» 11.27.02 - U.S. SOCCER UNVEILS SPECIAL 2002 WORLD CUP DVD/VHS; "OUR WAY" HITS JUST IN TIME FOR HOLIDAY SEASON: One of the most memorable sports stories of 2002 is now available on a special limited edition DVD just in time for the Holiday season, as U.S. Soccer has unveiled "Our Way: The Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Story of the USA's 2002 World Cup Journey."

Whether you're a soccer die-hard that has followed the U.S. Men all the way through World Cup Qualifying over the last two years, or you're just a casual sports fan who became one of the millions of American people caught up in the whirlwind of the USA's unexpected World Cup success this summer, "Our Way" presents one of the most exciting stories of modern day sports.

Underdogs to everyone but themselves, the U.S. Men's National Team entered the 2002 FIFA World Cup focused on proving to the world that soccer isn't just alive and well in the United States -- it is a force that commands international respect. From the team's shocking 3-2 win over pre-tournament favorite Portugal in its opening game, to a battle against Korea and their sea of fans that ended in a 1-1 draw, to the USA's 2-0 shutout of border rival Mexico that sent them to the quarterfinals for the first time in 72 years, the U.S. was on a mission.

"We're extremely proud of our accomplishments in Korea," said U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena, who served as Executive Producer on the documentary. "Fortunately, we had the opportunity to document what was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the players, coaches and staff and bring it to all of our fans."

"Our Way" gives fans the chance to relive virtually every key moment along the team's historic run, from the moment they stepped off the plane to intense security in Seoul, to the unforgettable bus ride back to the hotel in which they cranked the volume of the onboard karaoke machine and served up their own version of Sinatra's classic tune. It was one of those times where you had to be there ... and now you can!

Go inside the U.S. locker room, team meetings and training sessions to witness the unique blend of talent, character, and determination that symbolized the U.S. performance in Korea. With highlights from all five matches, interviews and never-before-seen exclusive footage, you will witness firsthand the dramatic performance that captured the hearts of the American public. Special features of the DVD include hilarious Outtakes and a Memorable Moments Highlight Reel (including all U.S. goals) for a total of 70 minutes of action.

The VHS version comes out on Dec. 11, with the DVD following on Dec. 16. Both are priced at $30 and available exclusively at ussoccer.com and ussoccerstore.com, as well as through Eurosport. Make "Our Way" the perfect Christmas gift by pre-ordering it at ussoccerstore.com starting today! From UsSoccer.com.

» 11.26.02 - U.S. books friendly with Jamaica: KINGSTON, Jamaica (AFP) - Jamaica's "Reggae Boyz" will play host to the United States on Feb. 12 in an international friendly to mark the re-opening of National Stadium, the Jamaican Football Federation announced.

The match announced Tuesday against the ninth-ranked U.S. squad will serve as a tuneup for March's qualifying round for North America's Gold Cup finals, set for the United States in July.

Jamaican federation president Horace Burrell has received assurances from the Urban Development Corporation renovating the stadium that the pitch, unavailable since November of last year. would be ready for the match.

The U.S. squad, preparing for the Confederations Cup as well as the Gold Cup, will feature top European talent while the Jamaicans will field potentially their finest lineup ever assembled, Burrell said.

"We have confirmed all the arrangements for a very strong United States team with all their overseas stars," Burrell said.

"Jamaica too will be at full strength with all our stars out of Britain and the United States as well as Keith Kelly in France available to us. This is likely to be our strongest-ever team."

The Jamaicans have never defeated the United States, which reached the World Cup quarterfinals last June in South Korea. The U.S. beat Jamaica 5-0 in their most recent meeting, which came last May in a World Cup tuneup.

But Jamaicans have played well during their enforced road swing, going unbeaten in 10 games while stadium renovations were made for July's World Junior Games. More resurfacing remains to create a proper pitch. From UsSoccerPlayers.com.

