finishing ability, the Redlands, Calif. resident has already moved into fifth place in Quakes history in points in just two seasons.
In the playoffs, Donovan has been even more impressive, scoring six goals and registering two assists in eight playoff matches. In the 2001 MLS Cup Playoffs, Donovan was the playoffs leading scorer with five goals and two assists, as he helped the Quakes win the MLS Cup. Earlier in 2001, he earned the MLS All-Star Game MVP award, scoring a record four goals in a 6-6 tie in front of his home fans at Spartan Stadium.
“Landon has been a very important part of our team for the past two seasons,” Earthquakes Head Coach Frank Yallop said. “We are excited to have him on the team for the next two seasons as we continue our quest to bring more championships to San Jose.”
At the international level, Donovan has proven to be a world-class player, starting in all five of the United States matches at the World Cup in Korea this past summer and scoring two goals. He played a total of 434 minutes and saw action at four different positions in the tournament (left midfield, right midfield, center midfield, and forward), which saw the U.S. reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1930. Donovan scored the game-clinching goal in the American’s historic 2-0 win over rival Mexico in the Round of 16. In 2002, he was the only player to appear in all 19 U.S. matches, scoring six goals and notching two assists. For his efforts, Donovan was named the Honda Player of the Year in October, beating out teammates Claudio Reyna and Brad Friedel in a nation-wide vote conducted by 277 soccer journalists. In his national team career, Donovan has played in 28 matches and scored seven goals.
Following his appearance in the 2002 World Cup, Donovan has now participated in a world championship at four different levels. He won the Golden Ball as the Most Valuable Player at the 1999 U-17 Youth World Championships, leading the team to a fourth place finish. In 2000, he helped the U.S. to a fourth place finish at the Sydney Olympics and in 2001, Donovan led the U-20 national team to the second round of the FIFA World Youth Championships in Argentina.
Prior to joining the Quakes, Donovan spent two seasons with Bayer Leverkusen after signing a contract with them in 1999 at age 16. After those two seasons, he came to the Earthquakes on March 29, 2001 to begin his MLS career. From SjEarthquakes.com.
» 12.18.02 - Donovan deal is a sweet score for Earthquakes: LANDON Donovan's wish truly is U.S. soccer's desire.
The complicated business deal allowing America's most exciting young soccer player to stay at least two more years in San Jose will be great not only for Donovan, but also for the Earthquakes and Major League Soccer.
The team and the league need the drawing power of a star, and Donovan, at age 20, is certainly it -- as magnetic off the field as he is exciting on.
Donovan has always made his preference clear. He wanted to stay in America, near his family in southern California, to help develop American soccer. The problem is that he remains under contract, through 2007, with Bayer Leverkusen, a top German team for whom Donovan played two unhappy years before coming to San Jose in 2001. Since then, Donovan inspired the Earthquakes to their first championship and the U.S. team to a terrific showing in this year's World Cup.
In terms of his soccer development, Donovan might be better off playing with the best in Europe. He'd make a bigger salary there, too. In two years, he might be ready to make that leap. But for now, Donovan's happy to be here, and the Earthquakes should be giddy at the deal that Major League Soccer has struck on their behalf.
The Earthquakes had the lowest attendance in the league last year, even with Donovan on board. The challenge now is for the Sharks hockey organization, the principal owner of the Earthquakes, to market the Donovan magic to attract more fans.
Donovan, by giving up a higher contract abroad in order to play two more years in San Jose, has done his part. It's now up to the team's owners, and Bay area soccer fans, to do theirs. From BayArea.com.
» 12.18.02 - MLS confirms Donovan deal: LEAGUE WILL DOUBLE ITS STAKE IN THE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD
Not even a sudden and unexpected change of heart by Bayer Leverkusen can keep Landon Donovan out of an Earthquakes uniform for the next two years. Major League Soccer confirmed Tuesday that the contract allowing Donovan to remain in the United States through at least 2004 has been signed.
A formal announcement will be made today in San Jose.
MLS will pay Leverkusen, the German club that owns Donovan's rights, to double its stake in the forward. Specific figures were not released.
