Maintained and written by David Litterer email@example.com
The year began with labor disputes still unresolved between the USSF and the Men's national team. These threatened to disrupt the Hexagonal, opening the possibility of the US using replacement players for this critical phase of World Cup qualifying. As a contingency, the national team called up over 20 players from USL to training camp. Fortunately, the labor dispute was resolved in time for the Hexagonal, with the US putting on their most convincing performance, finishing atop the standings for the first time. They also won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in convincing style before large crowds, and racked up numerous friendly wins, along with a heartbreaking loss to England. Hopes were high for the Americans as they began final preparations for the 2006 World Cup.
July 2005 was probably the busiest month stateside since World Cup 1994. With the US in a commanding position in qualifying, the team went on to win the Gold Cup, while two MLS teams defeated Fulham and Chelsea from the Premiership, Fulham lost to the MLS all-stars 4-1. Add to that the World Series of Football, the US Open Cup and regular season MLS games, the calendar was quite full. And on several fronts, the improvements in US performance was recognized internationally.
Major League Soccer added two western teams to expand their audience footprint, including Chivas USA, the first team to be operated by a foreign club, Chivas of Mexico. Although the new clubs struggled, the quality of play league-wide continued to improve, both as the result of signed international players and through the infusion of young talent from the lower divisions and colleges, despite an increasing outflow of top MLS talent to European leagues. The talent pool had expanded by this time to the point where this was no longer considered a major concern because there were plenty talented players ready to fill the void left by the departees.
The United Soccer Leagues branded their upper divisions, retrenched at those upper levels but continued to grow at the amateur level. In contrast to USL's struggles, the National Premier Soccer League (formerly the Men's PSL) and the Women’s Premier Soccer League really took off this year, with many new franchises added (and relatively few folding). The middle part of the decade was turning into a major period of growth for American soccer at the national amateur level, for both genders.
2005 saw Greg Ryan take the helm of the women's national team with the task of developing the next generation of players. The team played a light schedule this year, only taking part in one competitive tournament, the Algarve Cup, while Ryan assessed the upcoming talent. The US had some success in the U-17 and U-20 world championships, but not as much as they had hoped, making the round of 16 in the U-20s and the quarterfinals in the U-17's. Not their best performances, but far from their worst.
"Doubles" were in vogue this year, as the Los Angeles Galaxy won the MLS Cup and the US Open Cup, while FC Indian won the WPSL League title and the US Women's Open Cup. The old-timers celebrated the release of "The Game of their Lives", a film about the US victory over England in the 1950 World Cup. Several players from that team served as advisors and several recent and current players acted in the movie.
In 2005, Major League soccer added its first expansion clubs in 7 years - Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA. Both teams were placed in the western conference with Kansas City moving east. Chivas USA was owned by Chivas Guadalajara in an interesting experiment which was expected to draw out large numbers of Hispanic fans to all their games, both home and away, especially to the four annual derby matches against the LA Galaxy. Initial plans were laid to seek expansion franchises in Toronto and San Antonio. The San Antonio dream ended quickly, but progress was made on a new soccer-specific stadium in Toronto. With two teams from each conference not making the playoffs, the fight for playoff spots would be more intense. The talent pool was at its highest level yet, despite the continuing loss of top players to European clubs. In fact, the flow of players largely reversed itself this year as thirteen Americans returned to MLS after stints abroad, including Clint Mathis, Greg Vanney, Alex Yi, Brian Dunseth, Wade Barrett and Landon Donovan. With the growing stream of young talent entering the league this was no longer a major concern. A larger worry was the impact of loss of players to the national time for Hexagonal games, which would hit the Galaxy, Fire and Salt Lake particularly hard. Finally, with the demise of Championsworld, the MLS arranged their own international series, involving AC Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Fulham playing MLS teams as well as some matches against each other. The centerpiece of this series, involving matches with Milan and Chelsea was christened the World Series of Football.
The MetroStars made another attempt to right their wayward franchise by naming Alexi Lalas as General Manager. He took on the unenviable task of lifting to prominence a struggling team that long was overshadowed by the legacy of the long-departed Cosmos in the nation's toughest media market. To this end, he acquired Tony Meola, Ante Razov and Ryan Suarez. Real Salt Lake hired John Ellinger as its first coach. Ellinger had achieved notable success in his six years at the helm of the U-17 team. They also signed several major caliber players to front their initial lineup, including Clint Mathis, Eddie Pope, Andy Williams, Jason Kreis, Rusty Pierce and Brian Dunseth. Chivas USA tabbed former U-20 coach Tom Rongen to head its squad, and relied extensively on parent team Chivas of Guadalajara to stock its roster. Their initial roster consisted primarily of relatively young Mexican players, along with three senior Mexican internationals - Midfielder Ramon Ramirez, goalkeeper Martin Zuniga and defender Alfonso Loera. They also signed Costa Rican central defender Douglas Sequeira, MLS vet Ezra Hendrickson, Matt Taylor, Francisco Gomez and Orlando Perez. But it was expected to be a struggle for this squad.
Chicago Fire made major changed to its roster, trading Ante Razov to Columbus for Tony Sanneh, while dropping Evan Whitfield and Andy Williams for John Thorrington and Thiago Gaucho. They also lost 2003 Rookie of the Year Damani Ralph to Rubin Kazan of the Russian premier League. Steve Sampson continued to put his imprint on the Los Angeles Galaxy, trading away Sasha Victorine and Alejandro Moreno, and putting a central American flavor into the lineup, adding Guatemalan captain Guillermo Ramirez, and Costa Rican defenders Pablo Chincilla and Michael Umana. The big news however, was the arrival of Landon Donovan after a brief and unsuccessful stay at Bayer Leverkusen.
The Wizards, who lost MLS Cup '04 to D. C. United, drafted Trinidad & Tobago international Scott Sealy, received Sasha Victorine in a trade with Los Angeles, and gave the lead goalkeeper spot to Bo Oshoniyi after Tony Meola's contract expired. The Rapids meanwhile had the salary cap to worry about, dropping Zizi Roberts, Daryl Powell and Joey Digimarino to make room for Jeff Cunningham. Richard Mulrooney was traded as his request from San Jose to Dallas. The San Jose Earthquakes strengthened their roster with former MetroStars Midfielders Ricardo Clark and Brad Davis, Defender Wade Barrett and Forward Ron Cerritos. These moves paid off this season, sending the Earthquakes to the division title.
Peter Nowak lost defender Ryan Nelsen and Midfielder Earnie Stewart, two key players on his defending champions D. C. United., but otherwise made few changes. D. C. United had to get used to sharing their stadium again, this time with the Washington Nationals baseball team. With Ryan Nelson and Earnie Stewart gone, and few draft picks, United struggled to bolster their central defense and provide leadership.
The Revolution relied primarily on draft picks to replace players lost to expansion. The MetroStars, hoping to break out of a decade-old doldrum, made major changes (again) to their roster. out were Eddie Pope, Ricardo Clark, Joselito Vaca, Cornell Glenn and Fabian Taylor among others. In were Jeff Agoos, and Frenchman Youri Djorkaeff, who had played on France's World Cup '98 champion team. Remaining were top scorer Amado Guevara, Eddie Gavenand John Wolyniec.
Dallas had struggled in '04, finishing in the cellar and looking at major changes - which they got. Dallas got a new name (F. C. Dallas) a new Stadium, and a new "engine" - midfielder Richard Mulrooney, who had spearheaded the Earthquakes to cup titles in '01 and '03. The final triumph was landing Carlos Ruiz from the Galaxy, giving Dallas some real scoring punch. Greg Vanney was signed from Bastai, France to shore up the defense. They also picked up Carlos Ruiz and his prolific scoring prowess after he was let go by Los Angeles to make room for Landon Donovan.
In the SuperDraft, Salt Lake City drafted midfielder Nik Besango from the U-17 residency program, followed by Chivas USA who took Brad Guzen, a goalkeeper from South Carolina. They were followed by Chad Barrett (Chicago, F-UCLA), Danny O'Rourke (San Jose, M-Indiana), and Ugo Ihemulu (Los Angeles, D-Southern Methodist).
Another item on the youth front: English superstar David Beckham was signed by MLS to operate a soccer academy at the home depot Center, as a companion to his recently opened camp in London. A major development in Major league Soccer this year was the long-awaited establishment of a reserve division including squads from all 12 teams. This was seen as a much more effective method of developing young players than the farm-club arrangement with USL that has expired a couple years previously. Each reserve squad played 12 games, with 20 players allowed on the roster and up to 6 substitutions provided. Suspensions do not carry over into the top division, and 4 yellow cards during the reserve season leads to a suspension for the player's next game.