» 11.20.02 - Donovan wants good news on possible German return: WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Landon Donovan expects to find out within six weeks whether he gets to stay in Major League Soccer or whether he has to go back to Germany.

His contract is owned by powerhouse Bayer Leverkusen, but his tenure there was extremely unhappy, leading to his loan to MLS two seasons ago.

He flourished with the San Jose Earthquakes, winning the championship in 2001. He then played a key role in the United States' run to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup.

"I'd be lying if I said it didn't concern me," said Donovan, who started for the U.S. in Sunday's 2-0 win against El Salvador. "I feel as if right now, if I have to play in Germany, and these are the last six weeks I have in America, then tell me. If not, tell me.

"Richard [Motzkin, his agent] has talked to [Leverkusen]. Ivan [Gazidas, deputy commissioner of MLS] has talked to them. I've told them not to tell me anything unless it's good news." From Cnnsi.com.

» 11.20.02 - Meet U.S. Soccer Players in Las Vegas on Wednesday night-- If you happen to be in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, some of the top stars of the U.S. Soccer Players will be at the Hard Rock Hotel signing autographs and meeting fans from 5:30 to 7 p.m. PT tonight.

Join Tony Meola, Jeff Agoos, Josh Wolff, Clint Mathis, Carlos Llamosa and many others at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.

The hotel is located at 4455 Paradise Road or call 1-800-HRD-ROCK for more information. From USSOCCERPLAYERS.com.

» 11.18.02 - OUR WAY: The Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Story of the USA's 2002 World Cup Journey: AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME ANYWHERE BEGINNING DEC. 18!

Make sure to mark your calendar and come back to ussoccer.com and ussoccerstore.com on Dec. 18 to relive the USA's historic run to the quarterfinals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan with Our Way, the exclusive behind-the-scenes film of the unique blend of talent, character and determination that symbolized the U.S. performance in Korea.

Go inside the USA locker room, team meetings and training sessions to see history being made. With highlights, interviews and one-of-a-kind, never-before-seen, exclusive footage, you will witness firsthand the dramatic performance that captured the hearts of the American public and alerted the world that the United States is an emerging soccer nation. It was on the bus back to the team's hotel in Seoul, just hours after the USA's inspiring run to the World Cup quarterfinals had ended, that the players punched up the volume on the onboard karaoke machine and served up their own version of Sinatra. It was one of those moments where you had to be there ... and now you can! DVD: $30.00 / Video: $20.00. From UsSoccer.com.

» 11.18.02 - U.S. Men Finish 2002 with 2-0 Win Over El Salvador: WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 17, 2002) — The U.S. Men’s National Team concluded its historic 2002 season with a 2-0 shutout of El Salvador in the cold and steady rain today at RFK Stadium in front of 13,590 boisterous fans. Ben Olsen celebrated his return to the national team with the game-winning goal in the 31st minute, and Sasha Victorine added his first tally for the senior national team. With the victory, the United States elevated its final 2002 record to 12-6-2, boasting ten shutouts and impressive 10-1-1 record on home soil. The USA improved its lifetime record to 9-1-4 against El Salvador, and now holds a 9-3-3 record at RFK Stadium.

“I thought we had a good performance today. For the first time out for a number of guys I thought they did well under difficult conditions,” said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. “We played some good soccer at times and created some good chances. We had a good week of training. It was a good to get to know a new group and get this process started all over again.”

The game got off to a blistering pace, with each side trying to settle early nerves and adjust to the slippery field conditions. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard made the game’s first big save, shutting down a two-on-one breakaway in the 4th minute. As the half progressed, the U.S. team started to develop a comfort level with and began to dictate terms.

The team’s persistent attacks down the flanks paid dividends in the 31st minute. Chris Klein strode down the right flank and spotted Olsen streaking to center of the goal. His perfectly place cross hit Olsen in stride, snapping a powerful header to the back post. Olsen, the Chevrolet Man of the Match, notched his fourth career international strike, and his first for the United States since March 12, 2000.