At the end of two years, Leverkusen has the option to buy out MLS's interest in the striker. Donovan signed with the German club in 1999 and remains under contract until 2007. If Leverkusen decides not to exercise the option, MLS could extend the sharing agreement for another season or buy out Donovan's contract.
MLS deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis wouldn't say which scenario is more probable, leaving it at, ``We'll just take it two years at a time.''
Gazidis said Leverkusen seemed quite willing to accommodate Donovan's and MLS's wishes throughout negotiations.
``Leverkusen wants to look to the United States to learn about the sports business,'' Gazidis said. He added that he believes the Bayer pharmaceutical company, which owns the team, wants its brand to be seen positively in America.
Gazidis said MLS had feared it would lose Donovan. For one, Donovan's performance at the World Cup this summer increased his value. Leverkusen also is having a poor season -- currently 14th among 18 teams in the Bundesliga standings -- and could have used him up front.
``Leverkusen is not saying they think Landon will be ready to play for them in two years,'' Gazidis said. ``They think he's ready now. He'd get significant playing time, and he'd probably even start.''
Donovan probably will earn more than MLS's maximum salary, which fluctuates from $265,000 to $290,000. But the surplus amount would not count against the Earthquakes' $1.75 million salary cap, General Manager Johnny Moore said.
In addition to discussing Donovan's future today, the Earthquakes will make an announcement regarding a new agreement with Spartan Stadium. From BayArea.com.
» 12.17.02 - Donovan stays in MLS for two more years: SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)—
Landon Donovan, star of the U.S. World Cup team, will play for the San Jose Earthquakes for at least two more seasons.
Major League Soccer has reached an agreement with Bayer Leverkusen of the German Bundesliga to keep the national team standout with San Jose. The deal will be announced Wednesday by the Earthquakes, who won the 2001 MLS Cup with help from Donovan, the most visible American soccer player.
The 20-year-old Donovan scored two goals in the World Cup last summer, when the United States made the quarterfinals.
"Since he's going to be staying locally, domestically as they say, we're going to be using his services as much as possible," U.S. coach Bruce Arena said. "He's probably a player that is going to hit 100 caps real fast in his career.
"Over the next year, we're going to give Landon a lot of responsibility, so once we hit qualifying he's comfortable being one of our veteran players, a guy we can count on both home and away."
Leverkusen owns Donovan's rights until 2007, but the powerful German club acceded to Donovan's wishes to stay with the Earthquakes for two more seasons.
Donovan spent two seasons on Leverkusen's reserve team, never getting into a match, before going to the Earthquakes in 2001 following a negotiation between Leverkusen and MLS.
The league also will soon announce the re-signing of Columbus star Brian McBride and the signing of Virginia forward Alecko Eskandarian, who won the Hermann Trophy as the nation's top men's player after scoring 25 goals as a junior midfielder at Virginia. From Yahoo.com.
» 12.17.02 - Quakes keeping striker Donovan: MLS, GERMAN CLUB DEAL SHOULD BE FINISHED TODAY
Landon Donovan doesn't have to worry anymore: He's staying in San Jose.
Major League Soccer and German club Bayer Leverkusen, the majority owner of Donovan's rights, are expected to complete a deal today that will keep the 20-year-old striker in the United States at least through 2004.
``It's going to happen,'' said a source with knowledge of the situation.
The agreement will be announced Wednesday at the Hilton San Jose and Towers. Donovan is expected to fly in tonight from Florida, where he is training with the under-23 national team.
MLS and Leverkusen have been working out details for the past week and a half. The two-year deal will be similar to the agreement that brought Donovan to San Jose in 2001. The Earthquakes will continue to own a part of Donovan's rights, but once the contract expires, Leverkusen will have the right to recall him. Leverkusen holds the majority of Donovan's rights until 2007.
Terms of the original contract, which provided the Quakes with Donovan's services for two years, had a two-year option. Because Leverkusen wanted to recall Donovan, MLS needed to negotiate a new deal.
Reached Monday evening by phone, Donovan's agent, Richard Motzkin, refused to offer specifics, saying, ``Things are still being sorted out as we speak.''
The signing of the agreement will culminate months of speculation regarding Donovan's future.
Since returning in late June from the World Cup, where he scored twice and helped the U.S. team reach the quarterfinals, Donovan repeatedly has said he had no interest in returning to Germany.
