Maintained and written by David Litterer email@example.com
The year 2000 was highlighted by the Olympic games, a watershed event for both the USA men's and women's teams. For the men, it represented their most successful Olympic performance ever, and the for women it marked the conclusion of their "golden age", and served as a reminder that a new paradigm was in place given the rapid development of women's soccer throughout the world. Major League Soccer and the United Soccer Leagues instituted a number of changes to bring the game more in line with FIFA international standards. Professional women's soccer at the Division 1 level was established with the formation of the Women's United Soccer Association, to begin play in 2001. Of more immediate impact, the Women's National team reached a new five-year contract agreement with the United States Soccer Federation that established a comprehensive pay and benefits package that equaled that of the Men's team, ending a tenacious salary dispute.
This season also saw the inauguration of the first North American women's championship, the Women's Gold Cup, held by The Football Confederation (formerly CONCACAF). The Men's Olympic team was the first one to include players with MLS experience, and players signed and developed through Project 40 and Project 2010. As a first test of field experience, the Olympic performance was a promising sign. The MLS players were a key to the team's improved performance, as were the first generation of players developed through Project 40, and Project 2010. Overall, the year highlighted a number of important changes being made by the USSF and the leagues to ensure the successful growth of American soccer during the 21st century.
As a disappointing reminder of the work ahead, not one soccer player, even Pele, was named to ESPN's top 50 athletes of the century. An era ended at the USSF when General Secretary Hank Steinbrecher stepped down after 10 years, bringing to an end a remarkable tenure. During his terms, the USSF's fortunes and budgets rose enormously, but still left unfinished the task of getting the Federation's disparate factions (amateur, pro, national team) to work together. In July, Dan Flynn was named as the new General secretary. In another major shift, the national congress was reorganized, giving elected player representatives 20% of the vote. Both the NPSL and AYSO and the US Soccer Foundation appointed new directors/presidents, completing a cycle of leadership turnover among major US organizations that began shortly after the end of the World Cup.
Major League Soccer and the United Soccer Leagues both were at a crossroads, having some successes, but also nagging problems to deal with. Rules changes were enthusiastically received and brought the game more in line with world standards, but attendance and promotional problems were a continuing challenge. The advent of the Women's United Soccer Association and USL's Super Y-League women's division marked new milestones in the development of women's soccer, as did the inauguration of the Women's Gold Cup.
The 2000 Olympics in Australia were significant ones for both the Men's and Women's teams. The Men gave their best Olympic performance ever, advancing from pool play for the first time ever, and advancing to the semifinals. The women marked the end of an era, as they settled for Silver, in the swan song for many of the veteran players. The games received unprecedented television coverage, and although no gold came back to the States, both teams gave performances that the nation could be proud of. More importantly, they showed that there were plenty of young talented players coming up the vine for the MLS and upcoming WUSA women's league.
For the first time, players with MLS experience would take part in the Olympics, leading to hopes for greatly improved performance by the US side. Fans were not disappointed. The US, after a nail-biting qualification series, went on to score their best performance ever, advancing out of the first round for the first time and making it to the final rounds and winning the bronze. With determination, a vibrant attack, and a defense that would give but not break, they surprised everyone but themselves.
The road to Sydney started with a challenging qualification series; pitting the Americans against Canada and Honduras. The US started off with an impressive 3-0 shutout over Honduras at Hersheypark Stadium on April 21. This game, was a fierce match, and the US performance veered from fantastic to worrisome. Ben Olsen led the way, with an excellent overall performance, Adin Brown at goal made two critical saves at the right time, and Chris Albright netted two nice goals from Ramiro Corrales long balls. There were both good individual performances and overall, a well thought tactical plan. Most importantly, this was against the US's toughest opponent in the qualifying round. Had the US been able to finish some other good scoring opportunities, the score could have been even higher. This was followed by a scoreless tie against Canada four days later, not impressive, but enough to advance them to the final four.
The nail-biting didn't last long, as the US tore apart Guatemala 4-0. With a couple of effective lineup changes (Danny Calliff & Tim Howard replacing suspended Brian Dunseth and injured Adin Brown), Guatemala's defense was simply unable to cope with the US forwards , and their offense couldn't get through the American midfield. The US created unprecedented scoring opportunities, and the game was not long in doubt. Several players were already getting notice from foreign recruiters, with Adin Brown being offered $1,000,000 by Norwegian superpower Rosenberg. This game was only the semifinal, but it was enough to advance the US to the final pool for the Olympics. The qualifying championship game was almost a letdown for the tired squad, who were worn down by Honduras who prevailed 2-1. But overall, it was a solid qualifying` performance, and with 2/3 of the roster playing in the MLS, showed that league in good stead.
The tournament draw was a challenge. The US was placed in Group C, along with the Czech Republic, who had just finished second in the European U-21 finals, Cameroon, a frequent Olympic power with five players from their World Cup '98 squad, and ten had played on the national team which had won the African Nations Cup the past winter. and a young Kuwaiti team with Asian Cup qualifying experience. The road would not be easy. Coach Clive Charles understood the team's precarious position, and rather than saying "gold medal or bust", he was determined that they'd make this an enjoyable experience that would provide some excellent playing experience against top opponents. He didn't want to repeat the experience of the World Cup '98 team for which he assisted, where the win at all costs mentality seriously demoralized the team to the detriment of its performance. They were determined to break the previous jinx. Only in 1924 had the US advanced, and that was only out of the preliminary round. Seven more Olympic competitions passed before the US even posted a win, in 1984. Two more wins followed, over Kuwait in 1992 and Tunisia in 1996.
The team was the most experienced US team to play in the Olympics. Of the eighteen teams, 13 had MLS experience, and four were on European teams. Fifteen had competed in FIFA world championship events at the U-17 or U-20 level. The team was led by three overage players: Goalkeeper Brad Friedel, and defenders Jeff Agoos and Frank Hedjuk. Those players, along with midfielders John O'Brien and Ben Olsen had considerable experience with the National Team. Other players of note were Project 40 alumni Brian Dunseth, Los Angeles Galaxy forward Sasha Victorine, Josh Wolf, a premier striker for the Chicago Fire, defender Chris Albright, widely considered the most impressive player in the qualifying rounds, and the up and coming Landon Donovan, a U-17 Golden Ball winner. Donovan, only 17, perhaps the best representative of the future wave of US players had already accomplished much despite his young age, a versatile forward. The forwards were particularly impressive, but there was some uncertainty in the defensive corps, and 2 of the three overage allocations were assigned to fill in the defensive gaps.
The team opened their pool play on September with a 2-2 draw against the Czech Republic. This was followed by a 1-1 draw with Cameroon, and a 3-1 romp over Kuwait. The draws, played at Bruce Stadium in Canberra, were a masterful execution of midfield containment as they repeatedly frustrated the Czech and Cameroon strikers, and ran roughshod through their vaunted defenses. Their vibrant and multifaceted attack took charge of the matches midway through the first halves, and only poor finishing (a continual US problem) prevented them from sweeping the entire series. The US twice blew leads against the Czechs, one off a penalty kick from a late tackle by Chad McCarthy. Josh Wolff, Chris Albright and Conor Casey were relentless against the Czech Republic, and Wolff and Albright scored the two US goals. The game against Cameroon was even more one-sided, although poor finishing hurt scoring efforts. John O'Brien was dominant throughout, repeatedly finding the clear spaces through Cameroon's defense; this included an incredible run through five defenders climaxing with a shut from the penalty box that just missed Alright. Wolff scored just before halftime, and Patrick Mboma equalized early in the second half. Conor Casey had an apparent goal waved off, but the US held on to dominate and settle for the draw. The Kuwait match was a romp from the start, and Landon Donovan scored the clincher in the 88th minute. Landon Donovan was surprisingly left out of the first two games, but he shone in the Kuwait match. Danny Califf had scored in the 40th, followed by a score by Allbright. For the home crowd, disappointment came quickly. By the time the opening ceremonies started, the men's team had already been eliminated from contention.
The US next faced Japan in the quarterfinals. Here they had a tough time of it. Japan scored first, and the US wasn't able to find the net until Wolff landed the equalizer in the 68th minute. This was short-lived, as Japan scored again 4 minutes later. The situation looked lost until Vagenas scored on a penalty kick in the 90th minute to salvage a tie. The US then went on to win 5-4 on penalty kicks. This game was much more evenly matched, but Japan was a very powerful contender, so the Americans couldn't feel disappointed, especially making it to the semifinal round, only one game from medal contention. But the dream ended against Spain. Spain, putting up four forwards, quickly tore apart the US defensive corps, landing two quick goals off Danny Califf errors early in the match. Spain's forward lines shifted players frequently, attacking from different angles and running the US midfielders and defenders down. The only US score was by Vagenas on a penalty kick. Spain didn't loosen their grip, and scored a final goal in the 87th minute to make the final result 3-1. Cameroon won the gold by defeating Spain 2-2 (5-3 PK)
The US, somewhat dejected, put on a lackluster effort in the bronze medal match, losing to Chile 0-2, in a game that deserved better effort, considering that a medal was on the line. Overall, despite the disappointing end, the US had reason to be proud, this was by far their best Olympic effort ever, and showed the strength of MLS in producing quality soccer players.
The women's team qualified automatically as 1996 Gold medalists, and so was able to spend the earlier part of 2000 practicing through a series of friendlies and tournaments. (see section on women's national team, below). They wouldn't have an easy time of it in Australia however. The women were placed in the "group of death" against Norway, China and Nigeria. This was an interesting selection. Although it guaranteed some tough first round matches, it guaranteed that one of the top three teams would not make it to the final four.
This tournament would be a capstone in a way for the team, the ending of an era. Several players were expected to retire from the national team shortly after the tournament. In fact, Michelle Akers had already been forced to retire due to injuries, and Carla Overbeck would follow suit after the tournament. Already, the new generation of players was getting serious experience on the senior squad to take over. The team didn't take any chances; the previous seven months comprised the most extensive and grueling schedule they had ever played. Besides friendlies against top clubs, they participated in numerous tournaments, including the Algarve Cup in Portugal, the DFB 100th anniversary tournament , the USA Cup, the inaugural Pacific Cup and the inaugural CONCACAF Gold Cup, winning them all. The only worrisome result were multiple losses to Norway, and tough matches against China.
Coach April Heinrichs made some personnel shifts and switched from a 4-3-3 alignment to a 4-4-2, to beef up the defense. Akers's retirement allowed Julie Foudy to come into her own as a holding midfielder, and Overbeck's injuries led to a more flexible back line, with Joy Fawcett joining Kate Sobrero in middle and Christie Pearce moving to right back. Brianna Scurry's injuries allowed Siri Mullinix to step up and take over the starting goalkeeper position. These changes worked wonders, particularly the Fawcett-Sobrero pairing, giving the team one of their tightest defenses yet, and playing a significant role in their string of tournament wins. A major concern was the lack of the team's ability to convert their numerous shuts into goals, particularly against stronger opponents. It was still a veteran team to the extreme, with Brandi Chastain, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Shannon MacMillan, Carla Overbeck, and Cindy Parlow among those with numerous caps.
The US began pool play on September 14 in Melbourne, with a 2-0 win over Norway, in one of their most dominating performances of the year. They totally controlled the match, and the score was deceptively close. The US offense was explosive and the defense unstoppable. Tiffeny Milbrett scored one of the strangest goals in history as the ball bounced off BOTH goalposts and the crossbar before finally landing in the goal in the 18th minute. Six minutes later, Mia Hamm furthered the lead. The ball spent most of the first half in the Norwegian penalty area. The game against China was much closer. The US also dominated, but was not able to generate the scoring opportunities as it had against Norway. China, which had discovered the art of the long-ball game, kept things lively, and the defensive tandem of Fawcett, Pearce and Sobrero earned their keep this time. The US had some good chances in the 2nd half, but goalkeeper Gao Hong made two incredible saves, first against a Kristine Lilly penalty kick, and then Cindy Parlow's rebound, to preserve the 1-1 tie. Julie Foudy scored the lone US goal, after slipping behind four Chinese defenders to head a MacMillan corner kick into the net.
The final game was against Nigeria, and it was a tough game throughout, despite the 3-1 result. Nigeria was quick and aggressive, causing more problems than either China or Norway had. Chastain, and Lilly scored early on, with Nigeria equalizing early in the 2nd half. A MacMillan goal in the 56th extended the lead to 3-1, a score which the US would hold to the end.
The semifinal pitted the US against Brazil. This was one of the weakest performances in some time by the Americans and they were lucky to eke out a 1-0 win. In a rare show of disapproval, the fans greeted the US's stumbling and cynical performance with boos. But another clear signal was that Brazil has nearly arrived in the top tier of women's teams, and soon would be a world superpower. Mia Hamm landed the only goal with a volley in the 60th minute.
