Check News Archives for the month of February 2003.
» 03.29.03 - Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. Men vs. Venezuela:
U.S. head coach BRUCE ARENA
On the play of Jovan Kirovski:
"Solid, opportunistic goal. It's not always the best spot for Jovan. He's a little bit more comfortable playing behind the frontrunners. Jovan is only 27 years old, and I think he still has a future with the national team. He just needs to get into a club environment where he is playing more consistently."
On the play of Landon Donovan:
"It's always a good time for a forward to come into a game. Venezuela is now chasing the game, a posture they are not comfortable with. The game opens up a lot more, and Landon has a lot of pace. To their credit, Venezuela hasn't given up a goal in their last five games. They are a team that has defended well over the last year, and they are difficult to break down. That's what you want out of attacking players when they come into the game. I think Earnie and Landon both gave us the kind of energy we needed and provided some spark in the attacking end of the field."
On playing in Seattle:
"I thought it is a great venue. We enjoyed playing here, and it was a beautiful day. The field was excellent. Obviously as we continue to move forward, I think MLS will continue to explore the possibilities down the road of Seattle having a franchise down the road. I'm sure Seattle becomes a venue that we would include among cities to consider for World Cup qualifiers and other friendlies. It's always been a pretty supportive crowd."
U.S. goalkeeper KASEY KELLER
"It's always nice to come home. That was a big part of my decision. It's been a long year, one in which I've played every game for Tottenham, so it could have been an opportunity to sit at home and take this weekend off. But I was really excited, first to go and train in Portland, and then come back and play in Seahawks Stadium. We played in Safeco Field last year, and it was fantastic being from this area and having played in both new stadiums."
On his 29th career shutout:
"It's nice as a goalkeeper, especially in front of your family and your hometown friends. I thought the team worked extremely hard today all over the field. In a friendly that doesn't really have a lot of meaning, it shows you the dedication that the players have that they will put in that much effort. We came out in the second half much cleaner than the first half, and got a couple goals and the chance to get a couple more. We kept it tight in the back, which was fantastic, especially in a situation where you're bleeding two or three younger guys into the team. They showed pretty decent cohesiveness throughout and stepped up their play when it was needed."
U.S. forward LANDON DONOVAN
On how the game changed when he entered in the 60th minute:
“I try to get behind a defense any way I can. When you get good service it helps, which I got today. I thought in the first half everything was in front of them and we never really threatened to get behind them. Even if it doesn’t come off, if you just give them the threat it opens up more space in the middle. I think that happened in the second half.”
On the presence of so many veteran players on this roster:
“Bruce told us yesterday that these guys have a lot of experience and they are good professionals. He wants us to be around them and see what they do right.”
On the heavy publicity surrounding him since the World Cup:
“The last month both Frank Yallop and Bruce [Arena] have talked to me about toning it down. I didn’t realize how much of a difference it makes. I can tell in my play that I’m playing a lot better and with more energy.”
U.S. midfielder and Chevrolet Man of the Match EARNIE STEWART
On being named Man of the Match:
“You want to go in and do well for yourself and the team. It’s good that you come out and get recognized for doing something good.”
U.S. forward EDSON BUDDLE
On playing his first match for the senior team:
“There were a lot of thoughts racing through my head. I’m glad to be here. Stepping into this game opened up a new chapter in my life. It’s something I’ve worked hard for.”
On whether he was nervous:
“A little bit. I always have butterflies going into a game, but they go away once you step on the field. Bruce just told me to go in there, be myself and have fun.”
U.S. midfielder JOHN O’BRIEN
“It took us a little while to get playing well. In the beginning of the first half we were struggling to keep the ball. As the game went on, we got comfortable and ended on a good note.”
On whether the team was concerned with the 0-0 score at halftime:
“We weren’t worried. At times in the first half we were started to play, and that gives you a little bit of confidence. As the game goes on and they got more tired, things open up a bit more.”
On playing in Seattle:
“It’s great to be in the Northwest. I know there are a lot of fans here, and we don’t get to come that often. The field was great, and it is a great stadium. Overall, it was a great experience.”
» 03.29.03 - U.S. Men Defeat Venezuela, 2-0, in Seattle: SEATTLE, Wash. (Saturday, March 29, 2003) - The U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Venezuela on Saturday afternoon 2-0 behind second-half goals from forward Jovan Kirovski and Landon Donovan in front of 17,819 fans at Seattle Seahawks Stadium in the picturesque Pacific Northwest. After an even first half, the U.S. took control in the second 45 minutes, outshooting Venezuela 15-7.
“We started off well in the second half,” said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. “Clearly Earnie (Stewart) had a good influence on the game for our team in the second half, and Landon (Donovan) as well when he came in. Overall, I was very pleased with our defensive effort from a young group of players, and I thought (John) O’Brien and (Pablo) Mastroeni played well in the center of the midfield.”
The U.S. starting line-up featured the 2003 debut of four 2002 World Cup veterans, including goalkeeper Kasey Keller, defender Eddie Pope, midfielder John O’Brien and forward Brian McBride. In addition to those four, World Cup veterans Frankie Hejduk and Earnie Stewart also made their 2003 debuts alongside Kirovski, who was playing with the U.S. for the first time since March 27, 2002, in a 4-2 loss in Germany.
It was Kirovski who broke the match open in the 52nd minute after an uneventful first half, finishing a flurry of shots in front of the goal to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. The series was set-up after Venezuelan Luis Vallenilla received a yellow card after a foul on the left flank to DaMarcus Beasley. U.S. Under-20 MNT star Bobby Convey took the restart and found Brian McBride alone in the area. McBride cranked a first-time volley off the post, followed by a Carlos Bocanegra header off the crossbar that fell to the feet of Kirovski, who sent a rocket off the hands of a helpless Gilberto Angelucci.
