• U.S. Women: All In A Day's Work
    They don't want to talk about it, but the U.S. women's national team has been unbeaten since Coach Greg Ryan took charge in early 2005. The secret? Practice and more practice. Ryan has insisted the player do hundreds of repetitions, and the work has paid off at both the ends of the field. Sixteen years after she and her U.S. teammates captured the inaugural women's world championship in China, Kristine Lilly is going back. But she's not looking back.She's the only holdover from that team, and if she's feeling nostalgic about lifting a golden trophy in ...
  • Youth Beat: U.S. Soccer Development Academy
    The U.S. Soccer Federation has integrated the country's top youth clubs into the national team program.This fall marks the launch of a youth league in which every game will be an audition for the national team program.By creating the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, for U-16 and U-18 boys, the Federation is in effect cutting out the middle man when it comes to identifying talent for its national team program.Sixty-three clubs and the U.S. national team will field teams in each age group. The players will not participate in the traditional player identification scheme - ...
  • MLS's Latin American Connection
    A splash of millionaire-salaried players under the Designated Player rule may not be the most important factor in the efforts of MLS teams to upgrade their quality. A stream of South Americans has changed the talent level and flavor this season.League officials are adamantly repeating that the 2007 season is about far more than David Beckham and implementation of the Designated Player rule by the Galaxy, Fire and Red Bulls.Throughout the league, a fleet of lesser-known players is proving those officials quite right.Much-less heralded Argentines, Colombians and Brazilians have been lighting up matches ...
  • Julie Foudy Finds Another Forum
    Hall of Famer has taken to new roles as ESPN sports reporter and first-time mother.She's co-hosting MLS games, she's working on ESPN programs such as "Outside the Lines" and during the Women's World Cup in September she'll be in the Bristol studios as well as China. She's on the air, everywhere.It's Julie Foudy, who else? She first worked for the network as a studio commentator during the 1998 World Cup and will be the lead analyst for this Women's World Cup alongside play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera.Once nicknamed "Loudy" Foudy by U.S. teammates for her ...
  • Wambach Seeks Redemption
    Abby Wambach blames herself for the loss to Germany in the semifinals of the 2003 Women's World Cup. She's also quick to point out she missed her penalty kick in the only U.S. setback of the last two and a half years, a shootout loss to Germany at the 2006 Algarve Cup. No player has a greater incentive to win the 2007 Women's World Cup than Wambach, the USA's goalscoring machine. Abby Wambach vividly remembers the first time she saw the U.S. women's national team play, but she couldn't know then how soon she'd become part of the history ...
  • The Soccer Life: Soccer Smoothes the Path
    Soccer helped cure homesickness and eased the challenge of adjusting to a new land for a group of young stars we met at this summer's adidas ESP scouting and development camp for the nation's top teen players. Enzo Martinez (Rock Hill, S.C.)'HOW LUCKY I AM'When Uruguay played Australia for a spot in the 2006 World Cup, Enzo Martinez got out of bed in his South Carolina house at 4 a.m. to watch on TV. Uruguay lost on penalty kicks. "I went into the shower and cried for an hour," says Martinez. "I didn't think I'd ...