The final was perhaps the best women's soccer match the Americans ever played, in terms of quality and intensity. The game itself was a roller-coaster of emotion, starting with Tiffeny Milbrett's finishing of a fantastic Mia Hamm run in the 5th minute, to give the US a quick lead. Norway adjusted their strategy, forcing an air game, better suited to its strengths. They rallied for goals late in the first half and well into the 2nd half, scored by Gro Espeseth and Ragnhild Gulbrandsen respectively. A major factor in the US loss was risky play on the part of goalkeeper Siri Mullinix who repeatedly charged forward for loose balls, and this strategy led to disaster. In the 78th minute, she went after Enmi Lehn's cross to Gulbrandsen when Fawcett had her well covered. Mullinix ran into Fawcett, knocking her to the ground, and missing the ball in the bargain. This left Gulbrandsen with a clear shot at the empty goal. Just when it looked over for the US, Milbrett headed home a Hamm cross over the Norwegian captain's head for the equalizer with only seconds left in injury time. The final goal, 12 minutes into overtime was controversial. Fawcett attempted to clear the ball, and it ricocheted off Dagny Mellgren's arm right onto her path giving her a clear shot, and the referee allowed the goal. The game was over, Norway got the gold, and the US had to settle for the silver.
Overall, one could again see the continuing improvement in the women's game, noticeable even against the 1999 World Cup performances, and it was clear that at this rate, things were going to be very different for the next Women's World Cup, the game was simply evolving that fast. For the US, this meant that every future tournament was going to be that much tougher. But for the game as a whole, that was a good development.
Major League Soccer underwent some significant changes as part of Commissioner Don Garber's efforts to bring the league into line with FIFA norms. Gone was the shootout, and ties became a reality. Games ending in a draw would be followed by two five-minute sudden-death, "golden goal" overtime periods. Games remaining tied at that point would stand as draws. For the first time since 1974, ties would be a reality in Division 1 US soccer. The game clock would count up, with time being kept by the referee on the field. Purists everywhere cheered not only because of the changes, but because the reason for the change was specifically because of the fan's wishes and the wishes of the commissioner to play the game the rest of the world did. The League reorganized into three divisions to promote regional rivalries. Playoffs would be best of 3 with teams advancing by earning 5 points in the series. There were several changes in the front offices as several new head coaches and general managers made their debut. The entry draft was revamped into a combined "superdraft" combining the former supplemental and college drafts.
As part of its shift towards recruiting young players, the MLS established ties with the Tahiuchi Academy and the Caribbean Football Union, and established a reserve pool of newcomers. This led to a restructuring of the foreign player classification system. Youth international players, who were under 23, would not count against the roster limit. Youth discovery players, who are not subject to the draft, would count on the roster limit but not the foreign player limit. Transitional players, those aged 23-25, would be treated the same way. The foreign player limit, four per team, would only count for foreigners over age 25.
The Superdraft featured a plethora of defenders from the college ranks. Most notable was Nick Garcia , a veteran of the U-20 team, who made an immediate impact with the Kansas City Wizards. Sasha Victorine, the 1999 MAC winner and Olympian went to the Galaxy, and fellow Olympian Adin brown went to Colorado. Dallas engineered two trades to land the 5th spot where they picked Aleksey Korol, the 1999 Soccer America College Player of the Year. As part of a developmental deal, three young players from the Trinidad & Tobago U-23's joined the MLS ranks; Travis Mulraine to San Jose, and Keyneo Thomas and Adrian Narine went in the second to Colorado and San Jose respectively.
As before, project 40 players would not count against the roster limit and would be exempt from the draft. These changes were designed to create an opportunity for foreign players who had lived in the US for awhile, but still had the potential for US citizenship with their international eligibility intact. The league adopted a NFL-style seeding system for scheduling regular season games, in which teams were seeded within their division based on points accrued in 1999, and teams of the same seeding would play two extra games against each other. Teams were set to play each of their divisional rivals four times, the two teams of equal seeding four times, and the six other times twice.
For the first time, all 12 teams would participate in the US Open Cup, entering in the 2nd round in the expanded tournament, which now consisted of 32 teams (12 MLS, 9 A-League, 7 D3Pro, 4 first rounders (PDL & USASA).
The MLS briefly considered the possibility of launching a women's league that would serve as the Division 1 circuit for the USA, but wisely decided not to get into a n organizing war with the well funded WUSA consortium, instead inking an agreement in June with WUSA. The arrangement would involve cooperation on marketing, scheduling and stadium development, while joint marketing efforts aimed at the youth community and joint national soccer camps.
The most significant signing was former German world cup star Lothar Mattheus. Also signed by theMetroStars were the Colombian striking duo of Alex Comas and Adolfo Valencia. Among the foreign acquisitions, Luis Hernandez may have been one of the biggest names, but Mamadou Diallo of the Tampa Bay Mutiny provided the most punch, leading the league in scoring and goals, and becoming an instant star and target of contract offers from European clubs. . Clearly the best of the new acquisitions, Diallo was already being scouted by foreign teams before the season was half over. Lothar Mattheus got off to a poor start and missed a substantial part of the season with foreign commitments and recovery from injury, but when he returned, he showed his old style and made major contributions for the MetroStars. Hristo Stoichkov showed flashes of brilliance, a dominating presence on the field, but lost substantial time to injuries. The rookie class was a strong one, not quite as good as 1998, but close. Standouts included DeMarcus Beasley with the Fire, Nick Garcia for the Wizards, Carlos Bocanegra of the Fire, Rusty Pierce of the Revolution and Sasha Victorine, with the Galaxy and U-23's.
Perhaps the biggest story of the year was the rebirth of the MetroStars. After a rocky start, when the team went 3-6, the team began to jell as new arrivals Roy Myers, Steve Jolley, Daniel Hernandez, and Clint Mathis found their form. Mathis In particular, with his scoring prowess became an instant fan favorite.. With several players following coach Zambrano from the LA Galaxy, the franchise was sometimes referred to as Galaxy East. At the same time, the other eastern also ran, the New England Revolution found their form and surged to their best finish ever, making the playoffs for the first time since their inaugural season.
The other major story was the revival of the Kansas City Wizards. Long a doormat which struggled for fan support, the Wizards found themselves atop the Western Division by the all-star break. Much of this can simply be credited to the improvement of their players. Backed by top goalkeeper Tony Meola, and defenders Peter Vermes, Matt McKeon, and newcomer Nico Garcia. They built up a defense that was without peer in the league. Added to that Kerry Zavagnin, a MetroStars castoff, and Miklos Molnar, who filled the goalscoring gap, and the roster was primed to make a credible run. After an astounding 10-2 start, they struggled, going 2-5-3 before recovering and cruising to the divisional title.
On the other side of the slide, D. C. United simply fell apart this season, having lost many of their most talented players, with remaining veterans such as Eddie Pope and Raul Diaz Arce struggling. United fell to the bottom of the standings and never looked up. Similar stories were seen in Columbus and San Jose, the other cellar dwellers. This was particularly dire for the Earthquakes, who were out of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. But things looked better for the New England Revolution. The Revolution finally had a stable head coach who could relate to his players, and the team finally had a good mix of players who could work with each other. This gave a cohesiveness that had never existed before, and that was more important than any individual performances of past stars. Ted Chronopoulos, Imad Baba and John Harkes gave them one of the league's better Midfielder corps, a constant problem in the past Wolde Harris led the team in scoring with 15 goals, and rookie Rusty Pierce found an immediate spot on defense.
In the playoffs, the MetroStars handily defeated Dallas Burn 2-1, 2-1, and Los Angeles passed Tampa Bay in two, while Chicago and Kansas City needed three games to defeat their opponents, New England and Colorado respectively. The MetroStars faced Chicago in the most memorable series of the season. Chicago defeated New York handily 3-0 in the opener, before falling 2-0 in the next game.
The deciding match was a hectic one. C. J. Brown put the fire ahead four minutes into the match off a Stoichkov corner. Stoichkov got a goal of his own in the 31st minute, and it was a beauty. Stoichkov took a Razov pass on the left flank, pushing past Mike Petke and after two steps, unleashed a 22 yard shot that hit the upper right corner and shot down over the goal line. Valencia answered for the Metros in the 36th and soon the teams were even again. Valencia landed one in the net in the 63rd but was called offside. The game droned on, eventually seeing 421 fouls and 8 yellow cards. Finally, in the 88th minute, Ante Razov zapped the ball past Amman for the winning goal. The Metrostars players felt he was offside, and argued with the refs while the Fire players celebrated with the fans after the game. Kansas City went all the way to defeat Los Angeles drawing 0-0, losing 1-2 (in overtime), and winning the final game 1-0. This both teams with 4 points. With five points needed to advance, they played a mini-game, won 1-0 by the Wizards.
MLS Cup 2000 was the culmination of a dream season for the long suffering Kansas City Wizards. The Wizards, who had allowed the fewest goals of any team this season, in a low scoring and feisty game. Chicago managed only ten shots, of which 1 hit the crossbar, 1 hit the post, and the rest either went wide or landed in Tony Meola's hands. The Wizards were lucky though. Chicago's defense was even more efficient, only allowing three shots on goal, but one was the lucky shot. Midfielder Chris Klein snagged the ball from Dego Gutierrez and cruised past Chris Armas up the right sideline and sent a low pass to the goalmouth that Miklos Molnar sent it in after it deflected off defender Jesse Marsch. This was only in the 21st minute. Chicago regrouped, and had the better control over the field, but the Wizards' defense held, and Chicago blew numerous chances while trying to set up the perfect shot. Tony Meola was simply unstoppable, making the big save when Chicago got through the defensive line. Chicago made up for this bitter loss somewhat a week later by winning the US Open Cup in a 2-1 victory over the Miami Fusion.
The biggest concerns facing the league were continuing declines in ticket sales and television ratings. ESPN's MLS Extra Time was a critical success, but game ratings remained flat. Single-game ticket sales were up by 18%, but the season ticket base declined to around 4,000, far from the 10,000 needed to sustain the league properly. Total attendance was down to 13,756 per game (2,641,085 total, down from 14, 282 per game (2,742,102 total) in 1999. The league made marketing a bigger priority for 2001, with a major push towards grassroots fans and the youth market. A lot of MLS player salaries were expiring, leading to some extensive contract negotiations for the 2001 season. The foreign player limit was reduced to three after the season.
In more positive developments, formal plans were finally announced for new stadiums for New York and Los Angeles, with Colorado and Chicago also giving serious consideration for soccer-specific facilities. The fact that Columbus with its own stadium and the resulting ancillary revenue would clearly be a major motivation. Meanwhile, expansion was on the horizon with Long Island, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Seattle as major contenders. Most significantly, the MLS won the questionable antitrust lawsuit filed against it by the NFL players association. The antitrust charges had been dropped earlier, and the jury found for the league in the remaining charges. This led to hopes that a comprehensive bargaining agreement with the players would finally be possible. The end of the lawsuit removed the specter of crippling damage payments, but the league paid over $10,000,000 in legal fees to defend itself.