Second-half substitute Landon Donovan sent the Seattle crowd into a frenzy with a 50-yard dribbling run that ended with him slotting an easy shot past Angelucci in the 76th minute. The goal was the eighth of the 21-year-old’s young international career and was set-up by John O’Brien in the midfield. Donovan could have had a second goal, but his first-time chip into an unguarded net was swatted away illegally by Angelucci from outside the area. Angelucci received a red-card for the 86th minute offense, and was replaced in the nets for the final four minutes by defender Jorge Rojas.
Venezuela’s only good scoring chance came in the 29th minute when forward Daniel Noriega hit a one-time shot from 13 yards that was targeted for the lower-right corner of the goal, but U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller reacted well to get low and snare the powerful, close range shot. The save helped Keller register his 29th career shutout and improved his unbeaten domestic streak to an impressive 18 games (in which he is 14-0-4).
After the most successful year in U.S. Soccer history in 2002, the U.S. MNT has opened 2003 with a 3-1-0 record, with all three wins coming by way of shutouts. Next up for the U.S. is a highly-anticipated World Cup rematch against Mexico on May 8 at Reliant Stadium in Houston. In June, the U.S. will square off against Brazil, Cameroon and Turkey in the FIFA Confederations Cup from June 18-29 in France, and in July the USA will defend its regional championship in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held from July 12-23 in Boston, Miami and Mexico City.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report -
Match-up: United States Men's National Team vs. Venezuela
Date: Saturday, March 29, 2003
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Seattle Seahawks Stadium (Seattle, Wash.)
Kickoff: 1 p.m. PT
Weather: 60 degrees; scattered clouds, mild
1st Half: USA 0, Venezuela 0
2nd Half: USA 2, Venezuela 0
Final: USA 2, Venezuela 0
USA – Jovan Kirovski (Carlos Bocanegra), 52.
USA – Landon Donovan (John O’Brien), 76.
USA — 18-Kasey Keller (capt.); 15-Bobby Convey, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 23-Eddie Pope (3-Nick Garcia, 85), 6-Steve Cherundolo (2-Frankie Hejduk, 66); 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 5-John O’Brien, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 17-Chris Klein (8-Earnie Stewart, 46); 20-Brian McBride (11-Edson Buddle, 80), 9-Jovan Kirovski (10-Landon Donovan, 60).
Subs not used: 1-Tim Howard, 21-Kyle Martino.
VEN — 1-Gilberto Angelucci; 2 -Luis Vallenilla (4-Wilfredo Alvarado, 81), 3-Jose Manuel Rey, 13-Leonel Vielma, 17-Jorge Rojas; 8-Luis Vera (capt.; 5-Javier Villafraz, 46), 14-Leopoldo Jimenez, 10-Gabriel Urdaneta (15-Giovanni Perez, 67), 11-Ricardo Paez; 7-Daniel Noriega (18-Christian Casseres, 67), 9-Juan Garcia (16-Wilfredo Moreno, 46).
Subs not used: 12-Manuel Sanhouse, 6-Alejandro Cichero.
Note: Rojas played the final four minutes in goal for Venezuela.
USA: Shots 20, Saves 3, Corner Kicks 7, Fouls 18, Offside 2
VEN: Shots 10, Saves 2, Corner Kicks 4, Fouls 15, Offside 5
VEN – Luis Vallenilla (caution) 52nd minute.
USA – Steve Cherundolo (caution) 59.
VEN – Gilberto Angelucci (ejection) 86.
Referee: Mike Seifert (CAN)
Senior Assistant Referee: Hector Vergara (CAN)
Junior Assistant Referee: Martin Reid (CAN)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Valenzuela (USA)
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Earnie Stewart
» 03.27.03 - U.S. to Face Wales at Spartan Stadium in San Jose on May 26 in Teams' First-Ever Meeting: CHICAGO (Wednesday, March 26, 2003) — The U.S. Men’s National Team will face Wales on Memorial Day, May 26, at Spartan Stadium in San Jose in a historic first-ever meeting between the two countries. Kickoff for the match is set for 7 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and the Radio Unica network. Fans can also follow live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The game will serve as continued preparation for the U.S. before it plays in the FIFA Confederations Cup in France in June.
Wales has been one of the sport’s biggest stories in qualifying play for the 2004 European Championship. After three games, the small country of 2.9 million people has gone 3-0, outscoring Finland, Italy and Azerbaijan by a combined score of 6-1. On Oct. 16, 2002, Wales shocked three-time World Cup champion Italy with a 2-1 win in Euro qualifying that put them in control of their group. On the field, the Welsh are led by legendary Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs, who has amassed 39 caps and 7 international goals for Wales.
In their current run, the Welsh have gone unbeaten in their last nine games, compiling a 5-0-4 record dating back to a 3-2 defeat to Norway on Sept. 5, 2001. In addition to their perfect qualifying record, their unbeaten streak also includes a 1-1 draw with Argentina on Feb. 13, 2002, and a 1-0 victory over Germany on May 14, 2002, just prior to the 2002 World Cup. Before facing the U.S., Wales will put their undefeated start in Euro qualifying on the line with a March 29 match against Azerbaijan and an April 2 game against Serbia and Montenegro.
"The match against Wales represents an important opportunity to help finalize our team prior to the Confederations Cup," said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. "Wales are traditionally a strong side with some great individual talent, and will provide a great challenge as we prepare for the difficult matches ahead."
The U.S.-Wales contest will mark just the third-ever match for the U.S. Men in San Jose, where the team will be looking for their first goal at the 26,000-seat Spartan Stadium. In their two previous matches, the U.S. has played to two 0-0 draws, one against FYR Macedonia just prior to the 1998 World Cup and one against Australia on Nov. 16, 1998, in Arena’s head-coaching debut with the MNT.
Advance tickets ranging in price levels from $25 to $70 go on sale starting Monday, April 7, at 10 a.m. PT at all Ticketmaster outlets (including Tower Records and Rite-Aid), by phone (San Jose 408-998-8497; San Francisco 415-421-8497; Oakland 510-625-8497), and on-line at www.ussoccer.com.
