Friday, March 31, 2006

CASL Set to Challenge for 2006 Champions Cup

US Club Soccer is set to host the inaugural Champions Cup Club Championship Easter Weekend at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. CASL will compete in both the boys and girls competition -- one of only 3 clubs nationally to be represented in both competitions. The Champions Cup is an invitational tournament that allows some of the most competitive clubs in the country, at all age groups, the opportunity to compare their entire club against other top clubs. Participants are limited in 2006 to eight boys and eight girls’ clubs. A separate boys and girls’ Club Champion will be determined. Clubs will participate in U13, U15 and U17 age groups. CASL teams have won four US Club Soccer National Cup titles as well as a USYSA National Championship. Among CASL’s alumni are Logan Pause of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Chicago Fire; Caleb Norkus, a MLS DC United draft pick and Chilean 1st Division champion; Stephen Bickford, the 2004 NSCAA Boys High School Player of the Year and a member of the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team; and Casey Nogueira, a member of the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team. Other recent CASL members of the U.S. youth national team programs include Justin Hughes (U-20s), Michael Harrington (U-20s and U-17s), Ford Williams (U-20s and U-17s), Brett King (U-17s), Molly Baird (U-16s) and Ariel Harris (U-16s). Best of luck to our local club in this upcoming tournament!

-- Jarrett @ 3/31/2006 11:41:00 AM

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Six Tarheels Among Women Called to Residency Camp

2007 Women's World Cup Qualifying preparations get underway April 2nd when the US Women's National Team convenes a six month residency camp at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. Among the roster of players called in for the camp are six Tarheel players -- goalkeeper Jenni Branam, defenders Lori Chalupny and Catherine Reddick Whitehill, midfielders Lindsay Tarpley and Kristine Lilly and forward Heather O'Reilly. As part of their preparation, the US Women's National Team will be meeting 2003 World Cup semifinalist Canada at SAS Soccer Park here in Cary on Sunday, July 30th at 1pm.

-- Jarrett @ 3/30/2006 04:10:00 PM

UNC Women Announce 2006 Signings

The University of North Carolina women's soccer program has formally announced the addition of nine prospective student-athletes who will join the 18-time national champion program for the fall semester 2006. Head coach Anson Dorrance's recruiting class includes eight individuals who signed NCAA National Letters of Intent to attend the University as well as one player who is a recruited non-scholarship player and who recently formally accepted admission to Carolina. Seven of the nine recruits announced to date are ranked among the Top 25 recruits in the nation by Soccer Buzz Magazine, including three in the Top 10. The class include Ali Hawkins (La Jolla Country Day, Encinitas, Calif.), Ashley Moore (Shenendehowa High School, Clifton Park, N.Y.), Caroline Boneparth (Lawrence Woodmere Academy, Lawrence, N.Y.), Casey Nogueira (Needham Broughton High School, Raleigh, N.C.), Kristi Eveland (Carroll High School, Southlake, Texas), Melissa Hayes (Cactus Shadows High School, Cave Creek, Ariz.), Nikki Washington (Spring Creek Academy, Mesquite, Texas), Tobin Heath (Ridge High School, Basking Ridge, N.J.) and Whitney Engen (Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.). Carolina's sole in-state recruit, Nogueira has led Broughton High School to one state championship and a runnerup finish in the past two seasons. A forward, she was chosen first-team All-State in 2004 and the most valuable player of the state high school championship game in 2005. Nogueira plays her club soccer for `87 CASL Spartan Elite and she has been a member of both the U.S. Women's Under-17 and Under-16 National Teams.

-- Jarrett @ 3/30/2006 03:56:00 PM

Please Update Your Feeds!

TriSoccerFan is going to be going through some upgrades over the next couple of weeks. In order to minimize the impact to our readers, I would like to ask those of you that read in syndication to please update your RSS/ATOM feeds to reflect our new syndication address:

The old Atom feed will continue to be available for a few weeks but please take a moment to redirect your Reader to the new address.

-- Jarrett @ 3/30/2006 11:16:00 AM

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

2006 US Open Cup Format Announced

For the second consecutive year, a total of 42 teams – 26 professional and 16 amateur – will compete in the 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup when it kicks off in June.

The U.S. Open Cup, which is recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer.
Qualifying is slated to be completed by May 29, with the pairings announcement expected later that week. The defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy enter the tournament on Aug. 2 in the fourth round. The semifinals will be played Sept. 6, with the final being played on Sept. 27. The Raleigh Elite will have a chance to qualify as one of eight Premier Development League teams who will participate. The top two teams from each PDL conference based on the results of four pre-designated league games will advance to the tournament. The second-place group finishers from the Eastern and Central Conferences will be drawn to play in the qualifying round against two USASA regional qualifiers. The remaining six will enter in the first round. The specific qualifying games on the Elite's 2006 Schedule have not yet been designated.

-- Jarrett @ 3/29/2006 01:52:00 PM

Rhinos Training Photos, Day 3

Today at training, Calloway had them playing this insane game where half of the team lined up in one goal, the rest lined up in the other goal 20 yards away and either he or the two teams took turns trying to blast the ball through the wall from about 10 yards out. If the keeper didn't stop it, the players on the line were responsible. Crazy stuff... Pictures from today's practice are on my flickr stream.

-- Jarrett @ 3/29/2006 01:37:00 PM

2006 USL All-Star Game Coming to Cary?

SoccerSam is reporting a rumor that the USL may be reviving its All-Star game to be played in Cary this summer. The USL All-Star game has been an infrequent occurence in years past so it's not known whether the format would be an "East v. West" style match or more along the lines of All-Stars vs. another pro team a la MLS in recent years. I know a lot of fans consider all-star games to be a waste of time and simply an injury risk where players don't really perform to their best potential, but in this particular case, I would love to see the USL All-Star game here in Cary. It would give us here a preview of what to expect from USL and introduce us to the talent around the league that we'll be seeing play here week in and week out come 2007.

-- Jarrett @ 3/29/2006 09:54:00 AM

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Umbro Increases Ownership Stake in USL

I'm a little slow in getting around to this news but thought it was worthwhile posting anyway. On March 16th United Soccer Leagues announced that majority shareholder UMBRO International Ltd has acquired an additional 30 percent share in ownership of USISL, Inc. (d/b/a USL).