The season got off to a great start attendance-wise for the two expansion clubs although they struggled mightily on the field. But the fan support remained strong. Bobby Boswell was a pleasant surprise for D. C. United, not having been drafted or even invited to the combine. The Revolution got off to their best start in history, courtesy of Clint Dempsey's scoring prowess, winning six of their first seven matches, but the Chicago Fire dearly missed Razov, Ralph and Selowlwane, only managing 7 goals in their first eight games - and one of them was an own goal. MetroStars dropped GM Nick Sakiewicz early in the season, replacing him with Alexi Lalas. Ante Razov's stay in Columbus didn't last long - after complaining about playing time he was traded to the MetroStars.
The Earthquakes integrated their many new players with aplomb, and quickly took top place in the west. Kansas City made their presence known in the East as they fought D. C. United, Chicago and New England for primacy . FC Dallas did very well during their long road stretch leading up to the triumphant opening in June of Pizza Hut Park, their fabulous new stadium sitting at the heart of a brand new 18 field soccer complex. Landon Donovan quickly settled in with the Galaxy, scoring two goals and assisting on a third in his first game with the Galaxy, quickly putting behind his unhappy 14 weeks with Bayer Leverkusen. Dallas FC suffered a major blow as Richard Mulrooney suffered a season-ending injury in May while playing against his former club.
Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake both performed like classic expansion clubs, struggling on both offense and defense. Salt Lake set a new league record for futility going 557 minutes without scoring a goal. Fire rookie Chris Rolfe was a surprise success early in the season, scoring four goals in his first 10 games. A record MLS crowd of 88,816 shows up 8/23 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for a doubleheader. Chivas USA battled the Los Angeles galaxy in the opener, with Chivas Guadalajara playing Club America in the closer. The games of the World Series of Football (see separate section below) , with AC Milan and Chelsea, were well attended, with MLS clubs doing surprisingly well against their international competition, winning two games and keeping most others close, despite the visiting teams fielding their "A"-list players.
By mid-season, both New England and San Jose had made major strides, settling in at the top of the standings. Dominic Kinnear made the best use of his many off-season acquisitions, and the Revolution's performance was a welcome change from the slow starts of previous seasons, winning kudos for consistency. Taylor Twellman continued to excel for the Revolution, leading the league in scoring once again. Both teams continued to prosper, winning the divisional titles. D. C. United gave the Revolution a good run but had to settle for second place, with Chicago, the MetroStars and Wizards battling it out for 3rd. In the West, it was no contest as the unstoppable Earthquakes clinched their division early and FC Dallas won a three-way battle for 2nd against Colorado and Los Angeles. Real Salt Lake and Chivas performed poorly even for expansion clubs, leading their GM's to ponder how to turn around these clubs for 2006.
In the playoffs, upsets were the order of the day in the early rounds, with the Los Angeles Galaxy defeating the western champion San Jose Earthquakes, 3-1 and 1-1, and Colorado winning a close series against Dallas. Chicago was more convincing against DC United, winning 4-0 after a scoreless first leg. Only the New York/New England series offered drama, as the Revolution rallied from a 1-0 loss to win their 2nd leg 3-1. In the semi-finals, Los Angeles defeated Colorado 2-0 and the Revolution won a close game against Chicago 1-0.
MLS Cup '07 featured a Los Angeles Galaxy that had had to suffer three cup losses before finally triumphing. New England was hoping not to follow the Galaxy's route. But this was not the Revolution's year. In a surprising performance, the Galaxy was able to shut down New England's attack, holding the Revolution scoreless. Los Angeles's offense was no match for the Revolution defensive wall, but they struck gold as a Landon Donovan corner kick was cleared by Matt Reis right to Pando Ramierez who struck it cleanly into the net. The Los Angeles Galaxy won the double this year, securing both the MLS Cup and the US Open Cup.
Overall, a good year for MLS, now back to 12 teams. Total attendance rose to 2,900,716 due to the two new teams. Average attendance actually fell slightly from 15,559 to 15,108 per game, but both new clubs were among attendance leaders, and San Jose's move to Houston in the off-season brought hope to turn the attendance tide around. The league MVP and top goal scorer was Taylor Twellman of the New England Revolution.
Official 2005 MLS Season Stats
Official MLS History Archives
Final 2005 Major League Soccer Standings Before the season, Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake were added. Dallas Burn became FC Dallas. GP W L D GF GA Pts Eastern Division New England Revolution 32 17 7 8 55 37 59 D. C. United 32 16 10 6 54 37 54 Chicago Fire 32 15 13 4 49 50 49 MetroStars 32 12 9 11 53 39 47 Kansas City Wizards 32 11 9 12 52 44 45 Columbus Crew 32 11 16 5 34 45 38 Western Division San Jose Earthquakes 32 18 4 10 53 31 64 F. C. Dallas 32 13 10 9 52 44 48 Colorado Rapids 32 13 13 6 40 37 45 Los Angeles Galaxy 32 13 13 6 44 45 45 Real Salt Lake 32 5 22 5 30 65 20 Chivas USA 32 4 22 6 31 67 18 Conference Semifinals: Chicago defeated D. C. United 0-0, 4-0. New England defeated MetroStars 0-1, 3-1 Colorado defeated FC Dallas 0-0, 5-4 (PK) Los Angeles defeated San Jose 3-1, 1-1 Conference Finals: Los Angeles defeated Colorado 2-0 New England defeated Chicago 1-0 MLS CUP ’05: Los Angeles defeated New England 1-0. MLS Reserve League: D. C. United won the league title (8-4-0) LEADING SCORERS GP G A Pts Taylor Twellman, New England 25 17 7 41 Jaime Moreno, DC United 29 16 7 39 Landon Donovan, Los Angeles 22 12 10 34 Christian Gomes, DC United 31 11 9 31 Amado Guevara, MetroStars 26 10 11 31 Dwayne DeRosario, San Jose 24 9 13 31 Josh Wolff, Kansas City 22 10 10 30 Clint Dempsey, New England 26 10 9 29 Jeff Cunningham, Colorado 26 12 3 37 Youri Djorakaeff, MetroStars 24 10 7 27 GOALKEEPING LEADERS (Minimum 1000 minutes) GP MIN SHTS SVS GA GAA SO Pat Onstad, San Jose 32 2880 136 105 31 0.97 18 Jonny Walker, Columbus 16 1440 84 66 18 1.13 0 Matt Reis, New England 31 2784 150 115 35 1.13 1 Nick Rimando, D. C. United 30 2700 127 92 35 1.17 1 Joe Cannon, Colorado 27 2399 132 100 32 1.20 10 Zach Wells, MetroStars 17 1530 90 69 21 1.24 0 Scott Garlick, FC Dallas 28 2457 135 98 37 1.36 1 Bo Oshoniyi, Kansas City 32 2880 156 112 44 1.38 11 Kevin Hartman, Los Angeles 31 2790 137 94 43 1.39 13 Zach Thornton, Chicago 27 2310 124 82 42 1.64 12 Tony Meola, MetroStars 15 1350 111 83 28 1.87 0 Grad Guzan, Chivas USA 24 2079 150 104 46 1.99 3 D. J. Countess, Real Salt Lake 27 2422 166 112 54 2.01 4
All-Star Game: The MLS All-Stars defeated the English club Fulham 4-1. Scoring: Taylor Twellman (Dempsey), 23rd minute; John O'Brien (Dempsey) 56th; Jeff Cunningham (Gomez), 85th; Cunningham (Joseph) 89th. Fulham's Jensen scored off a penalty in the 36th. The match was played at Columbus Crew Stadium on July 30; attendance was 23,309.
MLS Award Winners: Most Valuable Player: Taylor Twellman, New England Revolution Coach of the Year: Dominic Kinnear, New England Revolution Goalkeeper of the Year: Pat Onstad, San Jose Earthquakes Defender of the Year: Jimmy Conrad, Kansas City Wizards Rookie of the Year: Michael Parkhurst, New England Revolution Scoring Champion: Taylor Twellman, New England Revolution Supporters' Shield Award: San Jose Earthquakes Fair Play Award: Ron Cerritos, San Jose Earthquakes Team Fair Play Award: Kansas City Wizards 10-Year Player: Jaime Moreno Referee of the Year: Brian Hall Humanitarian of the Year: Brian Kamler, Real Salt Lake Comeback Player of the Year: Chris Klein, Kansas City Wizards MLS Best 11: G - Pat Onstad, San Jose Earthquakes D - Jimmy Conrad, Kansas City Wizards D - Danny Califf, San Jose Earthquakes D - Chris Albright, Los Angeles Galaxy M - Dwayne De Rosario, San Jose Earthquakes M - Shalrie Joseph, New England Revolution M - Christian Gomez, D. C. United M - Clint Dempsey, New England Revolution M - Ronnie O'Brien, FC Dallas F - Jaime Moreno, D. C. United F - Taylor Twellman, New England Revolution
USL officially changed the name of the A-League to "USL First Division" and the Pro Soccer League to "USL Second Division", although they were actually recognized by USSF as the 2nd and 3rd divisions of professional US soccer. The PDL, W-League and Super Y League retained their familiar names. The 1st Division consolidated from 16 to 12 teams, with a couple teams being demoted. Division 2 continued to struggle, now down to 9 teams. The PDL again lost some teams, but gained slightly more, while the W-league underwent a major expansion. The Super-Y league continued its expansion, having another very successful year.