``I love my life here,'' he said. ``Why leave something so great?''
Donovan signed with Leverkusen shortly after leading the United States to fourth place at the 1999 under-17 world championships, where he won the Golden Ball as the tournament's top player.
He played with the club's reserve squad in 1999-2000 and made the first-team roster the next season, though he never took the field.
In his first MLS season, Donovan had five goals and two assists in six playoff games, catapulting the Quakes to the 2001 MLS championship. Just one year before, the Quakes owned the league's worst record.
Donovan's performance at this summer's World Cup, which included goals against Portugal and Mexico, helped him earn the Honda player of the year award as the top U.S. soccer player. From BayArea.com.
» 12.16.02 - U.S. SOCCER: U.S. U-23s set to face Canada twice this week:
U.S. U-23 men's national team head coach Glenn Myernick named a 25-man roster for the team's friendlies against Canada Thursday (Dec. 19) and Saturday (Dec. 21) in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
The roster features U.S. World Cup forward Landon Donovan, one of 13 pros called up.
Also selected were 2002 MAC/Hermann Award winner Alecko Eskandarian (Virginia) and Stanford midfielder Roger Levesque and UCLA defender Scot Thompson, who played in the Men's College Cup.
FULL ROSTER BELOW:
Goalkeepers -- D.J. Countess (Dallas Burn), Josh Saunders (Univ. of California), Doug Warren (Clemson Univ.).
Defenders -- Nelson Akwari (MetroStars), Jose Burciaga (K.C. Wizards), Kelly Gray (Chicago Fire), Ricky Lewis (Clemson Univ.), Matt Oliver (Univ. of Virginia), Scot Thompson (UCLA), Chris Wingert (St. John's Univ.), Alexander Yi (Antwerp, Belgium).
Midfielders -- Kyle Beckerman (Colorado Rapids), Brian Carroll (Wake Forest Univ.), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Brad Davis (MetroStars), Roger Levesque (Stanford Univ.), Justin Mapp (D.C. United), Kyle Martino (Columbus Crew), Logan Pause (Univ. of North Carolina).
Forwards -- Devin Barclay (San Jose Earthquakes), Landon Donovan (San Jose Earthquakes), Alecko Eskandarian (Univ. of Virginia), Ed Johnson (Dallas Burn), David Testo (Univ. of North Carolina), Jason Thompson (Eastern Illinois Univ.).
» 12.16.02 - MLS works out deal to keep Donovan in States:
Credit Major League Soccer with a big save: Landon Donovan, America's hottest young player, will be staying home, league officials said Monday. Donovan, who starred for the 2002 U.S. World Cup team that reached the tournament's quarterfinals in June, could have been required to play in Germany. He remains under contract to Bayer Leverkusen, a first-division team in Germany's famed Bundesliga. But through a deal between MLS and the German team that will be formally announced Wednesday, Donovan will remain with MLS' San Jose Earthquakes for at least more two seasons, league commissioner Don Garber said.
Monday, Donovan, 20, sounded bullish on staying in MLS even longer: "I'd love to."
And MLS would hate to lose the flashy forward, who is also expected to lead the 2004 U.S. Olympic men's soccer team. Says Mark Noonan, MLS' executive vice president-marketing and fan development: "He'll become our most prominent icon ?the most prominent player in the league's seven-year history."
MLS, founded in part to capitalize on soccer's heightened exposure from the USA hosting the 1994 World Cup, now hopes to build on the U.S. men's team's unprecedented success in June's World Cup. Toward that end, MLS also is expected to announce Wednesday that another Cup standout has re-signed with the league ?Columbus' Brian McBride.
Soccer news this week also includes the retention of another key to the U.S. team's World Cup success: The U.S. Soccer Federation, which oversees America's national teams, is expected to announce Tuesday that Bruce Arena has signed a new deal to continue coaching the men's side. From USA Today.com.
» 12.12.02 - (THANKS TO SORA) DEUTSCH: Landon Donovan likely to stay in MLS:
Six weeks. That's how long the winter break is in the German Bundesliga.
Some say it's too long, others too short and if you're in English, you ask, "who needs a bloody break?"
