The Year in American Soccer, 2007

MLS | USL | USL First Division | USL Second Division | USL-PDL | WPSL | NPSL | W-League | MISL | Women’s World Cup 2007 | | Evolution of Youth Soccer | Men’s National Team | Women’s National Team | Copa America 2007 | Gold Cup 2007 | U-20 World Cup | U-17 World Cup | U.S. Open Cup | International friendlies | The College Game | Awards & Tournaments

The American soccer world was saddened by the death of Lamar Hunt, a pioneer in the modern era of America soccer. Hunt had been a key figure in the formation of the North American Soccer League, and as owner of the Dallas Tornado, was a prime force in the league almost until its demise. He was also a prime organizer of Major League Soccer, controlling at one time over a third of its teams during the league’s early years. His importance to professional American soccer cannot be overstated, and will be forever remembered.

World Cup 2006 was quickly forgotten as 2007 turned out to be probably the busiest year American soccer had seen to date. For soccer fans, it was an embarrassment of riches. Summer saw American players involved virtually simultaneously in four major tournament – Women’s World Cup 2007, Gold Cup 2007, the Copa America, and the U-20 World Cup. Add to this a resurgent MLS with the excitement of David Beckham’s debut, the successful launch of the SuperLiga, CONCACAF champions Cup, the US Open Cup, the Mexican National team tour, the World Series of Football, the new US Youth Soccer Academy launch, the U20 and U-17 World Cups, the usual pro league and college action, it is no wonder that some fans were challenged simply to keep up with it all. In a two week period, a MLS fan could watch their team play in a league match, an open cup match, a friendly against a European club in the world series of football, a CONCACAF Champions cup match, and a SuperLiga match, all the while bemoaning the loss of 1-2 players to National Team service for the abovementioned major tournaments.

The major event of course was the Women’s World Cup. Here one could see how much the face of women’s soccer had changed since 2003; with the veteran Americans mostly retired and the rest of the world catching up, it is perhaps no surprise that the US had to settle for third place. The men’s team triumphed again at the Gold Cup, taking their first back-to-back trophies, and Major league soccer saw substantially increased interest as the influx of David Beckham and a string of other talented players improved the product on the playing field. The US participated in Copa America for the first time since 1995, although the result was disappointing, perhaps a result of over scheduling. The Youth teams put on a good display at the U-17 and U-20 world cups, although neither going as far as hoped. Overall, it was a memorable year for American soccer despite the disappointments. Progress was being made on numerous fronts, and the fans’ choices were more numerous than ever before.

Major League Soccer (Division 1)

Perhaps the biggest news story of 2007 was the signing of David Beckham by the Los Angeles Galaxy. This was an event as big as, if not bigger than, the signing of Pele by the Cosmos in 1975, a move that helped propel the North American Soccer League into the national spotlight. In ways, this was even bigger. While Pele, widely hailed as soccer’s best player of all time, brought a lot of attention and impressive scoring prowess to the Cosmos, he was widely considered past his prime and in fact had come out of retirement to join the Cosmos. Beckham, on the other hand, was still in the prime of his playing career, and was expected to lay at least five years in MLS. The news generated a tidal wave of publicity, more than any event in the US even than the women’s victory at the World Cup. The publicity alone was invaluable for the league and season ticket sales rose significantly around the league in response. He was signed as a “designated player”, a new concept started by MLS. Each team was allowed to sign one “franchise” player of international renown, that would not be subject to the salary cap. This would allows the league to have some top world talent, without breaking the bank. Only five teams signed designated players this first season. Besides Beckham, the others included Mexican international Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Chicago Fire), Denilson (Dallas), Claudio Reyna and Colombian Juan Pablo Angel (New York Red Bull). Beyond the designated player signings, a number of lesser known (and less expensive) international players were brought aboard, and proved to be a real boon to the league, providing explosive and exciting play, and turned around the fortunes of several teams. These included Luciano Emilio (DC United), Roberto Brown (Colombia), Juan Carlos Toja (Dallas), Carl Robinson (Toronto), Fabian Espanola (Chivas), and Maykel Galindo (Chivas USA).

In an effort to promote the rivalry between the MLS and the Mexican Football league, the “SuperLiga” was established, a pool-play/knockout competition between the top four MLS and MFL clubs, with a $1,000,000 prize as inducement, which was expected to bring some excitement to the middle of the season and provide a forum where the leagues could establish bragging rights. It was hoped that good performances in the SuperLiga would enable MLS clubs to qualify for the Copa Liberatores, much as the way Mexican clubs qualify through their performances in the Interligua, a MLS-sponsored competition between top Mexican clubs, run by MLS’s Soccer United Marketing.

Another important development was the launching of the Youth Development Initiative. This would finally bring MLS into line with other pro leagues in their manner of player development. Unlike the rest of the world, where teams develop their own players who often sign with the team as young as 11, MLS had depended on a draft which recruited an assortment of generally unprepared college players, often missing out some of the best talent available. Now, each MLS team would be required to field youth teams, while giving them rights to the players they develop. The required teams were at the U-15 and U-18 age groups, with options to add U-25, U-20, U-16 and U-14 squads. Minimum registration was for 2 years, with 100+ day training/game day commitments. Those players completing the requirements could be added directly to the team instead of going through the draft. Success of these teams would depend more on the number of players successfully promoted as opposed to number of games won. The system was set for a 2008 debut. A key question that remained was whether the teams would fully fund their youth components or charge players for the privilege of taking part. Fearing a backlash from established youth programs, some teams were cautious in their attempts to develop programs that would not conflict with existing leagues. Dallas followed Chicago’s lead and took over an existing youth team and renaming it, while other teams looked at adding their own Academy team.

The other major change this season was the addition of Toronto FC as the newest team, and the first outside of the United States. With Mo Johnston as head coach and a bevy of skilled players, Toronto looked to make an auspicious debut. Season ticket sales, already at 5,500, doubled after the signing of David Beckham and were eventually capped at 14,500. Toronto operated under special roster rules: Canadian citizens or permanent residents counted as domestic players, with three senior international slots for players who would otherwise count as domestic players in the US, in addition to the four senior international and five youth international spots. This would provide Canada with a top-flight outlet for their best players, something that had been lacking since the 1992 demise of the Canadian League.

Another important development was the sale of DC United for $33,000,000 to a consortium headed by Victor MacFarlane, Will Chang, and former Duke basketball players Christian Laetner and Brian Davis. One of their first tasks at hand was to finalize a deal for a new 24,500 seat soccer-specific stadium on the banks of the Anacostia River. This followed the sale late last summer of Kansas City Wizards to the One Goal LLC consortium, which now meant that with one exception (AEG/Anschutz with Houston and Los Angeles), every MLS franchise now had its own investor operator. More progress was made on the stadium front, with the opening of the 18,500 seat Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the Colorado Rapids, and finalization of plans for soccer specific stadiums for New York, Real Salt Lake and Washington. Finally, the MLS television contract was improved with the addition of a weekly Thursday night Match of the Week, and the return of MLS to Univision (through their Telefutura channel), after several years, bringing the games back to the Hispanic market.

The current television contracts, now in their second year, were already paying dividends for MLS, now bringing in rights fees of between $2.5 and $7 million per year. There was a whirlwind of coaching changes this season, as Tom Soehn was promoted to replace Peter Nowak at DC United, Steve Morrow took the reigns at Dallas, Curt Onalfo took over Kansas City and Preki replaced Bob Bradley at Chivas USA. In an effort to find talented young players who would be missed by the established suburban club system, MLS and Univision launched “2007 Sueno MLS” a soccer equivalent of American Idol, aimed at low-income Hispanic markets. Over 2,000 young players signed up, and the winner, 17-year-old Jorge Flores was signed to Chivas USA, where he scored 3 goals in 2008, and ultimately helped the U-20 national team qualify for the 2009 U-20 worked cup.

Toronto received the first pick at the SuperDraft and chose highly touted midfielder Maurice Edu of Maryland. Some major players changed cities this year, with Freddy Adu moving to Real Salt Lake, and Amadeo Guevara to Chivas USA. The most highly anticipated arrival of course was David Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy, however this would be delayed as Real Madrid’s coach, after initially disparaging Beckham, then proceeded to sign him for the first of his contract, delaying his arrival with the Galaxy until mid-season. Other major player signings eventually included Juan Pablo Angel and Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

DC United signed Brazilian forward Luciano Emilio who immediately made an impact in United’s CONCACAF Champions Cup matches. Freddy Adu was traded to Real Salt Lake, and was replaced with Fred, a young Brazilian. New England largely stayed pat this year, signing Taylor Twellman, Pat Noonan and Shairie Joseph to new contracts. Chicago lost top scorers Andy Heron and Nate Jaqua, and looked to draft picks to fill the gaps. Red Bull New York went for veterans to rebuild, including Dutch left winger Dave van den Bergh, and Austrian midfielder Markus Schopp, along with designated player Claudio Reyna. Kansas City lost Josh Wolff, picked up keeper Kevin Hartman from the Galaxy, and put draft pick Michael Harrington into the starting midfield line.

The expansion Toronto FC stocked up with players from the expansion draft, headed by Alecko Eskandarian, Paulo Nagamura, Edson Buddle and Ronnie O’Brien, and Canadian international Conor Casey. Columbus, worst in the league, picked up Andry Herron, Danny O’Rourke and Stefani Miglioranzi, but otherwise made few changes.

In the west, the defending champions, Houston Dynamo made few changes. The big signing at Los Angeles of course was David Beckham, but coach Frank Yallop, who had replaced Steve Sampson just prior to World Cup 2006, also signed keeper Joe Cannon, and defender Nate Jaqua, obtained from Chicago.

Still smarting from their first round elimination last year, FC Dallas fired coach Colin Clarke, replacing him with Steve Morrow, and made some player changes, trading away Ronnie O’Brien and Greg Vanney and signing Columbian star Juan Carlos Toja, but kept the core of the team intact. Colorado made a bevy of changes, signing Zach Thornton in goal, forward Herculez Gomez from the Galaxy, defenders Ugo Ihemlu and Greg Vanney, and Panamanian Roberto Brown. Chivas USA lost its two biggest Mexican stars from 2006, Juan Francisco Palencia and Juan Pablo Garcia; to compensate, they signed Cuban Maykel Galindio (who had defected during the 2005 Gold Cup), and Honduran Amado Guevara. Chivas expended their outreach into the local Hispanic community, backed with over $4,000,000 in local sponsorships, which began to pay off this year with increased attendance. They built their new 4-field training complex in nearby Bell Gardens, a city that was 88% Hispanic, establishing four developmental teams supplement their U-19 squad, and attracted over 2,000 local youth to try out for contracts. Real Salt Lake, looking for more improvement, acquired Freddy Adu and Nick Rimando from DC United, but otherwise made no changes to their starting lineup.