Official 2000 MLS Season Stats
Official MLS History Archives
Final 2000 Major League Soccer Standings GP W D L GF GA Pts Eastern Division MetroStars 32 17 3 12 64 56 54 New England Revolution 32 13 6 13 47 49 45 Miami Fusion 32 12 5 15 54 56 41 DC United 32 8 6 18 44 63 30 Central Division Chicago Fire 32 17 6 9 67 51 57 Tampa Bay Mutiny 32 16 4 12 62 50 52 Dallas Burn 32 14 4 14 54 54 46 Columbus Crew 32 11 5 16 48 58 38 Western Division Kansas City Wizards 32 16 9 7 47 29 57 Los Angeles Galaxy 32 14 8 10 47 37 50 Colorado Rapids 32 13 4 15 43 59 43 San Jose Earthquakes 32 7 8 17 35 50 29 Quarterfinals: Los Angeles defeated Tampa Bay 1-0 and 5-2. Kansas City defeated Colorado 1-0, 0-0, 3-2. New York defeated Dallas 2-1, 2-1. Chicago defeated New England 2-1, 1-2, 6-0. Semifinals: Chicago defeated New York 3-0, 0-2, 3-2 Kansas City defeated Los Angeles 0-0, 1-2(OT), 1-0 (1-0 TB) MLS CUP 2000: Kansas City defeated Chicago, 1-0 LEADING SCORERS GP G A Pts Mamadou Diallo, Tampa Bay 28 26 4 56 Clint Mathis, MetroStars 29 16 14 46 Ante Razov, Chicago 24 18 6 42 Diego Serna, Miami 31 16 10 42 Adolfo Valencia, MetroStars 31 16 9 41 Dante Washington, Columbus 30 15 9 39 Wolde Harris, New England 31 15 7 37 Jason Kreis, Dallas 27 11 13 35 Ariel Graziani, Dallas 24 15 3 33 Alex Comas, MetroStars 25 13 6 32 Jaime Moreno, D. C. United 25 12 7 31 Carlos Valderrama, Tampa Bay 32 1 26 28 Junior Agogo, Colorado* 22 10 7 27 Steve Ralston, Tampa Bay 30 5 17 27 Chris Henderson, Kansas City 31 9 9 27 Imad Baba, New England 30 9 8 26 Miklos Molnar, Kansas City 17 12 1 25 Hristo Stoitchkov, Chicago 18 9 7 25 Roy Lassiter, Miami 27 8 9 25 Robert Warzycha, Columbus 30 6 13 25 Dema Kovalenko, Chicago 31 10 5 25 * Played for more than one team - Most Recent Team Listed GOALKEEPING LEADERS (Minimum 1,100 minutes) GP MIN SHTS SVS C/P GA GAA W L SO Tony Meola, Kansas City 31 2826 162 129 83 29 0.92 15-7-9 16 Kevin Hartman, Los Angeles 26 2422 126 91 66 27 1.00 12-7-7 7 Zach Thornton, Chicago 25 2319 127 91 77 33 1.28 15-4-6 5 Joe Cannon, San Jose 26 2420 181 137 106 40 1.49 6-13-7 7 Scott Garlick, Tampa Bay 32 2934 247 184 99 50 1.53 16-12-4 6 Jeff Causey, New England 22 1975 110 67 101 34 1.55 8-8-5 3 Mark Simpson, D. C. United 13 1179 59 38 27 21 1.60 4-5-4 1 Mike Ammann, MetroStars 22 1960 162 108 85 35 1.61 11-9-1 2 David Kramer, Colorado 20 1804 125 79 80 33 1.65 9-8-3 4 Matt Jordan, Dallas 31 2830 188 124 114 53 1.69 13-14-4 7 Mark Dougherty, Columbus 25 2269 170 111 69 46 1.82 10-12-3 3 Nick Rimando, Miami 22 2002 150 102 75 41 1.84 10-11-1 2 Adin Brown, Colorado 13 1146 102 72 39 26 2.04 4-7-1 2 Tom Presthus, D. C. United 20 1741 127 78 45 42 2.17 4-13-2 2 MLS Award Winners: Most Valuable Player: Tony Meola, Kansas City Wizards Goal of the Year: Marcelo Balboa, Colorado Rapids Coach of the Year: Bob Gansler, Kansas City Wizards Goalkeeper of the Year: Tony Meola, Kansas City Wizards Defender of the Year: Peter Vermes, Kansas City Wizards Rookie of the Year: Carlos Bocanegra, Chicago Fire Scoring Champion: Mamadou Diallo, Tampa Bay Mutiny Fair Play: Steve Ralston, Tampa Bay Mutiny Referee of the Year: Paul Tamberino Humanitarian of the Year: Abdul Thompson Conteh, San Jose Earthquakes Comeback Player of the Year: Tony Meola, Kansas City Wizards Pepsi Best 11: G - Tony Meola, Kansas City Wizards D - Peter Vermes, Kansas City Wizards D - Greg Vanney, Los Angeles Galaxy D - Robin Fraser, Los Angeles Galaxy M - Hristo Stoichkov, Chicago Fire M - Chris Armas, Chicago Fire M - Steve Ralston, Tampa Bay Mutiny M - Carlos Valderrama, Tampa Bay Mutiny M - Peter Nowak, Chicago Fire F - Mammadou Diallo, Tampa Bay Mutiny F - Clint Mathis, NY/NJ MetroStars
All-Star Game, at Columbus, OH, July 29, 2000. East defeated West, 9-4. Mamadou Diallo MVP. Attendance 23,495. Goalscoring: EST--Mathis (Chung, Ammann) 2, WST--Razov (Jones, Preki) 17, WST--Cienfuegos (Jones) 19, WST--Razov (Jones, Azizi) 22, EST--Moreno (Chung) 36, EST--Valencia (Moreno) 39, WST--Nowak (Jones, Preki) 44, EST--Chung (McBride, Valderrama) 51, EST--Diallo (Valderrama) 59, EST--Diallo (Valderrama, Heaps) 61, EST--Heaps (Diallo, McBride) 65, EST--Washington (Petke) 67, EST--McBride (Washington, Valderrama) 76
The announcement of the Women's United Soccer Association was the logical next step to follow on the US's victory in the 1999 World Cup, and another milestone in the development of women's soccer. Now, the US would finally have a fully professional league. The Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) announced firm plans to begin play in the 2001 season. Unlike the previous attempt to launch a pro women's league (The NSA in 1997), this one had solid investment backing and a clear organization plan.
The WUSA was headed by John Hendricks, chairman and CEO of Discovery Corp, Amos Hostetter, Jr., founder of MediaOne, Brian Roberts and Amy Banse of Comcast Corporatin, James C. Kennedy and James Robbins of Cox Entertainment, and Joseph Collins and Fred Dressler of Timer Warner Cable. Between these individuals, a total of $40,000,000 was raised to launch the league. This initial capitalization would be sufficient to run the league for five years with a minimum of eight teams. Salaries would range from $20,000+ to $100,000+, averaging about $40,000. Four foreigners would be allowed on each team. The season would extend from March-August with average attendance expected to be 6,500. The league initially planned for 1/4 of games to be televised.
The announcement ended months of speculation and uncertainty as two groups, along with MLS all pursued their own plans for a women's pro league. At one point, it was feared that both the Hendricks Group and MLS would launch rival leagues, a situation that could be disastrous for women's soccer from a financial point of view. To complicate matters, a third group, Women's soccer Association, based in South Texas proposed a 12 team circuit with franchises in smaller markets such as Richmond, VA and Lehigh Valley, PA. The WUSA group had been negotiating with MLS on a possible joint effort, and when they proceeded with their public announcement, it caught MLS by surprise. Fortunately, sane heads prevailed, and the two groups worked out an agreement where MLS would support the WUSA in return for some joint sponsorship, with each league possibly operating teams in the other league, starting in 2002. This deal was perhaps inevitable, as all of the major National team players threw their allegiance to the WUSA early on, and the league landed a major TV deal with TNT to boot.
Fortunately, two of these groups dropped out of the running early, and in June WUSA reached a cooperative agreement with MLS which dropped their plans to field their own league. This ended the threat of a costly league battle such as faced by women's basketball. Instead, this arrangement would involve cooperation on marketing, scheduling and stadium development, while joint marketing efforts aimed at the youth community and joint national soccer camps. In September, WUSA landed its first sponsor, Hyundai Motor America, which signed to the tune of $7,000,000.
The most important announcement was the signing of almost every regular player on the US National Team. All WWC99 veterans except Carla Overbeck were allocated to the 8 franchises early on. Later, Michelle Akers withdrew for the first season and was replaced by Overbeck. In October, the teams were unveiled: Atlanta Beat, Bay Area CyberRays, Boston Breakers, Carolina Tempest, New York Power, Philadelphia Charge, San Diego Spirit and Washington Freedom. Teams would play in a mix of MLS and smaller stadiums.
Shortly afterwards, teams selected many World Cup stars in the foreign player draft. Top countries such as Norway, Germany, Sweden, Canada and Brazil were well represented, with many of their top players joining the league. From December 4-10, the league held an invitation only player combine, followed by a draft from which the teams filled their rosters to 20 players. First to go where six top Chinese stars, not previously available during the Foreign player draft. The rest of the draftees included several dozen from the W-League, the cream of the WPSL, several other top foreign players and the cream of the NCAA college graduating class. By the end of the year, WUSA was well on its way towards being set for a successful debut in April, 2001.
Following the lead of MLS, albeit somewhat reluctantly, USL adopted a number of rule changes for the 2000 season. They retained the 4-1-0 +1 scoring system with bonus point for scoring three goals in a game, but they abolished the shootout in favor of letting draws stand after two ten minute "golden goal" sudden death overtime periods. This was applied to all USL Leagues, from A-League down to the Super Y-League. Like the MLS, the game clock now counted up, with time kept on the field by the referee. Unlike the MLS, four points would be earned for a victory. The playoffs were simplified as well. Early rounds would be single game knockouts, with later rounds consisting of two game home/away series with victors decided on goal differential. The single-game League championships were retained. The W-league playoff fields were reduced substantially, consisting simply of a final four in each division. The A-League modified their playoff system with the Conference semifinals and finals being traditional two-leg series based on aggregate score.
The league continued to struggle with weak franchises, and this season saw a shift in relegating teams to lower divisions more suitable to their financial strengths. This flew in the face of Commissioner Marcos's dream of a 32 team A-league, this strategy created a much stronger circuit with a concentrated talent base, critical for its role as a feeder system for MLS. The major concern was the depleted D3Pro League which had lost numerous teams to the amateur Premier Development League. The Super Y-League continued on its successes, adding new regions and more age groups to existing divisions, including the first girl's division. They were attracting more top youth clubs, including clubs affiliated with USL teams.
Once again, the I-League was inactive this year because of insufficient interest from teams in participating.
USL was considering a possible collaboration between the A-League and a proposed new professional Canadian circuit, the Canadian United Soccer League. The CUSL would be a single entity outfit like MLS, which would incorporate the existing A-League teams (Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps, Toronto Lynx), and the new PDL Calgary franchise into its schedule. The other CUSL teams, while independent, would play an interlocking schedule with A-League teams. The CUSL would also formulate a partnership with European clubs, using their names and jerseys. The European clubs would send new prospects and aging veterans to the CUSL while Canadian players would gain experience with their European counterparts. This was still in its early stages as the year closed. A-League and PDL teams would also take part in the proposed Canadian open Cup, based on its US counterpart, which would debut in 2002..
Final 2000 USL standings and playoff results
The A-League retrenched slightly this year, although in retrospective this actually brought the circuit down to a more manageable size, while shaking off some of its weakest franchises. Staten Island and Maryland folded after disastrous seasons, as did Lehigh Valley and Sacramento. The loss of Lehigh Valley was disappointing; although they drew well, and were based in the Bethlehem, PA area, a region rich in soccer history, they never were able to play in a permanent stadium; unpaid bills, and delinquency fines led to the franchise's revocation. Sacramento, Jacksonville and New Orleans went on hiatus this season, to give them time to reorganize and obtain financing. Sadly, none of these teams would return for 2001.
On a positive note, the Montreal Impact, one of the league's most successful teams, returned to the league. The Bay Area Seals survived a scare when it appeared they might fold, but new financing saved the team. The Seals troubles were worrisome, as the local youth leagues were strong; why the support didn't extend to the Seals was a true mystery. Concerned about these changes, Commissioner Francisco Marcos raised the annual letter of credit required of teams to $100,000. This would allow the league to take over a team and run it for the rest of the season.
Hershey Wildcats revamped their lineup in their quest to finally pull past Rochester, to whom they lost in the semifinals the past two seasons. Gone was long time scoring maven Gino DeFlorio, but much of the core remained, including six NPSL players (after their indoor seasons end). In a major shift, Project 40 withdrew from the A-League after the conclusion of the season. The developmental team had struggled the past two seasons with a depleted lineup due to players being frequently called up to MLS. With the constantly changing lineup, it was impossible for the team to gel and provide suitable playing experience. In a sense this was a reflection of Project 40's success, as it was sending up increasing numbers of successful players. Project 40 would continue as a developmental team, playing exhibitions against domestic and foreign teams.
The A-League saw a major infusion of talent from MLS, led by players such as Digital Takawira (Milwaukee), Kris Kelderman (Milwaukee), Matt Kmosko (Charleston), Marquis White and Tim Weaver (Bay Area), and Paulos dos Santos and Jair. Some of these clearly hoped to eventually return to MLS, others were satisfied to finish out their careers at this level.
Long Island Rough Riders returned to the top of the Northeast Division, edging out 1999 finalist Rochester, despite only having 16 wins. Their title came thanks to 9 bonus points earned for scoring 3 or more goals in a game. Rochester, who had four more wins, would undoubtedly look to boost scoring for next season. The same story in the Atlantic Division, where the Charleston Battery edged out the Richmond Kickers who out-won them 20 victories to 18. Charleston had racked up 13 bonus points for their scoring prowess. The Midwest division saw defending champion Minnesota Thunder and Milwaukee Rampage finish well ahead of the back, with Minnesota winning a close title run. Us Project 40 fell to a disappointing 8-19, struck by frequent player losses. The Seattle Sounders took top spot in the West, beating out San Diego and Vancouver in a close race.