Nonetheless, before we head into a short hibernation here are some news and notes to ponder.
It looking more and more like Landon Donovan will remain at home and continue to play for MLS' San Jose Earthquakes. Donovan's agent, Richard Motzkin, met with Bayer Leverkusen general manager Ilij Kaenzig in Germany at the end of November to try and iron out the complicated details of his loan/sale to MLS.
Donovan, the 2002 Honda U.S. Player of the year, is recovering from minor ankle surgery and will be fit before the New Year. The 21-year-old is buying a house in Northern California, yet another sign the World Cup star will remain stateside. Although no official word has been given, the announcement is imminent and should come by the end of the year. From Fox Sports World.
» 12.12.02 - U.S. Soccer Names Finalists for 2002 Chevy Male & Female Athlete of the Year Awards: U.S. Soccer announced today the finalists for its top two year-end Chevy awards, Male Athlete of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year, which will be voted on by fans starting tomorrow (Dec. 13) at www.ussoccer.com.
Online votes will be tallied and will be equivalent to 50 percent of the total votes. As in years past, 100 votes will be compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives (from National Team coaches to the National Board of Directors). Ballots will be accepted until Monday, January 6, 2003, at which time the votes will be tallied. U.S. Soccer, in conjunction with Chevrolet, will then announce the winners of the four awards at separate press conferences in January.
“We’re honored to once again be involved with the Athlete of the Year awards,?said Brian Boyd, Chevrolet brand promotional manager. “This year, each Adult Athlete winner will have their choice of a Chevy TrailBlazer or Chevy Impala. We’ll also donate $1,000 to the U.S. Soccer Foundation in the name of each Young Athlete winner. Chevy has a long history of being there, supporting aspiring athletes and our support of U.S. Soccer is one more example of this.?
U.S. Soccer’s Chevy Male and Female Athletes of the Year awards are the oldest and most prestigious awards of their type, dating back to 1984 for the Men and 1985 for the Women. The finalists for each award were nominated on the basis of: a) competing and excelling at the highest level (both at the National Team level and the professional level) during the calender year, b) exhibiting decorum on and off the field which reflects well on U.S. Soccer, and c) contributing toward the growth, development, credibility and popularization of soccer in the United States.
Past winners of the Male Athlete of the Year award include Earnie Stewart (2001), Chris Armas (2000), Kasey Keller (1999) and Cobi Jones (1998). On the women’s side, three players have won back-to-back Female Athlete of the Year awards. Besides Tiffeny Milbrett’s current two-year streak from 2000 and 2001, living legend Michelle Akers won the award in 1990 and 1991 and world leading scorer Mia Hamm claimed the top prize an unprecedented five consecutive years from 1994-1998.
Chevrolet, the largest division of General Motors Corporation, has been a proud sponsor of U.S. Soccer, the U.S. Youth Soccer Association and state soccer associations since 1997.
Listed below are the seven finalists for the two major Chevy awards, with mini-bios including 2002 highlights for each player attached.
Chevy MALE Athlete of the Year Candidates:
Landon Donovan ?F ?MNT / San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Brad Friedel ?GK ?MNT / Blackburn Rovers (England)
Brian McBride ?F ?MNT / Columbus Crew (MLS)
Clint Mathis ?F ?MNT / MetroStars (MLS)
Cobi Jones ?M/F ?MNT / Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
Claudio Reyna ?M ?MNT / Sunderland (England)
Tony Sanneh ?D ?MNT / FC Nurnberg (Germany)
Chevy FEMALE Athlete of the Year Candidates:
Mia Hamm ?F ?WNT / Washington Freedom (WUSA)
Shannon MacMillan ?M/F ?WNT / San Diego Spirit (WUSA)
Tiffeny Milbrett ?F ?WNT / New York Power (WUSA)
Cindy Parlow ?F ?WNT / Atlanta Beat (WUSA)
Danielle Slaton ?D ?WNT / Carolina Courage (WUSA)
Briana Scurry ?GK ?WNT / Atlanta Beat (WUSA)
Aly Wagner ?M ?WNT / Santa Clara (NCAA)
[Listed in Alphabetical order]
Landon Donovan ?Forward ?MNT / San Jose Earthquakes (MLS): The Chevy Young Male Athlete of the Year in 2000, Donovan’s meteoric rise to prominence with the full U.S. Men’s National Team is best demonstrated by the fact that he played more minutes (1,563) and started more matches (17) than any other MNT player in 2002 ?After appearing in just eight matches in 2001, the 20-year-old forward appeared in all 20 matches in 2002 ?In just his second full year with the MNT, he finished third in scoring with six goals and two assists for 14 points ?Scored two goals in the 2002 World Cup, providing the only goal in a 3-1 loss to Poland on June 14 and heading home an insurance goal in the 2-0 defeat of Mexico in the Round of 16 ?Also nominated for Best U.S. Goal and Best Game Performance ?Player for 2002, with both honors coming from the historic Mexico win ?Back home in MLS, the Redlands, Calif., native was third on the team in scoring with seven goals and three assists as he played a large role in helping San Jose to the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
*Other Mini Bios found at US Soccer.