Kansas City got off to a fast start thanks to Eddie Johnson, who scored 9 goals in 9 games before leaving to represent the US at the Gold Cup. By mid-season, head coaches had been replaced at Chicago and Real Salt Lake, and players were being traded at a fast pace, perhaps due to ramifications of the new playoff qualifying procedure. New England, with perhaps their deepest squad ever, led the Eastern Conference, followed closely by Kansas City. Houston got off to a terrible start, but some inspired play, the arrival of Richard Mulrooney from Toronto, and an amazing 895-minute shutout streak propelled the Dynamo to the lead in the West. Chivas USA was also starting to show signs of life, going 6-0-1 at home, scoring 15 and only allowing 2 goals.

As the season wore on, DC United began a relentless drive, catching up with and finally surpassing the Revolution to win the Eastern Conference title, as well as the Supporter’s Shield for the best regular season record. Another surging team, Red Bull New York, won a three-way battle for third place, their best showing in some time. The big surprise was in the West, where the Houston Dynamo’s supremacy was challenged by upstart Chivas USA, who in one of the biggest turnarounds in League history, captured the Western Conference crown by a nose. FC Dallas brought up third. Houston did however set a new record by only allowing 23 goals in a 30 point season.

The playoffs brought excitement and some unexpected results. The procedure was changed this season so that the top 8 teams in the league by points would make the playoffs, rather than the top four from each conference. Eighth-seeded Kansas City provided the first surprise, ousting Chivas USA in the quarterfinals. DC United got an early start on the Fire, winning the opening match 1-0 and holding on for a 2-2 draw to take the series on aggregate. In a classic Derby series, Houston stumbled out of the gate losing their first leg to Dallas, but came roaring back at home to take the 2nd leg 4-1. New England and Red Bull New York were also evenly matched, with the teams deadlocked until the 64th minute of the 2nd game when Taylor Twellman finally put the Revolution on the scoreboard, and into the semifinals. The semifinals were also low-scoring affairs, with New England only needing one goal to oust Chicago, while Houston earned a more convincing 2-0 shutout of Kansas City.

MLS Cup ’07, held on November 18, 2007 in Washington DC, was a rematch of MLS Cup ’06, with the New England Revolution trying to both get revenge, and also break its curse by earning its first League championship. The game was high energy from the start, with New England opening the scoring courtesy of a Taylor Twellman shot in the 20th minute. The Revolution continued to outplay Houston through the first half, but appeared to lose focus in the 2nd half, blowing a couple good scoring opportunities. Then in the 61st minute, Joseph Ngwenyahad saw his chance — lining up a shot, he mis-kicked it off a Revolution defender, the ball went right back to him, and he shot again past Matt Reis to even the score. Dwayne De Rosario put the Dynamo ahead in the 74th minute by directing a snap header past Brad Davis and sending it into the net. New England tried repeatedly to find the net, but to no avail, and went on to suffer their fourth MLS Cup loss. The US Open Cup title was some consolation, but this loss still hurt. For the season, Luciano Emilio was the top scorer, and also copped the Most Valuable player award.

Overall, this was a very satisfying year for MLS. With the designated players and other signings bringing new excitement onto the playing field, and interest brought on by the SuperLiga, World Series of Football matches and tight pennant races, attendance grew substantially this year, as well as ratings on TV thanks to the new contract. Attendance rose to 3,270,210, an average of 16,770 per game, up from 15,504 in 2006. Except for Kansas City, every team drew at least 14,000 per game, with LA leading the way with 24,252. In a piece of welcome news, MLS worked out stadium issues at San Jose and announced an expansion franchise would be placed there for 2008. Some months later, they awarded the League’s 15th franchise to Seattle, to begin play in 2009, and still later awarded the 16th franchise to Philadelphia.

Official 2007 MLS Season Stats
Official MLS History Archives

              Final 2007 Major League Soccer Standings

Before the season, Toronto FC was added.

                           GP   W   L   D   GF  GA  Pts
     Eastern Division
D. C. United               30  16   7   7   56  34   55
New England Revolution     30  14   8   8   51  43   50
Red Bull New York          30  12  11   7   47  45   43
Chicago Fire               30  10  10  10   31  36   40
Kansas City Wizards        30  11  12   7   45  45   40
Columbus Crew              30   9  11  10   39  44   37
Toronto FC                 30   6  17   7   25  49   25

     Western Division
Chivas USA                 30  15   7   8   46  28   53
Houston Dynamo             30  15   8   7   43  23   52
FC Dallas                  30  13  12   5   37  44   44
Colorado Rapids            30   9  13   8   29  34   35
Los Angeles Galaxy         30   9  14   7   38  48   34
Real Salt Lake             30   6  15   9   31  45   27

Quarterfinals:  Chicago defeated D. C. United 1-0, 2-2
                Houston defeated Dallas 0-1, 4-1
                Kansas City defeated Chivas USA 1-0, 0-0
                New England defeated New York 0-0, 1-0
Semi-finals:    New England defeated Chicago, 1-0
                Houston defeated Kansas City 2-0
MLS CUP 2007:   Houston defeated New England 2-1

MLS will add the San Jose Earthquakes for 2008.

MLS Reserve League:  League Champ:  Colorado Rapids (7W, 0D, 1L)


Luciano Emilio, DC United          29   20           
Juan Pablo Angel, New York         24   19
Taylor Twellman, New England       26   16
Eddie Johnson, Kansas City         24   15
Maykel Galindo, Chivas USA         28   12
Ante Razov, Chivas USA             26   11
Christian Gomez, DC United         27   10
Jozy Altidore, New York            22    9
Landon Donovan, Los Angeles        25    8
Robbie Findley, Real Salt Lake     25    8

GOALKEEPING LEADERS  (Minimum 1000 minutes)
                               GP   MIN  SHTS SVS  GA   GAA  SO

Pat Onstad, Houston            27  2418   107  85  22  0.82  11
Brad Guzen, Chivas USA         27  2430   112  87  25  0.93  13
Bouna Coundoul, Colorado       30  2668   152 120  32  1.08   9
Jon Conway, New York           14  1143    71  57  14  1.10   4
Troy Perkins, DC United        29  2610   149 117  32  1.10   8
Matt Pickens, Chicago          27  2430   133 102  31  1.15  10
Rick Rimando, Real Salt Lake   27  2430   183 146  37  1.37   7
Matt Reis, New England         30  2700   163 120  43  1.43  10
Will Hesmer, Columbus          20  1800   100  71  29  1.45   5
Kevin Hartman, Kansas City     30  2700   155 110  45  1.50   5
Joe Cannon, Los Angeles        29  2610   165 119  46  1.59   5
Dario Sala, Dallas             18  1620    93  64  29  1.61   5
Kenny Stamatopoulos, Toronto   12  1080    61  41  20  1.67   2
Ronald Waterreus, New York     18  1557    90  59  31  1.79   5

All-Star Game: On The MLS All-Stars defeated Celtic FC 2-0 before 18,661 fans at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO. The goals were scored by Juan Pablo Angel (36), and Juan Toja (44).

MLS Award Winners:

Most Valuable Player: Luciano Emilio, DC United
Coach of the Year: Preki, Chivas USA
Goalkeeper of the Year: Brad Guzan, Chivas USA
Defender of the Year: Michael Parkhurst, New England Revolution
Rookie of the Year: Maurice Edu, Toronto FC
Golden Boot Award (Top goalscorer) : Luciano Emilio, DC United
Supporters' Shield Award: DC United
Referee of the Year: Brian Hall
Comeback Player of the Year: Eddie Johnson, Kansas City Wizards
Commissioner's Award:  Cobi Jones, Los Angeles Galaxy

MLS Best 11:
G - Brad Guzan, Chivas USA
D - Michael Parkhurst, New England Revolution
D - Eddie Robinson, Houston Dynamo
D - Jonathan Bornstein, Chivas USA
M - Dwayne De Rosario, Houston Dynamo
M - Joseph Shairie, New England Revolution
M - Christian Gomez, DC United
M - Ben Olsen, DC United
M - Guillermo Schelotto, Columbus Crew
F - Luciano Emilio, DC United
F - Juan Pablo Angel, New York Red Bull

SuperLiga 2007

The inaugural SuperLiga competition was a widespread success with all matches competitive and well attended. Especially good for MLS was how competitive the teams were against their Mexican counterparts. The top four MLS clubs of 2006 and the top four from the Mexican Football League were divided into two groups, with Group A consisting of Los Angeles Galaxy, CF Pachuca, Chivas Guadalajara and FC Dallas, and Group B consisting of Houston Dynamo, DC United, Club America and Montarcas Morelia.

Pool play took place from July 24 through August 1 with the knockout finals in mid-August. For the most part these were low-scoring matches with numerous draws early on, with the notable exception of Los Angeles’s defeat of Dallas in a 6-5 goal fest on July 31. The American clubs asserted themselves towards the end, with Los Angeles winning group A ahead of Pachuca, and Chivas Guadalajara in 3rd place, while Houston Dynamo and DC United finished 1-2 in Group B.

After a two week break, the semifinals were at hand. Pachuca defeated Houston in another goal fest for their semifinal, winning 4-3, while the Galaxy shut out DC United 2-0 in Carson. The final match against Pachuca and the Galaxy on August 29 was another high scoring affair. Pachuca had dominated play in the first half and benefited from a Galaxy own goal, taking high hopes into the last minutes before a dramatic bicycle kick by Chris Klein in the waning moments brought the Galaxy even with Pachuca and forcing overtime. Eventually the game went into penalty kicks where Pachuca prevailed 4-3.

Overall, MLS officials were very pleased with the results. The tournament was well attended, and the MLS teams played competitively, actually doing better than their Mexican counterparts up until the final match. Hopes were high for an even better competition in 2008.

            Final Pool Play Standings, 2007 SuperLiga

                     G  W  L  T  Pts
     Group A
Los Angeles Galaxy   3  2  1  0   6
CF Pachuca           3  1  1  1   4
Chivas Guadalajara   3  1  1  1   4
FC Dallas            3  0  1  2   2

     Group B
Houston Dynamo       3  2  0  1   7
DC United            3  1  1  1   4
Club America         3  1  2  0   3
Monarcas Morelia     3  0  1  2   2

Semifinals:   Pachuca defeated Houston 4-3
              Los Angeles defeated DC United 2-0
FINAL:        Pachuca defeated Los Angeles 4-3

United Soccer Leagues

Final 2007 USL standings and playoff results

Final 2007 W-League standings and playoff results

USL Division 1 (USA Division 2)

USL Division 1 added new clubs on the east and west coasts, with the launching of the Carolina Railhawks and California Victory. The Railhawks played in Cary, NC, home of the Carolina Courage of the old WUSA, and California playing at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. The league had to scramble to reschedule games after the last-minute demise of Virginia Beach. The 2007 season of Division 1 looked quite a bit different from that of 2006 as many stronger teams found their footing and some stronger teams struggled. The Silverbacks added Bolivian international Luis Liendo in an effort to shore up their struggling defense. Miami FC replaced Brazilian star Romario with Zinho, another veteran of the 1994 World Cup, along with Douglas, Cristiano and Julio Cesar. Minnesota re-signed Liberian striker Ansu Toure and signed U-20 Rodrigo Hidalgo and announced plans for a new soccer stadium. Montreal, coming off an amazing season, made a number of changes including replacing Greg Sutton in goal with Matt Jordan, a MLS veteran.