“I closed my eyes;” said Olsen. The ball hit me in the head and it went back post. Seriously, Chris Klein hit an outstanding ball. It seemed like when we crossed the early balls we were dangerous.”

The U.S. continued to apply pressure as the half came to a close, with Clint Mathis nearly adding a second goal just before halftime. A Wade Barrett cross found Mathis alone 15 yards from goal, and Mathis’ clever side-footed volley was turned aside by a diving Juan Gomez.

The United States made two substitutions at the break, goalkeeper Nick Rimando getting his first cap in replacement of Tim Howard, and Leo Cullen replacing Pablo Mastroeni, who left the match with a minor groin strain. Once again, the USA were able to grab the better ball possession and continued to make forays into the Salvadoran defensive end.

The U.S. added an insurance goal in the 60th minute, as forward Clint Mathis displayed his trademark poise and ball control. With his back to the goal and hounded by a Salvadoran defender, Mathis managed to create a window of space, turned and slipped a beautifully weighted ball behind a defender to an onrushing Sasha Victorine. Victorine calmly slipped the ball through the legs of Gomez, recording a goal in only his second match for the USA.

The team is expected to regroup in early January 2003 at a site to be determined. From UsSoccer.com.

» 11.13.02 - Negotiations to keep Donovan going smoothly for Earthquakes (By Dylan Hernandez) Landon Donovan's agent, Richard Motzkin, said efforts to keep the 20-year-old striker in San Jose are going well.

Motzkin and Major League Soccer Deputy Commissioner Ivan Grazidis met last week in Germany with officials from the Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen, the majority owner of Donovan's rights.

``The meetings went well,'' Motzkin said. ``More progress has been made. We're trying to work it out by the end of the year. We're pushing to get this sorted out as quickly as possible.''

Meanwhile, Earthquakes General Manager Johnny Moore said the team has agreed on new contracts with Coach Frank Yallop and assistant Dominic Kinnear. Moore also has made offers to goalkeeper Joe Cannon and defender Wade Barrett, whose contracts expired at the end of last season.

Two weeks ago, Moore sounded confident that Cannon and Barrett would re-sign after both players told him they wanted to remain with the Quakes. But they have yet to sign, and Moore, who wants to begin shaping his 2003 squad, conceded that he is worried. Cannon was MLS goalkeeper of the year, and Barrett was a finalist for defender of the year.

Moore also clarified that the arrangement allowing Donovan to play the past two years in MLS wasn't a loan.

``Our league owns a piece of him,'' Moore said. MLS's current negotiations with Leverkusen, Moore said, are an attempt to extend ``the agreement that was already in place. Hopefully, we'll end up with him forever.''

Donovan signed with Leverkusen in February 1999 but was frustrated with his lack of playing time. The U.S. player of the year has repeatedly said he wants to stay in the United States.From Mercury News.

» 11.11.02 - Quakes captain Jeff Agoos, forward Landon Donovan, defender Jimmy Conrad and midfielder Richard Mulrooney participated in the second annual Le Bonheur charity soccer match on Friday, November 8 in Memphis, TN. Kansas City Wizards defender Carey Talley organized the match in honor of his late father John at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. All proceeds from the match benefited the John Talley Pediatric Neurological Research Fund, and last year's match raised $25,000 for the fund. Donovan and Conrad's Red Explorers team won the match 6-4, defeating Agoos' Blue Expeditions squad that was coached by Mulrooney, who is still recovering from surgery to repair his fractured right ankle. The Metrostars Clint Mathis registered a hat trick for the Expeditions in the game. From www.sjearthquakes.com.

» 11.06.02 - Donovan hopes he can keep playing for San Jose club: The way Landon Donovan sees it, Saturday's "Landon Donovan Day" in Redlands, Calif., was a welcome back party and not a farewell party.