After the most successful year in U.S. Soccer history in 2002, the U.S. MNT has opened 2003 with a 2-1-0 record, collecting shutout victories against Canada and Jamaica. In June the U.S. will square off against Brazil, Cameroon and Turkey in the FIFA Confederations Cup from June 18-29 in France, and the USA will defend its regional championship in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held from July 12-23 in Boston, Miami and Mexico City.
In addition to a game this Saturday against Venezuela in Seattle (1 p.m. PT, live on ESPN2), the U.S. is also slated to face Mexico on May 8 at Reliant Field in Houston, and will host Paraguay in a preparation match for the Gold Cup on July 6 at Columbus Crew Stadium. USSoccer.com.
» 03.27.03 - Quakes Win 2-1 Over CSD Municipal, but fail to advance in the Champions Cup: San Jose, Calif. (March 26, 2003) - The San Jose Earthquakes were eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions Cup by CSD Municipal of Guatemala on a 5-4 aggregate goal differential despite defeating Municipal 2-1 in the second leg of the series Wednesday night at Spartan Stadium.
Winners in the Champions Cup are determined by overall aggregate goal differential, and Municipal defeated San Jose 4-2 in the first leg of the series March 16 in Guatemala City.
With the Quakes needing three goals to advance in the series, San Jose came out strong in the first half and jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, and more importantly evening the overall score at 4-4.
After putting pressure on the Municipal net throughout the games opening minutes, the Quakes got on the board first with a goal from Landon Donovan in the 19th minute. Ronnie Ekelund started the brilliant sequence with a pass from midfield to Brian Mullan who was moving down the right side. Mullan sent a cross in front of the goal to Donovan, who was able to maneuver around his defender and one-time the ball past the Municipal goalkeeper Dany Ortiz.
The Quakes continued the attack, and despite Donovan and Ramiro Corrales getting stifled on two break-aways, San Jose scored again in the 35th minute when Brian Ching scored on another cross from Mullan. Jeff Agoos gathered an errant Municipal clearance near midfield and found Mullan open on the right side of Municipal’s penalty box. Mullan collected the ball before finding Ching alone in front of the net and he re-directed the ball into the goal for the 2-0 lead.
The Quakes had several other prime chances to extend their lead in the first half, and held onto the lead after Municipal’s Sergio Guevara blasted a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box into the upper corner of the Quakes goal. The ball bounced off the post and along the goal-line before Craig Waibel cleared it out of danger. SJEarthquakes.com.
» 03.16.03 - U.S. Men To Play Venezuela In Seattle On March 29: CHICAGO (Friday, March 21, 2003) — The United States Men’s National Team will host Venezuela on March 29 at Seattle Seahawks Stadium in Seattle, following the decision of the Japanese Football Association to cancel their two-match U.S. tour. Kickoff for the first international soccer match at the new stadium is set for 1 p.m. PT, and will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can follow the action live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
“We are certainly disappointed by the decision of the Japanese Football Association,” said U.S. Soccer President S. Robert Contiguglia. “We provided their federation with ample evidence of the extensive security measures in place, and we continue to have every confidence that Seattle will provide a safe environment for the players and fans to enjoy an outstanding display of soccer. Sporting events around the country remain on schedule, and we look forward to welcoming Venezuela to Seattle.”
Japan was scheduled to play Uruguay on March 26 at Qualcomm Stadium, then travel to meet the U.S. in Seattle three days later.
The United States and Venezuela have met only once before, with the teams battling to a 3-3 draw in the Copa America in 1993. The Venezuelans collected five victories in 2002 World Cup qualifying, including four of their last five matches, marking the most wins ever in their qualifying history.
“We’re excited that Venezuela has accepted the invitation to play us,” said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena. “Over the past two or three years, the Venezuelan national team has made great strides, and I think they are perhaps the most improved team in South America. We are certainly looking forward to the challenge.”
Tickets ranging in price levels from $20 to $70 are still on sale 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 on-line at www.ussoccer.com. Groups of 20 or more can order through U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290.
Tickets for the USA vs. Japan match will be valid for the game against Venezuela. Fans wishing to obtain a refund must make their cancellation by Friday, March 28, at 5 p.m. PT by returning tickets to their original point of purchase. Fans who ordered through Ticketmaster via phone or internet should call Ticketmaster directly or visit www.ticketmaster.com for further details. Refunds will be issued using the same form of payment originally used by the purchaser.
The United States is continuing preparation for participation in two major tournaments this summer. In June the U.S. will square off against Brazil, Cameroon and Turkey in the FIFA Confederations Cup from June 18-29 in France, and the USA will defend its Confederation championship in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held from July 12-23 in Boston, Miami and Mexico City.
The U.S. is slated to face Mexico on May 8 at Reliant Field in Houston, and will host Paraguay in a preparation match for the Gold Cup July 6 at Columbus Crew Stadium. USSoccer.com.
» 03.16.03 - EARTHQUAKES FALL 4-2 TO CSD MUNICIPAL IN CONCACAF CHAMPIONS CUP: The San Jose Earthquakes dropped a hard-fought 4-2 decision to CSD Municipal in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions Cup at the Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City on Sunday. The Quakes will play the second leg of the tournament March 26 at Spartan Stadium when they host Municipal at 7:00 p.m. PT. Sjearthquakes.com.
» 03.16.03 - CONCACAF CHAMPIONS CUP NOTEBOOK: GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA (March 14, 2003) - The San Jose Earthquakes will play their first meaningful game of the 2003 season Sunday at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City against CSD Guatemala in the CONCACAF Champions Cup at 2:00 p.m. PT. The Quakes will play the second leg of the tournament March 26 at Spartan Stadium when they host Municipal at 7:00 p.m. PT.
The Quakes will be making their second straight appearance in the Champions Cup, as they advanced to the final eight last year before losing to Pachuca of Mexico 3-1 on goal differential. The Quakes defeated CD Olimpia of Honduras in their first round series in 2002.