The league season evolved into a three-way battle between last year’s leading Montreal Impact, the Seattle Sounders, who had finished in the middle of the pack and the Portland Timbers who had struggled to avoid last place in 2006. Vancouver continued a long slow slide, finishing in the red, while Atlanta improved enough to finish 4th, while the Charleston Battery stumbled to the lower ranks of the standings. Carolina finished in 8th place, not too bad for an expansion club, but California had few victories to boast about; they finished last and folded after the season. The league season finished with the Seattle Sounders winning the regular season crown, while Portland and Montreal battled it out for 2nd place, Portland finishing 1 point ahead.

The playoffs started off with a major surprise – 2nd year Puerto Rico ousting the Montreal Impact in the quarterfinals, rallying from a first leg 3-2 loss, to shut out the Impact 3-0 in the rejoinder. Atlanta earned advancement after a close series against the Rochester Rhinos, winning 2-1 and drawing 1-1 in the 2nd leg. Seattle had no problem with the expansion Carolina Railhawks, shutting them out 2-0 and 1-0. Portland was shut out in their first leg against Vancouver, but roared back in the 2nd, earning a 3-0 shutout and sending the Whitecaps packing.

In the semifinals, Atlanta and Portland deadlocked through both legs (1-1 and 0-0) before settling the matter in penalty kicks, with the Silverbacks prevailing 3-1. Seattle also had a tough battle with the Islanders, winning the first game 2-1, and fighting to a scoreless draw in the second. The Championship was another story all together; the Sounders trounced Atlanta 4-0 to take their second league title in 3 years. Daniel Antoniuk of Atlanta was the top scorer (7 goals, 9 assists for 24 points), and Sebastian Le Toux of Seattle won the league Most Valuable Player award.

                   Final USL Division 1 Standings, 2007

Before the season, Carolina and California were added.  Miami
Became the F. C. Blues.

                            GP   W   L   D   GF  GA  Pts
Seattle Sounders            28  16   6   6   37  23   54
Portland Timbers            28  14   5   9   32  18   51
Montreal Impact             28  14   6   8   32  21   50
Atlanta Silverbacks         28  12   9   7   40  30   43
Rochester Raging Rhinos     28  12  10   6   39  36   42
Puerto Rico Islanders       28  10   8  10   35  34   40
Vancouver Whitecaps         28   9   7  12   27  24   39
Carolina Railhawks          28   8  12   8   24  34   32
Miami FC Blues              28   9  15   4   31  41   31
Charleston Battery          28   8  14   6   32  39   30
Minnesota Thunder           28   5  12  11   32  35   26
California Victory          28   4  17   7   17  43   19

Quarterfinals:   Puerto Rico defeated Montreal 2-3, 3-0
                 Atlanta defeated Rochester 2-1, 1-1
                 Seattle defeated Carolina 2-0, 1-0
                 Portland defeated Vancouver 0-1, 3-0
Semi-Finals:     Atlanta defeated Portland 1-1, 0-0 (3-1 PK)
                 Seattle defeated Puerto Rico 2-1, 1-1
CHAMPIONSHIP:    Seattle defeated Atlanta 4-0

After the season, California folded.

Leading Scorers:
                                 GP   G  A  PTS
Daniel Antoniuk, Atlanta         26   7  9   23
Sebastien Le Toux, Seattle       24  10  2   22
Andrew Gregor, Portland          24   8  5   21
Roger Levesque, Seattle          27   8  5   21
Charles Gbeke, Montreal          28  10  1   21
Hamed Diallo, Rochester          22   9  1   20
Byron Alvarez, Charleston        22   8  2   18
David Hayes, Atlanta             26          18
Brian Farber, Minnesota          28          17
Johnny Menyongar, Rochester      28   6  5   17
Stephen Armstrong, Charleston    23   7  2   16
Kupono Low, Carolina             28          16
Eduardo Sebrango-Rodriguez, Van  16   7  1   15
Crizam Oliveira-Filho, Miami     25   5  5   15
Connally Edozien, Carolina       26   7  1   15

Goalkeeping Leaders: (Min 1000 minutes)
                                 GP   MIN  GA    GAA 

Josh Wicks, Portland             27  2385  16  0.603
Matthew Jordan, Montreal         19  1665  12  0.648
Christopher Eylander, Seattle    26  2294  21  0.823
Ryan McIntosh, Atlanta           15        13  0.866
Chris McLellan, Carolina         25  2250  25  1.000
Nicholas Platter, Minnesota      18  1620  21  1.166
Josh Saunders, Puerto Rico       22  1980  26  1.181
Chase Harrison, Rochester        18  1620  23  1.277
Felipe Quintero-Monsivais, Atl.  13        17  1.307
Eric Reed, California            23  2070  32  1.391

All-Star Game:TBA 

USL First Division Award Winners:
Most Valuable Player:  Sebastian Le Toux, Seattle Sounders
Goalkeeper of the Year:  Josh Wickes, Portland Timbers
Defender of the Year: David Hayes, Atlanta Silverbacks
Rookie of the Year: Jay Needham, Puerto Rico Islanders
Coach of the Year: Gavin Wilkinson, Portland Timbers

All-League Team:

G - Josh Wickes, Portland Timbers
D - Gabriel Gervais, Montreal Impact
D - David Hayes, Atlanta Silverbacks
D - Cameron Knowles, Portland Timbers
M - Stephen Armstrong, Charleston Battery
M - Andrew Gregor, Portland Timbers
M - Martin Nash, Vancouver Whitecaps
M - Zinho, Miami FC
F - Dan Antoniuk, Atlanta Silverbacks
F - Hamed Diallo, Rochester Rhinos
F - Sebastien Le Toux, Seattle Sounders

USL Second Division

USL Second Division returned to two major metropolitan areas rife with soccer history with the addition of the Cleveland City Stars and Crystal Palace Baltimore. They also went international, expanding to the tiny island nation of Bermuda, with the Bermuda Hogges. Although Bermuda struggled to manage a last-place finish, Cleveland and Crystal Palace made quite a splash in their inaugural season, with the City Stars finishing fourth thanks to two prolific scorers, Andongcho Mbuta and Gary Brooks, and Cleveland batted Richmond until the last weekend in before conceding the regular season championship to the Kickers. Cleveland won the prize for stingiest defense however.

In the playoffs, Richmond dispatched perennial favorite Charlotte 2-1 while Harrisburg ended Cleveland’s amazing first-year run with a 1-0 shutout, and then took the championship after a tough match that ended in a 1-1 score and had to be settled through penalty kicks. Even then, Richmond would not let go until the 8th round. An exciting end to an exciting season. After the season, two of the weakest teams, New Hampshire and Cincinnati were relegated to the PDL, but the league welcomed Pittsburgh back from hiatus and added the Real Maryland Monarchs to their fold.

                    Final 2007 USL Division 2 Standings

Before the season, Cleveland, Crystal Palace Baltimore and Bermuda were added.

                            GP   W   L   D   GF  GA  Pts
Richmond Kickers            20  12   3   5   37  15   41
Cleveland City Stars        20  10   1   9   31  14   39
Harrisburg City Islanders   20  11   4   5   25  15   38
Charlotte Eagles            20  11   7   2   40  29   35
Crystal Palace Baltimore    20   9   6   5   27  20   32
Western Mass Pioneers       20   7   7   6   25  26   27
Wilmington Hammerheads      20   4   9   7   22  30   19
Cincinnati Kings            20   4  11   5   29  41   17
New Hampshire Phantoms      20   3  12   5   16  34   13*
Bermuda Hogges              20   3  14   3   16  45   12
 * - penalized 1 point

Semi-Finals:     Harrisburg defeated Cleveland 1-0
                 Richmond defeated Charlotte 2-1
CHAMPIONSHIP:    Harrisburg defeated Richmond 1-1 (8-7 PK)

After the season, Cincinnati and New Hampshire were relegated
to the PDL.

Leading Scorers:
                                 GP   G  A  Pts
Jacob Coggins, Charlotte         20  12  7   31
Adam Moffat, Cleveland           19   8  2   18
Andongcho Mbuta, Crystal Palace  16   5  7   17
Gary Brooks, Crystal Palace       9   7  2   16
Jeff Deren, Western Mass.        20   7  2   16
Michael Burke, Richmond          17   3  9   15
Matthew Watson, Richmond         17          15
Dustin Swinehart, Charlotte      19          15
Nathan Miklos, Cincinnati        20   7  1   15
Mo Oduor, Harrisburg City        16   6  2   14
Ricky Schramm, Richmond          16   6  2   14

Leading Goalkeepers:  (Min 900 minutes)
                                     GP     GAA
Richard Hunter Gilstrap, Cleveland   12   0.500
Matthew Nelson, Harrisburg City      18   0.611
Ronnie Pascale, Richmond             19   0.684
Brian Rowland, Crystal Palace        19   0.842
Daniel Benton, Charlotte             17   1.235
Kevin Trapp, Western Mass.           20   1.309
Tyler Kettering, Wilmington          10   1.400
Brian Levey, New Hampshire           16   1.545
Daniel Ruch, Wilmington              10   1.600
Ronald (Craig) Salvati, Cincinnati   13   2.160

Most Valuable Player: Mike Burke, Richmond Kickers
Defender of the Year: Mark Schulte, Cleveland City Stars
Rookie of the Year: Stephen Astwood, Bermuda Hogges 
Goalkeeper of the Year: Ronnie Pascale, Richmond Kickers
Coach of the Year: Martin Rennie, Cleveland City Stars

USL Premier Development League (PDL) (“Division 4”)

The PDL lost seven teams from 2006, added 9 expansion clubs and welcomed the Toronto Lynx who had been relegated from Division 1. Many familiar names appeared at the top of the division standings at season’s end, including the Cape Cod Crusaders, Michigan Bucks and Laredo Heat. The Carolina Dynamo also won in the southeast and the new Hampton Roads Piranhas took the Mid-Atlantic. Other first time divisional champs included the Brigham Young University Cougars and the Heartland’s Thunder Bay Chill.

Two division champs fell by the wayside in the conference semifinals – with Hampton Roads losing to Brooklyn 6-5 and Thunder Bay falling to perennial power Chicago 3-1. The Brooklyn Knights continued their upsets in the conference finals, beating Cape Cod 1-0, while the Michigan Bucks defeated Chicago Fire Premier 3-0. Laredo, anxious to avenge their 2006 loss in the title match, easily defeated Carolina 2-1, while the Fresno Fuego, who had battled till the last game to win the Southwest divisional title, dispatched Brigham Young Cougars 3-0.

In the semifinals, Michigan battled Brooklyn Knights to a 1-1 draw, eventually winning 6-5 in penalty kicks, while Laredo had a long hard fight before pulling out a 1-0 win over Fresno. The championship game was a rematch between the Laredo Heat and Michigan Bucks. This time, however, the result was reversed, as Laredo defeated the Bucks in a high scoring match to win the league title 4-3.