USL made significant progress in building soccer-specific stadiums through the mid-point of the decade. El Paso opened their new Patriot Stadium, and 2006 opening dates were set for Rochester's PAETEC Park and Atlanta Silverbacks Park. The league also finalized plans for new stadiums in Montreal and Vancouver, and a major renovation of the flood-damaged Pan-American Stadium in New Orleans.
Final 2005 USL standings and playoff results
Final 2005 W-League standings and playoff results
The A-League was rechristened as USL Division 1, and consolidated down to 12 teams. Out were Calgary and Edmonton who had suffered disastrous seasons both on and off the field. Also exiting were Milwaukee and Syracuse. Both had performed reasonably well in 2004 but had severe financial problems. On a more positive note, the Minnesota Thunder were sold to Saeed Kadkhodian, the owner of several successful Soccer ZUSA stores, who aimed to involve the team closely with the soccer camp and event business.
The Men's National Team held a camp comprising USL players during the Player's Association strike. The roster was an impressive one, led by 15 former and current all-stars. The strike ended before any of the players had an opportunity to play, but Richmond's Clyde Simms was invited to remain at the camp, eventually seeing action for the USA before being called up by DC United of MLS. In July, the newly promoted English Premiership club Sunderland toured the northwest, playing Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, losing to Vancouver 3-0, beating Seattle 1-0 and drawing 0-0 with Portland.
The defending champions, the Montreal Impact, returned the core of their squad including League MVP Greg Sutton, and all-league selections Nevio Pizzolito, Gabe Gervais, Sandro Grande and Mauro Biello. To this formidable lineup they added striker Sita-Taty Matondo, back from a year in Sweden. The Rochester Rhinos looked forward to the opening of their new soccer-specific stadium later in the season. Looking to improve on their 2nd place finish, they replaced coach Pat Ercoli with Laurie Calloway and signed MLS veterans Scott Vallow, Tenywa Bonseu and Rey Angel Martinez.
With the new one-division format, there was only one regular season standings race to worry about, and Montreal finished the season with a comfortable lead ahead of Rochester, with Vancouver and Seattle taking 3rd and 4th. Although finishing fourth, Seattle made an impressive showing in the playoffs, shutting out Portland 1-0 and 2-0 to cruise into the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Richmond and Vancouver battled to scoreless draws before the Whitecaps finally pulled out the victory in penalty kicks 5-4. The semifinals were a tougher road for the Sounders, who battled Montreal to a 2-2 draw before winning the 2nd leg 2-1. Richmond upset Rochester 3-1 in the first match and only had to hold onto a 1-1 draw in the second leg to advance.
The final match between two underdogs saw Richmond take an early led thanks to a Sascha Gomes goal, but Galindo provided a later equalizer for the Sounders forcing overtime and ultimately, penalty kicks. The first round ended 2-2 forcing sudden death. After another pair of kicks, defender Scott Jackson saw his shot deflected over the net, giving the Sounders the league title.
Attendance was up significantly for 2005, totaling 760,617, with the average per game rising substantially to 4,527 from last year's 3,879. Jason Jordan was both the league's leading scorer (17 goals, 37 points) and most valuable player. After the season, Richmond, having already suffered a heartbreaking loss in the championship, were demoted to the 2nd Division.
Final USL Division 1 Standings, 2005 GP W L D GF GA Pts Montreal Impact 28 18 3 7 37 15 61 Rochester Raging Rhinos 28 15 7 6 45 27 51 Vancouver Whitecaps 28 12 7 9 37 21 45 Seattle Sounders 28 11 6 11 33 25 44 Portland Timbers 28 10 9 9 40 42 39 Richmond Kickers 28 10 9 9 28 30 39 Puerto Rico Islanders 28 10 10 8 46 43 38 Atlanta Silverbacks 28 10 15 3 40 52 33 Charleston Battery 28 9 14 5 27 36 32 Minnesota Thunder 28 7 11 10 37 42 31 Virginia Beach Mariners 28 7 14 7 26 39 28 Toronto Lynx 28 3 17 8 26 50 17 Quarterfinals: Richmond Defeated Vancouver 0-0, 0-0 (5-4 PK’s) Seattle defeated Portland 1-0, 2-0. Semifinals: Richmond defeated Rochester 3-1, 1-1 Seattle defeated Montreal 2-2, 2-1 FINAL: Seattle defeated Richmond 1-1 (4-3 PK) After the season, Richmond was demoted to USL Second Division. Leading Scorers: GP G A PTS Jason Jordan, Vancouver 27 17 3 37 Fabian Dawkins, Atlanta 26 30 4 34 Mauricio Salles-De Alencar, PR 26 14 1 29 Dan Antoniuk, Portland 24 13 2 28 Kirk Wilson, Rochester 22 9 5 23 Corey Woolfolk, Puerto Rico 26 9 5 23 Johnny Meyongar, Minnesota 27 8 5 21 Mauro Biello, Montreal 21 9 3 21 Byron Alvarez, Portland 26 9 2 20 Petter Villegas-Espana, P.R. 23 6 6 18 Matthew Delicate, Richmond 27 8 2 18 Steve Klein, Vancouver 27 18 Aaron Paye, Minnesota 27 16 Darren Caskey, Virginia Beach 23 5 5 10 Goalkeeping Leaders: (Min 1000 minutes) GP MIN GA GAA Gregory Sutton, Montreal 24 2160 11 0.458 Preston Burpo, Seattle 27 2430 23 0.851 Michael Franks, Vancouver 17 1513 0.882 Scott Vallow, Rochester 25 2250 23 0.920 Ronnie Pascale, Richmond 28 2475 28 1.018 Matthew Nelson, Virginia Beach 26 2430 36 1.384 Christopher Doyle, Charleston 18 1620 25 1.388 Josh Saunders, Portland 28 2520 1.500 Daniel Kennedy, Puerto Rico 28 2520 1.535 Joseph Warren, Minnesota 26 2340 1.576 USL First Division Award Winners: Most Valuable Player: Jason Jordan, Vancouver Whitecaps Goalkeeper of the Year: Greg Sutton, Montreal Impact Defender of the Year: Taylor Graham, Seattle Sounders Rookie of the Year: Dan Kennedy, Puerto Rico Islanders Coach of the Year: Nick DeSantis, Montreal Impact Executive of the Year: Paul Sterbenz, Richmond Kickers Organization of the Year: Rochester Raging Rhinos All League Team: G - Greg Sutton, Montreal Impact D - Gabe Gervais, Montreal Impact D - Taylor Graham, Seattle Sounders D - Scot Thompson, Portland Timbers M - Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar, Portland M - Mauro Biello, Montreal Impact M - Steve Klein, Vancouver Whitecaps M - Kirk Wilson, Rochester Raging Rhinos F - Fabian Dawkins, Atlanta Silverbacks F - Jason Jordan, Vancouver Whitecaps F - Mauricio Salles, Puerto Rico Islanders
The PSL was renamed USL Second Division as part of USL's rebranding. The league shrank somewhat as three teams were demoted to the PDL, and the champion Utah Blitzz were promoted to USL First Division. The Cincinnati Kings were added.
With the league consolidating to 9 teams, the divisions were abolished. The Charlotte Eagles got off to a fast start, with a 4-0-1 run. However, the Western Mass Pioneers went on a 9-1-2 surge after a mediocre start, to finish the regular season champions. The Harrisburg Heat likewise, took a lackluster start and turned it into a 15 game unbeaten streak to finish tied for second place. Harrisburg finished close behind, whole the expansion Cincinnati Kings finished a respectable 5th.
With the four playoff contestants finishing so close in the standings, it was an exciting playoff series. Both of the eventual winners had to come back from first game defeats to take their series through goals aggregate, with Western Mass defeating Wilmington 0-1 and 3-1, while Charlotte defeating Harrisburg 0-1 and 2-1. The championship match was likewise unpredictable. A corner kick, less than a minute into the match gave Jonah Long his first scoring opportunity and he sent the ball into the near post Shortly before the half, Omar McFarlane sent a poorly cleared cross off defender Josh Rife into the goal, to pull Western Mass even. They took the led early in the 2nd half courtesy of a breakaway goal by Tony Fernandes. Charlotte rallied desperately, taking numerous corner shots late in the period and into stoppage time. Finally, three minutes into stoppage play, a wide open Ben Meek took a Swinehart header and hit it into the far post. The tie continued through the end of overtime, and then it was penalty kick time. First round ended deadlocked 4-4. But in the second round, Ben Meek beat the goalkeeper to give Charlotte their 2nd championship in 5 appearances.