The acquisition of the 30 percent previously held by Varsity Spirit brings UMBRO International’s share to 94 percent with the remaining six percent being held by founder and President Francisco Marcos. I guess professional soccer in this company is turning into a showdown between clothiers.

-- Jarrett @ 3/28/2006 07:49:00 PM

Founders Cup 2003 Rematch Set for SAS Soccer Park

In the final season of WUSA the Atlanta Beat and the Washington Freedom battled for the Founders Cup Title, with Washington coming out on top with a dramatic 2-1 win in overtime. Although the Beat had an overall 6-3-1 record against Washington, the Freedom has held on to the title for the past three years. The Atlanta Silverbacks and the Washington Freedom SC will face off on June 29 at SAS Park in Cary, NC. Although it’s not a complete rematch of the 2003 Founders Cup match, many of the same players will play in the game as the battle for bragging rights continues. Both teams say they’re looking forward to the summer’s game. Washington Freedom SC Head Coach Jim Gabarrasaid , “The Washington Freedom SC are excited about returning to SAS Soccer Park for our match against the Atlanta Silverbacks. The quality of the facility and the opponent will provide a great event and bring back WUSA memories for us all."

The Atlanta Silverbacks launched the W-League team last year and the line-up currently boasts seven former WUSA players, including Canadian National Team members Sharolta Nonen (Beat) and Christine Latham (San Diego Spirit), along with former WUSA stars Nel Fettig (Carolina Courage), Mel Wilson (Beat), Leslie Gaston (Beat), Tara Minnax (Beat), Nikki Lamb (Beat) and Julie Augustyniak (Beat).
These players, and the rest of the team, will take on the Freedom SC’s stellar line-up which also combines former WUSA stars with rising collegiate standouts. The Freedom SC line up includes: Nicci Wright (Freedom), Lori Lindsey (Freedom), Casey Zimney (Freedom), Emily Janss (New York Power), Joanna Lohman (US U-21 National Team), Kimmie Francis (Maryland), and Mallory Mahar (Maryland). Triangle Professional Soccer will host the highly anticipated match-up between the Silverbacks and the Freedom SC. Chris Economides, Managing Partner of Triangle Professional Soccer, commented on the event, “Triangle Professional Soccer is very excited to host the game between the Washington Freedom SC and the Atlanta Silverbacks. Considering the previous success of the Carolina Courage here at this state-of-the-art venue, the women’s soccer fans of the Triangle are sure to want to come to SAS Soccer Park and support these great athletes.”

-- Jarrett @ 3/28/2006 05:39:00 PM

Monday, March 27, 2006

Rhinos Kick Off Spring Practice

The Rochester Rhinos could not have picked a nicer day (59 and sunny) to kick off Spring practice here in Cary. The Rhinos will be running two-a-day sessions at 10am and 3pm through April 4th at SAS Soccer Park on Fields 2 & 3. Pictures from today's practice are available on my flickr stream. The practices will followed up by a series of exhibitions as follows:

  • 4/5 2pm - vs. Charleston Battery (free)
  • 4/6 6pm - vs. UNC Tarheels (free)
  • 4/7 7:30pm - vs. Atlanta Silverbacks (ticket info)
Spring practice will conclude on April 8th before the Rhinos head home for Rochester.

-- Jarrett @ 3/27/2006 05:35:00 PM

New US Soccer President Sunil Gulati Talks About the Future of the Game

I recently took a survey at about their website and the one thing that I just raved about in their opinion poll was their new All Access Video and Podcast features on their site. As a soccer fan starved for information by the mainstream media, these features provide a veritable buffet of news about all aspects of US Soccer. In particular, access to the post-match press conferences in their entirety rather than just hearing a few quotes picked out in various articles is a fantastic feature. One recent podcast that I would recommend to everyone interested in the future of US Soccer, both at the international as well as youth level, is the recent Q&A that new US Soccer President Sunil Gulati did with the press ahead of the USA v. Germany match. Gulati talks about the state of the game, the state of the federation, Arena's contribution over the last 8 years, the future for a women's professional league, reaching out to untapped soccer playing communities, and where he hopes to take US Soccer under his leadership. All told, it's about a 40 minute, fascinating window into the mind of the top soccer executive in this country.

-- Jarrett @ 3/27/2006 01:52:00 PM

It's Fantasy Soccer Time Again

It's time to put together your fantasy MLS team! I'd like to invite all TSF readers to join the Triangle Soccer Fanatics division over at Major Fantasy Soccer League. There are plenty of fantasy games out there (MLSNet, Yahoo, etc.) but I particulary like as it is a game by fans, for fans. Sign up and draft your team by 3pm EST on April 1st!

-- Jarrett @ 3/27/2006 11:16:00 AM

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Invitation to MLS Opening Weekend Match Watching Party in Cary

Triangle Soccer Fanatics would like to invite you to join other soccer fans in the Triangle area for our MLS Opening Weekend Match Watching Party. On Sunday, April 2nd from 5pm - 9:30pm we'll be gathering at the Fox and Hound Pub & Grille in Cary to watch as the second decade of Major League Soccer kicks off with 3 matches -- DC United v. Red Bull New York (5pm), Chivas USA v. Real Salt Lake (7pm), and Houston Dynamo v. Colorado Rapids (7:30pm). Everyone in attendance will be eligible to win great door prizes provided by our partners. Premier Soccer will be giving away an official FIFA World Cup match ball. Triangle Professional Soccer is offering two tickets to the Rochester Rhinos v. Atlanta Silverbacks match in Cary on April 7th and the Fox and Hound has donated a 20-person buffet party for one lucky winner! TSF members receive 50% off of appetizers at the Fox and Hound and everyone can take advantage of their Sunday night drink specials -- $10 buckets of Coors Light longnecks and $2.50 pints of Blue Moon. The Fox and Hound is located at 111 Shannon Oaks Circle in Cary and welcomes all ages. Please RSVP your intention to join us via our website. Anyone who RSVPs through Saturday, April 1st will TRIPLE their chances of winning the door prizes! For full party details, for driving directions to the Fox and Hound, and to RSVP, please visit our website at Cheer! Chant! Drum! Sing! Support! W. Jarrett Campbell Founder, Triangle Soccer Fanatics

-- Jarrett @ 3/26/2006 01:17:00 PM

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Schweitzer denies links to new USL team

Soccer Sam talked to recently retired Rochester Rhino and fomer NCSU standout Scott Schweitzer on today's Kick This radio show (listen now). Schweitzer is starting a new career as a director of coaching at Next Level Academy here in Morrisville and lots of folks are speculating that Scott will end up working in some capacity for our new USL team. Soccer Sam grills Scott on the possibility at about the 20:30 mark of the show, but Schweitzer claims that his focus right now is coaching kids and says that nothing is "in the works" with the new team, for the time being.

