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» 02.24.03 - Earthquakes Lose 3-1 to Viking in La Manga Cup: The San Jose Earthquakes were defeated 3-1 by Viking Stavangar of Norway in their final match of group
play at the La Manga Cup. The Quakes finish the first round of the
preseason tournament with a 0-2-1 record and earned a fourth place finish
in Group A. Ronnie Ekelund scored for the second straight match, Viking's
Bjorn Berland netted a hat trick to give his team the victory. The Quakes
wrap up play in the La Manga Cup on Thursday, February 27 at 12:00 p.m.
local time against Lyn Oslo (Norway).
San Jose started quickly on Monday afternoon, as Ekelund netted
the first goal of the game in the fifth minute after a good combination
outside the box with Brian Mullan. Troy Dayak started the play by creating
a turnover and moving the ball out to Manny Lagos. Lagos passed the ball in
to Ekelund, who then played a give-and-go with Mullan. Ekelund finished
the play with a well-struck shot over Viking goalkeeper Tore Shorteland
into the upper corner.
Viking equalized in the 32nd minute after a throw in on the left
wing. Peter Kopteff took the ball to the end-line and squared a low cross
to Berland in front of goal. Berland then spun and shot into the lower
right corner to tie the match at 1-1.
Late in the first half, forward Brian Ching and Ekelund each had
strong efforts from long range to try and give the Quakes the lead
back. Ching forced a save by Shorteland, while Ekelund's drive went over
Early in the second half the Quakes went forward looking to grab
the lead back. In the 46th minute, a good pass from Ching gave Lagos an
open look at the goal, but his low shot skidded just past the far post.
Four minutes later Ching received a through ball from Richard Mulrooney and
one-timed a shot toward the far post that Shorteland knocked down. Mullan
nearly got to the rebound, but Shorteland recovered in time to end the
Moments later, Mullan forced another save by Shorteland with a low
shot to the near post after getting a pass from Ramiro Corrales.
Viking took the lead 13 minutes into the second half on a
counterattack. Kopteff found Berland on the opposite side of the goal and
he beat a Quakes defender and then fired a low shot into the near corner of
Jon Conway's net.
Berland finished the scoring in the 85th minute after another
quick attack by Viking. Tom Sanne collected a loose ball at midfield and
fed it ahead to Berland. Berland got free of his defender and moved around
Conway before putting the ball into the back of the net from a difficult angle.
San Jose is now 1-2-1 in the 2003 preseason.
-Ian Russell (knee sprain) sat out the match against Viking to rest his
injury. Landon Donovan was not scheduled to play in Monday's game, but his
toe injury healed enough to allow him to play 25 minutes as a sub against
-Landon Donovan and Richard Mulrooney fly out of Spain on Tuesday to return
home. Quakes head coach Frank Yallop is giving the pair the remainder of
the week off to rest and recover. Mulrooney and Donovan had been in
training camp with the U.S. National Team since January 4 before
immediately joining the Quakes for their trip to Spain last week.
Frank Yallop, on game: "At this point, we are not finishing our chances
when we get them. We have been getting punished for little mistakes at the
back and that happened again today."
Yallop, on Quakes preseason goals: "Overall, we are looking to gain fitness
and to build up for the Champions Cup and the regular season. Obviously we
don't like losing, but sometimes you need to lose to grow as a team."
Yallop, looking ahead: "We aren't going to dwell on the negatives from the
game. There are some positives that we can take from this game, such as the
fact that we created a number of opportunities to score. We are looking
forward to another game on Thursday."
La Manga Cup
Viking Stavangar 3, San Jose Earthquakes 1
La Manga, Spain
1st: Quakes 1, Vikings 1
2nd: Quakes 0, Vikings 2
F: Quakes 1, Vikings 3
SJ - GK Jon Conway, D Chris Roner, D Troy Dayak, D Jeff Agoos, D Craig
Waibel (Arturo Alvarez, 63rd), M Manny Lagos (Landon Donovan, 65th), M
Richard Mulrooney, M Ronnie Ekelund, M Ramiro Corrales (Todd Dunivant,
76th), F Brian Ching (Jamil Walker, 70th), F Brian Mullan.
VIK - GK Tore Shorteland, D Odd Arne Espevou (Bjorn Dahl, 46th), D Toni
Kuivasto, D Brede Hangeland, D Kristian Sorli, M Tom Sanne, M David Hannah,
M Trygve Nygaard, M Peter Kopteff, F Erik Nevland (Andre Danielsen, 89th),
F Bjorn Berland (Kenneth Torstveit, 87th).
Ekelund (Mullan), SJ, 5th; Berland (Kopteff), VIK, 32nd; Berland (Kopteff),
VIK, 58th; Berland (Sanne), VIK, 85th.
Mullan (Yellow), SJ, 5th; Espevou (Yellow), VIK, 33rd; Hannah (Yellow),
VIK, 54th; Sanne (Yellow), VIK, 77th; Donovan (Yellow), SJ, 87th.
Statistics: SJ, VIK
Shots: 14, 7
Shots on Goal: 7, 2
Saves: 1, 6
Offside: 5, 3
Corner Kicks: 3, 2
» 02.24.03 - Injury Update: Neither Landon Donovan nor Ian Russell participated in the full training sessions on Saturday or Sunday, as both continue nursing injuries suffered against Rubin last Thursday night. Donovan has a contusion on the big toe on his right foot and he sat out all of the sessions the past two days. He will not be available for the match against Viking on Monday.
Russell, who suffered a left knee sprain against Rubin, sat out on Saturday, but was able to run on his own during Sunday's practice. He will also not be available against Viking. Russell is expected to miss one week, so he could be available for the team's final match in La Manga on Thursday or Friday.
Donovan and Mulrooney to Rest
Landon Donovan and Richard Mulrooney have been given time off by Quakes head coach Frank Yallop to rest and recuperate from minor injuries. Both players will leave La Manga on Tuesday and return home to the U.S. before rejoining the team on Sunday, March 2 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
"Both players have nagging little injuries, Landon with the toe, and Richard still coming back from offseason ankle surgery," said Yallop. "They have played a lot recently with the national team, so I think they need a little rest to keep them fresh for the Champions Cup and the start of the MLS season. They have been on the road a long time as well, so I am giving them the remainder of the week off to rest and spend time with their families." From SJEarthquakes.com
» 02.23.03 - U.S. to Face Japan on March 29 in Seattle as Scheduled : (Saturday, February 22, 2003) - U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia confirmed late Friday evening after meeting with representatives from the Japanese Football Association that the U.S. Men's National Team and Japan will play on March 29 in Seattle. The game was originally announced in December and will take place at Seattle Seahawks Stadium live on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. PT.
"After reviewing our security arrangements for the match, the JFA understands that playing the game in Seattle as planned is definitely in the best interests of soccer," said Contiguglia. "We all know that soccer is a sport about unifying the world, and the event in Seattle will certainly showcase that type of goodwill successfully."
The clash with Japan will be the first international soccer match hosted by the newly minted Seattle Seahawks Stadium. Tickets ranging in price levels from $20 to $70 are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, at the Seahawks Stadium ticket office, by phone (Seattle 206-628-0888; Tacoma 253-627-8497), and online at www.ussoccer.com. Groups of 20 or more can order through U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290.