Attendance climbed to 144,027, despite the loss of teams and average attendance increased even more impressively, from 1,243 to 1,600 fans per game. Top scorer and Most Valuable Player was Jacob Coggins of the Charlotte Eagles.
Final 2005 USL Division 2 Standings Before the season, Cincinnati was added. GP W L D GF GA Pts Western Mass Pioneers 20 13 3 4 41 22 43 Charlotte Eagles 20 13 5 2 44 20 41 Harrisburg City Islanders 20 12 3 5 43 24 41 Wilmington Hammerheads 20 12 6 2 45 23 38 Cincinnati Kings 20 7 8 5 28 23 26 Long Island Rough Riders 20 7 13 0 29 42 21 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 20 6 11 3 32 25 21 New Hampshire Phantoms 20 6 11 3 29 38 21 Northern Virginia Royals 20 2 18 0 16 90 6 After the season, Northern Virginia was demoted to the PDL. Semifinals: Western Mass defeated Wilmington 0-1, 3-1. Charlotte defeated Harrisburg 0-1, 2-1. FINAL: Charlotte defeated Western Mass 2-2 (5-4 PK) After the season, Northern Virginia was demoted to the PDL. Leading Scorers: GP G A Pts Jacob Coggins, Charlotte 17 14 4 32 Chad Severs, Harrisburg City 19 13 5 31 Rigels Qosa, Western Mass. 20 12 5 29 Dustin Swinehart, Charlotte 19 11 5 27 Neil Krause, Western Mass. 20 10 7 27 James Gledhill, Wilmington 17 10 6 26 Sumed Ibrahim, Harrisburg City 16 10 3 23 Moussa Sy, Long Island 14 9 2 20 Derrick Etienne, Long Island 20 9 2 20 David Flavious, Pittsburgh 20 8 1 17 Christopher Bagley, Wilmington 10 16 Ryan Miller, Wilmington 16 15 Leading Goalkeepers: (Min 900 minutes) GP Min GA GAA Chris McLellan, Charlotte 19 16 1690 0.852 James Jordan, Wilmington 10 9 900 0.900 Dave Kern, Harrisburg City 12 12 1010 0.980 Bryan O'Quinn, Western Mass. 19 22 1695 1.168 Brian Schaeper, Cincinnati 14 16 1096 1.313 Bartley Creasman, Wilmington 10 14 900 1.400 Paul Grafer, Long Island 19 38 1710 2.000 Alexander Hall, Northern Virginia 18 80 1595 4.514 Most Valuable Player: Jacob Coggins, Charlotte Eagles Defender of the Year: Josh Rife, Charlotte Eagles Rookie of the Year: Chad severs, Harrisburg City Islanders Coach of the Year: Bill Becher, Harrisburg City Islanders Executive of the Year: Rick Andre, Western Massachusetts Pioneers Organization of the Year: Harrisburg City Islanders
The PDL lost nine teams after 2004, two teams were demoted from USL Division 2, and four new ones were added in Augusta, GA, Ottawa, Bakersfield CA and Springfield Mass. San Diego and California, who had been demoted, promptly sank to the bottom of the standings. Chicago Fire again won their division, but top season honors went to Orange County Blue Star who went 15-1-0, easily outdistancing their divisional rivals. The Richmond Kickers Future and Cape Cod Crusaders took top honors in the eastern divisions, although Cape Cod had a race to the finish against Ocean City. Boulder Rapids Reserves won the Heartland Division.
Cape Cod was upset in the opening round of the playoffs, falling to Raleigh, but Richmond defeated Ocean City in an exciting back and forth struggle, finally winning 5-4. Orange County defeated Fresno Fuego and the Cascade Surge to meet the Des Moines Menace who had upset Chicago 3-0. Michigan Bucks upset the Boulder Rapids Reserves 4-1 in overtime after clawing to a 1-1 tie with less than nine minutes remaining, but against Des Moines, they blew a 1-0 lead and steadily fell behind to an ultimate 4-1 loss to the Menace.
In the semifinals, Des Moines beat Orange County in a come from behind defensive battle, ultimately winning 2-1. El Paso had a close match as well, but the scoring machines were livelier, as they sent Richmond packing 4-3. The championship match was a marathon between two defensive powerhouses. Several excellent saves kept the match scoreless through overtime, and even then it took seven rounds of penalty kicks before Des Moines edged El Paso 6 PK's to 5 to take their first championship title since 1995. Attendance dropped slightly to 203,134 for 467 fans per game. Daniel Frias of El Paso was league MVP, and Cristian Neagu of Richmond was top scorer with 18 goals and 43 points.
Final 2005 PDL standings and playoff results
Most Valuable Player: Daniel Frias, El Paso Patriots Top Scorer: Cristian Neagu, Richmond Kickers Future (18 goals, 43 points) Defender of the Year: Kevin Taylor, Michigan Bucks Goalkeeper of the Year: Nathan Pena, Orange County Blue Star U-19 Player of the Year: Brett Hite, Spokane Shadow Coach of the Year: Methembe Ndlovu, Indiana Invaders
USL's Super Y-League continued to expand, this year they boasted over 700 teams across the united States and Canada. They continued to implement their new ODP program, with the SYL Finals established as an official scouting event for the national team pools. Several clubs continued to field senior teams in the Premier Development League and W-League. Nearly 400 of the top U13-U15 players participated in ODP Developmental Program National Camps that scouted over 1,100 players in January and February, and the National U-17 team played in the U16-U17 national camp in February. This year, the Super Y-League also instituted a system to rank the top teams, separated into the First 11 and Second 11.
The WPSL expanded on the east coast and in the Midwest, as it cemented its claim as the top women's soccer league in the country. Meanwhile, WPSL teams continued to strengthen their rosters by signing players from the national team, with Abby Wambach joining Ajax, while Brandi Chastain starred with the California Storm. The Utah Spiders fell from their lofty heights of 2004, finishing in third, and California, led by Brandi Chastain were practically unstoppable, going unbeaten for the season and scoring a league-high 45 goals, although Ajax gave them a good race until near the end of the season. New England did them one better, repeating as eastern champions with a perfect record of 13 wins, easily beating Steel City for the divisional title. With the Denver Diamonds on hiatus, the central division played a limited schedule, although FC Indiana was still given a place in the playoffs. Indiana put their opportunity to good use. They shut out New England 4-0 in the semis and won a squeaker against California, beating them in PK's 4-3 after a hard fought 4-4 regulation game.
The League was happy with the 2005 results, and planned on a major expansion for the 2006 season.
WPSL Final 2005 StandingsBefore the season, FC Indiana, Houston, Everton FC, St. Louis, Bay State, Philadelphia and Boston-North were added. San Diego WFC became the SeaLions. GP W L D GF GA Pts West Division California Storm 14 13 0 1 45 7 40 Ajax America Women 14 12 2 0 42 14 36 Utah Spiders 14 7 5 2 26 22 23 San Diego WFC SeaLions 14 5 9 0 26 24 15 Elk Grove Pride 14 4 7 3 22 22 15 Las Vegas Tabagators 14 4 6 3 21 34 15 San Francisco Nighthawks 14 3 10 1 11 45 10 Lamorinda East Bay Power 14 1 9 4 15 42 7 East Division New England Mutiny 13 13 0 0 38 7 39 Steel City Sparks 13 7 3 3 28 22 24 Bay State Select 13 7 5 1 29 17 22 Philadelphia Pirates 13 5 5 3 18 25 18 Massachusetts Stingers 14 3 5 6 20 19 15 Rhode Island Rays 11 2 5 4 13 19 10 Boston-North Aztecs 13 3 9 1 9 28 10 Maryland Pride 12 2 10 0 16 34 6 Central Division FC Indiana 4 4 0 0 20 3 12 Houston Stars 6 2 2 2 10 17 8 Everton FC America 4 0 2 2 6 8 2 St. Louis Archers 2 0 2 0 1 9 0 Semifinals: California Storm defeated Steel City 3-0 FC Indiana 4, New England 0 Consolation: New England defeated Steel City 2-1 FINAL: FC Indiana defeated California 4-4 (4-3 PK). After the season, Steel City, Houston, Everton, Elk Grove, and St. Louis folded. Leading Scorers: G A Pts Magliulo, California 9 6 24 Sissi, California 9 5 23 Schnur, New England 7 6 20 Maurer, New England 6 6 18 Daniela, Bay State 7 3 17 Wrightsman, Elk Grove 8 1 17
The Men's Premier Soccer League changed its name to the National Premier Soccer League, a move reflecting its desire to spread from the west coast to the rest of the nation. Several teams in the Midwest and east were added and the league split into two divisions. Some teams brought in were existing long-established amateur clubs, including the venerable Milwaukee Bavarians, past winner of National Amateur Cup competitions, and Detroit Arsenal.
The Sacramento Knights won the western division, while the Detroit Arsenal took honors in the east, the Bavarians coming in a close second. Detroit won the title match against Sonoma 1-0. Overall, the season was a major success, and the NPSL planned a major expansion for 2006.