-- Jarrett @ 3/25/2006 04:31:00 PM

Reading are in the Premiership!!!

Americans Bobby Convey and Marcus Hahnemann can look forward to road trips to such historic footballing grounds St. James' Park, Old Trafford, and Anfield next season. For the first time in their 135 year history, Reading FC 1871 has been promoted to the English topflight. Reading's remarkable season sees them promoted with fully 6 games remaining in the season. Having lost only 2 matches all season, the Royals have amassed a jaw dropping 92 points in just 40 games played. During the run, Bobby Convey has added 7 goals and sits atop the Actim Index as the statistically best player in the Coca-Cola Championship. Hahnemann, who himself is 6th in the Actim Index, has posted a club-record 21 clean sheets over the course of Reading's magical season. The good news for us here in the States is that we'll be able to watch Bobby and Marcus play more frequently on TV next year. The even better news is that with club business put to rest for the season, it is probable that Convey and Hahnemann will be available for the USA v. Jamaica game in Cary!

-- Jarrett @ 3/25/2006 03:32:00 PM

Friday, March 24, 2006

Rhinos Combine in Full Swing

The Rhinos Combine is in full swing over at SAS Soccer Park. There's some pictures from a scrimmage on day 2 over on my Flickr stream.

-- Jarrett @ 3/24/2006 04:52:00 PM

Baby Ass Flag South arrives in Cary

Baby Ass Flag South, a 20' x 30' American flag which will serve as a backup to the North Jersey Brigade's flags, arrives in Cary after being purchased via the generous donations of TriSoccerFan readers, and members, and a donation from Triangle Professional Soccer. The flag will make its debut at the USA v. Jamaica game in Cary on April 11th.

-- Jarrett @ 3/24/2006 11:09:00 AM

ACC Women's Spring Tournament - April 1st

Here's the schedule for the ACC Women's Spring Tournament. The games will be played Saturday, April 1st on Fields 4 and 5 at SAS Soccer Park in Cary. The event will raise money via donations for the 2006 Kicks Against Breast Cancer Campaign.

TimeField 4Field 5
09:00amUNC v Va Tech (Game A)Boston College v Clemson (Game B)
10:00amWinner A & B (Game E)Loser A & B (Game G)
11:00amUVA v NCSU (Game C)Duke v Wake (Game D)
12:00pmWinner C & D (Game F)Loser C & D (Game H)
01:00pmWinner E & FLoser E & F
01:00pmWinner G & HLoser G & H

-- Jarrett @ 3/24/2006 10:13:00 AM

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

US Women to Play in Cary this July

Update: We can now confirm the game will be July 30th at 1pm vs. Canada. Triangle Professional Soccer and US Soccer have called a joint press conference for 3:15pm tomorrow (halftime of the USA v. Germany men's game) to announce an event that will be held at SAS Soccer Park in July, 2006." Considering that the press advisory states that US Women's National Team players Heather O'Reilly and Cat Whitehill will be in attendance at the press conference and that a tenative date of August 6th for a US Women's Team game has been reserved on the SAS Soccer Park calendar for a while now, it seems logical that this press conference will move that tenative match date up a week or two into July. A quick check of ESPN2's long-range TV listings does in fact show three US Women's National Team games in July against unnamed opponents:

  • 7/15 6pm EST
  • 7/23 4pm EST
  • 7/30 1pm EST
Considering that the first two start times look like West Coast match times, I'm betting that the Cary date is July 30th. I guess we'll know for sure tomorrow. The US Women's team will be returning to SAS Soccer Park where they last played in October 2002 when they bested both Australia and Italy by identical 4-0 scorelines in the first round of the Nike Cup.

-- Jarrett @ 3/21/2006 07:00:00 PM

ACC Men's Spring Tournament Schedule

According to the latest UNC Spring Schedule (which adds a game against Irish University Select on March 28th), here is the schedule for the ACC Men's Spring Tournament on April 2nd:

  • 10:30 Duke vs UNC
  • 11:50 NC State vs Wake Forest
  • 1:00 UNC II v. Belmont Abbey
  • 1:10 Duke vs. Va Tech
  • 2:30 UNC vs. Wake Forest
  • 3:50 NC State vs. Va Tech
It is my understanding that this tournament will be played on Fields 4 & 5 at SAS Soccer Park and admission will be free. I will try to confirm that before the weekend of the games.

-- Jarrett @ 3/21/2006 11:30:00 AM

Thursday, March 16, 2006

US Soccer to Host Coaching Clinic in Cary April 10-11

Symposium to Feature U.S. MNT Coaches Discussing Preparations for 2006 FIFA World Cup; “A” Licensed Coaches Earn Two CEUs U.S. Soccer’s Coaching Department will hold a Coaching Symposium on April 10-11 in conjunction with the U.S. Men’s National Team game against Jamaica at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. “A” licensed coaches will earn two Continuing Education Units for attending the two-day symposium.

Speakers at the symposium include U.S. Soccer Staff Coach Juan Carlos Michia, as well as U.S. MNT assistant coaches Phil Wheddon, Glenn Myernick and Pierre Barrieu.

Cost for the symposium is $70 and includes a ticket to the game. Space at the symposium is limited and coaches are strongly encouraged to apply early. For coaches attending from out of town, a special rate of $85 per night has been secured at the Holiday Inn in Cary. Coaches must mention the coaching symposium to get the reduced rate. Full details and registration form are available at the US Soccer website.