The USA and Japan have met only one time at the senior international level, with Japan capturing a 3-1 victory on March 14, 1993 in Tokyo. In addition to the ESPN2 broadcast, fans can follow the match live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. From USSoccer.com.
» 02.23.03 - Endorsement deal with Gatorade: (Feb. 18) U.S. Men's National Team forward Landon Donovan has signed a four-year endorsement deal with Gatorade® TQ making him the company's first male soccer spokesman.
"When I was a kid I loved the Gatorade commercial 'I Wanna be Like Mike' and from that day on I've been drinking Gatorade," said Donovan. "I feel very honored to be in the elite category of athletes like Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm and Derek Jeter who are part of the Gatorade team."
Donovan, the youngest player to score a goal at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the recently named 2002 Honda U.S. Soccer Player of the Year, will be included in various Gatorade marketing, advertising and promotional campaigns during the course of his deal, commencing with a Gatorade 2003 spring/summer trading card promotional program. In addition, the San Jose Earthquake star and Gatorade will develop regular on-line features for www.gatorade.com that will focus on various aspects of Donovan's life - from training tips, to "a day in the life" diary and other items. Gatorade will also put Donovan, a two-time MLS All-Star and 2001 Game MVP, through a series of studies at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute to optimize his hydration game plan.
"Gatorade has long supported the growth of soccer in the U.S.," said Jeff Urban, director of sports marketing for Gatorade. "Landon will give our soccer presence a face and some personality, much the same way Mia Hamm did on the women's side. Landon is a very exciting athlete. We think he and the MLS have great futures ahead."
Donovan, who earned "Man of the Match" honors posting two assists in the United States' 4-0 victory over Canada on January 18th, has appeared in 32 international games with the full men's side, scoring seven goals and adding six assists since his debut in October 2000.
Gatorade® Thirst Quencher, the nation's leading sports drink, is backed by 35 years of research. Gatorade is scientifically formulated and athletically
proven to quench thirst, replace fluids and electrolytes and provide carbohydrate energy to enhance athletic performance. Gatorade is the official sports drink of the NFL, NBA, WNBA, Major League Baseball, US Soccer, MLS, AVP, Arena Football and numerous professional, collegiate and amateur teams and events throughout the world. Gatorade is manufactured by PepsiCo Beverages and Foods, a division of PepsiCo. For more information, visit www.gatorade.com. From MLSNET.com.
» 02.23.03 - Quakes Draw With Rubin Kazan: (February 20, 2003) - The San Jose Earthquakes earned their first point of the La Manga Cup with a 1-1 draw against Rubin Kazan of Russia in their second match of first round group play on Thursday night. Ronnie Ekelund buried a penalty kick in the 24th minute after Landon Donovan was tripped in the penalty area, but Rubin scored the equalizer ten minutes later on a penalty kick of their own. The Quakes can finish second in their group with a win against Viking Stavangar (Norway) in their last match of the first round coupled with a Rosenborg win or tie against Rubin.
The Quakes goal came on their first good opportunity of the first half. Craig Waibel took a pass from goalkeeper Jon Conway and found Donovan behind the Rubin defense with a perfect long ball. Donovan shook free of his defender and dribbled around Rubin goalkeeper Kazko, who grabbed Donovan’s ankle and brought him down. The referee signaled for the penalty and Ekelund calmly slotted the penalty kick home for a 1-0 lead.
One minute later, Conway preserved the lead with a diving save on a breakaway after a Rubin forward got behind the defense. The rebound bounced to another Rubin attacker who fired a low shot, but Quakes captain Jeff Agoos was able to clear the ball off the line. Another Rubin shot was deflected before San Jose sent the ball out of their defensive zone.
The Rubin goal came following a controversial call by the referee in the 34th minute. Rubin was awarded a free kick 23 yards from the Quakes goal after a foul by a San Jose defender. Rubin forward Roni then drove a shot that hit Waibel, who was standing in the wall ten yards in front of the ball. The referee signaled for a handball and gave a penalty kick to Rubin, which Roni finished in the lower left corner to tie the game.
Late in the first half, Ian Russell came close to putting San Jose back on top. Rookie defender Todd Dunivant hit a long ball from his left-back spot and found Russell streaking down the right wing. Russell moved in on goal, but his shot went just over the net.
Just before halftime, San Jose got a scare when Donovan collided with Rubin goalkeeper Kazko and was forced to leave the game. Donovan suffered a contusion to his right big toe and will be re-evaluated by the Quakes training staff tomorrow. Russell also suffered a left knee sprain and came out at halftime. He will also be re-evaluated on Friday.
In the second half, Frank Yallop’s squad maintained constant pressure on the Rubin goal but was unable to break through with the winning goal. Manny Lagos was denied twice by Kazko on headers inside the 18-yard box midway through the half, and Jeff Agoos nearly beat Kazko with a near post shot on a free kick in the 78th minute.
Brian Mullan and Brian Ching were again dangerous on the attack, creating a number of scoring chances while paired together on the front-line.
The Quakes play Viking Stavangar of Norway in their final match of group play at the La Manga Cup on Monday, February 24 at 4:00 p.m. local time. San Jose is now 1-1-1 in the 2003 preseason.
-Frank Yallop gave the team Friday off. The Quakes will resume training on Saturday.
-Rookie Todd Dunivant made his first start of the La Manga Cup at left back, playing 56 minutes.
-Troy Dayak, who is returning from a sports hernia injury, was rested against Rubin after playing 90 minutes against Rosenborg. He is expected to be in the starting line-up against Viking on Monday afternoon.
Frank Yallop, on game: “It was a solid performance for the team. We didn’t play great, but we created enough chances to score and I feel that we should have won the game.”
Yallop, on changing line-up: “This is a good tournament and I want to see how all of our players perform in pressure situations and how they react to those situations. I want to get a look at all of our players in these games.”
Ronnie Ekelund, on first game: “It feels good to be back. There were some positives in this game for the team, but there are some things that we definitely have to work on. That is what the preseason is for, to work things out and get better so we can be ready for the season.”
La Manga Cup
San Jose Earthquakes 1, Rubin Kazan 1
La Manga, Spain
SJ - GK Jon Conway, D Craig Waibel, D Eddie Robinson, D Jeff Agoos, D Todd Dunivant (Chris Roner, 56th), M Ian Russell (Arturo Alvarez, 46th), M Ramiro Corrales, M Ronnie Ekelund (Jamil Walker, 76th), M Manny Lagos, F Brian Ching (Richard Mulrooney, 67th), F Landon Donovan (Brian Mullan, 43rd).
RUB - GK Kazko, D Kharlama (Fedorov, 62nd), D Seruagadza, D Kalisto, D Ndjago (Samarani, 61st), M Novatny, M Chizhik (Kolanas, 73rd), M Konovalev, M Bojarinsten, F Nechaev (Bajramov, 59th), F Roni (Vitas, 72nd).
Ekelund (PK), SJ, 24th;
Roni (PK), RUB, 34th.
» 02.17.03 - Donovan returns in San Jose's La Manga loss: La Manga, Spain (Feb. 17, 2003) - Landon Donovan played his first pre-season game for the San Jose Earthquakes on Monday as they fell 2-0 to Norwegian club Rosenborg.
Donovan, along with U.S. Soccer Player Richard Mulrooney, played their first pre-season game with the team after returning from national team duty in Jamaica.