2005 NPSL Final League StandingsBefore the season, San Diego, San Jose, Detroit, Milwaukee, Princeton, Minnesota, St. Paul and Grand Rapids were added. GP W L D GF GA Pts Western Teams Sacramento Knights 18 12 4 2 42 20 38 Sonoma County Sol 18 11 5 2 26 16 35 Chico Rooks 18 8 6 4 32 27 28 Salinas Valley Samba 18 8 7 3 29 25 24 Albuquerque Asylum 18 4 7 7 23 32 19 San Diego Pumitas 18 4 8 6 32 34 18 Las Vegas Strikers 18 2 12 4 24 52 10 San Jose Frogs F. C. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Midwestern Teams Detroit Arsenal 10 8 0 2 42 5 26 Milwaukee Bavarians 10 8 1 1 24 6 25 Princeton 56ers 10 5 5 0 17 20 15 Minnesota Blast 10 3 5 2 15 20 11 St. Paul Twin Stars 10 2 7 1 14 36 7 Grand Rapids Alliance 10 1 9 0 10 36 3 FINAL: Detroit defeated Sonoma 1-0
The New Jersey Wildcats went after national team players in a major way, signing Cat Reddick, Lindsay Tarpley and Heather O'Reilly from the national team. The league added new teams in Atlanta, Vermont, Central Florida, Toronto, and San Diego.
The Central Florida Kraze made an aggressive start, signing five former WUSA players, including national team members Danielle Fotopoulos and Heather Mitts, and made an immediate impact, winning seven straight victories and nipping on the heels of Charlotte Lady Eagles right until the end, finally settling for 2nd place. The Eastern Conference had been consolidated down to two divisions, putting divisional champs Boston and New Jersey head-to-head, with the Wildcats winning divisional honors handily, on the strength of their new acquisitions.
In the Midwest, the Detroit Jaguars won a close race with the Cleveland Internationals, while Vancouver won the Western Conference season title for the 5th year in a row, despite a tough seasonal fight with the improving Mile high Edge and Arizona Heatwave.
Central Florida was matched up against the Detroit Jaguars in the first round of playoffs and upset them 3-2, while Charlotte defeated Cleveland easily 6-2 before losing to Central Florida 1-0. The Ottawa Fury had an easy road to the final four, dominating Long Island 5-1 and Toronto 2-0. They received a bye to the final four where they defeated Vancouver 2-1, thereby avenging their loss to the Whitecaps in the 2004 title game. Vancouver defeated the Central Florida Kraze (who had lost to Ottawa 2-1 in the semis) 3-1 for the 3rd place trophy.
The Championship match pitted Ottawa Fury against the New Jersey Wildcats. Kristie Welsh found the net 13 minutes into the game, and the defense took control of the Wildcats high powered scoring line and effectively shut them out. After scoring on a penalty kick, Heather O'Reilly got the final goal in the 2nd half to give the Wildcats a 3-0 shutout and the league title.
Overall, this was a good year for the W-League despite competition from the thriving WPSL. Melissa Dobbyn of the Detroit Jaguars was the league MVP (As well as U-19 Player of the Year), and Rhian Wilkinson of Ottawa was top scorer with 15 goals in 12 games. Attendance was 154,531, for an average of 628 per game, a substantial increase from the 520 average the previous season. Flush with success, the league looked forward to a major expansion for 2006.
Final 2005 W-League standings and playoff results
Leading Scorers: GP G A Pts Rhian Wilkinson, Ottawa 12 13 12 38 Kelly Parker, Ottawa 14 14 9 37 Marisa Brown, Boston 14 14 7 35 Kimberly Warner, Toronto 15 15 2 32 Melissa Dobbyn, Detroit 13 13 3 29 Katie Antongiovanni, Mile High 14 12 2 26 Jessica Rostedt, Cleveland 8 8 8 24 Amber Allen, Vancouver 11 11 2 24 Julie Wilford, Arizona 12 11 2 24 Ymara Guante, Mile High 14 10 4 24 Leading Goalkeepers: GP GAA Karina LeBlanc, New Jersey 11 0.10 Taryn Swiatek, Ottawa 12 0.34 Sian Bagshawe, Vancouver 12 0.36 Kathryn Cumming, Detroit 14 0.89 Maria Yatrakis, Long Island 14 0.93 Megan Jessee, Western Mass 9 1.03 Lindsey Deason, Charlotte 8 1.04 Jennifer Branam, Arizona 13 1.10 Stacey Vanboxmeer, Toronto 11 1.11 Melanie Wilson, Atlanta 11 1.19 W-League Award Winners: Most Valuable Player: Melissa Dobbyn, Detroit Jaguars Goalkeeper: Karina LeBlanc, New Jersey Wildcats Defender of the Year: Cat Reddick, New Jersey Wildcats U-19 Player of the Year: Melissa Dobbyn, Detroit Jaguars Coach of the Year: Lee Horton, Charlotte Leady Eagles
A milestone was reached in early March as St. Louis's Lindsay Kennedy became the first woman to play in a US men's pro soccer league. Although her playing time was limited, she nonetheless broke the barrier. the Chicago Storm joined the league this season, and the league got off to a quick start with many exciting games, but financial problems plagued several teams. Monterey and San Diego had their franchises revoked early in the season, which forced the league to eliminate the divisional structure and the schedule continued with a single table. The All-Star game was cancelled for this season.
The Midwest teams had the upper hand with Milwaukee and Cleveland getting the better hand over Philadelphia in an exciting three-way race to the finish. Milwaukee won the regular season crown by a game, with Philadelphia two games behind Cleveland. Milwaukee continued its winning ways, sweeping their semifinals against St. Louis 6-5 and 4-3. Cleveland similarly had an easy time, defeating Philadelphia 10-6. The two powerhouses battled fast and furious in a closely matched series, but Milwaukee won both squeakers 10-9 and 10-9 to take yet again another league title.
Attendance took a dip this season, falling to 628,948 for 4,338 fans per game. The Cleveland Force, despite coming within 2 goals of a league title, took a major hit in attendance and the resulting red ink forced the team to fold. Kansas City went on hiatus to work on their own financial situation. Greg Howes repeated as MVP, awarded the newly christened Hector Marinaro trophy, named after one of the all-time indoor stars. The league looked to strengthen their existing teams and add new teams backed by strong ownership groups, announcing that the California Cougars would join the league for 2005-2006.
Final MISL 2004-2005 Standings Before the season, Chicago was added. GP W L PCT GB GF GA Milwaukee Wave 39 24 15 0.615 -- 219 173 Cleveland Force 39 23 16 0.590 1.00 233 217 Philadelphia Kixx 39 22 17 0.564 2.00 215 195 St. Louis Steamers 40 20 20 0.500 4.50 210 219 Kansas City Comets 39 18 21 0.462 6.00 207 237 Chicago Storm 39 18 21 0.462 6.00 212 217 Baltimore Blast 39 15 24 0.385 9.00 205 238 San Diego Sockers 10 4 6 0.400 1.50 52 45 Monterrey Fury 6 1 5 0.167 2.50 28 40 Semifinals: Milwaukee defeated St. Louis 6-5, 4-3 Cleveland defeated Philadelphia 10-6 FINALS: Milwaukee defeated Cleveland 10-9, 10-9 San Diego and Monterrey folded during the season. After the season, Cleveland folded and Kansas City went on hiatus, eventually folding. Leading scorers: GP G A PTS Greg Howes, Milwaukee 36 41 32 73 John Ball, Cleveland 38 30 31 61 Carlos Farias, St. Louis 36 29 29 58 Dino Develski, Kansas City 31 34 22 56 Giuliano Celenza, Baltimore 37 32 17 49 Don D'Ambra, Philadelphia 34 32 16 48 Novica Marojevic, Chicago 39 29 19 48 Daryl Doran, St. Louis 38 17 31 48 John Nusum, Philadelphia 31 28 17 45 Kevin Sloan, Philadelphia 37 31 14 45 Pat Norris, Philadelphia 36 22 21 43 Mark Ughy, Chicago 33 31 12 43 Joe Reininger, St. Louis 33 24 19 43 Leading Goalkeepers: (min. 840 minutes) GP MIN SF SV GA W L AVG Nick Vorberg, Milwaukee 32 1941:14 538 410 128 22 10 3.96 Peter Pappas, Philadelphia 35 2086:51 600 449 151 19 15 4.34 Brett Phillips, St. Louis 33 1935:29 509 353 156 16 17 4.84 Jim Larkin, Cleveland 35 2074:32 688 512 165 20 14 5.09 Danny Waltman, Chicago 37 2145:03 598 411 187 18 18 5.23 Sagu, Baltimore 21 1238:24 383 267 116 7 13 5.62 Sanaldo, Kansas City 25 1254:38 368 249 119 11 11 5.69 Chris Damico, Kansas City 19 1066:53 360 250 110 7 9 6.19 Brian Rowland, Baltimore 22 1092:34 387 274 113 8 11 6.21
All-Star Game: Cancelled
Most Valuable Player (Hector Marinaro Trophy): Greg Howes, Milwaukee Wave Leading goalscorer: Greg Howes, Milwaukee Wave Defender of the Year: Pat Morriss, Philadelphia Kixx Rookie of the Year: John Barry Nusum, Philadelphia Kixx Goalkeeper of the Year: Pepper Pappas, Philadelphia Kixx First All-MISL Team: F Greg Howes, Milwaukee Wave F/M John Ball, Cleveland Force F/M Don D'Ambra, Philadelphia Kixx D Pat Morris, Philadelphia Kixx D Gevoni Martinez, Monterrey/Cleveland G Peter Pappas, Philadelphia Kixx
The Hexagonal started off with a well played 2-1 win over Trinidad & Tobago. Eddie Johnson scored in the first half, becoming the first player to score in his first four National team matches since Bill Looby in 1955 and Brian McBride in 2001. Eddie Lewis followed in the 55th as the team continued to hold together. They faded somewhat after the 75th minute, but continued to hold together in front of the net. Keller let a weak goal through in the 88th minute, but the team hung on for the win.