San Jose qualified for the 2003 tournament by having the second-best record in MLS in 2002. The Champions Cup is comprised of four MLS teams; four Mexican teams, two Guatemalan teams, and one team each from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica as the best teams in the region go head-to-head to establish supremacy.
Municipal, long one of the most storied teams in Guatemala, qualified for the tournament as the runner-up in Guatemala last season.
Municipal is currently in second place in the league standings, just two points out of the top spot. The club has won 19 national championships and won the Champions Cup in 1974, becoming the only Guatemalan team to ever do so.
Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop will match wits with Municipal’s Uruguayan head coach Ever Hugo Almeida, who made a name for himself by appearing in the most Copa Libertadores de America of any goalkeeper.
While the Quakes will rely on the scoring ability of Landon Donovan and the midfield artistry of Ronnie Ekelund and Richard Mulrooney, Municipal gets most of its scoring from Plata, Villagra and Romero. The three have each scored three goals in seven games this season. However, Villagra will miss the match due to a fractured cheekbone.
Villagra joins a team of walking wounded Quakes on the sidelines, as San Jose will be without the services of the injured Ian Russell, Dwayne De Rosario and goalkeeper Jon Conway.
Sunday’s match will mark the Earthquakes debut of Canadian National Team goalkeeper Pat Onstad. Onstad signed with the club Thursday to fill in for the injured Conway, who broke his right ankle in a freak training accident. The veteran goalkeeper plans on meeting the Quakes in Houston as they change flights for the trip to Guatemala.
Onstad will train with the team Saturday before more getting the start and attempting to stop Municipal.
“We know this is going to be a tough game,” Yallop said. “We know they are a tough team and this is going to be a good competition.”
Yallop appears to have his club hitting their stride as the MLS regular season rapidly approaches. The Quakes have won three exhibition matches in a row, defeating the Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire last week in pre-season matches in Florida and downing Lyn Oslo 3-1 in the final game of the La Manga Cup in Spain. The Earthquakes also looked sharp in a mid-week scrimmage against the University of San Francisco. SJEarthquakes.com.
» 03.16.03 - Crew Stadium to Host U.S.-Paraguay on July 6: CHICAGO (Thursday, March 13, 2003) — The United States Men’s National Team will face fellow 2002 World Cup finalists Paraguay in an international friendly on Sunday, July 6 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus. Kickoff for the match is set for 3 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. The game will also be broadcast on Telemundo and the Radio Unica network, and fans can follow the match live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
The key international match falls in between the USA’s participation in two major tournaments. The U.S. will compete in the FIFA Confederations Cup from June 18-29 in France, and the match against Paraguay comes just six days prior to the U.S. opening its defense of the CONCACAF Gold Cup championship, to be held July 12-23 in the United States and Mexico.
“The match against Paraguay provides an important link between the completion of the Confederations Cup and our team’s participation in the Gold Cup,” said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. “Paraguay is traditionally one of the stronger teams from South America and will provide a good challenge for our team. It’s always nice to return to Columbus and one of the best soccer facilities in the country. The fans are extremely supportive, and we look forward to a great atmosphere.”
The U.S. and Paraguay have meet three times in their history, with the U.S. holding an unbeaten 1-0-2 record, including a 3-0 victory in the inaugural World Cup on July 17, 1930 in Uruguay. The teams last met in San Diego on March 14, 1998, resulting in a 2-2 draw. Led by flamboyant goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert, Paraguay have advanced to the second round in the last two World Cup finals.
After the most successful year in U.S. Soccer history, the U.S. has amassed a 2-1-0 record in 2003, collecting shutout victories against Canada and Jamaica. The U.S. Men’s National Team is undefeated and unscored upon at Columbus Crew Stadium, boasting a 1-0-2 record. Crew Stadium, which was named Best Soccer Stadium in U.S. Soccer’s 2002 "Best Of" Series, has played host to two World Cup qualifiers, including the 2-0 victory against Mexico on February 28, 2001, that launched the USA’s successful run through final round qualification.
Tickets ranging in price levels from $20 to $44 go on sale to the general public starting Saturday, April 12, at 10 a.m. ET through Ticketmaster. Prior to this, only Columbus Crew season ticket holders have an opportunity to purchase tickets (at special prices) for USA vs. Paraguay. To inquire about Crew season tickets and the process for obtaining USA vs. Paraguay tickets prior to the public sale, call the Crew at 614-447-CREW (2739).
The United States is also slated to play Mexico on May 8 in Houston at Reliant Stadium and are finalizing plans to add to more matches in advance of the Confederations Cup. From USSoccer.com.
» 03.16.03 - U.S. MNT to Begin Defense of CONCACAF Gold Cup on July 12 in Foxboro: (3/12/03) The United States will open the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup against El Salvador on July 12 at Gillete Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. ET. The U.S. will complete play in Group C, against the winner of an Interzone (Caribbean and Central zones) playoff, July 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Foxboro.
Should the United States advance, their quarterfinal match would be played in Foxboro on July 19, with their semifinal contest slated for the Orange Bowl in Miami on July 23. The final is scheduled for July 27 at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
Co-hosts Mexico will head Group A, joined by 2002 World Cup Champion Brazil. Colombia, defending Copa America champion, will head Group B and Costa Rica, losing finalist in the last Gold Cup, will head Group D in the 12-team tournament to be played July 12-27. The remaining participants from the Caribbean and Central America will be determined through qualification play to be completed by the end of April.
The United States captured the 2002 edition of the Gold Cup, defeating Costa Rica 2-0 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., to collect their second regional championship. The victory sparked the run that led the U.S. to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Korea.
For complete details, log on to www.concacaf.com From USSoccer.com.