Frode Johnsen and Harald Brattbakk scored the goals for Rosenborg, which has won 11 straight Norwegian League championships and competed for eight consecutive years in the European Champions League.
"We never want to lose any games, but I was happy with our performance today," said Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop. "I think right now performance is the most important thing since we are still building up for the CONCACAF Champions Cup and our league."
After a slow first 15 minutes, the Earthquakes began to apply constant pressure the rest of the first half. Donovan, who started at central midfield, twice sent teammates in on goal with well-placed through balls. Brian Ching was the recipient of the first pass in the 18th minute, but Rosenborg goalkeeper Espen Johnsen smothered his lunging effort. Manny Lagos got through on the second, but was unable to get a shot off.
Two plays a minute apart late in the first half nearly resulted in a goal for the Quakes with Brian Mullan and Ching involved in each opportunity. In the 36th minute, Mullan stripped a Rosenborg defender and crossed the ball to Ching, who headed a shot off the far post. Ching collected the rebound and dropped it to Donovan, who fired a low shot that was cleared off the line.
A minute later, Quakes goalkeeper Jon Conway sent a long ball to midfield that Ching flicked on. Mullan ran onto the ball and was in alone before being tripped up from behind by a Rosenborg defender, but the referee signaled play on. Mullan shot as he was falling and Johnsen made the save.
Eight minutes into the second half, Frode Johnsen put Rosenborg up 1-0. Brattbakk got free on the left and fired a shot that Conway saved, but the rebound fell to Johnsen. He then slotted the ball into the empty net.
Ching came close to tying the match minutes later. Mullan curled in a corner kick that was cleared away by a Rosenborg defender's hand. The ball fell to Ching and he drove a left-footed shot toward the upper left corner, but his shot rang off the cross bar and bounced out of danger.
Rosenborg put the match away in the 65th minute on a goal from Brattbakk. He gathered in a loose ball on the left wing and moved in on goal before slotting a low shot past Conway for a 2-0 lead.
"We are not happy to lose, but we are satisfied with our effort. I think that the difference in the game was that they finished their half-chances and we didn't," said Earthquakes captain Jeff Agoos. "We need to get better in the final third in each half, and I think that will come as we go along in preseason."
The Quakes next face Rubin Kazan of Russia in first round action at the La Manga Cup on Thursday, February 20 at 6:30 p.m. local time. San Jose is now 1-1 in the 2003 preseason.
SJ - GK Jon Conway, D Troy Dayak, D Eddie Robinson (Craig Waibel, 63rd), D Jeff Agoos, D Ramiro Corrales, M Ian Russell, M Richard Mulrooney (Chris Roner, 70th), M Landon Donovan (Todd Dunivant, 74th), M Manny Lagos (Arturo Alvarez 66th) , F Brian Ching (Jamil Walker, 70th), F Brian Mullan.
ROS - GK Espen Johnsen, D Christer Basma, D Vidar Riseth (Lars Blixt, 54th), D Erik Hoftun, D Stale Stensas, M Roar Strand (Christer George, 71st), M Orjan Berg, M Frederik Winsnes (MacBeth Sibaya, 80th), M Trond Ludvigsen (Azar Karadaz, 46th), F Frode Johnsen (Oyvind Storflor, 71st), F Harald Brattbakk. From USSoccerplayers.com
» 02.17.03 - Donovan to be a part of Pepsi's 2003 'Get Out There and Play' program: LOS ANGELES (Feb. 13, 2003) - Richard L. Motzkin, Principal and Founder of SportsNet, LLC, announced today that Major League Soccer and U.S. Men's National Team forward Landon Donovan has been chosen to be one of three professional athletes to be part of Pepsi's "Get Out There and Play" program.
The 20-year-old Donovan, a star forward for the U.S. Men's National Team and the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS, will appear along side Major League Baseball's Troy Glaus and the National Football League's Donovan McNabb as the featured athletes in Pepsi's "Get Out There and Play" program. The six-month blitz by Pepsi (March through September) will use Donovan, Glaus and McNabb in a nation-wide campaign targeted at middle school students to raise their level of fitness through sports. A skills poster sponsored and produced by Pepsi will include the three athletes and will be distributed in approximately 10,000 junior high schools and 2,000 Wal-Mart stores in the United States.
"Landon is a true product of the youth soccer system," said Motzkin. "And associating Landon with Pepsi, a company who continues to put a tremendous effort into grassroots programs, allows Landon to give back to the soccer community and young athletes, efforts he strongly supports."
As part of the "Get Out There and Play" program, Donovan, a two-time MLS All-Star, will be the league's athlete representative for the 2003 Pepsi MLS Dribble Pass & Score(tm), the largest national grassroots soccer skills competition in the country targeting 150,000 children. Donovan will present the award to the winners at the national finals and lend his name and signature, alongside MLS Commissioner Don Garber, on each child's certificate of participation. From USSoccerplayers.com.
» 02.17.03 - Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. Men vs. Jamaica: (2/12/03)
BRUCE ARENA - U.S. Head Coach
General comments: "This was a good result. It's been a good four games, and we got successful results in three of those. We have good young players, but winning isn't the bottom line. It's important to get these guys on the field and for me to get to know them. We expected a tough game and got one. The game looked a little like a World Cup qualifier, which is a great experience for our younger players."
Note: the "four games" includes the USA's 2-0 victory over El Salvador in November.
On the play of Chris Klein: "Chris Klein had an absolute blinder. We only pulled him out because Stevie Ralston has done well in practice and I felt we needed to get him a game."
On the play of Jamaica: "They have two great forwards in Onandi Lowe and Deon Burton, who are difficult to deal with. They also have good team speed. This team has not been together in a while, and I think it may have affected them tonight."
CHRIS KLEIN - U.S. Midfielder
Describing his goal, finished after a long ball out of the back from Carlos Bocanegra that sailed over the Jamaican defense: "Carlos has been asking me for the last six weeks that if he 'plays that ball over to me, will I be there?' It was a wonderful ball behind the defense and I was fortunate to get on the end of it.''
On recovering from the Argentina loss: "We were careful not to dwell on the loss, but smart enough to learn from the experience. We wanted to come out much better in the first half than we did against Argentina, and we accomplished that."
On Bruce Arena's expectations of him: "Bruce asked a lot from me. You have to execute. You have to cross and you have to defend [in my position]. If you do that, Bruce is pretty happy."
CARLOS BOCANEGRA - U.S. defender and Chevrolet Man of the Match
Describing his goal: "We've been working on corners in training. Either myself or Danny Califf goes to the near post, and the other goes to the far post, and the others make room. It was my turn to go to the near post, and Bobby Convey hit a great ball. I think it froze the keeper and went through his legs."
Describing his assist to Chris Klein: ''I've noticed in practice and in watching tape that that play is on at times. I was able to win the ball in midfield, and lucky enough to hit a good ball with my right foot."
On the significance of the victory: "It was a good win for team morale, and it was important to leave a good impression on Bruce as we all depart for our club teams. The effort tonight showed that we can bounce back and play hard after a tough result." From USSoccer.com.