The team followed this auspicious start with a pair of friendlies, emerging victorious in both. First was a convincing 3-0 shutout of Colombia in Fullerton, CA on March 9, with excellent performances by Chad Marshall, who scored the second goal, and Steve Ralston, who set up that goal. Bruce Arena gave the youngsters an opportunity to prove their stuff against Honduras on March 19 at Albuquerque, NM, but the lack of experience showed, as the offense struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities. The lone goal came from Eddie Johnson's take of the rebound off of Clint Mathis's shot in the 45th minute. The defense was solid and Goalkeeper Cannon did not have to make a major save in this 1-0 shutout.
Returning to the Hexagonal, the US geared up for the big one against Mexico - at Mexico City, where the US had never won a game and had last scored a goal in 1984. As usual, Azteca Stadium was packed with 105,000 passionate fans. Arena packed the midfield with 5 players, which kept the game under control for awhile, but Mexico score thirty minutes in, courtesy of a Fonseca feint and pass to Salvador Carmona who crossed to Jaime Lozano who headed it to Jared Borgetti for the score. Three minutes later, Antonio Naelson scored on a breakaway to extend the score. The US held on, not letting the altitude get to them, and Lewis scored to bring the US within 1, but the game settled down to a stalemate and Mexico earned a 2-1 victory.
The US picked up steam with a convincing 2-0 shutout of Guatemala courtesy of goals by Eddie Johnson and Steve Ralston. They never looked better, consistent, attacking runs, intelligent playmaking, effective dribbling and a pension for setting up good scoring opportunities, two of which found the net. The defense as usual was solid, effectively containing the Chapines. The main concerns at this point were finding effective players for left back and outside midfield positions. Eddie Johnson continued to be without rival in scoring. The crowd was 31,624, with almost a third of the fans wearing red for the USA.
The Americans took a break until May 28 when they met England at Chicago. Showing their superior form, the Brits defeated the United States 2-1 before 47,637, the largest home crowd in two years, with Clint Dempsey scoring the only US goal. There was little time to rest before meeting Costa Rica and Panama to finish this segment of the Hexagonal. Perhaps smarting from their loss to England, the USA shut out both opponents easily by identical 3-0 margins. This left just enough time to practice for their final World Cup qualifier before breaking to prepare for the Gold Cup (see separate section below).
With the Gold Cup behind them, the United States returned to the final stage of Qualifying, looking in better shape than ever, comfortably atop the Hexagonal standings. They started off with a close win over Trinidad & Tobago on August 17. The US opened scoring right at the get-go with Brian McBride sending it in during the 2nd minute. But the team eased off at this point, content to squelch Stern John and the Trinidadian scoring line, to hold on for a 1-0 shutout. The US now only needed a victory to clinch a spot at the World Cup, but were up against Mexico. This time the game was held in the more US-friendly locale of Columbus Ohio where it was expected the crowd would not be dominated by Mexican fans. The US was ready this time, and held Mexico scoreless throughout, with aggressive defense and spirited offense. DaMarcus Beasley made numerous scoring runs, Hedjuk harassed Morales, and Steve Ralston pulled it together to send a rebound into the net to open scoring in the 53rd minute. Five minutes later, Claudio Reyna sent the ball to DaMarcus Beasley who sent it in for the 2nd goal. The US continued to shut down the Mexican offensive line and cruised on to a 2-0 shutout. What seemed unimaginable just a few years ago came to pass, a qualification with three more games to go!With the remaining games not important, the team eased off a bit at this point, settling for a lackluster 0-0 draw on the road against Guatemala, and later in October, a tough 3-0 loss against Costa Rica. They finished in good form however, defeating Panama 2-0 on October 12 at Foxboro Stadium, finishing first in the final Hexagonal standings for the first time. This marked the end of the best qualifying performance ever put on by the US, and demonstrated the continuing strides made by the National team Program.
The National Team finished off the year on November 12 with a friendly against Scotland in Glasgow, where they managed a 1-1 draw.
DATE Score Opponent Attendance Location (Event) 2005 Totals: 14W, 3D, 3L Nov 12 05 D 1-1 Scotland 26,708 Glasgow, Scotland Wolff (9-pk) Oct 12 05 W 2-0 Panama 9,192 Foxboro, MA, USA (WCQ’06) Martino (51), Twellman (57) Oct 08 05 L 0-3 Costa Rica 30,000 San Jose, Costa Rica (WCQ’06) Sep 07 05 D 0-0 Guatemala 24,000 Guatemala City, Guatemala (WCQ’06) Sep 03 05 W 2-0 Mexico 24,685 Columbus, OH, USA (WCQ’06) Ralston (53), Beasley (56) Aug 17 05 W 1-0 Trinidad & Tobago 25,488 East Hartford, CT, USA (WCQ’06) McBride (2) Jul 24 05 W 0-0 Panama 31,018 East Rutherford, NJ, USA (G.C. ’05) (W 3-1 PK) Jul 21 05 W 2-1 Honduras 41,721 East Rutherford, NJ, USA (G.C. ‘05) John O'Brien (86), Oguchi Onyewu (92+) Jul 16 05 W 3-1 Jamaica 22,108 Foxboro, MA, USA (Gold Cup ’05) Josh Wolff (6), DaMarcus Beasley (42,83) Jul 12 05 D 0-0 Costa Rica 15,211 Foxboro, MA, USA (Gold Cup ’05) Jul 09 05 W 2-0 Canada 15,109 Seattle, WA, USA (Gold Cup ’05) (O.G.), Donovan (90) Jul 07 05 W 4-1 Cuba 15,831 Seattle, WA, USA (Gold Cup ‘05) Dempsey (44), Donovan (87, 91), Beasley (90) Jun 08 05 W 3-0 Panama 17,000 Panama City, Panama (WCQ’06) Bocanegra (6), Donovan (20), McBride (40) Jun 04 05 W 3-0 Costa Rica 40,586 Salt Lake City, UT, USA (WCQ’06) Donovan (6, 63), McBride (87) May 28 05 L 1-2 England 47,637 Chicago, IL, USA Dempsey (79) Mar 30 05 W 2-0 Guatemala 31,465 Birmingham, AL, USA (WCQ’06) Johnson (11), Ralston (71) Mar 27 05 L 1-2 Mexico 110,000 Mexico City, Mexico (WCQ’06) Lewis (59) Mar 19 05 W 1-0 Honduras 9,222 Albuquerque, NM, USA Johnson (45) Mar 09 05 W 3-0 Colombia 7,086 Fullerton, CA, USA Noonan (25), Marshall (33), Mathis (66) Feb 09 05 W 2-1 Trinidad & Tobago 18,000 Port of Spain, Trinidad (WCQ’06) Johnson (30), Lewis (54)
The US Women's Team had a fairly light schedule this year. they started, as usual, with the Algarve Cup in Portugal, and again excelled, opening with three consecutive shutouts. They opened with a 1-0 win over France on March 9, and then beat Finland 3-0 and Denmark 4-0. This completed pool play with the US advancing directly to the finals, defeating Germany 1-0 to again take the Cup. Christie Welsh was the star of the show, scoring goals in all four games, (two against Finland) including the only scores in the opener and the final. Kristine Lilly also scored two in the romp over Denmark.
The team took an extended break after the Algarve Cup, taking to the field again in June 26 at Virginia Beach in a friendly against Canada. The US won 2-0, courtesy of goals by Chalupny and Welch. This was followed by a convincing 7-0 match against Ukraine on July 10 and a 3-0 shutout of Iceland two weeks later. In the Ukraine game, Tiffany Milbrett scored her 100th goal, becoming the sixth woman to score 100 national team goals. The team again took a major break as coach Ryan acclimated himself to his new occupation. They briefly recongregated in October, battling Australia to a 0-0 draw and shutting out Mexico 3-0.