Donovan doesn't expect to return to German Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen, saying there is nothing the soccer club can offer to lure him back.

"It doesn't matter. They know that," Donovan said, referring to Bayer Leverkusen officials.

But the German club holds the rights to Donovan, who has been with Major League Soccer on loan the past two seasons. He won't know officially for several days whether he is to return to Bayer Leverkusen or stay with MLS's San Jose Earthquakes.

Richard Motzkin, Donovan's agent, and MLS deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis will travel to Germany to meet with Bayer Leverkusen officials.

Motzkin believes the talks will produce either a transfer agreement to MLS or a new contract between Donovan and Leverkusen.

Gazidis would not be along for the trip if discussions did not involve a potential sale of Donovan to MLS.

Donovan was named last month as U.S. Soccer Player of the Year, with his two goals in this summer's World Cup at the top of his personal highlights.

In 2001, Donovan was chosen most valuable player of the MLS All-Star Game and led the league in playoff scoring as San Jose won the MLS Cup.

Donovan is in North Carolina and set to train with the U.S. national team ahead of its Nov. 17 friendly match against El Salvador in Washington.

His preference always has been to stay in MLS, so Motzkin needs no further instruction from Donovan on that point.

"Rich knows what he's doing," Donovan said. "I'm confident it will all work out. And they (Bayer Leverkusen) have been good all along to me in doing what's best for me." From www.rockymountainnews.com.

» 11.05.02 - Charity Game: Numerous U.S. Soccer Players will be on hand this weekend on Friday to participate in the Le Bonheur All Star Soccer Game at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. Landon Donavan (San Jose Earthquakes), DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire), Ben Olsen (DC United), Jeff Agoos (San Jose Earthquakes), Preki (Kansas City Wizards), Steve Ralston (NE Revolution), Brian Dunseth (Columbus Crew), Daniel Hernandez ( NE Revolution), Tim Howard (MetroStars), Nick Garcia (Kansas City Wizards), Brian Kamler (NE Revolution), Chris Klein (Kansas City Wizards), Richard Mulrooney (San Jose), Mike Petke (MetroStars), Eric Quill (Kansas City Wizards), Billy Walsh (Chicago Fire), and Eric Wynalda will play in this match organized by Carey Talley in honor of his late father, John. All proceeds from the game will be donated to the ‘John Talley Pediatric Neurological Research Fund.’ with Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center.

*Landon will play on team Explorers against team Expeditions. (From SJEARTHQUAKES.com)

From www.ussoccerplayers.com.

» 11.05.02 - Landon Donovan Day: Redlands, California, the hometown of Earthquakes forward and World Cup hero Landon Donovan, celebrated Landon Donovan Day this past Saturday, November 2. Donovan began his day at Moore Middle School, where he was recognized by AYSO representatives for his achievements, and he donated an autographed jersey, Sports Illustrated poster and a copy of the Sports Illustrated, which features him on the cover, to the town's museum. Following the presentation, Donovan conducted a Q&A session with the youth soccer players in attendance. After a soccer skills demonstration by Donovan and some youth players, Donovan held a press conference for local media in downtown Redlands. That evening, Donovan participated in an exhibition charity game between Los Gauchos and an AYSO team. Donovan played a half with the Los Gauchos team and a half with the AYSO team. The proceeds from the game benefited youth soccer field development in Redlands. From www.sjearthquakes.com.

» Nov. 4, 2002 - A hero's welcome LANDON DONOVAN DAY: Fans and family members gathered Saturday on the athletic fields at Moore Middle School to welcome U.S. men's soccer team star Landon Donovan home to Redlands.


REDLANDS Saturday was definitely Landon Donovan Day.

The 20-year-old hometown hero who helped the U.S. men's soccer team get to the World Cup was honored at Moore Middle School, his junior high school alma mater, escorted by the Redlands Police Department onto the athletic fields where scores of fans waited, many of them wearing soccer uniforms.