In the playoffs, the conference quarterfinals generally went to the favored teams, the major exception being Vancouver 86ers's penalty-kick victory over the San Diego Flash. The Semifinals and finals were now two game series with based on aggregate goals. Rochester cruised easily, defeating Charleston, but Minnesota needed a comeback squeaker to beat Vancouver, losing the first game 3-0, while needing overtime to beat the 86ers 4-3 in the 2nd leg. Milwaukee ousted Seattle by identical 2-1 scores in a battle of divisional champs. Toronto had a major upset by knocking out Richmond, who led the league in wins. The goals aggregate figured in the first conference final, as Rochester tied Toronto 1-1, and then beat them 1-0 to advance on goals. Minnesota was a little more decisive, beating Milwaukee in their famed rivalry, 4-3 and 5-0. Rochester Raging Rhinos had revenge on the Thunder, paying them back for last year's championship result, by defeating the Thunder 3-1. The Rhinos dominated throughout, delighting the crowd of 14,276 at Frontier Field. They jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals by Yari Alnutt and Dan Stebbins. The 2nd half was more even, and Minnesota nearly scored in the 74th minute when Chugger Adair's 10 yard shot with the goalkeeper out of position hit the post. Adding insult to injury, Onandi Lowe scored four minutes later for Rochester, giving them a 3-0 lead. Adair scored in the 79th minute, but it was too late to mount a comeback, and Rochester finally had their championship after three tries.
The Seattle Sounders furthered a plan to become a European style club, with developmental and youth teams. They established the Sounders Select in the PDL and U-14, U-16, and U-18 teams for USL's Super Y-League and a new team for the W-League. This put the sounders at the top f a pyramid and gave them their own developmental base. In the other direction, the Sounders affiliated themselves with Werder Bremen to establish a player training exchange program. On a positive note, attendance was up this season, to 2,684 fans per game (up from 2,374 in 1999). Total attendance declined slightly due to the decrease in number of teams. It felt to 915,246 (from 999,563 in 1999). As a sign if increasing memory of the NASL, Vancouver announced that they would change their name to the Whitecaps for the 2001 season.
Final A-League Standings, 2000 Before the season, Orange County became the Waves. Montreal rejoined the League. San Francisco became the Bay Area Seals. GP W L D GF GA BP Pts EASTERN CONFERENCE Northeast Division Long Island Rough Riders 28 16 9 4 54 36 9 76 Rochester Raging Rhinos 28 20 7 1 42 25 3 75 Toronto Lynx 28 13 11 4 35 30 3 59 Montreal Impact 28 12 13 3 34 41 3 54 Boston Bulldogs 28 9 16 3 32 41 3 39 Connecticut Wolves 28 1 19 8 22 57 1 13 Atlantic Division Charleston Battery 28 18 8 2 59 36 13 87 Richmond Kickers 28 20 7 1 42 25 3 84 Hershey Wildcats 28 15 10 3 49 30 7 70 Hampton Roads Mariners 28 14 12 2 44 38 4 62 Raleigh Capital Express 28 12 12 4 48 52 6 58 Atlanta Silverbacks 28 11 14 3 51 42 8 55 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 28 10 14 4 41 43 5 49 WESTERN CONFERENCE Central Division Minnesota Thunder 28 20 4 4 74 30 15 99 Milwaukee Rampage 28 18 9 1 69 47 16 89 Indiana Blast 28 9 15 4 40 57 5 45 US Project 40 28 8 19 1 35 60 3 33 Tennessee Rhythym 28 6 22 0 36 103 1 25 Cincinnati Riverhawks 28 2 23 3 25 80 2 13 Pacific Division Seattle Sounders 28 18 7 3 56 38 10 85 San Diego Flash 28 16 9 3 54 32 8 75 Vancouver 86ers 28 14 11 3 62 41 11 70 El Paso Patriots 28 12 14 2 48 50 7 57 Bay Area Seals 28 12 13 3 42 53 5 56 Orange County Waves 28 12 15 1 44 52 6 55 Conference Quarterfinals: Rochester defeated Hershey 4-3. Toronto defeated Long Island 2-1. Richmond defeated Hampton Roads 2-1. Charleston defeated Raleigh 1-0. Milwaukee defeated El Paso 3-2. Minnesota defeated Indiana 7-0. Vancouver defeated San Diego 1-1 (5-4 PK) Conference Semifinals: Minnesota defeated Vancouver 3-0, 4-3 (OT). Rochester defeated Charleston 2-0, 1-0. Toronto defeated Richmond 1-0, 1-0. Milwaukee defeated Seattle 2-1, 2-1. Conference Finals: Rochester defeated Toronto 1-1, 1-0. Minnesota defeated Milwaukee 4-3, 5-0. CHAMPIONSHIP: Rochester defeated Minnesota 3-1. After the season, US Project 40 left the league. Boston was relegated to the D3Pro League. Bay Area, and Orange County were relegated to the D3Pro League but folded before the season began. Raleigh folded. Hampton Roads went on hiatus.Leading Scorers: TEAM GP G A PTS Takawira, Digital MIL 21 16 10 42 Conway, Paul CHR 26 17 8 42 Howes, Gregory SEA 27 17 7 41 Sawatzky, Darren SEA 28 16 9 41 Menyongar, John MIN 28 17 5 39 Martinez, Saul HRD 26 16 5 37 Simmonds, Gregory HER 25 16 5 37 DeRosario, Dwayne RMD 23 15 5 35 Schneider, Paul MIN 23 15 4 34 Beech, Patrick ATL 22 14 5 33 Moleka, Nzoko Ignace ATL 28 14 5 33 Dotsenko, Ihor RAL 28 15 2 32 Tilley, Darren VAN 13 12 6 30 Donnelly, Seamus HRD 28 14 1 29 Boyce, Jason OC 24 11 7 29 Mitchell, Jamel HER 28 13 2 28 Jeffrey, Kevin BAY 24 12 3 27 Cozier, Mac CHR 24 11 5 27 Buddle, Edson LI 26 11 4 26 Flavius, David PIT 25 11 4 26 Goalkeeping Leaders: (Min 810 minutes) TEAM GP MIN GAA W L T SHO GA SAVES SHOTS Vallow, Scott RCH 19 1730 0.83 12 6 1 8 16 58 172 McGinty, Michael RMD 26 2370 0.91 19 7 0 11 24 89 256 Tate, Thomas SD 25 2341 1.00 15 7 3 10 26 79 207 Zagar, Theodosis TOR 26 2386 1.06 12 10 4 6 28 103 269 Swallen, John MIN 21 1849 1.07 14 1 3 5 22 78 192 Hudock, Dusty CHR 26 2338 1.19 17 6 2 6 31 103 252 Grafer,Paul LI 28 2515 1.29 16 9 3 9 36 121 354 Dedini, Randy PIT 18 1537 1.29 7 7 1 3 22 61 155 May, Bill SEA 20 1862 1.31 14 4 2 7 27 119 226 Larkin, Jim MON 21 1919 1.36 11 8 2 6 29 80 221 A-League Award Winners: Most Valuable Player: Digital Takawira, Milwaukee Rampage Goalkeeper of the Year: Scott Vallow, Rochester Ragin' Rhinos Defender of the Year: Scott Cannon, Richmond Kickers Rookie of the Year: Greg Howes, Seattle Sounders Coach of the Year: Neil Megson, Seattle Sounders All A-League Team: G - Scott Vallow, Rochester Raging Rhinos D - Chris Fox, Richmond Kickers D - Craig Demmin, Rochester Raging Rhinos D - Scott Cannon, Richmond Kickers D - Scott Schweitzer, Rochester Raging Rhinos M - Brian Loftin, Milwaukee Rampage M - Yari Allnutt, Rochester Raging Rhinos M - Stoian Mladenov, Minnesota Thunder F - Paul Conway, Charleston Battery F - Darren Sawatzky, Seattle Sounders F - Digital Takawira, Milwaukee Rampage
This year, the D3Pro league was a smaller, but healthier circuit, now that the league had relegated those teams which were clearly better suited for amateur status. In franchise shifts, Los Angeles Fireballs moved to Tucson, and the Utah Blitzz and Riverside County Elite made their debuts. The three-division alignment was retained, with 22 teams, down from 26 last year.
In the Northern Division, the New Jersey Stallions enjoyed a renaissance, climbing to the top spot, displacing Springfield, who fell to a .500 record. South Jersey and New Hampshire retained 2nd and 3rd place. In the Southern Division, the veteran Texas Rattlers (formerly Toros), took the divisional title, beating out the surging Charlotte Eagles, and the Wilmington Hammerheads. Austin fell to a terrible 2-15-1 record, leading to their relegation at the end of the season. In the West, Chicago retained their divisional title, in a close race with the surprising expansion Utah Blitzz, and the rejuvenated Tucson Fireballs.
In the playoffs, the Reading Rage upset New Hampshire, and Western Massachusetts upset South Jersey, but otherwise there were no surprises. In the conference semifinals, Utah surprised the favored Chico Rooks 1-0, and Western Massachusetts bested Reading 4-0. Charlotte meanwhile defeated the Carolina Dynamos 4-1. In the conference finals, Charlotte defeated Utah 4-2, and New Jersey (who received a bye to this point because of their league best record), put away the West mass Pioneers 1-0. The championship game was a blowout, with the Charlotte eagles swamping the New Jersey Stallions 5-0. Justin Swinehart, a first team all-star, had a hat trick, and Jeff Johnson scored two more. This was a sweet victory for the Eagles, who had made it to the finals in 1996 and 1997 only to meet frustrating defeat. They had made the playoffs every year except their first, in 1993. The game was attended by 5,350, a record for the D3Pro championship series.
Attendance was up considerably this season, despite the reduced size of the league. Average attendance rose to 1,188 fans per game (up from 830 in 1999), and total attendance climbed to 254,868 from 235,597 for the regular season, despite the reduction from 26 to 22 teams.
Final 2000 D3-Pro League Standings Before the season, Utah and Riverside County were added. Los Angeles moved to Tucson, Texas became the Rattlers. GP W L D GF GA BP Pts Northern Division New Jersey Stallions 18 14 3 1 43 21 7 64 South Jersey Barons 18 12 6 0 46 33 9 57 New Hampshire Phantoms 18 10 6 2 30 20 5 47 Reading Rage 18 9 9 0 28 29 4 40 Western Mass Pioneers 18 8 8 2 30 28 4 38 Cape Cod Crusaders 18 7 6 5 29 23 4 37 Delaware Wizards 18 5 12 1 28 46 5 26 Rhode Island Stingrays 18 5 11 2 22 41 2 24 Southern Division Texas Rattlers 18 14 4 0 43 29 8 64 Wilmington Hammerheads 18 13 4 1 47 19 7 60 Charlotte Eagles 18 11 4 3 47 22 7 54 Carolina Dynamo 18 9 8 1 38 31 5 42 Houston Hurricanes 18 8 9 1 42 41 9 42 Roanoke Wrath 18 6 11 1 24 45 4 29 Northern Virginia Royals 18 6 12 0 30 53 4 28 Austin Lone Stars 18 2 15 1 18 45 2 11 Western Division Chico Rooks 18 12 6 0 39 28 8 56 Utah Blitzz 18 11 4 3 34 20 7 54 Tucson Fireballs 18 11 5 2 36 27 7 53 Stanislaus United Cruisers 18 7 10 1 35 32 5 34 Riverside County Elite 18 7 10 1 35 22 5 34 Arizona Sahuaros 18 5 12 1 46 53 7 28 Conference Quarterfinals: Western Massachusetts defeated South Jersey 3-2 (OT) Reading defeated New Hampshire 3-2. Carolina defeated Texas 4-2. Charlotte defeated Wilmington 3-1. Chico defeated Stanislaus County 3-2. Utah defeated Tulsa 1-0. Conference Semifinals: Utah defeated Chico 1-0 (OT) Western Massachusetts defeated Reading 4-0. Charlotte defeated Carolina 4-1. Conference Finals: Charlotte defeated Utah 4-2. New Jersey defeated Western Massachusetts 1-0. CHAMPIONSHIP: Charlotte defeated New Jersey 5-0. After the season, Delaware folded. Austin was relegated to the PDL. Texas was demoted to the PDL. Top Scorers: GP G A Pts Julio Cesar Dos Santos, New Jersey 18 20 4 44 Jose Espindola, Carolina 17 17 4 38 Francisco Garcia-Barajas, Houston 17 16 4 36 Luis Zuazua, Texas 18 15 4 34 Dustin Swinehart, Charleston 18 13 8 34 Harold Calvo, Arizona 15 9 13 31 Fadi Afash, Stanislaus United 18 15 0 30 Joseph Nick, South Jersey 15 11 3 25 Achid Mahoub, Nevada 13 9 7 25 Joe Munoz, Chico 17 6 13 25 Rogel Galo, Houston 17 10 4 24 William Moore, Arizona 11 10 3 23 Jonathan Sogbie, Rhode Island 17 10 3 23 Antonio Robles-Jimenez, Riverside 17 9 5 23 Ante Cop, Tucson 17 8 7 23 B. J. McNichol, Utah 18 9 3 21 Michael Payne, San Jose 14 8 5 21 Jason Cairns, New Jersey 16 7 5 19 Leading Goalkeepers: (Min 1000 minutes) GP Min G GAA Matt Nelson, Cape Cod 12 1114 9 0.73 Eric Landon, Utah 14 1283 14 0.98 Jeremey Bailey, New Hampshire 16 1433 16 1.00 Neal Andrews, Charleston 11 1030 12 1.05 Keith Englehardt, New Jersey 15 1375 17 1.11 Taylor Tucker, Wilmington 14 1233 16 1.17 Abel Vera-Arceo, Stanlslaus United 13 1117 15 1.21 Most Valuable Player: Julio Cesar dos Santos, New Jersey Stallions Goalkeeper of the Year: Matt Nelson, Cape Cod Crusaders Defender of the Year: Adolfo Ovalle, Utah Blitzz Rookie of the Year: Fadi Afash, Stanislaus County Cruisers Coach of the Year: Robert McCourt, New Jersey Stallions
The PDL welcomed eight new franchises, as well as a relegated North Jersey to replace the weaklings lost from last season. Otherwise, they retained the same divisional structure. Much of the expansion was in the southeast, Midwest and rocky mountain area, giving the league a more evenly distributed national base. Attendance was up in 2000, averaging 328 per game (vs. 312 in 1999) for a total of 134,518 spectators.