Final 2007 PDL standings and playoff results

Most Valuable Player: TBA
Top Scorer:  Pablo Campos, Fresno Fuego (18 goals, 39 points)
Defender of the Year: David Horst, Hampton Roads Piranhas
Goalkeeper of the Year: Evan Newton, Hampton Roads Piranhas
U-19 Player of the Year: Evan Newton, Hampton Roads Piranhas
Coach of the Year: John Hall, Hampton Roads, Piranhas

Women’s Premier Soccer League

The WPSL continued its growth in 2007, adding six new franchises. The New England Mutiny returned to prominence in the East-North division, once again taking the title. The Tampa Bay Elite continued their dominance in the southeast, going undefeated to repeat as division champs. But perhaps the biggest surge came from River Cities Futbol Club who outscored their opponents 37-2, despite losing the division title to FC Indiana, and the ever-dominant Ajax America Women, with a perfect 16-0-0 season, who scored an unprecedented 78 goals. The season left them in good shape to win the US Women’s Open Cup later in the year, despite losing in the league semifinals to FC Indiana. FC Indiana would go on to win the league title, beating the New England Mutiny 3-0 in the championship match. Kandace Wilson of Ajax America was the leading scorer (15 goals, 1 assist, 31 points).

WPSL Final 2007 Standings

Before the season, Claremont, Rush Salt Lake City, Albuquerque,
Real Shore, FC Twente3, Chicago, and SoccerPlus Connecticut were added.  
Miami became the Kickers.  Philadelphia became the Liberty.

                          GP   W   L   D   GF  GA  Pts
     East-North Division
New England Mutiny        10   7   0   3   34   3   24
Long Island Fury          10   7   1   2   34   6   23
SoccerPlus Connecticut    10   6   1   3   27  12   21
Adirondack Lynx           10   6   4   0   26  15   18
Massachusetts Stingers    10   6   4   0   26  15   18
Boston Aztecs             10   5   4   1   20  12   16
New York Athletic Club    10   4   6   0   11  22   12
Bay State Select          10   2   7   1   13  26    7

     East-Mid-Atlantic Division
Atlantic Diablos          10   8   2   0   35   9   24
Northampton Laurels FC    10   5   5   0   12  23   15
Philadelphia Liberty      10   3   6   1   11  19   10
Real Shore FC             10   2   8   0    5  25    6
Central Delaware SA Future10   1   8   1   13  31    4
Maryland Pride            10   1   9   0    6  39    3

     South Division
Tampa Bay Elite            8   6   0   2   29   5   20
Central Florida Strikers   8   4   1   3   19   9   15
Palm Beach United          8   4   3   1   19  10   13
Orlando Falcons            8   1   5   2    9  27    5
Miami Kickers              8   0   6   2    5  30    2

     Midwest Division
FC Indiana                 8   7   1   0   33   3   21
River Cities Futbol Club   8   7   1   0   37   2   21
FC Twente3 IL              8   2   6   0   11  25    6
FC St. Louis               8   2   6   0   12  37    6
Chicago United Breeze      8   2   6   0   10  37    6

     Southwest Division
Denver Diamonds           10   6   3   1   17  20   19
Rush Salt Lake City       10   6   4   0   16  13   18
Utah Spiders              10   5   3   2   15  11   17
Albuquerque Lady Asylum    9   5   4   0   24  12   15
Colorado Springs United   10   0   9   1    8  38    1

     West Division
Ajax America Women        16  16   0   0   71   8   48
San Diego WFC SeaLions    16   9   6   1   44  18   28
California Storm          16  10   5   1   52  16   31
Sonoma County Sol         16   8   5   3   32  20   27
Claremont Stars           15   5   5   5   35  23   20
San Francisco Nighthawks  14   2   7   5   22  36   11
Lamorinda East Bay Power  13   1  11   1   14  67    4
FC Sacramento Pride       13   1  12   0    5  80    3

Conference Finals:   Tampa Bay defeated Denver 2-1
                     New England defeated Atlantic City 2-1
Semi-Finals:         FC Indiana defeated Ajax America 1-1 (4-3 PK)
                     New England defeated Tampa Bay 1-1 (5-4 PK)
FINAL:               FC Indiana defeated New England 3-0

After the season, River Cities, and Real Shore FC folded.
FC Indiana left for the W-League.

Coach of the Year: Brian Boswell, Ajax America Women

 Leading Scorers:
                             GP   G   A   Pt
Kandace Wilson, Ajax America  9  15   1   31
Tiffany Weimer, SoccerPlus    9  12   6   30
Meghan Schnur, New England   12   8   9   25
Shannon Cross, Ajax America  14   9   3   21
Cindy Schofield, Tampa Bay    7   9   2   20
Carla Arbulu, Adirondack      6   8   3   19
Cami Boswell, Ajax America   14   3  10   16
Brittany Cooper, Albuquerque  7   7   2   16
Erin O'Grady, New England    12   6   3   15
Alexandra Zedros, New England12   7   1   15

WPSL 1st All-Star Team:

G - Karen Bardsley, Ajax America Women
G - Stephanie Labbe, New England Mutiny
D - Sue Weber, Long Island Fury
D - Dani Collins, Atlantic City Diablos
D - Elisabeth Tona, FC Indiana
M - Maureen Whitney, California Storm
M - Meghan Schnur, New England Mutiny
M - Fatima Leya, FC Indiana
M - Ouying Zhang, San Diego WFC SeaLions
F - Cindy Schofield, Tampa Bay Elite
F - Tiffany Weimer, SoccerPlus CT
F - Kandace Wilson, Ajax America Women

National Premier Soccer League

The NPSL added 12 teams, to make up for 8 lost last season, and reorganized into four divisions, and now well established in all regions of the country. The SoCal Fusion were the class of the league, beating out El Paso Indios for the regular season title based on wins (although tied on points). The expansion Queen City FC of Buffalo, who had won the northeast conference title, defeated Sonoma County to advance to the championship game where they lost to SoCal Fusion 1-0. Sonoma County went on to beat the Princeton 56ers to win the 3rd place match. The league had its most successful season yet, both on the field and in the stands, and was compared favorably to USL Division 2, which now dwarfed it in comparison. The NPSL made plans for a major expansion for the 2008 season.

2007 NPSL Final League standings

Before the season, Queen City, Atlantic City, Long Island, Boston, 
Real Shore, Braves FC, Rockford, FC Indiana, Indianapolis, 
El Paso, Santa Cruz, and Colorado were added.

                            GP   W   L   D   GF  GA  Pts
     Northeast Conference
Queen City FC (Buffalo)     10   7   2   1            22
Atlantic City Diablos       10   5   1   4            19
Long Island Academy         10   5   2   3            18
Boston Aztec                10   3   5   2            11
Real Shore                  10   0  10   0             0

     Midwest Conference
Princeton 56ers             10   8   1   1            25
Milwaukee Bavarians         10   8   2   0            24
St. Paul Twin Stars         10   5   3   2            17
Indianapolis Braves FC      10   4   6   0            12
Rockford Raptors            10   3   6   1            10
FC Indiana                  10   0  10   0             0

     Southwest Conference
SoCal Fusion                14  10   3   1            31
El Paso Indios USA          14   9   1   4            31
Albuquerque Asylum          14   7   4   3            24
San Diego Pumitas           14   3   8   3            12
Colorado Crimson FC         12   1   8   3             6
Denver Kickers              12   1   9   2             5

     Northwest Conference
Sonoma County Sol           14   8   2   4            28
Sacramento Knights          14   7   2   5            26
Santa Cruz Breakers         14   7   4   3            24
Salinas Valley Samba        14   3   7   4            13
Real San Jose               14   1   9   4             7

Semi-Finals:    Queen City FC defeated Sonoma County 5-4 (3-1 PK)
                SoCal defeated Princeton 1-0
Third Place:    Sonoma County defeated Princeton 1-0
FINAL:          SoCal defeated Queen City 1-0

After the season, Real Shore, San Diego, Denver, Colorado, Indianapolis,
and SoCalm folded. FC Indiana, Indios USA and Sacramento 
went on hiatus.

The W-League

The W-League added four teams this year. Two of these teams, on opposite corners of the country, made a major impact. The Washington Freedom, former champions of the Women’s United Soccer Association, won the northeast division in a close race with the expansion Jersey Sky Blue, while the San Diego Sunwaves had no trouble winning the Western Conference title. Although San Diego lost their conference final, the Washington Freedom played as though they belonged in a division 1 professional circuit, cruising through the playoffs and defeating the Atlanta Silverbacks 3-1 to win the league title.

Final 2007 W-League standings and playoff results

Leading Scorers:
                                 GP   G   A  Pts
Lara Dickenmann, Jersey          11  17   9   41
Ali M Andrzejeski, Washington    14  13   5   31
Tiffeny Milbrett, Vancouver      10  11   6   28
Caroline Smith, Minnesota        12  10   6   26
Jennifer Parsons, Richmond       11  11   3   25
Danesha Adams, Cleveland          5  10   4   24
Emily Beans, Chicago             11  11   3   24
Melissa Shulman, Long Island     14           23
Kelly Parker, Ottawa             12           22
Gretchen Miller, Rochester        9  10   2   22
Leading Goalkeepers: (min 550 minutes played) 
                                 GP    GAA
Melanie Wilson, Atlanta           8  0.250
Ann Gleason, Minnesota            9  0.352
Jillian Loyden, Jersey            9  0.517
Laura Armstrong, Charlotte        9  0.625
Kati Spisak, Washington          14  0.729
Emily Niman, Richmond             7  0.895
Sophia Perez, San Diego          11  1.000
Vanessa Phillips-Bosshart, Ott.   8  1.000
Robin Jones, New Jersey          14  1.008
Kristen Eggert, Chicago           8  1.015

W-League Award Winners:
Most Valuable Player: Lara Dickenmann, Jersey Sky Blue
Goalkeeper of the Year: Melanie Wilson, Atlanta Silverbacks
Defender of the Year: Jaclyn Raveia, Richmond Kickers Destiny
U-19 Player of the Year: Adrienne Ruhe Lischke, Toronto Lady Lynx
Coach of the Year: Elio Bello, San Diego Sunwaves

Major Indoor Soccer League

The MISL’s St. Louis Steamers went on hiatus for the 2006-07 season to attempt to get their financing in order, and their players were dispersed among the other teams in the league. The league’s expansion team, the Detroit Ignition did surprisingly well in stocking players for their initial roster, featuring Jamar Beasley, the 4th best scorer last season, former all-star Miki Djerisilo, as well as Kyt Selaidopoulos and Jonathan Greenfield of the Milwaukee Wave, the Philadelphia Kixx player-coach Don D’Ambra, and the Chicago Storm’s starting goalkeeper Danny Waltman.