Although this was a quiet year for the Americans, it was a successful one, as the team went unscored upon for the year. Every match except one was a shutout victory, and the 8-1-0 record was without parallel. However, this was primarily a year for reassessment of the upcoming generation of new players as coach Ryan laid the groundwork leading up to Women's World Cup 2007.
In other action, the U. S. U-21 women's team cleaned up at the Nordic Women's U-21 Cup, taking the title with a convincing 4-1 win over Norway. The US had swept the pool play, shutting out Iceland 4-0,and Denmark 4-0, and closing with a 3-1 victory over Germany. Tarpley and O'Reilly were prolific, scoring 6 goals between them.
DATE Score Opponent Attendance Location (Event) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2005 Totals: 8W, 1D, 0L Oct 23 05 W 3-0 Mexico 4,251 Charleston, SC, USA Lilly, Wambach (2) Oct 16 05 D 0-0 Australia 5,394 Fullerton, CA, USA Jul 24 05 W 3-0 Iceland 4,378 Carson, CA, USA Fotopoulos (64,65), Shannon Boxx (69) Jul 10 05 W 7-0 Ukraine 3,529 Portland, OR, USA Welsh (31), Lilly (36), Wagner (46), Fotopoulos (51,61), Milbrett (57), O'Reilly (89) Jun 26 05 W 2-0 Canada 3,215 Virginia Beach, VA, USA Chalupny, Welch Mar 15 05 W 1-0 Germany 1,000 Portugal (Algarve Cup) Welsh (23) Mar 13 05 W 4-0 Denmark 250 Vila Real D.S.A., Portugal (Algarve) Lilly (6,58), Walbach (15), Welsh (28) Mar 11 05 W 3-0 Finland 250 Guia, Portugal (Algarve Cup) Welsh (8,41), Wambach (52) Mar 09 05 W 1-0 France 250 Ferreiras, Portugal (Algarve Cup) Welsh (20)
The United States won their third Gold Cup, but didn't always look their best doing it, especially in the later rounds. The Cup was an opportunity for players to showcase their talents for coach Bruce Arena as he continued to refine his roster for the remaining Hexagonal matches.
The United States opened July 7 in Seattle against Cuba and got off to a shaky start, allowing Cuba to take the early lead. Clint Dempsey got the equalizer, but the US missed numerous scoring chances until Landon Donovan scored on a free kick to take the lead in the 87th minute. From that point, the US exploded, with Beasley scoring three minutes later, and Donovan finding the net again in stoppage time, giving the Americans a 4-1 victory.
Two days later, they faced off against Canada. Despite a swarming offense and full court pressure, the US could not find the net. Canada put up a resolute defense and sloppy finishing by the US resulted in them only achieving a 2-0 shutout courtesy of an own goal and a Donovan score in second half stoppage time. This was enough, however, for the US to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals. Facing Guatemala, who had also earned a spot, the game lacked the intensity of the ones that mattered. Costa Rica nearly scored after a defensive miscommunications give them an opening, but Kasey Keller grabbed Steve Bruce's cross following a blown offside trap. The US took control more convincingly in the second half, and the teams settled for a 0-0 draw.
In the Quarterfinals, the US faced Jamaica in Foxboro, MA, and took control from the start. Josh Wolf scored early for the US, and DaMarcus Beasley was relentless on the attack, scoring off a Landon pass late in the 1st half and taking another from Armas in the 83rd to give the US a comfortable lead. Fuller finally got Jamaica on the board 5 minutes later, but the lackluster Jamaicans were never in the game, and the US advanced 3-1. The Americans moved south to East Rutherford, NJ to face Honduras in the semis, and had a battle against a determined Honduran side. After Eddie Pope left in the 15th with an injury, the US defense struggled, and Guerrero scored in the 30th to take the lead. But Kasey Keller held firm with excellent saves, while the offensive line fought to get something going. With the final whistle looming, Oguchi Onyewu lofted the ball to John O'Brien who landed the equalizer, and deep into stoppage time, took a Landon Donovan corner kick and capitalized with a hard header straight into goal, giving the US a 2-1 victory.
Both Panama and the United States were geared up for their final match at the Meadowlands on July 24, before a crowd of 31,018, and neither side would give an inch; both goalies were in top form, with Keller deflecting a Luis Tenaha bicycle kick with his fingertips. Many great shots from both sides, and as many saves. The stalemate continued through overtime, with Keller stopping Jorge Daly Valdez. It all came down to penalty kicks, and even that was close, but Keller was just that much better than Jaime Penned and the US won 4-3 on penalty kicks to take the Cup.
The U-20 team had considerably more maturity than past editions, with the ever increasing number of players with MLS and overseas experience, and the effects of P-40 were obvious. The USA U-20 team cruised through CONCACAF qualifying winning all three games handily, their first perfect record in qualifications. Led by Freddy Adu and Eddie Gaven, the team included several members were selected in the MLS SuperDraft, including Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire), Timmy Ward (MetroStars) and Hunter Freeman (Colorado Rapids). On the field, the United States beat Trinidad & Tobago 6-1, and shut out Panama and Costa Rica by identical 2-0 scores. Eddie Gaven led US scoring with 3 goals, with Freddy Adu contributing 2.
They got a tough draw for the final, being placed in the "pool of death" with Argentina, Germany and Egypt. But the US came out full steam, upsetting Argentina 1-0 in their opening game. Up against the tough Germans, they fought hard and earned a 0-0 draw, before winning a close one against Egypt to pass on to the round of 16. An excellent run through a very tough pool.
In the Round of 16, on June 21, they were up against Italy, which had lost two games in their pool, just barely advancing as a 3rd place team. Perhaps overconfidence set in, or the US had exhausted themselves getting through pool play. The US landed a goal in a see-saw battle during the first half. But in the second half, the US missed several golden scoring opportunities and penalty kick conversions, and the Italian goalkeeper made some fantastic saves. Confusion in the US's defensive line lead to openings and Italy scored three unanswered goals to eliminate the USA 3-1. Argentina eventually won the Cup. Despite the promising performances of the first round, complacency and strategic breakdowns contributed to the team's early demise.
The US cruised through pool play, beating North Korea 3-2, and Italy 3-1, and drawing with Ivory Coast 1-1. But they came up against a wall in the quarterfinals where the Netherlands ousted them 2-0. Netherlands went on to beat Turkey 2-1 in the final.
In the quarterfinals, the Chicago Fire defeated Rochester Rhinos on penalty kicks (5-4) after playing them to a 1-1 draw in regulation. FC Dallas also needed penalty kicks (4-1) to defeat D. C. United. The Los Angeles Galaxy sent San Jose packing 2-1, and USL's Minnesota Thunder kept their streak alive defeating Kansas City Wizards 3-1 (helped by an own goal).
In the semi-finals, Dallas earned a narrow win over Chicago 1-0, while Los Angeles was more convincing with their 5-2 win over the Minnesota Thunder. The final, played on Sept. 28 before 10,000 fans at Carson, CA was a close match, with the Galaxy delighting the home crowd with a 1-0 victory courtesy of a Gomez goal in the 25th minute. The Galaxy would go on to win the Double by taking MLS Cup'07
Once again, major world soccer clubs toured the United States, but this time some of their matches were against MLS clubs, making a return to the tradition of domestic competition against touring clubs. Championsworld had met its demise at the end of 2004, but MLS chose to inaugurate their own series of high-level exhibition matches, the centerpiece being four matches designated the "World Series of Football." The teams involved included Real Madrid, Chelsea, and A. C. Milan. Real Madrid also toured with its own series of friendly matches. The matches against Milan and Chelsea were highly anticipated, both teams being defending champions of their respective leagues. Unlike international tours of years past, the clubs brought most of their top players with them.
The first friendly was a match between Real Madrid and Chivas, which Real won 3-1. On September 19, Real took to the field against the Los Angeles Galaxy before a sold-out house at Carson. The Galaxy were shut out 2-0, but it was a respectable match for an MLS club against a top world team. Real Madrid dominated throughout the first half, with Michael Owen scoring in the 6th minute off a shot from Zinzedane Zidine. David Beckham nearly hit the net later in the half. In the second half, the Galaxy made some impressive attacks, coming close, but were not able to find the net. Roberto Soldano scored in the 7th minute. Although the teams played fairly evenly for the rest of the game, the Galaxy didn't score.
On July 24, Chelsea FC returned to the Boston area for the first time since their 1967 matches against Eintracht Braunschweig of Germany, to take on A. C. Milan. Dutch winger Arjen Robben scored in the 13th minute for the only goal of the game. Chelsea was very well prepared and had a deep roster, but the game was very close; Chelsea had replaced their entire roster by the start of the second game. Both teams were playing at near-full intensity, and the crowd got their money's worth.