In the eastern Conference, Westchester claimed their first divisional title, easily beating the Vermont Voltage, and the expansion Tampa Bay Hawks surprised everyone by taking the Southeast Division, coming out on top of a four team dogfight. Mid-Michigan again took the Great Lakes division easily, as did the defending champion Chicago Sockers. Former champion Twin Cities fell into the red, at 5th place. Farther west, the Colorado Comets took the title in the new Rocky Mountain Division, easily beating two expansion sides (Wichita and Boulder) and a couple tired veterans (Kansas City and Colorado Springs). San Fernando Valley repeated in the Southwest, while the Yakima Reds launched themselves from the bottom ranks to take the Northwest, quickly passing the Willamette "Wile E. Coyote" Firebirds, who went from first to worst, folding after the season.
The playoffs saw few surprises, as divisional titleists cruised through the early rounds. Mid-Michigan and Chicago were the early favorites, after their upset of the MLS's New England Revolution and Kansas City Wizards, and they didn't disappoint. In the finals, Chicago defeated Dayton 2-0, Tampa Bay defeated Westchester 1-0, and Yakima defeated Colorado 1-0. These victors were joined by Mid-Michigan, who had received a bye to the semifinal round. Here, Mid-Michigan easily downed Yakima 5-2, while Chicago trounced Westchester 5-0. Chicago won their 2nd consecutive championship in mid August, beating Mid-Michigan in a close 1-0 shutout. The single goal was scored by Rodrigo Costa in the 61st minute after Bucks goalkeeper Eric Pogue pulled away from his line to cover a scramble in the penalty area. Sockers Hamid Mehreioskouel picked up the ball at the right corner of the inner box, and knocked it across to Costa for a perfect shot at the empty goal.
Final 2000 PDL standings and playoff results
Most Valuable Player: Fernando Salazar, San Fernando Valley Heroes Top Scorer: Arshak Abyanli, San Fernando Valley Heroes (18 GP, 18 G, 15 A, 51 Pts) Goalkeeper of the Year: Adam Throop, Chicago Sockers (0.73 GAA, 990 min, 11 GP) Defender of the Year: Nate Nelson, Yakima Reds Rookie of the Year: Ryan Trout, Kalamazoo Kingdom Coach of the Year: Joe Malachino, Mid-Michigan Bucks
The W-League entered serious negotiations with the new WUSA to establish a formal arrangement as a developmental league for the senior circuit, completing the league's plans to serve as a farm system for the top league in the country. Almost 80 W-League players were drafted in the WUSA inaugural draft.
Some reorganization was in order, as Jacksonville, North Texas, and Hampton Roads were promoted to the W-1 division, while Delaware and Atlanta were relegated to W-2. W-1, which adopted a four division format, expanded their Canadian presence with a team in Ottawa, while New Brunswick, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Colorado joined the W-2 circuit. Many of these teams were partnerships with existing men's clubs. The game plan was to introduce new teams at the lower level, and promote those that did well on the field and at the box office. The playoff series were cut back drastically, consisting of just a final four for each Division. The W-league received a boost from the 1999 World Cup, as increased fan interest manifested itself in improved attendance. W-1 average attendance rose to from 730 fans per game (up from 495 in 1999), for a total attendance of 61,330 fans for the regular season. The league was lead by the New Jersey Lady Stallions who averaged an incredible 3,553 fans per game. W-2 saw a similar increase. League average per game attendance rose to 601 fans per game (up from 470 per game in 1999), for a total of 60,496.
The W-1 division had some new powerhouses, while other teams struggled on the field. The primarily Canadian Northern division, although weak, provided an exciting divisional race, with Toronto and Laval (Montreal) finishing the season tied for the divisional title. The surging Boston renegades took the Northeast Division title in a close race with Long island and Maryland. In the Central, the Chicago Cobras repeated their undefeated performance, with 14 straight wins, only allowing two goals the entire season. Close behind were the Denver Diamonds, who somehow managed to lose four games while only allowing eight goals. That was enough to finish 18 points behind. In the South, the Raleigh Wings also had an undefeated 12-0-2 season, only allowing 7 goals.
In the W-2 division, the Springfield Sirens again took the North Division top spot, leaving New York and the expansion New Brunswick in the dust. In the Atlantic Division, the expansion Charlotte Lady Eagles beat out Atlanta to win the division, while former champ Piedmont fell apart managing just two wins. The Indiana Blaze again took the Central Division, but unlike last season, the win was decisive. The new Western Division was saddled with the weakest contingent of teams in the league, with the expansion Oklahoma Outrage, besting Colorado Gold by a mere 1 bonus point to break a tied won/loss record. Austin set a new mark for futility, losing every game, only scoring three goals for the year.
The W-2 championship tournament was held in Springfield, mass. In early August. Charlotte defeated Indiana 2-1 in overtime while Springfield dominated Oklahoma 5-1. Indiana returned the favor in the 3rd place game, beating Oklahoma 2-1 in overtime. The championship game was exciting, a real see-saw battle, but with Springfield generally dominating. W-2 Defender of the Year Sue Woodson gave Springfield the final lead redirecting a shot with her head right to the goal. Charlotte put up a masterful performance, impressive for an expansion team.
The W-1 championship series. In the third place, Boston defeated Toronto 6-1, led by a pair of goals each by Ronnie Fair and Finnish Paulina Miettinen. The championship match brought the title to the Chicago Cobras, to cap their perfect season. This was their first league title in three attempts, but it was no easy contest. Like last year, the game went to penalty kicks. Like last year, their opponent was determined, and on the attack, with the Raleigh Wings holding the dominant Cobras to a 1-1 draw, but this time they prevailed come kicking time, by 4-2. Much of the credit went to goalkeeper Danielle Dion who saved successive shootout attempts by Kim Yankowski and Kelly Cagle to provide the margin of difference. The team braced for the loss of Canadian national player Charmaine Hooper, who was signed by the WUSA.
Final 2000 W-League standings and playoff results
W-1 Division GP W L D GF GA BP Pts Northern Division Toronto Inferno 14 8 5 1 24 28 2 35 Laval Dynamites 14 7 6 1 29 18 6 35 Ottawa Fury 14 6 5 3 21 15 2 29 Rochester Ravens 14 2 12 0 19 40 3 11 Northeast Division Boston Renegades 14 11 2 1 43 11 7 52 Long Island Lady Riders 14 10 3 1 40 14 7 48 Maryland Pride 14 9 4 1 32 19 6 43 New Jersey Lady Stallions 14 4 9 1 20 29 3 20 Central Division Chicago Cobras 14 14 0 0 51 2 10 66 Denver Diamonds 14 10 4 0 50 8 8 48 Fort Collins Force 14 8 6 0 36 22 6 38 North Texas Heat 14 7 7 0 35 25 5 33 South Division Raleigh Wings 14 12 0 2 50 7 8 58 Hampton Roads Piranhas 14 7 6 1 32 21 6 35 Tampa Bay Extreme 14 7 6 1 30 20 6 35 Jacksonville Jade 14 3 11 0 11 47 1 10 Semi-finals: Raleigh defeated Boston 3-0. Chicago defeated Toronto 3-1. 3rd Place Game: Boston defeated Toronto 6-1. CHAMPIONSHIP: Chicago defeated Raleigh 4-2.
After the season, Denver, Raleigh and North Texas folded.
Leading Scorers (W-1): TEAM GP G A PTS Hooper, Charmine CHI 9 13 5 31 Tietjen, Margaret LGI 14 13 4 30 Conners, Kerry BOS 13 12 5 29 Beitel, Kacy FTC 12 10 5 25 Geeris, Nathalie BOS 14 9 5 23 Weaton, Natalie DEN 6 9 5 23 Blaskovic, Tina TOR 14 10 2 22 Burtis, Cristin LGI 14 8 5 21 Cunningham, Colette MAR 14 9 3 21 Jones, Amy TAM 14 9 3 21 Hoelter, Lindsay CHI 12 8 4 20 Akide, Mercy HAM 10 9 1 19 Hucles, Angela HAM 14 6 7 19 Guasino, Rita MAR 7 8 3 19 Roberts, Nicole RAL 12 6 7 19 Yankie, Rachel LAV 13 6 6 18 Smith, Kelly NJY 12 6 6 18 Martin, Laura LGI 13 7 3 17 Sarver, Keri MAR 13 7 3 17 Leading Goalkeepers (W-1): (Min 500 minutes) TEAM GP MIN GAA W L T SHO GA SAVES Dion, Danielle CHI 10 837 0.22 9 0 0 5 2 21 Shea, Kristen DEN 7 641 0.42 6 1 0 4 3 18 Samuhel, Kristen RAL 9 650 0.83 5 0 1 3 6 17 Snooks, Allison BOS 10 900 0.90 8 2 0 5 9 33 Wyant, Kim LGI 14 1240 0.94 10 3 1 5 13 73 Singfield, Tania OTT 14 1275 1.06 6 5 3 6 15 80 Rudge, Amy LAV 9 781 1.27 4 3 1 2 11 54 W-1 Award Winners: Most Valuable Player Kerry Connors, Boston Renegades Goalkeeper of the Year: Danielle Dion, Chicago Cobras Defender of the Year: Nel Fettig, Raleigh Flyers Rookie of the Year: Lisa Boggs, Raleigh Flyers Coach of the Year: Phil Schools, Long Island Lady Riders Archie Moylan Courage Award: Marcia Lauman, Hampton Roads Piranhas W-2 Award Winners: Most Valuable Player Noelle Meeke, New York Magic Top Scorer: Noelle Meeke, New York Magic (12 GP, 14 goals, 2 assists, 30 points) Goalkeeper of the Year: Kim Bridge, Springfield Sirens (585 min., 0.92 GAA, 46 svs) Defender of the Year: Sue Woodson, Springfield Sirens Rtookie of the Year: Nkiru Okosieme, Charlotte Lady Eagles Coach of the Year: Hank Leung, Northern Virginia Majestics
The WPSL dropped their junior division, moving up the stronger teams to the senior level. The expansion San Diego W.F.C. won the championship again this year. Vancouver and Foothill FC made respectable showings for new clubs. Over 30 WPSL players were drafted by WUSA in their inaugural draft.
Final 2000 WPSL Standings: Before the season, San Diego WFC, Foothill FC, and Vancouver Angels joined the league. GP W L T GF GA Pt San Diego W.F.C. 14 11 2 1 35 17 34 California Storm 14 10 3 1 39 17 31 Utah Spiders 14 8 5 1 30 18 25 Vancouver Angels 14 5 4 5 27 23 20 Foothill FC 14 6 6 2 23 29 20 Ajax Southern Cal 14 5 8 1 17 19 16 Silicon Valley Red Devils 14 3 8 3 17 34 12 San Francisco Nighthawks 14 1 13 0 9 40 3 Champion: San Diego W.F.C.
1999-2000 Year in Review
The NPSL was in a holding pattern this season. The Florida Thundercats sat out the season, eventually folding. Their one year in the league had been a disaster, and the league stuck with their established franchises.
The divisional races saw some familiar faces as well as new ones. Cleveland, led as usual by league leading scorer and MVP Hector Marinaro again won the Central Division, beating the resurgent Montreal by 3 games. Baltimore climbed from third to take the east, displacing the Philadelphia Kixx in another close race. The North Division went to Milwaukee Wave, a low scoring team with a tenacious defense backed by the NPSL Goalkeeper of the Year Victor Nogueira. The Edmonton Drillers fell from their perch in a big way, never really in the race finishing 9 games behind the Wave. In the Midwest Division, Kansas City took its latest divisional crown while St. Louis collapsed, falling to 11-33, the worst record in the league.