» 03.16.03 - U.S. MNT Will Play Rival Mexico on May 8 in First-Ever Soccer Match at Reliant Stadium in Houston:
CHICAGO (Monday, March 10, 2003) - The U.S. Men’s National Team will resume one of the best rivalries in the world when they face archrival and fellow World Cup finalists Mexico on Thursday, May 8 at Reliant Stadium in the biggest match in Houston soccer history. Kickoff for the game, which is being staged in conjunction with Major League Soccer and Houston Texans Entertainment, is set for 7 p.m. CT. The match will be broadcast live on Telemundo and the Radio Unica network and will be broadcast via tape delay on ESPN2 beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
“No matter what the occasion, it’s always a fierce battle when we play Mexico,” said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. “This match represents an important part of our preparation for two major tournaments this summer, and we’re looking forward to the challenge. We are certainly pleased to play the first soccer game at Reliant Stadium, which is a beautiful facility, and we are looking forward to visiting Houston for the first time.”
The two border rivals have distinguished themselves as the class of the region in the past decade, with each team qualifying for the last three World Cups. The United States has dominated the series of late, winning five of the last six meetings, with all of the victories coming by shutout. Mexico leads the lifetime series with a record of 28-10-9 dating all the way back to 1934.
The competition between the two nations reached its pinnacle in the summer of 2002 when the teams met for the first time as World Cup opponents in the Round of 16 in Jeonju, Korea. A picture-perfect goal by Brian McBride in the 8th minute and a brilliant tactical game from U.S. players produced a 2-0 victory and a place in the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time in 72 years.
Tickets for the game, which is being presented by Budweiser, range in price levels from $27 to $150 go on sale Saturday, March 15, at 10:00 a.m. CT at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Texas (including Fiesta, Foley’s and Wherehouse Music), by phone at 713-629-3700, and online at www.ussoccer.com. Groups of 30 or more can order through Reliant Stadium at 832-667-2210 starting today. Tickets go on sale at the Reliant Stadium box office on March 18 [Click here for complete ticket information].
The match at newly christened Reliant Stadium, home to the NFL’s Houston Texans, marks the first appearance for the U.S. Men’s National Team in Houston, and is the first of a planned series of games at Reliant Stadium being organized by Houston Texans Entertainment.
"We’re very excited to welcome both the United States and Mexican National Teams to Houston and to Reliant Stadium,” said Texans owner Bob McNair. “This exciting soccer match-up between the U.S. and Mexico will further establish Reliant Stadium as a world-class sporting venue.”
After the most successful year in U.S. Soccer history in 2002, the U.S. MNT has opened 2003 with a 2-1-0 record, collecting shutout victories against Canada and Jamaica. The match against Mexico will serve as on-going preparation for the U.S. in advance of two major tournaments this summer. In June the U.S. will square off against Brazil, Cameroon and Turkey in FIFA Confederations Cup from June 18-29 in France, and the USA will defend its confederation championship in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held from July 12-23 in Boston, Miami and Mexico City. From USSoccer.com.
» 03.09.03 - Earthquakes Finish Preseason Trip With 2-0 Victory Over the Chicago Fire: Miami, FL. (Saturday, March 8, 2003) - The San Jose Earthquakes won their
third consecutive preseason match with a 2-0 shutout of the Chicago Fire at
the Orange Bowl in Miami, FL. Brian Ching opened the scoring with a goal
just before halftime and Landon Donovan put the game away with a goal
midway through the second half. Josh Saunders made his first start in goal
in preseason and earned a shutout. The San Jose defense shut down the Fire
in the first half, allowing only one shot in the first 45 minutes. The
Quakes return to San Jose on Sunday, March 9 to continue their preseason
after three weeks on the road in Spain and Florida.
In the early stages of the match, the Quakes had two good
opportunities to grab the lead, but Fire goalkeeper Zach Thornton thwarted
both attempts. In the sixth minute, all-star midfielder Richard Mulrooney
placed a free kick into the penalty box for Troy Dayak, who put a header on
goal that Thornton was able to save.
Ten minutes later, forward Brian Ching received a ball out of the
back from Dayak and beat his defender before volleying a shot from 22 yards
out. Thornton leaped up and tipped the shot off the crossbar and over the
end-line for a corner kick.
Brian Mullan created the Quakes next chance by forcing a turnover
by the Chicago defense and breaking in one-on-one with Thornton in the 18th
minute. Mullan attempted to chip Thornton, but the Chicago goalkeeper got
his hand on the shot before the ball was cleared away by the defense.
Landon Donovan took a deflected ball and broke in alone at the
26-minute mark of the first half as the Quakes continued to push the
attack. As he attempted to get away from the last defender, he was bumped
down at the edge of the 18-yard box for a free kick. Mulrooney’s shot on
the ensuing free kick deflected off the wall and out of bounds, ending the
Ching put the Quakes on the scoreboard with a powerful volley that
found the lower left corner of Thornton’s goal four minutes before
halftime. After a clearance by Chicago, Mullan played the ball out wide to
Mulrooney on the right side. Mulrooney curled a cross to the penalty spot,
where Ching drove the ball into the corner for a 1-0 lead.
Manny Lagos set up Mullan for an excellent opportunity 13 minutes
into the second half after maneuvering through a number of Fire defenders
and feeding a ball into Mullan. Mullan took a touch and fired a hard shot
that Fire goalkeeper Henry Ring saved. Mullan picked up the rebound and
shot again, but Ring was there for a second save.
Donovan stretched San Jose’s lead to two in the 68th minute on a
breakaway. Craig Waibel started the play by moving up the right wing and
sending a ball over the top of the Fire defense to Donovan, who outraced a
defender into the box. He then moved around Ring and finished with his
left foot into the empty net.
Jamil Walker nearly put the Quakes up by three goals with a volley
off the crossbar with 15 minutes remaining. Lagos juggled a ball past a
defender and looped a pass in for Walker, who chested the ball and then
volleyed a shot past Ring and off the crossbar.
San Jose is now 4-2-1 in the 2003 preseason.
-Ronnie Ekelund did not play in Saturday’s match due to a right ankle
sprain and Ian Russell missed the game with a strained right calf.
-Goalkeeper Jon Conway fractured his right ankle in a goalkeeper training
session on Saturday morning. He is scheduled to have surgery on Monday in
San Jose. Quakes team doctor Arthur Ting will perform the surgery. In his
place, rookie Josh Saunders played the full match and made two saves.