» 02.17.03 - U.S. Scores Early, Dispatches Jamaica 2-1 in Kingston to Remain Undefeated Against Reggae Boyz: KINGSTON, Jamaica (2/12/03) - The U.S. Men’s National Team downed Jamaica 2-1 behind two early goals from Carlos Bocanegra and Chris Klein in front of 27,000 fans at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. The victory improved the USA’s lifetime record against Jamaica to 8-0-5 in 13 all-time meetings, including a 2-0-4 mark in six games in Kingston. Bocanegra finished the match with a goal and an assist.
“It was a good result and a good experience for our young players,” said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. “This is a long process and winning is not the bottom line, but to get a result in Kingston certainly gives the team confidence. This game looked a lot like a World Cup qualifier.”
In his first starting performance in the center of the U.S. midfield, Bobby Convey made an immediate early impact, winning a corner for the U.S. in the 11th minute and then sending a ball into the area that Bocanegra headed home from six yards out. For Bocanegra, the goal was his second in 10 appearances for the U.S., and his second in three games in 2003. The assist was Convey’s second on the year, coming in his sixth appearance for the MNT.
Just a few seconds after the opening goal, the Chicago Fire defender was at it again, this time earning his first MNT assist as he found Klein free at the top of the penalty area. Collecting the ball, Klein was able to rifle his powerful trademark shot inside the left post. Like Bocanegra, the goal was Klein’s second of the year (and the second of his career) and came in his 10th overall appearance.
“Carlos had a good solid performance tonight,” added Arena, “not only defensively, but he was able to get forward and contribute offensively.”
A young U.S. defense saw L.A. Galaxy defender Dan Califf and Kansas City Wizards standout Nick Garcia teamed centrally for the first time together for the senior team. Bocanegra, who had played in the middle alongside Califf in the USA’s two previous games this year, lined up on the outside left, while World Cup defender Steve Cherundolo played right back in his first appearance of the year.
The only goal surrendered by the U.S. came early in the second half when forward Onandi Lowe found the back of the net for Jamaica on a 30-yard rocket free kick that sailed into the upper left-hand corner of the goal, past a diving Tim Howard in the 54th minute. The entire second half was much more physical than the first, with three yellow cards and 16 fouls being committed (11 by Jamaica).
U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley left the match in the 83rd minute with a deep bruise on his right shin.
“It was a good win for team morale, and it was important to leave a good impression on Bruce as we all depart for our club teams,” said Bocanegra about the 17 players on the U.S. roster set to join their Major League Soccer teams for preseason training. “The effort tonight showed that we can bounce back and play hard after a tough result.”
The U.S was playing their second match in five days, coming off a 1-0 loss to Argentina at the Orange Bowl in Miami on Saturday. Overall, the U.S. is now 2-1-0 on the year, having defeated Canada 4-0 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan. 18. Next up for the U.S. is a March 29 match-up with Japan at Seattle Seahawks Stadium in Seattle.
The USA is continuing its preparation for participation in two major tournaments this summer, including a showdown with Turkey, Brazil and Cameroon at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup from June 18-29 in France. The USA will then look to defend its confederation championship in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held from July 12-27 in the United States.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report -
Participants: United States Men's National Team vs. Jamaica
Date: February 12, 2003
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: National Stadium – Kingston, Jamaica
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET
Attendance: 27,000 (est.)
Weather: 84, partly cloudy, humid
1st Half: USA 2, JAM 0
2nd Half: USA 0, JAM 1
Final: USA 2, JAM 1
USA – Carlos Bocanegra (Bobby Convey), 11.
USA – Chris Klein (Carlos Bocanegra), 12.
JAM – Onandi Lowe (unassisted), 52.
USA — 18-Tim Howard; 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 3-Nick Garcia, 2-Dan Califf, 6-Steve Cherundolo; 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (8-Richard Mulrooney, 74), 17-Chris Klein (13-Steve Ralston, 46), 15-Bobby Convey; 10-Landon Donovan (20-Jeff Cunningham, 69); 9-Clint Mathis (capt.).
Subs not used: 1-Nick Rimando, 11-Taylor Twellman, 16-Pete Vagenas, 21-Brian Dunseth.
JAM — 13-Aaron Lawrence; 25-Claude Davis (17-Damien Francis, 76), 5-Ian Goodison, 14-Tyrone Marshall, 16-Craig Ziadie; 24-Robert Scarlett (6-Shane Crawford, 76), 20-Omar Daley (12-Jermaine Johnson, 73), 15-Ricardo Gardner (19-Fabian Taylor, 89), 11-Theodore Whitmore; 18-Deon Burton (9-Andrew Williams, 82), 31-Onandi Lowe.
Subs not used: 30-Donovan Ricketts, 4-Linval Dixon.
Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shot 7 / 10
Saves 5 / 3
Corner Kicks 4 / 2
Fouls 11 / 16
Offside 1 / 0
USA – Pablo Mastroeni (caution), 51.
JAM – Deon Burton (caution), 57.
JAM – Craig Ziadie (caution), 61.
Referee: Godfrey Bowen (CAY)
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Carlos Bocanegra
» 02.12.03 - BBC: U.S. men to play Wales in San Jose:
The U.S. men's national team will make an appearance at Spartan Stadium this spring, according to a report from the BBC.
The Football Association of Wales confirmed that its national team will face the American squad on May 24 in San Jose, the report said.
A U.S. Soccer source, however, said no contract has been signed and negotiations are still in progress.
The U.S. national team -- whose roster includes the Earthquakes' Landon Donovan and Richard Mulrooney -- faces Jamaica today in Kingston at 4 p.m.
• Goalkeeper Jonny Walker -- who tried out for the Quakes last week in the wake of goalie Joe Cannon's departure -- will not be asked to join the team.
Coach Frank Yallop said he might bring in another goalkeeper, possibly from the A-League, to accompany the squad to the La Manga Cup in Spain. At the moment, the projected starter in goal is Jon Conway.
The team departs for Spain on Friday.
Walker played 45 shutout minutes in a 4-0 exhibition win over Shanghai Shenhua on Sunday. After the game, Yallop said he did not know whether he would offer Walker a contract, at which point Walker said he would explore options in Mexico or Europe.
Walker could not be reached for comment, but his wife, Shauna, said Walker and Major League Soccer could not agree on terms of a possible contract.
• The Quakes traded midfielder/forward Devin Barclay and their first-round pick in the Feb. 28 supplemental draft (sixth overall) to D.C. United for the No. 1 overall choice in that draft. The Quakes also get a conditional draft choice in the 2005 SuperDraft.
The supplemental draft includes MLS players not assigned to a team. Teams can submit names of players they'd like to see in the draft so the league can sign them.
Yallop said the Quakes have submitted some names and some of those players might be training with the Quakes now. Given that forward Brian Ching of the A-League's Seattle Sounders is the only player not under contract with the Quakes who will accompany the team to Spain on Friday, he may be the player taken with that supplemental pick.
• Defender Eddie Robinson and midfielder Ian Russell signed four-year contracts with the Quakes. At the end of each of the next three seasons, the Quakes will have an option to pick up the players' contracts for the following season.
• Yallop said the Quakes are unlikely to sign forward McKinley Tennyson, who scored a goal against Shenhua on Sunday. From Mercury News.
» 02.12.03 - U.S. Men Draw World Cup Champs Brazil, Cameroon and Turkey for 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup in June: The U.S. Men’s National Team was drawn into Group B and will face Brazil, Cameroon and Turkey at the sixth FIFA Confederations Cup from June 18-29 in France. The FIFA Confederations Cup draw took place today prior to France’s friendly international against the Czech Republic at the Stade de France in Paris.