After the season, the St. Louis Ambush left the league after losing their lease at the Kiel center. Fans flocked to the new St. Louis Steamers the following summer in the WISL. Although the new WISL team did well, the NPSL mourned the loss of one of its most intense and durable rivalries. Longtime league commissioner Steven Paxos stepped down and was replaced by former NHL Enterprises head Steve Ryan. He announced plans to move the league headquarters from Canton Ohio to New York City
The playoffs saw the strongest teams march through the first round, with the exception of Kansas City, upset by Edmonton. Unlike previous seasons, the conference semifinals were routs, each series decided in two games. Same story with the conference finals, as favored Cleveland and Milwaukee surged by Baltimore and Edmonton respectively. Edmonton, with 11 goals, had one of the lowest scoring playoff series ever. The championship match saw two familiar adversaries meet head to head. Cleveland and Milwaukee had met many times earlier in late playoff rounds. This time, there was a new result, as Milwaukee took their first championship, defeating Cleveland 18-20, 18-12, 15-27, 14-8, and 19-6. Like previous NPSL finals, this series was a see-saw battle, with Wave wins being followed by losses, before Milwaukee established their dominance and won the final two games convincingly. The last original NPSL Franchise, after 16 seasons, finally won it all.
Final NPSL 1999-2000 Standings Before the season, Florida folded. GP W L PCT GB GF GA AMERICAN CONFERENCE East Division Baltimore Blast 44 26 18 .591 ---- 658 544 Philadelphia Kixx 44 24 20 .545 2.0 599 564 Harrisburg Heat 44 16 28 .364 10.0 626 707 Central Division Cleveland Crunch 44 27 17 .614 ---- 694 578 Montreal Impact 44 24 20 .545 3.0 568 577 Buffalo Blizzard 44 19 25 .432 8.0 495 617 NATIONAL CONFERENCE North Division Milwaukee Wave 44 31 13 .705 ---- 657 483 Edmonton Drillers 44 22 22 .500 9.0 546 550 Detroit Rockers 44 19 25 .432 12.0 498 539 Midwest Division Kansas City Attack 44 24 20 .545 ---- 694 628 Wichita Wings 44 21 23 .477 3.0 596 614 St. Louis Ambush 44 11 33 .250 13.0 488 718 Conference semifinals: Cleveland defeated Montreal 21-7, 21-11. Baltimore defeated Philadelphia 15-11, 25-12. Milwaukee defeated Wichita 21-8, 9-6. Edmonton defeated Kansas City 26-25, 15-14. Conference finals: Cleveland defeated Baltimore 28-18, 25-22. Milwaukee defeated Edmonton 13-7, 14-4. CHAMPIONSHIP: Milwaukee defeated Cleveland 18-20, 18-12, 15-27, 14-8, 19-6. After the season, St. Louis folded and Montreal withdrew. NPSL All-Star Game: February 1, 2000, Skyreach Center, Edmonton. Team USA defeated Team Canada 18-12. First time the game was in a USA/Canada format. USA took a quick lead, but Canada responded with ten unanswered points. The US rallied with a furious comeback, then the teams battled it out with a late US surge giving them the vistory with a comfortable lead. Scorers: Wes Wade (USA-7 points), Handsor (Canada - 4), DeFlorio (Canada - 2), Stathopoulos (Canada - 4), D'Onofrio (Canada - 2), Simas (USA - 2), Miller (USA - 2), Moxom (USA- 2), King (USA - 2), Dunn (USA - 2). MVP: Wes Wade Leading scorers: TEAM GP 3PG 2PG 1PG AST POINTS Marinaro, Hector CLE 38 12 70 21 34 231 DiFlorio, Gino HAR 44 14 44 12 72 214 Dunn, Jason WCH 44 12 52 31 32 203 Simas, Clovis KCY 42 1 59 32 22 175 Reiniger, Joe STL 36 19 35 16 29 172 Cloutier, Braeden WCH 44 11 34 10 61 172 Vignjevic, Nikola EDM 40 12 18 31 63 166 Lilavois, Bernie HAR 37 0 56 15 29 156 Mobilio, Domenic PHL 35 3 52 9 28 150 Cabral, Denison BAL 42 1 40 37 25 145 Hunjak, Goran PHL 44 5 40 7 43 145 Oliviero, Giuliano MON 44 1 41 6 52 143 Wade, Wes KCY 42 3 37 0 56 139 King, Michael MIL 42 10 45 0 18 138 Tschantret, Lee DET 42 2 32 16 37 123 Biello, Mauro MON 37 7 32 7 30 122 Karic, Zoran CLE 26 6 23 5 46 115 Davis, Jeff KCY 39 14 15 6 35 113 Thomas, Mark BAL 37 6 32 12 15 109 Stathopoulos, Chris MON 43 3 39 0 21 108 Leading Goalkeepers: (min. 1140 minutes) TEAM GPI MIN SF SV 3PG 2PG 1PG PTS W L AVG Nogueira, Victor MIL 34 1881:11 591 439 16 119 17 303 25 7 9.66 Finnerty, Bryan DET 42 2305:58 731 516 18 176 21 427 17 22 11.11 Pappas, Peter PHL 43 2463:17 870 627 26 178 39 473 24 19 11.52 Hileman, Scott BAL 41 2370:53 907 666 19 199 23 478 24 16 12.10 Ceccarelli, Paolo MON 39 2260:00 947 704 20 191 32 474 21 17 12.58 Westcoat, Warren KCY 40 2246:42 712 479 22 200 11 477 22 17 12.74 Orf, Otto CLE 41 2209:56 892 654 23 188 27 472 23 14 12.81 Shepherd, Paul EDM 28 1473:20 497 344 24 117 12 318 9 14 12.95 Pena, Carlos BUF 34 1696:15 598 402 19 160 17 394 11 18 13.94 Petras, Doug HAR 41 2257:22 969 679 20 246 24 576 16 23 15.31 Hernandez, Nando STL 33 1783:02 798 571 30 178 19 465 7 23 15.65 Most Valuable Player: Hector Marinaro, Cleveland Crunch Goalkeeper of the Year: Victor Noguiera, Milwaukee Wave Coach of the Year: Keith Tozer, Milwaukee Wave Defender of the Year: James Dunn, Wichita Wings Rookie of the Year: Clovia Simas, Kansas City Attack First All-NPSL Team: G - Victor Noguiera, Milwaukee Wave D - James Dunn, Wichita Wings D - Michael Richardson, Milwaukee Wave F - Hector Marinaro, Cleveland Crunch F - Gino DiFlorio, Harrisburg Heat F - Jason Dunn, Wichita Wings
The WISL continued to improve this season, launching the St. Louis steamers in a city with a long soccer tradition. Attendance fell slightly to 4,819 per game although the total rose to 404,757 thanks to the league expansion. This season belonged to Monterrey La Raza, who won both the regular season and the championship, thanks to their unstoppable offense. Monterrey was driven by top scorer Marco Lopez and league MVP Mariano Bollela, and led the league with 167 goals. Dallas again brought up second, finishing only three points behind. Utah ended with an impressive 3rd place finish, and the league's second best defense.
Final WISL Standings, 2000 Before the season, St. Louis was added. GP W L PCT GB GF GA Monterrey La Raza 24 20 4 .833 - 167 126 Dallas Sidekicks 24 17 7 .708 3 153 107 Utah Freezz 24 15 9 .625 5 124 113 Houston Hotshots 24 10 14 .416 10 125 135 St. Louis Steamers 24 9 15 .375 11 125 137 Arizona Thundercats 24 8 16 .333 12 105 118 Sacramento Knights 24 5 19 .208 15 94 155 Quarterfinals: Utah defeated Arizona 9-3 St. Louis defeated Houston 5-3 Semifinals: Monterrey defeated St. Louis 7-3 Dallas defeated Utah 7-4 CHAMPIONSHIP: Monterrey defeated Dallas 6-5 (SO) Scoring Leaders: GP G A Pts Marco Lopez, Monterrey 23 20 31 51 Tatu, Dallas 24 18 33 51 Mariano Bollella, Monterrey 23 27 22 49 Ato Leone, Houston 24 25 21 46 David Doyle, Dallas 23 26 19 45 Clint Regier, Houston 24 31 13 44 Marco Coria, Monterrey 21 27 16 45 Beau Brown, Utah 24 26 15 41 Renato Pereira, Monterrey 24 25 11 36 Jeff Betts, Utah 21 18 17 35 Chris McDonald, Sacramento 24 20 14 34 Patrick Shamu, Dallas 24 19 15 34 Genoni Martinez, Monterrey 24 15 18 33 Leading Goalkeepers: (Min 1100 minutes) GP Min GA W L GAA Juan De la O, Arizona 22 1310 92 8 14 4.21 Sagu, Dallas 23 1384 100 15 7 4.33 Nick Vorberg, Utah 24 1448 110 15 9 4.56 Brett Phillips, Monterrey 21 1250 108 9 12 5.18 Raul Salas, Monterrey 24 1439 125 20 4 5.21 Terry Waldorf, Houston 24 1432 134 10 14 5.61 Pat Harrington, Sacramento 21 1157 112 5 16 5.81 Most Valuable Player: Mariano Bollela, Monterrey La Raza Goalkeeper of the Year: Edson Xavier, Dallas Sidekicks Coach of the Year: Jeff Betts, Utah Freezz Defender of the Year: Rob Baarts, Utah Freezz Rookie of the Year: Clint Regier, Houston Hotshots All-WISL First Team: G - Sagu, Dallas Sidekicks D - Jason Vanacour, Arizona Thunder D - Kiley Couch, Houston Hotshots M - Mariano Bollelo, Monterrey la Raza F - Tatu, Dallas Sidekicks F - David Doyle, Dallas Sidekicks
Heading into the Cup, the US had solidified its central defense, and weakness in right back, with Reyna available as a third central midfielder; this favored a 3-5-2 formation. The Gold Cup opened in the Orange Bowl at Miami, FL, with 50,000 fans of the four nations. A tiresome scene unfolded: Perhaps a few hundred were there to support the US. Once again, the Americans were the visiting team on their home turf. Nevertheless, they pulled off a convincing shutout over Haiti, from goals by Jovan Kirovski, Eric Wynalda and Cobi Jones. Claudio Reyna was the true man of the match, as he quietly, but effectively brought order to the chaotic US offense and set up all three goals courtesy of two well-timed passes and a foul in the penalty area. Haiti, playing in their first Gold Cup, did not make things easy for the US, with their tight defense and effective tackling. However, the US prevailed in the end with a convincing 3-0 shutout. This game broke a Miami jinx for the US, their first win in the city since 1984. They followed this with a 1-0 shutout of Peru (Jones, 59) in a defensive battle, noticed mainly for the outstanding goalkeeping and tenacious defense.
In other action, Mexico cruised through the pool play as expected, and Canada achieved their first trip to the semifinals. One of the surprises of the tournament was Trinidad & Tobago, who rallied from a 4-0 shutout at the hands of Mexico to sweep to the semifinals by defeating Guatemala 4-2, and edging Costa Rica 2-1 in the quarterfinals. This upset came off a golden goal by Mickey Trotman, which neutralized a last minute equalizer by the Costa Ricans late in the game. The quarterfinals were marred somewhat by a shameful display of hooliganism by Honduran fans after their 5-3 ouster by Peru, which resulted in a personal apology to the city of Miami by the Honduran president.
The US dream came to a disappointing end in the quarterfinals as Colombia avenged its WC'94 defeat by taking a 2-2 tie into penalty kicks and pulling off the upset 2 PK to 1. This was a particularly disappointing end for the Americans who had outplayed Colombia throughout the game, with McBride and Armas landing goals, but couldn't pull off the game winner. The major surprise of the tournament was Canada, who advanced to the quarterfinals in a bizarre Group D where all games were played to a draw.
Canada scored an impressive performance in the later rounds, securing an incredible 2-1 upset of Mexico in overtime on Feb. 20. This game was going Mexico's way until a goal by Corrazzin in the 83rd minute, forcing overtime where a Richard Hastings header three minutes into overtime clinched the match. In the semifinals, Canada held their own against Trinidad 7 Tobago, thanks largely to goalkeeper Craig Forrest and his 11 save, salvaging an otherwise uninspired performance. The championship match pitted Canada in an inspired performance against Colombia, where goals by DeVos and Corazzin earned Canada a 2-0 shutout, and their first ever Gold Cup. This gave the squad a badly needed boost in their effort to get some respect from an otherwise skeptical international community.
For the US, it was a disappointing performance, with uneven performances, and signs that the team, which had performed well in the Confederations Cup, was showing signs of stagnation, an alarming trend with World Cup qualifications due to start soon. For the Football Confederation, the gate performance was of concern as well. Without Mexico to draw the US/Mexico crowds, attendance was paltry, with only 6,000+ attending the championship.
Another milestone was set as the Football Confederation launched the inaugural Women's Gold Cup. This followed the inauguration of the Copa Gallo, hosted by Argentina, and the Caribbean Football Union's first Women's Championship. Like the men's counterpart, this Gold Cup was also held in the United States. Unlike the men's tournament, there was no incentive to draw upon the large Mexican-American community, and so games were held in northern parts of the country - Foxboro, MA, Louisville Ky, and Hershey, PA. . The eight-team field was divided into two groups, consisting of USA, Brazil, Costa Rica & Trinidad & Tobago in group A, and Canada, China, Guatemala and Mexico in group B. The invited teams, China and Brazil, gave the lineup some needed luster. Outside of the US and Canada, the region was not yet very strong.