Tentative Symposium Schedule* Monday, April 10, 2006 1:15 p.m. Registration

2 p.m. Juan Carlos Michia, U.S. Soccer National Staff Coach Chris Little, Director of Coaching for NC Youth Soccer U.S. Under-14 to Under-17 National Teams

3 p.m. Glenn Myernick, U.S. MNT Assistant Coach Preparation for 2006 FIFA World Cup

4 p.m. Bruce Arena, U.S. MNT Manager Attend a MNT Training Session

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 9:30 a.m. Phil Wheddon, U.S. MNT Goalkeeper Coach MNT goalkeepers’ preparation for 2006 FIFA World Cup

10:30 a.m. Pierre Barrieu, U.S. MNT Strength and Conditioning Coach MNT players’ physical preparation for 2006 FIFA World Cup

11:30 a.m. Elmar Bolowich, North Carolina Head coach Players going from college to the U.S Under-20 Men’s National Team

*Schedule subject to change

-- Jarrett @ 3/16/2006 07:00:00 PM

Schweitzer retires from Rhinos, Is Cary USL in his future?

Rochester Rhinos defensemen Scott Schweitzer has announced today that he is retiring from professional soccer. Schweitzer, a former NC State and Carolina Dynamo player, returns to the Raleigh-Durham area where he will serve as a director at Next Level Academy, a youth soccer academy here in the Triangle. "I did some coaching in the offseason," said Schweitzer. "It's something I've always enjoyed doing. It's more of a foot skills and developmental academy than tactical. It's a way for me to give back to the game that has given so much to me. It was a hard decision for me to retire, but it was something I had to do for the security of my future." Scott has previously been on staff at Apex's First Touch Academy and his wife Kristin has been developing a new KinderKixx program for U6s at Dream Sports Academy in Apex. While Schweitzer is really just kicking off his new coaching career, there is plenty of reason to speculate that Scott may be in line for a position with Triangle Professional Soccer. Schweitzer said he would consider working in some capacity with the new United Soccer Leagues First Division franchise being run by former Rhinos general manager Chris Economides scheduled to start play in 2007. Given his long-standing relationship with TPS Managing Partner Economides, his proven on-field leadership ability, his ties to the local area, and his desire coach, it's not a far stretch to imagine that Schweitzer may be positioning himself to be the first head coach of the new USL team here in the Triangle. In fact, Scott was present at the press conference back in January to announce the expansion franchise in Cary. "Is he someone I'd consider (as head coach)? Absolutely. Have I offered him anything? No," Economides said.

Schweitzer, a native of Rahway, New Jersey, has been a member of the Rhinos for seven seasons from 1998-2003 and 2005. He ranks second all-time in games played (171) and seventh in assists (12). He appeared in 172 regular season games, 29 playoff games and 16 U.S. Open Cup games for the Rhinos in his seven seasons in Rochester. Schweitzer started in 170 of the 172 regular season games.

Schweitzer spent the 2004 season with the Syracuse Salty Dogs, starting in all 16 games in which he appeared. He anchored the Syracuse defense for former Salty Dog's Head Coach and current Rhinos Head Coach Laurie Calloway.

A graduate of North Carolina State University where he was a two-time All-American, Schweitzer helped the Wolfpack advance to the NCAA Final Four in 1991 and Final Eight in 1992 and 1993. He was also named the 1992 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year.

Schweitzer's professional career began with the Carolina Dynamo of the USISL Select League (Division 3) in 1996. In 1997, Carolina moved into the USISL A-League where Schweitzer was named to the All-A League First Team, while playing in 17 games for the Dynamo.

-- Jarrett @ 3/16/2006 08:16:00 AM

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Overbeck, Venturini, Kluegel, Lassister on Hall of Fame Ballot

Former Tar Heel and Carolina Courage star, Duke assistant coach Carla Overbeck , her fellow Carolina alums Tisha Venturini-Hoch and Jena Kluegel, and former Athens Drive High graduate, NCSU standout, and U.S. MNT player Roy Lassiter are among 10 former U.S. Men’s National Team, Women’s National Team and MLS veterans that have been added to the ballot of players eligible for induction into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006. Lassister was named state 4-A Player of the Year as senior for scoring a state-record 47 goals and leading Athens High to the state championship. In his senior year at NC State, Lassister netted 22 goals for the Wolfpack. I Lassister scored 88 goals in MLS, a record until Duke's Jason Kreis surpassed that mark in 2004, and added 4 goals for the US National team while earning 30 caps. Overbeck, Kluegel and Venturini-Hoch were all first-team All-Americas during their careers at Carolina as well as being veterans of the U.S. Women's National Team. North Carolina posted a phenomenal 95-match unbeaten streak (89-0-6) during Overbeck's collegiate career. At the National Team level, Overbeck was an instrumental player for the U.S. in winning the 1991 Women’s World Cup in China. She captained the 1995 U.S. World Cup squad that advanced to the semifinals and also served as captain of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team that won the gold medal.

In 1998, Overbeck competed on the gold-medal-winning Goodwill Games squad. She again captained Team USA to the 1999 World Cup championship and to a silver medal in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Overbeck joined the coaching staff at Duke University in 1992.

The newcomers join 47 players who were on the ballot in 2005, when Marcelo Balboa, John Harkes and NC State's Tab Ramos were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Besides the trio of former MNT stars, leading vote getters on the ballot included MNT veterans Thomas Dooley and Hugo Perez, who is in his last year of eligibility.

Two players are inducted into the Hall of Fame each year, provided they receive the most votes and are named on at least 50 percent of the ballots cast. A third candidate may be elected if that candidate is named on 80 percent of the ballots cast.

-- Jarrett @ 3/15/2006 06:04:00 PM

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sam's Army Banner Painting Party - April 9th

Triangle Soccer Fanatics invites you to join us for a banner painting party in preparation for the USA v. Jamaica game.

We'll get together Sunday afternoon, April 9th at 2pm at Jarrett's house in Cary (email for directions). TSF will provide the materials, paints, and refreshments -- you provide the creativity!