» 12.10.02 - Donovan deal `close': QUAKES G.M. CONFIDENT STAR WILL STAY IN U.S.
Earthquakes General Manager Johnny Moore is confident star striker Landon Donovan will return to San Jose next season.
``We're very close to finalizing something positive for us,'' Moore said.
The Quakes have spent months negotiating with Germany's Bayer Leverkusen, owner of Donovan's rights, to keep the 20-year-old forward in Major League Soccer. But Leverkusen has struggled this season -- it is 12th among the Bundesliga's 18 teams -- leading to speculation it would recall the U.S. player of the year, who has played two seasons with the Earthquakes.
``That certainly is a factor, but it's only one factor,'' Moore said. ``They also have to consider how much he wants to be here and how much we want him here.''
According to Moore, ``giant steps'' were taken a month ago when MLS officials went to Germany with Donovan's agent, Richard Motzkin, to meet with Leverkusen.
Last week, a report surfaced from Germany that Leverkusen would make a decision this week. Moore expects a deal by Christmas.
Moore added that because of salary-cap restraints, the Quakes will have to move players this off-season. Forward Ariel Graziani, who led San Jose with 14 goals last season, is among the trade candidates, Moore said. From Mercury News.
» 12.06.02 - U.S. Soccer Announces 2002 Finalists for Best Game Performance, Player and Team: Voting for the first annual U.S. Soccer "Best of?quot; Series begins today at 12 p.m. ET at ussoccer.com, where fans can vote once a day for one or all of the 10 inaugural awards until the deadline on Dec. 31
Following on the heels of the 2002 “Best of…” awards series, U.S. Soccer will announce the seven suggested candidates for each of the four annual Chevy Athlete of the Year awards -- Young Female, Young Male, Female and Male -- next week. As the oldest and most prestigious award of their kind, U.S. Soccer’s Chevy Athlete of the Year awards date back to 1984 for the men and 1985 for the women, with the winners of the two major awards receiving vehicles from Chevrolet. For the third straight year, fan votes (along with a media vote) will decide the winner. Online voting will begin at ussoccer.com on Friday, Dec. 13 and run through Jan. 8.
To start voting go to USSoccer.com.
» 12.04.02 - German club may recall Donovan from MLS next week: Bayer Leverkusen says it will decide next week whether to recall U.S. World Cup star Landon Donovan from Major League Soccer's San Jose
Leverkusen owns Donovan's rights until 2007. Donovan spent two season
in Leverkusen without getting playing time, then went to the
Earthquakes before the 2001 season following a negotiation between
Leverkusen and MLS.
Donovan, who scored two goals for the United States at this year's
World Cup, would prefer to stay with the Earthquakes.
"The final decision on his future will come next week," Leverkusen
financial manager Ilja Kaenzig said Wednesday. "If he comes back,
than in January. We are in good talks with the MLS. We are going to
find a solution that everyone can live with." From FoxSports.com.
» 12.04.02 - U.S. Men to Face Canada on January 18 in Ft. Lauderdale: The U.S. Men’s National Team will open 2003 with an international match against Canada at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday, January 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The match against Canada is a rematch of the team’s 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal clash on January 30 in Pasadena, Calif., which was won by the U.S. in penalty kicks after a well-played 0-0 draw. In that game, the U.S. outshot Canada 36 to 10 but were stone-walled by a brilliant performance from Canadian goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld. In the penalty kick shutout, though, it was U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller who rose to the occasion, stopping two of four Canadian penalty kicks as the U.S. won easily, 4-2.