The US opened in style, routing Trinidad & Tobago 11-0, with a hat trick by Cindy Parlow, and two each by Mia Hamm and Sara Whalen. Meanwhile Brazil beat Costa rica by a similarly impressive 8-0. In an unusual reversal of scores, the second round saw the Brazilians defeat Trinidad & Tobago by 11-0 while the US downed Costa Rica by 8-0. This time the US hat trick went to Nikki Serlenga. Meanwhile, China downed Guatemala 14-0 and Canada had a close one with Mexico, 4-3. These scores showed the overall weakness of North America, which was still seriously short of superpowers, or even seriously competitive nations. This situation would likely change before too many years.
Things got tougher quickly though. Brazil surprised the Americans, as their defense closed ranks, stalling the US line and earning a 0-0 draw. This was enough to send both teams into the semifinals against China and Canada. The US regained form in their match with Canada. McMillan scored two in the first half, and Milbrett and Hamm contributed to a final 4-1 result. Meanwhile, Brazil stunned China 3-2 in the other semi. China got off to a quick lead, but Brazil quickly returned the favor, scoring just two minutes later, and then taking hunkering down to a battle of attrition. Finally, the defensive line was broken and Roseli landed a shot to give Mexico the lead in the 60th. China recovered form and equalized in the 75th minute, and the battle of wills ensured into the 17th minute of overtime when a foul by China gave Mexico a penalty kick, which was sent in by Cidinha, giving Mexico an amazing upset and one of their most significant victories. China salved their wounds with a victory in the 3rd place match.
The final was held on July 3 in Foxboro, MA before 20,123, and Brazil and the United States again took to the field. Little had changed since their last meeting. Brazil again showed good understanding of the American attack as they effectively shut down the scoring runs, but in turn they were completely ineffective in finding an offensive thrust of their own. The US was more effective than their previous match, gaining an 18-8 advantage in shots, and the game was not as close as the score. Still, Brazil served notice that they would soon be a superpower to be reckoned with. The lone goal came just before halftime, and was a beauty. Mia Hamm, left her usual prowling grounds on the right, suddenly surfacing on the left side, with the ball, good location and plenty of time. As she cut towards the center for her shot, her kick suddenly shifted focus, as she deftly passed the shot straight to Milbrett, who had quietly sidled right into the center of the penalty area while all eyes were on Hamm. She only had to deflect the ball slightly to land it right in goal. The stalemate resumed for the rest of the match,, but the victory was most satisfying.
The men's team bore little resemblance to the squad that went to France in 1998, as the transition to the new generation continued. Gone were many old names, such as Lalas, Harkes, Ramos, Preki, Massioneuve, and Wegerle. In were newcomers: Ben Olsen, John O'Brien, Tony Sanneh, Jason Kreis, Eddie Lewis, Ante Razov, Greg Vanney. Some of the players were unproven internationally. What remained to be seen was how they would work together and develop a collective persona. Despite their relative youth, this was a deeper squad than four years ago. Although there were more question marks, there were also more options available for Arena to choose from, and he wa determined to try multiple lineups before settling on a proven alignment. Of the squad that opened qualifying, all had division 1 experience; 11 were in MLS, 11 with European clubs. The major problem facing the team, a perennial one, was poor finishing, however there was substantial depth on defense.
The team tuned up for Gold Cup 2000 with two friendlies, a 1-1 draw against Iran in Pasadena (goal by Armas) before 49,212 in Pasadena, another home game with a road crowd. This was followed by an impressive 2-1 road victory over Chile, this victory was sealed by a Cobi Jones volley in the 88th minute. Thus, they were well set for the Gold Cup in February (see above).
The Gold Cup was a disappointment to be sure, particularly with World Cup qualifying looming on the horizon. It was followed by a friendly with Tunisia on March 12 before 22,000 fans in Birmingham AL. Ben Olsen was the star, taking command after coming on in the 46th minute, he saved a sure US loss by landing a goal in the 90th minute in a sub-par game in which a lethargic US offense met a tough Tunisian defense. The final was a 1-1 draw, which raised some questions about the fitness of the team overall. The concern was not eased by a disappointing 0-2 loss to Russia in the team's first trip to Moscow, although the Russians fielded their full team and treated the game very seriously.
Now the US had only the Gold Cup standing between them and the Qualifiers. This tournament went better. They defeated South Africa handily 4-0, with 2 by Cobi Jones and goals by Reyna and Stewart, before drawing against Ireland in Foxboro, MA, 1-1. This was followed by a 3-0 shutout over Mexico before a delighted crowd of 45,008 at East Rutherford, NJ. This game gave the US their first USA Cup victory in three years, and although the Mexicans fielded a weak team, the symbolic value of the win couldn't be overstated.
The first two games were perhaps the toughest ones: away games against two strongest opponents in front of partisan hometown crowds in oppressive weather. The first match was against Guatemala before 9,000 raucous fans at Mazatenango. Fielding a lineup, with six players who had never played in a qualifying game before, the US got off to a good start thanks in part to great performances by Claudio Reyna and Chris Armas, as well as Ante Razov, in for the injured Brian McBride. Bringing up Tony Sanneh and David Regis into midfield territory, the physical Americans were able to dominate the first ten minutes. Guatemala's tactic of kicking the ball deep into US territory didn't help their cause any, but the US was not able to capitalize until the final minutes of the first half when an isolated Ante Razov, at the top of the penalty area, caught the eye of Reyna, who passed him the ball for a score. The US lost their focus in the second half, as they missed scoring opportunities. The Guatemalans, spurred by their crows, gained confidence, and took advantage of the US's loose defensive side, opened the game up and pressed the attack in increasing waves through the second half, finally equalizing late in the game. A frustrating end for the Americans who had victory within their grasp only to see it slip away. Still, this was not a bad result, and got the worst of the schedule behind them.
It was more of the same at Costa Rica. Intensive fans, challenging atmosphere, tough challenging game marked by poor passing and missed opportunities on the Americans' part. Goals scored by Rolando Fonseca and Earnie Stewart. It looked as if the US would get lucky and escape with a 1-1 draw. But in the 93rd minute, Gregg Berhalter was called for a handball from a shot that hit him, a highly questionable call given the velocity of the shot. The call may actually have been instigated by Frankie Hedjuk's sloppy slide tackle on Austin Berry in the 89th minute. This left the US in last place in the table, the only team without a win. The resulting penalty kick gave Costa Rica the victory, another frustrating end to a game.
Returning to the friendly confines of Foxboro Stadium, the US thrashed the hapless Barbados 7-0 courtesy of Eddie Pope, Brian McBride, Ben Olsen, Tab Ramos, Earnie Stewart and a pair by Joe-Max Moore.
To prepare for the rematch with Guatemala in Washington, the team underwent a six day training camp that coach Arena called "a coaches dream and a player's nightmare". With all players available except for the injured Chris Armas, everybody was competing for a starting spot. The game itself showed some interesting lineup changes, most notably the move of Jovan Korovski to left midfield. , but Kirovski continued to wander from the touchline into forward territory, consequently getting many touches. He would forward the ball back to Regis who wasn't getting as much pressure; Guatemala having figured the strategy early on. The US still couldn't manage a consistent offense, but they weren't helped by a red card to Lewis 19 minutes into the 2nd half, and Everaldo Valencia's brutal hack job on Claudio Reyna, forcing his substitution. But in the 72nd minute, the US finally found the net, as Regis spotted Korovski alone in the center circle. As Korovski played the ball down right, Jones quietly made his way to the penalty area to take a good pass and loft a far-post ball to McBride for the score. From here, the defense took over and the US held on to prevail 1-0.
Qualifying resumed in mid October as the US took to the field against Costa Rica at Columbus, OH. The frustrations didn't end there. With eight key players missing for one reason or another, the US, relying on a 3-5-2 lineup, was held to a scoreless draw by the aggressive Costa Ricans. Costa Rica filled the midfield and effectively broke up the US offensive strategy, forcing Sanneh and Deering to play the long ball game, rather than find their playmakers in an advanced position. This left the US with a must-win date against Barbados to advance.
The team tuned up for this critical match with a friendly against Mexico on October 25 at Los Angeles. Again Mexico didn't field their strongest team. Neither did the US. And again, the US had the better of them, despite a largely Mexican crowd of 51,000+ rooting against them. Donovan and Wolff scored the goals in this game which featured many of the Olympic team players, and an impressive performance by Landon Donovan.
The Barbados game was a decisive US victory. Dominating from start to finish, the US shut out the Barbadans 4-0 from goals by Mathis, Stewart, Jones and Razov. Tab Ramos was called up, and finished his National team career in style. The team (and the fans) breathed a sigh of relief. It wasn't a pretty round by any means, but at least they were still alive. In the hexagonal, the US would face Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and Costa Rica. Their work was cut out for them.
Overall, it was a frustrating year, and the US just barely made it through the first round of qualifying, but it could be said that they did well by winning their first two games, tough road matches against determined adversaries and hostile fans. The next year would see if they could continue this success and earn a trip to South Korea and Japan.
2000 USA Men's National Team results
The Women's team began the year in the midst of a serious contract dispute, which was resolved in late January with a groundbreaking five year contract that established a generous salary scale which was on a par with the men's teams. Players were guaranteed $3,500 per game, rising to $5,000 after ten caps. This did away with the old system that required 75 caps to rise to the upper tier of salary. There were also bonuses of $2,000 for each game appearance and $1,000 for each win over an Olympic team, as well as substantial salaries for Olympic medal performances. In a unique clause, the compensation was tied to that of the Men's team: If the men started receiving compensation equal to a higher percentage of gross revenues, then the women would receive lump sum balances to maintain the same percentage of their own gross revenues. Finally, it awarded severance pay, but no pension. Overall, it was a substantial improvement, and reflected the enormous growth of the team in recent years.
The USSF inaugurated Project Gold, an effort designed along the lines of Project 2010, to maintain the team's dominant position in the world game. The first action was the hiring of Dave Simeone and Jeff Pill as staff coaches working primarily in player development and the development of a scouting program. Eventually the plan was to hire up to 24 coaches to cover all four regions of the country, working with the U-14, U-16 and U-18 programs.
The US women's program was at a crossroads this year. Many of the veteran players would be retiring soon, leading the team to the younger generation. At the same time, the advent of the Women's United Soccer Association would provide the players with a domestic league in which to hone their talents. No longer would the bulk of the players be with the national club full time. They would play against each other during season, and rivalries would develop, just like those experienced by the Men's squad when MLS made its debut. Bu his was an important step in the continuing development of women's soccer, with exciting prospects lying ahead.
The first changes were made shortly before training camp. Coach April Heinrichs did not invite Tisha Venturini, Tracey Ducar, Saskia Webber, Tiffany Roberts or Danielle Fotopoulos. This was a particularly tough decision for Venturini, who had 132 caps as well as fine performances in the 1996 Olympics and WC'99. The decision opened up opportunities for Aly Wagner, Nikki Serlenga and Lorrie Fair. Several high school players were brought along to show their stuff and get experience.
With automatic qualification as defending Gold medalists, the US practiced up for the Olympics with a series of friendlies, the inaugural Women's Gold Cup and the inaugural Pacific Cup, held in Australia. This year was the busiest year ever for the Americans, as they played 39 games, compiling a record of 25 wins, 8 draws and 6 losses.
The women started off in style, winning the Australia Cup with an 8-1 thrashing of the Czech Republic 8-1, drawing with Sweden and defeating Host Australia 3-1 in the final. This series provided good experience for many of the younger players as coach Heinrichs left most of the veterans behind. This was followed with a fair of friendlies against Norway back in the States. In a surprise, Norway took both games, alerting the team to the fact that the rest of the world was quickly catching up to the Americans.
The team returned to its winning ways, however, taking their first ever Algarve Cup. They did so convincingly, whomping host Portugal 7-0 in the opening game in which Cindy Parlow scored a hat trick. This was followed by a 2-1 defeat of Denmark on march 14, and a 1-0 shutout of Sweden two days later. The Championship match was played on March 18, where Brandi Chastain scored early against Norway and the US held their own in a closely fought match to keep the 1-0 shutout and their first trophy in this long-running competition.
Upon returning from Portugal, the team played a pair of friendlies against Iceland, winning 8-0 and drawing 0-0. This inconsistent performance would soon become more commonplace, especially towards the end of the year as players began to show signs of fatigue.