Frank Yallop, on game: “It's nice to finish up the trip with a good
performance. I thought we moved the ball around very well and we created a
ton of opportunities. It doesn't matter who we have on the field. We still
want to play the same way all the time."
Yallop, on shutout: “We talked all week about team shape when we defend. We
worked on it every day in practice. I thought the work we put in during the
week showed tonight.”
Josh Saunders, on first game: "I was just a little bit nervous at the
beginning. I came in under unfortunate circumstances. I feel very badly for
Jon Conway. He's done very well this preseason. The guys had confidence in
me so that gave me confidence to play my game."
Brian Ching, on goal: "Richard Mulrooney played a great ball to me behind
the defender and I just cracked a shot right into the corner. It felt great
to get my first goal because I felt I've been a little unlucky this
preseason. I'm glad to have the monkey off my back."
Ching, on his play: “Every game I've played so far I've grown more and more
comfortable with the team learning what each player on the squad likes to
do and what their tendencies are. My confidence has increased with each game." From SJEarthquakes.com.
» 03.09.03 - Quakes Announce Change In Home Schedule: Earthquakes Will Now Face the Dallas Burn on Saturday, July 26 at 7:00 p.m. PT at Spartan Stadium
San Jose (March 5, 2003) - The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that
their home match against the Dallas Burn originally scheduled for
Wednesday, July 30 at 7:00 p.m. PT has been changed to Saturday, July 26 at
7:00 p.m. PT at Spartan Stadium. The change in the schedule means that the
Earthquakes will play every 2003 home match at Spartan Stadium on a weekend.
San Jose Earthquakes season tickets for the 2003 season are now on
sale. Season ticket prices for 17 Earthquakes home matches start as low as
$170 for Rumble seats. The 2003 season ticket package includes 15 regular
season Major League Soccer matches and two bonus matches (playoffs, special
internationals, or other competitions). Season ticket prices for the 2003
season are $595 - Epicenter, $374 - Core, $229.50 - Shaker, and $170 -
Rumble. To order season tickets or a season ticket mini-plan today,
contact the Earthquakes Ticket Office at 408-985-GOAL or log onto
www.sjearthquakes.com. From SJEarthquakes.com.
» 03.05.03 - Quakes Down Crew, 2-1: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Tuesday, March 4, 2003) - The San Jose Earthquakes won their second consecutive preseason match with a 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew at Lockhart Stadium on Tuesday night. Manny Lagos and guest player Bryce Wegerle scored goals, as the Quakes overcame an early 1-0 deficit to earn the victory.
The Quakes started slowly and gave up an early goal to fall behind 1-0 in the sixth minute. Brian West started the goal-scoring play with a pass to Jeff Cunningham. Cunningham then served a low cross to the far post that found Diego Walsh, who volleyed a bouncing shot toward the far post. Crew forward Edson Buddle moved out of the path of the ball, and let it sneak into the corner of Jon Conway’s net to put Columbus in front.
Lagos almost pulled the Quakes even with a header that went just high in the 15th minute off a cross from Ramiro Corrales. Corrales swerved in a left-footed cross to the penalty spot, but Lagos’ header did not find the mark.
Lagos made amends for his miss in the 36th minute after some heavy pressure from the Quakes. Chris Ronér forced a turnover outside the Columbus penalty box and got the ball to Brian Ching to the right of Crew goalkeeper Tom Presthus. Ching then slipped a pass to Lagos 15 yards from goal, and Lagos finished to the lower left corner to even the game at 1-1.
21 minutes into the second half, Wegerle, the nephew of former MLS star Roy Wegerle, gave the Quakes the victory with a good finish after a strong attack by San Jose. Guest player Gregory Goodridge chipped a ball through for midfielder Richard Mulrooney, who cut into the penalty box. Mulrooney then backheeled a pass to Wegerle. Wegerle side-stepped Eric Denton and put away a shot to the near post lifting San Jose to a 2-1 lead that it would not relinquish.
Quakes goalkeeper Josh Saunders made a big save to preserve the win in the final five minutes of the match after coming in as a sub in the 77th minute. Crew forward Dante Washington got free at the edge of the 18-yard box and blasted a low shot to the near post. Saunders dove to his left and knocked the shot just wide.
San Jose is now 3-2-1 in the 2003 preseason. The Quakes next play against the Columbus Crew on Saturday, March 8 at the Orange Bowl in Miami at 4:00 p.m. PT as part of the Copa Carnaval.
-Ronnie Ekelund did not play in Tuesday’s match due to his right ankle sprain.
-Guest players Gregory Goodridge, Scott Bower, and Bryce Wegerle all played in the second half for the Quakes. Goodridge is a former international from Barbados, while Wegerle is the nephew of former MLS star Roy Wegerle. Bower played with San Jose from 1999 - 2002.
-Ian Russell missed Tuesday’s game with a strained left calf.
-Landon Donovan was rested by head coach Frank Yallop on Tuesday as Donovan continues to recover from a toe injury and from fatigue.
Frank Yallop, on game: “After conceding an early goal, I feel like we had a pretty solid performance. We had some good ball movement and we showed that we have a bit of depth today. We had some guys out of the line-up, but other guys stepped in and played well.”
Yallop, comparing game to matches in Spain: “I thought that we performed tonight like we performed in Spain. The main difference is that we took our chances when we had them tonight, something we did not do in La Manga.”
Richard Mulrooney, on rest: “Coach gave me 3-4 days off last week and it did wonders for me. That is why he is such a good coach. I felt great physically tonight and I was able to play my game. We weren’t happy with the results in Spain, so we are happy to get a win tonight.”
Manny Lagos, on goal: “We battled well to get the ball back after we turned it over in their end. Chris (Ronér) tipped the ball away and Brian (Ching) made a great pass and I just had to finish it. I think that there were a lot of positives tonight and that was one of them. I think we just need to keep building and getting better.”