The U.S. opens the tournament against two World Cup semifinalists, facing Turkey on June 19 in St. Etienne at 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET), and then taking on Brazil on June 21 in Lyon at 9 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET). The U.S. concludes group play against Cameroon on June 23 in Lyon at 9 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET). The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals on June 26. The third-place match is scheduled for June 28, and the final takes place on June 29 in Paris.
"We are arguably in the toughest group in the Confederations Cup, and it will be a great challenge for the team," said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena from Jamaica, where the U.S. is preparing for tonight's match with the Reggae Boyz. "We are excited about facing two opponents that are relatively unknown to us in Cameroon and Turkey, and, of course, playing against a familiar opponent in Brazil. Overall, it will be a great challenge for us and it will serve as great preparation for World Cup qualifying in 2004."
The U.S. has played Brazil ten times previously, managing only one win, a memorable 1-0 surprise in the 1998 Gold Cup. Meanwhile the U.S. is relatively unfamiliar with their other two first round opponents, playing Turkey only once - drawing 1-1 in Istanbul on September 4, 1991- and having never played Cameroon.
The U.S. has played in two previous Confederations Cup Tournaments, finishing third at both the inaugural event in 1992 and in 1999 in Mexico. Arena guided the team to some of their most impressive results at Mexico ‘99. In Mexico, the U.S. finished second in a group that included New Zealand, Brazil and Germany on the strength of a commanding 2-0 win over Germany in the deciding match. The U.S. then lost 1-0 to Mexico in a thrilling overtime affair at Estadio Azteca, before bouncing back and topping Saudi Arabia 2-0 in the third-place match.
France won the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup, played in Korea/Japan as a dress rehearsal for the 2002 World Cup, and Mexico became the first host team to lift the Cup when they topped Brazil in the final in 1999.
The field at the Confederations Cup is comprised of the six confederation champions (Cameroon, Colombia, France, Japan, New Zealand and the USA), the World Cup Champions (Brazil) and a guest team (Turkey). Six of the nations fielded sides at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea / Japan, including four of the top nine finishers. From USSoccer.com.
» 02.11.03 - U.S. Men's National Team in Kingston, Face Jamaica on Wednesday: USA-JAMAICA FROM KINGSTON: The U.S. Men’s National Team will take on Jamaica for the 13th time in the team's series history on Wednesday (Feb. 12) at the National Stadium in Kingston at 7 p.m. ET. U.S. World Cup defender Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96 – Germany) joined the team for the trip on Monday, after MetroStars defender Eddie Pope and D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen returned to their respective clubs to start preparations for the 2003 MLS season. Defender Sasha Victorine, who started at right back in the USA's 1-0 loss to Argentina on Saturday, returned to L.A. on Sunday after suffering a right quad contusion against Argentina. Fans can follow the action live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics, or catch the Telemundo broadcast on tape delay on Wednesday evening at 12:30 a.m. ET / 11:30 p.m. CT & PT.
CUNNINGHAM COMES HOME: Jamaican-born forward Jeff Cunningham will enjoy a special homecoming tomorrow, wearing the U.S. jersey for the first time in his native country. Born and raised in Montego Bay, he moved to Florida at the age of 14. His sister and brother still live on the island, and Cunningham has rented a bus to transport 25 family members and friends on the four hour trip to Kingston for the match. Cunningham received his U.S. citizenship in November of 2001, appearing first for the USA in the 1-0 loss to Korea on Dec. 9 in Seogwipo. The Columbus Crew forward appeared on the front page of the sports section in today's Jamaica Gleaner.
REFURBISHED OFFICE: The National Stadium in Kingston has undergone a major facelift, with the Jamaican Football Federation installing a new grass field. With a process that began in November, the renovation was completed a few weeks ago. The Jamaican team trained on the pitch for the first time yesterday, giving it solid ratings. The U.S. will conduct its only training session on the new surface at 5 p.m. ET today. In leading the team out onto the practice field, Bruce Arena was heard saying, "This is now the best field in the Caribbean." The reconfigured stadium includes improved seating in the main stand, three new light banks, refurbished locker rooms, a revamped press box and new offices and VIP lounge.
NEW THREADS: The Jamaican national team will unveil its new uniforms for the first time tomorrow evening, the Reggae Boyz continuing to sport the traditional gold, green and black colors. The new jersey is predominately gold and green, with black shorts and gold socks. The USA will sport the all-white Nike kits it has worn in the friendlies against Canada and Argentina.
SMOOTH SAILING: The 31-person U.S. delegation arrived in Jamaica from Ft. Lauderdale early Monday evening, almost exactly 48 hours before kickoff. The team then made the 30-minute trip to the team hotel located near the harbor in Kingston, arriving just in time for dinner. All 18 players are expected to participate in today's training session.
STAT OF THE DAY: The U.S. Men's National Team has never lost to Jamaica. The U.S. is 7-0-5 in 12 previous meetings, outscoring the Reggae Boyz 21-5. At "The Office" in Kingston, the U.S. has one just once in five games, but has never lost and has surrendered just two goals (outscoring Jamaica 5-2 in Kingston).
» 02.11.03 - 'Youthful but skilful' US side arrive: THE United States football team arrived in the island yesterday, confident of upstaging the Reggae Boyz in their friendly international at the National Stadium tomorrow night.
Inclusive of only one overseas-based player, defender Steve Cherundall, who plays for German division Club, Hanover, the 18-man US squad which will hold their first training session on the new national Stadium turf today, is made up primarily of domestic (Major League Soccer) players.
According to veteran coach, Bruce Arena, the fact that his team lost 1-0 to South America giants, Argentina, on the weekend in Miami, and that they would like to maintain their unbeaten record against Jamaica, means they will be going all out come Wednesday.
But at the same time, he said, the priority was to get his team ready for World Cup qualifiers.
"This is the early going and we are seeking to improve our team for qualifying for the 2006 World Cup," explained Arena.
"We have some youthful but skilful players but have not yet identified any strengths or weaknesses. That's why we play these games, to evaluate our players and see where the team need to be come next year for qualifying," he added.
Included in the American squad is young midfielder London Donovan, who was a star at the 2002 World Cup and, according to the San Jose MLS player, he is looking forward to playing on the National Stadium surface.
"It's different to come down here and have a nice field because usually it is bumpy but I think it will be nice playing on the new surface and we are looking forward to it," said Donovan.
"I have not seen them (the Reggae Boyz) in a while but at home they always play well ... it's going to be a good game," he added.
Jamaica, meanwhile, had their first training session on the new turf last night. The session included five of the overseas-based players, Onandi Lowe, Ricardo Gardener, Jermaine Johnson, Deon Burton and Wimbledon's Damien Francis.
USA squad -- Tim Howard, Clint Mathis (capt), David Beasley and Pablo Mastroeni, Bobby Convey, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Ralston, Dan Califf, Nick Garcia, Pablo Mastroeni, DaMarcus Beasley, Chris Klein, Jeff Cunningham, Taylor Twellman, Landon Donovan, Nick Rimando, Richard Mulrooney, and Pete Vagenas.