They returned to form however in the USA Women's Cup. This time, the entire cup was played in Portland, OR, as a pair of doubleheaders. The US shutout Mexico and Canada (8-0 and 4-0 respectively) to retain the cup. Kristine Lilly became the first player to first person to earn a 200th cap in international play. Next up was the inaugural Pacific Cup, played in Australia. An opening loss to China )0-1) was devastating, but the US recovered quickly, with a 9-1 stomping of Canada (hat tricks by Tiffeny Milbrett and Cindy Parlow), and a 5-0 shutout of New Zealand (another hat trick by Parlow). In the semifinals, Japan was the victim, falling 4-1. Finally, they met host Australia once again, in the Final, and this was a close one, finally pulled out by the USA 1-0.
The Americans only had two weeks of rest before yet another tournament, the inaugural Gold Cup. (see above). Following the Gold Cup was a 4-1 victory over Italy in a friendly, and then a convincing performance in the DFB 100 Cup in Germany where they defeated Norway 1-0, tied with China 1-1 and defeated Germany 1-0 to take the Cup. After this was a two-game return series with Norway on their home turf. This was slightly better for the US, a 1-1 draw and 1-2 loss, but Norway clearly had their number, and this was worrisome with the Olympics coming up. All that remained before the Olympics were the "road to Sydney" friendly series. These three highly advertised games drew large crowds to Annapolis, Kansas City and San Jose. After beating Russia soundly 7-4 (two goals each by Milbrett and Parlow), the team drew against a surprising Canada (1-1), before shutting out Brazil 4-0 (2 by Mia Hamm). Thus, the US was fit and prepared for the Olympics, their premier competition of the year. It was off to Australia for a third time (see results above).
The US could take solace in the Silver Medal from Australia. The team was exhausted after their grueling tours, and the world was catching up quickly, which in the long term was important for the development of the sport as a whole. After a short rest, the US finished the year with two more friendlies, but the team was still not back to form. Canada surprised again, beating the US 3-1, and in their first visit to Phoenix, the US could only manage a 1-1 draw against Japan. These two games were sandwiched into the team's second Victory Tour, which took them to 12 indoor arenas across the country for exhibitions against major competition between October and December. At the end of the year, Heinrichs set to the task of speeding up the transition to the newer generation of players, as the entire roster began to contemplate their future with the new Women's United Soccer Association.
2000 USA Women's National Team results
The Rochester Ragin' Rhinos hoped to repear their upset victory in the 1999 Open Cup, but lost decisively to D. C. united in the first round. The rest of that round saw all USL teams fall to their more skilled MLS counterparts. In the quarterfinals, the ChicagoFire defeated Dallas Burn 5-1, Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0, Miami Fusion defeated D. C. United 3-2, and the MetroStars defeated Columbus on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
In the semifinals, Chicago defeated the Galaxy 2-1, and Miami defeated the MetroStars 3-2. The Final was held at Soldier Field, in Chicago where the Fire hosted the Miami Fusion, winning 2-1 before 19,146 fans, making the fire the first MLS team to repeat as Open Cup titlist. Miami dominated for the first 20 minutes, before Chicago fortified their defensse, and controlled the field from that point. Stoichkov scored in the 44th minute, and the Fire suffered an own goal in the 88th. Finally Welton scored the game winner 6 minutes into overtime.The Fire made it to the MLS Cup, but fell to the kansas City Wizards.
New England Revolution to Mexico: March 1, 2000 through March 9, 2000. Results: 0 wins, 0 draws, 3 losses.
(home team listed first) 3/1/00 Chivas 2, Revolution 0 (at Guadalajara) 3/7/00 Atlas 1, Revolution 0 3/9/00 Tapatios 2, Revolution 0
International Clubs vs Major League Soccer: Results: 11 wins, 3 draws, 4 losses.
(home teams listed first) 4/18/00 Miami Fusion 2, Haiti National team 1 4/26/00 Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Chivas (Mexico) 0 5/10/00 Chicago Fire 3, Toluca (Mexico) 3 5/24/00 Columbus Crew 4, Hamburg SV (Germany) 1 5/29/00 Chicago Fire 5, Hamburg SV (Germany) 1 6/8/00 Tampa Bay Mutiny 2, Millionarios (Colombia) 6 7/12/00 Miami Fusion 3, Nottingham Forest (England) 2 7/13/00 Chicago Fire 0, Chivas (Mexico) 1 7/18/00 Colorado Rapids 3, Chivas (Mexico) 0 7/22/00 D. C. United 3, Newcastle United (England) 1 7/26/00 Columbus Crew 2, Newcastle United (England) 2 10/25/00 F. C. Salzburg (Austria) 0, MetroStars 2 10/31/00 F. C. Koln (Germany) 2, Metrostars 1 11/3/00 Dallas Burn 2, Atlas (Mexico) 0 11/6/00 Dallas Burn 1, Bachillieres (Mexico) 1 11/8/00 Dallas Burn 0, Chivas (Mexico) 1 12/10/00 Los Angeles Galaxy 2, Puebla (Mexico) 1 12/12/00 Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Puebla (Mexico) 0
An era came to an end as Steve Negoesco stepped down as head coach of San Francisco after 39 seasons and an unprecedented 536-172-65 record and five national championships. Steve was a pioneer in promoting cross-country intersectional travel, helping to make the long road game a normal part of college soccer. He also founded the San Francisco Youth Soccer Program in 1953.
NCAA Division I Men's tournament: In the quarterfinals, Southern Methodist defeated Stanford 2-1, Creighton defeated Virginia 3-0, Indiana defeated North Carolina 1-0, and Connecticut defeated Brown 1-0. The College Cup was December 8-10 in Charlotte, NC. In the semifinals, Connecticut defeated Southern Methodist 2-0 and Creighton defeated Indiana 2-1. In the final, Connecticut defeated Creighton 2-0 before 11,421 fans to take the national title.
NCAA Division I Women's tournament: In the quarterfinals, North Carolina defeated Connecticut 3-0, Notre dame defeated Santa Clara 2-1 (OT), Portland defeated Penn State 1-0 (OT), and UCLA defeated Clemson 2-1. The College Cup was held December 1-December 3 in San Jose, CA. In the semifinals, North Carolina defeated Notre Dame 2-1, and UCLA defeated Portland 1-0. In the final, North Carolina won their 16th national title in 19 years by defeating UCLA 2-1 before 9,566 fans.
NCAA Division II Men's tournament: In the quarterfinals, East Stroudsbrg defeated New Hampshire College 4-2, Barry defeated Francis Marion 3-0, Lewis defeated Wheeling Jesuit 1-0, and Cal State Dominguez Hills defeated West Texas A&M 1-0. In the semifinals, Cal State Dominguez Hills defeated Lewis 1-0, and Barry defeated East Stroudsburg 2-1. The final was held on December 3 in Miami Shores, FL, where Cal State Dominguez Hills defeated Barry 2-1 in overtime.
NCAA Division II Women's tournament: In the quarterfinals, Franklin Pierce defeated Bloomsburg 6-0, Barry defeated North Florida 1-0, Northern Kentucky defeated Mercyhurst 1-0, and US San Diego defeated Central Oklahoma 6-2. In the semifinals, UC San Diego defeated Franklin Pierce 2-1, and Northern Kentucky defeated Barry 5-1. The final was held on December 1 in Miami Shores, FL, where UC San Diego defeated Northern Kentucky 2-1.
NCAA Division III Men's tournament: In the quarterfinals, Messiah defeated Hamilton 3-0, Linfield defeated Ohio Weslayen 1-0, Rowan defeated Williams 2-1, and Wisconsin-Oshkosh defeated Chr. Newport 4-1. In the semifinals, Rowan defeated Wisconsin-Oshkosh 2-0 and Messiah defeated Linfield 3-2. The final was held in Glassboro, NJ on November 25, where Messiah defeated Rowan 2-0.
NCAA Division III Women's tournament: In quarterfinal action, Wisconsin-Stevens Point defeated Salisbury State 2-1, Tufts defeated William Smith 1-0, Trinity (Texas) defeated Willamette 3-1, and College of New Jersey defeated Ohio Weslayen 1-0. In the semifinals, Tufts defeated Wisconsin-Stevens Point 1-0, and College of New Jersey defeated Trinity (Texas) 1-0. The final was held on November 19 in Medford, MA, where College of New Jersey defeated Medford 2-1.
NAIA Men's Champion: Lindsey Wilson defeated Auburn Montgomery 2-1 in overtime.
NAIA Women's Champion: Simon Fraser defeated Lindenwood 1-0 in overtime.
NJCAA Division I Men's Championship: Meridian defeated Bryant & Stratton 2-0.
NJCAA Division III Men's Championship: Herkimer City defeated Holyoke 4-0.
NJCAA Women's Championship: Dixie defeated Monroe.
NCCAA Division 1 Championship: Bethel defeated The Masters 3-1.
NCCAA Division 2 Championship: Northland Baptist Bible College defeated Philadelphia College of Bible 2-0.
NCCAA Women's Championship: Indiana Wesleyan University defeated Western Baptist College 3-2 (OT)
Final Men's Division 1 NSCAA Coaches' Poll: 1. Connecticut 2. Creighton 3. Southern Methodist 4. Indiana 5. North Carolina 6. Stanford 7. Virginia 8. Clemson 9. Brown 10. San Diego Final Women's Division 1 NSCAA Coaches' Poll: 1. North Carolina 2. UCLA 3. Notre Dame 4. Portland 5. Clemson 6. Penn State 7. Santa Clara 8. Connecticut 9. Nebraska 10. Brigham Young Men's Division 1 NSCAA All-Americans (1st team): G - Chris Hamblin, Boston College D - Chris Gbandi, Connecticut D - Cory Gibbs, Brown D - Ryan Suarez, San Jose State M - Mark Lisi, Clemson M - Jorge Martinez, San Jose State M - Ryan Nelson, Stanford F - Carl Bussey, Southern Methodist F - Chris Carrieri, North Carolina F - Ali Curtis, Duke F - John Barry Nusum, Furman Women's Division 1 NSCAA All-Americans (1st team): G - Emily Oleksiuk, Penn State D - Jenny Benson, Nebraska D - Rhegan Hypio, Marquette D - Jaclyn Ravenia, Richmond D - Danielle Slaton, Santa Clara M - Meghan Anderson, Nebraska M - Aleisha Cramer, Brigham Young, M - Katherine Lindner, Hartford M - Anne Makinen, Notre Dame F - Andrea Cunningham, Miami (Ohio) F - Laura Schott, California F - Christie Welch, Penn State Men's National Award Winners: Hermann Trophy: Chris Gbandi, Connecticut Missouri Athletic Club Award: Ali Curtis, Duke NSCAA Coach of the Year (Division 1): Ray Reid, Connecticut Women's National Award Winners: Hermann Trophy: Anne Makinen, Notre Dame Missouri Athletic Club Award: Anne Makinen, Notre Dame NSCAA Coach of the Year: Jillian Ellis, UCLA
US Open Cup Championship: Chicago Fire (MLS) defeated Miami Fusion (MLS) 2-1 on October 21, before 19,146 spectators at Soldier Field, Chicago. The Fire couldn't get the double this year, but win a convincing victory nonetheless.
Women's Premier Soccer League: San Diego W. F. C. (14-11-2-1) were the league champions. Standings | Stats
US Women's Open Cup Championship: Ajax Fram (Manhattan beach, CA) defeated Detroit Rocker Hawks 2-1
National Amateur Cup Championship: Southfield Arsenal (Mich.) defeated North Texas Legends 1-0.
James P. McGuire Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-19): FC Delco Dynamite
Andy Stone Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-18): Scott Gallagher (St. Louis)
Don Greer Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-17): West Babylon Panthers
D.J. Niotis Cup (US Youth Soccer Boys U-16): FC Westchester
J. Ross Stewart Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-19): Colorado Rush
Frank Kelly Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-18): Colorado Rush
L. Moynihan Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-17): San Diego Surf
Patricia Masotto Cup (US Youth Soccer Girls U-16): Southern California Blues
CONCACAF Champions Cup: Delayed until January 16-21, 2001. D. C. United and Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) qualified.
CONCACAF Cup Winners Cup: Not played this year.World Futsal Championships: United States fell in qualifying, finishing 3rd in their group. Spain beat Brazil 4-3 in the final.
Hall of Fame: In 2000, the US Soccer Hall of Fame enshrined Giorgio Chinaglia and Carin Jennings Gabarra. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Hall of Fame inducted Julius ‘Julie’ Menendez, San Jose State. The National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA) Hall of Fame inducted Larry Buck (MA), Albert Loeffler and Gil Lopez. The American Youth Soccer Organization inducted Dick Wilson.
FIFA Male Players of the century: Diego Maradona (fan's choice), Pele (FIFA selection)
FIFA Female Player of the century: Michelle Akers
Honda Award (Player of the Year): Claudio Reyna
USSF Chevrolet Players of the Year: Chris Armas, Tiffeny Milbrett
USSF Chevrolet Young Players of the Year: Landon Donovan, Aly Wagner
NSCAA Honor Award: Peter Gooding (Amherst College)
NSCAA Award of Excellence: Michelle Akers
NISOA Honor Award: David Spencer (CA)
Last update: January 2, 2011
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