With this impressive roster of talent, the Ignition took the league by storm, winning the regular season, coming out on top in an amazing battle for supremacy which saw five of the 6 league teams in contention until the final games. They won the title just one game ahead of Chicago and Philadelphia. In the playoffs, they beat Milwaukee Milwaukee in a tiebreaker after splitting their two leg series, while Philadelphia beat Chicago in sudden death after splitting their series. The dream season came to an end for the Ignition in the final as they lost to the Philadelphia Kixx 13-8.

The league planned finalized plans for a major expansion for 2007-08, with franchised set to debut in Monterrey (Mexico), New Jersey and Orlando.

                 Final MISL 2006-2007 Standings

Before the season, Detroit was added.

                          GP   W   L    PCT    GB   GF   GA
Detroit Ignition          30  18  12  0.600    --  374  330
Chicago Storm             30  17  13  0.567  1.00  372  341
Philadelphia Kixx         30  17  13  0.567  1.00  377  343
Milwaukee Wave            30  16  14  0.533  2.00  397  360
Baltimore Blast           30  15  15  0.500  3.00  327  322
California Cougars        30   7  23  0.233 11.00  331  482

Semifinals:     Detroit defeated Milwaukee 13-11, 8-10, 2-1 (T.B.)
                Philadelphia defeated Chicago 8-11, 10-6, s.d.
CHAMPIONSHIP:   Philadelphia defeated Detroit 13-8

Leading scorers:  
                              GP 3PG 2PG   A  PTS
Jamar Beasley, Detroit        29   5  35  22  107
Greg Howes, Milwaukee         30   6  29  29  105
Don D'Ambra, Philadelphia     28   3  29  18   85
Todd Dusosky, Milwaukee       24   1  23  29   78
Stephen Armstrong, Chicago    29   5  27   7   76
Genoni Martinez, Philadelphia 27   8  14  21   73
Mark Ughy, Chicago            24   1  27  14   71
Denison Cabral, Baltimore     28   1  24  14   65
Machel Millwood, Baltimore    28   0  28   9   65
Enrique Tovar, California     28   1  25  10   63
Mariano Bollella, Chicago     23   5  18   9   60
Carlos Farias, Detroit        26   4  15  16   58
Brian Farber, California      26   0  22   9   53
Pat Morris, Philadelphia      27   7   8  14   51
Maricio Leite, Milwaukee      25   1  14  19   50

Leading Goalkeepers: (min. 1,200 minutes)
                           GP    MIN     SF   SV   W  L   AVG
Sagu, Baltimore            24  1412:45  423  308  12 11 10.53
Peter Pappas, Philadelphia 30  1747:10  501  351  15 12 10.82
Sanaldo, Detroit           25  1432:42  451  325  13 11 10.85
Nick Vorberg, Milwaukee    24  1448:31  421  298  13 11 10.89
Jim Larkin, Chicago        24  1251:30  377  264  10 12 11.31
Dominik Jakubek, Calif.    16   829:14  308  196   2 12 17.08
Most Valuable Player (Hector Marinaro Trophy): Jamar Beasley, Detroit Ignition 
Leading Goalscorer:  Jamar Beasley, Detroit Ignition
Defender of the Year: Genoni Martinez, Philadelphia Kixx
Rookie of the Year:  Stephen Armstrong, Chicago Storm
Goalkeeper of the Year: Peter Pappas, Philadelphia Kixx
Coach of the Year: Mark Pulisic, Detroit Ignition

First All-MISL Team:

G -   Peter Pappas, Philadelphia Kixx 
D -   Denoni Martinez, Philadelphia Kixx
D -   Pat Morris, Philadelphia Kixx
M/F - Jamar Beasley, Detroit Ignition
F/F - Greg Howes, Milwaukee Wave
M/F - Don D'Ambra, Philadelphia Kixx

Women’s World Cup 2007

The Women’s World Cup finally made it back to China, after the 2003 edition had been belatedly moved to the United States after a flu epidemic. Much had happened in the ensuing four years and the American team faced new challenges. Many established veterans had retired or been cut from the team, and great strides had been made by many countries in developing the women’s sport, so the US was no longer necessarily the favorite to win. Since there was no professional league to give the women top-flight playing experience, coach Greg Ryan established a residency camp for the US players allowing for extended periods of training and exhibition matches.

The squad that traveled to China included 12 holdovers from the 2003 World Cup, including perennial stars Kristine Lilly, Brianna Scurry and Abby Wambach, as well as six newcomers who received their first caps under Ryan. These included Algarve Cup MVP Carli Lloyd, who had scored 8 goals in the months leading up to the cup, as well as Natasha Kai, Marci Jobson, and Stephanie Lopez. Abby Wambach and Kristine Lilly anchored the front line, with Lori Chalupny Carli Lloyd, Shannon Boxx and Aly Wagner populating the midfield. Hope Solo was designated starting goalkeeper ahead of Brianna Scurry, with the defensive line consisting mostly of newcomers. Ryan had changed the training philosophy somewhat, de-emphasizing explosive and overwhelming scoring power in favor of a strong, tenacious defense, and the results showed, with the US going unscored upon in Ryan’s first 9 games, and in six of nine this season leading to the Cup. The American soccer landscape made its presence felt at the Cup finals, whose team rosters featured 17 current and 34 former W-League players, as well as numerous WPSL players. The United States squad boasted 12 of those. Kristine Lilly was playing in her 5th world cup, and several players were in their third.

The United States was placed in Group B, the toughest group, with the same opponents as in 2003, North Korea, Sweden and Nigeria. They opened on September 11 in Chengdu, against North Korea, who, tough as always, forced the US to a 2-2 draw. Wambach opened scoring in the 50th minute, but Kil Son Hui evened the score in the 58th minute, and Kim Yon Ae put Korea ahead four minutes later. A shot by O’Reilly in the 69th brought the US even again and the teams battled to the last minute deadlocked.

Three days later, the US had an easier time against their top ranked opponent, shutting out Germany 2-0. It was actually a scoreless draw, save for two successfully converted penalty shots taken by Abby Wambach. Moving on to Shanghai, on September 18, the US defeated Nigeria in a close match. Chalupny scored in the first minute of play, and the teams battled scorelessly for the rest of the match. Not pretty, but unlike past matches with Nigeria, this one was clean with only 1 yellow card in the game.

The Quarterfinals saw the USA in Tianjin, against England, which unlike its men’s counterpart, was not in the top tier of world rankings. The US had a fairly easy time with them, earning a 3-0 shutout, with three quick goals early in the second half.

Everything came crashing down for the US at the semifinals. On September 27, in Hangzhou, the US was pitted against Brazil, a team that had made leaps and bounds into the top tier of world superpowers, and showed they were ready to take it all, as they flattened the US. Scoring started with a US own goal, but Marta scored shortly thereafter to give Brazil a 2-0 advantage. The US simply couldn’t get things going, and Brianna Scurry (playing in her first game in six months) struggled throughout the game, eventually allowing two more goals in the 2nd half. The US was eliminated 4-0, and the players were left to wonder what went wrong. Considerable controversy arose over coach Ryan’s decision to pull Hope Solo out of the match (resting her for the final perhaps?) when Scurry was so clearly out of shape, having not played a match in months. The dispute turned rancorous and provided the biggest news coverage the team got for the entire event. The US rallied three days later to beat Norway 4-0 in the 3rd place game, but that was little consolation Overall, the games brought back bad memories of 1995, when high hopes were dashed to pieces in a similar fashion. Brazil would play on into the finals, where they were defeated 2-0 by Germany before 60,000 fans on September 30.

Complete results, 2007 Women’s World Cup

Evolution of the Youth Soccer System

Although youth soccer continued to grow and expand, by now into a bewildering array of choices, the USSF was concerned by the failure to develop players at the top level to a degree that would allow more effective competition at major world tournaments. There was a “glass ceiling” hindering progress, whether it was coaching, youth teams, funding or over scheduling, or simply a failure to tap into new demographics to find overlooked talent, the source needed to be found. Much of the focus on solutions was centered on the rapidly evolving world of youth soccer. With ever more national organizations providing opportunities for elite youth squads to compete at the national level, players were faced with a bewildering array of options. United States Youth Soccer (formerly USYSA), had since 2001, offered national championships for both boys and girls from U-14 to U-19 levels, with some of those competitions going back decades – the McGuire cup had been awarded to U-19 boys champions since 1935. These competitions were organized through the 55 state associations and four regional tournaments. US Club Soccer had National Cup competitions for U-12 through U-17, a Champions Cup for the best boy’s or girl’s club in the USA, and a regional World Youth Series for U-8 through U-13. USL’s Super-Y League offered league competition and national tournaments for U-13 – U-17, with the new Super-20 League for people outgrowing the other options. Add to this Major League Soccer’s requirement for their clubs to create youth development systems and clubs, and the newly launched U-17 Red Bull National league, to say nothing of the various Olympic Development Programs, the AYSO, and Soccer in the Streets, and the National Team’s U-17 residency program at Bradenton, FL, it is no wonder that when USYS announced plans to launch a new National league, people were wondering if they were seeing too much of a good thing. In an effort to bring some order to this chaos, the USSF launched in the fall the U. S. Soccer development Academy for boys U-16 through U-18 to include significant financial support to ease the way for lower-income players. Within a couple months, the USSF announced their lineup for the inaugural season, with 64 major clubs from across the country, including several teams associated with MLS and USL clubs. Among the clubs to join the effort was BW Goetschee, a legendary New York soccer club founded in 1951, and a mainstay of the Cosmopolitan League.

With so many options abounding, people feeling pressure to perform well could find themselves playing 70-100 games per year, leading to burnout. Many of the high-powered (and highly financed) programs were also criticized for placing undue emphasis on winning matches at the expense of actually developing the skill of players to the point they can help the US national team and professional leagues become competitive at the international level. Some saw a more effective route being the establishment of youth and reserve squads by MLS teams, a process that was just beginning to take root in 2007. As said by Soccer America’s Ridge Mahoney: “There’s plenty of talent at hand, there are many questions to be answered, and much more work to do.”

Men’s National Team

The United States was still licking its wounds from the World Cup 2006 debacle when the year commenced, and the long process of preparing for World Cup 2010 began anew. Bob Bradley was named interim coach shortly after Bruce Arena’s departure, eventually being hired on a permanent basis in May. One of his first tasks was to select replacements for a number of retiring veterans. There would be plenty of playing opportunities to help him in this task. This year, for the first time since 1995, the US accepted an invitation to play in Copa America, the South American championship. Add this to the upcoming Gold Cup, and the team had a full slate for the summer, and so began preparations with a series of competitive friendlies lined up for the winter.

The first match, at Carson, CA before a disappointing crowd of 10,000+ saw a rejuvenated team easily beat Denmark 3-1 with goals by Donovan, Bornstein and Cooper. Two weeks later, on February 7, the US faced a near-sellout pro-Mexican crowd at Glendale, Arizona, in their debut at the new Cardinals’ stadium. The US struggled in the first half, but Jimmy Connor found the net after taking a Donovan pass and drilling it just past the right post. They held on through the half, with Donovan scoring just before stoppage time, and the US took a 2-0 shutout in front of a subdued “home” crowd.