» 02.10.03 - U.S. changes roster for Jamaica game: MetroStars defender Eddie Pope and D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen did not accompany the national team to Jamaica as they returned to their respective clubs to start preparations for the 2003 MLS season.
Pope had been re-habbing his knee from off-season knee surgery and did not dress for the Argentina game on Saturday. Olsen started and played the first half before coming off for Taylor Twellman.
Los Angeles Galaxy defender Sasha Victorine returned to L.A. on Sunday after suffering a right quad contusion against Argentina. His spot was taken on the roster by Hannover 96 defender Steve Cherundolo who flew into Florida yesterday.
Roster for Jamaica:
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
Defenders: Danny Califf, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Nick Garcia, Brian Dunseth
Midfielders: DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey, Richard Mulrooney, Chris Klein, Pablo Mastroeni, Steve Ralston, Pete Vagenas
Forwards: Jeff Cunningham, Landon Donovan, Clint Mathis, Taylor Twellman
» 02.10.03 - Japan wary of U.S. trip: PIACENZA, Italy — Japan may cancel two friendlies next month if the United States leads a war against Iraq, Japan Football Association (JFA) chairman Saburo Kawabuchi said Sunday. Japan is due to play Uruguay in San Jose on March 26 and the U.S. three days later in Seattle.
» 02.09.03 - U.S. MNT Post-Game Quotes vs. Argentina: (Feb. 8, 2003 - Orange Bowl, Miami)
BRUCE ARENA, U.S. head coach
“I thought today’s game was a very good game for our team to play. If we could be at fault for anything, I think it is the way we came out and started the game. I thought we demonstrated a lack of confidence in the early going and it took our team 20 minutes to really get in the game.”
“I thought we saw some good performances from some young, quality players for both teams. And it speaks well for the future of the Argentina team, as well as the USA.”
On the goal:
“I thought it was a great goal. Gonzalez did very well in catching Tim Howard off the line. Pablo committed to early on the ball, and it gave them an opening and it was a great finish. Our two center backs had a great game and I thought Bobby Convey played well.”
On the play of the Argentina midfield:
“The Argentine team was superior in the midfield, in particular the ability of D’Alessandro to hold the ball and play-make a little out of that position. We don’t quite have a player in this group who is capable of doing those types of things. I thought Klein was effective, and Beasley was effective, we just didn’t have the creative player in the midfield that Argentina had. I thought Mastroeni, Klein and Beasley all had good games.”
On the play of some of the young U.S. players:
“I am very happy with some of our young players, in particular our two center backs in Califf and Bocanegra. Overall, it was a great game for some of our young players, and an invaluable experience that is going to help them out down the road.”
On the USA’s attacking play today:
“Obviously we did not come out and play well in the beginning and they came out and scored a great goal and were then comfortable with leaving with a 1-0 win today. They didn’t push their backline or their team forward as much as they did against Mexico and Honduras, and that made it extremely difficult to get behind them. So basically over 90 minutes we didn’t create too many dangerous goal-scoring opportunities.”
On the importance of matches like this against Argentina and Jamaica on Wednesday:
“It is important. With these two games we are basically mimicking World Cup qualifying with a weekend game and mid-week game against two difficult opponents. It is good to see how our young players will respond to this type of pressure. As I said earlier in the year, the results aren’t as important as the experience our players are acquiring and also my ability to evaluate a pool of players. I think these two games are going to be very positive for us.”
PABLO MASTROENI, Midfielder
“We gave them too much time and respect on the ball in the first 15 to 20 minutes. We started playing after they scored the goal. We gave a great effort in the second half, and created a few good opportunities to equalize.”
“In the first half we were getting stretched defensively and they did a good job creating spaces and running off each other. At times we were outnumbered in the midfield, and in those situations, I need to be more patient.”
“We did a lot better in the second half, but I think there was too much of a feeling that we needed to prove something. You lose focus on what your job is at times when you are going against a great team. You want to go out and get after them. Part of learning to play at the international level is learning when to pick your spots.”
LANDON DONOVAN, Midfielder
"They played well. They played very well. We could not get around the ball at all, and they had time to do what they wanted, and that hurt us. Against a team like Argentina you have to be ready to play or you will pay for it."
» 02.09.03 - U.S. Men Fall 1-0 to Argentina in Miami: MIAMI, Fla. (February 8, 2003) — The U.S. Men’s National Team gave up a goal by Luis González in the ninth minute and fell 1-0 to a young, skillful Argentina team at the Orange Bowl in Miami on Saturday afternoon. The loss continued a U.S. trend of dropping games in the city of Miami, where the team is just 2-9-3 in 14 games since 1990, including a 2-5-2 mark at the Orange Bowl.
Argentina controlled most of the game’s early possession, with confident, tight passing helping to create the game’s only goal. That strike came on a crafty give-and-go between forward Andrés D'Alesandro and Gonzalez, with the 22-year-old River Plate midfielder finishing from 20 yards on a well-placed soft lob over U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard. The goal against Howard was the first allowed in four U.S. appearances for the 2001 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
“I thought today’s game was a very good game for our team to play,” said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. “If we could be at fault for anything, I think it is the way we came out and started the game. I thought we demonstrated a lack of confidence in the early going and it took our team 20 minutes to really get in the game.”
The U.S managed to outshoot the Argentineans 11-8 on the afternoon, with a flurry of chances midway through the first half ending with Landon Donovan pouncing on a loose ball in the middle of the area and hitting a hard shot that was cleared out by a defender. Donovan almost created another dangerous attempt on goal in the first half, after Argentina’s goalkeeper Sebastián Saja could not hold a powerful shot from Chris Klein that hit him in the chest. With the ball bounding away from Saja in the area, Donovan was a half step short of gaining possession before the scrambling Saja collected the ball.
In the second half, Argentina’s pressure was steady and firm, with Gabriel Milito heading a shot off the goal post, Ariel Garcé having a shot from five yards cleared off his foot by a lunging DaMarcus Beasley and César Garignano hitting a shot destined for the right side of the goal but saved out for a corner kick by a diving Howard. Each of those chances came in a 10-minute span before the 65th minute.
“We gave them too much time and respect on the ball in the first 15 to 20 minutes," said U.S. midfielder Pablo Mastroeni. "We started playing after they scored the goal. We gave a great effort in the second half, and created a few good opportunities to equalize. But in the first half we were getting stretched defensively and they did a good job creating spaces and running off each other. At times we were outnumbered in the midfield, and in those situations, I need to be more patient.”
The young U.S. line-up was led by the forward tandem of Donovan and Clint Mathis, who started side-by-side on the forward line for the first time. For Donovan, the match marked his 31st cap, while it was Mathis’ 28th appearance for the United States. In the second half, Donovan dropped into the midfield as forward Taylor Twellman came on for Ben Olsen to earn his third U.S. cap.
On defense, the coach Arena started Carlos Bocanegra and Danny Califf centrally for the third straight game, coupling them with Bobby Convey outside left and Sasha Victorine outside right for the second time this year.
Argentina was playing their third game in nine days, completing a sweep of CONCACAF opposition that also included a 3-1 win over Honduras (Jan. 31) and a 1-0 win over Mexico (Feb. 4).