"We are looking forward to the game against Canada,?said U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena, who has won a record 34 games since taking the U.S. helm back in 1998. “Our last game against them in the 2002 Gold Cup was a great one. They have an experienced team, with a roster filled with players from European clubs. Like us, Canada is preparing their team for qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, therefore, this game will be great preparation for both countries."
In their history, the U.S. and Canada have squared off against each other 25 times in a rivalry dating all the way back to 1925, with the U.S. holding a slight 9-8-8 advantage. However, the United States has not lost to Canada in nine consecutive games, compiling a 5-0-4 mark in a stretch dating back more than 17 years to a 2-0 loss in Vancouver on April 2, 1985.
The U.S. is also currently riding a three-game shutout streak over Canada, and has held their Northern neighbors scoreless in seven of their last eight match-ups.
In their last visit to Lockhart Stadium, the U.S. used a last-minute goal by D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen to defeat Chile 2-1 on Feb. 21, 1999. That appearance was the first for the U.S. at Lockhart Stadium since playing a pair of World Cup qualifiers in Ft. Lauderdale way back in 1980 against Canada (a 0-0 draw on Oct. 25, 1980) and Mexico (a 2-1 win on Nov. 23, 1980). Altogether, the U.S. is 2-0-1 in three games in Ft. Lauderdale.
The U.S. will kick-off the 2003 calendar year with a training camp in Bradenton, Fla., during the first week of January. The training camp and a comprehensive schedule of games throughout the first half of the year will help prepare the team for two important summer competitions. The U.S. will travel to France for the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup from June 18-29, 2003, and the team will compete in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup from July 12-27, 2003, as the tournament moves into a bi-annual schedule in which it will be played every odd year moving forward.
In addition to winning a U.S. record 12 games in 2002, the U.S. advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time in 72 years. However, with both the Confederations and Gold Cup approaching, and with 2006 World Cup qualifying kicking off in 2004, the preparation for the future begins against Canada.
The U.S. will learn who their 2003 Confederations Cup opponents will be at the tournament draw on Februray 12, 2003. In addition to the U.S. and host France, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand and Turkey have all qualified for the 2003 Confederations Cup. Additional U.S. matches will be officially announced and added to the team’s 2003 schedule shortly.
Tickets ranging in price levels from $17 to $40 go on sale starting Saturday, Dec. 7, at 10 a.m. ET at all South Florida Ticketmaster outlets (including FYE, Spec’s Music and Ricky’s Records), by phone (Ft. Lauderdale 954-523-3309; Miami 305-358-5885; West Palm Beach 561-966-3309) and on-line at www.ussoccer.com. Discount rates for groups of 20 or more are available immediately through U.S. Soccer by calling 312-528-1249. From USSoccer.com
» 12.04.02 - U.S. Soccer Announces 2002 Finalists for Best Soccer Stadium, Best Soccer Fans: For the first time in its history, the U.S. Soccer Federation has created a series of 10 awards that will honor the standout performances of the calendar year in American soccer and make up the first annual U.S. Soccer “Best of…” Series.
With the help of U.S. National Team head coaches Bruce Arena and April Heinrichs, U.S. Soccer has selected the finalists for each of these first-time awards. Now it’s up to fans to make their voice heard with a vote in one or all of these unique, inaugural awards over the next month at www.ussoccer.com. Official online voting for the awards will begin on Friday (Dec. 6) and continue through Dec. 31.
Following on the heels of the 2002 “Best of…” awards series, U.S. Soccer will announce the seven suggested candidates for each of the four annual Chevy Athlete of the Year awards -- Young Female, Young Male, Female and Male -- next week. As the oldest and most prestigious award of their kind, U.S. Soccer’s Chevy Athlete of the Year awards date back to 1984 for the men and 1985 for the women, with the winners of the two major awards receiving vehicles from Chevrolet. For the third straight year, fan votes (along with a media vote) will decide the winner. Online voting will begin at www.ussoccer.com on Friday, Dec. 13 and run through Jan. 8.