These were followed by an impressive 3-1 win over Ecuador on March 25 in Tampa. Landon Donovan earned a hat trick, opening scoring in the first minute. Ecuador equalized ten minutes later, but a couple of quick Donovan goals in the 2nd half secured the victory. Three days later in Frisco, TX, The US battled Guatemala to a scoreless draw, the first time the US has not beaten Guatemala in a home match. Preparations concluded with a 4-1 victory over China on June 2. Next up was the Gold Cup (see below). After their triumph there, the US had only a couple days to rest before heading to Venezuela for Copa America (also see below).

The Gold Cup victory was highly savored, but the result in Copa America left a bitter taste in the mouth. Whether it was lack of preparation or tired players, or the wrong players, it was a disappointing comedown after winning the North American championship. The team slowed down their schedule, taking a month off, before resuming with a series of friendlies to conclude the year.

The US, perhaps still stunned by their Copa America performance, played a lackluster game against Sweden, losing 1-0. A big crowd came for the highly anticipated friendly against a Brazilian team that did not consist solely of 2nd stringers. The crowd was large (43,000+ at Chicago), play was spirited, with great goals for the US by Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey, but Brazil was too much for the Americans and went home with a 4-2 win. The US came to life after this, shutting out Switzerland 1-0, and finishing the year in November with their first trip to South Africa where they defeated the host 1-0.

2007 USA Men’s National Team results

   DATE    Score  Opponent        Attendance Location (Event)
     2007 Totals:   12W, 1D, 5L
Nov 17 07  W 1-0  South Africa       30,000  Johannesburg, South Africa
               Cherundolo (27)
Oct 17 07  W 1-0  Switzerland        16,500  Basel, Switzerland
               Bradley (86)
Sep 09 07  L 2-4  Brazil             43,543  Chicago, IL
               Bocanegra (21), Dempsey (73)
Aug 22 07  L 0-1  Sweden             20,648  Goteborg, Sweden
Jul 05 07  L 0-1  Colombia           35,000  Barquisimeto, Venezuela (CA’07)
Jul 02 07  L 1-3  Paraguay           25,000  Barinas, Venezuela (CA’07)
               Clark (40)
Jun 28 07  L 1-4  Argentina          37,000  Maracaibo, Venezuela (CA’07)
               Johnson (PK-9)
Jun 24 07  W 2-1  Mexico             60,000  Chicago, IL (GC’07)
               Donovan (PK-62), Feihaber (73)
Jun 21 07  W 2-1  Canada             50,760  Chicago, IL (GC’07)
               Hedjuk (39), Donovan (45)
Jun 16 07  W 2-1  Panama             22,412  Foxboro, MA (GC’07)
               Donovan (PK-60), Bocanegra (82)
Jun 12 07  W 4-0  El Salvador        26,512  Foxboro, MA (GC’07)
               Beasley (34, 89), Donovan (49), Twellman (73)
Jun 09 07  W 2-0  Trinidad & Tobago  27,000  Carson, CA (GC’07)
               Ching (29), Johnson (54)
Jun 07 07  W 1-0  Guatemala          21,334  Carson, CA (GC’07)
               Dempsey (26)
Jun 02 07  W 4-1  China              20,821  San Jose, CA
               Beasley (PK-10), Feihaber (28), Dempsey (75), Onyewu (79)
Mar 28 07  D 0-0  Guatemala          10,932  Frisco, TX
Mar 25 07  W 3-1  Ecuador            31,547  Tampa, FL
               Donovan (1, 66, 67)
Feb 07 07  W 2-0  Mexico             62,462  Glendale, AZ
               Conrad (52), Donovan (90)
Jan 20 07  W 3-1  Denmark            10,048  Carson, CA
               Donovan (PK-44), Bornstein (57), Cooper (80)

Women’s National Team

With the Women’s World Cup looming, the major concern was to bring the new generation of US players up to speed. With many of the top stars having retired since the last Cup, this would be no cakewalk.

The US started out in good fashion, winning the Four Nations Cup in China, despite earning 2 draws. They were however the only unbeaten team. They opened with a scoreless tie against Germany, and followed with a 1-1 draw against England. A 1-0 shutout of China clinched the championship. The team didn’t let up at that point, and cruised through the Algarve Cup to finish at their accustomed place at the top. The first game was a rematch against China which they won 2-1, followed by shutouts against Finland and Denmark and a closer 4-3 result against Sweden. With these cup competitions out of the way, the team returned home for further training and a series of domestically-based friendlies to prepare for the World Cup.

The first friendly was a convincing shutout of Mexico on April 14, followed by a 6-2 thrashing of Canada in May. June brought consecutive 2-0 shutouts of China and Brazil respectively, and the juggernaut continued through August with victories over Norway, Japan, New Zealand and Finland. The team looked fit and ready after their 13-2 run, but competition would be keen at the World Cup (see separate section above.)

The US had to settle for third place at the World Cup, a disappointment to them considering past achievements. But they had to face the fact that the rest of the world was rapidly catching up, and they had work to do building up the next generation of players. A trio of matches with Brazil had been scheduled as sort of a “victory tour”, but the response was somewhat subdued, with the US winning the first two convincingly, but only managing a tie at the final match in Albuquerque. One result of the World Cup was the National Team’s replacement of Greg Ryan as head coach by Pia Sundgahe, the first foreigner to head the women’s team.

2007 USA Women’s National Team results

   DATE    Score  Opponent        Attendance Location (Event)
    2007 Totals:  19W, 4D, 1L
Oct 20 07  D 1-1  Mexico              8,972  Albuquerque, NM, USA
               O’Reilly (62)
Oct 17 07  W 4-0  Mexico             10,006  Portland, OR, USA’
               Lilly (45), Wambach (76), Kai (82), Lloyd (87)
Oct 13 07  W 5-1  Mexico             10,861  St. Louis, MO, USA
               O’Reilly (32), Wambach (57,81), Lilly (67), Lloyd (84)
Sep 30 07  W 4-0  Norway             34,000  Shanghai, China (WWC’07)
               Wambach (30,46), Chalupny (58), O’Reilly (63)
Sep 27 07  L 0-4  Brazil             47,818  Hangzhou, China (WWC’07)
Sep 22 07  W 3-0  England            29,586  Tianjin, China (WWC’07)
               Wambach (48), Boxx (57), Lilly (60)
Sep 18 07  W 1-0  Nigeria             6,500  Shanghai, China (WWC’07)
               Chalupny (1)
Sep 14 07  W 2-0  Sweden             35,500  Chengdu, China (WWC’07)
               Wambach (34-pen, 58-pen)
Sep 11 07  D 2-2  North Korea        35,100  Chengdu, China (WWC’07)
               Wambach (50), O’Reilly (69)
Aug 25 07  W 4-0  Finland             7,118  Carson, CA, USA
               Boxx, Lilly, Tarpley, O’Reilly
Aug 12 07  W 6-1  New Zealand         7,015  Chicago, IL, USA
               Wambach (2), Lloyd (2), Lilly, Tarpley
Jul 28 07  W 4-1  Japan              11,290  San Jose, CA, USA
               Boxx, (O.G.), Lilly, Wambach
Jul 14 07  W 1-0  Norway              9,957  Hartford, CT, USA
               Lloyd (66)
Jun 23 07  W 2-0  Brazil             16,856  East Rutherford, NJ, USA
               Lilly (1), Wambach (17)
Jun 16 07  W 2-0  China               8,888  Cleveland, OH, USA
               Wambach (67,88)
May 12 07  W 6-2  Canada              8,569  Frisco, TX, USA
               Wambach (3-pen, 65), Tarpley (13), Chalupny (28), Lilly (35), O’Reilly (73)
Apr 14 07  W 5-0  Mexico             18,184  Foxboro, MA, USA
               Wambach (10), Tarpley (33), Lilly (50, 70), Cheney (88)
Mar 14 07  W 2-0  Denmark             1,000  VR de SA, Portugal (AC’07)
               Lilly (12) , Lloyd (51)
Mar 12 07  W 3-2  Sweden              1,000  VR de SA, Portugal (AC’07)
               Wambach (39, 72), Lloyd (44)
Mar 09 07  W 1-0  Finland               500  Ferreiras, Portugal (AC’07)
               Lloyd (48)
Mar 07 07  W 2-1  China                 500  Silves, Portugal (AC’07)
               Lilly (19), Lloyd (38)
Jan 30 07  W 2-0  China               8,000  Guangzhou, China (FNT’07)
               Chalupny (45), Kai (56)
Jan 28 07  D 1-1  England             3,000  Guangzhou, China (FNT’07)
               O’Reilly (17)
Jan 26 07  D 0-0  Germany             1,500  Guangzhou, China (FNT’07)

Copa America 2007

The United States accepted an invitation to play in their first Copa America since 1995. Previous invitations had been turned down because of the already hectic playing schedule. The US was placed in Group 3, with Argentina, Paraguay and Colombia. Brazil and Argentina were the tournament favorites, and the US had a challenge with its three opponents, none of them slouches.

Things got off badly for the Americans and didn’t get any better. The Cup opened in Venezuela only four days after the end of the Gold Cup, leaving little time for rest or practice. The US opened on June 28 at Marcaibo, against a well prepared Argentina. The US scored first, off a penalty shot by Eddie Johnson, but it was all Argentina from that point on. They equalized two minutes later, and the battle was joined. The US simply wore out in the 2nd half, allowing three unanswered goals on their way to a 4-1 defeat. On July 2, they held Paraguay scoreless for a majority of the first half, and answered the opening score to go into halftime tied. But once again, the team tired out, allowing a goal early in the 2nd half and another in stoppage time on their way to a 3-1 loss. The final pool play game was against Colombia, and the US was never really in this game at all. Colombia scored early, and although the US shut down the Colombian offense, the US had no firepower of their own, and went on to a 1-0 shutout loss and elimination. The Americans’ major Gold Cup opponent, Mexico, went on to win the 3rd place match, and Brazil shut out Argentina 3-0 for the title.

Gold Cup 2007

Once again, the United States and Mexico were the favorites to win the Gold Cup, with Haiti as a possible spoiler, coming off its successful Caribbean Cup triumph. Both Mexico and the United States were playing in the Copa America as well, and this provided some scheduling overload challenges for both teams. The USA was placed in Group B with Guatemala, El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago. They opened play against Guatemala on June 7 at the home Depot Center before a near sellout of 21,334. The US remained undefeated in Gold Cup opening matches. In the 26th minute, DaMarcus Beasley headed a Jonathan Bornstein’s chip shot to Taylor Twellman who withstood a hard challenge and centered the ball to Clint Dempsey who found the net. The US held on for the 1-0 win. Two days later, they shut out Trinidad & Tobago 2-0 courtesy of goals by Brian Ching in the 29th and Eddie Johnson in the 54th.