Also waiting for him were family members, including twin sister Tristan and older brother Josh.

Mayor Kasey Haws was master of ceremonies for the event as Donovan answered children's questions and signed T-shirts and soccer balls and AYSO National president Fred Gregory presented him with an AYSO T-shirt and soccer ball.

"Landon's always been a class act," said Jeff Stoffel, one of Donovan's former coaches. "He always raised the level of the playing field, and he's always had tremendous respect for his opponents." Stoffel recalled a time when Donovan then on an opposing team broke his leg. Stoffel wondered what Donovan would do when he finally came back to the field. "When he came back, he wasn't slower," Stoffel said. "He was faster. And it's all because of his devotion to his sport. Landon may be blessed with skill and talent, but he's worked for everything he's earned." Former coach Pat Hafley agreed, saying, "Landon's attitude and effort is what separates him from the rest," adding, "He always goes the extra mile. He knows what he needs to do to get the job done." Several budding soccer professionals were given the opportunity to come up to the stage and ask Donovan questions and get their shirts autographed in the process. Matt MacKenzie asked him whether or not he likes to play video games and if so, which ones. Donovan answered, "I play more than I probably should" and said that while he enjoys playing "Madden 2000," he encourages everyone to go out and buy "FIFA 3000" when it comes out next week, "Because you'll probably see someone's picture on it." Gavin Thrasher wanted to know what Donovan loves about soccer. "We all watch other sports," Donovan said. "I'm happy that the Angels won, by the way. But in soccer, there's no time outs, no huddles to plan out your next play. You just do what comes natural, and I guess that's what makes soccer so special." Brooke McElwee was a little more nervous with her two questions, and had to have Donovan lean over so she could whisper them in his ear. Repeating for the audience, Donovan said, "The first one, as you'll all know,'Will you marry me?' Well," he said, sizing Brooke up, "how old are you?" She answered, "10." "Well, how about in eight more years, you give me a call," Donovan said. The other question had to do with whether or not he gets to spend a lot of time with his friends and family. The answer was "Not enough. But when I want to get away from soccer because there can be times when soccer can be overwhelming they're there to let me just be myself." Donovan had a couple of scrimmages with some fierce 6-and-Under players; a ball juggling act with his brother Josh (who "taught him everything he knows"), which Landon lost when he tried to kick another ball out of the way in mid-juggle; and a shooting match against Redlands High School's Justin Bogh and Silverado High School of Victorville's Ashlee Elliott. The three took shots at a net while Redlands police recorded their speeds with radar guns. Elliott clocked in at 51 mph, Bogh's ball fired over the roof of Moore's relocatable classrooms at 61 mph and Donovan topped them off at 62 mph. "He's good at soccer," said 8-year-old Nick Sidor, who plays for the Jedis. "He's practiced a lot." Sidor raced off to join a crowd of people vying for Donovan's autograph. "He's a good role model for kids," said 12-year-old Alyssa Allen, who plays for the Maniacs. "He's really good." Matt Wilburn, 13, had his shirt signed by Donovan. "He's really nice," Matt said. "It makes me want to be a professional soccer player when I grow up." Marla Drake, whose daughter Jillian is friends with Donovan's twin sister Tristan, remembers when Donovan shaved his head in a soccer ball pattern, probably back in the sixth grade. "He's a nice kid," said Drake. "Strange, but nice." "Anyone here can be just as good," Donovan told the crowd. "I mean, I started out where you guys are." Then, a message to the adults: "It's good to have people who always encourage people," Donovan said, "and I hope every parent out here does that for their kids, because it can happen." Later in the evening, Donovan participated in a charity soccer match, with participants from Los Gauchos and AYSO teams challenging U.K. International at the University of Redlands, with UR men's coach Rob Becerra coaching. A hero's welcome. From www.redlandsdailyfacts.com.

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