We'll be using the the handy Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Two-Pole Banners from our friends in Section 8 Chicago to turn SAS Soccer Park red on April 11th and show our support for the Nats!

-- Jarrett @ 3/14/2006 09:43:00 PM

Fund Raiser to buy a new "Baby Ass" Flag for Sam's Army

UPDATE: We did it! $310 dollars raised in 36 hours! The flag has been purchased! Additional donations are welcome and will be put into a fund for flag shipping between games and maintenance/cleaning. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THIS EFFORT!!! It appears that the 20' x 30' flag affectionately known as "The Baby Ass" flag by Sam's Army (as opposed to it's big brother the Big Ass Flag) has seen better days and may very well be on its last legs. One Sam's Army supporter has even spent $200 of his own money to get the Baby Ass flag cleaned and ready to go to Germany. In order to preserve the flag, it is best not to use it until Germany so this means that the Baby Ass flag will not be available for the games in Cary, Nashville, Cleveland, or Hartford. I have found a line on a used alternative for only $300 (a really, really good price on a flag this size). I am hoping that all of Sam's Army will come together and donate $5 (or more) a piece to go to purchasing a new 20' x 30' flag for the supporters. The money raised will go directly to buying the flag and shipping it between Cary-->Nashville-->Cleveland-->Hartford. After those four games, the flag will be maintained by Triangle Soccer Fanatics and will be available for use by supporters at any US National Team event. To make a $5 donation to the fund drive via PayPal, click on the "Add to Cart" button below. If we could just get 20 people that are attending each of the games in Cary, Nashville, Cleveland, and Hartford to donate $5 a piece, we'd have more than enough to buy the flag and ship it between the sites.

Note: If you'd like to give more than $5, just change the quantity at checkout to reflect the number of $5 donations you'd like to make! Thank you for your support of Sam's Army and the US National Team!

-- Jarrett @ 3/14/2006 03:55:00 PM

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Rhinos Combine Schedule

For those hoping to check out some of the Rhinos combine here in Cary, here's the schedule:

Wednesday, March 22nd


1:00 p.m. - midnight


6:00 p.m


7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 23rd


6:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m.


7:15 a.m.


8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.


11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Game 1

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.


3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.


6:00 p.m.

Game 2

9:15 p.m. - 10:45 p.m.

Friday, March 24th

Schedule same as March 23rd

Saturday, March 25th


6:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m.


7:15 a.m.

Game 1

8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Game 2

9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.


12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m.

Combine ends

2:00 p.m.

I expect that all of the activity will be taking place down on Fields 2 & 3.

-- Jarrett @ 3/12/2006 08:57:00 PM

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Triangle Soccer Fanatics Logowear Now Available!

Max Campbell, member #0001 of the Triangle Soccer Fanatics, is shown at right sporting the new line of logowear available from TSF. We've been able to setup our own store with the help of CafePress so anyone interested in TSF merchandise can pick from a wide array of apparel and assorted other items bearing the TSF logo. You can choose from unisex shirts and sweats as well as women and child specific designs. My favorite is either the ringer T or the baseball jersey. There's even a shirt for your dog, if you're one of those kind of people! I'm very pleased with the quality of the shirts that I've ordered so far and the prices are reasonable for custom-designed apparel. Order by March 14th using the coupon code "March4" and you'll save $4 off an order of $40 or more. Click here to browse or order.

-- Jarrett @ 3/11/2006 07:24:00 PM

SAS Soccer Park to Get 2nd Stadium Field?

With the new USL team coming to Cary and a busy 2006 schedule in the works at SAS Soccer Park, I'm hearing a rumor that the Town of Cary is considering adding permanent bleachers to Field 2 in order to make a second, smaller stadium field behind the existing main field. This smaller stadium field would benefit folks like the Raleigh Elite PDL team who could still take advantage of the world class pitches (Fields 1, 2, & 3 are all 120 x 75 yards and immaculately well kept) without the overhead of having to rent the entire main stadium. In addition to the added benefit of making the facility more accessible for smaller events, it would also preserve the pitch on Field 1 for the benefit of the USL team and other larger events hosted at the park. No word yet on when a decision might be made or when the new facility would be ready for use but the PDL season kicks off play on May 6th so they better get crackin' if they are serious about this for 2006.

-- Jarrett @ 3/11/2006 06:52:00 PM

Fighting Camel Called to U20 Camp

Sonny Guadarrama of Campbell University has been called into the US U20 training camp. This is the first camp coach Thomas Roengen has assembled of the players who will contest the 2007 FIFA World Youth Championships which will be held in Canada (roadtrip anyone?) During his first collegiate season at Campell, Guadarrama rated second among the nation’s freshmen in points per game (1.68). Overall, he ranked 16th nationally in points per game (1.68) and 18th in goals per game (0.68) among all Division I players. He was a unanimous choice as Atlantic Sun Conference Freshman of the Year by the league’s head coaches, and also gained second-team Freshman All-America recognition from College Soccer News. Along with his older brother Willy, who finished the year as the national leader in goals (1.05) and points (2.3) per game, Guadarrama helped the Fighting Camels to the nation’s number-13 team ranking in scoring, averaging 2.15 goals per game. Campbell also posted its best year in nearly a decade with a 13-6-1 record, including a 7-1-0 mark to win the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title. The FIFA Youth Championship has traditionally served as a stepping stone for up and coming professionals and internationals. Here are just a few of the recognizable names from the last USA U20 squad: Bobby Convey, Freddy Adu, Zak Whitbread, Justin Mapp, Chad Marshall, Eddie Johnson, Richardo Clark, Santino Quaranta, and Clint Dempsey.

-- Jarrett @ 3/11/2006 02:15:00 PM

Friday, March 10, 2006

Duke Women Announce Signings

Duke University women’s soccer head coach Robbie Church announced the addition of five commitments for the 2006 campaign on Friday. KayAnne Gummersall of Wilmette, Ill., Jane Alukonis of Cocoa Beach, Fla., Sara Murphy of Mendham, N.J., CJ Ludemann of Holtsville, N.Y. and Elizabeth Redmond of Morristown, N.J., will all attend Duke University in the fall and play soccer. The class has been tabbed the third-best in the nation by Soccer Buzz, which marks the highest ranking for a recruiting class in Duke school history under Church. Not surprisingly, UNC's unannounced 2006 signing class is currently rated first by Soccer Buzz.