The U.S. Men’s National Team departs Monday night for Kingston in advance of their match against Jamaica on Wednesday (Feb. 12) at the National Stadium in Kingston at 7 p.m. ET. The match will be broadcast on Telemundo via tape delay at 11:30 p.m. ET & PT, and fans can follow live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
The USA is continuing its preparation for participation in two major tournaments this summer. Eight teams from the around the world, led by 2002 World Cup champions Brazil, will compete for the FIFA Confederations Cup championship from June 18-29 in France. The USA will then look to defend its confederation championship in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held from July 12-27 in the United States.
– U.S. MNT Game Report –
Match-up: USA vs. Argentina
Date: February 8, 2003
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: The Orange Bowl – Miami, Florida
Kickoff: 11:55 a.m. ET
Weather: 81 degrees, warm and humid
1st: USA 0, Argentina 1
2nd: USA 0, Argentina 0
F: USA 0, Argentina 1
Scoring: ARG – Luis González (Andrés D'Alesandro) 9th minute.
Lineups: USA — 18-Tim Howard; 15-Bobby Convey, 4-Carlos Bocanegra (13-Steve Ralston, 90), 2-Dan Califf, 12-Sasha Victorine (6-Nick Garcia, 56); 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 17-Chris Klein (20-Jeff Cunningham, 79), 14-Ben Olsen (11-Taylor Twellman, 46); 21-Landon Donovan; 9-Clint Mathis (capt.).
Subs not used: 1-Nick Rimando, 8-Richard Mulrooney, 16-Pete Vagenas.
ARG — 1-Sebastián Saja; 4-Ariel Garcé, 2-Nicolás Burdisso, 6-Gabriel Milito (capt.), 5-Sebastián Bataglia; 3-Pablo Guiñazú, 7-Mariano González (19-César Garignano, 46), 8-Luis González; 9-Diego Milito (16-Clemente Rodríguez, 85), 11-Federico Inzúa (18-Leandro Romagnoli, 77), 15-Andrés D'Alesandro.
Subs not used: 12-Wilfredo Caballero, 14-Leonardo Ponzio, 21-Lucas Pusineri, 22-Gonzalo Rodríguez.
USA: Shots 11, Saves 2, Corner Kicks 7, Fouls 20, Offsides 2
ARG: Shots 8, Saves 2, Corner Kicks 6, Fouls 20, Offsides 2
ARG – Andrés D'Alesandro (caution) 13th minute
USA – Ben Olsen (caution) 20.
ARG – Diego Milito (caution) 42.
USA – Bobby Convey (caution) 45.
ARG – Federico Inzúa (caution) 54.
USA – Carlos Bocanegra (caution) 71.
ARG – Pablo Guiñazú (caution) 74.
ARG – Andrés D'Alesandro (caution) 91+
ARG – Andrés D'Alesandro (ejection) 91+
Referee: Carlos Beltran (GUA)
Senior Assistant Referee: Mr. Fredy de Paz (GUA)
Junior Assistant Referee: Mr. Gregorio Pineda (GUA)
Fourth Official: Mr. Michael Kennedy (USA)
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Tim Howard
» 02.09.03 - U.S. Men's Qualifying Route to 2006 World Cup Presented by CONCACAF; Awaits FIFA Radification: NEW YORK, N.Y. (February 7, 2003) - CONCACAF will present a new qualifying format for the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 for approval by FIFA. The new format was approved at the meeting of its Executive Committee at the offices of the General Secretariat in New York City on Friday, and will see the U.S. enter into the first phase of qualifying, where previously they had gone straight into the semifinals. With the new format each team will play upwards to 20 games to qualify for the next World Cup.
After reviewing several formats for CONCACAF qualifying to FIFA World Cup 2006, the Executive selected a plan that calls for the following:
All CONCACAF member national associations will enter at the first phase, with teams in either one of the 11 three-team or one two-team, home and away, round robin series beginning in Spring 2004.
The teams would be separated into four pots for the draw, which will be conducted by FIFA at a later date. The three CONCACAF representatives to FIFA World Cup 2002, Costa Rica, Mexico and the USA, would be placed in Pot A; Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica, the teams placed fourth through sixth in the final group during the last qualifying cycle, in Pot B.
Meanwhile, Pot C would consist of Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Panama, all of whom reached the semifinal round of qualifying to Korea/Japan 2002, while Pot D would be comprised of the remaining 23 national associations entering in the competition.
Having all teams enter at the first phase guarantees each of a minimum of four qualifying matches (with the exception of those in the two-team group), as opposed to two in previous World Cup cycles.
The winners of each initial round robin tie will advance to one of three groups of four teams apiece, once again to be played in a home-and-home round-robin format.
The teams finishing in first and second in each four-team group at the second phase are qualified to the final phase, which will be a group of six teams to determine the CONCACAF representatives at FIFA World Cup Germany 2006.
The top three finishers in the final group are automatically qualified to the finals, with the fourth place team to meet the fifth-placed team from the Asian Football Confederation in a playoff to determine the last berth at Germany 2006.
Release courtesy of www.concacaf.com. From USSoccer.com.
» 02.05.03 - U.S. could be starting World Cup qualifying next spring: NEW YORK (AP) — The United States could start qualifying for the 2006 World Cup next spring instead of next summer, according to proposals being considered by soccer's regional governing body. The Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Football Associations is to consider expanding the qualifying schedule when its executive committee meets Friday in New York.
"We think it's unlikely we'll begin in the summer of 2004," U.S. coach Bruce Arena said Wednesday. "We think we'll begin a little earlier."
For the past two World Cups, the U.S. team began qualifying in the July two years prior to the tournament. Caribbean and Central American nations played up to eight games each to reach the regional semifinals.
Three teams from CONCACAF advanced through qualifying to the past two World Cups. The top two teams in each of the three four-nation semifinal groups moved on to the final round, with three teams then qualifying for the tournament.
The executive committee of FIFA, soccer's world governing body, voted Dec. 17 to give the CONCACAF region a chance for a fourth berth at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Under the new allocation, the No. 4 team from CONCACAF will play the No. 5 team from Asia in a home-and-home, total-goals playoff.
CONCACAF is examining four plans heading into Friday's meeting of its seven-man executive committee. The goal of the organization is to increase the number of qualifiers, especially for the smaller countries in the 40-nation group, some of whom have been eliminated after just two qualifiers. That could be accomplished by having group play at an earlier stage.
The draw for World Cup qualifying will be conducted by FIFA on Dec. 5 at Frankfurt, Germany.
At Friday's meeting, CONCACAF plans to conduct the draw for the men's qualifying tournament for the 2004 Athens Olympics. The tournament is generally limited to players under 23.
The U.S. national team, which opened its 2003 schedule with a 4-0 rout of Canada on Jan. 8, plays Argentina in an exhibition game Saturday in Miami. While the Americans are in two tournament later this year — the FIFA Confederations Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup — the goal is to prepare the team for the start of qualifying.
"We have a vision of the long term and try to evaluate these players in our current pool and try to project where they may be a year down the road," Arena said during a telephone conference call.
For now, defense is the area where Arena needs to develop new talent. Still, he'd like a deeper pool of players at all positions.
"You can say that our goalkeepers have always been outstanding, and yet we know that our top keepers (Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller) will turn 35 or 36 years old by the next World Cup, so it is valuable to develop younger guys in this position," Arena said. "You are always worried about injuries as well."
Pablo Mastroeni, a U.S. midfielder and defender, was born in Argentina, giving the game extra meaning for him.