SJ - GK Jon Conway (Josh Saunders, 77th), D Troy Dayak (Todd Dunivant, 63rd), D Eddie Robinson, D Jeff Agoos, D Craig Waibel, M Manny Lagos (Scott Bower, 63rd), M Richard Mulrooney, M Chris Ronér (Jamil Walker, 56th), M Ramiro Corrales, F Brian Mullan (Gregory Goodridge, 63rd), F Brian Ching (Bryce Wegerle, 63rd).
CLB - GK Tom Presthus (Jon Busch, 46th), D Nelson Akwari (Chris Leitch, 46th), D Mike Clark (Chad McCarty, 46th), D Brian Dunseth (Eric Denton, 46th), D Daniel Torres (Ian Joy, 46th), M Brian West (Luchi Gonzalez, 46th), M Ross Paule (Diego Walsh, 70th), M Kyle Martino (Trevor Perea, 46th), M Diego Walsh (Jeff Matteo, 46th), F Jeff Cunningham (Michael Ritch, 46th), F Edson Buddle (Dante Washington, 46th).
CLB - Walsh (Cunningham, West) 6th
SJ - Lagos (Ching, Ronér) 36th
SJ -Wegerle (Mulrooney, Goodridge) 66th.
Clark (Yellow), CLB, 29th; Corrales (Yellow), SJ, 79th; McCarty (Yellow), CLB, 83rd.
» 03.05.03 - Gold Cup game sites will include Mexico City: NEW YORK (AP) — The CONCACAF Gold Cup will be played this summer in Foxboro, Mass., Miami and Mexico City.
World Cup champion Brazil and South American champion Colombia have agreed to appear as guests in the 12-nation tournament, soccer's championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean. It will be played from July 12-27.
Two first-round groups will play in Foxboro, and one each in Miami and Mexico City. The semifinals will be played in Miami and Mexico City, and final will be played at Mexico City.
Washington, which had been under consideration, was not included. The games in Mexico will be the tournament's first outside the United States since 1993.
The first round runs from July 12-17, with quarterfinals on July 19 and 20, the semifinals on July 23 and 24, and the third-place game on July 26.
The field also includes the United States, which is the defending champion, as well as Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and four nations still to be determined. The winner of the tournament becomes eligible for the 2004 Copa America — the championship of South America — and the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup. From USAToday.com.
» 03.05.03 - DONOVAN’S RESPONSIBILITIES GROW - STAR KNOWS HIS ROLE: After establishing himself as an international star with his play on the 2002 U.S. World Cup team, San Jose Earthquakes forward Landon Donovan is ready to step up his role on his club team and be the man who can carry the Quakes to a second championship in three years.
“Now I have to be more of a leader and I have to take it up on myself to maybe score more goals and do things offensively that Ariel Graziani and Ronald Cerritos did in the past,” he said on Monday. “I’m the guy that needs to do that and take control of the offensive part of the field.”
With a determined composure about him, Donovan is cognizant of the fact that he will be taking up a role that 21-year-old players have never had on the American professional soccer scene. But he has the credentials to qualify him.
“Having played in a World Cup and with a lot of other experience, I’d like to show that to the other players and help the young players learn,” he said. “We have a lot of younger players on our team this year.”
International commitments have also taken their toll on the Earthquakes’ No. 10. He admits his level of performance toward the end of last season was not optimal as the Earthquakes bowed out to the Columbus Crew in two matches in the MLS Cup Quarterfinals. He finished the season with seven goals and three assists after tallying seven goals and 10 assists in 2001, his debut season in MLS.
“At the end of the year (2002) I had a few problems because I was worn out but you have to find a way to keep going,” he said. “For me personally it’s going to be different because it’s all about getting motivated again. The World Cup takes a lot out of you. I don’t want to have a slump or letdown the year after.”
Although there is no World Cup to worry about in 2003, the schedule will possibly be even busier and it includes MLS regular season matches, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions Cup and U.S. National Team matches at the Confederations Cup and Gold Cup.
“I thought it would get easy this year and that it would be a lot different,” he said. “But you realize with the national team there‘s always stuff going on. You have to deal with it and you have to manage it.” MLSNET.com.
» 03.03.03 - Donovan, Lagos Get A Kick Out Of Reading: Earthquakes forward Landon Donovan and midfielder Manny Lagos will team
up with other MLS stars and the National Education Association (NEA) to
help launch the inaugural MLS literacy program this week. Both Lagos and
Donovan were involved at a kick-off press conference on Monday in
Lauderdale Lakes, FL. The goal of the program is to create a multicultural
program that educates not only children, but also families on the
importance of reading. Lagos and Donovan will represent the Quakes in the
program, and Donovan will serve as a national spokesman, appearing on "Get
a Kick Out of Reading" posters all over the country. From SJEarthquakes.com.
» 03.02.03 - QUAKES TO HOST CSD MUNICIPAL ON MARCH 26 IN CHAMPIONS CUP MATCH-UP AT SPARTAN STADIUM: Quakes To Face Guatemalan League Runner-Up On Wednesday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. PT
LA MANGA, SPAIN (February 27, 2003) - The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the team will host the 2003 CONCACAF Champions Cup against CSD Municipal on Wednesday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. PT at Spartan Stadium.The game at Spartan Stadium will be the second leg in a home-and-home series with Municipal. The Earthquakes will play the first leg of the series on March 16 in Guatemela at the Estadio Mateo Flores at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
"We are excited to be playing the Champions Cup at Spartan Stadium," Earthquakes General Manager Johnny Moore said. "This is a great competition and a perfect opportunity for our fans to see some high-level soccer early in the year."
Tickets for the Earthquakes March 26 Champions Cup game will go on sale Wednesday, March 5 at 10:00 a.m. Ticket prices for the Quakes vs. CSD Municipal match are $30 for Reserved Seating and $15 for General Admission on the West side of the stadium only. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Earthquakes Ticket Office at 3550 Stevens Creek Blvd., by logging on to www.sjearthquakes.com, by calling Ticketmaster at 408-998-TIXS, or by visiting any Ticketmaster outlet, including Tower Records, Rite Aid, and Ritmo Latino. This game is not part of the Earthquakes Season Ticket Package.