-- Jarrett @ 3/10/2006 05:30:00 PM

Stars & Stripes Forever

Speaking of the cool things you can buy on Ebay, here's the flag TSF just bought for our supporters club. Keep in mind this is the smaller of the two flags we'll have at the USA v. Jamaica game!

-- Jarrett @ 3/10/2006 05:14:00 PM

USA v. Jamaica Tickets on Ebay

I'm pretty sure selling tickets over face value is illegal in North Carolina, but that aside, there are some tickets available for the USA v. Jamaica game on Ebay.

-- Jarrett @ 3/10/2006 01:22:00 AM

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Sam's Army Tailgate and Post-Match Party Details for USA v. Jamaica

Pre- and Post-game party information for Sam's Army has now been updated at the Triangle Soccer Fanatics website. We hope you all will join us for the party, even if you're not standing with us in Section 207 on game night.

-- Jarrett @ 3/09/2006 10:01:00 PM

McCarty Shoots, He Scores!

FC Dallas lost their final game in Norway to Stabæk of Norway 2-1 on a somewhat dubious penalty and a late goal in the 89th minute. Rookie midfielder and former UNC Tarheel Dax McCarty got the hoops on the score sheet in the 5th minute of the game when he recovered a loose ball just inside the box and blasted at the back post. Stabæk scored the equalizer on a slightly dubious penalty in the 66th minute on a minor shirt pull by rookie right back Justin Moore. Alain da Costa converted the spot kick for Stabæk. Mike Kjolo scored the late game winner on a shot partially screened from Dario Sala's view.

-- Jarrett @ 3/09/2006 07:20:00 PM

MLS Opening Weekend Viewing Party

Celebrate the kick off of MLS's 2nd decade and register for a chance to win an MLS Match Ball courtesy of Premier Soccer or a pair of tickets to the Rochester vs. Atlanta game courtesy of Triangle Professional Soccer!

The first weekend in April may be NCAA Final Four time for some sports fans, but for Soccer Fanatics, it's MLS Opening Weekend. We'll be heading over to the Fox and Hound after spending the day taking in the ACC Men's Spring Championships over at SAS Soccer Park.

Join us from 5pm on Sunday, April 2nd to check out these great matches on opening weekend:*

  • 5pm - DC United v. Red Bull New York
  • 7pm - Chivas USA v. Real Salt Lake
  • 7:30pm - Houston Dynamo v. Colorado Rapids
Triangle Soccer Fanatics members are eligible for 50% off appetizers at the Fox and Hound and everyone is eligible for great drink specials!

And speaking of ACC soccer, check out these former Triangle area collegiate players whose MLS teams will be in action on April 2nd!

  • Jamie Watson (UNC - RSL)
  • Eddie Pope (UNC - RSL)
  • Jason Kreis (Duke - RSL)
  • Cary Talley (UNC - RSL)
  • Matt Crawford (UNC - Colorado)
  • Pablo Mastroeni (NCSU - Colorado)
  • Aaron King (NCSU - Colorado)
  • Eddie Robinson (UNC - Houston)
  • Marcus Storey (UNC - Houston)
  • David Stokes (UNC - DC United)

Premier Soccer, the Triangle's only local, dedicated soccer store, will be giving away an official MLS Match Ball to celebrate the kickoff of the second decde of MLS. Everyone in attendance may register for the door prize and you must be present for the drawing at 7pm to win!

In addtion, Triangle Professional Soccer has donated a pair of tickets for the the Rochester vs. Atlanta game on Friday, April 7th which will also be given away in the same drawing.

*Please note: MLS has not yet released its official PPV broadcast schedule so please check back here a few days before the viewing party to verify the exact viewing schedule.

-- Jarrett @ 3/09/2006 01:54:00 PM

Jamaica sees USA friendly as warmup to their real competition

According to today's Jamaica Observer, the Reggae Boyz plan to use the April 11th friendly against the USA "as a preparatory match for the Jamaican team leading up to the June 3 friendly International against England." Coach Wendell Downswell has promised that the team will have a "good mix of foreign-based and local-based players. The JFF is exploring all possibilities of having the best players made available to for the April 11 game," he added. Hopefully this means we'll see some quality competition for our boys and not just a domestic Jamaican side. Of course, the article also states the stadium seats around 10,000 people so I'm not quite sure of the veracity of the claims in the press release this article is drawn from. Considering that Jamaica has never beaten the USA in 16 attempts, perhaps they should consider this a little more than a tuneup.

-- Jarrett @ 3/09/2006 09:20:00 AM

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

2007 Discounted USL Season Tickets Now On Sale for Triangle Soccer Fanatics

Triangle Soccer Fanatics has reserved a block of 100 seats together in Section 204 behind the South goal at SAS Soccer Park for the 2007 USL Season.

All tickets in this section can be bought directly from TSF and members in good-standing will receive significant discounts on both season tickets and individual tickets when bought in advance of match day.

It is our intention that our block in Section 204 will be treated as a General Admission section but if you have special requests (e.g., wheelchair accessible seating) we should be able to accomodate your request.

When purchased before October 1, 2006, TSF members may purchase 2007 USL Season Tickets normally priced at $140 at a discounted rate of $125.

Please visit our website to purchase 2007 season tickets online.

-- Jarrett @ 3/08/2006 06:03:00 PM

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Discount Rhinos v. Silverbacks Tickets for Triangle Soccer Fanatics

Triangle Soccer Fanatics is pleased to offer discounted tickets to the our members for the Rochester Rhinos v. Atlanta Silverbacks match on Friday, April 7th at 7:30pm at SAS Soccer Park. Regularly priced $10 General Admission tickets will be available for $8 to TSF members when purchased in advance of the game. Tickets are now available for purchase online via our website.