The Chicago Fire gave it their all against A. C. Milan on July 28, but still came short 3-1. It was a good game though, with Chicago keeping Milan hemmed in for long stretches Chris Rolfe led several impressive runs for the Fire in the first half, but Milan found the net first, with Christian Vieri landing the goal in the 21st minute. Chris Rolfe evened the score less than a minute later with a 20-yard shot into the side netting. Rolfe continued to make impressive attacks throughout the half. The Fire started aggressively in the 2nd half, but during a string of Fire substitutions, Milan found their footing and landed the go-ahead goal in the 76th minute, with Serginho scoring the final one in stoppage time to give Milan the 3-1 win.
On the same day, D. C. United took on Chelsea FC at Landover, MD, surprising and delighting the crowd by taking the offense in the early going, and landing the first goal, courtesy of Bobby Boswell in the 31st minute. Four minutes later, Damian Huff equalized for Chelsea, and Hernan Crespo broke the tie in the 57th minute. Both sides had good scoring opportunities from then on, but no shot reached the net, although Freddy Adu gave the Chelsea defenders fits with his agile moves. A final failed shot by Clyde Simms sealed United's doom.
Other games included a 5-0 Real Madrid victory over the MLS Select team, a 1-0 victory by D. C. United over Chelsea and a rather uneventful 1-1 draw between Chelsea and AC Milan at the Meadowlands. Although crowds were smaller than the Championsworld series, these were the first involving matches against MLS clubs and still drew fairly well. Overall, a very successful tour. High attendance, world teams bringing over their "A" squads, a far call from the tours of years past.
MLS & INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES, 2005 7/12/05 Real Madrid 3, Chivas USA 1 7/19/05 Real Madrid 2, Los Angeles Galaxy 0 (at Carson, CA, att: 27,000) *7/24/05 Chelsea FC 1, A. C. Milan 0 (at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, att: 26,208) 7/26/05 Columbus Crew 2, Fulham 1 7/27/05 Real Madrid 5, MLS Select Team 0 *7/28/05 A. C. Milan 3, Chicago Fire 1 (at Soldier Field, Chicago, att: 21,954) *7/28/05 D. C. United 1, Chelsea FC 0 (at Fedex Field, Washington, att: 31,473) *7/31/05 AC Milan 1, Chelsea 1 (at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ att: 35,444) * - indicates "World Series of Football" match INTERNATIONAL NATIONAL TEAM FRIENDLIES, 2005 1/15/05 Colombia 2, South Korea 1 (at Los Angeles, att. 20,000) 1/17/05 Guatemala 1, Colombia 1 (at Los Angeles, att. 15,000) 1/19/05 Paraguay 1, South Korea 1 (at Los Angeles, CA, att. 10,000) 1/22/05 Sweden 1, South Korea 1 (at Carson, CA, att. 9,941) 1/23/05 Guatemala 1, Paragrau 2 (at Los Angeles, CA) 1/26/05 Mexico 0, Sweden 0 (at San Diego, att. 35,521) 2/13/05 Guatemala 2, Haiti 1 (at Ft. Lauderdale, FL, att. 10,000) 3/9/05 Mexico 1, Argentina 1 (at Los Angeles, att. 51,345) 4/20/05 Jamaica 1, Guatemala 0 (at Atlanta, GA, att. 7,000) 4/27/05 Mexico 1, Poland 1 (at Chicago, att. 54,427) 5/4/05 Ecuador 0, Paragray 0 (at East Rutherford, NY) 5/31/05 England 3, Colombia 2 (at east Rutherford, NY, att. 50,807) 6/11/05 Italy 1, Ecuador 1 (at east Rutherford, NJ, att. 27,583) 11/15/06 Mexico 0, Bulgaria 3 (at Houston, TX)Real Madrid: Iker Casillas, Roberto Carlos, Ivan Helguera, Francisco Pavon, Michel Salgado, David Beckham, Thomas Graveson, Jose Guiterrez, Zinedine Zidane, Raul Gonzalez, Michael Own, Diego Lopez, Raul Bravo, Carlos Diego, Pablo Garcia, Reuben de la Red, Luis Figo, Roberto Soldado, Jose Manuel Jurado
World Club Championships
The United States did not qualify a team for the World Cup championships. North America was represented by CD Saprissa of Costa Rica, who beat Australia in the opening round, before falling to Liverpool 3-0 in the semi-finals. Sao Paulo defeated Liverpool 1-0 in the final.
Final Men's Division 1 NSCAA Coaches' Poll: 1. Maryland 2. New Mexico 3. Clemson 4. Southern Methodist 5. Akron 6. Creighton 7. North Carolina 8. California 9. Connecticut 10. Penn State Final Women's Division 1 NSCAA Coaches' Poll: 1. Portland 2. Penn State 3. UCLA 4. Florida State 5. North Carolina 6. Notre Dame 7. Santa Clara 8. Virginia 9. California 10. Boston College Men's Division 1 NSCAA All-Americans (1st team): G - Chris Dunsheath, Bradley D - Gregory Dalby, Notre Dame D - Tyson Wahl, California D - Marvel Wynne, UCLA M - Medi Ballouchy, Santa Clara M - Scott Jones, UNC Greensboro M - Yohan Mauger, Akron F - Jason Garey, Maryland F - Ross McKenzie, Akron F - Jeff Rowland, New Mexico F - Willie Simms, Cal State Northridge Women's Division 1 NSCAA All-Americans (1st team): G - Erin McLeod, Penn State D - Melanie Booth, Florida D - Stephanie Lopez, Portland D - Jill Oakes, UCLA M - Lori Chalupny, North Carolina M - Ali Christoph, Tennessee M - Lindsey Huie, Portland M - Ali Krieger, Penn State M - Megan Rapinoe, Portland F - Christine Sinclair, Portland F - Katie Thorlakson, Notre Dame F - Tiffany Weimer, Penn State Men's National Award Winners: Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy: Jason Garey, Maryland NSCAA Coach of the Year (Division 1): Sasho Cirovski, Maryland Women's National Award Winners: Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy: Christine Sinclair, Portland NSCAA Coach of the Year (Division 1): Paula Wilkins, Penn State
CONCACAF Champions Cup 2005: Quarterfinals: D. C. United defeated Harbour View (Jamaica) 2-1, 2-1 and Saprissa (Costa Rica) defeated Kansas City Wizards 0-0, 2-1 (OT). Semifinals: D. C. United lost to UNAM (Mexico) 1-1, 5-0. 1-1, 5-0. Saprissa (Costa Rica) defeated UNAM (Mexico) 3-2 on aggregate to take the title.
Interligua: Tournament was held in Houston, CA. Participating teams were UANL, Guadalajara, Atlante, Santos, Chiapas, Toluca, America and Nexaca. UANL, Toluca, Guadalajara and Chiapas advanced to the finals, where UANL defeated Toluca 2-0 and Guadalajara defeated Chiapas 1-1 (5-3-PK) to win spots in the Copa Liberatores.
FIFA Beach Soccer World CupThe United States qualified for the inaugural FIFA Beach World Cup, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 8-15, serving as the CONCACAF representative.
2005 Deaflympics: The United States Women's team won the gold medal, defeating Russia 3-0. The Men's team took ninth place by beating the Czech Republic 1-0, their highest finish ever.
America's Military Cup: The United States lost to Brazil 2-0, Barbados 3-0 and Trinidad & Tobago 3-2 and did not advance to the World Military Cup.
Milk Cup (a European youth cup): USA defeated Northern Ireland 4-2, the USA's first title win at this cup.
Pepsi International Championship (U-17 boys): The United States drew 3-3 with Italy, defeated England 1-0 and lost to Portugal 1-2.
Dallas Cup The Dallas Cup expanded to six groups, and for the first time American teams won four titles. IMG Academy defeated Toronto Lynx (Super Y-League) to take the U-19 title, the Solar Reds took the U-12 title, and Austin (TX) United Capital lost to Chivas Guadalajara in the U-14 title match. Arsenal FC of Alta Loma, CA won the U-17 title (3rd in 15 years), Chicago Magic won the U-16 group.US Youth Soccer NATIONAL SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS:
Hall of Fame: In 2005, the US Soccer Hall of Fame inducted Marcelo Balboa, Tab Ramos and John Harkes. In addition, the veterans committee inducted Fernando Clavijo, and Hank Steinbrecher was inducted as a Builder. Finally, a special induction was carried out to honor five veteran performers from the early 20th century: Alex McNab, Johnny Nelson, Fabri Salcedo, Tom, (Whitey) Fleming, and Werner Nielsen. In addition, the Hall awarded Seamus Malin its 2005 Colin Jose Media Award. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Hall of Fame inducted Peter Accolla, Eduard Braun, Kim Vieira and Paul Wright. The National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA) Hall of Fame inducted William "Pete" Leaness. The American Youth Soccer Organization inducted Larry Caplinger, Joe Karbus and Eric Wynalda.Honda Award (Player of the Year):Kasey Keller, Christine Sinclair
Last update: April 10, 2010
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