The announcement of finalists for each of the 2002 Best of U.S. Soccer awards will be staggered across this week according to the schedule listed below. The following are the finalists for both Best Soccer Stadium and Best Soccer Fans:
BEST SOCCER STADIUM: From enormous, but storied MLS stadiums to cozy, soccer-specific WUSA and USL venues, this award goes to the best overall place to watch soccer. This doesn’t just mean the biggest and newest stadium, this award incorporates everything from U.S. National Team history or success at the venue, to fan turnout/atmosphere, to quality of the field and sight lines, to unique amenities. Just think: at which stadium would you prefer to watch the U.S. Men’s National Team host a World Cup Qualifier? Or where would you rather watch next year’s MLS Cup or WUSA Founder’s Cup? Here are your seven choices, listed in order of capacity:
1) The Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.; 92,542; home of the 2002 MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy; site of 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup and Women’s Gold Cup Finals; venue for enormous 1999 Women’s World Cup Final and 1994 World Cup Final crowds)
2) Gillette Stadium (Foxboro, Mass.; 68,000; site of extremely successful 2002 MLS Cup, home of the Eastern Conference champion New England Revolution; site of U.S.-Holland friendly on “Nike Road to Korea? sparkling new state-of-the-art venue on history-filled Foxboro grounds)
3) RFK Stadium (Washington, D.C.; 56,500; site of 2002 MLS All-Star Game; rich soccer history as venue for numerous U.S. MNT World Cup qualifiers/friendlies, MLS Cups and ?6 Olympics; home to both D.C. United and Washington Freedom)
4) Columbus Crew Stadium (Columbus, Ohio; 22,555; site of 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup; home of U.S. Open Cup champion Columbus Crew; site of U.S. MNT’s qualifying win over Mexico on Feb. 28, 2001; still remains the prototype for a soccer-specific MLS stadium)
5) Safeco Field (Seattle, Wash.; 47,116; site of successful MNT friendly and 2002 Women’s Gold Cup; although built as a baseball stadium, soccer layout is spacious and allows fans to be extremely close to the field; retractable roof insures perfect field conditions, especially for those frequent rainy days in Seattle)
6) Herndon Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.; 15,011; site of successful 2002 WUSA Founders Cup II; home of the Atlanta Beat; quaint, medium-sized stadium is the best in the WUSA)
7) Blackbaud Stadium (Charleston, S.C.; 5,113; site of 2002 CONCACAF Under-20 Qualifying; home of A-League’s Charleston Battery; perfect A-League stadium as far as size, atmosphere; also boasts impressive Three Lyons Pub)
BEST SOCCER FANS: This award goes to the fans that wear red and pack the Sam’s Army section for U.S. National Team Games, the fans that travel to their team’s away games and the fans that enter the stadium with parka in hand and dressed for any weather condition that Mother Nature can throw at ‘em. Nothing can stop these fans from seeing their soccer. Here are seven choices for the award, listed alphabetically by city, with reasons why each city’s fans deserve to be finalists:
1) Boston, Mass. ?Patriotic New England fans continually support the home teams, win or lose ?Almost sold out brand new Gillette Stadium with over 60,000 fans at the 2002 MLS Cup ?Had a strong showing at U.S. MNT, Revolution and Breakers games, making the WUSA club second in attendance with an average of 8,120 fans in 2002 ?Also came out in force at the old Foxboro Stadium to watch the U.S. qualify for the 2002 World Cup on Oct. 7, 2001, and supported U.S. teams at other numerous qualifiers and friendlies.
2) Chicago, Ill. ?Boasts one of the league’s best supporter’s clubs with the Barnburners ?Despite a move away from the city to the ‘burbs, Fire fans embraced their new surroundings and routinely sold out the 15,000-seat Cardinal Stadium ?Fans have also filled Soldier Field in the past for everything from a U.S. Open Cup Final to a Mexican club team exhibition.
3) Columbus, Ohio ?The hardest-working team in MLS deserves their hard-working fans, who have come out in droves to support just about every soccer event that has come through the city since the stadium was established in 1999 ?Fans braved subzero temperatures to watch the U.S. defeat Mexico 2-0 in a huge World Cup qualifier on Feb. 28, 2001, and have provided consistent support for friendlies since then.