-- Jarrett @ 3/07/2006 04:35:00 PM

U.S. Men's National Team vs. Jamaica Sold Out, Rochester Rhinos to Host Atlanta

Triangle Professional Soccer press release March 7, 2006 (CARY, NC)… Chris Economides, Managing Partner and General Manager of the new United Soccer League First Division expansion team to be based in Cary, announced today that SAS Soccer Park will be the location for a pre-season exhibition match between the Rochester Raging Rhinos and the Atlanta Silverbacks. This game will come following a 10-day combine and training camp that the Rochester Rhinos will be holding at SAS Soccer Park in advance of their 2006 season. The game will be held at 7:30 pm on Friday, April 7th. The U.S Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica match to be played at SAS Soccer Park on April 11th sold out in 90 minutes and many fans missed the opportunity to purchase tickets. This is a chance for those fans, as well as those that were fortunate enough to get National Team tickets, to see high-level, professional soccer.

“The Rhinos organization could not be happier to come back to SAS Soccer Park for this training camp and exhibition game” said Laurie Calloway, Head Coach of the Rochester Rhinos. “We had such a good experience last year when we came down to play D.C. United in the Cary Cup and we want to continue our relationship with the great fans of the Cary and Triangle area.”

Tickets will be going on sale for this event beginning March, 15, 2006 at the offices of Triangle Professional Soccer at 101 Soccer Park Dr., Cary, NC 27511. You can also call TPS at (919) 859-5425. Fans can also purchase them through Ticketmaster at (919) 834-4000, or at all Cary and Raleigh Ticketmaster outlets (including Hechts, FYE, and Publix Stores). All club seats (seat backs on the West side of the stadium) are $15 and are reserved seats. All other seats are General Admission and are $10 for adults and $7 for kids who wear their team jerseys to the game.

On January 26, 2006, Triangle Professional Soccer announced they would bring a United Soccer League First Division expansion team to Cary to play in SAS Soccer Park starting in April, 2007. The USL First Division is currently comprised of 12 teams from the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Season tickets are currently available and can be purchased at the offices of Triangle Professional Soccer or by calling (919) 859-5425.

For general questions about the game or ticket information, visit, email, or call (919) 859-KICK (5425).

-- Jarrett @ 3/07/2006 04:20:00 PM

Monday, March 06, 2006

Duke's Moros and Lipsher Get the Call

Duke University women’s soccer players Rebecca Moros and Allison Lipsher each have been invited to train with United States National Teams, which will take place in March and April. Moros, a rising senior from Larchmont, N.Y., has been invited to train with the U.S. Under-21 National Team from March 19-26 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The 5-5 midfielder was a Soccer Buzz Honorable Mention All-America, Soccer Buzz first team All-Region and All-ACC first team selection this past season. Moros is coming off a year where she notched four goals, four assists and 12 points with the two biggest goals coming against No. 1 ranked North Carolina on Oct. 9 in Chapel Hill, N.C., as the Blue Devils defeated the Tar Heels, 2-1. A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Lipsher has been invited to train with the U.S. Under-20 National Team from April 2-9 in Portland, Ore. In goal for the Blue Devils, Lipsher has been stellar over her first two years with 17 shutouts and a 0.88 goals against average. As a sophomore, she was a Soccer Buzz and NSCAA second team All-Region selection, while totaling a career-high nine shutouts and a 0.59 goals against average.

-- Jarrett @ 3/06/2006 03:00:00 PM

Sam's Army Ticket Update for USA v. Jamaica

UPDATE: As of 6:45pm EST on Monday, March 6, the game is completely sold out. There are no remaining Sam's Army tickets or general sale tickets available. I just talked to the folks at the Fed about the Sam's Army ticket sale. I know a lot of you have been very impatiently waiting for more information in light of the fact that the game practically sold out in 24 hours so here's the latest:

  • Due to demand, the entire Sam's Army section was moved to Section 207 which can accomodate about twice the original allocation we had (and they're better seats in my opinion)
  • Credit cards will be charged in the next few days so look for primary confirmation through your credit card company later this week
  • The Fed has promised to send an email confirmation to everyone that included an email address in their order.
  • Approximately 100 tickets still remain after the current orders have been tallied so get your orders in NOW if you haven't already sent one in.

-- Jarrett @ 3/06/2006 02:33:00 PM

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Madness of King George

Max's soccer season starts in a few weeks and I was out at the Dream Camps coach's meeting today for orientation and the coaches clinic. We got a real treat at the clinic as NCSU head coach George Tarantani and his assistant Oronde Ash lead the U5-U7 session at the clinic. I know a lot of folks have varying opinions on Tarantani but their is no denying the guy has put together an impressive resume at NCSU over the last 20 years -- incuding launching the career of Tab Ramos all the way to the US Soccer Hall of Fame and putting 2 players in the World Cup and 5 on the US National Team during his tenure. It was pretty interesting to see George working with 6 year olds instead of All-Americans. There's no denying that Tarantini is a charismatic and dynamic coach and the kids took to him immediately. As he put the kids through some drills, he shared with the coaches some philosophical thoughts about youth soccer and coaching kids:

  • Nowhere in the world is a child's life so regimented as it is here in the States. He encouraged coaches to allow the kids to basically run amuck and enjoy themselves building their love of the game.
  • Every activity should have a purpose for the kids. Running a drill for the sake of drilling doesn't make any sense to a child. Every excercise should have a goal, no matter how trivial or silly.
  • Constantly challenge the kids to make new decisions and try things they are uncomfortable with as their conquering these challenges builds the confidence necessary for them to blossom as players.
If you ever get a chance to go to a Tarantini-led coaches clinic, don't miss it!

-- Jarrett @ 3/05/2006 09:39:00 PM

Timber Jim

Now that we've officially formed a supporters club here in the Triangle, I thought it might be a good idea to find out a little bit more about our competition. Here's a great video of the Legendary Timber Jim as he leads the Timbers Army Section 107 at PGE Park in Portland as the Timbers took on the Minnesota Thunder on August 5, 2005. This is what Section 204 at SAS Soccer Park needs to be like next season!