"Obviously, a lot of my heritage and customs are from Argentina and from that aspect it is a special game," he said.
Argentina is coming off its embarrassing first-round elimination at last year's World Cup.
"It's apparent that anytime the Argentines step on any field that they feel like they should win," Mastroeni said. "Any defeat, whether a World Cup or a friendly, is a big disaster to the country, because soccer is everything, I guess."
» 02.05.03 - U.S. MNT Training Camp Update: (2/4/03) FOUR DAYS AND COUNTING: Only three training sessions remain before the United States takes on two-time World Champion Argentina at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla., at 11:55 a.m. ET live on ESPN2, Telemundo and Radio Unica. The match can also be followed live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. As of today, the U.S. MNT has conducted 29 training sessions since opening training camp on Jan. 4 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The team will move operations to Ft. Lauderdale on Feb. 6, less than 48 hours prior to kickoff, and will train at the Orange Bowl at 12 p.m. ET on Friday. Advance tickets for the Argentina match are priced from $15 to $35 and are on sale now at all South Florida Ticketmaster outlets (including FYE, Spec’s Music and Ricky’s Records), by phone (Ft. Lauderdale 954-523-3309; Miami 305-358-5885; West Palm Beach 561-966-3309) and online at ussoccer.com.
FITNESS REPORT: MetroStars defender Eddie Pope made his first appearance in a full-sided scrimmage today, playing 45 minutes in central defense against the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team. Pope has been participating in full training sessions for the last several days after nearly three months of rehabilitation following knee surgery. DaMarcus Beasley suffered a contusion in his right shin, and will be examined by team trainers later today. Meantime, Columbus Crew defender Chad McCarty has missed the last two days with a sprained ankle, and L.A. Galaxy midfielder Sasha Victorine returned to action after sitting out yesterday’s session with a right quad contusion.
ARENA, MASTROENI TO BE FEATURED ON CONFERENCE CALL TOMORROW AT 1 P.M. ET: U.S. Men’s National Team manager Bruce Arena and Argentine-born U.S. World Cup midfielder Pablo Mastroeni will be featured in a special conference call tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 5) at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the upcoming games against Argentina and Jamaica. To be involved in the call, media should call 1-800-930-1344 a few minutes prior to 1 p.m., with Michael Kammarman serving as the chairman.
A HOUSE DIVIDED: For U.S. midfielder Pablo Mastroeni, the match against Argentina represents a special chance to earn bragging rights. Born in Mendoza, Argentina, he moved with his family to the United States at the age of four. With much of his family still in Argentina, his father remains a fervent supporter of his home country, so passionate that he is unable to sit through an entire match when Argentina takes the field. Mastroeni gained U.S. citizenship in 2001, and played his first match for the United States on June 7, 2001 in the 0-0 draw against Ecuador. Still no word on which jersey the elder Mastroeni will wear Saturday.
vs. ARGENTINA: The United States holds a 2-4-0 lifetime record against Argentina, collecting victories in the last two meetings. The Feb. 8 match will be the third ever on U.S. soil. The countries last met June 13, 1999 in Washington, D.C., when a Joe-Max Moore goal lifted the U.S. to a 1-0 victory. The previous win came four years earlier, when the United States shocked Argentina 3-0 on July 14, 1995 en route to a fourth-place finish at the Copa America in Uruguay. The match also represents the third time Bruce Arena will have managed a U.S. team against Argentina, having served as head coach of the U.S. Olympic team in 1996 when the USA fell 3-1 in their opening match before 83,183 fans in Birmingham, Alabama.
ARGENTINA DROPS HONDURAS 3-1, MEETS MEXICO TONIGHT BEFORE U.S. CLASH: Despite finishing with nine men on the field, Argentina came back from an early one-goal deficit to defeat Honduras 3-1 on Jan. 31 in San Pedro Sula behind an equalizer from forward Diego Milito and second-half goals from midfielders Luiz and Mariano Gonzalez. Argentina will face Mexico tonight at the L.A. Coliseum live on Telemundo at 10:30 p.m. ET in the second game of a three-game tour of the Americas.
January 31, 2003, San Pedro Sula, Estadio Olímpico
HONDURAS 1; Saúl Martinez 7
ARGENTINA 3; Diego Milito 15, Luis Gonzalez 53, Mariano Gonzalez 56
HON: Víctor Coello; Héctor Gutiérrez (Maynor Figueroa, 30), Arnold Cruz, Sergio Mendoza, Edgard Alvarez, Rony Morales, Alex Andino, Amado Guevara, Francisco Pavón (Walter Martínez, 77), Jairo Martínez (Maynor Suazo, 62), Saúl Martínez (Angel Gil, 79).
Sent off: Figueroa, 46
ARG: Sebastián Saja; Ariel Garcé, Nicolás Burdisso, Gabriel Milito, Leonardo Ponzio (Sebastián Bataglia, 46), Pablo Guiñazú, Mariano González (Clemente Rodríguez, 85), Luis González, Federico Inzúa (Gonzalo Rodríguez, 80), Andrés D'Alesandro, Diego Milito (César Garignano, 87).
Sent off: G. Milito, 73; Garcé 79'
CONVEY CROONING: Already an accomplished player for D.C. United and several U.S. national teams, Bobby Convey also appears to have skills as a singer. During a recent meal with fellow players at a local restaurant, Convey joined a guitarist on stage and belted out two songs for the dinner crowd. “Pretty damn good,” said fellow United midfielder Ben Olsen, which is about as good a praise as one can expect from a teammate.
WHO WILL BE NUMBER 600? When Kansas City Wizards defender Nick Garcia entered in the 77th minute against Canada on Jan. 18, he became the 599th player to make at least one appearance for the United States Men’s National Team since their inaugural match, a 3-2 win against Sweden on August 20, 1916. The U.S. has played 417 matches in the 87 years since, compiling a 145-178-94 lifetime record.
» 02.05.03 - 2003 CONCACAF Champions Cup: (02/04/03) The CONCACAF Champions Cup includes top club teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Mexico and the United States qualified four teams each through league and cup play. The Central American and Caribbean clubs qualified through regional tournaments. (Related item: 2002 Champions Cup)
This year's pairings:
Round of 16 (March 12/26)
Toluca (Mexico; Apertura winner) vs. W Connection FC (Trinidad & Tobago)
Municipal (Guatemala) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (USA; Supporters Shield runner-up)
Club America (Mexico; Verano winner) vs. CD F.A.S. (El Salvador)
Alajuelense (Costa Rica) vs. New England Revolution (USA; MLS Cup runner-up)
Comunicaciones (Guatemala) vs. Morelia (Mexico; Apertura runner-up)
Deportivo Arabe Unido (Panama) vs. Columbus Crew (USA; Open Cup champion)
Arnett Gardens (Jamaica) vs. Necaxa (Mexico; Verano runner-up)
Motagua (Honduras) vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (USA; MLS champion)
Quarterfinals (April 9/16)
Toluca-W Connection FC winner vs. Municipal-San Jose winner
Club America-CD F.A.S. vs. Alajuelese-New England
Comunicaciones-Morelia vs. Deportivo Arabe Unido-Columbus
Arnett Gardens-Necaxa vs. Motagua-Los Angeles
Semifinals (April 30/May 17)
Winner QF1 vs. Winner QF2
Winner QF3 vs. Winner QF4
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