Pool play concluded with a beautiful 4-0 trouncing of El Salvador at Foxboro. DeMarcus Beasley opened scoring in the 34th minute, and Donovan got a score off a penalty kick near the end of the half, while Twellman scored in the 73rd minute, and Beasley got his second right before stoppage time.

The going got a little rougher in the quarterfinals, where the US and Panama battled to a draw until well into the second half. The US got on the scoreboard first with Landon Donovan taking a penalty shot right into the net. Two minutes later, Carlos Bocanegra extended the lead, and Panama could only manage 1 goal late in the half, giving the US the 2-1 win. The Americans faced Canada in the semifinals, and it was also close. Like their previous game, the US got on the board first, courtesy of Frankie Hedjuk in the 39th, augmented by a Donovan penalty kick just before 1st half stoppage time. Canada rallied halfway through the 2nd half, but ended up losing 2-1.

The score was the same in the Final against Mexico (at Chicago on June 24). With their drive and determination, the US held Mexico scoreless until just before 1st half stoppage time when Guardado scored for the Tri-Colores. Landon Donovan got the US on the board with a penalty kick early in the 2nd half, and 15 minutes later, Failhaber extended the lead. The US held on for the 2-1 win, giving them their first ever back-to-back Gold Cup titles.

U-20 World Youth Championship

The United States cruised through U-20 World Cup qualifying, beating Haiti 4-1, drawing with Guatemala 0-0 and trouncing Panama 5-0. The U-20 World Cup was held in Canada for the first time. Canada had a lot to cheer about, with a new division 1 team in Toronto, a new soccer specific stadium, and the hopes that a successful tournament would encourage investment in the national program.

The United States team featured Freddy Adu, who would soon figure in some of the scoring. The US was placed in Group D with South Korea, Poland and Brazil. They battled to a 1-1 draw with South Korea in the opener on June 30 at Montreal, but 3 days later they trounced Poland 6-1, with Freddy Adu scoring a hat trick and Szetela scoring two. Pool play finished at Ottawa with a close 2-1 win over Brazil, and the US traveled to Toronto to face Uruguay in the Round of 16. Uruguay was a formidable foe, and the teams battled until well into the 2nd half before Uruguay opened the scoring. The US was the lucky recipient of an own goal in the 87th, and finally put it away 17 minutes into overtime.

The US was lucky with their win against Uruguay but no such luck in the Quarterfinals (at Toronto on July 14, before 19,526)where Austria came from behind to win the match 2-1 in overtime, sending the US home. This was one of the USA’s better U-20 performances, but so much more had been hoped for.

U-17 World Youth Championship

The USA qualified for the U-17 World Cup easily. The team opened by defeating Trinidad & Tobago 3-0 on April 30, followed a few days later by a 2-1 win over Canada. On May 4, they had a doubleheader, losing to Jamaica 3-2 before beating Costa Rica 2-1 to qualify for the final tournament.

The final tournament was held in South Korea from August 18 – September 9. The United States was in Group E, along with Tunisia, Tajikistan and Belgium. The Americans stumbled from the start, losing 4-3 to the underdog Tajikistan squad, and then bowing to Tunisia 1-3. This nearly eliminated them, but they rallied to a 2-0 win over Belgium to advance. In the quarterfinals, they were defeated 2-1 by Germany and eliminated. Nigeria beat Spain in the finals, winning 4-3 on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw. A disappointing finish for the US, one of the worst U-17 finishes ever, leaving the team to rebuild for ’09.

U. S. Open Cup

For the 2007 US Open Cup, the MLS revised their qualification procedures for the 8 teams that would take part. This year, the six teams that finished in the top three of each conference advance to the Round of 16; the other 6 teams competed in play-in games to fight for the 2 remaining spots. Colorado and Los Angeles qualified through the play-in round. This was a year of surprises and upsets as the lower division clubs made their presence known in an unmistakable way. In the Round of 16, five of the eight MLS teams were eliminated! The 3rd division Richmond Kickers shut out Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0, while the 2nd division Charleston Battery needed extra time to squeak out a 1-0 win over the defending MLS champion Houston Dynamo. Amazingly enough, DC United fell 1-0 to the 3rd division Harrisburg City Islanders while the 2nd division Carolina Railhawks shut out the Chicago Fire 1-0 and the 2nd division Seattle Sounders defeated CD Chivas USA 3-1. The New England Revolution easily defeated Div. 2 Rochester Rhinos and the Colorado Rapids had an easy 3-1 victory over the 2nd Division California Victory, but FC Dallas had to go to penalty kicks before finally dispatching the division 2 Atlanta Silverbacks.

In the quarterfinals, New England fought on for a close victory over Harrisburg City, while the Seattle Sounders trounced Colorado Rapids 5-1 and FC Dallas defeated the Charleston Battery 2-1 in overtime. Carolina defeated Richmond 1-0. In the semifinals, the Revolution defeated Carolina 2-1 in overtime and FC Dallas eliminated Seattle 2-1 in extra time to set up an all-MLS final.

The final was held at Pizza Hut Park in Dallas on October 3, where the New England Revolution battled in a goal fest to defeat the host team, FC Dallas 3-2, to win their first national championship. Pat Noonan opened scoring in the 21st minute, and nine minutes later Arturo Alvarez equalized with a shot off the post. Taylor Twellman got the lead back for the Revolution just before the half. He assisted for New England’s 3rd goal in the 2nd half, sending a low cross to Pat Noonan who passed to Wells Thompson, who beat Adrian Serioux and blasted a shot into goal for a 3-1 lead. Abe Thompson brought Dallas to within 1 in the 64th minute, tapping a header into the net, but New England held on for the 3-2 win. This was a great victory for the Revolution who had previously lost an Open Cup final and three MLS Cup finals – now the curse was broken and they finally had a trophy of their own.

International Friendlies

The World Series of Football returned in 2007, although it was a more modest schedule of matches than previously. UANL Tigres of Monterrey, Suwon Bluewings of South Korea and Chelsea were the competition for the Los Angeles Galaxy. The main highlight of the series was the Galaxy debut of David Beckham who played for a few minutes in the debut of their match against Chelsea. Tigres UANL won the tournament on the basis of goal difference over Chelsea. The highlight of the International friendlies not involving the USA was the Soccer United Marketing-sponsored tour of the Mexican National Team. Mexico completed their 4th summer tour of the United States, which was an unqualified success, selling out four of five matches and averaging over 40,000 in attendance. Other international friendlies were also well attended.


2/28/07  Mexico 3, Venezuela 1 (at San Diego, att. 63,328)
3/22/07  Jamaica 0, Switzerland 2 (at Ft. Lauderdale, att. 3,254)
3/24/07  Haiti 3, Panama 0 (at Miami, FL, Orange bowl, att. 12,000)
3/25/07  Colombia 3, Switzerland 1 (at Miami, FL, Orange Bowl, att. 16,000)
3/27/07  Honduras 2, El Salvador 0 (at Cary, NC, att. 8,365)
3/28/07  Mexico 4, Ecuador 2 (at Oakland, CA, att. 47,416)
5/23/07  Ecuador 1, Ireland 1 (at East Rutherford, NJ, att. 20,823)
5/26/07  Bolivia 1, Ireland 1 (at Foxboro, MA)
7/17/07  Tigres UANL 3, Los Angeles Galaxy 0 (at Los Angeles, att. 15,349)*
7/17/07  Chelsea 1, Suwon Bluewings 0 at Los Angeles, att. 15,349)*
7/20/07  Tigres UANL 3, Suwon Bluewings 0 (at Los Angeles, att. 27,000)*
7/20/07  Chelsea 1, Los Angeles Galaxy 0 (at Los Angeles, att. 27,000; Beckham debuts for Galaxy)*
8/22/07  Colombia 1, Mexico 0 (at Commerce City, CO, att. c. 18,500)
9/9/07   Costa Rica 0, Honduras 0 (at East Hartford, CT, att. 8,000)
9/12/07  Mexico 1, Brazil 3 (at Foxboro, MA, att. 67,584)
10/17/07 Mexico 2, Guatemala 3 (at Los Angeles, CA, att. 42,350)
* - World Series of Football match

Americans Abroad

In the 2006-07 European season, there were an unprecedented 14 players in the English Premier League, almost double the previous high. Three of them, Brian McBride, Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey were teammates with Fulham, another first. In addition, there were 6 players in the German Bundesliga, five in Mexico, four in Denmark, 1 in the French first division, 1 in Italian Serie A, and nine more in assorted leagues. Tim Howard moved from Manchester to Everton, and played in every game of 06-07.

Three US goalkeepers played every game for their Premiership teams: Tim Howard, who led Everton to a 6th place finish and a spot in the UEFA Cup, Brad Friedal with Blackburn who finished 10th, and Marcus Hahneman who led recently promoted Reading to a respectable 8th place. Claudio Reyna left Manchester City at midseason to join MLS, and Clint Dempsey joined Fulham and sprung them out of an 11 game winless streak. His teammate Brian McBride led the team in scoring. Eddie Lewis played 41 matches for Leeds United who suffered relegation to the ECL. Steve Cherundolo, in his 10th season as a regular for Hannover 96, played all but one game this season. Kasey Keller started 28 games for Borussia Moenchengladback, at times being listed as one of the Bundesliga’s top keepers, before missing the last five games due to injury. After the team suffered relegation, he was released. Edgar Castillo played 18 of 21 games for Santos Laguna during the 2007 Clasura campaign, helping them fight relegation, and make the quarterfinals. Michael Bradley, Bob Bradley’s 19 year old son, played, primarily off the bench in 21 appearances for Geerenveen of the Dutch Eredivisie. Finally, Giuseppe Rossi played 16 games for Parma in Serie A, scoring 9 goals. By the start of most 2007-08 European seasons, there were more than 80 Americans playing abroad, including 16 in the English Premiership, 8 in the Bundesliga, and Freddy Adu playing for Benfica of Portugal.