-- Jarrett @ 3/05/2006 01:26:00 PM

Friday, March 03, 2006

Jon Stewart's World Cup Prediction

As we mentioned earlier on this blog, Jon Stewart was a soccer standout at William & Mary when he was in college. Ahead of his hosting the Oscars this week, Jon sat down with Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch for a Q&A where he revealed such insightful details such as what he and Freddy Adu share in common, how the USA will fall to Afghanistan in the final game of the World Cup, and what addictive substance soccer is most like (Nutella!). Visit for the full interview, but here are my favorite bits:

SI: How much of yourself do you see in Freddy Adu?

Stewart: Well, when I first started hosting The Daily Show at 14, people thought I was older. Not true. I've just aged a lot since it started.

SI: You played against U.S. National Team coach Bruce Arena when he coached at Virginia. Did he ever say anything to you on the pitch?

Stewart: "Thank you for lowering your team's ability and allowing our team to trounce you year after year."

SI: What will happen in the World Cup? Stewart: The U.S., coming out of the Group of Death, ties Ghana and the Czech Republic and beats Italy 1-0. We go into the quarterfinals where we face Brazil, but due to a terrible and ironic twist, the Brazilians get dysentery from the food in Germany and the U.S. wins in a shootout on a goal by Kasey Keller. Now we're in the semis where we play the host country, Germany. But in an amazing display of respect for America's status in the world, Germany decides to lay down its boots, allowing the States in a walkover to get to the finals. At this point we face Afghanistan, who got in with one of those Michelle Wie sponsor exemptions. They defeat the United States because they are on horseback. And that is turned into a movie that Pelé likes better than Victory. SI: In this same space Chris Rock said, "Hockey is like heroin. Only drug addicts do heroin. Hockey is kind of the same way. Only hockey fans watch hockey." Is soccer at all like heroin? Stewart: No, soccer is crystal meth. It's very addictive, but really messes up your teeth. I guess I've never viewed soccer as some sort of controlled substance. To me, it's probably more like Nutella. The rest of the world clearly loves it and puts it on almost everything, but here in America we're like, "I don't know, man, it tastes like almonds."

SI: Tell us about your goal against Connecticut, which helped William & Mary gain the school's second appearance in the NCAA men's soccer tournament?

Stewart: It was a gloomy day, partly cloudy. The temperature was 47 degrees. No one gave the fighting young Rebels from William & Mary a chance... It was a typical garbage goal, and like many of the goals I scored, was based on attitude. Even Pelé would agree I was not playing the beautiful game. I was playing the annoying game. I was the Ken Linseman of the game. But if I remember correctly, Scott Bell, who was from Canada and a much more prolific goal scorer than I was, drilled a beautiful 25-foot volley that knuckled and somehow confused our opponents' goalkeeper. I believe the ball bounced in my direction and somebody pushed my face into it and it ended up in the net.

-- Jarrett @ 3/03/2006 06:17:00 PM

Going, Going, Almost Gone...

Tickets for the USA v. Jamaica match went on sale at 10am Friday morning. As of 11:30am Saturday, only general admission / standing room tickets remain available via Ticketmaster

  • $125 on-field seats - gone
  • $60 midfield clubs seat - gone
  • $45 midfield east sideline club - gone
  • $30 sidelines - gone
  • $20 endlines - gone
  • $20 general admission / standing room - still available
Updated: 3/4 11:30am

-- Jarrett @ 3/03/2006 12:30:00 PM

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Free Parking for USA v. Jamaica (well sort of)

I know a lot of folks have complained about parking and traffic problems at SAS Soccer Park on the night of a big event. The good news is that the Town of Cary is considering cutting a second entranceway into SAS Soccer Park in time for the 2007 season (possibly through to Cary Town Blvd). But that won't help you get into the USA game on April 11th any faster. However, I do have a bit of good news (along with some bad news). In order to keep traffic flowing into the parking area on game night, US Soccer decided to include the price of parking in the match tickets. This means you won't have to stop in a queue and pay a parking lot attendant an additional 10 bucks to park (what they charged in Columbus for the Mexico game). The bad news is that if you were planning to carpool with someone to the game, you are not getting away with skipping out on paying for parking since you'll already have been docked by US Soccer. Of course, the best thing for you to do is show up way early for our tailgate party and you won't have to worry about traffic at all!

-- Jarrett @ 3/01/2006 11:11:00 PM

Special Supporters Rates at Hampton Inn Raleigh/Cary/I40

Triangle Soccer Fanatics is pleased to announce that we've been able to negotiate special rates on a limited number of rooms at the Hampton Inn near SAS Soccer Park for out-of-town supporters visiting the Triangle this season. While the rates aren't huge discounts, they will save you enough to perhaps buy a few extra drinks at our post-match parties! Full information on how to book these special rates is available at the TSF website.

-- Jarrett @ 3/01/2006 07:51:00 PM

Danny Kramer Sits Down with Soccer Sam

When Rochester Rhinos back up Goalkeeper Dusty Hudock wanted to return home to Charleston, SC, the Rhinos gave him his wish. The trade netted the Rhinos the 5th overall pick in the 2006 USL 1st Division Collegiate Draft. The Rhinos used that pick to acquire Duke's F/MF Danny Kramer. Recently, Danny sat down with to talk about his soccer career to date and his hopes for his new career in Rochester. In the interview he talks about playing soccer here in the Triangle: Is Duke's men's soccer team as hated by opposing teams as the men's basketball team?

DK: Not as much as the basketball team, but teams definitely don't like us and always come out real hard when they play us. No matter who it is, they come out like it is a war. What was the bigger rival - North Carolina or NC State?

DK: UNC definitely How did you grow as a soccer player at Duke?

DK: I definitely enhanced my skill level at Duke. My touch improved dramatically over the four years and my ability to use both feet helped me play all over the field and made me harder to defend. Also, I developed a knack to put myself in good spots to score goals. What was the best moment of your Duke career?

DK: When we beat UNC in the 2005 season in the ACC Championship. After 3 years of not making it passed the 1st round of the ACC tournament; to beat UNC in the Championship was the best way to do it. Veteran defender Scott Schweitzer is an NC State grad. Are you concerned at all about what he might do to a rookie from Duke?

DK: I'm hoping he won't be too hard on me. At least I didn't go to UNC. I think that would be worse.

I think we all know why Danny hates UNC so much!

-- Jarrett @ 3/01/2006 08:38:00 AM