This is the second consecutive season the Quakes have appeared in the Champions Cup. San Jose advanced to the quarterfinals in 2002 after defeating CD Olimpia of Honduras in the Round of 16. They were then eliminated in the quarterfinals by Mexican club Pachuca CF. The Earthquakes qualified for this year's tournament by finishing with the second-best record in Major League Soccer in 2002.
Municipal is one of the most storied clubs in Guatemala, having won the Guatemalan League championship 19 times. The club won the Champions Cup in 1972.
The Champions Cup is comprised of four MLS teams, four Mexican teams, two Guatemalan teams and a team from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. If the Earthquakes advance to the next round, they will face the winner of the CD Toluca-W Connection FC match-up. The quarterfinal matches are scheduled for April 9 and April 16, and the semifinals are set for April 30 and May 14. The finals are to be held in August/September and will be played over two legs like the previous rounds. From SjEarthquakes.com.
» 03.02.03 - SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FINISH LA MANGA CUP WITH 3-1 VICTORY OVER LYN OSLO: LA MANGA, SPAIN (February 27, 2003) - The San Jose Earthquakes defeated Lyn Oslo 3-1 in their final match at the La Manga Cup to finish seventh in the tournament. Ramiro Corrales, Brian Mullan, and Arturo Alvarez all found the back of the net, as the Quakes battled through windy conditions and a number of injuries for the victory. Corrales was involved in all three goals, while Mullan continued to impress by setting up a penalty kick along with scoring his first goal of the tournament. The team will practice in La Manga on Friday, February 28, before departing on Saturday, March 1 for a week in Fort Lauderdale for MLS Spring Training.
Despite using their fourth different line-up in as many games in the tournament, the Earthquakes pushed forward from the opening whistle and created a number of scoring chances. In the opening five minutes, Jamil Walker chipped a shot just wide of the upper corner and had a shot deflected by Lyn goalkeeper Ali-Al Habsi.
Fifteen minutes into the game, the Quakes pressure paid dividends as Mullan stripped a defender of the ball on the right side and slotted a low cross for Walker. A Lyn defender took down Walker as he was receiving the ball, resulting in a penalty kick. Corrales drove the ball into the right corner to give San Jose a 1-0 lead.
Mullan continued his tremendous work rate ten minutes after the goal, finding Walker at the edge of the penalty box, but Walker sent his shot just wide. In the 38th minute, Mullan was rewarded for his efforts with a goal off a set piece. Corrales curled a cross to the penalty stripe, where Walker headed a ball to Mullan at the near post. Mullan then headed a looping shot over Habsi and into the net to give the Quakes a two-goal advantage heading into halftime.
Early in the second half, the lead nearly swelled to three goals as Alvarez just missed the near corner with a low shot, and Eddie Robinson headed a shot just over the bar from close range off a corner kick.
Quakes goalkeeper Jon Conway made a big save to keep the lead at two goals in the 64th minute. Helgi Sigurdsson found space near the top of the 18-yard box and one-timed a shot after receiving a low cross. Conway dove to his right to make the save.
Alvarez continued his strong attacking efforts midway through the half, as he beat three defenders to get into the box before laying a pass back to Todd Dunivant. Dunivant's cross sailed just over a leaping Manny Lagos at the back post.
The Quakes went down a man in the 76th minute after Conway was shown a red card for fouling Sigurdsson on a breakaway. The referee also awarded Lyn a penalty kick. Josh Saunders stepped in for Conway, but could not stop the penalty kick, which was buried in the left corner by Johann Gudmundsson.
Despite being down to ten men, the Quakes still pressed forward. Alvarez again created space for himself in the attack by beating his marker and then finding Lagos on the right wing. Lagos fired a hard shot to the near post, but Habsi made the save.
After Lyn midfielder Jonny Hansen received his second yellow to put both teams at 10 men, Alvarez put the game away after a nice through ball from Corrales. Corrales collected the ball 40 yards from the goal and found Alvarez on the left wing with a well-timed pass. Alvarez moved into the box and finished with a powerful shot to the far corner.
San Jose is now 2-2-1 in the 2003 preseason. The Quakes next play against the Columbus Crew on Tuesday, March 4 in Fort Lauderdale, FL at 4:00 p.m. PT.
Ronnie Ekelund sprained his right ankle in practice on Wednesday afternoon and was kept out of the match. He should be ready to resume full training with the team when they arrive in Florida.
Despite a minor hamstring strain, Brian Ching was able to play 20 minutes as a substitute.
Ian Russell missed Thursday's game due to his left knee sprain. He is still day-to-day.
Ronnie Ekelund saw a familiar face on Lyn Oslo. Steven Lustu grew up with Ekelund in Glostrup, Denmark and the two were paired as forwards in their early youth soccer days. Lustu played 90 minutes at central defense for Lyn.
Landon Donovan and Richard Mulrooney were not available for the match, as they returned home on Tuesday to rest after a month and a half of training with the U.S. National Team. The pair will join the Quakes in Fort Lauderdale.
Frank Yallop, on game: "It was a good battling performance by our guys. The conditions were difficult because of the wind, but I thought that we played well and dealt with the situation well. We had some good finishes and our back-line played a solid game."
Yallop, on Brian Mullan: "Brian has been excellent for us so far. He has been a great acquisition. He works very hard and he is always dangerous around the goal, and he had a great finish today."
Brian Mullan, on his play and the team: "I feel like I am starting to mix better with the team. I feel pretty comfortable out there. This is a great team because everyone here shares the workload and there are no superstars that are above anyone else. I am glad things are coming together well, and I hope that it continues through the season." From SJEarthquakes.com.
Check News Archives for the month of January 2003.
Check News Archives for the month of December 2002.
Check News Archives for the month of November 2002.
Check News Archives for the month of October 2002.
Check News Archives for the month of September 2002.