4) Denver, Colo. ?They used to just show up en masse for annual Fourth of July bash, but Denver citizens have warmed to the home team and joined the original Rapids fan base to lead MLS in attendance with an average of 20,690 in 2002 ?On top of that, almost 50,000 swarmed to Invesco Field to watch the U.S. down rival Mexico 1-0 on April 3, 2002.
5) Rochester, N.Y. ?Year in, year out, this city’s soccer fan base is the pride of the United Soccer Leagues, averaging more than 10,000 fans since their inception in 1996, with no signs of diminishing interest in their beloved Raging Rhinos, the perennial A-League finalists ?Having dubbed themselves Soccertown, USA, a few years back, their loyal fans come out to make every event at Frontier Field a success, whether it be the A-League final, an Open Cup match or a mid-week regular season game.
6) Seattle, Wash. ?Seattle fans have made Portland look like the also-ran soccer stop in the Pacific Northwest, as witnessed by the almost 40,000 fans that watched the U.S. MNT crush Honduras 4-0 at Safeco Field on March 2, 2002 ?Over 20,000 fans returned for a U.S. WNT’s Women’s Gold Cup match at Safeco on Nov. 11, 2002 ?Also, over 25,000 fans came out to support the A-League’s Sounders in the first sporting event at the shiny new Seahawks Stadium.
7) Washington, D.C. ?Featuring not one, but two great supporter’s clubs in the Screaming Eagles and Barra Bravas, the D.C. fans have been there to cheer on their United team through both the ups of three MLS Cup titles and the downs of the past two losing seasons ?Fans also supported the Freedom along their march to the WUSA championship match, posting a league-high average attendance of 9,297 in 2002 ?They also pack RFK any time a U.S. National Team rolls around, especially for important World Cup qualifiers.
8) Any fan who traveled to attend a U.S. World Cup game in Korea ?With obvious props to the frequent-flying Sam’s Army gang, the fans that made the long trek and made themselves heard in every stadium in which the U.S. played, from the chants of “Over-rated?during the Portugal game to the calls of “Dos a Cero?in the final minutes of the win over Mexico to the plain old “USA-USA-USA?chants in between, were part of the energy that propelled the U.S. to such great heights in Korea.
Remaining 2002 Best of U.S. Soccer Award Schedule
Dec. 4: Best U.S. Crowd , Best Place to Watch the World Cup from the U.S.
Dec. 5: Best In-Game Promotion , Best U.S. Goal
Dec. 6: Best U.S. Performance (Player) , Best U.S. Performance (Team)
» 12.03.02 - U.S. Soccer Introduces First Annual "Best of..." Series; Fans Can Vote for 2002 Finalists of Ten Inaugural Awards at ussoccer.com Starting Friday: For the first time in its history, the U.S. Soccer Federation has created a series of 10 awards that will honor the standout performances of the calendar year in American soccer and make up the first annual U.S. Soccer “Best of…” Series.
With the help of U.S. National Team coaches Bruce Arena and April Heinrichs, U.S. Soccer has selected the finalists for each of these first-time awards. Now it’s up to fans to make their voice heard with a vote in one or all of these unique, inaugural awards over the next month at www.ussoccer.com. Official online voting for the awards will begin on Friday (Dec. 6) and continue through Dec. 31.
Following on the heels of its first ever “Best of…” awards series, U.S. Soccer will announce the seven suggested candidates for each of the four annual Chevy Athlete of the Year awards -- Young Female, Young Male, Female and Male -- next week. As the oldest and most prestigious award of their kind, U.S. Soccer’s Chevy Athlete of the Year awards date back to 1984 for the men and 1985 for the women, with the winners of the two major awards receiving vehicles from Chevrolet. For the third straight year, fan votes (along with a media vote) will decide the winner. Online voting will begin at www.ussoccer.com on Friday, Dec. 13 and run through Jan. 8.
The announcement of finalists for each of the 2002 "Best of U.S. Soccer" awards will be staggered across this week according to the following schedule, with the 10 finalists for both Best Soccer Bar and Best Soccer Store listed below. Continued at USSoccer.com.
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