The College Game

NCAA Division I Men’s tournament: . In the quarterfinals, Wake Forest defeated Notre Dame 1-0 (OT), Virginia Tech defeated Connecticut 1-0, Ohio State defeated Bradley 4-0, and Massachusetts defeated University of Illinois-Chicago 2-0. In the semifinals, Ohio State defeated Massachusetts 1-0 and Wake Forest defeated Virginia Tech 2-0. In the final, held at Cary N. C. on December 16, Wake Forest defeated Ohio State 2-1.
NCAA Women’s Division I Tournament: In the quarterfinals, Southern California defeated West Virginia 1-0, Notre Dame defeated Duke 3-2, Florida State defeated Connecticut 3-2 and UCLA defeated Portland 3-2. In the semifinals, Southern California defeated UCLA 2-1 and Florida State defeated Notre Dame 3-2. In the final, held on December 9 at College Station, TX, Southern California defeated Florida State 2-0.
NCAA Men’s Division II Tournament: In the semifinals, Franklin Pierce defeated Midwestern State 0-0 (4-2 PK) and Lincoln Memorial defeated Montevallo 1-0 (OT). In the final, held at Orange Beach, AL on December 2, Franklin Pierce defeated Lincoln memorial 1-0.
NCAA Division II Women’s tournament: In the semifinals, Tampa defeated Grand Valley State 2-1 and Franklin Pierce defeated Seattle Pacific 2-0. In the final, held on December 1 at Orange Beach, AL, Tampa defeated Franklin Pierce 0-0 (3-1 PK).
NCAA Division III Men’s tournament: In the semifinals, Middlebury defeated Loras 0-0 (3-1 PK) and Trinity (TX) defeated Messiah 1-0. In the final, held at Lake Buena Vista, FL on November 24, Middlebury defeated Trinity (TX) 0-0 (4-3 PK).
NCAA Division III Women’s tournament: In the semifinals, Messiah defeated College of New Jersey 2-0 and Wheaton (IL) defeated Western Connecticut State 3-0. In the final, held on November 24 at Lake Buena Vista, FL, Wheaton (IL) defeated Messiah 1-0.
NAIA Men’s Champion: Azusa Pacific defeated Concordia (CA) 2-0.
NAIA Women’s Champion: Martin Methodist defeated Azusa Pacific 2-1.
NJCAA Division I Men’s Championship: Yavapai defeated Georgia Perimeter 3-3 (5-4 PK)
NJCAA Division III Men’s Champion: Richland defeated Ulster County 1-0.
NJCAA Division I Women’s Champion: CCDC Catonsville defeated Iowa Western 1-0.
NJCAA Division III Women’s Champion: Broome defeated Gloucester County 2-1
NCCAA Division 1 Men’s Champion: The Master’s defeated Palm Beach Atlantic 1-1 (3-2-PK)
NCCAA Division 2 Men’s Champion: Manhattan Christian defeated Southeastern 2-1 (OT).
NCCAA Division 1 Women’s Champion: Indiana Weslayen defeated Spring Arbor 3-2 (OT).
NCCAA Division 2 Women’s Champion: Brown defeated Philadelphia Biblical 2-2 (3-0-PK).

Final Men's Division 1 NSCAA Coaches' Poll:

1.  Wake Forest
2.  Connecticut
3.  Santa Clara
4.  Brown
5.  Southern Methodist
6.  Boston College
7.  Creighton
8.  Virginia Tech
9.  Indiana
10. Tulsa

Final Women's Division 1 NSCAA Coaches' Poll:

1.  UCLA
2.  Texas A&M;
3.  Portland
4.  North Carolina
5.  Stanford
6.  Penn State
7.  Virginia
8.  Purdue
9.  Southern California
10. Texas

Men's Division 1 NSCAA All-Americans (1st team):

G - Stefan Frei, California
D - Eric Brunner, Ohio State
D - Julius James, Connecticut
D - Pat Phelan, Wake Forest
M - Reuben Ayarna, Boston College
M - Alejandro Bedoya, Boston College
M - Andrew Jacobson, California
M - Peter Lowry, Santa Clara
F - Xavier Balc, Ohio State
F - Joseph Lapira, Notre Dame
F - Patrick Nyarko, Virginia Tech
F - O'Brian White, Connecticut

Women's Division 1 NSCAA All-Americans (1st team):

G - Alyssa Naeher, Penn State
D - Nikki Krzysik, Virginia
D - Stephanie Lopez, Portland
D - Becky Sauerbrunn, Virginia
D - Brittany Taylor, Connecticut
M - Yael Averbuch, North Carolina
M - Tobin Heath, North Carolina
M - Meghan Schnur, Connecticut
F - Brittany Bock, Notre Dame
F - Lauren Cheney, UCLA
F - Parrissa Eyorokon, Purdue
F - Kerri Hanks, Notre Dame
F - Mami Yamaguchi, Florida State

Men's National Award Winners:

Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy: O’Brian White, Connecticut
NSCAA Coach of the Year (Division 1): Jay Vidovich, Wake Forest

Women's National Award Winners:

Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy: Mami Yamaguchi, Florida State
NSCAA Coach of the Year (Division 1):  Ali Khosroshahin, Southern California

Awards & Tournaments

US Open Cup Championship: On October 3, the New England Revolution defeated FC Dallas 3-2 at Dallas (see above).
National Amateur Cup:On August 5, Boston Olympiakos defeated AAC Eagles 2-0.
National Women’s Amateur Cup:On August 5, New York Athletic Club defeated Triad United Aces 4-2.
USASA National Open Cup:On August 4, El Paso Indios NPSL defeated Azzurri (N. Texas) 2-0.
USASA National Women’s Open Cup Championship:On August 4, Ajax America (WPSL) defeated FC Indiana WPSL 2-1.

CONCACAF Champions Cup 2007: In the quarterfinals, DC United defeated Olimpia (Honduras) 4-1, 3-2 and 7-3. Also, Houston Dynamo defeated Municipal Punaternas (Costa Rica) 0-1, 2-0 and 2-1. In the Semi-finals, Guadalajara (Mexico) defeated DC United 1-1, 2-1 and 3-2. The Houston Dynamo were defeated by Pachuca (Mexico) 2-0, 0-2, 4-5 (OT). In the finals (April 18-25), Pachuca defeated Guadalajara 2-2, 0-0, 2-2 (7-6 PK) to take the cup.
Pan-American Games (U-20): The United States was in Group B. In group play, they defeated Venezuela 2-1, lost to Bolivia 4-2 and lost to Mexico 2-0, and did not advance. Ecuador defeated Jamaica 2-1 for the Gold medal.
Copa Sudamericana:. D. C. United qualified as the 3rd place finisher in the CANCACAF Champions Cup. They drew 1-1 with Chivas Guadalajara (Mexico), but Guadalajara advanced due to the away-goal tie-breaker.
Pan-American Games (Futsal): The United States played in Group B. The US lost to Argentina 5-2, drew 3-3 with Ecuador and defeated Costa Rica 6-5, and failed to qualify for the medal round. In the consolation round, they defeated Guatemala 4-3, and drew 2-2 with Cuba in the fifth place game.
Parapan American Games (Disabled) (seven-a-side): The US lost to Brazil 7-0, and defeated Venezuela 7-0 in pool play. In the semifinals, they lost 1-2 to Argentina, and in the 3rd place game, they lost to Canada 1-0.
Nordic Cup (Women’s U-23): The United States Defeated Denmark 3-0, tied with Iceland 1-1 and defeated Norway 4-0 in pool play. This qualified them for the final, in which they defeated Germany to take the Cup.
Homeless World Cup: In preliminary group competition, the USA lost to Kazakhstan 4-2, to Burundi 2-4 and defeated Slovakia 6-1. In pool play, they lost to Ireland 8-9, and defeated India 3-0. At the group stage, they defeated Slovenia 10-2, and Austria 8-2. This qualified them, for the Omald Trophy (41st-48th place). They beat Argentina 6-4 in the quarterfinals, lost to Austria in the semis 3-3 (PK), and lost to Greece 6-7 in the final to take 44th place.
Interligua 2007: Tournament was held in Carson, CA. Participating teams were Nexaca, Cruz Azul, Monterrey, UANL, America, Chiapas, Morelia and UAG. Nexaca and UANL won pool play for Group A and America and Chiapas won Group B. In the final matches, Nexaca defeated Chiapas 1-0, and America defeated UANL 4-2 in penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw. The winners were awarded spots in the Copa Liberatores.
Copa Independencia: The Copa Independencia was held September 26, 2007 at Los Angeles Memorial Stadium. Participants were Club Deportiva FAS (El Salvador), Club Deportivo Marquense (Guatemala), Club Deportivo Marathon (Honduras) and Club Santos Laguna (Mexico). In the first round, Marathon defeated Marquense 0-0 (5-4) on penalties, and Santos Laguna defeated Deportivo 2-0. In the title match, Santos Laguna prevailed 5-4 on penalty kicks.
Copa Panamerica: This minor tournament was held at Univ. of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. Group A consisted of Boca Juniors (Argentina), America (Mexico) and Alianza Lima (Peru). Group B consisted of Cruz Azul (Mexico), Deportivo Cali (Colombia) and Caracas FC (Venezuela). Cruz Azul and Boca Juniors won their respective pools, and met in the final, with Cruz Azul winning by 3-1 to take the Cup.
Chicago Cup: Participants were Reggina Calcio (Italy), Wisla Krakow (Poland), Sevilla FC (Spain), and Club Toluca (Mexico).
On Friday July 27, Reggina Calcio drew 1-1 with Wisla Krakow, and Sevilla FC defeated Toluca 1-0. On Sunday July 29, Toluca defeated Calcio 2-0 and Krakow defeated Sevilla 1-0. Wisla Krakow won the trophy based on best overall won-loss record.

James P. McGuire Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-19): Dallas Texans 88 Red
Andy Stone Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-18): Terryville Fire
Don Greer Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-17): Andromeda 90 (N-TX)
D.J. Niotis Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-16): Real So Cal
ADIDAS Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-15): Michigan Wolves
William J. “Billy” Goaziou Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-14): Baltimore Casa Mia Bays
J. Ross Stewart Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-19): Carmel United Cyclones (IN)
Frank Kelly Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-18): Bloomfield Force
Laura Moynihan Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-17): Eagles SC (CA-S)
Patricia Masotto Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-16): McLean Freedom
Kristine Lilly Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-15): So Cal Blues
Elmer Ehlers Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-14): Sting Dallas Royal

Hall of Fame: In 2007, the US Soccer Hall of Fame inducted Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm. In addition, the veterans committee inducted Bobby Smith, and Alan Rothenberg was inducted as a Builder. The Colin Jose Media Award was given to George Tiedeman. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Hall of Fame inducted Joe Bean. The National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA) Hall of Fame inducted Harry Rank and John Van de Vaarst. The American Youth Soccer Organization inducted Brian Hall and Jack Sullivan. The United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) inducted Adolph Bachmeier, Alastair “Al” Bell, John Bocwinski, Wilfred Cummings, Bob Black, Ken Conselyea, Brian K. Darling, Ian William “Bill” Davey, Mario De Paola, Antonio “Tony” Doria, Timothy W. Busch, Tony Dubrowski, George Fishwick, Werner Fricker Jr., Rudy Getzinger, Richard Giebner, Sunil Gulati, Dr. John P. Gyekenyesi, Julie Ilacqua, Alfred Kleinatis, Marypat Bell, Bill Bosgraaf, Livio D’Arpino, Frank Kracher, Marge Madriago, Mike Maloney, Brian McBride, Robert L. (Bob) McGee, Peter Pinori, Carlos Rodriguez, Harry Saunders, Patrick Smith, Anna Steffen, Charlie Stillitano Sr., June Stroup, Jack Sullivan, Bruno Trapikas, Wallace Watson, Gus Xikis, Nikola “Nick” Zlatar.

USASA Coach of the Year: TBA
Honda Award (Player of the Year):Landon Donovan
USSF Players of the Year:Clint Dempsey, Abby Wambach
USSF Young Players of the Year:Michael Bradley, Lauren Cheney
NSCAA Honor Award: Jeff Vennell
NISOA Honor Award: N/A